(920) 469-8747 (4 MY TRIP)
CRUISE WITH THE BURNERS U.K. TO COZUMEL, MEXICO THIS NOVEMBER! :: HURRY NOW, SPACE IS BECOMING LIMITED!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the much anticipated announcement is finally here: We are now accepting reservations for the "Cruise with The Burners U.K." 4-day Western caribbean cruise aboard the Carnival ship "Fascination" from Miami, Florida to Key West, Florida and Cozumel, Mexico (and back!) November 13th - 17th, 2006!
Thanks to our our new travel partners at Journeys Unlimited in Green Bay, Wisconsin, we've got a heckuva Fall trip planned for you, with a few incredible perks thrown in for good measure!
To start with: We'll be sailing aboard the fantastic "Fascination", one of Carnival's biggest, nicest "fantasy-class" cruise ships!
Add to that the fact that all of your meals and all of your drinks (up to $6.50 in value each!) are included in the amazing price (Something that notoriously costs between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars for a 4-day excursion - ask any experienced cruiser - Thank you Journeys Unlimited for this one!!), and you've got an amazing deal!
But wait - there's a whole lot more! Journeys Unlimited negotiated a special deal for BUK fans through which all gratuities are included in the price! (That's right - none of those famous "end of the cruise hidden charges")!
What's more, Carnival has agreed to offer a $100 shipboard credit (per cabin) exclusively for Burners U.K. fans sailing on this cruise! That's money that you can use for anything you like... from paying for on-shore excursions you want to take part in, to making ship-board purchases!
Still want more? Ok, here ya go: You'll get not only one, but two live concerts by the Burners U.K. onboard the ship during the cruise, open only to fans sailing with our group! (Yeehaw - now we're talkin'!
AND,, you'll get the rare opportunity to hang out with the members of the band all week, at various events and excursions, as the boys will be travelling with the guests and hanging with y'all as part of their "final season celebration" before the band goes on hiatus in January, 2007!
All in all, it's an incredible value, and truly a once in a lifetime vacation opportunity! Why, we've even put together special "airfare-included" package pricing for those who want to take advantage of the buying power Journeys Unlimited brings to the table!
Okay, okay, so here's the best part of all: Prices for this amazing cruise begin at just $659 for an interior cabin ($699 for oceanview!) - and once again, kids and campers, that price is all-inclusive, meaning all food and all drinks, of every kind, are included, all week long! You'll literally save hundreds of dollars over any other cruise offer anywhere!
Is there a catch? YES! Space is becoming VERY LIMITED, and you MUST get your reservation in BEFORE SEPTEMBER 13thIN ORDER TO GO ON THIS TRIP, so stop dilly-dallying!
MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS TODAY - (or get more information!), by simply clicking here to print out a copy of the online registration form, then fax, email or mail to: Amy at Journeys Unlimited (or, call her directly toll free at 1-866-714-8747 and set up your trip TODAY!).
It's going to be one of the most memorable Burners U.K. events in history -- not to mention, a darn fine vacation! Don't miss your chance to be part of the fun this November!
Families are the fastest growing segment of the cruise market. Many cruise lines are now catering to families and their unique needs. While most now offer children’s programs and kid friendly food options, choosing the best cruise for your client can take some research. Below are some tips to assist in determining the best cruise line for your client along with links for more information on each cruise line’s children’s program.
Time of year – not all of the cruise lines offer year-round children’s programs. Some operate only with a minimum number of children. If your client is not traveling during a school break, be sure to recommend one of the larger, well-known ‘family friendly’ cruise lines that offer a year-round program. The longer cruises (10 days or more) tend to have an older clientele, while 3 or 4 night cruises tend to have a younger, ‘partying’ clientele. The 7-night cruise is the most popular among families. The Caribbean and Alaska are the most popular destinations.
Family accommodations – many of the new ships have been built with families in mind offering family suites or a variety of connecting cabins.
Cruise line's newer ships – the newer ships tend to not only have more family accommodations, but larger and more elaborate children’s centers, pools and public areas.
Soda Card – some cruise lines offer a pre-paid soda card good for a set number of non-alcoholic beverages.
