Travel tips

Thursday, April 26, 2007

How to Protect Your Health on a Cruise Ship Vacation

It seems that whenever there are health problems on a cruise, it is treated as big news in the media. Yes, the facts are true. There was one instance when 400 people got sick on a cruise. When someone gets sick and it is suspected to be contagious such as the Norovirus, he/she can be quarantined from the rest of the guests. The last thing you want is spending an entire cruise vacation quarantined or trying to recover from an illness.

A ship is a floating city. There are a lot of people on-board in close quarters. All it takes is someone who has a contagious disease to cause an outbreak. If you look at the source you will immediately understand how illness can spread quickly.

But you don’t need the negative publicity affect your enjoyment of a cruise vacation. In fact, there are some simple steps you can take to help prevent getting sick while on your cruise vacation.

Before embarking on your cruise vacation, you will want to schedule a visit with your family doctor. Explain to the physician your itinerary including all the ports of call. Because some countries are known for certain diseases, your doctor may recommend any number of immunizations. This will ensure extra protection against contracting some sort of illness.

If you are taking prescription medications, you should obtain refills. These refills will be readily available if you lose your primary supply while on vacation. This is especially important if the medication is needed for major life support.

When planning for your cruise vacation, pack some disinfectants, hand sanitizers, and soap. Medicine for stomach ailments wouldn’t hurt.

In the first moments while on board the cruise ship, find out if there is an on-board doctor and how to contact him/her in case of illness. Also, familiarize yourself with the layout of the ship. It is important that you know where the emergency facilities are located.

During the cruise, wash your hands with hot water and soap. You will want to wash your hands after using the restroom, after smoking, before and after eating. Avoid touching your face. Avoid person to person contact. This last tip is obviously flexible. The captain may want to shake your hand. Just use your best judgment.

While dining, consider avoiding all uncooked foods. Don’t share drinking glasses. Don’t share utensils. Always drink bottled water.

Keep your shoes on at all time. Although it may be tempting to lounge or stroll barefoot, keeping your feet covered will help you from contracting any diseases.

The risk of getting sick is not just centered on the ship. Ports can offer additional risks on your cruise vacation. While on land, always opt for bottled water or drinks. Ice cubes also present illness risks. Skip the ice if you don’t know where the ice originated or how it was handled.

Most importantly, do not be overly concerned and paranoid about getting sick. The purpose of your cruise vacation is to have fun. You are creating memories that will last a lifetime. However, just be aware of your actions. All it take a little effort on your part to help prevent getting sick on a cruise vacation.

Darren Takenaga travels and writes about tips and topics that help travelers have a safe, fun, and memorable vacation.

Kids at Sea

Water slides, magic shows, pizza parties, scavenger hunts, karaoke, kids-only shore excursions, and disco parties. Who said parents get to have all the fun on a cruise? Well-trained staff, extensive facilities, and coordinated activities, mean cruising with kids can be smooth sailing for the whole family.

Most cruise lines offer private and group babysitting options from around 9am until the wee hours of the morning. They also provide age-specific, organized programs run by trained professionals. Although there are slight variations by cruise line, age categories for organized programs are generally geared to 3-6, 7-9, 10-12, and 13-17 year olds.

100,000 kids were kept entertained last year on Carnival Cruise Lines with 114-foot water slides, video tournaments, talent and puppet shows, ping-pong, and scavenger hunts.

Celebrity Cruises features a full children's program during the summer and on holidays. All other times of the year, they offer a reduced program.

The Princess kids' program on Princess Cruises offers young cruisers their own deck space complete with the whale tail splash pool. Teens get their very own jacuzzi and sunning area. There's also the video arcade, computer games, and other activities such as bingo, name that Disney tune, ring toss, and mini-Olympics.

Club HAL on the Holland America Line provides fun and games for cruisers ages 5-17 and serves up movies, putt-putt golf, late-night pizza, and disco parties.

Royal Caribbean's Adventure Youth program offers its unique brand of Edu-tainment where participants enjoy educational and culture-based activities blended with the daily itineraries, ports of call, games, and team sports.

