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THE CRUISE & VACATION MAGAZINE

SPRINGWINTER /SUMMER2014 2014

THEME CRUISES: SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE Destination guide:

MAYAN RIVIERA

RELAX REVITALIZE REJUVENATE

BEST SPAS AT SEA CRUISE ONE FALL 2011 2 CRUISE REVIEWS: CRYSTAL SYMPHONY AND AZAMARA JOURNEY

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Book your next getaway with your

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Get Ready To

Cruise Like a Norwegian 7 Night Western Caribbean

$50 Onboard Credit

$379 Norwegian Jewel Oceanview from $469 December 6, 2014 $699 Balcony from

Roundtrip from Houston

7 Night Western Caribbean

Inside from

$50 Onboard Credit

Roundtrip from Miami

$499 $749

7 Night Alaska Glacier Bay

$50 Onboard Credit

Inside from Norwegian Epic Balcony from November 9, 16, 23, 30, 2014 December 7, 14, 28, 2014

$599 Inside from Norwegian Pearl Oceanview from $759 August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 2014 $1239 Balcony from Roundtrip from Seattle

September 7, 14, 2014

7 Night Bermuda

®

7 Night Western Mediterranean Roundtrip from Barcelona

$50 Onboard Credit

Norwegian Epic Inside from August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 2014 Balcony from October 5, 12, 19, 2014

$749 $999

7 Night Hawai’i

$75 Onboard Credit

9 Night Baltic Capitals

$50 Onboard Credit

$979 Inside from Pride of America Oceanview from $1069 November 1, 15, 22, 2014 $1519 December 6, 13, 2014 Balcony from Roundtrip from Honolulu

$1029 Inside from Norwegian Star Oceanview from $1209 June 24, 2014 $1839 Balcony from

Roundtrip from Copenhagen

$599 Norwegian Breakaway Oceanview from $799 May 11, 2014 Balcony from $949 Roundtrip from New York

Inside from

July 6, 13, 20, 27, 2014

7 Night Eastern Caribbean

$50 Onboard Credit

$719 Inside from Norwegian Getaway Oceanview from $769 June 14, 2014 $909 Balcony from August 9, 16, 23, 2014 Roundtrip from Miami

It’s your vacation and you should have the freedom to enjoy it on your terms. Dress up or down. Sleep in or catch a sunrise from your own private balcony. Take in some never-before-seen entertainment at sea. Even eat somewhere different every day of the week. Only Norwegian offers Freestyle Cruising®, giving you the freedom and flexibility to do what you want, when you want. With the most dining options at sea, dazzling entertainment and exciting onboard activities, there’s plenty of ways to make your vacation one for the record books. Bask in the bright lights of Broadway with performances like the five-time Tony Award-nominated Rock of Ages. Go wild with our Nickelodeon™ activities. Tickle your funny bone with The Second City. Or get lucky at our award-winning Casinos at Sea®. We are Europe’s Leading Cruise Line and The Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line from the World Travel Awards.

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®

Contact Your Independent Vacation Specialist to Book Your Norwegian Cruise Experience Today. Fares are shown in U.S. Dollars. Fares are cruise only, per person, based on double occupancy. Guests who cancel and rebook must accept this promotion’s Terms and Conditions. Government taxes & fees, and onboard service charges are additional. Offers are based on availability, are capacity controlled, and combinability with other offers is subject to change or cancellation at any time per Norwegian Cruise Line’s discretion. Onboard credit amount is per stateroom, in U.S. dollars based on category booked and will be applied to 1st and 2nd guest in stateroom. Other restrictions may apply. IMPORTANT NOTICE: Norwegian Cruise Line reserves the right to charge a fuel supplement without prior notice should the closing price of West Texas Intermediate Fuel increase above $65 per barrel on the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange Index). In the event a fuel supplement is charged, Norwegian Cruise Line will have sole discretion to apply the supplementary charge to both existing and new bookings, regardless of whether such bookings have been paid in full. Such supplementary charges are not included in the cruise fare. The fuel supplement charge will not exceed $10.00 per passenger per day. Norwegian is not responsible for typographical errors or omissions. ©2014 Norwegian Cruise Line Corporation LTD. Ships’ Registry: Bahamas and United States of America.

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world traveler | spring/summer 2014

Contents

features

34

Crystal Symphony: Cruising into wellness Soothe and pamper yourself on board the Crystal Symphony in an oasis of calm; health and wellness at sea is within your reach onboard this luxury vessel as you cruise the oceans of the world. Be active, get fit and rejuvenate!

Best spas at sea

50

Azamara Journey: Welcome to the Club

56

Theme cruises: Something for everyone

holbox / shutterstock

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For a truly relaxing getaway choose a spa-oriented cruise vacation and revive your tired mind and body. Ships today offer amazing spa experiences with all manner of treatments, soothing sanctuaries, specially created spa staterooms and cuisine – just about everything to ensure a truly regenerative experience.

Learn more about this upscale and casual cruise brand with its two ships offering guests a personal and intimate experience with an emphasis on port-intensive itineraries. The attention to detail and high level of service on board will please every cruiser.

departments 8 Cruise News 12 Interludes 18 River Cruising 24 Destination Guide: Mayan Riviera

Mexico is an incredibly popular holiday destination and in this focus on the Mexican Caribbean you can learn more about the sights, scenery and great beaches as well as the history and quaint towns of this marvelous and exciting spot. There are so many great activities in and out of the water plus we highlight a few of our favorite hotels and resorts in the region.

60 Travel tips

In each issue we bring you special travel tips directly from our knowledgeable travel agents – ideas to enhance your vacation, ensure you have necessary information at your fingertips and the right advice from the professionals – which is priceless.

There truly is something for everyone and our article on theme cruises shows you just how many types of cruises you can enjoy. If you have a special interest or hobby then here’s your chance to learn more about dance cruises, yoga at sea, music, movies and concerts, bridge and other card games, as well as cruises for foodies and wine enthusiasts. Ancient Mayan ruins at Tulum, Mexico

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C R U I S E N E W S

QUANTUM OF THE SEAS TAKES THE STAGE When details of Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas were unveiled in New York City in April 2013, this newest addition to a great fleet of innovative ships set to launch in November 2014, became an instant star. Now, that star quality is shining even brighter! RCI, the first cruise line to feature Tony Award-winning Broadway productions has announced that it will treat Quantum of the Seas guests to the full-scale smash hit musical Mamma Mia! If that weren’t enough excitement, Quantum guests can ‘fly’ the North Star – a glass capsule holding 13 guests and offering panoramic sea views; soar in the skydiving simulator RipCord by iFLY; and play in SeaPlex, a spectacular space that shape-shifts from a roller-skating, bumper car and circus hotspot by day to a hopping dance club at night. Although staterooms are nearly ten percent larger than those on previous Oasis-class ships and feature customizable layouts, the biggest accommodation surprises were the windowless interior staterooms that now have virtual balconies providing real-time ocean views! 

STAY A LITTLE LONGER COURTESY OF REGENT SEVEN SEAS If you are planning ahead for a cruise in 2015 then Regent Seven Seas Cruises, a fabulous luxury cruise line has an extensive number of summer itineraries visiting 68 countries and 185 ports of call on the three ships in the fleet, all of which have recently been refreshed and refurbished. Additionally the line is offering a series of complimentary land programs for guests booked in Concierge Suites and higher. All of these pre- or post-cruise options include hotel accommodations, select meals, guided tours and transport. Highlights include a three-night African safari from Cape Town, South Africa; a visit to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates for a three-night post-cruise stay in the opulent cities of the Emirates and a two night immersion into the glorious ancient history of Greece with a stay in Athens. Regent Seven Seas offers the most all-inclusive luxury cruise experience at sea with two-for-one fares plus many other inclusions.

REGAL PRINCESS SET TO SAIL The 141,000 ton, 3,600 guest Regal Princess is being launched this May and no doubt she will share many of the stunning attributes of her well-received sister ship the Royal Princess, the newest star in the Princess Cruises fleet. Constructed at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, the Regal Princess will boast the line’s largest top deck pool complete with a water and light show and a grouping of private poolside cabanas; an enhanced Movies under the Stars screen; a pastry shop; the Princess Live! television studio; the Piazza, an expanded atrium; and the new SeaWalk, a cantilevered, glassenclosed walkway that extends 28 feet beyond the ship’s edge and 128 feet over the water. All outside staterooms will have balconies and guests will enjoy new casual dining options such as the Italian-inspired gelateria and the trendy Ocean Terrace Seafood Bar as well as enhancements to well-loved Princess Cruises favorites such as the International Café and Alfredo’s Pizzeria. 8 WORLD TRAVELER SPRING/SUMMER 2014

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Carnival Cruise Lines – Rocking on Carnival Cruise Lines is offering a fabulous new concert series in a number of genres for music fans and are committed to bringing the best in live music to the seas. This first-of-a-kind experience, dubbed the Carnival LIVE Concert Series offers guests exclusive onboard performances by a number of well-known and popular artists while ships are docked at select ports of call. Some of the name performers include: Chicago, Lady Antebellum, Daughtry, REO Speedwagon, Kansas, Jewel, Jennifer Hudson, Foreigner and LeAnn Rimes. The concerts kicked off this spring and will take place onboard eight Carnival ships in such ports as Cozumel, Mexico; Nassau, The Bahamas and Catalina Island, California. Tickets range in price from $20-$40 each and a limited number of VIP tickets, which include an artist meet and greet are also available starting at $100 per person subject to availability.

