Posts Tagged With: travel

There are 315 articles tagged with “travel” published on this site.


Mistakes People Make When Taking Cameras on Cruises

The most common mistake travelers make is NOT taking a camera when cruising. “After all,” they say, “a smartphone is all use when I’m home. Why should I also bring a heavier camera?”

Cruises represent new challenges most of us don’t face in everyday life. We don’t spend as much time outdoors; we don’t need to contend with never-ending glare, and our subjects are usually within eight feet of us. Also, we’re not visiting places to which we might never return.

For all those reasons, you should take a “real” camera on your vacation along with your smartphone. The best travel cameras weigh less than 2 pounds—including the lens—and are nearly unnoticeable. They also don’t need a flash to take amazing photos.

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The First Croatian Gem, Opatija

Sitting at the foot of the Učka Mountain, the city of Opatija has been a seaside resort since the late 1800s. With the Adriatic Sea shining along an almost 8-mile coast, and Kvarner Bay hosting relaxing beaches. Though there was some decline in the state of the city following the 19th century golden age, it has returned to a gleaming example of the gems that sit along the coasts of Croatia.

Opatija from the sea is an experience of how stunning the Croatian coasts remain to this day. The sparkle of the sea meets bright villas and, further, a slow-rising mountain of green; creating a scene sought after for the sheer excitement of simply being there. This is one of the reasons that Opatija was officially declared by the imperial government to be a climatic health resort in 1889, making it popular for health and wellness tourism.

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So much to say, so much to love in St. Croix. Part 1 of this report, on the fam I attended a couple of weeks ago, talked about the properties we visited. Access it here.

But beyond the hotels, the eight travel advisors in the group and I found an abundance of amazing food; snorkeling and scuba diving just a step away, no boats required; and since this is a US territory, an easy commute requiring no passports or money exchanges. Our group had sunset cocktails at The Waves, dinner at Savant, lunch at The Buccaneer, and brunch at Caroline’s. Some surprising food options were the sustainable vodka made of breadfruit and snacks at the Mutiny Island Vodka distillery (try the conch fritters and the small-batch Meyer lemon vodka), and a sunset dinner at Ama at Cane Bay (get the filet, and then the homemade limoncello and crack pie for dessert).

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I Love This Game

Your business, as your golf game, lies entirely in your hands. You are in control. You are driving the bus. All you have to do is make up your mind to get up, get out, and do what needs doing.

Does this sound familiar?

“I’ve lost my passion for this industry. I find myself feeling bummed-out and I seem to be spinning my wheels more often than not. I find myself questioning if I am in the right business.”

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So much to say, so much to love in St. Croix. Part 1 of my report talks about properties we visited; stay tuned next week for Part 2.

My travel advisor friends told me St. Croix is a feet-in-the-sand US destination with a Caribbean vibe, a mix of luxury and kitschy properties, a home to water sports you can dive into from the beach. So when the US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism (VisitUSVI.com) invited me and eight travel advisors on a fam last month, I was in.

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Avalon Waterways announced that it will make its Douro debut with a new itinerary and Suite Ship, the Avalon Alegria, in 2024.

VIDA PORTUGAL: VINEYARDS & VILLAGES ALONG THE DOURO

Hillside vineyards and historic villages await guests as they sail through Portugal on Avalon’s all-new, eight-day cruise that begins and ends in Porto and is filled with Avalon’s signature, included Classic, Discovery and Active excursion choices.

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Florida Airport Closures From Hurricane Ian

As of today, September 29, many airports in Florida remain closed due to the now downgraded tropical storm Ian.

The storm was a category 4 hurricane when it made landfall in the southwestern region of Florida. The center of the storm headed northeast, coming within 40 miles of Orlando.

Airports affected include Jacksonville, Tampa, and Orlando.

It is uncertain at this time the full damage dealt by the storm, as news is still coming out about the current flooding.

Loire Valley: Wine and Castles

Few countries in the world are more well known for their wines than France. Often paired with excellent culinary treats and opulent architectural settings, there are many spectacular sights and tastes in France. But, for wine lovers and francophiles, there is no better example of this than the Loire Valley. This valley has castles dotted across green rolling hills for the traveler to explore, and a food scene to rival the best in the world.

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The Public Health Agency of Canada has announced that travelers will no longer have to test, or show proof of vaccination, for COVID-19.

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One single hand holding a blue American passport in front of a b

On Friday, September 16th, the US State Department began the test run of their online passport renewal program. Almost 24 hours later, the program met its monthly quota of 25,000 participants and shut down temporarily. Stated in a post on their website, “We are temporarily closing down the online renewal service to new customers and plan to reopen it again in October.”

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A Good Business Decision

What is the definition of a good business decision? What is the definition of a bad business decision? I recently found myself thinking about these two questions and decided to put my thoughts down on paper.

A business decision often surfaces as a result of actions taken that stem from input—input from an outside source. In other words, something beyond your immediate control enters the picture, and you are faced with several viable options. Selecting the appropriate response often defines a stressful decision. What to do? Should you do anything at all? What if you make a judgment error? Time is running out. Pull the trigger. Make a decision.