With Norwegian Cruise Lines, your kids can be circus trained and present a show for the proud parents. Other activities range from magic shows and poolside, root beer float parties to wacky cooking classes, pajama parties, line dancing, and volleyball.

Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, and Holland America Line also offer supervised shore excursions ranging from an afternoon on the beach to gold panning to canoe trips in Alaska.

Whether you are cruising with your toddler, tween, or teens, your Cruise Consultant can help you select the perfect family vacation. Best of all, you'll never hear the phrase "I'm bored" while you're away!

Carnival Cruise Lines' award-winning children's program is called Camp Carnival. Available year-round, the program provides elaborate facilities, age-specific programs/activities, youth playrooms with computers, children's water slides and wading pools, as well as special dining menus. The counselor-guided programs are divided into four categories, Toddlers (2-5), Juniors (6-8), Intermediate (9-11), and Teens (12-15). There is also a playroom for children under three.

The Carnival Elation and Carnival Paradise house is a 2,500 square-foot children's world giving them the largest children's facilities in the Carnival fleet. Divided into three sections, the facilities offer educational computer labs and computer games, an arts and crafts section, and an indoor play area complete with a climbing maze and video wall where kids can watch movies, music videos, and cartoons. An outdoor play area has a schooner-shaped playhouse and wading pool for toddlers. The Carnival Spirit, Pride, Legend, and Miracle also offer Real Virtuality - a high-tech, game room housing video and arcade games.

Age-Specific Programs

Toddlers (2-5)
Fun Ship Bingo
Sega and Nintendo
Cartoon Time
Sponge Painting
Face Painting
Arts and Crafts
Drawing Contests

Juniors (6-8)
Puppet Shows
Cookie Decorating
Beach Party
Disney Trivia
T-Shirt Painting
Sega and Nintendo
Outdoor Games
Sea Animals

Intermediate (9-11)
Ping-Pong, Foosball, Basketball, Air Hockey
Dance Class
Jewelry Making
Scavenger Hunts
Backstage Tours
Photography Workshops
Talent Shows Teens (12-15)
Pool Parties
Pizza Pig-Out
Talent Shows
Slide and Sun
Ping-Pong Tournaments, Ping-Pong, Foosball, Basketball, Air Hockey
Photography Workshops

Babysitting is also available on Carnival's ships for children of any age for around $6/hour for the first child and $4/hour for each additional child.

Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises features a full children's program during the summer and on holidays. All other times of the year they offer a reduced program. The full program is offered for four age-specific groups: Ship Mates (3-6), Cadets (7-9), Ensigns (10-12), and Admiral Ts (13 - 15 and 16-17). Children under three years of age are not allowed in counselor-guided programs. They are, however, welcome in the playroom if accompanied and supervised by a parent at all times. All of the program's counselors are specially-trained in fields of child psychology, child development, education, or recreation.

Programs are offered 9am-noon, 2-5pm, and 7-10pm. There is also an optional slumber party from 10pm-1am. On port days, there is an afternoon party from 12-2pm. On formal evenings, the program offers a complimentary slumber party and counselors take the children to a pizza party for dinner.

Age-Specific Activities

Ship Mates and Cadets
Other Age-Appropriate Activities.
Ensigns and Admiral Ts
Theatrical Shows with Dances and Costumes (during the summer season)
Water Volleyball
Golf Putting

All children have an opportunity to meet the captain and learn how to navigate a ship by the stars. At meals, kids can get together for the Celebrity Breakfast club, or eat dinner with the family and order off a special kids menu. Finally, all kids can participate in a masquerade parade.

In-stateroom babysitting is available on all Celebrity ships on a request basis. Requests must be made at least 24 hours in advance and the charge is $8/hour for two children. Children must be at least six months old.