Celebrity cooks up more innovative experiences

Jennifer Hudson

There’s a lot of exciting news at Celebrity Cruises these days. Not only have they just announced a new and exceptional ‘Suite Class’ experience beginning in April 2015 but have also commenced a partnership with Bravo Media’s popular Top Chef series. For lovers of fine dining and modern luxury experiences Celebrity continues to raise the bar. The “Top Chef at Sea” will offer Celebrity’s foodie guests four special cruises this summer and fall featuring former Top Chef contestants and an opportunity to participate in cooking demo’s as well as, for a more exclusive experience and an additional cost, private cooking classes and events hosted by former chef’testants. And should you cruise in a suite on one of Celebrity’s ten ships from April 2015 onward you will enjoy a dedicated private restaurant, a VIP Lounge, complimentary premium beverages and more, all designed to create the ultimate luxurious experience. Amenities such as priority embarkation and butler service will add to your enjoyment.

Star Pride Joins Windstar Fleet Windstar Cruises’ new power yacht, named Star Pride and to be christened in Barcelona, Spain on May 5 is almost ready to set sail under the Windstar banner. There is great excitement building about this beautiful, small vessel as details are unveiled about her forthcoming renovations and transformation. Enhancements include significant style changes and stem to stern upgrades, according to Hans Birkholz, CEO of Windstar. The main theme of the yacht will be a casually elegant atmosphere with a warm yet contemporary feel and will feel familiar to guests who have cruised aboard the current three ships in the Windstar sail fleet. Most public areas will receive updated décor with new furnishings, upholstery, lighting, window treatments, carpeting and more. The color palette will combine sand and marine shades to contrast with the warmth of the wood finishes used throughout. The 106 suites, some with small balconies will also be completely refurbished. There will be a signature Yacht Club on the top deck offering coffee, refreshments and snacks throughout the day. The watersports platform will be brought to life, Windstar style, and will offer a variety of water toys such as water skis, wakeboards, kayaks and paddleboards, and of course guests can swim to and from the platform. The Star Pride’s inaugural season will be spent sailing in the Mediterranean, the Aegean and, new to the brand, the Black Sea. In the Fall the yacht will sail to Arabia and then on to Southeast Asia commencing with three new voyages in December 2014. world traveler spring/summer 2014 9

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cruise news | new ships

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Getaway Offers Welcoming Haven Norwegian Getaway, the newest ship in the Norwegian fleet – launched in January 2014 and referred to as “Miami’s Ultimate Ship” – sets a new standard in luxury cruise travel with The Haven by Norwegian. An exquisite top-deck collection of balcony suites, The Haven not only offers anticipatory 24-hour butler service, in-suite white linen dining, and priority embarkation/dis­embarkation at every port but also access to The Courtyard’s private pool, sundeck and attentive staff. In addition, the Haven’s concierge service ensures guests priority dining, spa and entertainment bookings. In fact, the only challenge will be choosing which entertainment to enjoy! Performances of the Tony Award nominated musical Legally Blonde? World-renowned comedy headliners or the magical dining of the Illusionarium? The Latin sounds of Burn the Floor? A tour of the first-ever GRAMMY Experience at sea, featuring artifacts curated by the GRAMMY Museum? Live performances by Grammy winners of the past and future or a unique lunch experience combining wine tasting and theater at Wine Lovers The Musical? All terrific choices!

Haven spa suite

Bangkok, Thailand

WANT TO TAKE BETTER VACATION PHOTOS? TAKE BETTER VACATIONS. CONTACT YOUR INDEPENDENT VACATION SPECIALIST. Azamara Club Cruises® is a proud member of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. family of cruise lines. ©2014 Azamara Club Cruises. Ships’ registry: Malta. Photography by: Jenna Lyn Pimentel

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i n t e r l u d e s Whether you’re planning a sun-filled beach vacation or plan to travel to one of the world’s greatest cities, we have the best choices for you.

Royal Suites Turquesa by Palladium PUNTA CANA — Designed exclusively for adult travelers, this delightful, all-inclusive hotel offers a great sense of style and although it has 362 suites in seven different room categories it has the feel of a private, small resort. However, it also offers unlimited access to three sister Grand Palladium properties all contained in the same 5-star compound, so dining and entertainment choices can seem almost endless. Appropriately named for the stunning turquoise seas on the coast near Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, the Royal Suites have many wonderful amenities for discerning guests. Enjoy the lengthy and private fine white sand beach and a number of included watersports, a choice of seven pools with swim up bars and even from some suites , you have swim up access  to the main pool!  Relax and enjoy some pampering in the spa and wellness center or participate in more active sports – with several golf courses nearby you can also brush up on your game. The Royal Suites property has two restaurants on site and additionally there are another eight à la carte dining options at the other three sister hotels. There are also four bars at the hotel with another 19 lounges and bars to choose from scattered throughout the compound. And naturally there are numerous daytime activities from which to choose as well as a lot of evening entertainment including a disco and casino. The suites are beautifully appointed with all you might need including i-pod docking stations and in room Wi-Fi, gorgeous bathrooms and 24 hour room service is also offered.

STARHOTELS METROPOLE ROME — A central location is a must have in the eternal city of Rome and the Starhotels Metropole is in an ideal spot, close to the train station and the Opera House but importantly only a short stroll from some of Rome’s most famous and historic sites – the Colosseum and the Roman Forum as well as the exquisite Pantheon and every traveler’s must see, the iconic Trevi Fountain. This 4-star property has been recently renovated to the highest standards and is charmingly decorated in lovely colors and offers a modern yet welcoming and warm atmosphere. There are 236 rooms and suites all with typical European bedding of two twin beds to make one large bed, Italian marble bathrooms, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available for an extra charge and all the necessary in-room amenities. The Rendezvous Bar offers drinks and light snacks all day and the Apicio Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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interludes | hotels and resorts

Breathless Punta Cana

Secrets St James

breathless punta cana resort anD spa

SECRETS ST JAMES

PUNTA CANA — This chic and cosmopolitan resort has 750 ultra-modern rooms and a host of exciting activities and amenities to enhance your Caribbean vacation. Located about a 45 minute drive from Punta Cana airport on the north eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, this chic spot is nestled between the jungle and the crystalline ocean waters. A great choice for adults only who want a vibrant, trendy and all-inclusive hotel for their sunshine getaway.

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA — A gorgeous, peaceful ocean-front location set on a peninsula  about 15 minutes from Montego Bay airport in Jamaica, this all-inclusive, adults-only resort offers the finest in relaxation and sophistication with a myriad of amenities and facilities for your vacationing pleasure. Enjoy a choice of nine dining venues including offerings of French, Mexican and Italian cuisine as well as a casual buffet spot and a seafood dining option and an extensive variety of chic bars and lounges with top-shelf wine and spirits included. Casual swim-up pool bars complement the expansive pool area and the property also includes a number of watersports such as snorkeling, windsurfing, sailing and more from the lovely private beach.  

The hotel is expansive with a number of swimming pools and one main pool and more than 700 yards of picturesque palm-studded white sand beach with included watersports such as snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and of course swimming and sunning. Choose from eleven dining venues with International and Fusion cuisine predominant. Eight of the restaurants are à la carte and there is a buffet dining spot and a casual café and of course 24 hour room service. The eight bars and lounges offer up everything from a casual beach bar to swim up pool bars and late night lounges ideal for meeting fellow guests and naturally all wine and spirits. The best part, the gratuities are included. The stylish suites (all non-smoking) are gorgeous with all amenities expected along with spectacular views and a daily refreshed mini bar for your convenience. Other facilities at Breathless include a world-class spa, gym and exercise room, basketball and paddle ball courts and a casino.

Boasting a spa and fitness center, 24 hour concierge services as well as nightly theme parties and a diverse array of live entertainment – including a piano bar, late night lounge and various great spots for getting away from it all. Secrets St James offers more than 300 beautifully appointed and elegant suites all with a private balcony or terrace and naturally great views of the Caribbean Sea. The romantic mood is con­ ducive to being pampered and truly feeling relaxed and special with impeccable service and  attention to detail from the welcoming staff. The resort offers a wonderful vacation experience – and naturally is perfect for a destination wedding, honeymoon or vow renewal ceremony.

