10 Reasons Why It Makes Sense to Book Shore Excursions

Experienced cruisers are used to seeing a list of shore excursions presented to them onboard, or via the cruise line website or pre-cruise messaging. There is usually a talk onboard promoting shore excursions for the next port. This is another profit center for cruise lines. Some cruise lines organize their own excursions, led by onboard staff. Sometimes these might be included in your cruise fare and presented as a benefit of all-inclusive pricing along with “free drinks” …

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19 Ways Swan Hellenic Distinguishes Itself as a True Standout Among Expedition Ships

Ah, my journey with Swan Hellenic was nothing short of extraordinary, and I’m thrilled to share the highlights of this unforgettable voyage: Awe-Inspiring Corinth Canal Passage: Our cruise began with a breathtaking passage through the famous Corinth Canal. The ship’s slow, graceful glide through this narrow waterway left us all in awe, setting the stage for an adventure of a lifetime. What is different: Size matters. Ther Corinth Canal can accommodate a maximum ship width of 82 …

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While Not Cruising, We Enjoyed Our Return to Sheboygan

Sheboygan, Wisconsin seems an unlikely destination for a couple who enjoy life at sea. We visited in April and had such a great time we made a return visit in August. If you live on the East Coast, it’s an under two-hour flight. Since Milwaukee is serviced by Southwest Airlines, the major carriers need to offer competitively cheap airfares. There is a lot to like. If like us, you have cruised, you might feel you have done …

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What’s New on Cunard Since Our January Voyage

Lots has happened with Cunard since we sailed on the first leg of the Queen Victoria world cruise in January 2023. It’s all good. Our next trip is months away, so how do we know about life onboard today? We have a group of contacts we call our “Cunard Friends.” These are people we have met on various voyages over the past 15+ years. Before the pandemic, we would e-mail once a quarter. When Covid imposed lockdowns, …

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Review of Swan Hellenic’s Diana: A Greek Islands Expedition with the Essence of a Private Yacht Experience

Ultra-luxury cruising distinguishes itself from premium cruising in many ways, and our 11-night voyage aboard the Swan Hellenic ship Diana through the Greek Islands was a revelatory experience in this regard. Allow me to delve into the exceptional qualities that made our journey from Athens to Istanbul truly exceptional. Overall Score: (99/100) Swan Hellenic boasts a fleet of two ships, with the SH Diana, the largest at 12,000 tons. Accommodating a maximum of 192 passengers and manned …

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How to Enjoy Your Privacy While on a Cruise

Some people go on vacation to enjoy alone time. They do not want to feel like crowd scene extras on a film set. Can this be done when the passenger count on a cruise ship numbers in the thousands?  The answer is yes. What type of passengers want their privacy? Celebrities come to mind. They can afford to spend lots of money. A more down to earth example is the person working in customer service. If they …

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How to Save Money On Cruises So You Can Take More Cruises

Cruising can become addictive. As soon as you step back onto land, you want to take another. If you do not have too many responsibilities tying you to home, you might decide you want to cruise as much as possible. For most of us, cost is a consideration. Here are ways you can save money on each cruise, allowing you to take more cruises! Cruises will cost you in these areas: Booking the trip, getting to the …

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The Importance of Cruise and Other Travel Loyalty Program Memberships

Jane and I figured out the importance of loyalty programs decades ago. We tell friends we are “Married to American Airlines, Marriott and Cunard.”  Two of them must be involved wherever we go. If you cruise on a regular basis, it is in your best interests to understand how loyalty programs work and how to use them to your advantage. Cruise lines. Yes, we are married to Cunard. Their World Club has four tiers of membership, Silver, …

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What Does Luxury Mean in the Cruise Industry?

Luxury is an overused word today. We see luxury linens, luxury cars and luxurious pillows advertised. It’s a category people aspire to join. It is associated with wealth. People who win the lottery want to live a life of luxury. The cruise industry is often divided into categories like mass market cruising and the premium and ultra-premium categories. These last two usually use the word “luxury” often. What does it mean?  What do you get?  How do …

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Where Should I Cruise in the Fall?

Summer is a very popular time for cruising. Families go on vacation when their children are out of school. This is an opportunity for teachers to get away too. If everyone seems to be on vacation, ports can get crowded, and airfares are high. If you can get away in the fall, where should you go? Fall foliage cruises. Plenty of cruise lines do trips up the New England coast during September and October. They often sail …

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