Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cruising vs Tropical Storms: What If?...

One of the most common questions I receive as a cruise and travel agent is, "What if there is a storm during our trip?"  As we all know, the weather in the world has been strange and quirky over the last few years, with snow falling in the summer, hurricanes affecting parts of the world, flooding, tornados, etc.  Well, the best thing about cruising is that those ships can move, where as a hotel cannot.  In general, if a storm is seen in the area, a cruise ship will change it's itinerary to avoid the storm.  If a scheduled port has been damaged or is being affected by a storm, the ship will avoid the port.  Sometimes, the ship will spend an extra day at sea, or plan to visit a different port of call. 

Tropical Storm Debby is now affecting the Gulf of Mexico and the east coast of the United States.  Here is an example of how the cruise lines have altered their schedules to lessen the impact on their cruising customers:

The Carnival Freedom skipped Key West and is spending the day at sea.  It will make an unscheduled call in Cozumel on Tuesday.  The rest of the itinerary remains the same.

the Ecstasy called in Nassau on Sunday instead of Key West, but will visit Key West later in the cruise.

No other major cruise lines have report any changes due to the storm.  Fortunately, a travel agent keeps up to date on these changes and then passes that information along to our clients...another good reason to work directly with an agent who has you in mind when these events occur.

For more information and to book your next cruise or land vacation, contact Michelle at 210-858-6399 or mjackson@cruiseholidays.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Disney's private isle - Castaway Cay

If you have cruised through the Bahamas, there's a good chance you stopped at a cruise-line owned private island.  They all have one and they are all fabulous.  Disney Cruise Line's private island in the Bahamas is called Castaway Cay.  Besides the beauty and attractions, this is an island of convenience, as the cruise line brings their waiters, bartenders, etc ashore to serve you.

But, the most convenient factor of all...no tendering.  Disney ships dock right at the island, making disembarkation uncomplicated and simple.  This is important for those with small children as well as the older generation, who may be nervous about moving from the ship to a small tender boat, and then to shore.

So what is there to do on this private island?  Enjoy one of these choices:
  • Beautiful, white sand
  • Shops with local vendors
  • Waterview walking path
  • Six Eateries - no charge for food
  • Family beach
  • Serenity Bay - adults-only beach
  • Scuttler's Cove - for young kids
  • Pelican Plunge water slide
  • Hideout - for teens
  • Sports areas (volleyball, soccer, tetherball)
  • Stingray Adventure
  • Boats
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Bike rentals
  • Covered Cabanas
  • Massage Cabanas
Castaway Cay even has its own post office, where passengers can drop a letter or postcard that will have a Castaway Cay postmark on it.

This is a fun atmosphere, with strategically placed items everywhere, all tying into the Castaway theme.  Come join in the fun!

To book your Disney Cruise, give me a call and I'll help you plan your vacation of a lifetime.  Contact Michelle at mjackson@cruiseholidays.com or 210-858-6399.