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interludes | hotels and resorts

ST. ERMIN’S HOTEL london, england — located in a quiet street in Westminster, adjacent to scotland Yard, and minutes from st. James park, the st. ermin’s hotel had been closed for renovations before the london olympic games and was being converted to a four star, luxury property. and they have done a wonderful job of restoring this grand old place. the centerpiece of the st. ermin’s has always been its ornate lobby staircase. it is stunningly beautiful and the mezzanine above has incredible ceiling detail. in the center of the staircase is a small door, which by all reports leads to a tunnel to the nearby houses of parliament. there is a division bell that ensures mps in the hotel’s Caxton Bar never miss a vote. our room was fully renovated with dark woods, creamy white linens and a gorgeous bathroom. Breakfast can be included  in the rate  and it’s worth  it. a wonderful buffet features croissants, breads, smoked salmon, cold meats, cheeses, cereals and yogurts. hot items can be ordered fresh from the kitchen. Formerly the st. ermin’s mansions, the hotel was host to mi5 and the special operations unit formed by Churchill during WWii. in the Caxton Bar, the famous spy William Burgess handed over secret documents to his russian counterpart. We took part in a private “spy tour” of the neighborhood, hosted by the intelligence trail. our guide showed us many sites in Westminster and nearby, that housed  Britain’s secret services, as well as favorite haunts of the Cambridge Five.      

Warm ambience. Personal service. Exclusive access to secluded ports and narrow harbours. Discover the beauty of a smaller ship with infinite possibilities. world traveler spring/summer 2014 on select 2014 Mediterranean Enjoy16$200 onboard spending credit per suite voyages. Contact your Independent Vacation Specialist today.

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R I V E R C R U I S I N G

BULE SKY STUDIO / SHUTTERSTOCK

SUITE SHIPS CONTINUE TO SHINE AT AVALON River ship cruising continues to grow in leaps and bounds and Avalon Waterways is no exception as they have announced two more “suite” ships which will set sail in 2015 following three ships being launched in 2014. The Avalon Tranquility II and Avalon Tapestry II will bring the fleet’s Panorama class Suite Ship total to 10. These innovative ships feature the industry’s only open-air balconies which provide river cruisers the largest windows and a sliding glass door that opens to seven feet wide. Guests can enjoy both a spacious seating area and an expansive feel to their room while also enjoying fresh breezes and the beauty of their European surroundings. Eighty percent of the rooms are 200-square-foot Panorama Suites or 300-square-foot Royal Suites. Both are beautifully decorated and appointed with some of the best bathrooms afloat. Guests will also enjoy the choice of alternative dining in the Sky or Panorama Bistro as well as relaxation and interaction with other travelers in the Panorama, Sky and Observation Lounges. Panorama Suite – Artistry II

AMAWATERWAYS SAILS THE AYEYARWADY RIVER In November 2014, AmaWaterways will launch both a new ship, the AmaPura and a river cruise program on the Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar, one of the world’s most fascinating destinations. The 10-night Golden Treasures of Myanmar and 14-night Hidden Wonders of Myanmar cruises will include such cultural wonders as: the temples, stupas and pagodas of Bagan; Mandalay, the “Golden City” known for its master craftsmen; the shrine of Mount Popa; the ancient royal cities of Inwa, capital of Burma for more than 400 years; Amarapura, home to the world’s longest teak bridge; Sagaing, Mingun and Yangon, “Garden City of the East”. Said Kristin Karst, AmaWaterways Executive Vice President and co-owner: “My own experiences in Myanmar have been absolutely amazing. Our new cruises there will immerse our guests in a place that has long been shut off from the rest of the world, and that’s an opportunity no world traveler will want to pass up.”

Touring the canals of Bruges

LINDA CRAWLEY

SEE MORE OF EUROPE WITH VIKING RIVER CRUISES As Viking River Cruises continues to add a large number of river ships to their fleet each year, they have noted great interest from guests in extending their river ship experience to extra days on land before or after their cruise. Consequently they have introduced special land stays to be purchased in conjunction with a river cruise which enable travelers to enhance their time abroad and customize a unique itinerary to fit their interests. Viking concierges who are on-site at the hotel will assist guests in cities such as Bruges in Belgium, Krakow in Poland, Nuremberg in Germany and Montreux, Switzerland on Lake Geneva. Two and three night stays are offered depending on the city and the river cruise itinerary purchased. Land add-ons start at $399 per person and include hand-picked quality hotel accommodations and a walking tour of each city. The concierges will then recommend specific trips and excursions to the guests so they gain the most from their land add-on.

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Spend a Day at a Resort Why visiting a beachside retreat might be the perfect addition to your cruise itinerary

Is Resort for a Day right for you? The traditional shore excursion is one of the simplest, most costeffective ways to explore a new community while on a cruise. But sometimes, a day spent lounging by the infinity pool might be a more enticing alternative. Here are three reasons why you may consider a Resort for a Day experience: You’re not interested in a regular shore excursion

Are you an experienced cruise-ship traveler? Have you racked up thousands of nautical miles over the years, while visiting dozens of amazing places? If so, you’re among the growing number of vacationers who have discovered how addictive cruising can be. But maybe you’re worried that after a while, you’ll end up visiting the same port cities, seeing the same sights and doing the same things over and over again. Well, there’s a simple solution to that: Resort for a Day. This unique program adds a little spice to your cruise-ship itinerary by including the option to spend the day at a resort when you visit a port of call. For example, let’s say you’ve just booked a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise, which includes a full-day stop at Cozumel, Mexico. But you’ve already roamed the tranquil shores of this charming island. In fact, you took that trip just last year. And as nice as it was to browse the shops in downtown San Miguel, you’d like to have a different experience this time around. One designed exclusively for a seasoned cruiser like yourself. That’s where Resort for a Day can help out. So instead of purchasing a shore excursion like everyone else, you can relax on the bright-white sands of a stunning retreat. Unwind by the pool, sample the buffet or check out the activities – these ‘daycations’ offer a rare chance to sample a resort without committing to a full vacation there.

If this isn’t your first trip to the area or the shore excursion itinerary simply doesn’t interest you, arranging to spend a day at a resort is a great plan B. You get an opportunity to do a little exploring outside the ship while unwinding in a stunning mini-paradise. You’d like to sample a resort before booking a future vacation If your cruise ship will be docked near a resort that you’ve thought about visiting, why not drop by for just one day? It’s a rare chance to get a taste of what the retreat is like without committing to a longer stay there. And if you fall in love with the place, well, planning your next getaway just became much easier. You’re craving a day full of sun and surf Are you a beach fanatic? Does the thought of sinking your toes into warm, powder-soft sand make you giddy? If so, maybe you’d rather just relax at a resort rather than going on a traditional shore excursion. Many of the retreats we’ve partnered with also feature waterslides and other kid-friendly amenities, which are great for families.

Every day of your trip should be new and exciting, so don’t settle for an experience you won’t be completely satisfied with.

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How Resort for a Day works The Resort for a Day program is expanding quickly, as more travelers seek out new ways to get the most out of their cruises. Here’s a list of the destinations with participating resorts so far: • Jamaica • Cozumel • Nassau

• San Juan • Freeport • Grand Cayman

• Barbados • St. Maarten • Roatan

• Tobago • Curacao • Aruba

Different resorts also provide different types of experiences through the Resort for a Day program. Some passes might include all-inclusive services and even a guest room, while a few resorts also offer transportation from the ship to the property. You can find out more about what each specific resort offers by visiting our website or contacting your Vacation Specialist. After deciding on which resort you’d like to spend the day at, you can purchase a pass from your Vacation Specialist or by visiting our website.The passes will be e-mailed to you that same day. Keep in mind that this is a very popular program and space is limited at resorts. So it’s best to book your Resort for a Day experience as soon as you can. All resorts included in the program are close to the piers, so you never have to worry about not making it back to the ship on time. In fact, you might even be able to see your vessel while lounging on the sand. We have a feeling you’ll have some great stories to share once you’re back on the ship.

Call Your Cruises Inc. Vacation Specialist today for more information

CALL YOUR

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Could you be the next winner? Won a 7 Night Norwegian Cruise

Won a 7 Night Royal Caribbean Cruise

Won a 7 Night Carnival Cruise

Won a 7 Night Norwegian Cruise

Everyone deserves a great vacation‌ A relaxing time to get away and enjoy the little things while creating memories that will last a lifetime. This is why we love being able to provide the lucky winners of our Win A Free Cruise contests with vacations they will never forget. Luciano, Debbie, Melanie and Judy all won 7-night cruises. We have new contests online all the time; Look for your Vacation Specialist’s information on the back cover. Come visit and enter today!

You can be the next winner!

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Heating it up in the

Mayan Riviera Call it the Mayan Riviera or the Mexican Caribbean – either way, its home to some of Mexico’s finest resorts, most fascinating attractions and spectacular scenery. Liz Fleming

Looking for a delectable vacation escape? Mexico’s Caribbean coast offers a smorgasbord of varied experiences. With a climate that invites year-round beach basking, this sun-kissed coastline is home to some of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations.

