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Posts Tagged ‘Cruises’

Carnival Vista

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Set Sail to Europe

Carnival Vista on the Way

Carnival Vista on the Way

The latest Carnival Cruises Fun Ship will embark on her inaugural journey to the Mediterranean on May 1, 2016.  Pricing starts at only $1,399 for this 13-day voyage. You can be one of the first to experience the line’s largest ship to date, Carnival Vista as she visits ports-of-call along the Mediterranean Sea, including departures from Barcelona and Athens.

While on board, enjoy delectable dining experiences including in the new Horizons Restaurant and New-England-style Seafood Shack. Beer fans will love sampling mircobrews in the brewery. There’s something for all tastes.

As the name implies, the real star of this ship will be the views, which were a critical component to the ship’s design. The new open-air design gives guests a more intimate feeling, which in itself is surprising given the sheer size.  However, the sweeping views can be appreciated throughout the ship.

Carnival Vista Family Areas (Photo Courtesy of Carnival Cruises)

Carnival Vista Family Areas (Photo Courtesy of Carnival)

The ship boasts the first ever IMAX theater at sea. There’s also a family-friendly dedicated area.

Here are some of the sailings* you might want to consider:

  • 8-day Sailings –  Barcelona, Spain from $899
  • 10-day Sailings – Barcelona, Spain from $1,099
  • 12-day Sailings – Barcelona, Spain from $1,649
  • 10-day Sailings – Athens, Greece from $1,099
  • Oct 21, 2016 – TransAtlantic from Barcelona, Spain to New York, starting at $1,399

* Terms and conditions apply so call us for details.

Call us for exact pricing for the stateroom and departure of your choice.  Bon Voyage!

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All-inclusive Cruising

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All-inclusive Cruising Hottest Trend

Celebrity Offers All-inclusive steel Cruising

Celebrity Offers All-inclusive steel Cruising

Cruise lines have realized cruisers want to pay for their vacation upfront and then enjoy a vacation free from the worry of overspending. The solution has been to offer cruisers an all-inclusive cruising package. This gives passengers the opportunity to select and receive amenities such as on-board Internet, soft drink and alcohol packages, gratuities and shore excursions.

Celebrity Cruises upped the ante for all-inclusive cruising when they introduced the highly popular 3 for Free program. Now, other lines have started their own plans including an array of prepaid options that have set a new standard for all-inclusive cruising.  Prior only upscale, luxury cruise lines offered such great deals. But now, all cruise lovers can jump on board this hot trend.


All-inclusive Cruising – Value Plus Choice

So what freebies are on the table?  It varies by cruise line. For example, here are some of the perks being offered:

Norwegian Cruise Line

  • FREE unlimited premium open bar on the short-cruise itinerary for their Norwegian Sky ship that embarks from Miami beginning in 2016.

Royal Caribbean

  • On short-term cruises, guests will receive FREE Voom, a speedy Internet connection while out to sea.

Viking Ocean Cruises

  • Viking joined the ocean cruise scene Spring 2015. Their range of all-inclusive services include FREE unlimited Internet/WiFi, pre-paid gratuities, FREE shore excursions, complimentary wine with lunch and dinner service.

Celebrity Cruises

  • Celebrity, the leader of the all-inclusive cruising package, is offering a game changer with three new levels of all-inclusive offerings for guests who purchase ocean-view staterooms and above.
    • Go Big – Choose one freebie, the classic beverage package, prepaid gratuities, Internet at sea or a shipboard of $300/cabin
    • Go Better – Get all four of the above for a slightly higher cruise fare
    • Go Best – All of the above except the beverages package gets an upgrade to premium alcohol

If you’d like more information on these offers, give us a call. Also, we are happy to book a cruise for you on any of these lines, as well as many others.  Smooth Sailing!


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Travel News 6-29-15

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Travel Use You Can Use

Princess Heads to South America
Christ the Redeemer in Brazil

Christ the Redeemer in Brazil

Here’s some of the latest travel news for cruisers and those traveling internationally.

Crown Princess will be Princess’ largest ship ever to sail a full season of cruises to South America. It has added cruising itineraries sailing the southernmost tip of South America and the Chilean Fjord. You’ll get an opportunity to visit the amazing cities of Santiago (Valparaiso) and either Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires . There will be nine (9) departures during the season.

