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It’s been said that boating is best enjoyed on a vessel that you aren’t responsible for. The good news is that there’s probably a marine ride with your name on it this summer, whether you’re in Maine or California or North Carolina. All aboard!
Maine to Nova Scotia: A few years back, ferry service between Bar Harbor, Maine and Nova Scotia, Canada was halted, forcing folks who wanted to travel between the two destinations drive approximately 12 hours. Now, the luxurious Nova Star has restored a link with much fanfare, from the far more populated hub of Portland in Maine. The journey still takes a good 10 hours, but guests can forget about highway merges and instead enjoy the onboard casino, three restaurants, spas, and 162 cabins (recommended especially for those departing from Maine, since that’s an overnight itinerary). For those who want to get active at the destination, there’s plenty of room for bringing bicycles, automobiles, and even tractor-trailers aboard. The service runs daily through November 2, from $79 all the way up to $139 per person in the height of summer. Onboard cabins accommodate up to four and cost $79-$249.
Cruise ticket? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Camera? Check.
For many cruise passengers, formal nights on cruise ships are festive occasions that call for getting all dressed up, having a portrait taken by a ship photographer, and swirling into the dining room like a celebrity on the red carpet. But others, puzzled about what to wear (or who don’t want to change out of comfy shorts and T-shirts), avoid formal nights altogether.
You’re bound to pass through Fort Lauderdale at some point. Whether you’re laying over on your way to the Caribbean or South America, or using it as your departure point for a cruise, this sprawling beach town has plenty of its own charms. You could easily spend a full week exploring, but it’s also possible to have rich, relaxing experience in just a few hours. Here are itineraries for one, three, and five hours in Fort Lauderdale.
When anyone comes to us looking for a summer deal, we’ll always point them to getaways in the Caribbean. Summer either means high heat or rain showers, and then there are the risks inherent during hurricane season, which lasts from September to November. Of course, this means great deals all around, as long as you’re open-minded to a bit of unpredictability and can schedule your beach outing around the weather. Whether you’re looking for dirt cheap vacations or unbelievable luxury for less, these 10 deals for summer and fall run the gamut:
Cruise passengers heading to the Black Sea this fall might notice a change in their itineraries: due to the political unrest in Ukraine, Silversea cruises in particular is proposing an alternate route, including a “bonus” excursion in Bucharest. Two hours inland from the Black Sea, the capital is not only a necessary stop for anyone interested in Eastern European culture — it’s also in the midst of a substantial renaissance. Here are four things to do next time you find yourself in the “Paris of the East.”
Frangelico liqueur from Italy, dark rum from Barbados, tequila from Mexico. One of the perks of cruising is the ability to buy alcoholic beverages at ports of call close to where the products are made, and at prices much lower than at home. Unfortunately, that’s not a way to save money on alcoholic beverages on board. Most cruise lines require that passengers turn over newly purchased liquor for storage until they disembark. Luckily, there’s a little-known policy that makes it possible for cruisers who do want to enjoy some libations do so without paying a huge premium.
Roughly one million people visit Alaska’s ports as a part of the cruising season each year. That’s a lot of people between May and September. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can avoid getting lost in the mass influx. Here’s how:
Perhaps a friend recommended a vacation at sea. Maybe a TV commercial, with shots of turquoise waters and smiling passengers, lured you in. Or is it simply time for something different? No matter the reason, the decision is made – you’re going on your first trip cruise. If you’re feeling unsure of what to expect, don’t fret. Just keep these 10 things in mind and you’ll enjoy smooth sailing:
Although it may seem far off, we are already keenly plotting our winter getaways. This year, we are looking far south, inspired by this deal from Adventure Life that offers up to $925 in savings on their Wildlife and Glaciers expedition cruise through Patagonia, Chile.
Cabin rates for this four-day cruise start at $951 per person (a savings of 35 percent) and the trip includes a visit to a newly discovered elephant seal colony, Brookes fjord, Ainsworth Bay, Marinelli Glacier, Almirantazgo Bay, Parry Glacier, and Magdalena Island. Passengers depart from Punta Arenas and cruise aboard the 136-passenger Via Australis. There are also plenty of opportunities to explore the beautiful trails, shores, and glaciers of the area with daily included excursions.
This offer is good until June 30th for travel September 2014 through April 2015. Book via the company’s website.
One of the great things about river cruise ships and other small vessels is the opportunity to locally source food, beer, and wine. Unlike large cruise ships, which haul aboard tons of frozen foods at the start of each voyage, smaller ships can pick and choose from local and regional farms, breweries, and wineries along their itineraries, buying what they need for a smaller number of guests.
If you’ve dreamed of dining at Nobu in Vegas, or Todd English’s acclaimed Food Court at the Plaza in New York City, you may not have to visit either city to make your dream come true. A number of cruise lines have teamed up with celebrity chefs to bring their restaurants to sea. Forget uninspired buffets from faceless onboard restaurants. Today, specialty restaurants are the new wave, and in some cases, the eateries are included in your cruise costs. (Others require a reservation and a modest additional fee.)
We’ve even done the math and it can, in fact, be cheaper to sample a celebrity chef’s menu while you’re sailing, rather than paying more for the brick-and-mortar experience. Check out the popular celebrity chef restaurants on these seven cruise lines: Read more
Ever wanted to see all – and we do mean all – of South America’s coastline? Holland America’s newest Grand Voyage for 2015 will let you do just that. The 68-day journey will make a complete loop around the continent from Fort Lauderdale, with a few additional ports of call in the Caribbean, Central America, and, weather permitting, Antarctica.
“Daiquiri! Mojito! Rum punch! . . . ” shouts a waiter, who walks around a sunny cruise ship deck, trying to be heard above the squeals of children and the chatter of happy vacationers relaxing in lounge chairs.
It’s a typical poolside scene aboard most cruise ships, especially those sailing in the Caribbean, the Bahamas or Mexico. For cruise lines, alcoholic beverages provide a very lucrative onboard revenue stream. Fancy cocktails can command upward of $10 apiece, and sometimes more, aboard the mass market and premium lines. On a ship carrying 3,000 or 4,000 people, it adds up. Read more
There’s seafood, and then there’s seafood in Alaska. A trip is not complete without some salmon or king crab. Whether you’re embarking on a cruise or are seeing the state on your own, these locals-approved establishments deserve a spot on any Southeast Alaska food tour. They may not have all the bells and whistles of your favorite special occasion seafood restaurant back home, but that’s because they deliver on what’s important: fresh catch and satisfying flavor.
The Great Lakes have long been a prime vacation spot for Detroiters, Chicagoans, and other Midwesterners, but it’s often an overlooked destination for anyone outside of the area. Why isn’t Traverse City as popular as Virginia Beach? Why flock to overcrowded Florida beaches and pay $6 for an ice cream cone when you can spend a summer on the Bayfield coast? For more peace and less moolah, these 10,000 miles of freshwater coastline offer quaint beaches, sprawling forests, and happening area metropolises. Here are our top recommendations. Read more
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