Disney Cruise Line has some of the most extensive children's facilities sea. Both Disney Magic and Disney Wonder offer an elaborate Walt Disney Theater that resembles a plush, Broadway house. Buena Vista Cinema features Disney flicks. Studio Sea is styled like a television sound stage and offers a forum for G-rated floor shows. These ships also offer a children's program called Oceaneer Adventure for children aged 3-17 and a nursery facility, Flounder's Reef, for children age three and under. All onboard programs are organized and run by caring youth counselors and have both scheduled and surprise visits by Disney characters every day.

Age-Specific Programs
Oceaneer Adventure is divided into three age-specific categories: Oceaneer Club (3-7), Lab (8-12), and Teen (13-17). The Club program is further divided into ages 3-4 and 5-7, while the Lab program is divided into 8-10 and 11-12. Oceaneer Club facilities resemble Captain Hook's pirate ship with plenty of places for activity. Oceaneer Lab allows participants to experience high-tech interactive programs, hands-on science experiments, and ship-wide treasure hunts. Kids 11-12 can compete in a marine biology, knowledge-quest game show and send digital post cards to friends. Teens (13-17) have their own private club, occupying a large portion of deck nine, called Common Grounds - a New York-style coffee house complete with game arcade and Internet Cafe.

In Port Activities
Every cruise with Disney stops at the 1,000-acre private island, Castaway Cay. Here, parents can relax under a palm tree on a white sand beach while their children play in a supervised area or wade in a protected lagoon. The adventuresome can go snorkeling on a course littered with tropical fish, treasure chests and faux shipwrecks (one with Mickey Mouse riding on the bow). Children are automatically enrolled in the island's activities of volleyball, biking, nature hikes, etc. once signed in on the ship.

Children's facilities are open from 9am to 1am. Flounder's Reef nursery has afternoon and nightly hours available on a first-come, first-served basis according to babysitter availability. Rates are $6/hour for the first child and $5/hour for additional children.

Holland America
Holland America offers families a year-round program called Club HAL with counselors and age-specific activities for three age groups (5-8, 9-12, 13-17). Holland America also administers Just for Kids adventure and learning shore excursions while in port. While the largest facilities can be found on Maasdam, Zuiderdam, Oosterdam, and Westerdam, kids will be fully-entertained on all ships in Holland America's fleet.

Age-Specific Programs
All children are treated to pizza and cocktail parties, ship tours, special menus, activities rooms with video games, and wading pools. Children aged 5-8 years can participate in storytelling, candy bar bingo games, arts and crafts, charades, and ice cream parties. The 9-12 year age group is entertained with golf putting lessons, dance lessons, deck sports, scavenger hunts, ping-pong, and karaoke. Teenagers have a teen disco, dance lessons, arcade games, sports, card games, and trivia contests.

In Port Activities
Just For Kids offers supervised shore excursions for kids while in port. While in port on Holland America's private island Half Moon Cay, kids can join a real island treasure hunt while teens participate in their own beach party and volleyball game.

In-stateroom babysitting is available on a request basis. Requests must be made 24 hours in advance and the charge is $7/hour for the first child and $5/hour for additional children from the same family.

Norwegian Cruise Line
Along with providing an unlimited Kids Soda Package and various activity rooms for children, Norwegian Cruise Lines offers a program called Kid's Crew that is divided into four, age-specific categories: Junior Sailors (2-5), First Mates (6-8), Navigators (9-12), and Teens (13-17). The programs and facilities vary from ship to ship, with the broadest programs found on the Star, Sun, and Dawn. Every cruise treats children to a Coke-tail party with the Captain. Norwegian also publishes Kids' Cruise News and Teen Cruise News daily, outlining the activities available to them on the ship. All of NCL's kid counselors attend a training course prior to coming on board that features team and confidence building, safety, communication skills, and working with children who have special needs.

Age-Specific Program
All Kids Crew kids get to meet the ship's captain at a special Coke-tail party, participate in treasure hunts and sand castle building competitions while docked in Great Stirrup Cay, and enjoy the ice-cream bar, chocolate buffet, and children's menu. There are a host of other activities arranged for kids based on their age. Below is a list of some of those activities:

Junior Sailors (ages 2-5)
Activities include: storytelling, t-shirt painting, arts and crafts, face painting, magic shows, Circus at Sea, and numerous other indoor and outdoor activities.