Crown Princess will offer cruises around Cape Horn on 14- and 33-day itineraries, including overnight calls in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Lima (Callao) on select departures. Crown Princess will sail between two continents and cross the Equator on an Andes and South America cruise featuring Peru, Ecuador and Costa Rica with an optional overland tour of Machu Picchu.

Contact us if you are interested in any of these itineraries.


Delta and Aeromexico To Join Forces

Grupo Aeromexico and Delta have filed an application with the Mexican Comision Federal de Competencia Economica (Federal Economic Competition Commission) for a Joint Cooperation Agreement on flights between the United States and Mexico.

Subject to the required economic competition authority’s approvals, the airlines expect to offer an expanded network, enhancing routes and schedules, concurrently increasing opportunities to co-locate and invest in airport facilities by improving gates, lounges and the overall connecting experience, Grupo Aeromexico said in a statement announcing the application. Additionally, the airlines will increase joint sales and marketing initiatives.

Source: TravelAgent Central


Hepatitis A Outbreak in Mexico

The Center for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 1 Travel Watch for Mexico, particularly Tulum. Please go to the CDC website for more information if you are traveling to this area or contact your travel agent.


Yachting the Riveria

WindStar Cruises has a wine cruise departing on Oct. 13, 2015 for the French and Italian Riviera.  The 7-day cruise departs from Nice and disembarks in Rome (Civitavecchia).  Call us, your WindStar Specialist at 619-944-5202 to book this relaxing yachting lifestyle cruise and receive exclusive amenities.





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Cruise Perks

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Celebrity Cruises Sailing in Alaska

Celebrity Cruises Sailing in Alaska

 Cruise Perks

If you are looking for a bargain, you’ll want to check into the great cruise perks from Celebrity Cruises. Called 1-2-3 Go, the perks package offers the opportunity to enjoy all of the popular amenities guests typically want while on a cruise. Celebrity Cruises must really know their customers. It seems as though someone back at the Celebrity headquarters actually is reading those comment cards they ask you to to complete at the end of the cruise.  Who knew?

The Celebrity Commitment

On select Celebrity departures, guests may select one of three popular cruise perks to enhance their vacation experience while on board:

  1. FREE Classic Beverage Package for 2
  2. FREE Gratuities for 2
  3. An on-board Credit up to $300


Tell Me More
Celebrity Cruises is Perfect for the Foodie

Celebrity Cruises is Perfect for the Foodie

The deal gets even better for European sailings.  Guests can choose from two of the above. If you book the upgraded Celebrity Cruises Concierge Class, then you get to enjoy all three amenities from the package. Concierge Class passengers also are entitled to priority check-in, a special pre-departure lounge, as well as on-board Concierge Service.


I’ll be enjoying a Celebrity Cruise within the next few months and we are taking advantage of the Beverage Package.  No surprise there right?  Celebrity understands that passengers want to know what their expenses will be before the end of the cruise and these programs ease some of the uncertainty of shipboard expenses. These offers allow passengers to not get the nickle and dime treatment by making the cruise pricing more inclusive.


Current Specials

For specific details and information on the terms and conditions on these great amenity cruise perks offers, contact your travel professional. Celebrity has more than 385 breathtaking itineraries from which to choose. Currently, you can plan and book a cruise through April 2016.


For a limited time, Fine Living Enthusiast has an exclusive offer of $200 on-board credit for you to use as you like. This is in addition to any of the above-mentioned offers. Call us for any 2014 Celebrity 7-night or more sailing. This exclusive offer ends December 5. So please call now.

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Last-Minute Cruise – May 3, 2014

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7-day Los Angeles to Vancouver, British Columbia

Embark on a Pacific Coast Cruise

Embark on a Pacific Coast Cruise

Looking for an easy getaway?   Thinking about celebrating your anniversary or perhaps you want to “pop the question”? A few staterooms remain on this California & Pacific Coast cruise. The remaining balconies are only from $1,440/couple.

Relax at the Pool

Relax at the Pool

This last-minute cruise vacation is a no-brainer.  Just pack your bag, drive or take the train up to LA, get on board and unpack. Then head to the bar or pool. You’ll be visiting world-class cities at a leisurely pace, while someone else does the “driving”.

Wine and dine up the Pacific coast toward beautiful British Columbia.  Princess Cruises has a wonderful food and wine program, designed with the foodie and wine enthusiast in mind.