Heeb Photos / eStock Photo

The 86-mile stretch of coastline in the north-eastern Yucatan Peninsula, known since 1999 as the Mayan Riviera, is host to some of the world’s hottest vacation destinations. From empty sand to a city of 500,000, in just a few decades Cancun has exploded into the Caribbean’s premier tourist choice. Cozumel, once a rustic diver’s retreat, still lures SCUBA lovers but has blossomed, adding upscale hotels and fine restaurants. Cruise guests love exploring the island, enjoying beaches and shopping for exquisite Mexican silver jewelry and handcrafts. Looking for sand and sun? Eager to explore the history of an ancient culture? Longing to challenge your adventurous side? You’ll find what you’re looking for in the Mayan Riviera. From the ancient ruins at Chichén Itzá, Coba and Tulum, to the world-class dive sites off Cozumel, to the bio-diversity of the UNESCO World Heritage site at Sian Ka’an and the hot nightlife of Cancun – this is Mexico at its best.

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Ancient Mayan ruins at Tulum

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Huber/Sime / eStock Photo

The underground rivers at Xcaret are part of a large cave system deep under the Yucatan peninsula.

Dining and Dancing

Family Fun

Because the Mayan Riviera is a favorite with travelers from around the world, dining choices are many. You’ll find everything from palapa-shaded beachside bistros, to sophisticated restaurants serving international cuisine. Keen to try local favorites? Choose fresh fish – grouper, dorado, red snapper, and sea bass. Seafood like shrimp, oysters and lobster often has to be flown in frozen from the Gulf coast. One great seaside choice is La Choza, in Cozumel – known for traditional Mayan food and rich, delicious sauces. Longing for luxury? Try Casa Rolandi on Isla Mujeres. Part of the Hotel Villa Rolandi, this quietly upscale restaurant’s panoramic views of the Caribbean are almost as delectable as their Swiss-Italian cuisine. You can’t experience the Mayan Riviera without spending a night on the town, so head for Cancun’s world famous Coco Bongo Show & Disco. A blend of nightclub, Broadway musical and Cirque du Soleil performance, Coco Bongo mixes live singers and dancers on balcony stages, with acrobats flying through the air just over your head. Don’t say no if a waiter lifts you up to dance on the bar – it’s considered an honor!

Looking for family entertainment? Head to Xel-Há, the world’s largest aquarium, to snorkel, swim with manatees, do a stingray encounter or even try SNUBA – a walk under water, wearing an oxygen-fed bubble, surrounded by fish and friendly sea turtles. Prefer your fun on terra firma? Choose Xcaret. A short drive from Cancun, the Xcaret eco-archaeological park features swimming in an underground river, a butter­fly pavilion, a spider monkey center, a manatee lagoon, a Mayan village and a traditional Mexican cemetery replica. Don’t miss the musical revue performed by 300 costumed singers, dancers and actors that covers the fascinating history of Mexico!

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mayan riviera | where to stay

Hotel Riu Cancun In the heart of it all – that’s where you are at the Hotel Riu Cancun. On a sandy white beach with turquoise water, this all-inclusive hotel is close to Cancun’s scenic viewing tower, a short drive from the Mayan ruins at Chichén Itzá and near Isla Mujeres, a favorite seaside day-trip getaway. Though it’s tempting simply to loll beside the three sparkling swimming pools, recline on a complimentary beach sun lounger or indulge in a pamper-fest at the relaxing and rejuvenating Renova Spa, this stunning property also offers a wide range of facilities for active guests. In addition to a well-equipped gym and tennis courts, the resort has windsurfers, canoes and snorkeling equipment as well as catamarans. To tempt your palate, the Hotel Riu offers not only a plentiful grill and steakhouse buffet, but also a Brazilian Rodizio and a Japanese-themed restaurant.

Occidental Grand Cozumel Hotel

Occidental Grand Cozumel Hotel Discovering the all-inclusive Occidental Grand Cozumel, surrounded by fragrant tropical mangroves, is a bit like wandering into Paradise. Though the resort boasts a stunning sweep of beachfront and a great collection of kayaks and windsurfers, the Occidental Grand Cozumel’s greatest asset is its proximity to the Palancar Reef, one of the world’s top five dive destinations. Divers and snorkelers are charmed by the 1,500 blue runner fish that have lived inshore since the hotel opened – a sort of underwater welcoming party. And families love to swim with the dolphins, a special Occidental Experience program. Every Occidental Grand Cozumel guest enjoys outstanding accommodations and gourmet dining at six on-site restaurants, but those who upgrade to Royal Club status are also granted access to the Royal Club lounge, La Carreta restaurant, a private pool, and more. With endless entertainment, a luxurious spa and a Kids Club to keep young guests happy (and parents happier still!) this resort anticipates your every need.

Hotel Riu Cancun

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Azul Sensatori Mexico

Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun is more than a beautiful beachfront resort with stunning views of the Mexican Caribbean, divine cuisine, impeccable amenities and charming service. This resort offers everything its competitors do – then adds a wealth of tiny, oh-soimportant details many other hotels miss. Take, for example, the suspended king beds that hang in special guest rooms, the in-suite Jacuzzi tubs for two, the private terraces and balconies, eight swimming pools and a state of the art fitness center – all touches that combine to create a unique guest experience. That’s only the beginning. Add a 16-person open-air Jacuzzi, complimentary green fees at Grand Coral Golf Course, reef snorkeling expeditions on the world’s second largest barrier reef, and shows in an open-air theater and you have one of the Mayan Riviera’s premiere luxury resorts.

Azul Sensatori Mexico At Azul Sensatori Mexico, an entire staff is poised to satisfy your appetite for pampering with their Gourmet Inclusive packages. Described as ‘two steps above any other all-inclusive’, the 438-suite hotel provides beach butlers, turn-down service, premium beverages and of course, gourmet cuisine. Just twenty minutes from the Cancun airport, this luxury resort’s 24-hour room service and concierge ensure you’ll never lift a finger throughout your holiday. Suites featuring heated Jacuzzis for two in the lazy river off your private terrace are a treat for couples, as are the beachfront gazebo massages, the adults-only and premium sections, and honeymoon suites with wrap-around balconies. Those traveling with children love the family connecting suites, the Azulitos Playhouse and the Extreme Breeze Teens Club while those organizing family reunions appreciate the services of the Azul Sensatori’s exclusive Family & Friends Vacation Planner who’ll coordinate all the details. world traveler spring/summer 2014 29

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PREFERRED PRICING PROGRAM

DON’t Miss Your Opportunity To book this ridiculously low pricing As a loyal customer of Cruises Inc., you can take full advantage of the benefits that our buying power provides. In this case, we are offering you special pricing on specific Norwegian Cruise Line sailings to some of the most popular cruise destinations. Our Select Pricing Program rates are lower than other agencies and even the cruise lines themselves. This inventory and pricing is exclusive to us because we have purchased large volumes of cabins in advance. This allows us to pay very low rates and pass the savings on to our customers.

Why is our pricing so low? As part of World Travel Holdings, the largest vacation retailer in the United States, Cruises Inc. has access to cabin space that has been purchased in volume and reserved ONLY for our customers.

Why Norwegian Cruise Lines? Winning Elite Travel Agency of the Year, along with being a member of Norwegian’s President’s Club Elite, is a great testament to the strong partnership we have with Norwegian Cruise Line.

Is this ALL of Cruises Inc.’s inventory? No! We purchase almost 18,000 cabins every year, which is equivalent to 10 cruise ships. This is just a sample of sailings in our Select Pricing Program.

