Top Five Things to Enjoy on Board Your Cruise

Cruise ships have reached such a standard today that the array of activities to enjoy on board are almost too many to list. Combine the range of relaxing and fun events with the high quality service and excellent customer care found on most cruise ships these days and there is no better place to holiday than coasting across the deep blue.

Here is a list of the top five things to look forward to whilst on your selected cruise ship, which will give you all the more reason to book now ahead of your holiday.

    1. The swimming pool. Far warmer than the water you are travelling on, most swimming pools are designed to the highest standard on cruise ships, with most offering spectacular views of the sea. If the heat of your selected tropical destination is getting too much outside on deck, then be sure to cool yourself down with a leisurely swim.
    1. Cinema. Sometimes a classic film can be enough to round off a memorable day on board. Most cruise liners are equipped with cinemas showing both classic films and the latest releases, with a range on offer to satisfy even the pickiest film-lovers.
    1. Sauna/Steam rooms. Perhaps the most desired activity for any of those who have finished a long day touring selected ports, a nice sauna is the perfect way to relax your muscles and prepare for an evening of entertainment on board the cruise ship.
    1. Bars and restaurants. Such is the size of most cruise liners these days, the selection of bars and restaurants available to you is more akin to a night out in Covent Garden than out on sea. Unwind with a glass of wine and eat some of the finest foods found anywhere in the world to cap off some memorable days on board.
  1. Casino. For any of those who fancy a flutter, a casino is usually on hand to provide you with your thrills and spills. It could represent the perfect ending to an unforgettable evening of food, wine and laughter – providing that you win of course!

Whatever cruise you choose, there will undoubtedly be a hearty selection of entertainment facilities designed to keep people of all ages content. So what are you waiting for? Book your cruise now and take advantage of the amazing facilities and stunning experiences both on board and off during your boat trip around the world.

This article was written by Thom Sanders on behalf of Cruise Miles, who run an excellent points scheme which rewards you with points which can be translated into money saving opportunities simply for taking cruise holidays.

Imagine Your Yacht Charter to the Virgin Islands

Interested in a yacht charter to the BVI? Here’s what your trip would include:

Day 1: Just five minutes from the airport on St. Thomas, you’ll already be on your yacht cruising out of the Crown Bay Marina. You’ll spend the night in beautiful Francis Bay of St. John Island. While the smallest of the US Virgin Islands, it is far from insignificant. The St. John National Park is a glorious retreat, with clear walking trails, lush tropical greenery, and unique ruins and artifacts from ancient plantations. The most amazing part of St. John is Trunk Bay, which offers an underwater trail touting coral formations and brightly colored fishes as part of the national park.

Day 2: As you leave the U.S. Virgin Islands, you’ll clear customs at Sopers Hole, before heading to Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke. Named after a Dutch pirate, this island maintains its party status with six bars for its 150 residents. You’ll want to try out Foxy’s Bar and enjoy a painkiller at the Soggy Dollar Bar. To get an idea of this island’s atmosphere, watch Kenny Chesney’s video, “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problems,” which features the island.

Day 3: You’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast prepared by the yacht chef before taking a trip to Sandy Cay, a small island that is a gorgeous botanical garden of local and exotic plants and flowers. You may see humpback whales, sea turtles, or other marine life. Next you’ll head to Norman Island, where you’ll enjoy the magical experience of snorkeling in the Cvaes. After a hot shower and lunch, you can take the tender to the Willy T, the BVI’s famous floating bar. A leisurely dinner will be served on deck of the yacht and you can relax in the Jacuzzi with cocktails as the stars begin to shine in the Caribbean sky.

Day 4: You’ll start your morning under water as you scuba dive at the Indians before heading to Road Town, Tortola, where you can explore this bustling city with plenty of shops and great nightlife, including Pusser’s Road Town Pub.

Day 5: Today you’ll explore the Baths of Virgin Gorda. The massive granite boulders line the beaches as proof of the island’s volcanic past. You’ll love exploring the grottos and crystal pools before heading to the Bitter End to anchor and enjoy an authentic Caribbean feast featuring fresh local seafood.

