Healthy Cruise Travel Tips

Taking the advice of well-traveled cruisers is the best thing for first-time cruise passengers to do. After all, why not learn from someone else’s mistakes or mishaps? Of course, you will still have a few of your own, but that is what makes your first cruising experience memorable.

You’ve got your cruise booked and are counting the days until you set sail. However, there are a few things for you to do before you even start to think about packing. Check with the cruise line to see what vaccinations, if any, are needed for your journey. You’ll have to make a trip to your doctor to get current on any shots.

While you are at the doctor, ask them about tips on staying healthy and avoiding the flu or colds before you depart for your cruise. It is no fun having to travel sick or canceling all together. Also, ask about seasickness remedies. Some of these medications are prescription only.

Stock up on any other prescription medications just in case they are scheduled to run out during your trip. Often, insurance companies will make exceptions and allow a prescription to be refilled early if you are traveling with no access to a chain pharmacy. One last thing – get a letter from your doctor on official letterhead listing your prescriptions and stating that they were all legitimately prescribed for you. If you have to go through customs, a letter will sometimes keep you from being detained while your medication is inspected.

If you are on a special diet, let the cruise line be aware of this fact when you book your cruise. Most diets are easily accommodated, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. A few weeks before you depart, check in with the cruise line again to go over your reservations and special needs diet.

Pack a small first aid kit for those “just in case” emergencies. Include antacids and anti-diarrhea medications for those episodes of “Montezuma’s Revenge” that seem to strike no matter where you travel. Aspirin, antibiotic cream and aloe vera gel for sunburns also come in handy.

Store away sunscreen, moisturizer and lip balm in your luggage too. When you are having too much fun outdoors, you tend to forget things like sunburn. Be sure to apply the sunscreen lotion before heading outdoors. Moisturizer and lip balm keep your skin soft. Sometimes the temperature changes from the cold air conditioner to the heat outside can wreak havoc on the skin and dry it out.

In addition to the sunscreen, protect your skin by wearing hats and sunglasses. When you are on the ship’s deck gazing at the waves, the sun’s reflection off the water can be pretty bright. The sunglasses will protect you from harmful UV rays from the sun. Of course, the hats will shield you from the sun’s rays and possible sunburn on your ears and face, two places that people sometimes forget to apply sunscreen lotion.

With the right preparation and precautions, you are well on your way to a healthy and happy first cruise. And when in doubt about something, ask your cruise line. They want to make sure your cruising experience is trouble-free. After all, they want you to sail with them again.

Also remember to search for cruise discounts before purchasing your tickets.

Best Value for Money Cruise Lines

Going by industry information, such is the value on offer in terms of cruise discounts, more travelers are preferring to go on cruise vacations. As per estimates, nearly 24 million people had taken cruise vacations around the world in 2016. These numbers are expected to rise in year 2018. As demands for cruise vacations grow, so do choices for travelers. Among a plethora of cruise-vacation offers, how do you choose which one is suitable for you? Well, here we are to help you sort through various options and select the best cruise line for both your budget and vacation needs.

Best Value for Money Cruise Lines

If you are looking for a cruise line which returns best value for your money in 2017, then consider taking Celebrity Cruises. Although it has smaller fleet compared to its rivals, Celebrity’s many ships provide personalized service as it has an average ship-capacity of less than 2,700 passengers. This helps in catering to passengers personally. That does not mean it has any less amenities than big ships. The cruise line also offers all those amenities you would look for in big ships such as open-air movie screens and also kids’ programming. Big amenities, but at lower rates of $100 per traveller, per night. Second option can be Royal Caribbean International or Norwegian Cruise Line which also provides best amenities and value for your money while choosing a cruise vacation

best value

Best Cruise Vacations for Families

When it comes to family cruise vacations, Disney Cruise Line wins hands down against its competitors. It has topped the list of family cruise lines for four successive years. The cruise line is famous for its deck parties based on Disney characters and has a specialized kids’ club, which is sure to keep the younger crowd happy. On the other hand, there are also exclusive areas for adults which provide an excellent place to parents for unwinding after a day of fun-filled activities. Another favorite for family cruises is Royal Caribbean International, which is ranked number 2 and Carnival Cruise Lines with a rank of number 3.