Their Prices Our Prices from from

7 Night Bermuda from Boston Norwegian Dawn October 10, 17, 24, 31, 2014 Departs From Boston, Massachusetts visiting Royal Naval Dockyard; West End, Bermuda

7 Night Alaska Glacier Bay Northbound Norwegian Sun September 1, 2014 Departs From Whittier (Anchorage), Alaska visiting Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Alaska; Juneau, Alaska; Skagway, Alaska; Ketchikan, Alaska; Cruise Inside Passage, Alaska; Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia

7 Night Alaska & Sawyer Glacier Norwegian Jewel September 8, 2014 Departs From Whittier (Anchorage), Alaska visiting Hubbard Glacier; Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Alaska; Juneau, Alaska; Skagway, Alaska; Ketchikan, Alaska; Cruise Inside Passage, Alaska; Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia

7 Night Canada & New England Norwegian Dawn October 3, 2014 Departs From Quebec City, Quebec visiting Sydney, Nova Scotia; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, New Brunswick; Bar Harbor, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts

Interior:

$569

$479

Oceanview:

$599

$539

Balcony:

$939

$779

Interior:

$639

$549

Oceanview:

$849

$699

Balcony:

$1349 $1299

Interior:

$659

$479

Oceanview:

$799

$639

Balcony:

$1519 $1059

Interior:

$699

$599

Oceanview:

$899

$799

Balcony:

$1509 $1299

Fares are shown in U.S. Dollars. Fares are cruise only, per person, based on double occupancy. Guests who cancel and rebook must accept this promotion’s Terms and Conditions. Government taxes & fees, and onboard service charges are additional. Offers are based on availability, are capacity controlled, and combinability with other offers is subject to change or cancellation at any time per Norwegian Cruise Line’s discretion. Onboard credit amount is per stateroom, in U.S. dollars based on category booked and will be applied to 1st and 2nd guest in stateroom. Other restrictions may apply. IMPORTANT NOTICE: Norwegian Cruise Line reserves the right to charge a fuel supplement without prior notice should the closing price of West Texas Intermediate Fuel increase above $65 per barrel on the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange Index). In the event a fuel supplement is charged, Norwegian Cruise Line will have sole discretion to apply the supplementary charge to both existing and new bookings, regardless of whether such bookings have been paid in full. Such supplementary charges are not included in the cruise fare. The fuel supplement charge will not exceed $10.00 per passenger per day. Norwegian is not responsible for typographical errors or omissions. ©2013 Norwegian Cruise Line Corporation LTD. Ships’ Registry: Bahamas and United States of America.

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Their Prices Our Prices from from

7 Day Western Caribbean from New Orleans

Interior:

$749

$549

Oceanview:

$849

$619

Balcony:

$1149

$949

$969

$779

Oceanview:

$1119

$929

Departs From Venice, Italy visiting Corfu (Kerkyra), Greece; Santorini (Thira), Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Katakolon (Olympia), Greece

Balcony:

$1749

$ 1149

10 Night Eastern Caribbean

Interior:

$1049

$899

Oceanview:

$1149

$1029

Balcony:

$1699

$1449

Interior:

$1099

$999

Oceanview:

$1319

$1179

Balcony:

$1589

$1509

Interior:

$1179

$999

Balcony:

$1549

$1399

Interior:

$1579

$1539

Oceanview:

$1629

$1629

Balcony:

$2349

$2199

Norwegian Dawn November 23, 2014 Departs From New Orleans, Louisiana visiting Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; Roatan (Isla Roatan), Bay Islands, Honduras; Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

7 Night Greek Isles Norwegian Jade September 20, 2014

Norwegian Pearl March 6, 2015 Departs From Miami, Florida visiting Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. John’s, Antigua; Fort-De-France, Martinique; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.

7 Day Bahamas & Florida Norwegian Breakaway March 29, 2015 Departs From New York, New York visiting Port Canaveral, Florida; Great Stirrup Cay (Cruiseline Private Island), Bahamas; Nassau, Bahamas

7 Night Western Mediterranean Norwegian Epic August 17, 2014 Departs From Barcelona, Spain visiting Naples, Italy; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy; Cannes, France; Palma De Mallorca, Balearic Islands

12 Night Mediterranean Norwegian Spirit July 29, 2014 Departs From Barcelona, Spain visiting Toulon, France; Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Naples, Italy; Mykonos, Greece; Istanbul, Turkey; Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Venice, Italy

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Interior:

How do I book? Because these exclusive rates are so low, they get booked very quickly. Contact your Vacation Specialist who can help you find the right cruise at the best price available.

3/28/14 3:04 PM


Book EARLYand get the Lowest Rates Available on your next Carnival Cruise Vacation! 4 Night Catalina & Baja Mexico October 26, 2014

Carnival Imagination

®

Starting from

269

$

Oceanview from $319

Sailing Roundtrip from Long Beach, CA

Starting from

299

$

October 25, 2014

Carnival Triumph

Oceanview from $359 Balcony from $489

Sailing Roundtrip from Galveston, TX

7 Night Exotic W. Caribbean

Starting from

419

$

October 25, 2014

Carnival Glory

Oceanview from $529

®

Sailing Roundtrip from Port Canaveral, FL

7 Night Eastern Caribbean October 26, 2014

Carnival Conquest

®

Sailing Roundtrip from Miami, FL

7 Night Western Caribbean October 26, 2014

Carnival Magic

®

Sailing Roundtrip from Galveston, TX

October 26, 2014

Carnival Fantasy

Starting from

269

$

Oceanview from $329

®

Sailing Roundtrip from Charleston, SC

5 Night WESTERN Caribbean ®

5 Night Bahamas with Carnival LIVE

Balcony from $699

Starting from

459

$

Oceanview from $579 Balcony from $749

Starting from

539

$

Oceanview from $689 Balcony from $839

6 Night WESTERN Caribbean

Starting from

339

$

October 26, 2014

Carnival Freedom

®

Oceanview from $439 Balcony from $589

Sailing Roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, FL

7 Night WESTERN Caribbean

Starting from

419

$

October 26, 2014

Carnival Dream

Oceanview from $569

®

Balcony from $679

Sailing Roundtrip from New Orleans, LA

7 Night Western Caribbean

Starting from

489

$

October 25, 2014

Carnival Sunshine

®

Oceanview from $639

Sailing Roundtrip from Port Canaveral, FL

8 Night Southern Caribbean October 25, 2014

Carnival Liberty

®

Sailing Roundtrip from Port Canaveral, FL

Balcony from $859

Starting from

629

$

Oceanview from $769 Balcony from $1069

Carnival Cruise Lines reserves the right to re-instate the fuel supplement for all guests at up to $9 per person per day if the NYMEX oil price exceeds $70 per barrel. *Early Saver: Cruise rates are in US dollars, per person and based on double occupancy. Offer is capacity controlled. Category restrictions and exclusions apply. Carnival reserves the right to withdraw and/or change offer at any time without prior notice. Cruise Fare does not include government taxes and fees. Government taxes and fees range from $37.06 to $319.82, and are assessed on a per guest basis and according to the itinerary. Full payment of the per person deposit is required at the time of booking. All cancellations that occur prior to final payment due date will receive a future cruise credit in the amount of the deposit less a $50 pp service fee. The future cruise credit can only be redeemed on bookings made in USD currency, will be applied to your cruise fare, is non-refundable, non-transferable, any unused portion will be forfeited, and must be used on a sailing within 24 months from the date of cancellation. Full names are required for each guest. Guest may select the stateroom. Early Saver fare is only available for short cruises (5 days or less), 3 months prior to sail date, and available for long cruises (6 days or longer), 5 months prior to sail date. No name changes are allowed. Early Saver fare is backed by a unique price protection policy that allows you to adjust your cruise fare to the best available fare advertised by Carnival and available to the general public. Carnival will honor your request for price protection if the reduction on the total amount paid for your booking results only from a lower cruise fare and not from the booked ancillary services, such as air, transfers, pre-paid gratuities, or government taxes and fees. Early Saver price protection does not apply to Super Saver and Instant Saver fares, group rates, membership programs, charters, select promotional fares, travel agent rebates, or other travel agent promotions not offered by Carnival to the general public. The price protection policy applies only to the category booked; no downgrades allowed. Price protection will be subject to the prevailing fees. A $50 change fee per guest will be assessed for ship and/or sail date changes made prior to final payment due date. The guest is responsible for increases to ancillary services such as air, resulting from changes to ship and/or sail date, or adjustments to cruise fare. Subsequent upgrades in lieu of price protection will no longer be offered. Cancellation penalties apply. Request Early Saver. Ships’ Registry: The Bahamas, Panama & Malta. To submit a Price Protection claim, visit carnival.com/earlysaver. When requesting a cruise fare adjustment, you must provide the lower rate amount and where the rate can be found. Requests will be accepted up to two business days prior to sailing. Lower rate must be: (i) for the same ship, sail date, stateroom category and number of guests; (ii) a qualifying Carnival advertised rate (iii) available for booking at the time the request is reviewed by Carnival’s reservation agents. Verified rate difference is issued as an on-board credit. The on-board credit is non-refundable, non-transferable and has no cash value. Any unused portion of the onboard credit will be forfeited.

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Contact Your

Independent Vacation Specialist to Book Your Carnival Cruise Today.