First Mates (ages 6-8)
Activities include: wacky cooking classes, decorative t-shirt painting, sing-alongs, and poolside, root beer float parties.

Navigators (ages 9-12)
Activities include: Sega and other video games, treasure and scavenger hunts, pajama parties, movies, and camp-outs with flashlights and tents.

Teens (ages 13-17)
Activities include: pool parties, volleyball and basketball, The Newlymet Game, and trivia contests, line dancing, teen disco, and special theme parties.

Every ship also publishes Kid's Cruise News and Teen Cruise News daily, so parents, kids, and teens know the activities planned for each day.

In Port Activities
While docked at Norwegian's private island, Great Stirrup Cay, children are entertained with supervised activities ranging from water sports to volleyball matches to treasure hunts.

Group babysitting is offered for kids ages 2-12 years in the evenings from 10pm-1am and in port from 9am-5pm. Cost is $5/hour for the first child and $3/hour for each additional child. Private babysitting is not available.

Norwegian Cruises also sells Kids Crew souvenir packages including a cup, soda pass, t-shirt, luggage tags, baseball cap, and sunglasses. For teenagers, the package is Teen Passport and includes 20 non-alcoholic specialty drinks, dance and pizza parties, and a farewell bash!

Princess Kids, Princess Cruise's fleetwide, youth program provides age-specific activities for children aged 3-17 years. The program is divided into three categories: Princess Pelicans (3-7), Princess Pirateers (8-12), and Off Limits (13-17). Princess partners with the California Science Center and uses National Wildlife Federation educational materials on wildlife and conservation with the children. Their Mexican Riviera program includes studies of the stars, ocean, and coral reef as well as building and racing sailboats, marine biology studies, and squid dissection. In Alaska, the Save our Seas environmental program teaches participants about endangered species like white pelicans, manatees, and sea turtles.

Princess offers extensive children's facilities on all vessels except the Royal, Tahitian, and Pacific. The Sun, Dawn, Grand, Golden, Coral, Island, Diamond, and Star Princess offer a toddler's play area. And Princess Kids programs on the Royal, Tahitian, and Pacific only operate when 20 or more children ages 3-17 are on board.

Age-Specific Activities

Princess Pelicans and Pirateers (3-12)
Arts and Crafts
Movies and Cartoons
Video Games
Scavenger Hunts
Afternoon Ice Cream Parties
Backstage and Galley Tours
Hall of Fame Tournaments
Exclusive Kids-Only Dining
Edu-tainment Programs
Karaoke and Lip-Sync Shows
Pizza Parties
Shipboard Olympics
Pajama Parties
T-Shirt Coloring Off Limits (13-17)
Movies on a Giant Screen TV
Karaoke and Lip-Sync Shows
Casino Night
Card and Board games
Shipboard Olympics
Ping-Pong Tables
Pizza Parties
Separate Jacuzzi and Sun Deck (on Grand and Golden Princess)

Group babysitting is available 10pm-1am for children ages 3-12 years old on all vessels except the Royal, Tahitian, and Pacific Princess. The cost is around $5/hour.

Youth and Teen Centers on the Grand, Golden, Star, Sea, Ocean, Dawn, Sun, Coral, Island, Diamond, and Regal Princess offer complimentary scheduled activities to youth passengers ages 3-17 from 8am-5pm while in port. A special, supervised, complimentary lunch service is also available with parental consent.

Royal Caribbean
Adventure Ocean, Royal Caribbean's kids' program, offers activities in-port, at sea, and in the evening. There are five categories to Adventure Ocean: Aquanauts (3-5), Explorers (6-8), Voyagers (9-11), Navigators (12-14), and Guests (15-17). Using edu-tainment, Royal Caribbean blends educational activities, daily itineraries, ports of call, games, individual and team sports, art, performance, and a general good time into a unique, onboard experience for children, teens, and parents. There are kids-only activities as well as those for the whole family. And Royal Caribbean also offers kids a special menu of hamburgers, pizzas, and other kid-friendly meals.

