11. Stress-Free Vacation Planning: Vacations are important in terms of “getting away” and bonding with loved ones but the stress of planning every detail can be daunting. Cruising allows for stress-free vacation planning with pre-planned excursions, inclusive meals and endless on-ship entertainment. More importantly, a cruise vacation allows you to unpack and get settled in your cabin without the hassle of having to move your belongings, while you visit multiple destinations.
12. Better Budget Value: Nothing can bring down a vacation high quite like returning to a pile of credit card bills. Cruise vacations are a great all-inclusive way to enjoy a variety of vacation experiences without a variety of hidden costs. Cruise travel agents are also available to help budget and pre-plan trips for the most budget-friendly experiences.

 

“The great thing about a cruise is that you can do as much or as little as you want, and you’ll still have a nice break from your daily routines at home,” Whitbourne continued. “If you do decide to explore the sights and many opportunities a cruise can provide, you’ll come back from your trip with a set of new memories, experiences and even friends.”

 

1The 2014 North American Cruise Market Profile Survey was conducted in partnership with market research firm TNS and cruise industry consultancy Bob Sharak & Associates. Drawn from a panel of more than 1 million households, an online survey was conducted between August 12-26, 2014, which collected cruise and travel opinion data among 1,600 U.S. and Canadian residents.

 

8. Healthy Dining Options: Though many people think it is impossible to eat well while on vacation, cruise ships around the world offer healthy dining fare and lighter meal options to accommodate every diet. Gluten-free? Vegan? Low-carb diet? Cruise ship chefs are happy to accommodate. Additionally, cruise ships offer buffets filled with fresh fruits, vegetables and lean proteins to help you build a better plate.
9. Staying Active: Cruise vacations offer vacationers a chance to stay active. There are plenty of onboard activities, like rock climbing, basketball or table tennis. In addition, many cruise ships offer full service gyms and fun fitness classes like yoga in the morning or nighttime tai chi. It’s easy to stay active with options abound on each ship.
10. Meditation: Whether packing a dance card with endless excursions or take a leisurely stroll around the port, “think time” on a cruise can help clear the mind. Meditation has been found to help reduce stress, negative emotions, recharge the mind and increase self-awareness. Nothing takes the mind to a peaceful place like gazing into open waters or meditating in a beach chair.

 

1The 2014 North American Cruise Market Profile Survey was conducted in partnership with market research firm TNS and cruise industry consultancy Bob Sharak & Associates. Drawn from a panel of more than 1 million households, an online survey was conducted between August 12-26, 2014, which collected cruise and travel opinion data among 1,600 U.S. and Canadian residents.

 

5. Salt Water: Isak Dinesen knew what she was talking about when she said, “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” Cruisers can take full advantage of the amazing benefits of the ocean. Aside from the stress relief a day at the beach provides, swimming in salt water can also help improve circulation by restoring vital minerals to your body. Ocean water and on-ship salt water swimming pools are also a natural beauty treatment, as the magnesium has been found to help hydrate skin and improve inflamed or red complexions.
6. Camaraderie: Humans are wired to connect with one another and in our hyper-digital age, this isn’t always a daily reality. Cruising allows for high amounts of quality bonding time with your vacation partners while also allowing you to socialize with new people. Whether over a gourmet dinner in the dining room or during a comedy routine in the ship theater, cruise ships offer time to connect with others free of work emails, smart phones and hand-held gaming systems.
7. Exploration: There’s something to be said about the benefits of exploration and having an adventure (not to mention the stories to tell!). Pre-planned cruise shore excursions allow cruisers to scuba dive, parasail, check out local sites in exotic locations and more, without the stress of making planning every detail or reading millions of reviews to find the right activities. Cruisers can see the world without spending months planning.

 

1The 2014 North American Cruise Market Profile Survey was conducted in partnership with market research firm TNS and cruise industry consultancy Bob Sharak & Associates. Drawn from a panel of more than 1 million households, an online survey was conducted between August 12-26, 2014, which collected cruise and travel opinion data among 1,600 U.S. and Canadian residents.

 

 

 

2. Relaxation: Finding time to relax plays a vital role in overall health. Chronic stress can lead to a myriad of problems, including impaired memory, inflammation, high blood pressure and heart disease. Skip the stress by lounging at the pool, enjoying spa treatments and relaxing in comfortable accommodations. Best of all, cruising allows for a stress-free vacation experience where vacationers can just “go with the flow” of the itinerary.
3. Cleanliness: Cruise line cleanliness is highly regulated. Each room and common area is kept clean, presentable and disinfected. From door handles to poker chips, cruise ships are regularly sanitized for the well-being of everyone on board. Clean hands also guide a steady ship, as those on-board are urged to wash hands frequently.
4. Ocean Air: The benefits of fresh, ocean air are seemingly limitless and cruisers can take full advantage day and night.  Between daytime excursions and nights spent relaxing on the ship deck, there is plenty of time to breathe deeply! Fresh air is known to help keep lungs clean; aid in digestion; improve heart rate; strengthen the immune system; and provide an energy boost.