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Cruising into

Wellness Food, fitness and health-focused lectures add up to a great wellness vacation aboard Crystal Symphony. Anne Dimon

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crystal symphony | wellness cruising

I

It’s 7 a.m. on the Crystal Symphony and a perfect time to go for a run. The rising sun is still low on the horizon, the sea air is fresh and invigorating, and the cooling breeze is so loud as it whips around the forward of the ship that, through my earphones, I can hardly hear Tina Turner belting out Rollin’ on the River. Joining me this morning on Deck 7 is a handful of cruise guests participating in the daily Walk on Water class. Three point seven times around the deck of this luxury ship is about a mile, and the wooden springboard track (less pressure on the knees) makes it a great place to run. This is Crystal’s 10-day Mind, Body & Spirit themed cruise out of San Pedro, California (about a 40-minute drive from Los Angeles) sailing south to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta. The luxury vessel, operated by Crystal Cruises, completed an extreme makeover in 2012. One of the things that makes the ultra-luxury liner special is the crew – an international staff representing about 45 different countries. On this particular cruise there are 570

crew members to about 800 guests – that’s about one crew member to 1.65 guests. When it comes to wellness vacations, it never hurts to feel a wee bit pampered. Fitness classes on the ship begin early each morning as they might at any wellness resort or health spa. Sprinkled throughout each day there are various guided sessions including a morning fitness walk around the deck, nordic walking, yoga, tai chi, spin, zumba and stretch. Simply walking up, down and around this luxury, mid-sized ship with its many features and amenities – like the well-stocked library, its many new upgraded restaurants and lounges, plus swank entertainment show rooms, gym, casino and spa – is a workout. Or you can raise your cardio on the newly resurfaced paddle tennis court. Along with the many fitness options, one of the things I applaud Crystal for is the quality and variety of their educational lectures and workshops led by wellness experts, medical professionals and authors from various health and wellness-focused walks of life. world traveler spring/summer 2014 35

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crystal symphony | wellness cruising

Cruising can be the ultimate“hydro-therapy”

Lido Café

LIKE A CRADLE ON THE WAVES

NOT THE CRUISE BUFFET OF OLD

Every luxury cruise ship has a spa these days, and a treatment table sometimes feels like a cradle on the waves. Very nurturing. Crystal Symphony’s Crystal Spa is a Feng Shui-inspired space washed in earthy colors and natural light. There’s a full menu of treatments and services including Thai Poultice Massage Acupuncture and teeth whitening. There’s also a small hair salon and an adjacent mani/pedi area both overlooking the ship’s top deck and blessed with a partial ocean view. With 10 treatment rooms, the spa is a good size for a ship with just 500 plus staterooms and suites, but demand is high, so staff usually recommends you book a treatment as soon as you board. Port Days – the days that a ship is in port– are generally the best value days at most onboard spas. Today, the Port Day Indulgence offers two of any four selected 25-minute treatments for $109. I choose the Deep Tissue Muscle Massage (50 minutes for $141) and, as it turns out, it was just what I needed after running around the ship and working on my abs in one of the many fitness classes. There’s a small refreshment area where guests can help themselves to tea and water – no snacks but one certainly has ample access to all the snacks one could ever want from various outlets throughout the ship – around the clock.

Since food is the foundation of wellness, I was delighted to learn that ninety-five per cent of food served onboard is made from scratch. Today, food service on most cruises is different than it was years ago. Portions are smaller, there is more fish offered, more fruit, more greens, and in the case of Crystal 100 per cent no trans fats. Special dietary needs – gluten free, sugar free, micro-biotic and South Beach, for instance – are all catered to but when it comes to counting calories, that’s left to the individual guest. All restaurants on board offer healthy choices including veggie wraps at the pool deck bar, and vegetarian and lighter side options in the dining room. In the indoor/outdoor Lido restaurant, a self-serve salad bar compares with salad bars I’ve seen at destination spas – right down to the nuts and seeds. And for those who need and want a bit more downtime between participating in the many onboard activities, the recent make-over included a new electronic “do not disturb” doorbell system added to all rooms. From the quiet escape that is my stateroom balcony – as far as the eye can see – there is water. For many, cruising can be the ultimate hydro-therapy – so don’t overlook it when planning your next wellness vacation. n

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When it comes to wellness vacations, it never hurts to feel a wee bit pampered. world traveler spring/summer 2014 37

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VOYAGES m/s Paul Gauguin

Our all-inclusive pricing offers an exceptional value, with 50% off standard cruise fares on both of our small luxury ships, and included airfare from Los Angeles on all voyages of the m/s Paul Gauguin. With heartfelt hospitality always on board, every destination feels like home.

For more information or reservations, please contact your Independent Vacation Specialist.

m/v Tere Moana

TAH IT I | S O UT H PACI FI C | S O UT H E A ST A SIA E URO PE | L AT I N A MER I C A | C AR I B B E AN

7901A_World Travelers CruiseOne Ads.indd 1

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2/12/14 9:07 AM

3/14/14 5:14 PM 24-03-14 9:41 AM


say aaah BEST SPAS AT SEA

Relax. Revitalize. Rejuvenate. Life afloat has always been a

great way to relax and rejuvenate but with today’s new emphasis on health and wellness,

you might just experience a complete rebirth! LIZ FLEMING

Celebrity’s private hammocks

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SPAS AT SEA | WELLNESS CRUISING

Getting away from it all Privacy is key to relaxation and in the poolside cabanas on Holland America ships guests withdraw in delightful solitude to savor healthy treats delivered by soft-voiced attendants. The luxury of alone-ness is also an important element on Seabourn’s Odyssey where treatments are offered in private spa villas on deck, with oversized bathtubs, daybeds, balconies, and living areas. Bliss! Sanctuaries at sea are some of the newest, delightful experiences from many lines including on the new Royal Princess – soothing and peaceful adults-only areas that just add to those blissful moments.

relax

Celebrity ships’ AquaClass guests enjoy exclusive spa-like stateroom elements and unlimited Persian Garden access, while Holland America Line guests with spa staterooms can opt for treatments in-suite. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Epic also has spa staterooms as do many MSC ships while Windstar’s Wind Surf offers spa suites, complimentary treatments and “Spa Under the Stars” events with on-deck samplings of spa treatments.

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Cruising is getting a healthy new image with guests enjoying a blend of relaxation, rejuvenation and revitalization. Relax in the privacy of these exclusive and luxurious spa accommodations at sea. Left page: (clockwise from top) Norwegian Epic spa suite Costa Serena spa suite Seabourn Odyssey private spa villa MSC Yacht Club This page: (clockwise from top) Royal Princess The Haven on Norwegian Breakaway Celebrity Equinox bubble chair for two The Retreat on ms Eurodam

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SPAS AT SEA | WELLNESS CRUISING

rejuvenate Nourishing the body

A broad view of wellness is leading to fewer broad guests – and it all begins at the table. The gain-a-pound-a-day curse of cruising no longer need apply. While it’s still possible to over-indulge (we’re only human …) heart-healthy choices are available at every turn. MSC Cruises’ ships, for example, have Vitamin, Tea and Coffee Corners featuring fresh fruit drinks as well as Spa Bars on their Musica and Fantasia-class ships. Guests with cholesterol issues are happy to find that many luxury and premium cruise companies (too many to mention here) offer trans-fat-free menu options, while on Costa ships, guests staying in Samsara spa staterooms can dine at the health foodoriented Ristorante Samsara. Celebrity’s elegant Blu Restaurant, designated for spa travelers accommodated in AquaClass staterooms, has a menu filled with health-conscious cuisine and is hugely popular.

From healthy cuisine to personal fitness assessments and spa experiences extraordinaire, your next cruise could see you sailing into a whole new world of wellness.

Wellness cruising extends well beyond spa treatments. Top and left: Celebrity’s elegant Blu Restaurant serves up health-conscious cuisine. Above left: Yoga at the Spa at Silversea. Above right: Windstar fitness center.

Revving up

Activity fuels rejuvenation, and cruise ships offer a wide range of fitness programs and workout facilities. Norwegian Epic’s 31,000 sq. ft. spa and fitness center is reputedly the largest at sea, but even smaller ships like Seabourn’s three Odyssey-class vessels boast two-story gym and spa areas. The Spa at Silversea offers innovative body age assessment technology with personal trainers who create lifestyle programs, and Regent and Oceania offer SpaClub fitness assessments, specialized fitness services and personal training. Crystal offers a host of stimulating enrichment, fitness activities and spiritual services on every cruise for one’s mind, body, and spirit featuring expert lecturers and instructors in yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and general fitness. ■

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Departing Southampton, you will journey through Northern Europe to unforgettable sights and experiences…Stockholm, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Warnemunde, Copenhagen, Skagen with the impeccable service and refined luxury of a Cunard QUEEN.

Royal Viking Adventure

14 days - Roundtrip Southampton FARES FROM:

$

3,199

*

31 August 2014

†On Board Credit offer based on: Inside (category IC) available for the 31 August 2014 QUEEN VICTORIA voyage. All values are per stateroom, based on double occupancy. Singles paying the single supplement earn the equivalent of the per stateroom On Board Credit. *Fare is per person, quoted in U.S. dollars, does not include air travel, is voyage only, based on double occupancy, applies to the first two guests in a stateroom and does not apply to single or third/fourth berth guests. $3,199 fare is based on an Inside Stateroom (Category IC) for the 31 August 2014 QUEEN VICTORIA voyage. Fare applies on a space-available basis at time of reservation, was correct at time of printing and is subject to change. Fares for other categories not shown vary. This offer is capacity-controlled, is subject to change and may not be combinable with any other public or past guest discount. Offer is available to residents of the 50 United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older. Taxes, fees and port expenses of up to $176.03 are additional, are subject to change, are per person and may be higher for Canadian residents. Offer may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Please refer to the applicable Cunard brochure for terms, conditions and definitions that apply to all bookings. Certain restrictions apply. Ship’s Registry: Bermuda. ©CUNARD 2013.