Age-Specific Activities

Aquanauts: Ages 3-5
Science Experiments
Art Classes and Projects
Un-Birthday Parties
Cookie Creations
Ice Cream and Rock-N-Roll Parties
Talent Show
Pajama and Carnival Parties

Explorers: Ages 6-8
Science Experiments
Art classes and Projects
Wacky Olympics
Name That Tune
Pirate and County Western Night
Movie Mania
Voyagers: Ages 9-11
Science Experiments
Art Classes and Projects
Rockin' Through the Decades
Reggae Beach Party
Scavenger Hunts
Backstage Tour
Sports Tournaments Navigators (12-14) and Guests (15-17)
Pool Party, Toga Party
Mix and Mingle
Sports Tournament
Scavenger Hunts
Prom and College Night
Battle of the Sexes
Dancing Under the Stars
Tae Bo
Talent Show

In Port Activities
Aquanauts, Explorers and Voyagers can participate in sandcastle building, family water-balloon toss, relays, parachute games, and tug of war.

Group babysitting is offered at a cost is $5/hour. In-cabin sitting can be booked through Guest Relations and fees start at $8/hour and children must be at least six months old. Children must be potty trained (no diapers, no pull-ups).

On a Royal Caribbean Cruise, cruisers 18 years and younger can have as many fountain soft drinks as they like for a fixed price with an Ocean Potion Card. This card is available for purchase in the ship's lounges and beverage service counters. Kids-only dinners hosted by expert youth staff give children the opportunity to meet and mingle while parents enjoy a quiet dinner alone.

Planning Your First Cruise - Things To Consider Part 1

So you've heard how great cruise vacations are, and now you've decided to take to the high seas for a fortnight of luxury and pampering. But there's a lot to think about. So before you select a cruise line, a cruise ship or even get in touch with a travel agent, there are certain issues that are vital to consider.

1) Who is going on the cruise?

Although this question should be easy to answer, it can have a bearing on the type of cruise line and ship that you ultimately choose.

If you and your partner want to take a relaxing cruise, there are many ships that are aimed at couples. In fact some cruise ships actively discourage or even ban people from taking children onboard.

If you will be cruising as a couple, it's also important to consider the dining situation. On ships with assigned seating, you will have to specify the size of table that you want. However, on many ships, tables for two are in short supply, so if this is an important issue, this may influence your choice of cruise line and ship. Just make sure that you make this clear to your travel agent or the cruise line when booking.

On the other hand, if you want to take your children or travel with the rest of your extended family, there are certain cruise lines and ships within cruise lines that are specifically tailored with family vacations in mind.

2) How much have you got to spend?

It's possible to find a cruise vacation to suit almost any budget. So before you go any further it's important to work out how much you're willing to spend on your holiday.

But as a general rule, you'll need to set aside at least $150 per person per day to cover the cost of your cruise. However, bigger cabins in more luxurious ships can cost many times this figure.

However, it is possible to get more for your money if you;

a) Book early. Most cruise lines are willing to give generous discounts if you book your cruise 6-12 months in advance.

b) Book late. Likewise, if you book within 2 months of setting sail, most cruise lines will give you hefty discounts to fill the remaining cabins.

3) How long have you got?

The number of days that you want your vacation to last will determine the type and location of cruises that are available to you.

If you only have a few days, the main option is a one port cruise. This means that the ship leaves port sails around the sea/ocean for two or three days and then returns to the same port. The ship doesn't call at any other ports, but it does give you a few days at sea. This is a good way to get the feel for a certain cruise ship, or even cruising in general.

If you have a week to spare, this gives you more choices. If you live in the US, this gives you the choice of Hawaii, Alaska, Florida, Mexico or even a Caribbean cruise. If you live in Europe this will give you access to the mediterranean, north africa, or even a nordic cruise.

