I love cruising and have enjoyed it for over 25 years. I’ve walked through the awe inspiring ancient ruins of Pompeii. I’ve seen buildings and art I read about as a child in school. I’ve walked down paths that have been traveled for thousands of years. I’ve seen amazing landscapes, forests and gardens. I’ve come close to wild monkeys in a Buddhist temple and sloths slowly moving in Costa Rica. I’ve learned about the history and struggles of ancient civilizations. I’ve met friendly and helpful locals who helped me navigate streets in Venice, Zurich and Soul. And I’ve met incredible fellow cruise passengers each with a rich and interesting history.
I don’t want to lose these wonderful adventures cruise ships have given me. I have so much more I want to do and experience. So it is important that the cruise industry takes the right steps now to protect its passengers and the industry overall.
The Coronavirus is the big threat today, but another deadly virus will appear in the future. The cruise lines need to consider fundamental changes to deal with this and future pandemics.
So here are MY thoughts and recommendations on how to ensure the safety of passengers and the viability of the cruise industry:
Are luxury cruises all-inclusive?
What's included varies by cruise line
Ever wonder what the difference is between upscale luxury cruise lines? You aren't alone. Luxury cruises aren't all the same. Most aren't truly all-inclusive. In fact they are very different.
Regent Seven Seas offers the most all-inclusive fares, while you might be surprised to learn that Cunard offers the least. These different pricing strategies allow guest to choose the cruise line that most closely aligns with their tastes, preferences and budget. If you don't drink alcoholic beverages or take shore excursions maybe you'd choose a cheaper fare on a line that doesn't include them in it base cruise fare.
Across the board, we are seeing cruise bookings for 2021 up 9% - 15% over 2019 levels as people are anxious to escape home and live life again. Cruise lines are offering early booking savings on most cruises which further entices the home weary.
Contrary to several news articles, the U.S. Passport office is still accepting passport applications by mail. Late last month the Passport Office issued a statement which caused a lot of confusion.
You'll be denied boarding on a plane without it or a passport
Updated: March 27, 2020
The federal requirements to have a "Real ID" compliant drivers license in order to board a plane or enter a federal building that requires an ID has been pushed back to October 1, 2021. The implementation date was delayed one year in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. After October 1, 2021, anyone who doesn't have a "REAL ID" compliant drivers license will need a passport, military ID, or a federal government PIV card, otherwise they will be denied boarding.
Not surprisingly, I’ve been getting calls over the past few weeks about the coronavirus. It is an issue of concern that we should all take seriously, but not panic over. I am not a doctor and not giving medical advice. After reading many articles by health experts, the cruise line industry, and public health experts, here is my take on coronavirus:
Many travelers mistakenly believe once they have a valid passport they are good to travel the world. They aren't aware of a variety of foreign requirements and assume if there are any the airline, cruise line or a travel agent will notify them. All too many people learn the hard way that it is their responsibility to learn the rules.
Have you ever found that dream cruise that you've always wanted, but you didn't have all the funds right now to pay for it? Or maybe you wanted to try the "suite life" and didn't think you could afford it? Well, with our new financing program by Uplift, you can finance your vacation over 12 months at a very competitive rate - usually much better rates than credit cards offer.
Europe is one of the top tourist destinations for American travelers in part because of our historical and heritage ties, but also because of the easy of travel. There are no complicated and time consuming visa requirements for U.S. citizen to visit Europe. However, starting January 1, 2021, things will change just a bit.
The 2020 Wave Season is here and in full swing. This is when cruise lines offer some of the best deals of the year. Here are some of the current specials: