Monday, October 18, 2010

What’s Going on With the Port in Falmouth, Jamaica?

Whatever happened to the development of the port in Falmouth?  The joint venture between Royal Caribbean and the Port Authority of Jamaica will eventually be a boon to both parties, but it’s certainly taking long enough!  The Falmouth port was being built specifically to accommodate Oasis of the Seas, as ships that large cannot pull into every port without tendering!   Unfortunately, construction delays caused the ship to temporarily substitute Costa Maya for Jamaica on its Western Caribbean itinerary.  For the island of Jamaica, the project means an influx of money to revitalize the terminal area and even the town itself.

 Falmouth is located midway between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios on Jamaica’s north coast.  Founded in 1769 it is one of the Caribbean’s best-preserved historic towns,noted for its English Georgian architecture.  During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Falmouth was one of the busiest ports in Jamaica, as nearly one hundred plantations were actively manufacturing sugar and rum for export to England. For cruise line passengers, walking tours of the historical town or plantations will surely be of interest to many.  For those looking for more action, Falmouth is a gateway to adventure tours including zip lining, spelunking, waterfall climbing, river rafting, and tubing.

  In order to minimize additional delays ships will soon be allowed to call on the new port in its incomplete state. Work zones will be fenced off and no construction will be done on days that ships are in port.  Ready or not Royal Caribbean ships will begin visiting the port of Falmouth beginning in January of 2011, however Oasis of the Seas will not glide into her berth until sometime in March."

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Repositioning Cruises

Not every ship has a year round home port.  Often a ship will spend a portion of the year in one part of the country…or the world for that matter, and then reposition to another region for the remainder of the year. For example, a ship will travel out of Vancouver and up to Alaska May through September but when that is no longer a viable itinerary due to climate changes, the ship moves south through the Panama Canal and will then journey to warm and wonderful islands out of Florida or San Juan.  In the late fall ships that have been cruising from European shores may make a transatlantic crossing as they reposition themselves for a winter of Caribbean sailings. Since it hardly makes economic sense to move an empty ship, cruise lines sell cabins on these “repositioning cruises.” Interested? Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Since this type of cruise does not appeal to everyone, the cost of a repositioning cruise is often significantly less than a traditional cruise. However, before you count up all the money you’re saving on the voyage keep in mind you will most likely need to fly to the point of embarkation or from the port of disembarkation.

 There are fewer ports of call on this type of cruise since there is often far to travel in getting from point “A” to point “B”.  That being said, the ports included in the itinerary are often more exotic.  For example, as the Celebrity Eclipse repositions from Southampton to Miami, it will call on the ports of Paris (Le Havre), Cherbourg, Vigo, and Ponta Delgada.

 The length of a repositioning cruise often is prohibitive to many travelers. These days too few people have the luxury of time on their side!  Some of these cruises can last as long as 20 days!

 Of course longer cruises and fewer ports of call can mean only one thing….lots of sea days!  Hours upon hours to relax, read, and enjoy all the amenities the ship has to offer!  The library, gym, spa, casino, enrichment programs…

 April, May, September, October, and November are the most popular months for repositioning cruises, especially with ships moving between warm and cold climates.  Good deals and balcony cabins sell out quickly, so if you see something you like, don’t hesitate in booking it.  A well kept secret amongst seasoned travelers, repositioning cruises offer affordable, relaxing vacations worthy of exploration."

Monday, October 04, 2010

Fall Cruising

Summer has come and gone and children are back to school.  We are waking up to nippy mornings, shorter days and are beginning to think about the crazy holiday season that lies ahead. What few people realize, (and the one’s that do haven’t wanted to share the secret), is that the fall is an absolutely fabulous time to cruise!

 Have you checked out the price of a seven night Caribbean cruise during the time between Labor Day and Christmas?  Maybe you should because the prices are too good to be true!  With children back at school and young adults heading off to college campuses, many families have temporarily ceased traveling, leaving more berths for the cruise lines to fill.  Not only does that reflect in the price of a cruise, but also in the cost of a flight down to Florida, opening up an immense array of options! It may also provide a wonderful opportunity to upgrade to a cabin or suite you may not be able to afford during the “high” season. The onboard experience has a different feel to it, too.  Loungers by the pool are abundant, there is never a line at the breakfast buffet, and there is no dreaded search for an empty table with a plate in hand.  As fewer tourists descend on a particular port of call, strolling through the towns is more conducive to chatting with the locals and soaking in the laid back Caribbean vibe.  Shopping on the islands offers the wonderful prospect of being able hunt for unique gifts for family and friends and get some serious holiday shopping done.

 Celebrity Cruise Line and Direct Line Cruises have put together a promotion that will make fall cruising even more enticing!  Book a Celebrity Caribbean cruise sailing between October 1st and December 31st and receive a free onboard credit up to $100 per cabin!  That is in addition to the free travel insurance Direct Line Cruises offers on all cruises 5 nights or longer.  All that left for you to do is pack a bag!"