Day Six: The day will be spent on Peter Island at the upscale resort which includes a world-class beach spa. You can burn off some energy with watersports, such as skiing or wakeboarding, or simply lounge on the beach at Deadman’s Bay.

Day Seven: You’ll head back to the US-side of the Virgin Islands, where you’ll anchor at Caneel Bay, on St. John, which is part of the Virgin Island’s National Park. Be sure to ask the yacht chef to pack you a lunch and take the tender to Honey Moon Beach, which has the finest sand, perfect for a beach picnic.

Day Eight: While it is your final day of your vacation, it won’t be spent saying goodbyes. You’ll head to Charlotte Amallie, where you’ll say hello to duty-free shopping, souvenirs, and new accessories, before catching your plane home.

The Magic of a River Cruise

For many centuries, rivers were the world’s main “highways”. Most famous cities grew up along the banks of rivers, using the river as the main form of transportation and trade. As the major cities or quaint villages flourished, many beautiful cathedrals, monuments, city centers, and other charming attractions lined the river banks. These cities are the true heritage of the civilization that developed on the river.

A great new way to explore and experience these gems along the rivers of the world is a river cruise. Serene and picturesque, river cruising offers a peaceful journey along the world’s most extraordinary waterways. Complete comfort and convenience make it the prime way to experience magnificent cities, historic villages and quaint enclaves. From your stateroom balcony, endless natural beauty combines with evolving views of the colorful local scenery. Castles and fortresses tower on both sides, as if you could reach out and touch them. When your ship docks, you’ll step straight into the heart of intriguing cities, towns, and villages. You’ll be expertly guided on included excursions to the places you have never experienced. Whether visiting a Portuguese winery for a tasting of the country’s world-renowned Port wine, or sampling the life of French royalty on a stroll through the halls of Versailles, you’ll be given an insider’s access to the best experiences each destination has to offer. Once back onboard your luxury river cruise ship, you’ll sail away from the day’s adventure into an evening of fine dining complete with complimentary, perfectly paired wine.

Onboard you’ll be greeted by the cheerful smiles of a caring staff, whose greatest desire is to make you feel at home every moment you’re onboard. You can move freely through the ship, unencumbered by crowds as you explore your floating home. With an average capacity of about 130 guests there are plenty of public space for socializing and dining, as well as many nooks and alcoves perfectly designed for quiet reading or day dreaming.

Unpack just once then settle in as each destination comes to you. With no need to navigate from place to place, you’ll find a sense of adventure and a sense of home, all in one vacation. Unlike traditional ocean cruises, you don’t spend a lot of days at sea with short stops in between. You’ll get to thoroughly explore the towns, villages and exotic scenery along the great rivers of the world.

There are a very large collection of river cruise vacations throughout Europe, Egypt, Vietnam, Cambodia and China. You can choose from a number of itineraries along the legendary Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Main, Rhone as well as lesser-known rivers in Europe. Or, if your tastes lean more toward the adventuresome, break away and discover the mysteries of the orient along the mighty Yangtze, the exotic Mekong or the ancient wonders along the Nile.

With great satisfaction, you will know that the beauty of your surroundings is matched by the great value you’re enjoying, with all meals, hosted shore excursions, onboard entertainment, local guides, onboard lectures, arrival and departure day transfers, and so much more included in your fare. All that’s left for you to do is enjoy the magic of a river cruise.

Luxury Cruising Offers Advantages for Many Celebrations

This new trend taking hold in the elite industry of luxury small ship cruising is being taken up by some big corporate companies as well as individuals who are looking for an event offering something with a difference that will have their guests talking about it for a long time after.

Small intimate motor yachts are now being hired for private functions, such as weddings, honeymoons, birthday parties, family celebrations, anniversaries and company meetings or social events.

These yachts make the perfect venue for a small intimate event as they are equipped with a full friendly professional crew, fully furnished, have an open bar and onboard chef to cater for any event or function.