Couples? Here are Best Cruise Lines for You

Whether it is Valentine’s Day or your sweetheart’s birthday; if  you are looking to celebrate by sailing away with your partner, then you can get an enchanting experience on Crystal Cruises. This cruise line has been selected as the top ranking for couples this year. Here, the lovebirds can enjoy all-inclusive, special amenities such as terry cloth robes, feather beds and complimentary spirits and romantic wines. If you want to give a romantic gift to that special person with you, then instead of going for some regular gift, choose couple’s spa treatments or/ and specialty private dining. For those wanting to spend romantic vacations on sea, other recommended cruise lines include Azamara Club Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises that provide best romantic cruise for couples.

couples cruise

Best Cruise Lines for Caribbean Destinations

Nothing compares to emerald waters of Caribbean seas and if you are searching for the best cruises line to Caribbean, then Disney Cruise Line should be your first choice. Two reasons set apart Disney from other cruise liners; first it owns a private island called Castaway Cay (Bahamas) from where its ships set sail. Secondly, it sends ships to not one or two, but more than a dozen Caribbean destinations. These include popular destinations such as Jamaica, Cozumel, Puerto Rico, Mexico and also to lesser-known islands like Curaçao and Grenada. Second rank for Best Caribbean cruise lines goes to Celebrity Cruises and Crystal Cruises is at number 3 if you wish to go on ocean-vacation in 2017 in the Caribbean.

Best Mediterranean Cruise Lines

If you are looking for warmer climate and heavenly food, then Mediterranean shores would appeal to you. For 2017, Celebrity Cruises tops the list of the best Mediterranean cruise lines. The line’s ships are mostly mid-size that travel to popular European ports such as Greece, Santorini and Naples (Italy). These ships will take you to famed Mediterranean destinations where you can explore the waters as well as dine at in-house swank restaurants, which will offer you a wide range of delicacies from French desserts to juicy, tasty steaks. After satisfying your taste buds, you can enjoy the restful hospitality of their comfortable accommodations. The number 2 spot in the list of the best Mediterranean liners in 2017 is occupied by Regent Seven Seas Cruises while Oceania Cruises holds the number 3 rank in this list.

Check out Hotels Etc for all the best cruise vacation discounts and special offers.

New Cruise Booking Engine Now Available.

We are excited to announce the release of our newest cruise booking engine.

Save up to 60% off cruises plus additional bonuses when you book through Hotels Etc.

Any cruise, any destination, biggest discount. See screenshots below..  Rates not available to the public.

Join Hotels Etc. today at https://www.hotelsetc.com

cruise discounts

 

cruise savings

cruise engine

 

 

Things you can do on a cruise that you did not know about

Cruise vacation deals are becoming more and more popular but not just for the price itself. From five star restaurants to incredible entertainment and activities, there is much more to a cruise than meets the eye. Here are two incredible things to do on a cruise that just about anyone would enjoy:

Enjoy Broadway-styled productions on Cruise Lines

Cruise lines are adapting the changing entertainment scenarios which demands high-tech, dynamic productions, and providing the same high quality of entertainment on board for their travelers. These state-of-the-art ships have assorted features and entertainment choices. These include varieties like surf simulators, ropes courses and even snow rooms as well as ice skating rinks! Beyond these fascinating structures, cruise lines are also reinventing the cruising experience and producing Broadway-like shows on board. These have advanced features such as big lighting, elaborate costumes and contemporary choreography. In fact, Disney Wonder of Disney Cruise Line has already started producing theatrical version of its all-time highest earning animated movie “Frozen” during travels. The movie is presented as a musical show on board. This is just one example of how cruise lines are changing the face of entertainment at sea, and giving their travelers experiences of a life-time in special surroundings. After all, watching a musical in theater is ordinary, but watching “Frozen” come alive on a ship, surrounded by splashing waves is something unique.

cruise entertainment

Another Disney cruise liner, Disney Magic has already been presenting “Tangled: The Musical” on board. This hour-long show contains 7 musical numbers.  Alan Menken, an Academy-award winning music composer has composed 3 new songs for this musical. It is breathtaking to see Rapunzel in the cruise settings; with her 200 feet long golden hair adorning the stage.

Not only Disney cruise lines, but Carnival’s latest ship Carnival Vista also has excellent, on board entertainment varieties, including the first ever IMAX theater cruising at sea. The liner also produces special musical shows, featuring classic rock anthems.

How About Taking a Culinary Cruise?

Who says gourmet dining and celebrity chef-led restaurants cannot be experienced at sea?