Ports of call:

  • Embark – Los Angeles; Check out Long Beach before getting on board
  • Santa Barbara – Enjoy the Urban Wine Trail or head out to Wine Country; Stroll the pier and downtown
  • San Francisco – So many choices! China Town, Fisherman’s Wharf, Little Italy, Castro, Cross the Golden Gate Bridge to Sonoma or Napa Wine Country, Visit friends
  • Astoria, OR – Located right at the start of the Columbia River! Postcard Views, Cannon Beach, Fort Stevens State Park
  • Victoria, BC – Butchart Gardens, High Tea at Fairmont Empress Hotel, Beacon Hill Park
  • Disembark – Vancouver, BC – Stanley Park, China Town, Granville Island, West End, Okanagan Valley Wine Country

Call  619-944-5202 NOW.  Availability is very limited.  We can also help you with flight arrangements from Vancouver.

And don’t forget – all cruise bookings with Fine Living Enthusiast receive a gift or shipboard credit.*

* Must book with us and pay in full to receive.





Celebrity Cruises Latin Am.

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Plan & Book Your 2015 Celebrity Cruise

South America

Cruise South America

Celebrity Cruises has unveiled its 2015-16 itineraries for South America and the Panama Canal.  There are  a total of 34 different destinations in 15 countries. Exciting destinations includes voyages to the Galapagos Islands.

If you are a Celebrity Cruises Captain’s Club loyalty member, then you’ll have exclusive ‘Priority Access’ for booking on South America and Panama Canal cruises.


There are many exciting ports-of-call on these voyages.  How would you like to check these countries off your Bucket List? Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Falkland Islands – Check!

Christ the Redeemer Brazil

Christ the Redeemer Brazil

Iguazu Falls  - Brazil

Iguazu Falls – Brazil

Sample Itineraries Include:

  • Chile – Argentina
  • Antarctica
  • South America & Panama Canal
  • Valparaiso – Ft. Lauderdale

We can book these for youCelebrity Cruises is a Preferred supplier with my host agency affiliate Nexion, so ask us about additional discounts or shipboard credits. Plus, you’ll receive a FREE bon voyage gift. *

*Upon final payment



AmaWaterways River Cruise

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Experience a River Cruise

porto Boats on the Douro River

http://www.finelivingenthusiast.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=4882&action=edit&message=10 Port Wine Boats on the Douro River

Over the past 20 years, I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying several ocean cruises.  Each was special in its own way.  But, I decided it was time to test the waters on a river cruise.  After studying the offerings from a handful of  lines, I chose AmaWaterways River Cruise.  They even sweetened the pot by offering a themed itinerary called In Celebration of Wine, which was right up my alley.  This is the perfect cruise for a wine enthusiast.

Tulip Fields of Holland

Tulip Fields of Holland




On an AmaWaterways River Cruise, be prepared for an authentic vacation experience. The complimentary shore excursions allow you to enjoy the region’s top activities or attractions, without any real effort on your part.  Since all of the planning and arrangements have been taken care of for you, you just need to be ready at the allotted time.  And don’t worry, with the ship size limited to 175 people tops, you aren’t going to be herded like cattle.  These are small-group tours with a sense of intimacy.  On our trip along the Rhone, we developed friendships with a group of people and we ended up taking all of our tours together.

Pont d'Avignon, France

Pont d’Avignon, France

As you sail along, you will be captured by the unbridled views of castles, quaint villages; while given front-of-the-line access to famous landmarks and museums, as well as hidden gems.  As you cruise along the river, you’re able to soak in so much of the country and its history.  This experience is simply not possible on an ocean liner cruise.

Extraordinary Cruise Cuisine

Enjoy Extraordinary Cuisine on AmaWaterways River Cruise

What is the perfect compliment to wine?  Food of course. The AmaWaterways River Cruise line has been inducted into La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, one of the world’s most prestigious culinary organizations.  When you sit down at the table for dinner, you immediately feel as though you are at a 5-star restaurant.  The staff remember your dining preferences and are attentive without being annoying.

I’ve met several people, including our good friend Kim Vickers who are afraid to take a cruise.  But I’m certain that all of their fears would dissipate if they’d give river cruising a chance.  The rivers of Europe were the original “highways” used for transporting goods and  services.  If you aren’t afraid to drive on the San Diego Freeway or the Pennsylvania Turnpike, then you can certainly take a river cruise.