Yacht charters are available all over the world for the pleasure seekers and there are many fabulous famous vacation islands to choose from.

Having a celebration for your child’s sixteenth birthday on board one of these beautiful floating hotels will be an unforgettable experience for him or her and their guests.

You may choose to party on the boat, or cruise to a specific destination, such as a private island, and drop anchor and start your celebrations there. Either way you and your guests are sure to have a memorable event that they will talk about for years to come.

Couples are choosing to get married on a cruise ship as you can reserve a small, fully crewed, private luxury small ship just for you, your wedding party and your guests. Very intimate and very fabulous!

Some couples are even choosing to stay on and honeymoon with their guests. This is a perfect situation for those couples who would love to have their friends and family join them on their honeymoon. And some couples even arrange to have a double wedding and honeymoon together!

While it can be a lot of fun to have others along you are provided with you own private quarters for your more intimate moments, while choosing to celebrate this momentous occasion with your closest friends as well.

Many companies are beginning to reserve these small yachts for corporate events as well, such as company dinner parties and award banquets for employees.

Consider having your next boardroom meeting on a small luxury cruise ship that offers you absolute privacy away from everything.

With full internet services available and a full suite of technology that includes a large flat screen for presentations it is the most luxurious floating office around. A helipad will easily accommodate an out-of-town executive who wants to join the meeting once the ship has sailed.

After the business is completed it’s time to adjourn to the bar, kick back and enjoy the pleasure of some good team building and serious fun.

These small cruise yachts come equipped with everything you need for your corporate events from an open bar to a fully staffed kitchen. If you want live music to entertain your guests, this can also be arranged.

They also offer glamour and exclusivity as well as a range of adventures such as heli-golf excursions, deep-sea fishing, beach and exercise activities, wine trails, bush and island walks to give different choices to your guests on board.

Whether it’s shopping for souvenirs at the local village markets, swimming or sun bathing on the beautiful island beaches, heading off with the guys for some serious big game fishing or heli-golf, you won’t be disappointed with the style and luxurious offerings on a luxury small ship cruse.

If cruising on a luxury small ship cruise is your preference look for a company that has a good safety record and is committed to providing first class customer service.

When you cruise with Island Escape Cruises you will discover the perfect luxury travel experience of remote places in a luxury motor-yacht designed to give you an experience to remember.

What to Expect on a Luxury Cruise

Aside from being wealthy, most people who go on luxury cruises are discerning, seasoned travellers who enjoy interacting with other like-minded passengers. These people are happy to pay more, if it means they can holiday in a 5 star, sophisticated environment where they will be well looked after.

Certainly, on a luxury cruise, every passenger is given a high level of personal service, as the staff are trained to cater to your every need from the moment you board. The ambiance on these ships is refined, yet sociable, with passengers exchanging stories while sipping fine wine and enjoying the kind of international cuisine that would upstage many respectable land-based eateries. While the food on offer is slightly below the level of the world’s top restaurants, it is a cut above the cuisine provided on any other type of cruise ship. Also, the food is served to you by courteous staff, who make every meal a pleasurable experience. Alternatively, if you do not feel like socializing, you can always have food brought to your stateroom.

Generally, luxury cruises offer fewer options for entertainment compared to normal cruises, and the entertainment that is provided is more reserved. Rather than boisterous discos and partying, passengers prefer to socialize with one another in a wine bar, whilst listening to live music. On many luxury cruises, expert speakers are hired to give lectures on a wide range of contemporary and historical issues. These speakers can include scientists, former politicians, historians, academics and explorers. Usually, a luxury cruise itinerary will focus on yachting hotspots, such as those found in many parts of the Caribbean, rather than the large commercial ports. All of this makes for a far more cultured and educational experience, in contrast to the booze fuelled, mindless entertainment that characterises many mainstream cruises.