 

1The 2014 North American Cruise Market Profile Survey was conducted in partnership with market research firm TNS and cruise industry consultancy Bob Sharak & Associates. Drawn from a panel of more than 1 million households, an online survey was conducted between August 12-26, 2014, which collected cruise and travel opinion data among 1,600 U.S. and Canadian residents.

 

 

 

Washington, DC — March 3, 2015

According to a recent study, cruise travelers rank an ocean cruise as the best overall vacation experience.1 In addition to being fun, a cruise vacation provides a number of health benefits which are supported by third party research.  Today, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) revealed 12 reasons why taking a cruise is a great choice for vacationing and the overall health of the cruise traveler.

“People today are more stressed and overbooked than ever before.  Vacations are important to allow the mind and body to re-energize and relax,” said Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “A cruise vacation in particular, provides a variety of places to see as well as the chance to take part in on-board activities in a safe and healthy environment.”

1. Sunshine: There’s no better place to enjoy the morning sunshine than a cruise ship deck. Studies have found that getting an hour of natural sunlight in the morning can help fine tune your internal clock, allowing you to get more (and better!) sleep. Sunshine also has long-term benefits since it helps the body produce the important Vitamin D which has been found to help fight off heart disease and cancer. Moderate amounts of sunshine will also boost serotonin levels that fight off depression. So apply sunscreen and enjoy the rays!

 

1The 2014 North American Cruise Market Profile Survey was conducted in partnership with market research firm TNS and cruise industry consultancy Bob Sharak & Associates. Drawn from a panel of more than 1 million households, an online survey was conducted between August 12-26, 2014, which collected cruise and travel opinion data among 1,600 U.S. and Canadian residents.

 

Holiday Travel Tips

On November 15, 2014, in Cruise, Tours, Travel, by owentrvl

Tips for Traveling Over the Holidays

Holiday travel is around the corner, which can mean longer airport lines and larger crowds to navigate. Whether you’re traveling to visit family or taking a much needed 1024px-Munich_Airport_T2_L4_check_in_1vacation, these tips can help keep your travel plans running smoothly this holiday season:

Choose the right date. Sometimes the key to traveling during the holidays is knowing what days to avoid. The worst days are usually the weekends right before and after a holiday.1 The best days to travel? Try on the holiday itself, whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years Eve.

Travel early. Statistically speaking, early morning flights are more likely to be on-time.2 And, if your flight is cancelled you have the option of taking a flight later in the day. You might also be able to avoid some of the travel crowds with an early flight.

Book early and save money. Traveling over the holidays but not psyched about spending a ton of money on airfare? The old adage “the early bird gets the worm” holds true for flight booking. It’s best to book at least a month or more in advance of your expected departure date if you want to get the best deals. Web sites like Yapta.com will watch to see if your fare price drops after you purchase it – and may be able to help you to get a refund for the difference.

Fly nonstop. Some of the worst travel delays happen in connecting flight airports. With no friends or family to retreat to it can make a travel delay feel like a travel disaster. Try to avoid this scenario by choosing nonstop flights to your destination. If you do find yourself delayed, Travel Guard’s 24/7 assistance can help you rebook your flight and get you quickly on your way.

Ship gifts ahead of time. If you’re like most people you’re not looking forward to airport security carefully scrutinizing each gift you packed in your suitcase. Eliminate the hassle of traveling with gifts by shipping them ahead of time. You can also do your holiday shopping online and have each item delivered to your final destination.

Don’t wrap gifts. If you do plan to take some gifts with you, be sure to wait and wrap them at your destination. While wrapped gifts aren’t prohibited, TSA agents may have to unwrap a gift to take a closer look inside. The TSA provides more information on holiday food and gifts that can be brought onboard flights.

Inhale and exhale. It can be easy to get overwhelmed while traveling. Add in the stress of a holiday and it’s even easier. When things start to feel out of control take a deep breath and remember many of your fellow travelers are trying to get home to see loved ones too.

Pack travel insurance. Traveling over the holidays often feels chaotic. It can be nice to know someone will always be there to help with your travel related needs no matter what time of the day or night. With a Travel Guard travel insurance plan you’ll have access to 24/7 assistance services that can go to work on your behalf rebooking flights and hotels, finding lost luggage, and more. Plus a travel insurance plan can cover you for things like travel delays due to inclement weather, trip cancellation/interruption and medical expenses so that you may book your vacation with confidence. To find out more simply ask your travel agent, call 800.851.0048 or visit www.travelguard.com.

Source:
1: http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/air-travel/the-best-and-worst-days-to-fly
2: http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/travel-tips/articles/top-10-survival-tips-for-holiday-travel

 

 

Ruby Princess cruise – Day 2

On November 9, 2014, in Cruise, by owentrvl

Guernsey

Day 2 began with arrival in St. Peter Port on Guernsey Island, 80 miles south of England. It is famous for the cow named after the region.

Known as Lisia by the Romans, the Vikings renamed the island to Guernsey which means ‘Corner Island.’ During World War II, it was heavily fortified for no particular reason by Adolph Hitler.

Victor Hugo lived here in exile for 15 years at the Hauteville House with his wife, Adele, and four children. Both Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame were written here.