WHAT TYPE OF CABIN IS BEST FOR ME?
This is a purely personal issue and mitigated by many factors such as preference, size needs, budget and of course, availability. If you don't need a cabin with a window and wish to save the extra money, by all means, take an inside cabin. They're an excellent value. If you're like me, and need to see daylight or are even slightly claustrophobic, take an oceanview cabin.
WHAT ABOUT BALCONIES AND SUITES?
Do you need a balcony or suite and are they worth the extra price. Once again, this depends on your priorities, wants and needs. A balcony is a great plus if you like to have your own (Semi) private deck space to relax without intrusion from other passengers. I don't find them a "must" on a seven night Caribbean or Europe itinerary, but they are a nice extra.. Where I find they are really worth the extra cost is on longer itineraries and when cruising scenic regions such as Alaska, the Norwegian Fjords or the Panama Canal where prime viewing space on deck is at a premium. Balconies are a great place to enjoy morning coffee, an afternoon nap or evening cocktails as you watch your ship depart from port and once you sail with one you probably wont want to do without.
Mini-Suites and Suites will provide you with extra space, but that space comes at a price. You'll most likely get a separate sitting area, a sleeping area or separate bedroom and many come with a much larger bathroom, whirlpool tub and walk in closets. While suites tend to be closer in size to a hotel room, check out the mini-suites with caution. Many lines mini suites are simply standard cabins with a balcony.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Choose the location of your cabin with care. Look to see what areas are above, below and adjacent to your cabins. Showlounges, Discos, kitchens/serving areas and stairtowers/elevator lobbies can be a source of noise. If you have a jogging track or deck area above, you may be disturbed in the morning by the sound of crew members dragging deck chairs about or the thump-thump of passengers out for a morning jog. You should also avoid cabins at the very front (bow) and down low to the rear (stern) of the ship as you are more likely to experience movement and machinery noise from the bow/stern thrusters, anchors or propulsion machinery. A mid ship location is always best but don't be afraid to go forward or aft and if given the choice, go aft rather than forward. And while forward facing balconies overlooking the bow may present magnificent vistas and views, they can be quite windy. Midship balconies are the most plentiful, but if I can get an aft facing one overlooking the wake, I'd go with that.
WHAT IS A CABIN "GUARANTEE?"
Yet another very important factor when choosing a cabin. In many instances, you will be offered the opportunity to choose and specific cabin or a "guarantee".
A "guarantee" is simply a guarantee by the cruise line that you will receive a cabin in the category you booked or possibly a cabin in a higher category. You may also be offered what is now referred to as a "run of ship" guarantee which means the cruise line is simply guaranteeing you space on the ship and can wind up with the lowest category or possibly a very nice and substantially upgraded accommodation.
It is very important to remember that when choosing a cabin on a "guarantee" basis you will have little to no say in what cabin you are assigned. If location is important to you, don't take this gamble. These can result in accommodations with which you are pleasantly surprised but can also lead to extreme disappointment if you are placed in a less than desireable location.
A cabin chosen with care can make or break your cruise experience!
Let's take a look at the basic components that make up the cost of a cruise, and what you should expect to pay.
BASIC CRUISE COSTS
The "base" cost of your cruise will include your accommodations as chosen for the length of the cruise, onboard entertainment and activities, meals and use of the facilities aboard the ship.
PORT TAXES AND FEES
These are the taxes and fees charged by the various government and port authorities at the ports where your ship calls, the cruise line passes these fees along to the passengers. These typically cover the cost of docking and use of the port facilities; "parking fees" for your ship if you will. And certain government authorities impose a "head tax" on cruise passengers, which is used to maintain and improve the ports infrastructure.
ADDING IN THE AIR COSTS
Air "add-ons" are an option that you may or may not choose to utilize. This is the cost of your airfare from your home city to the port where you will join the ship and your return airfare home. In most cases, when using the cruise lines' Air/Sea program, this will also include baggage handling and transportation from the airport to the ship on the day you embark and transportation back to the airport on the day you disembark your cruise.