Staff on luxury cruise ships are able to provide a more personalised service, because the vessels are a smaller size than normal cruise ships. This creates a more intimate atmosphere and allows luxury cruise ships to stop-off at ports that would be overlooked on a mainstream cruise. A small luxury cruise ship will carry no more than two hundred guests, and a big ship will carry no more than one thousand guests. The quieter, more understated nature of these cruises appeals to those who dislike the hustle and bustle of a more commercial cruise line, and who want a service that is tailored to their preferences.

Several luxury ships offer extra treats for guests, such as toiletries from name brands and pyjamas with embroidered cotton logos. While these are only small touches, they are always very popular with passengers, who appreciate the attention to detail. Although most ships do not cater to children, there are some child-friendly vessels that operate during the school holidays. Usually, child minding can be privately organised with an off duty member of staff. Obviously, these types of cruises would not be the first choice for a family holiday. However, facilities can still be offered on these ships to keep children entertained, so family groups are not unheard of.

The smaller high-end cruise lines have always been notorious for their strict dress codes. Historically, black tie suits and evening gowns were mandatory attire for dinner. Nonetheless, recently, many luxury cruise operators (notably Cunard) have adopted more liberal dress codes, to reflect the fact that many modern guests do not enjoy having to dress for dinner. These days, providing you do not dress too outrageously, you can wear virtually whatever you want on many luxury ships. Tradition aside, most people agree that it is a good thing that the cruise lines have taken this approach, as it keeps them up-to-date with current trends.

Undoubtedly, a luxury cruise offers a different, more bespoke holiday experience that attracts those who enjoy the finer things in life. If you can afford it and decide to book one of these cruises, after your trip, you will probably never want to book another mainstream cruise again.

Steve Laws is a travel enthusiast and the owner of costeffectivetravel.com [http://costeffectivetravel.com]. This website provides top travel information and insight, cheap flights and all the travel accessories you will need for your next holiday.

Cruising to Split? Things to See and Do

Split was a Greek colony well before the Romans come to this part of the world and built the Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian as a retirement home for the Roman Emperor Diocletian who was the first one to voluntarily retire from politics. In later years the town of Split grew around the palace and was independent before it was conquered by the Venetians in 1420. After that Spilt followed the historic path so common for this area and changed hands between the Austrians, French, Italians and Germans. Today Split is part of Croatia and a UNESCO site since 1979. Beyond the usual walking tour of Split is there anything else you could visit?

Every guide book suggests visiting the beach at Bacvice but I would go to Kastel which combines 7 little villages (Kastel Stafilic, Kastel Novi, Kastel Stari, Kastel Luksic, Kastel Kambelovac, Kastel Gomilica, Kastel Sucurac) to the north of Split towards the airport. If you stay in one of picturesque villages in Kastel you will avoid all the hustle of Split especially during the hot summer months. Also there is a very good local bus connection between each village and Split and the journey takes you 30 min. The villages are so close to each other that you can actually walk by following the coastline and have an occasional swim.

Most guide books suggest that you while you are in Split you should visit Dubrovnik and have a day tour to Montenegro. I would suggest you visit Trogir, a little gem of a place which is kind of forgoton. It’s a UNESCO site too and has a large concentration of palaces, churches and towers, not to mention a well-preserved historical city core with city gate and city walls. Trogir shares the airport with Split which is situated near Kastel Stafilic only 5 km from Trogir. Again there is a very good local bus connection between Split and Trogir, just a 10 min drive.

One of the hardest questions you face in Croatia is which island to see, and I am sure after you have done your homework you are thinking of visiting either Brac or Hvar. Both islands are very conveniently located to Split – only 50 min on a ferry to Brac (Supetar) and to Hvar 55 min! Both islands are stunning with lots of beaches, nice food and excellent weather. They can get over- crowded and busy! I would go a little bit further and visit the furthest island off the Croatian coast – Vis. The ferry journey lasts 2 hours and 20 minutes. Vis covers an area of only 90 sq/km but the people of Vis are very energetic as they managed to sponsor their own colonies and have their own money in the past! Today Vis is a sleepy island with the main industry being tourism and wine! Also the sea around Vis is well-known for fish especially blue fish.