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azamara club cruises | cruise review

Caviar selection at Aquilina

T

AzAmazing concert at Ephesus

They call this line Azamara Club Cruises for good reason. Being on board is like being a member of an excellent club. The butler has helped me get settled into my suite and even offered to help me unpack. Now it’s time to settle into a leather chair next to the fireplace in the wood-panelled lounge and order up a martini, just the way I like it. Azamara Journey is a fascinating ship in the modern cruise world. Even when it’s got a full house there are only 694 guests on board, a capacity that’s small in comparison to most other ships. But the Journey and sister ship Azamara Quest are expansive enough to offer a phenomenal number of options. And there are 390 staff, making service as personal as it is on all but the most premium ships, but without the ultra-premium price. Our journey began in Athens, for a week of touring in the Greek Isles and Turkey. I found my fellow guests a happy group who were always up for some exploration ashore. By day, Journey showed its advantage in being compact enough to dock in smaller ports that other larger ships would have to tender into. We were the only ship at Marmaris on the Turkish coast, a fishing village so small that most ships never visit at all.

It’s a fascinating port, near a remarkably intact ancient Roman city and a sweeping beach that adjoins a sea turtle preserve. Among the highlights on every cruise is a complimentary ‘AzAmazing’ evening. Ours was a private classical concert staged exclusively for us in the 2,200-year old Odeon, the concert hall of the biblical city of Ephesus. At sunset as the ancient site was closed to other visitors, we arrived to be greeted by waiters in togas offering cocktails and appetizers. The torch-lit concert with classical music, opera and dancing under a starry sky was truly amazing. Azamara is also one of the few lines with schedules flexible enough to stay late in ports so guests can enjoy night life. In Rhodes, a large group of guests reserved big tables at an open-air taverna where we danced, feasted, drank copious amounts of beer and ouzo and broke a few plates in good Greek tradition. We could walk back to the waiting ship that didn’t sail until 2 am. Another day on the island of Kos, we had an exclusive guided tour of the Asclepion, where the Greek physician Hippocrates developed healing theories that became the basis of modern medicine and wrote the famous oath for doctors.

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Azamara Journey

Welcome to the

Club wallace immen

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azamara club cruises | cruise review

“I loved how personal the attention becomes on a ship this small.”

Mosaic Café

On a welcome sea day after all the activity ashore, I found Azamara Journey’s spa was a healing oasis of its own. I loved how personal the attention becomes on a ship this small and I found the spa facilities as large as I’ve seen them on ships that are more than twice as big. Many of the spa’s treatments are available as rituals: packages of a variety of treatments like body work, facials, massages and pedicures that you can take all in one hedonistic day or over the course of the cruise. It turned out to be a wonderful way to experience pleasures I might not have otherwise tried. As a guy, it was a revelation to have a relaxing facial that left my skin smoother that it’s been in a decade. When it’s time for dinner, you can actually dine somewhere different almost every night, several of them have their own kitchens and all of them intimate enough to feel like a restaurant on land. The main restaurant, Discoveries is a bright, airy room with wraparound glass windows so most any table you choose has a view. An open seating plan means the maître d’ generally has a table available for any size group. If there is a wait, there’s a large lounge area and bar just outside the entrance that becomes a convenient meeting point for dinner parties. Aqualina, as the name implies, is the seafood house and on this cruise it meant the opportunity to sample some local catches of the day from the Aegean Sea. They’re particularly proud of their starters and the salads include a seafood bouillabaisse, a lobster and asparagus salad and white mushrooms with parmesan and white truffle cream.

Another night it was Prime C, a classic steak house with a clubby décor and a menu of prime cuts of meat that has an inventive flair in presentation of dishes. I actually ordered half portions because the steaks can weigh in at up to 16 ounces and come with big bowls of side dishes. For dessert, the chef suggested a signature trio of flavored donuts with a selection of dipping sauces; I held out for the Grand Marnier soufflé. For a more casual evening, the upper deck buffet area does double duty as a breakfast and lunch buffet and then becomes Windows Café, the casual dining area in the evening. In addition to themed buffets, the serving stations include daily sushi, a stir fry dish and pastas as well as a carving station and dessert bar. The outdoor seating on the rear deck is at a premium and its first come, first served. Other casual options are the European style coffee-house, the Mosaic Café with baristas delivering all manner of beverages and a variety of tasty snacks and sandwiches and the Pool Grill that serves fish kabobs, burgers, fries and salad by day. In the evening, it turns into a venue for table-service dining. A memorable event late in the cruise was the white dinner, where all guests are encouraged to wear white clothes. The party under the stars showed how guests had bonded during the cruise and one group joined together many tables for a group of 32. Standard drinks are complimentary in all the bars and restaurants and gratuities are included in the fare, so there’s no need to worry about signing tabs or creating impromptu dinner parties by inviting other guests to join you at dinner. There was a different pairing of reds and whites each day from Chile, California, France or South Africa. They were actually also pouring a fine rosé complimentary every day, but that was not mentioned on any of the menus. Of course, there were premium wines available for an extra charge as well, but I was very happy with the house pours. A week proved all too short on my club cruise and I did feel like I’d become a member of a very welcoming society. Azamara is a club that you should really look into joining. n

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Clockwise from top: Guests enjoying a special dinner under the stars. Verandah suite Prime C is a classic steak house with a clubby dĂŠcor.

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Lady Antebellum performs on Carnival Cruise Line in November, 2014.

Music | The fastest growing trend in

Polka | The polka spree at sea has

cruising is concerts at sea. Carnival Cruise Line is hosting nearly two dozen Carnival Live cruises in 2014 and 2015. STYX, Kansas, Foreigner, REO Speedwagon and Chicago have booked multiple oceangoing concerts. Other head­liners include Olivia Newton-John and Trace Atkins. The concerts are arranged by Carnival but there’s an extra charge of from $20 to $100 (for VIP privileges) to attend.

become a perennial on MSC Cruises. This year’s events feature Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra and eight other bands on week-long Caribbean cruises out of Miami. Princess Cruises hosts another long-running series of polka party cruises.

Meanwhile, Norwegian Cruise Line has a loud lineup that includes a Kid Rock cruise, heavy metal festivals and an entire ship chartered for concerts by KISS. And MSC Cruises also offers a number of rock cruises with famous bands from the 70s performing on board.

Poker | Yes, let’s not forget poker. The World Poker Tour’s tournament at sea has become so big that this year it’s on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas. Other poker-themed cruises are scheduled on Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line.

Something to keep in mind is that while some themed cruises are organized by the cruise lines themselves, many are arranged by private companies either as whole ship charters or group bookings. A Cruises Inc. travel agent can make the bookings on these private cruises, but there may be a premium or “participation fee” added to the fare that goes to the organizer. And don’t worry if you like the itinerary of a cruise with a theme but don’t want to hop, shuffle and promenade in a polka party. As my seven-day Caribbean cruise on MSC progressed, many of my fellow guests remained unaware of the accordion-fuelled festivities on board that included four all-star polka bands and dancing to all hours. But the tour operator had booked one of several clubs on the ship for private day and evening events and a regular schedule of entertainment continued to be offered on the rest of the ship. When I peeked in to one of the festivities, though, I was invited by members of the group to join in on the fun. “After all, the more the merrier,” the dancing lady I’d met at check-in said. n

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ASK THE EXPERTS

TRAVEL TIPS

CRAIG ORSINI / CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

The travel experts at Cruises Inc. offer tips and advice to help make your travel dreams come true.

Paul Gauguin Cruises

Disney Cruise Line

If you’re planning a cruise for the first time, or even if you’ve been on a cruise before, you probably have lots of questions. You might be wondering what type of stateroom you should book or which cruise line is best for you. Or perhaps you’re simply not sure what to bring on your trip. Booking the perfect cruise often requires a lot of research. That’s why all of our agents are trained travel experts, who know where to find the answers to these types of questions. So to give you a bit more background on cruising, here are three of the questions travelers ask us the most. Hopefully, the answers will help you plan a better trip.

How do I know which cruise is right for me? Well, figuring that out is exactly what we specialize in at Cruises Inc.. Obviously, the first step is determining where you want to go cruising. If you’re looking for a family-friendly destination, consider Alaska or the Mediterranean, for example. Excursions to places like Asia or South America, however, are popular with more mature travelers. Once you have a destination in mind, the next step is determining which ship best suits your lifestyle. This is where the research comes in. You need to find a cruise line and ship that reflects the type of experience you want to have while on vacation. Thrill-seekers might have fun on the rock-climbing walls and zip-lines found on some Royal Caribbean Voyager class ships. Meanwhile, Princess Cruises offers a more romantic ambience while Disney Cruise Line is perfect if you’re traveling with little ones. Finding the right cruise ship is much easier if you’re able to chat with travel agents that specialize in cruises. But if you’re not ready for that just yet, doing some quick research online can help you narrow down your options.