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Reservations are now open for AmaWaterways’ 2024 Seven River Journey – Spring and Summer Editions. AmaWaterways is introducing its longest journey yet with the complete 49-night itinerary spent on board one ship, the AmaMora, and the first-time experience of sailing the complete length of the Rhine and Danube rivers including the seldom visited Danube Delta region leading to the Black Sea.

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I thought it would be interesting to see how some destinations and cruise lines have changed since 2021. The pandemic has been the worst period for the cruise industry since World War II. While the number of cruises is rebounding sharply, some destinations are facing a cloudy future as cruise destinations and many cruise lines are contending with daunting debt in ways that may affect how they treat their guests.

At the same time, there are some winners on which travel advisors can focus, if they want to benefit clients and themselves, as well as some question marks that can go either way.

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Northern Lights and Untouched Nature in Alaska

Alaska has become a bucket list destination for many travelers, and the reasons why are pretty clear. The 49th state is home to awe-inspiring natural beauty, flora and fauna, the northern lights, a rich culture and history, and welcoming locals. With 39 mountain ranges, millions of lakes, and a surface area of nearly 600,000 miles, there’s much to see when you head “North to the Future,” per Alaska’s state motto.

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Communication… More Than Just a Buzzword

This recent story saddened me. It could easily be equated to a number of similar situations in the travel industry. In this case, it involved a wedding planner and a bubbly, well-intentioned bride to be. A wedding is an important event. A vacation is also an important event. I am confident you can make the connection.

Due to the rush to the alter following a year of postponements, thanks to the Covid pandemic, this particular couple finally found a venue that would serve their purpose to a “t.” Unfortunately, the space available was a full year away… not until July of 2023.

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To understand the new Norwegian Prima, it helps to keep in mind that for Norwegian Cruise Line—and on a personal level, for Norwegian Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio—Prima is not just the newest ship in the fleet. From the curves in the stateroom dressers to the floor-to-ceiling chandeliers in the Orca dining room; from her intimate and upscale little nooks to her seven-deck, 107-suite Haven complex; from the $10,000 painting on the wall to the $12,000 bottle of wine, Prima was designed to usher in a new luxurious vacation experience that will guide its growth over the next six years.

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Earlier this week, we heard from a reader who was “stuck” in Passau on Uniworld’s River Duchess. Underway now, the ship had been stationary since September 3 due to low water levels on the Danube. “The River Duchess has been impacted by the low water near Passau,” Uniworld’s CEO Ellen Bettridge told us on Wednesday. “Good news is that it is raining.”

The stretch of river between Passau and Regensburg had been impassable until Thursday of this week. This afternoon (Saturday), River Duchess was heading toward Bamberg, doing six knots per hour (~7 mph), according to cruisemapper.com.

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Goway 2.0: Re-Engineering for the Post-COVID World

Bruce Hodge, an Australian who met his South African wife in Europe, settled in Canada, and started a global tour operation in 1970, was not about to sit around twiddling his thumbs when the COVID lockdown paralyzed the travel industry. For Bruce, it was a chance to launch Goway 2.0.

“Goway 2.0 was Bruce’s vision of re-engineering the business from top to bottom,” said Craig Canvin, Goway’s senior vice president, in a conversation last week.

“Bruce’s plans for growth of the company are exceptional,” said Canvin. “It’s hard to keep up with them.”

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The news was announced by Josh D’Amaro, Disney Parks chair, at Disney’s D23 Expo that their cruise line division would be unveiling a new ship, Disney Treasure. This new ship will be styled like the setting of the Disney movie Aladdin, including a statue of Aladdin and Jasmine riding the magic carpet character and an opulent interior similar to the grand palace of Agrobah (also featured in Aladdin).

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Are You Willing to Pay the Price?

This week’s article has to do once again with the concept of Kaizen, the practice of incremental improvement.

The truth is that you don’t have to be twice as good as your competition in order to become enormously successful. I have previously labeled this mindset The 1.6% Rule, referring to a downhill Olympic skiing event where the difference between first place and seventeenth place is commonly less than 1.6% in overall time.

The following borrowed quote was responsible for my recalling this all-important reminder:

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For most of us, a river cruise represents a significant investment. First, there’s the investment of planning your vacation and carving out time to do it. If you’re retired or if you have a flexible work schedule, finding a time to river cruise probably isn’t an issue. You still need to plan, though. Planning is likely why you’re here researching on our site, River Cruise Advisor.

Second, there’s the investment of getting to your river cruise destination, and perhaps getting there a few days before your river cruise begins so that you can shake off the jet lag and acquaint yourself with the destination. You’ll spend for getting to the airport, the flight, the transfer to the dock where your ship departs or your hotel. If you’re arriving a few days early, you’ll need to budget for dining out and sightseeing. And if you’re flying in comfort, you’ll need to shuck out extra money for seat upgrades. Before you even get to Europe, you’ve spent a fair amount of money.

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