Shermanstravel Blog

Caribbean

alaska cruise princess carnival vista norwegian escape iron chef jose garces

Flickr/tgerus

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea. 

Seeing massive, blue-white glaciers and spotting wildlife are the rewards of any Alaska voyage, but experiencing the Last Frontier becomes more immersive than ever on Princess Cruises this year. Its new North to Alaska! cultural program, for all Alaska itineraries this May through September, will give cruisers the chance to meet local Alaskans (including a real-life lumberjack), nosh on local food like king salmon and king crab, and enjoy a Klondike Festival and Midnight Sun deck parties.

Fares vary. Six-night sailings on Pacific Princess, for example, start from $599 per person in May and $799 in July.

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5 Best Wave Season Cruise Deals for 2015

Norwegian Cruise Line

For savings-savvy cruisers in search of great value, welcome to “wave season” 2015. Like clockwork, when the new year rolls around, the cruise industry’s incentive-packed annual sales blitz known as wave season kicks in, as cruise lines compete to curry customers’ favor and kickstart the year’s sales. Look for a bevy of great cruise deals running from January through March — offering reduced rates, onboard credits, free upgrades, and plenty of other perks. Here are our top five picks.

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Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas

Laura Motta

Every cruise ship has its quirks. Royal Caribbean’s newest — and third-largest — vessel, the Quantum of the Seas, is no different. Here are a few tips and tricks that we learned onboard that will help you sail smoothly.

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yoga - royal caribbean

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea. 

If you know who Lady Mary, Tom Branson, and the Earl of Grantham are, read on. Crystal Cruises has taken the wraps off a two-night, post-cruise trip to the land of Downton, themed after the popular series about early 20th century English aristocrats. It’s an extension of the luxury line’s 17-night cruise departing July 8, 2015 from Reykjavik to London. Cruisers, who will pay $4,600 per person for the land tour (we never said it was cheap), will live like royalty while visiting Highclere Castle, the fictional home of the Grantham clan. They’ll arrive in vintage 1920s cars (chauffeured, of course) and be guests of honor at a private champagne reception and tour, among other Downton-related activities. Cruise fares on this itinerary — which crosses the Arctic Circle on its way to London — start at $1,730 per person if booked by January 2.

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Grand Bahama - Grand Lucayan - Resort Exterior - 620x400

In the latest installment of fabulous Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals coming up in the next week, we take a look at under-$100 Caribbean getaways, a 75 percent discount in Panama City, and even a stellar sale for flights to Fiji. Get those credit cards ready…

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Flickr Trish Hartmann 2

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea. 

Want to win 100 days of free cruises? We sure do. And that’s exactly the grand prize in a new campaign from Carnival Corp., the parent company of 10 well-known cruise lines. Here’s all you need to do: Visit worldsleadingcruiselines.com and choose the advertising concept that you think does the best job of  debunking cruising myths and bringing the cruise experience to life. The winner will be selected at random, and the free cruises can be taken on any of the company’s lines — including Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, and Holland America Line. The campaign kicked off just yesterday (along with a Twitter contest encouraging past cruisers to share what they love about vacations at sea).

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anguilla - flickr-Stefan Krasowski

Fancy a warm weather getaway? You could get a solid deal if you can squeeze in a jaunt to Anguilla before the December holidays — ahead of the upcoming peak season. This British West Indies island in the Northern Caribbean is rich with tropical foliage and whitesand beaches, and easily accessible through San Juan, Puerto Rico, or St. Maarten. Here’s a trio of promotions to get you packing.

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Seabourn  Caviar in the Surf

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? We’ve got the latest on ocean and river combo itineraries, a new East Coast cruise terminal, and more.  

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cruise fix

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? We’ve got the latest on luxury sales, a great idea for crowd-funding your next vacation, holiday itineraries, and more. 

Now here’s a great idea for newlywed travelers: Rather than asking for home appliances, why not have friends and family contribute to your post-nuptial trip? Princess CruisesHoneymoon Wishes Registry allows others to chip in for everything from cruise fare and shore excursions to specialty dining and drinks by the pool to relaxing spa treatments. All gifts are applied as an onboard credit to the couple’s stateroom account to use during their honeymoon cruise, and the bride and groom can create an accompanying website to share wedding details and personal photos.

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Holiday Inn Resort Aruba

Fresh off a large-scale renovation earlier this year, the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba is not what you’ve come to expect from the global mega-chain. The brand’s standards are still there — its signature green sprinkled throughout the property and commitment to family-friendliness — but the resort’s spectacular oceanfront views and longest stretch of beach on the island are just as inviting to those looking for a romantic escape or group getaway. No matter which three of these categories your vacation falls into, you’ll return home dreaming of the soft white-sand beaches. Read more

Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort Florida 2

It’s no secret that hotel room rates are rising — prices shot up five percent in the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. The good news is that there are still a few tried-and-true ways to lower the costs.

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which caribbean island is for you

It’s a problem nobody really minds having, but picking a Caribbean island for your vacation can be tough. The dozens scattered throughout the Caribbean Sea offer diverse experiences, from diving to fine dining to just lying on the beach all day. Take our quiz and find your perfect match.

curacao - curacao tourist board

Autumn is an underrated time to be in the Caribbean, including Curaçao. During this shoulder season, the Dutch island’s 35 beaches are rarely crowded, hotel rates are unbeatably low and, most importantly, the weather is divine. Whether you’re strolling cobblestone streets in the capital city, admiring an ancient fort, or diving in one of the world’s best spots, there’s an activity for every interest.

Even better news: As part of a Dare to Explore promotion, a curated collection of hotels are slashing their rates this fall, by as much as 50 percent. To be booked through various vendors like Costco Travel and Funjet Vacations, are good for travel between September 15 and December 15 — and need to be booked by September 15.

Here’s a sampling:

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CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa - 620It’s the last month of summer. Make it count with a memorable weekend away. Whether you crave an island vacation in the Caribbean or a few days steeped in American heritage, these last-minute deals for August (and beyond) will satisfy both your wanderlust and your thriftiness.

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Granada 1

Sounds impossible to buy a ticket to the wrong destination, right? You’d never mistake York, England for New York State. But would you notice an airline issuing a plane ticket for Grenada instead of Granada, like British Airways did last month? Or the 1,500 mile difference between airline codes SJO and SJU? Believe it or not, these things do happen. Here, 9 commonly confused cities that should make you check your boarding card.

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