Cruise The Stress Away

Going on a cruise is not really a far-fetched idea today. Planning your dream vacation is already easy because everything is accessible via the internet. You just need to decide on a particular place or area you wished to visit then find an available cruise line within that area. Websites like, and are just some examples of those trusted sites that you can use to find great deals and also to book a trip online.

Now that you have your bags, tickets, passport and swoon worthy sunglasses in tow, finally its boarding time! So what’s there to expect during the boarding process?

According to, boarding on a cruise ship is not that different with the check-in procedures when boarding on a plane. Therefore, it’s not going to be overwhelming because everything is fairly organised. Your cruise line will send you the information regarding your schedule like when you’re expected to check-in. Like in the airport, you are also given a several hour window to check-in at the port and if you’re late you don’t get to board on the ship.

Upon reaching the cruise terminal, be ready with your boarding documents and keep them handy for check-in. Precautionary measures are still being implemented so be prepared. Carry-ons are still subject for x-ray inspections before entering the queue lines of the check-in station. If you have large suitcases with you hiring a porter can be helpful. You can expect your luggage to be delivered to your cabin by dinnertime.

When you reach the check-in counter you’re expected to hand over your boarding documents to the representative. You will also be asked to fill in a document regarding your medical condition. This is a prerogative of the cruise lines to prevent a possible spread of illnesses in confined places.

Once cleared, they will give you your cruise card with your picture on it for security purposes. This cruise card will serve as your all-in-one boarding card, room card and onboard credit card, be sure to take good care of it at all times. They will also provide you the schedule of events and a handy map of the ship.

Once you are done with the check-in and you have acquired your cruise card, you can already board on the ship. Don’t shy away from photographers on your way to the ship. They will usher you to pose on the ship’s backdrop or the ship’s life ring. These pictures will be available for purchase on board and they are great souvenir items, too! But if it makes you uncomfortable to have your pictures taken, you can always politely decline the offer.

Select an Ideal Cruise Cabin

The ocean view cabin is the next level higher to the inside cabin. Ocean view cabins are often bigger in size and they consist of a window or porthole in which you can view whatever it is on the outside. People who like sunlight or sightseeing without leaving the comfort of the cabin will find the ocean view appropriate to their needs.

The next step higher to the ocean view is the balcony cabin also known as veranda cabin. This type of cabin is slightly bigger than the standard ocean view and features a private balcony, which is accessible through a door from the cabin. There will be beautiful landscapes and scenery en route to your destination and if you are fond of sightseeing while on the ship, a balcony cabin will be the perfect room for you. Again, check the ship’s layout and the itinerary so your cabin will be facing the landscapes. Another benefit of a balconied cabin is that you can sleep while the sea breeze goes around your room when the balcony door is open.

The suite is the most expensive type of cabin in a cruise ship. They have the largest room space with various accompanying amenities and they are usually located at the upper deck of the ship. If you like cruising a lot then you ought to try a suite one time, as the benefits that come with it will make you feel like one of the royalties.

All-Inclusive Cruise Experience

Cruise lines are trying to book trips all year, which means they have to appeal to as many people as possible at all times. This includes providing package deals that are filled to the brim with services and amenities for prospective travelers. Of course, it is important for prospective travelers to be aware of what “all-inclusive” actually entails. This is perhaps the most divisive aspect of the cruise industry as what is included with “all” can vary. It takes a lot of work by the would-be traveler to figure exactly what is being offered before they book.

At its most basic, an all-inclusive cruise would provide the following: accommodations, food, non-alcoholic beverages, entertainment on the ship, and applicable taxes and fees. This isn’t too bad, but when you begin to investigate what other items have price tags, you realize that all is actually not completely included. For example, excursions off the ship can cost extra. Before you even get on the ship, there is a matter of traveling to the port from which you’ll be leaving. If you live any great distance away, you’ll have to drive or fly, and depending on when you get in, you may need to spend the night, which means an overnight stay. In some cases, what was once a pretty sweet cruise deal has now become a much larger financial investment.

You also need to be aware that all-inclusive cruises can be somewhat regimented and tend to adhere to strict schedules. This, for many travelers, is a deal-breaker. Whether it be meals or excursions, all-inclusive cruises have to keep schedules & movement on the ship tight, and that type of scheduling may not mesh with your idea of a vacation. Part of the fun during a vacation is that you can turn off the alarm clock, stash your watch, and just enjoy what the day brings your way. Having to maintain a schedule during your time off may not be the way to go.