Alternatively, if you want to increase the number of locations available, you could fly to and from the start/finish location of your cruise or take a one way cruise either flying to the start location or flying home after disembarkation.

If you have two weeks or longer, you can cruise almost any part of the world.

4) What time of the year?

The time of year that you take your cruise will have a major affect on two issues;

a) The Price: As with all forms of travel, your holiday will cost more during the peak season. In contrast, most cruises are cheaper in the spring or fall.

Traditionally, the winter was considered the high season for Caribbean destinations, but due to the weight of supply and demand (people who have to take their vacation during the summer) the summertime costs are almost on a par with the cost of a winter Caribbean cruise.

b) The Locations Available: The time of year that you take your cruise will also determine the locations that are available. Although this won't make much difference to the more mainstream locations such as the Caribbean or the Mediterranean, certain places have a distinct cruise season.

If you want to go to Alaska or northern Europe, the main cruise season lasts from May till September.

For Antartica, the season is even shorter, running from November to February.

Although the tropical regions are in season all year, there is a great variation in the amount of rainfall throughout the year. Locations such as the Caribbean will have less rain during the summer months and more rain during the winter months.

And finally, although not a restriction as such, some people prefer to avoid places that may be affected by the hurricane season. If a cruise ship encounters a storm it will alter its route to avoid it, which means you may miss certain places that you wanted to visit.

5) What part of the world do you want to visit?

You can cruise almost anywhere in the world, even landlocked countries are often available to explore through river cruises. So it's no surprise that this is one of the hardest decisions for cruise newcomers to make.

The amount of days that you have for your vacation will narrow your options, but beyond that, consider other issues, such as;

If you want to or have to take your vacation at a certain time of the year, which locations are available?

If you particularly want to use a certain cruise line, which locations do their ships visit?

What type of weather and climate do you prefer?

Are there any particular landmarks that you want to visit?

Are there any activities or adventures that you want to experience?

Now all you have to do it to get in touch with your travel agent.

Take a Boat Trip for Exciting Fun

You will find that all you may need is a break from the world at times. By going away on a cruise you will be able to spend a lot of time finding yourself and letting go of all your stress and worries. When you come home, you problems may be waiting for you, but you’ll be ready to tackle them. You will come back home with a clear picture of yourself and all the things that you may find out about yourself. You’ll also be able to find new friends and have a lot of fun experiencing new things, but then you will be able to find new friends as well.

Even if you do the research and find that it is too expensive, there are rooms where you can share a cabin with others. There are other passengers, usually of the same sex, that will split the cost of a room. However, you will have to pay extra if the cruise line can’t give you a roommate.

If you would prefer to have your privacy, then you will find that there are some cruise lines that will offer you lower extra fees if you would like to have a bigger cabin, but it might be less exclusive them most. You’ll be able to get more comfort for the same price that you would pay for a normal cabin. Finding an offer that will give you the best of options will require you to put some thought and research into your planning.

Another option that you may agree on is if you wait until very last minute. Cruise lines will offer the discounts for any vacant cabins. This may require less planning, but you may not have much luck in getting exactly what you like.

However, once you are onboard you will find that you will not spend your vacation online. You will find that there are plenty of activities on and off the ship that you may be able to take part in. You will want to ask the activities director for a complete program so that you can spend your hours exploring the world.

If you would like to meet new people, you’ll be able to find a lot of comfort in dinner. You can walk about getting to know each other. You will want to talk to those at your table and try to make friends so that you will feel comfortable. Then if you end up not liking the group of passengers, you an always ask to be seated at another table. There are hundreds of people on a cruise and you should be able to make at least a few friendships.

Then again, sailing by yourself, you’ll be able to find mystery. Others will want to know your business and everything about you, as well as, explore the cruise and activities by making new friendships at the same time.

Sail Out on Holiday

You will want to think about everything that you are expecting from a cruise. Then you will want to go and take some actions towards getting yourself to some far away lands and views. You will find that dreaming about something is usually the first step towards a reaching a goal.