You too can enjoy the feast-adventure by taking any of the culinary cruises that have become quite popular in last few years. While restaurants on earth are earning stars for their meals, spirit and excellent wines, now the same experience is also being offered on sea by the best cruise lines through their culinary-themed vacation sailings. Here you can have the same high levels of exclusive meals, wines and enjoy gourmet dining episodes that are created by world’s renowned chefs. Instead of booking a simple cruise vacation, now a high number of travelers are booking for trips based on famous chefs’ appearances on selected cruise lines. There are also events of opening trendy cocktail bars or restaurants aboard a ship which have been quite a hit with connoisseurs. Most of cruise lines used to offer a central restaurant along with breakfast, lunch buffets in their all-inclusive packages. But now, renowned chefs are creating exclusive menus for cruise lines inspired by their destinations as well as local cuisine of ports of call. Windstar Cruises offers such culinary cruises on its small luxury yachts. It has a sophisticated fleet that consists of six yachts, each with a capacity of 300 guests. That makes it a perfect cruise for select gatherings going to ports where big ships cannot dock. Such convenience gives travelers a chance to disembark and taste local cuisine too.

food on cruise

You can find cruise discounts for all the best destinations on Hotels Etc.

How to choose the right cruise vacation in 2017

According to recent studies in the industry, these days more travelers are choosing a cruise vacation over an all-inclusive resort. As per estimates, nearly 24 million people had taken cruise vacations around the world in 2016 and these numbers are expected to rise in year 2017. As demands for a cruise vacation grow, so do choices for travelers. Among a wealth of cruise vacation offers, how do you choose which one is suitable for you? Well, here we are to help you sort through various options and select the best cruise line for both your budget and vacation needs.

casino

Best Value for Money Cruise Lines

If you are looking for a cruise line which returns best value for your money in 2017, then consider taking Celebrity Cruises. Although it has smaller fleet compared to its rivals, Celebrity’s many ships provide personalized service as it has an average ship-capacity of less than 2,700 passengers. This helps in catering to passengers personally. That does not mean it has any less amenities than big ships. The cruise line also offers all those amenities you would look for in big ships such as open-air movie screens and also kids’ programming. Big amenities, but at lower rates of $100 per traveller, per night. Second option can be Royal Caribbean International or Norwegian Cruise Line which also provides best amenities and value for your money while choosing a cruise vacation

Best Cruise Vacations for Families

When it comes to family cruise vacations, Disney Cruise Line wins hands down against its competitors. It has topped the list of family cruise lines for four successive years. The cruise line is famous for its deck parties based on Disney characters and has a specialized kids’ club, which is sure to keep the younger crowd happy. On the other hand, there are also exclusive areas for adults which provide an excellent place to parents for unwinding after a day of fun-filled activities. Another favorite for family cruises is Royal Caribbean International, which is ranked number 2 and Carnival Cruise Lines with a rank of number 3.

Couples? Here are Best Cruise Lines for You

Whether it is Valentine’s Day or your sweetheart’s birthday; if  you are looking to celebrate by sailing away with your partner, then you can get an enchanting experience on Crystal Cruises. This cruise line has been selected as the top ranking for couples this year. Here, the lovebirds can enjoy all-inclusive, special amenities such as terry cloth robes, feather beds and complimentary spirits and romantic wines. If you want to give a romantic gift to that special person with you, then instead of going for some regular gift, choose couple’s spa treatments or/ and specialty private dining. For those wanting to spend romantic vacations on sea, other recommended cruise lines include Azamara Club Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises that provide best romantic cruise for couples.

Best Cruise Lines for Caribbean Destinations

Nothing compares to emerald waters of Caribbean seas and if you are searching for the best cruises line to Caribbean, then Disney Cruise Line should be your first choice. Two reasons set apart Disney from other cruise liners; first it owns a private island called Castaway Cay (Bahamas) from where its ships set sail. Secondly, it sends ships to not one or two, but more than a dozen Caribbean destinations. These include popular destinations such as Jamaica, Cozumel, Puerto Rico, Mexico and also to lesser-known islands like Curaçao and Grenada. Second rank for Best Caribbean cruise lines goes to Celebrity Cruises and Crystal Cruises is at number 3 if you wish to go on ocean-vacation in 2017 in the Caribbean.

cocktails on a cruise vacation

Best Mediterranean Cruise Lines

If you are looking for warmer climate and heavenly food, then Mediterranean shores would appeal to you. For 2017, Celebrity Cruises tops the list of the best Mediterranean cruise lines. The line’s ships are mostly mid-size that travel to popular European ports such as Greece, Santorini and Naples (Italy). These ships will take you to famed Mediterranean destinations where you can explore the waters as well as dine at in-house swank restaurants, which will offer you a wide range of delicacies from French desserts to juicy, tasty steaks. After satisfying your taste buds, you can enjoy the restful hospitality of their comfortable accommodations. The number 2 spot in the list of the best Mediterranean liners in 2017 is occupied by Regent Seven Seas Cruises while Oceania Cruises holds the number 3 rank in this list.

If you would like to know more about these cruise vacations or find the best available cruise discounts, you can avail of a free trial perios with Travel membership experts Hotels Etc.