So, what is a traveler to do? Become educated and do some research. Not only do you have the internet, but you can also reach out to stellar travel agents that can not only give you great insight into the all-inclusive cruise, but they may be able to help you book the ultimate all-inclusive cruise that is exactly what you want.

Book an Alaskan Cruise

  • Research online about the weather and events in Alaska. The wildlife and cold weather are two reasons why people want to visit Alaska. Another great reason is for a chance to see the Northern Lights. Even during the summer months, temperatures in Alaska are only between 40 and 60 degrees. There have been a few years on record where the temperatures were much higher. Due to icebergs and the exceptionally cold weather, Alaskan tours are not offered all year round.
  • Compare and contrast the different cruises available. Scrutinize the amenities that are offered with each cruise and determine which is a better option for you. Some companies are better suited for adults-only while others are best suited for children. Each ship has its own entertainment and amenities which make it special.
  • Contact the cruise company of your choice and ask about any specials. When there are vacancies on a cruise ship, there is likely to be special deals available that are not listed on the website. Due to the cost of sailing a ship, most companies are willing to strike a deal to fill in those last empty rooms before a ship departs.
  • Reserve your cruise on a major credit card. It will be necessary to pay a portion or all of the cruise cost up front. You can reserve a cruise online using a major credit card but will need to call in person to use a debit card. If you are using a debit card you may also be subject to additional fees as a deposit that is used to ensure there is no damage to the suite.
  • Pick your room carefully. On all cruise ships, there are three or four different options for rooms. The smaller rooms are on the lower levels of the boat and only offer an under the sea view. You can also choose between larger rooms with balconies or at last those with a large picture window to get a better view of the oceanic surroundings. The nicer and larger the room, the more expensive it will be.
  • Book your airfare. If you do not live in one of the departure areas then you will need to plan on the extra cost of airfare for your Alaskan cruise. The cost of flying has greatly increased in the last year. You should plan to spend an extra $500+ on a round trip flight per person with your Alaskan cruise trip.

Tips to Enjoy Your Cruise More Fully

  • Pack Light – By this I mean pack only a few outfits and toiletry essentials, but bring an empty suitcase as well. Now this may cause some of the more efficient travel veterans to cringe at the idea of wasted space, but the truth is that more cruises (especially all-inclusives) have just about everything from food, to entertainment already accounted for. The empty suitcase is for souvenirs. Especially in Caribbean travel, you will be exposed to many small shops with beautiful clothing that you’ll want to show off on the deck immediately. Don’t worry about packing the right outfit, just find it!
  • Exercise – There’s an old saying that “the best rest is rest earned.” Taking your cruise as an extended time to gorge yourself and lounge around all day is not only unhealthy, but it will minimize your experiences on the ship. Do little things like taking a morning or evening walk around the deck, or always take stairs rather than the elevator. Years from now when you’re reminiscing you’re not going to remember the day nap you took on deck. You’re going to remember the moonlit stroll you took after dinner, or how you felt after taking down the rock climbing wall for the first time.
  • Pacing – The first night can seem like the most exciting. You’ve met new people, and the cruise ship festivities are starting to gain steam after all the procedural work of checking in. It must be time to cut loose and close down the deck bar right? I wouldn’t. You may not know it yet, but you’re probably exhausted from packing and maybe even jet-lagged from flying into the departure port. Meet people and enjoy your first night, but get to bed before it gets too late so you can get a jump on the next day, and eventually the next night.
  • Manage Your Belongings – The few things you should bring on the cruise ship should be intelligently protected. It is never recommended to bring serious valuables on board. But if this cannot be avoided, than make sure to store them in the ship’s vault. Label everything you have with your name and deck number so that it can be returned to the steward if you misplace it.

Europe Cruise Tour

A maximum number of river cruises are a week long, but some of the exotic trips can sometimes extend up to ten to fourteen days. Mostly the journey starts from some of the fantastic cities in Europe and includes an overnight stay on board. But in case this facility is not provided you should preferably plan a pre or post-cruise stay. Generally, the daily shore excursions are included in the fares that you have already paid while booking. Some rare cruise companies of Europe offer extra tour options on paying extra bucks.

European cruise tariffs typically covers accommodations, some selective meals, children’s club activities, kid’s entertainment and even some theatrical performances. But you must also note that there are several activities and services that are charged extra like spa treatments, casino, cocktails and special drinks.