Around 1716, Sir Edmund Andros constructed the facade of Sausmarez Manor which was originally built about 900 years ago. Not only that, but he was Lt. Governor of Guernsey. In addition, Andros was Governor, at various times, of New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia and North Carolina.

It was Sir Edmund who changed the name of New Amsterdam to New York when he was the first British Governor.

The milk of the fabled Guernsey cow is golden and regarded as the world’s healthiest and most delicious. It has an unusual amount of beta-carotene. The breed was started around 1700. Every year, locals stage the Guernsey Cow Parade.

British Isles cruise 6-2014 023  Guernsey street British Isles cruise 6-2014 030 Colorful building in Guernsey

 

Travel and Germs

On September 20, 2014, in Cruise, Travel, by owentrvl

 

 

“Travel and Germs”

Although this article says ‘Business Travel’, I believe it applies to any travel and is very good information.

Business Travel – Maintaining Good Hygiene on the RoadDisinfecting_Wipes_Illustration

There’s no question that business travel exposes road warriors to a wider, perhaps more exotic array of germs and viruses. One study by the Journal of Environmental Health Research found that a five-hour flight may increase the chance that you’ll catch a cold by more by more than 100 percent. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to give yourself some protection.

First, pack some disinfectant wipes in your carry-on bag. Airline cleaning crews go through the cabin before you board, but time constraints mean they may not be able to wipe down every surface.
As soon as you sit down, use a wipe to clean your armrests, tray table and other items around you. Then, open your air vent and direct a gentle air flow just in front of your face to help dissipate germs.

If you use the airplane’s restrooms, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before you leave. Just in case the soap is used up, be sure to keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your bag. Don’t forget that it should be in a three ounce or less bottle that you can include with your other carry-on liquids and gels.

When you reach your hotel, your disinfecting wipes will come in handy again. There are many surfaces in a hotel room – door knobs, light switches, drinking glasses, remote controls, heating and air conditioning controls, to name a few – that get heavy use but may not be routinely cleaned. Take a few minutes to wipe these surfaces.

If your room’s towels and linens don’t seem to be freshly laundered, don’t hesitate to ask for replacements. If you find tiny red, brown or black stains on your bedding, that’s a sign of bedbugs. In that case, ask to change rooms (or hotels).

While you don’t want to appear so concerned about germs that you offend anyone – for example, you wouldn’t want to wipe down a coffee cup handed to you by your host at a business meeting – a little self-protection can be helpful. Remember that the price of your hotel or the class of your airline seat doesn’t matter – essentially, they are only as hygienic as the last person who used them.

 

 

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Ruby Princess cruise – Day 1

On September 8, 2014, in Cruise, Travel, by owentrvl

So it’s embarkation day for our 12 night cruise on the Ruby Princess to ports around the British Isles. We checked out of our hotel and took a taxi to Victoria Coach Station about 15 minutes away. It was raining but I was prepared with umbrella in hand.

Upon arrival at the bus station, we encountered a long line of optimistic cruisers. We worked our way up to the front of the line where a cruise line rep accepted our luggage which was loaded on separate trucks for transport to the cruise pier. Then we waited for our turn to board the bus. It was about a two-hour ride to Southampton on England’s southern coast.

We checked in and received our boarding card/room key and before long we were in our room. Although it was an interior room without a window, it was quite comfortable. I really liked the layout which included a ‘walk-in’ closet area that separated the bathroom from the bed area.Ruby Princess - closet area

Interior Stateroom

If you haven’t experienced a cruise yet, here is a video that shows the different types of rooms and amenities on the Ruby Princess:

Our room steward came by and introduced himself then we were off to explore our home for the next 12 days. At 4:30pm we had an emergency drill and then I went to see the acupuncturist for a free evaluation.

After dinner in the ‘anytime’ dining room we went to the first of daily shows: Welcome Aboard Showtime featuring the Ruby Princess Dancers & Comedian George Casey–we enjoyed the show.

That’s it–checked email in the internet center and day 1 is done.

Contact Margaret now for more information about your cruise.

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British Isles cruise ports

On August 16, 2014, in Cruise, by owentrvl

Here are short descriptions of the ports we visited during our recent British Isles cruise.

Southampton, EnglandPrincess cruise itinerary

The south of England boasts a dramatic coastline that encloses some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain. The landscape of hills and heaths, downs and forests, valleys and dales, is without rival. Southampton serves as your gateway to the countryside – and to a wide variety of historic sites, national landmarks and charming. And of course, London is a two-hour drive by modern highway.

The United Kingdom’s premier passenger ship port, Southampton was home for many years to the great transatlantic liners of yesteryear.

St. Peter Port, Channel Island

The British isle of Guernsey lies just eight miles off the coast of France. The second largest of the Channel Islands, Guernsey possesses a mild climate, breathtaking scenery and a peaceful, unspoiled ambience. All these attributes combine to make it a popular destination for British and French vacationers. Once the haunt of sea dogs and pirates, St. Peter Port is one of the prettiest harbors in Europe.

Castles and forts dot the Guernsey coastline, including German fortifications from World War II. The Channel Islands were the only part of the United Kingdom to be occupied by the Nazis.

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