Cruising from the States While Miami and Fort Lauderdale are the main ports for Caribbean cruises, it is worth remembering that cruises also operate from New Orleans. Norwegian Cruise Line has two ships based in New Orleans that make cruises to Mexico and the Caribbean. To reach New Orleans, you need to fly via another US hub, but there are plenty of flights available with Delta, American Airlines and Continental. The cruise terminal in New Orleans is a great deal quieter than those in Florida, and the city makes an interesting stop at one end of your cruise. Another option is to look at cruises from Los Angeles, because flights in the winter are fairly cheap. Mexico is the main destination.Winter shopping trips to Canada Every autumn, we warn that New York is not the best place for Christmas-shopping bargains, partly because of the high price of hotel accommodation in the city. Toronto might not have quite the style of New York but, with the low level of the Canadian dollar, is actually much better value both for hotels and most purchases. The best deal we have seen is for flights and two nights in a four-star hotel for less than 300. One rather strange complaint we sometimes hear about New York is that it isnt cold enough. The weather is actually very changeable, and even in December you can get away with shirtsleeves one day and be freezing the next. For a more-authentic winter atmosphere we would suggest Montreal or, even better, Quebec. In Montreal the temperature hovers just over zero for most of the winter, and Quebec is colder. Both cities have a genuine French feel to them and are close to skiing areas. They could both be a good choice for a winter break that feels rather more genuinely wintry. Of course, when the sales come in January, there are bargains available in all the cities. Montreal is easily reached by both Air Canada and hotel prices are reasonable.Avoiding Miami as a gateway airport We have been asked for suggestions about avoiding Miami Airport. If your destination is southern Florida, it is hard to escape Miami. Fort Lauderdale is an excellent airport and very popular with passengers but does not have regular flights from Europe. It is easy to reach from other US airports, though, and has a good network of domestic flights to the Caribbean and some Latin American destinations. Quite apart from the hassle of using Miami, it is also a very expensive airport to fly to. It is around 4,400 miles from London, but Economy fares are completely out of line with prices to say, New York, which is 3,600 miles. When flights are being offered to New York for a little over 200, fares of 400 (from London) or more to Miami seem disproportionate. The problem is that New York (and other East Coast destinations) has high loads of expensive Business Class passengers, which allows airlines to offer much more competitive Economy fares. Miami is a very seasonal destination with a high demand for Economy tickets and much less demand for Business. Airlines could fill several extra jumbos to Miami during the peak winter months but will not add extra flights just to sell bargain Economy tickets. Fares might be slightly lower to Orlando, but, if you are flying there, do be careful to see which airport you will be using, because only the main Orlando airport has a range of connecting flights; Sanford, which is used by many charter airlines, does not have connecting flights. The only other option is to fly to another US gateway and maybe buy a cheap ticket to Fort Lauderdale with one of the budget carriers, but this is likely to increase the overall price. Some US airlines try to sell seats to Miami via their East Coast hubs: we do not recommend this, but it might be worth looking to see if the carrier offers a similar fare to Fort Lauderdale, which might make the extra stop more acceptable. Passengers who have to make one connecting flight anyway could consider flying to a US hub and then connecting to Fort Lauderdale rather than Miami. Passengers in the North of England now have direct flights to Miami this winter as American Airlines has started a service from Manchester. Suggested prices are from London and not Scotland.
Formal night on the cruise - The agony and the ecstasy! How better to describe the romantic night when cruise passengers don their best formal cruise wear and strut their stuff?For some men, it's the agony of picking out your finest "formal cruise wear" , carefully packing them in your suitcase, unpacking and un-wrinkling them, and then, worst of all.. having to put the threads on. For other men, it's the romantic ecstasy of seeing your dazzling beauty dressed in her finest, and walking arm-in-arm through the elegant dining room.For some women, it's the agony of deciding what to pack for the formal cruise wear night. Should it be black or brightly colored? Long or short? Or should it be slacks or a gown? For other women it's the ecstasy of a wonderful romantic night of elegance.Formal wear is somewhat subjective when it comes to cruises. Most often for men, it will mean wearing a dark suit or jacket and a tie. Tuxedos on some cruises are more common. In fact, many cruise ships will have tuxedos and formal cruise wear available for rent - in advance from the cruise line. You will however want to pre-plan and book your rental as soon as possible before you sail so you won't be disappointed.That was easy for the men. There is formal cruise wear available for rent for women as well. The same early planning and booking applies as for men. For many women however, the task of preparing formal cruise wear can be much more exciting or much more daunting. Formal evening gowns are elegant and can be show-stoppers. But pant suits and slacks or skirts and tops can be glamorous as well! In fact a very practical article for any woman to pack is a pair of black silky "cocktail" type slacks. They take up very little room in the luggage and resist wrinkling! Matched them with a couple of tops, and you have formal cruise wear ensembles with very little fuss. And, most have stretchy waistbands so you can enjoy the wonderful culinary masterpieces in comfort! Flat or low heeled shoes make navigating onboard much easier and more comfortable.These formal nights can make your cruise a wonderful romantic getaway! Exquisite cuisine, elegant dining rooms, intimate lounges, stage shows and reviews all lend themselves to enhance romance on board. Imagine a nightclub filled with tuxedoed men and sequin covered dresses on women. And everyone is basking in the radiant delight of the evening. Some of the cruise lines request that you remain in your formal cruise wear for the entire evening. Others are more relaxed about the attire. And some, like Norwegian cruise lines operate on a relaxed "Freestyle" cruising atmosphere.For those of you who absolutely despise getting all gussied up, most cruise ships have dining areas that always allow casual cruise wear. Remember however that most reservation only dining restaurants require formal or informal dress attire as well.It's always best, if you have any concerns about what constitutes formal cruise wear on your chosen ship, to check with the cruise line in advance.So..now you can relax. The tough [*_*] packing has been taken care of! Check out some of the other informative pages.