River Cruise has Free Wi-Fi

Stay Connected with Free Wi-Fi on your River Cruise

What’s wrong? Are you terrified to have one day without Internet?  Don’t worry because complimentary WiFi is available in your stateroom as well as ship wide.  Are you fighting the battle of the bulge?  They’ve already thought about that too. On board every AmaWaterways’ ship, there’s an albeit, small fitness center with a treadmill, Bosa ball, light weights and a mirror to check your progress.  Plus, being so close to own, you can simply slip off the ship and head into town on foot.


Bike Amsterdam

Bike-friendly Amsterdam

Many of the ships also have bicycles, free of charge that you can use to tootle around town. So no more excuses.

AmaWaterways won the Travel & Leisure World’s Best Awards in 2013.  Book a river cruise and see for yourself.

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Top Cruise Destinations

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Cruise Ship Buffet

Cruises offer Gourmet Buffets

The despite the headlines, travelers still love taking cruises.  And why not?  You only unpack once, you get to enjoy gourmet meals each night, the ports of call are fun-filled, and the price is right for any budget.

Nexion, the travel industry’s premier host travel agency, has announced the top cruise destinations its agents are booking for 2014.  In a recent survey, Nexion members indicate that the most popular cruise destination among their clients for 2014 is the Eastern Caribbean, with the Western Caribbean as a close second.

El Morro, Old San Juan

El Morro, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

According to Nexion President Jackie Friedman, CTC, CTIE, this bodes well for clients, given that many of Nexion’s trusted supplier partners have additional capacity in the Caribbean. In addition, 44% of Nexion agents surveyed say they are seeing an increase in bookings made by first-time cruisers as compared to the previous year. Nexion is also proud to announce that they are the recipients of Celebrity Cruises’ Central Region Account of the Year Award for 2013.

Fine Living Enthusiast is a proud member of the Nexion family.

Nexion agents, who indicated that they book cruise vacations, were asked to identify the one most popular cruise itinerary they are booking most for 2014.


Mayan Ruins near Cancun

So where are travelers cruising in 2014?  The six top cruise itineraries are:
  1. Caribbean – Eastern 21%
  2. Caribbean – Western 19%
  3. Europe – River Cruise 14%
  4. Alaska – 11%
  5. Caribbean – Southern 9%
  6. Europe – Mediterranean 6%

    An Old Fort's Canon

    Old Fort Canon in Caribbean

Source:  Press Release, Nexion

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Travel in Style on a River Cruise

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 How to Choose Between a River Cruise & and an Ocean Cruise

Oceanliner Cruise ShipRiver Cruises are a bright spot for an industry that has suffered a black eye with mishaps on ocean-liner cruises that have included onboard fires, sanitation issues and engine failures. However, not all cruises are alike. River cruising provides travelers with multi-stop itineraries analogous to an ocean cruise; however, that’s where the similarity ends. For vacationers who enjoy the cruise lifestyle, nothing compares to a river cruise.Middle Aged Couples Enjoying Wine

If you have been contemplating your next vacation experience, you should strongly consider taking a river cruise. A river cruise is an ideal vacation for adults over the age of 40, including empty nesters, as well as couples with children who are looking to recharge their marriages with a child-free getaway. The river cruise is the perfect vacation for supercharging romance, celebrating milestone birthdays or extended families traveling with parents/grandparents who are commemorating a wedding anniversary.

Here are some of the major differences to help you decide which cruise is right for you and your vacation or special occasion:

Evening in BudapestOn an ocean liner, the destinations are the primary focus of the cruise. You typically sail off each night so you can reach the next day’s port of call. However, with a river cruise, you are experiencing the destination the entire day. All day you are exposed to a region’s attractions. On one of the great rivers of the world, you’ll leisurely cruise through the heart of towns, villages and cities with the shoreline less than 35 feet away. There’s no need for you to stop what you are doing to rush back to the ship before 5:00 p.m. or you’ll be left behind.

• The river cruise ship is docked each night, allowing you to spend evenings in town, further soaking up the culture, history and local attractions. You can enjoy a gourmet dinner on the ship, then walk to the theatre or attend a concert and then end the evening dancing at a nightclub until 2:00 a.m. You want to disembark the ship during the day, and not return until evening. You’d be able to just walk or bike back to the dock where the ship is moored for that night. The ship waits for you, not the other way around. It’s a very freeing experience, especially for people who have challenges with punctuality.