Best Caribbean Cruise Ships in 2017

There’s really no such thing as a terrible cruise in the Caribbean, but there are definitely a few who stand out from the rest. Whether it’s unique activities that are offered onboard or just a vibe that’s not like the others, these cruise ships might have just the thing you’re looking for. So, sit back, relax and grab one of those tasty pineapple drinks with neon straws and ridiculously big umbrellas as we check out five Caribbean cruise ships that are anything but boring.

Here are the best Caribbean cruise ships in 2017:

Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas

Honestly, what makes this cruise ship so amazing are the many fresh options when it comes to activities that there’s really no other experience like it. Royal Caribbean really outdid itself with the robot bartenders, skydiving simulation, trapeze lessons, and glass enclosed ride that takes you up 300ft above sea level so you can see the world from an entirely new vantage point.

This ship also has all of the other regular stuff like delicious food options and shows, but its rooms are also unique given that some have HD screens that cover an entire wall and give guests the feeling of a virtual balcony. Some of the rooms also are interconnected and two stories, which is good for larger families or someone who just really likes to spend more money.

Cruise restaurant

Carnival Sunshine

Formerly known as the Carnival Destiny, a pretty, little makeover of over $150 million bucks upgraded the 17 year-old ship into something a little more, you know, cool. There are a ton of bars and restaurants on this bad boy, including a delish burger bar that was created by your favorite blond-haired chef, Guy Fieri.

One of the favorites on this ship though is the huge adult-only sections that span across three separate decks. Not that we don’t all love having kids around while drinking our cocktails, but you know.

Norwegian Escape

This cruise ship is a party machine and with twenty-one bars onboard, you almost have each one of your drinks at a different place. Two of them are Jimmy Buffett franchises, which always helps out with creating the chilled out Caribbean vibe.

Another thing that makes this ship unique is that it supposedly has some of the fastest waterslides you can find while sailing the seas. But, there’s really only one way to find out — plug your nose!

Disney Fantasy

Kids, kids, and more kids – that’s what Disney has always been about and this 2,500 passenger Disneyland on water is going to get anyone’s vote who’s under the age of twelve. It’s not all about the kids though and good ol’ Walt and company still keep the adults in mind with bars and other areas that are 18+ only after 9pm.

Disney

Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas

Saving the best, and most impressive for last as there’s no other cruise ship that competes with the 5,400 passengers that this thing can hold. But, it’s not only size that matters, right? There’s also an entire park that has over 12,000 plants (the first of its kind on a cruise ship), two climbing walls, a surfing simulator, and an entire mall that offers pretty much anything you would ever need to buy, including your daily dose of Starbucks.

You can check out our endless run of cruise discounts for 2017 on Hotels Etc here.

Researchers explain why planning a vacation can make you Happy

Vacations are fun, we all know that, we all want more of them and some of us will almost live for them. But do they make you happier? It might seem like a question with an obvious answer but a group of researchers in the Netherlands set out to answer this precise question while also determine what it is exactly that causes someone to feel this way.

Almost 2,000 adults took part in the research, half of which had taken a vacation during the previous year and the results threw up a very interesting point. Yes, there were no surprises that these people experienced happiness while on the trip, whether they were relaxing next to the pool, swimming at the beach, eating out in a fine restaurant or sipping cocktails as the sun went down but what about afterward or what about before?

“The practical lesson for an individual is that you derive most of your happiness from anticipating the holiday trip,” said Jeroen Nawijn head of the research. “What you can do is try to increase that by taking more trips per year. If you have a two week holiday you can split it up and have two one week holidays. You could try to increase the anticipation effect by talking about it more and maybe discussing it online.”

You see, much of the findings for this research pointed to the fact that most adults felt relaxed returning from their vacation, they felt energized and rejuvenated but what they did not expect, was to learn how extremely happy these same people felt when planning a vacation. That’s right, the research showed that the longest, most prolonged and enjoyable part of their trip was the actual part of planning a vacation. Marveling at wanderlust inducing photographs online, imagining how relaxing it would be on the beach, checking the best places to stay in the Caribbean and then of course, looking for the best hotel discounts, vacation deals and general value. People felt good about being able to find the best online travel deals, joining travel membership clubs for cruise discounts and knowing that they had found the best place to stay at the best price.

So there you have it in black and white, planning a vacation is just as good for your health and will make you just as happy, as being on the vacation itself. We can’t say we are surprised as for more than 25 years now we taken great pleasure from finding the best hotel discounts for our members here at Hotels Etc. We know that people will always appreciate a good deal when we find one and keep coming back so long as we keep offering the best value vacations. So what are you waiting for? It might be a few weeks, a month or even a year until your next time off but why should that stop you from feeling happy, start planning your vacation and get signed up for a travel membership with Hotels Etc.