These packages also include the cost of transportation between ports and you can enjoy visits to a lot of European cities without paying any extra money. Some of these voyages cover two large regions like Western Europe and the Baltic or the Eastern and Western Mediterranean. Some cruises even combine more than three countries all together.

The most amazing itinerary that you can choose to make your Europe cruise tour experience awesome is the fantastic places like Civitavecchia for Rome, Venice, Stockholm, Barcelona and Piraeus for Athens or else you can go for tempting palates of lesser-known places including Tunisia’s Tunis, Malta’s Valletta and Estonia’s Tallinn.

Among all these regular facts, there is a very important cautionary point that you all need to be extra careful about while going for cruising in Europe’s rivers. This is typically the weather from April to October, as heavy rains and spring flooding during this period makes the rivers swell and the locks become impassable. Many of the bridges along the routes are low and so the high waters prevent the boats to fit underneath them during this period. Similarly, the drought results in excessive low waters that don’t allow boats to move.

How To Stay Healthy On A Cruise Ship

  • Stay hydrated – We cannot insist enough on the fact to keep your body replenished with enough water. While sightseeing, sunbathing or doing the day to day activities your body loses water. It is important that you keep taking sips of water throughout the day so to prevent dehydration and the consequences that tag along.
  • Don’t drink the local water – Having said the above we never recommend you to drink the local water or indulge yourself in drinks that are prepared with local water or ice as your body is not used to it and can cause problems like diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting and food poisoning. Take your own bottled and sealed water and snacks from the ship when you head out. Never hesitate in asking the restaurant owners and chefs regarding the kind of water from which the meal was prepared.
  • Exercise – Most of us let ourselves go on a holiday. In our opinion, it is one of the worst things that one can do to him/herself. The breath-taking views, the new air and the company that surrounds you will take up most of your time, but it is crucial that you take half a daily from your routine and hit the gym. Most cruises are equipped with a proper gym and trainers ready to help you exercise and distress during the trip. This activity will contribute to freshen your mind and body, help with digestion and keep you active and fit.
  • Stay away from uncooked meat and spicy dishes – Honestly, it’s difficult to stay away from all the yummy and mouthwatering cuisines that the cruise has to offer but remember don’t overload your system with too many things that you will later regret. Uncooked meat, sardines and our beloved sushi is a big NO! Stay away from overly spiced up food because that can cause gastric problems. Skip on the exotic chutneys and dressings and eat as much of local fruits and seasonal cooked vegetables as possible.

Choose a Bahamas Cruise

One of the great attractions of Bahamas is its beaches where you get to swim, snorkel and scuba dive. Its popular beaches are The Cabbage Beach at Paradise Island, Cable Beach at New Providence Island and Gold Rock Beach at Lucayan National Park at The Grand Bahama Island.

Activities you can do

  • Water activities will allow a cruiser to have an encounter with dolphins and seals on Blue Lagoon Island 3 miles from Nassau. Underwater cave exploration next to the Freeport is another adventure that you can experience. If you have not seen alligators in close view, then here is your chance to do that at the Garden of the Groves.
  • The Bahamas is similarly known for famous landmarks such as The Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation. Five-star hotels can be found in the island as well that features casinos and other amenities.
  • The Royal Victoria Garden offers a variety of homegrown plants.
  • If you love shopping, The Bahamas will never fail you as you get to enjoy doing this activity at the duty-free shop as well as in other shops and stores. Visit the Nassau straw market to shop for mementos.
  • If you are not keen on doing the shopping, hopping from one hotel to another, or trekking the islands, you can enjoy your solitary moment on the beach and enjoy the country’s climate with a beer on your hand.
  • Talking about climate, schedule your cruise to The Bahamas in spring, summer and winter. This is where you can experience their good weather condition.


Explore Exotic Russia On A River Cruise

The places that you must see include the ‘Hermitage Museum’, which was once the Winter Palace and houses one of the finest collections of art in the world with works by Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt and Matisse. ‘Catherine the Great’s Palace’ is next on the must see list as it features a 298 metre white, gold and blue façade and is crowned with golden onion domes and ‘St Isaac’s Cathedral’ is quite simply stunning, with its marble walls embossed with an array of semi-precious stones.