Mini-Suites and Suites will provide you with extra space, but that space comes at a price. You'll most likely get a separate sitting area, a sleeping area or separate bedroom and many come with a much larger bathroom, whirlpool tub and walk in closets. While suites tend to be closer in size to a hotel room, check out the mini-suites with caution. Many lines mini-suites are simply standard cabins with a balcony.
Yet another optional cost of your cruise. Cancellation insurance will cover any penalties incurred for canceling due to illness or death. See related article on insurance for more in-depth coverage.
HOW TO READ A CRUISE AD
You're perusing the Sunday Travel Section or surfing the Internet and see a fantastic price for a cruise. Is it too good to be true? What's not included in that price? What's hidden in the fine print?
Chances are, you're dreaming of a stateroom with a verandah but the price in the ad is for the lowest category of inside cabin. This is what we call "lead-in" pricing. It's intended to catch your eye and it has.
Typically, but not always, the prices you see in the ads are for "minimum inside" or the lowest grade of accommodation unless it specifically states otherwise. The number of cabins available at these prices are usually extremely limited. The price may also only be available to residents of certain states or may be a senior citizen fare.
READING THE FINE PRINT
Get out that magnifying glass and read the fine print. Check to see if the price includes port charges and taxes as this can easily add over $100.00 per person to the cost of the cruise if they are not included. Thankfully, recently enacted government regulations require the cruise lines to include the taxes in the advertised prices, or else make it clear that they are not included and display the additional costs plainly. However, regulations for travel agencies are different, and many do not include additional costs in the pricing and bury them in the fine print. In all cases, unless specifically stated otherwise, the price will not include airfare but will be "cruise only".
IS LESS MORE OR LESS?
This term usually does not apply to cruises. As the lead in price is usually for an inside cabin (no window or ocean view) you may wish to consider spending a little more to make your cruise that much more enjoyable. Whereas a 7 night cruise in an inside cabin may cost you $699.00 per person, upgrading to an outside or "ocean view" cabin can be as little as $150-200.00 additional cost per person. Or you may wish to upgrade to a stateroom with a verandah. This will usually cost you about $750.00 per person more for the week.
Personally, I never sail in an inside cabin unless I am forced to. The daylight makes the cabin seem larger, and I love to wake up and see where we are and what the weather is like. Let's be realistic, cabins aboard ship are not large to begin with so a little daylight can make them seem much more palatable. I always urge first-timers to take an outside cabin unless their budget absolutely prohibits. A stateroom with verandah will afford you your own semi-private place to watch the ship come in and out of port or just relax. These are especially desirable in Alaska, Panama canal and on longer voyages.
"NICKEL AND DIMING"
Yes Virginia, you will incur extra costs once you board the ship. Cruise lines charge for drinks (soft and alcoholic), and then there are tips (about $75.00 per person for a one week cruise), shopping, gambling, shore excursions (touring in port), and meals while off the ship. And then even some other extras aboard ship which are not as readily apparent.
Many cruise lines will charge you extra for that ice cream cone in the afternoon, to eat in the alternative restaurant ($5-18.50 per person), for laundry or dry cleaning, use of the internet/e-mail/business services, the golf simulator and spa treatments.
Prepare to budget yourself for an average of $200-300 per person in spending money for a one week cruise, more so if you like to indulge in tours, spa treatments and gambling.
Here is a quick look at what all the little "extras" can cost: Soda: $1.50 Domestic Beer: $3.50 Imported Beer: $4.25 Cocktail: $4.50 Glass of Wine: $2.50-3.00 Bottle of Wine: $18.00 and up Ice Cream Cone: $1.50 + Shore Excursion: $35 to $150 Massage: typically $75 to $125
Also bear in mind that most cruise lines automatically add a 15% gratuity to any drink purchase.
ALL-INCLUSIVE CRUISE LINES
Do any lines include all or most of the "little" extras? Yes indeed, there are cruise lines that include a lot of extras and don't "nickel and dime" you to death. Silversea Cruises is truly "all inclusive" as they include all soft drinks, cocktails, house wines and champagnes, even some complimentary shore excursions. Radisson Seven Seas, and Seabourn also include a lot of the little extras but are not as inclusive as Silversea.