You may think that taking a cruise is a lot of work, but if you just take a few minutes to do some research, you will find that there are tons of stories and tips that can be found online and they will help persuade you to take a cruise. Some people just need to go to the port because they live so closely to the cruise liner’s departure city, however, most people will have to go through a few more steps in order to get on the cruise. You will find that the ways to get to the ports can be very expensive and time consuming, however, you’ll be able to set sail quickly if you take the time to thoroughly do your research and scheduling.

How you get to the port is to be a decision that is based from financials and organization point of view. The first step in planning your vacation is to choose the location or destination of the cruise. All oceans are available for you to go to. You will find that there are all different cruises for you to be able to visit. There is a wide range of climates that you can travel. You can go to New Zealand to Alaska or even Norway. You can travel to exotic locations or places that you have always dreamed about.

Then once you know where you want to go, you can think choose a month or season to start your journey. You will notice that your timing will depend greatly on your vacation time at work, but you will also have to take in consideration the destination weather and the dangers of certain seasons. Sailing icy waters are very dangerous and there are things like hurricane season that might hold you back.

Next, you will need to plan the duration of your cruise. This means that you might want to take something that is a week or several weeks. You will find that there are also weekend cruises. You will find that there are lots of options for you and you’ll be able to fit it in your schedule.

The price is something that you can control more than you may think. You will find that there are a lot of websites that will help you to travel on a budget. You don’t have to pay for anything extra or luxuries and that will save you a lot more money than you think. When it comes to cruises, it is the extras that will cost you an arm and a leg. The price for your room may be a lot, but you can lower the costs by getting certain locations of the ship. Cruises offer you a wide range of options so that you can afford the trip. You will also find that there are cabins that will give you just as good as view as any other room.

You should begin to have a clearer picture of the type of cruise that you are looking for and you’ll be ready to find some offers. You will find clubs like AAA will offer their members some added benefits when it comes to choosing cruise packages. You will want to take the time to explore the net yourself and find a cruise line and package that you can afford and one that will give you an exciting and perfect time.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Himachal and Uttaranchal Tours Let You Enjoy Another Paradise on Earth

If you are nature lover and want to spend your holidays in North India, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal, parts of Himalayan range, will be of course perfect destination. Himachal and uttaranchal, both, are veritable mosaic of landscapes and environment. With a variety of climate and of course a wealth of flora and fauna, they had been places of natural choice for tourists from abroad as well as domestic tourists.

Himachal and Uttaranchal, both are undoubtedly India’s one of the most important travel destinations. Himachal tours and Uttaranchal tours cover many picturesque destinations. They have plenty of hill resorts, pilgrimage centres, adventure sports destinations and wildlife destination that attract a wide range of tourists from abroad as well as domestic tourists.

Travel to Himachal Pradesh as a part of Himachal tours packages can be surely very fascinating. Blessed with natural beauty, Himachal is indeed a paradise for tourists. Lush green Himalayan ranges, a serene, peaceful, hospitable and comfortable environment, and a rich cultural heritage are some of attractions which tourists will hardly find elsewhere in such abandon.

The high hills of Himalayas attract adventure & sports lover tourists from all over the world. During Himachal adventure tours one can enjoy trekking, mountaineering, Hang Gliding, Skiing and many more.

Travel to Uttaranchal as a part of Uttaranchal tours packages can be a unique and never ending magic. Uttaranchal is a beautiful and calm state with abundance in natural beauty. Uttaranchal has beautiful hill stations, valley of flowers and the four holy places.

Trekking tours in Uttaranchal are also very enthralling. Kumaon and Garhwal, the two hill regions of Uttaranchal, offer excellent treks for trekking. In Garhwal the trek to the source of river Ganga – the Gangotri – is most picturesque. Other treks are Joshimath to Kuari, Valley of flowers, Dodital in Uttarakshi, Yamunotri – the source of river Yamuna, etc.

