Shermanstravel Blog

Cruise

If you’re going on a river cruise, chances are you’re keen on immersing yourself in the history and culture of your destination. And while river cruising certainly affords that much more of that than an ocean-going cruise, the time you’ll have in port will still be limited and precious. Here’s how to make the most of it:

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cruise 1When booking a cruise, the options can seem infinite and overwhelming. And choosing the right ship, itinerary, and cabin type is just the beginning. From there, you’ll want to know when the cheapest cruises are, when you should travel, and, the age-old traveler’s dilemma: what to pack. Browse our stories below for answers to all the above, and more. Who knows, you may be inspired to set sail sooner than you think!
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SilverseaA few beads of moisture had collected on a marble tabletop at the outdoor Panorama Lounge aboard Silversea CruisesSilver Spirit. Seconds later, a waiter appeared out of nowhere with a white rag. “Here, madam. Let me just take care of that,” he said, wiping away the droplets. That’s one example of the service level passengers can expect on a luxury ship like this. On the Silver Spirit, there is one crew member for every 1.4 passengers – that’s half the ratio offered by most premium-category ships.

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CunardThe mysteries of Easter Island, the wildlife of Madagascar, the culture of Hong Kong, and a string of beautiful islands in the Caribbean: all of these destinations become instantly accessible if you’re taking a world cruise. World voyages let cruisers visit dozens of intriguing ports across multiple continents, with the added appeal of quiet days spent at sea slowly traversing the globe.

Of course, these expansive, time-consuming itineraries don’t come cheap, but there’s a good reason for it: these sailings are usually only offered on luxury or premium cruise lines, so service standards (specifically, when it comes to dining options) are high. When January 1 rolls around, the cruise lines unveil their world voyages for the following year. Right now they’re promoting 2015 voyages, as these cruises always get under way in January. With an average voyage length of 100 to 115 days – at 180 days, Oceania offers the longest – that means passengers are on board through early May.

If you’ve ever considered a world cruise, here’s a look at your options: Read more

DCF 1.0Nice as they are, river cruise staterooms tend to be smaller than the average hotel room. With that in mind, here are nine essentials you should pack for your river adventure, plus four things that would be a waste of space:

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Deciding whether to book a river cruise? If you’ve already read our primer on what it’s all about and why we love it from a value standpoint, these tips and tidbits that we’ve gleaned firsthand give you a deeper glimpse into the experience:

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Norfolk VirginiaDon’t get us wrong. We love a 7-night sail through the Caribbean as much as the next cruiser. But sometimes, we seafarers like our sightseeing to feel a little less… epic. No problem here: from Norfolk, VA to San Diego Bay, the U.S. is full of sparkling inlets, coves, and harbors just begging to be experienced aboard a full- or half-day cruise. Plus, these short itineraries tend to be an affordable way to see a lot with a little time. Here are some of our favorites: Read more

BahamasThose seeking a quick, affordable tropical getaway often look straight to the Bahamas — and with good reason. With some good planning, you can bounce to the Bahamas without breaking the bank. Here’s how… Read more

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The Easter holidays are coming up, and if you’re searching for a budget-friendly family getaway, take a look at this offer from MSC Cruises, the only cruise line in which kids sail free year-round. Read more

With freezing temperatures across the country and what seems like an endless amount of snow this winter, it’s high time you treated yourself to a warm-weather escape at a reasonable price.  Swap the white snow for the white-sand beaches of the Bahamas, unwind under palm trees on a week-long sail to the Caribbean or Mexico, traverse the famous Panama Canal while visiting tropical Aruba and Curacao, or island hop through Hawaii, all for under $1000. If slow cruising in luxury is more your speed, travel through the translucent waters surrounding the Seychelles on a yacht, visit ancient Mayan ruins on a cruise to Central America and the Caribbean, or drop anchor in exotic marvels of the South Pacific.  So dig out of that snowbank and try one of these 10 warming cruises this season:

 

las-olas-boulevard-ft-lauderdale-shopping-scott-barfield-620Fort Lauderdale has come a long way since Where The Boys Are – the 1960 film that immortalized the south Florida city as ground zero for spring breakers. And while the beaches and nearby Port Everglades (one of the top cruise ports in the word) continue to draw throngs of visitors, the city has also developed a sophisticated culture that especially attracts fashionistas and anyone with an eye for style. The best part? You can glam it up yourself without breaking the bank, at these five budget-conscious hotspots: Read more

ExcursionCruise port excursions have come a long way since the olden days of basic motor coach tours to local sites. Today, they’re exciting and adventurous, and designed to immerse cruise guests into local culture.

The newest excursions focus on “wow factor,” and are aimed at luring first-time cruisers while also holding the interest of repeat travelers who’ve done it all. Moreover, all cruise lines are now courting younger travelers who seek more dynamic vacations than their parents and grandparents did. Also, the demand for cultural experiences has increased, and cruise lines are obliging.

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coconuts-fort-lauderdale-restaurants-620Whether you’re headed to Fort Lauderdale en route to a cruise, or have chosen the city as a vacation destination in itself, Fort Lauderdale’s blossoming food culture is stronger than ever. From funky fusion to high tea, there’s plenty to choose from, with budget-friendly options, starting with breakfast, and continuing on to the wee hours. Read more

620x400_UnCruiseSafariVoyagerDoes the thought of taking a cruise conjure up images of endless buffet lines, water slides and sequined dresses? I’ve been there, done that. Way back in 2001, my then-boyfriend and I embarked on one of those notoriously inexpensive cruises that sail around the Caribbean. After going broke on booze, busting a zipper at the buffet, and being forced to participate in a limbo, we vowed never to sail the seas again.

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CheecaIf there’s one thing we know at ShermansTravel, it’s deals. In this new series, “Where To Go Now?”, we help steer you towards the best money-saving offers to book right now. For our first edition, we’re focusing on short, cheap, warm-weather getaways. Got some extra cash and want to splash away a weekend in the Caribbean? You’ve come to the right place. Without further ado, here are five easy, value-packed deals you can book right now… Read more

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