The Safe Return of Cruising

If you’re a cruiser, you love cruising and probably already have one booked for 2021. If you’re not a cruiser, you might be thinking there are some deals to be had. To an extent, you’re right, but you shouldn’t wait too long to make your booking for next year. That’s because demand is sky-high (thanks to all those dedicated cruisers). With the CDC likely to extend its no-sail order for ships with more than 250 passengers through the end of the year, most lines aren’t restarting until 2021. And when they do start, they won’t be at 100% occupancy. So just like with premium hotels and tours, space will be limited and if you don’t book early you could end up waiting for a year or two.

During their time away, the cruise lines have been busy putting together panels of experts in infectious disease, public health, hospitality and maritime operations to ensure they can deliver safe and fun experiences on the high seas. The measures they’re implementing will begin before you even board the ship, with enhanced screening in the terminal before passengers board and negative COVID tests likely to be required. The traditional muster drills at the beginning of the cruise will be done electronically, either via app or in-cabin TV to avoid gathering in large crowds. Masks will be required in public areas, and extra space will be allotted for distancing in restaurants and at shows.

Cleaning protocols will be stringent, with every surface throughout the ship routinely sanitized. Even before the pandemic, Lindblad Expeditions introduced the industry’s first self-disinfecting fleet, powered by the ACT CleanCoat system that breaks down unwanted microbes via a photocatalytic process.

If you want to secure space but still not sure how you’ll feel about cruising next year, that’s OK. Cancellation policies are incredibly flexible, with most giving you until 48 or even 24 hours before sailing to change your mind without losing money. The cruise lines and your advisor want you to feel comfortable, not pressured. If you’re not sure what your schedule will look like next year—and let’s be honest, who among us is?—it’s easy to adjust your cruise dates without penalty, so long as there’s space.

Remember, that no-sail order applies only to ships with 250 or more passengers. Small ships, already a fantastic way to have a more intimate experience and get into smaller ports the big ships can’t even reach, can still sail. That means small ships such as those from UnCruise Adventures, SeaDream Yacht Club, Azamara and others are sailing, and adding some unique itineraries to their repertoires.

Cruises will be back and better than ever. The question is, will there be any space left by the time you book?

Travel Dreaming with Seabourn: The Official Cruise Line of UNESCO

Do you want to take a cruise with an all-inclusive luxury cruise line that is the official cruise line of UNESCO?! If so, Seabourn is for you. It was named Best Small Ship Cruise line by Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.

 

 

Here I am with Jessi Fundora, Key Account Manager at Seabourn. We discuss the oceanfront suites, why Seabourn is so special, their incredible partnerships with Thomas, Keller, Andrew Weil, Sir Tim Rice, Brandon Van Flandern, UNESCO and Molton Brown, popular itineraries and special offers.

 

Other travel dreaming sessions with our partners can be found here:

 

 

 If you have any questions, contact Stefany at info@dmctraveltailor.com or stefany@largaytravel.com
With passion and adventure,
Stefany
Top Multi-Generational Trips

Top Multi-Generational Trips

We covered the best trips for solo travelers a couple weeks ago, so now that you’re relaxed or have a de-stressing trip to look forward to, let’s discuss the best trips to take the whole family on. Multigenerational trips have become increasingly popular in the last several years. An informal poll of Largay advisors yielded some great response on the best multigen adventures for your family.

Italy

Italy is great for everyone because there are so many different Italies. The history of major cities such as Rome, Florence, Milan, and Venice is great for grandparents and students alike. Young adults will appreciate the romance and nightlife. There are perfect spots for coming together as a family in a villa. Rentals are typically weekly, and there are amazing countryside options in Tuscany and Umbria or the lake region in the north. Along the way, a great option to stop in medieval towns for a guided tour. From Puglia to Liguria, there is plenty to see. Sicily and the Aeolian Islands could make a trip until themselves.

Costa Rica

It’s close and fairly easy to reach. There’s good service into two airports, one near the beach and one closer to the rainforest and Arenal volcano and its accompanying hot springs. There are fabulous treetop lodges full of activity — horseback riding, waterfall hikes, birdwatching — and spa treatments — coffee exfoliation, mango coconut wraps — in equal force. The Pacific coast has the great beaches of the Papagayo Peninsula, and there’s river rafting throughout, sometimes even right up to your lodge.

Australia/New Zealand

It’s quite possible most of your family might only go to this part of the world once. You might as well all go together. Marvel at the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, tour the Sydney Opera House behind the scenes and sea unique wildlife in Australia. Golf your way through New Zealand, and take time to cruise Milford Sound and trek Middle-Earth in between courses. After all that, somebody is definitely making a return trip.