Mandrogui is set upon beautiful parklands on the banks of the Svir River and is littered with a whole host of colourful buildings. At this port of call you can discover an array of shops, arts and crafts workshops. And a lot of the river cruise ships offer Russia lessons when you get back on board so you can learn a little something along the way.

Kizhi is the next port of call and is the place to see an array of churches, temples and historical sites. This UNESCO World Heritage site is also home to ancient wooden buildings which fascinate everyone that visits. After this you can head to the Russian settlement of Goritsy. Situated near the famous St Cyril Monastery you can enjoy a whole wealth of exploring during your time here.

Russia’s capital Moscow is always a firm favourite with river cruise travellers. You can visit the onion domes of St Basil’s Cathedral, the legendary Red Square, the famous Kremlinm, Novodevichy Convent and enjoy incredible scenic views from the Sparrow Hills. You can explore fascinating European art in the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, take a stroll through the ever so beautiful Gorky Park or even shop for some bargains at the Izmailovo Flea Market. There really is something everyone in Russia’s capital.

Galapagos Cruise

Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido)

This vertical rock off the northwest coast of San Cristobal juts up approximately 500 feet straight out of the water. As you approach from San Cristobal it will have the appearance of a boot, giving it the name “Kicker Rock”. As you get closer and cruise around towards the north face, you will have the opportunity to spot blue footed boobies, masked boobies and magnificent frigate birds.

Genovesa (Tower Island)

Located in the far north east of the archipelago, Genovesa is home to some of the most spectacular bird watching in the Galapagos. Most visits include a stop at Prince Philips steps and Darwin Bay. Both locations are superb for viewing the abundance of birdlife, including swallow-tailed gulls, storm petrels, frigate birds and tropic birds. At times the sky seems filled with birds. You will also see Red Footed Boobies which, like the frigate bird, nest in the branches of the low lying shrubs. (Breeding Season is from September to July.) Aside from birdlife, Genovesa is also a great place for snorkeling. With small cliffs lining the bay, there is a diverse array of sea life that lives around these rocky outcroppings as well as on the sandy bottom.


Fernandina is the westernmost island in the Galapagos, located just a short distance from Isabela. One of the youngest islands in the Galapagos, Fernadina remains one of the most highly active volcanic islands, with its main crater approximately 6.5 kilometers wide. Due to its young age and lack of precipitation, it does not have the rich flora that other islands such as Santa Cruz or San Cristobal do. This allows only a certain group of animals to thrive here, most notably the flightless cormorant. Punta Espinoza is the main area of visit, offering great contrast between the green mangroves, black lava flows, and turquoise waters. The island is also home to the largest colony of sea iguanas in the Galapagos.


Formed by joining of six lava flows, Isabela is the largest island in the Galapagos. Located on the western side of the archipelago Isabela stretches approximately 100 kilometers north to south.

On its western coast you will find Tagus Cove and Urvina Bay, popular destination for cruises that make the journey to Fernandina and the west coast of Isabela. On a short walk around Tagus Cove, past walls scrawled with graffiti dating back to the 1800’s, you’ll enjoy views of a saltwater lagoon named Darwin Lake. Throughout this hike you are sure to see several different kinds of finches, including the woodpecker finch. Once you reach the summit of this hike, you will also be able to see both Darwin and Wolf Volcano. A short boat ride along the cliffs of Tagus Cove also reveals Galapagos Penguins, flightless cormorants, blue footed boobies and marine iguanas.

Urbina Bay

Urbina Bay is located south of Tagus Cove on the western coast of Isabela and is largely known for a 5 kilometer section that was uplifted some 4 meters in a geological event in 1954, leaving sea life stranded above the ocean. From Urbina Bay you will also have the chance to cruise through large Mangroves as well as search for Giant Tortoises.


Santiago is located in the heart of the Archipelago. On the western side of Santiago the two main sites include Puerto Egas and James Bay. Puerto Egas was once an area of salt mining, although in current times it is known more for the 30-40 thousand fur seals that make their home here and the inter-tidal pools that support a large variety of sea life. The black sand beach of Puerto Egas also serves as a great place to snorkel, with good chances to swim with sea lions and sea turtles.


Bartolome is where you will find the iconic Pinnacle Rock, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Galapagos. A visit to Bartolome will include a hike up a series of stairs to a lookout point that peers across a martian landscape towards Pinnacle Rock. At the base of this rock you will find beautiful white sand beaches with sea lions and Galapagos Penguins. The south side of this island is where sea turtles will come to lay their eggs from January to March.