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RCI’s Navigator of the Seas inside room with virtual balcony Silversea Cruises

Cunard Line Windstar Cruises

How do I select the right stateroom or suite?

What should I wear while on a cruise?

This is an important decision. When you book a cruise with Cruises Inc., our agents spend a lot of time with you to make sure you’re booking the right type of room.

This really depends on the type of cruise you’ve chosen. Most ships nowadays have a fairly relaxed dress code, but there are cruises that offer the opportunity to dress up. There may be more formal evening events available on your cruise, where business suits and cocktail dresses may be appropriate.

Most travelers prefer a room with a view, so they can watch the scenery as it passes by. Many cruise ship accommodations also come with balconies, so you can relax outside while taking in all that stunning scenery. Just imagine relaxing in the sun while watching magnificent vistas go by or staring out at shimmering glaciers while off the coast of Alaska. And the best part is, purchasing a room with a balcony isn’t much more expensive than standard rooms. Next, think about what other room requirements you might have. If you’re traveling with older children or teens, for example, you might want to book rooms that are across the hall from each other. The kids can stay in the interior room while the balcony stateroom can be used by the entire family. Often when you book a cruise, you’re able to select what part of the ship you’d like to stay in as well. You might prefer to be near an elevator or maybe you’d like to be in the very aft of a ship, so you can watch the horizon disappear as you sail out to sea. Our agents can show you the deck plan for each vessel, so you can find the room location that works best for you.

Cunard Line tends to offer cruises where more formal dress is encouraged. You might also find the same requirements on smaller, luxury ships. In general, the warmer the location is that you’re visiting, the less formal your attire will be. And some ships have a casual dress policy no matter where or when you sail, such as Oceania Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Windstar Cruises and Star Clippers. But above all else, you should be comfortable in what you wear. You are on vacation, after all. By researching the cruises you’re thinking about booking, you’ll get a better idea about what to pack. An easier option is to simply ask one of our agents for advice. We’ve been helping travelers find their perfect cruises since 1992, so we know pretty much everything there is to know about cruising. So if you have questions, give us a call us and we’ll help you plan the most memorable vacation. WORLD TRAVELER SPRING/SUMMER 2014 61

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Why Travel Insurance Is

Essential

Having the right coverage helps protect your finances and provides peace of mind. Amber arrived at Sydney International Airport ready to explore the beauty of Australia. But just as she stepped off the plane, the San Francisco resident started to feel ill. Her chest began to ache. Then she couldn’t breathe. Paramedics rushed Amber to the nearest hospital, where doctors discovered that she had developed blood clots in her lungs. This was likely caused by deep vein thrombosis in her legs or pelvis. Fortunately, Amber’s condition improved after receiving medical care. And although her vacation obviously turned out much different than she had expected, this stressful situation would have been far worse if Amber didn’t have travel insurance. Without proper coverage, she would have been billed for tens of thousands of dollars for evacuation expenses required to get

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her back to California. Her trip insurance also covered the tour and hotel expenses that went unused. She was reimbursed for dozens of other medical expenses that were not covered by her private health insurance plan and that would have added to the staggering final tab.

may help you recover the cost of expensive trips that had to be cancelled because of reasons such as illness, injury, death, flight cancellations due to bad weather, or a home damaged by natural disaster. But the true benefit of travel insurance is knowing that you and your family’s finances will

Illness, Natural Disasters Impact Travel for One in Six Americans According to a survey released by the U.S. Travel Insurance Association (UStiA) last January, one in six Americans said their travel plans were impacted by either medical conditions, natural disasters or carrier-caused problems. Thanks to trip insurance Amber didn’t have to worry about medical expenses and was able to concentrate on her recovery. Not all travelers realize how essential it is to be properly insured before a trip. In addition to reducing the financial burden from medical emergencies, travel insurance

be protected if the unexpected should happen. Only 22% of those whose travel plans were impacted had travel insurance. Younger Americans (29%) and those earning $50,000 (25%) or more are the most likely to purchase travel insurance, according to the survey.

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So why are so few Americans purchasing insurance? UStiA says that it’s because most people don’t plan for problems that could result in a cancelled or delayed trips. Sometimes the benefits of insurance are obvious. If you’re traveling during the winter or hurricane season, for example, it just makes sense to prepare in case foul weather washes out or delays your plans. But often it’s the unexpected, worst case scenarios that travelers fail to plan for. These events can have the most devastating impact on your finances, especially when it comes to medical treatment. If you become ill or injured while on a cruise ship, you may be able to visit a hospital at a nearby port. But if it’s an emergency and medical evacuation is required, that could bring a hefty price tag. While evacuation costs vary depending on the medical needs, costs can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars.

Here are just a few of the type of situations that

Cancel For Any Reason

Why Every Traveler Needs To

Consider Insurance

Wondering whether you need travel insurance for your next trip? Consider these questions:

•  How much can you afford to lose if you have to forfeit your vacation?

•  Are

you financially prepared to deal with the costs associated with medical treatment or medical evacuation in another country?

• What reimbursement would you receive if your luggage is lost or delayed? • If your flight is delayed, will you be reimbursed for additional hotel and meal expenses? Most travel insurance plans require that you cancel for specific reasons, but if you are concerned that a reason not listed in a traditional travel insurance plan may cause you to cancel, you may want to consider purchasing insurance with a Cancel For Any Reason component. Cancel For Any Reason plans can be structured differently, but will typically cover pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs in full when cancelling for a specified reason and will cover a portion of those costs if you cancel for a non-specified reason.

This type of coverage is great for major vacations that are planned months, or even a year, in advance. It’s impossible to foresee all the situations that could derail your trip over this long period of time. So by purchasing Cancel For Any Reason insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that your vacation investment will never be wasted. The true benefit of travel insurance is peace of mind. Knowing that you and your family are protected financially allows you to relax more easily and better enjoy your time off.

insurance may cover:

• Unexpected work obligations If you have to cancel your trip due to an important meeting or to deal with a work crisis, you can recover some of your vacation costs.

•  Weather changes From torrential tropical downpours to snowless ski hills, you can cancel your trip due to unexpected weather changes.

After all, you’ve worked hard to earn your trip.

Don’t let the unexpected ruin your vacation.

•  Family emergencies Be there to care for and support your loved ones without having to worry about recovering the costs from your vacation.

•  Your child’s schedule changes Why choose between that pricey dream vacation or attending your son or daughter’s championship game? When schedule changes arise, you can cancel your trip and recover most of the costs.

•  Problems boarding pets It can be difficult to find quality care for your cherished animal friends. If you’re unable to find appropriate boarding, or your pet gets sick, you’ll be able to care for them yourself without sacrificing an expensive vacation.

• You change your mind about the trip Maybe you’ve had second thoughts about that trip or something has come up that’s changed your priorities. You can cancel for any reason.

Call Your Cruises Inc. Vacation Specialist today for more information 2014 Spring World Traveler4.indd 63

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Y

ou May Be Closer to Luxury Cruising Than You Think

When you consider the all-inclusive benefits and perks that a luxury cruise offers, you may be very surprised by the savings compared to the cost of a premium cruise with added extras. Cruisers know about the benefits of luxury cruising such as the higher level of service, the more intimate environment, the extra attention to detail. But, many don’t know about the cost saving benefits when compared to contemporary or premium cruise lines. Luxury lines often include the perks that other cruise lines charge extra for. So you won’t have to worry about spending extra on gratuities, alcoholic beverages, specialty dining, and other valuable items. Add up all of these extras and you’ll see that the cost of a luxury cruise is often equal to, or less than, the cost of other cruise packages.

Sample Itinerary / Savings* + Shore excursions + Alcoholic beverages and wine + Pre-cruise hotel stay (1 night) + Ground transfers + Specialty dining + Pre-paid gratuities + Soft drinks and coffee POTENTIAL SAVINGS:

$800 $201 $200 $93 $90 $84 $81

$1549

Additional Perks May Include Internet access

Pre-/post - cruise Hotel Stay(s)

Airport transfers

Shore Excursions

Contact Your Independent Vacation Specialist for Details

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As part of the largest cruise agency in the world, Cruises Inc. prides itself in offering customers the best prices available along with the most personal service you could imagine.

CRUISES INC. Travel Experts Go the distance to make your

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Contact Your Independent Vacation Specialist

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By the Best

in Travel

We are Norwegian Cruise Line’s Elite Partner of the Year, for the third year in a row

Vacation Dreams A Reality

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2014 Cruises Inc. Spring World Traveler