If you are planning a cruise to Bermuda, there are certain important things which you must keep in mind. If you have not been to Bermuda before, bear in mind that it is not a big island. In fact, it doesn't take more than 24 hours to walk across the whole island. Bermuda is around 120 miles north of the Caribbean Sea. It has a mild climate even during the winter months. Cruises to Bermuda are generally available between April and late October. There are certain cruises which keep on making trips until the end of December. However, they are relatively rare.Your cruise ship could land in any one of the three ports at Bermuda, though it is most likely that you would stop in the port of Hamilton, as it has two shipping berths. It may happen that you visit more than one port on your Bermuda cruise trip. The other port is known as St. George port. It is a historical port and attracts large numbers of tourists. Then there is the third port, at King's Wharf. This port has museums, galleries and popular restaurants, which makes it a famous cultural hub. Bermuda cruises often have a large number of tourists who often make return visits to Bermuda. This indicates the islands popularity.However, as it is a small island, restrictions are in place concerning the maximum number of cruise liners that can land here. Check out the limit before you book a Bermuda cruise. The bookings can be done online or over the telephone. There are many cruise liners to choose from. Your choice of a cruise liner depends on your budget and the kind of vacation you are looking to take. There are luxury liners for those who want to splurge, and cheaper liners for those on a tighter budget.
You dont need a Miss Manners at sea to know there are some basic, common sense rules of etiquette for cruising. No, there is no handbook on it, but the key words here are common sense. For some less thoughtful folks onboard, taking a vacation means taking a break from using their brains. Picture a cruise ship like a floating village or small town at sea. As with any unfamiliar place you go to, you should get to know the lay of the land, so to speak. No one is going to be just like you; people from all over the world, from different cultures and religions are sharing the same floating space as you are. Everyone should learn how to live in harmony for this short stay so that all of you will have the best vacation possible. Some cruisers have been to their share of ports and know what to do. However, newbies need to pay some attention to their surroundings. Read the literature about the ships activities. And if there is any doubt about something, ask a member of the cruise ships personnel. Now, lets talk about some of those unspoken shipboard rules: Cool it with the complaints You are on vacation! Nothing is more unattractive than a grown-up whining like a child over something like waiting in line. You know that saying When in Rome? Well, it is your vacation. No worries, no deadlines, no being late to anything youre on a ship and nothing on board is going anywhere. Say hi to the people next to you; challenge someone to a game of paper, scissors, rock to break up the monotony. Respect the Dress Code Guidelines Cruise ships will often post some clothing guidelines for dinner or live entertainment for that day. If you dont follow the guidelines, you will not be thrown off the ship. However, you would feel mighty uncomfortable wearing your Bermuda shorts and flip flops to a semi-formal dinner or dance. Say so long to the seat savers and line cutters- It is a bit exasperating to take the time to arrive at a decent hour to catch the next lounge act only to have a sea of coats draped over chairs and no bodies in the seats. And line cutters, shame on you. It is one thing for you to stand in line and have your spouse join you after a quick trip to the rest room. It is a whole new ballgame letting in your twenty newfound friends from the poker tables cut in line. No hogging of the gym equipment/hot tub/lounge chairs/computers, etc. There are possibly several thousand other people who at some point want to use stationary bike or hot tub privileges. Be mindful of others who are discreetly waiting without complaint for their turn. Designated smoking areas There are specific areas just for smokers on board. Do not be selfish and light up at the dining room table while others are eating. Heres a big clue: if you see ash trays, you can light up. These unspoken rules sound perfectly logical dont they? Yet, some cruisers forget themselves in their quest for a good time and other people suffer for it. If you are unsure of something, ask. Let your common sense rule. And dont worry, it wont get in the way of your good time.
In order to ensure that you have fun and relax on your cruise, it is essential that you plan your cruise meticulously. You go on a cruise to have fun on water. The cool sea breeze and the spectacular view of the vast expanse of water in front of you can really intoxicate you with pleasure. Since you spend so much on a cruise, you should ensure that you enjoy every minute of it. Planning is the first thing you should focus on if you are going on a cruise.Pick the Best Cruise LinerThe first step in planning a cruise is to choose the best cruise line and the destination. Study the offerings of the various cruise lines and base your decision on what you really want from the cruise. It is also important to decide the duration of your cruise.You can choose from any of the world famous cruises such as the panama cruise, Mediterranean cruise, carnival cruise, Caribbean cruise, Europe cruise, Alaska cruise, and Norwegian cruise.Check with People Who Have Gone On CruiseCheck out with other people who have experience in such cruises and then decide on the cruise line. You should also check the facilities being offered by them and whether these are in consonance with your aspirations. The next step is to check if the cruise that you select operates to the destination that you want to visit.Booking the CruiseHaving selected the cruise line and the cruise, you should make the booking for the cruise either through a travel agent, or through online sources. You should also select the type of room that you would like to have and book the same with the cruise booking. If you want to avail of shore excursions or other off-ship activities you should also book these early.A good planning will really stand you in good stead and you can have all the fun in the world on your cruise. A good planning will ensure that you come rejuvenated from the cruise and ready to face the realities of life once again.