Wildlife tours in Uttaranchal and Himachal can be very exhilarating and exiting experience. Wildlife of Uttaranchal and Himachal attracts a wide range of tourist traffic. Uttaranchal and Himachal hill stations are also very popular as honeymoon destinations. Every year many newly wed couples as well as young-at-heart married couples come to these destinations for enjoying honeymoon. These destinations have many grand hotels. Hotels in Shimla and Hotels in Uttaranchal also offer exciting honeymoon packages.

Manali, Kullu and Shimla are some of most popular destinations that Himachal hill stations tours and Himachal honeymoon tour packages cover. Nanital, Almora, Ranikhet, etc are some most picturesque destinations for honeymoon that Honeymoon Tours in Uttaranchal cover. Featured with many qualities and blessed with natural beauty Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal, await you for your spectacular tours. Travel to Himachal and Uttaranchal and experience their culture and traditions, unexploited natural beauty, eye-catching snow-capped peaks, exciting treks, panoramic view of green valleys and many more.

Explore India Tours - A Country For All Seasons

The old civilization with its numerous timeless monuments, forts, religious places and myths, traditions of a bygone era, blazing deserts, the many miles of coast, sandy beaches and crystalline clear blue sea, island scenery, lush green villages, traditional & delicious Indian dishes and Warm & friendly hospitality of local people are all reason enough to explore India and spend your holidays in India.

India is one of the most demanding and fascinating tourist destinations in Asia. India is a great landmass that is covered on three sides, like a peninsula, by the Sea. It has three main geographical regions – the Himalayas, the Indo-Gangetic plain, and the peninsula. India is a veritable mosaic of landscapes and environment. The diversity of climates in India with its striking contrasts is an important factor to draw tourists for India tours. The country is a land of all seasons. Here all seasons, winter, monsoon, spring and summer, make their attendance. In any seasons during, India tours, one can feel the fragrance of Indian culture.

During any season India can offer you a stunning range of destinations and experiences. In summer, when the scorching, there are many picturesque Himalayan and non-Himalayan hill resorts. Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Shimla, Kullu, Manali, Mussoori, Nainital, Shilong Darjeeling, Mount Abu, Kodaikanal etc are some of hill resorts in India which have comfortable life during hot weather seasons. India has also many cool trekking trails. During Himachal tours one can enjoy at many hill stations and cool trekking trails. India also has many lovely beaches which provide cool climate during summer and warmth during winter. If you are interested spending your holidays at beaches, Goa tours can be too much fascinating.

In winter season, cities of India come alive with cultural feasts of music and dance. In spring, India provides feast for tourists’ eyes. There are all around abundance of buzzing flora and fauna which provide beautiful natural sights.

One can taste the delights of the Indian monsoon anywhere in the country. Lush green paddy fields attract the attention of tourists. In monsoon, nature comes alive and the peacocks dance. During Rajasthan tours, one can enjoy monsoon and natural beauty of Rajasthan on a camel safari in Rajasthan desert. Because the best time to visit deserts of Rajasthan and the north-western Indian Himalayan region is during the monsoon.

Due to climatic and geographical diversity, India has many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Some well known national wildlife sanctuaries include Corbett, Kanha, Sariska, Periyar, Ranthambore, and Bharatpur.

It is often called that India is land of magnificent monuments. Rajasthan has many imperial monuments, palaces, forts which have their own historical importance. Best known site and monument of India is the Taj Mahal, one of the world's greatest architectural achievements and one of the seven marvels of the world. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.

If you are traveling northern India, your tour will be incomplete without taking a part in one of the most popular tourist circuits, called the Golden Triangle. Golden Triangle Tour cover Delhi (the capital of India where one can see feel unique blend of tradition and modernity), Agra (the site of the Taj Mahal) and Jaipur (the capital of Indian state Rajasthan and popularly known as the Pink City). Delhi is approximately 200 kilometers away from Agra, and 250 kilometers from Jaipur.

India has been always warm and inviting. It is a place which offers infinitive options for your India tours Just choose one that favours you and experience different facet of its fascination. It is waiting for your arrival every time and of course in every season.