Sunset on Cruise DeckGenerally, on a river cruise, travelers can expect to share the ship with far fewer passengers. This creates a more-intimate setting than an ocean-liner cruise ship, which are designed to sail with as few as 1,100 people to as many as 3000-plus passengers. River cruises sail with as few as 140 passengers, with most ships carrying between 150- 190 passengers.

• There aren’t any cabaret shows, comedians or dance troupes on a river cruise. The entertainment is going to be much more cultural. For example, on a wine-themed river cruise, you’d get to enjoy wine education lectures from a sommelier or perhaps the sommelier would team up with a chef and they would discuss pairing wines with various foods.  Other shipboard activities may include a violin and piano duet or an art appreciation lecture that coincides with an upcoming shore excursion.

• A river cruise has exceptional value; although at first glance, it may appear that a river cruise is expensive. However, a river cruise is an all-inclusive vacation. Not only are the meals included but also, most or all of the shore excursions. Depending on the destination, the excursions will be quite extraordinary with offerings of private wine dinners in a wine cave or a chef-led walking tour to the local markets followed by a cooking demonstration.

Multi-generational vacations

Multi-generational vacations

• The average age on a river cruise is older, being typically over the age of 40. However, many families are bringing along children on the fastest-growing segment of the travel industry, multi-generational vacations. It’s a great way for an extended family of three or four generations to spend time together but without all the hassles of planning day-to-day activities. But the purpose on river cruise is family time, walking together around medieval villages, while experiencing the cultural and historical sites, with the aid of a complimentary local guide. There aren’t any adventure excursions like zip lining or 4×4 rides excursions or rock climbing walls to scale while onboard.

Cruise Ship Beveage Program

Beverage Program

• A river cruise has an included beverage program, which alone could save you several hundred dollars. All wines, beers, soft drinks and tea services are included with dinner. This unlimited beverage service includes premium brands not just the off-brand or inexpensive labels, which cost extra on an ocean cruise. This free-flowing beverage policy may be similar to the bottomless champagne brunches you may have attended at restaurants back home. On an ocean liner, you will have to purchase your alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages on a pay-as-you-drink basis or via a wine package, that your waiter will add to your ship bill.

• You’ll receive more far amenities on a river cruise. Here are some examples of what would be included in your all-inclusive price:

o Daily bottled watered in your stateroom, which you could bring ashore while taking excursions.

o Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship

o Complimentary Internet in your stateroom

o Free movies to enjoy in your stateroom

• Port charges are overlooked charges people forget to include when they are calculating a price comparisons between a river cruise and an ocean cruise.  Port charges are several hundred dollars and are wrapped into the advertised price of a river cruise. Typically, port charges are tucked in a footnote of an advertisement for ocean cruises. It’s just something that you should be aware of since it is frequently overlooked when making the price comparisons.

Whether you take a river cruise or an ocean cruise, both will provide you with a memorable vacation. It just all depends on the activities, amenities and destinations you are looking for on your cruising vacation. Bon Voyage!


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River Cruise $200 Shipboard Credit

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German Countryside along Rhine riverThere’s still time to receive a $200 shipboard credit*. Call me so I can book your 2013 Viking Cruise through the magnificent waterways of Europe.

If you have ever wanted to experience the beauty of Europe, a river cruise is a great way to see many countries and unpack only once. But hurry because this great shipboard credit offer expires at month end.

The eligible river cruise sailings are as follows:

8-day Rhine Getaway – Amsterdam to Basel

8-day Romantic Danube – Budapest to Nuremberg

8-day Danube Waltz – Passau to Budapest

7-day Heart of Germany – Frankfurt to Nuremberg


Here’s an example of what you can expect to see and do on one of these awesome river cruise journeys:

Views of Amsterdam Canal15-day Grand European Tour – Amsterdam to Budapest

  • Visit 5 Countries
  • Enjoy 13-guided tours
  • Travel along the Rhine, Main & Danube Rivers
  • Holland’s Tulips Fields, Germany’s Fairytale Castles
  • See the Main-Danube Canal Engineering Feat
  • Picturesque Vineyards of Autria’s Wachau Valley
  • From $3,999/person


Act Now!

We can also offer you excellent pricing on international air.

*Sailings within 30 days prior to departure are not applicable to this promotion. Offer expires on Sept. 30, 2013

Call us about 2 for 1 Cruises for 2014, plus 2 for 1 air.   This offer has been extended but expires on Sept. 30, 2013



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