On a Cruise

The ship itself has shows, plenty of dining options, activities for kids, even babysitting in some cases. The places the ship takes you are breathtaking, especially wildlife destinations such as Alaska and the Galapagos. You’ll see incredible animals in their natural environments along with the gorgeous scenery. A Mediterranean cruise or select family-oriented European river cruises take you in the heart of cities rich in culture. Your travel advisor will help you find the cruise line that fits your family best.

On Safari

A safari is a wonderful experience at any age, and something every traveler should experience at least once. Game drives make for a perfect all-inclusive day out, and everybody loves observing wildlife in action. Africa has so many beautiful natural wonders, from Victoria Falls to Ngorongoro Crater to the Okavango Delta. Those lucky enough to spot all of the Big Five will never forget it. Even if you don’t see them all, you’ll have invaluable memories with your family. By the time your grandkids tell their grandkids about it, the story will be embellished enough that you did see all five.

Wave Season and what it means for you

By now you’ve probably noticed that it’s cold outside. And now that the holidays are over, all this winter weather has long since lost its charm. Either you need to get away to somewhere warm immediately, or you’re already looking forward to spring break or summer vacation. Fortunately, cruise lines are eager to get you on board and offer some amazing specials during “wave season,” the first quarter of the year. Whether you prefer river cruising, small ocean ships or larger ocean liners with tons of onboard activities, book in time and there are great savings to be had. Then you can close your eyes and dream of warm sand and blue skies as you trudge through the snow.

Rivers

With AmaWaterways, book by March 31 and receive an additional $100 per person savings on select cruises that are already marked down anywhere from $250 to $1,000 per person. Book select airfare-included European sailings with Avalon Waterways by Feb. 20 and save up to $3,000 per couple. Reserve a Crystal cruise (river or ocean) by March 31 and you’ll have your choice of $400 per person off cruise fare, $500 per person air credit or $600 per person to spend onboard. For river itineraries with Tauck, pay deposit by Feb. 28 on a departure between March 1 and Aug. 31 to take advantage of $890 per person economy class airfare, $1,490 per person in premium economy or $3,490 per person in business class. The offer also applies to all European land tours and Treasures of the British-Irish Isles and St. Petersburg and the Baltic Sea ocean cruises. Uniworld is offering up to 30 percent on select 2018 sailings, and up to 20 percent off several of its U by Uniworld cruises aimed at 21-45-year-olds for bookings made by the end of March. Viking has two-for-one pricing with air included on select Waterways of the Tsars and Grand European Tour departures this year and next if you book by Jan. 31.

Small ships

Azamara Club Cruises is reducing cruise fare by 50 percent for the second passenger in a cabin on certain sailings for Club Oceanview or higher categories if reserved by Feb. 28. Celebrating its 125th anniversary, Hurtigruten is offering savings of up to $1,250 per person for bookings made by Feb. 28 (March 31 for select Norway sailings). Cruise Alaska’s Inside Passage on Regent’s Seven Seas Mariner and you could get a three-category upgrade if you reserve by March 1. Seabourn’s Alaska incentive will double your shipboard credit to $600 per suite on some Virtuoso Voyages booked by March 13. Deposit by March 15 with Silversea and get up to $1,000 per suite onboard credit plus an upgrade on select sailings all over the world. Save $450 per couple on select seven-night or $600 per couple for 14-night Alaska journeys with UnCruise Adventures reserving by Feb. 28 and receive $100 shipboard credit as well. With Zegrahm Expeditions, new guests booking by Jan. 31 will save 5 percent and past guests will save 10 percent on select 2019 departures with supplemental solo traveler fees waived.

Large ships

Book an ocean view or higher stateroom with Celebrity by Feb. 28 and have your choice of a drink package, wireless internet, prepaid gratuities or $150 onboard credit for the first two guests and 50 percent reduced cruise for the third and fourth passengers in a cabin. Receive up to $500 per cabin to spend onboard and 10 percent on shore excursions when booking a verandah or higher with Holland America on select Land + Sea Journeys by Feb. 28 (shore excursions must be booked by March 15). Plus, suites also receive prepaid gratuities. Princess’ anniversary sale runs through Feb. 14, and in that time you can take advantage of up to $600 per cabin credit and free specialty dining, with deposits as low as $100 per person. Royal Caribbean is offering savings of up to 30 percent and $100 per person credit with opportunities for upgrades and prepaid gratuities through Jan. 31. Past guests of Cunard can reduce their deposits by 50 percent, while all guests can enjoy upgrades, complimentary gratuities and free drinks (in Grill Suites) when booking by Feb. 28.

To maximize your savings and benefits, contact Stefany, Co-Founder/Dream Travel Designer of DMC Travel Tailor at (917) 653-9346 or email her at info@dmctraveltailor.com.