If you get bored of the sea I would suggest heading inland on a day tour to Mostar in Bosnia Herzegovina. Did you know that Bosnia has a small coastline of 26 km (16 miles) which you can enter on the way to visit Mostar? The drive is only 2 and a half hours and you will need to take your passport with you. Once you are in Mostar the blend, the mixture of different cultures is so vivid through Ottoman and Dalamatian houses or Italian Franciscan and Orthodox churches not to mention one of the most famous pieces of Islamic architecture in this part of the world – Stari Most or the old Bridge.

Or enjoy a day tour from Split to Medjugorje, a small village in Bosnia where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a group of local children – you can walk up Apparition Hill, visit the church and enjoy the lovely landscapes around.

On the way from Split to Mostar I would suggest you have a lunch stop at the small and very proud place called Sinj which was under Turkish influence until 1686 when it was occupied by the Venetians. The last Turkish attempt to get the city was in 1715 which wasn’t successful. The local population was grateful to the Virgin Mary who helped them to defend themselves against the Turks, and her miraculous images can be seen in the local Franciscan monastery. If you are travelling on the first Sunday of August from Split to Mostar I would suggest you visit Sinj when the Tilters Tournament takes place that commemorates the victory over Turkish army in 1715. The tilters, dressed in costumes, ride on horseback trying to hit a small ring hanging from a wire.

Fiji Is a Tropical Paradise for a Yacht Holiday

If you are looking for a travel destination, one of the most coveted and well known is a little group of islands in the South Pacific known as Fiji. A census showed in 2012 that three-quarters of the people that went to Fiji did so for a vacation, so it is time to see what you are missing out on! Interestingly, of the multitude of islands that make up Fiji, only just over 300 are actually large enough that humans can inhabit, and only about a third of those islands actually are inhabited by humans. In 1970, it became an independent republic from Britain, but for a hundred years previous to their independence, Fiji was actually a Crown Colony.

And, if visiting a tropical paradise isn’t enough, why not do it in style and travel via private yacht? It sounds expensive and time consuming, but it is actually one of the most relaxing, luxurious ways to enjoy a tropical paradise like Fiji. Since there are over 500 inlets in Fiji, there are plenty of ways for your private ship to access the 300 plus islands that are large enough for people to live on. Not only that, but while you are travelling you will be privy to more than 1,500 different species of aquatic life just going between these beautiful islands!

For the more active traveler, there are plenty of activities to indulge on right from your back door on a private yacht. Fantasy Reef is one of the most famous diving venues in the world, and it is right on Waya Island, one of the larger islands in Fiji. Or, if you don’t want to deal with all of that gear, simply go snorkeling – with more than 4,000 miles of reef just under the surface, there are many unbelievable places to go to be exposed to the colorful, breathtaking scenery. And, if you get tired of water sports, never fear, there are still plenty of things to do. For example, the islands are very mountainous because they were formed by volcanic activity that still stirs up every now and again. The highest point is on Mt. Tomanivi at over 4,000 feet, so Fiji is actually a great place to go hiking.

However, if you are looking for a more relaxed vacation, a yacht charter Fiji can accommodate that too. Cruise around to the Blue Lagoon Island or any of the other expansive beaches for the day, and take in the beautiful sights from your lounge chair on the deck of the ship. Relax on the picturesque, sandy beaches that are the image of postcards and paintings.

With a land mass that is slightly less than that of New Jersey in the United States, people don’t travel to Fiji because of the size. What they do travel for is the cultural experience, the scenery, and the sport, and a private yacht will get to you all of those things, no matter what your reason for coming to this tropical paradise.

I’m a writer that is passionate about travel and I love to help people keep up to date on news and information!. There is a lot of information out there that is available to people, and I want to try and help keep it all in one place. I recently took a yacht charter fiji which was eventful to say the least.The easier it is for you, the happier I am about it.