Contents

Many people are simply overwhelmed when it comes time to book the cruise vacation of their dreams. There are so many options, so many cruise lines, so many destinations, and so many considerations. The list just continues on and on until one feels like they will never be able to sort through the jumble to find the perfect vacation package. But you can book the cruise vacation that youve always dreamed of. And while you can use a travel agent to do it, you can do it just as e...

Fear Not! You Can Book Your Own Cruise Of A Lifetime!

Fear Not! You Can Book Your Own Cruise Of A Lifetime!Many people are simply overwhelmed when it comes time to book the cruise vacation of their dreams. There are so many options, so many cruise lines, so many destinations, and so many considerations. The list just continues on and on until one feels like they will never be able to sort through the jumble to find the perfect vacation package. But you can book the cruise vacation that youve always dreamed of. And while you can use a travel agent to do it, you can do it just as easily on your own if you know how.The first step to booking your cruise vacation is to research and gather all of the cruise information you can find. Doing a keyword search online is a great place to start. You can also visit your local travel agent for brochures and catalogues printed by Princess Cruise Lines and various other cruise lines. Compare prices, destinations, and overall service of each vacation package offered to get a basic idea of what type of package you would like to purchase.Next you will need to choose your destination. Again, the internet is a great tool. Online you will find tourist information, pictures, and testimonials for all of the top cruise destinations in the world. Your local travel agent may also be able to give you some insight into which ports are most popular among which types of travelers. Another great source of information are friends and acquaintances that have traveled with a cruise line. They can give you a unique perspective and advice on which destinations to avoid and which ones to include in your itinerary.Before you visit your travel agent or book online, you should have a good idea of how much money you can spend and how long of a cruise you would like to take. Keep in mind that the time of year that you book your cruise can have a huge impact on the price you will pay. This means that you may be able to book a longer cruise with more ports of call for the same price of a shorter cruise if you book during the off season.Once you have gathered and researched all of the information, you can begin booking your cruise. You can do this through a respected and well-known travel agent of your choosing or you can book your cruise yourself online or directly through the cruise line itself. No matter which method you choose, you will have to make several decisions about your vacation at this point in the planning process. Here are just a few:1. Choose your point of departure and the travel method that you will use to get there.2. Decide on ports of call and any extra activities that you may wish to take advantage of.3. Choose your stateroom. Keep in mind that staterooms vary in price, amenities, size, and services available.4. Become familiar with cancellation policies and restrictions.5. Find out if you will be required to put down a deposit and how much it will be. Some cruise lines will require you to pay the full amount due up front.Travel Agent or Book Yourself?While finding a cheap price used to be the motivation that kept people glued to their computer well into the night looking for the perfect deal on a cruise, the popularity of cruises has led to the equalization of cruise prices all across the board. This means that you will probably pay the same price for a cruise that you book yourself as you would for one that you book through a travel agency. So which method should you choose? Take a quick look at the following advantages of each before you make your decision.Booking with a travel agent has many advantages over booking online, and since the cruise line pays the agent a commission for booking the trip with its line, there is virtually no cost to you when you use an agent. Here are just a few of the advantages of booking your vacation through an agent:1. An agent is quite familiar with all of the cruise lines available and the packages that they offer. This helps them to quickly narrow in on a package of your choice without having to do a lot of unnecessary research.2. Since agents are familiar with popular cruise lines but are not employed by them, they can give you unbiased advice concerning your vacation and which cruise line you should travel with.3. Most travel agents are certified or licensed through the Cruise Line International Association and the Travel Institute.4. A travel agent will look for reduced pricing for your trip even after it has been booked and rebook your sea voyage for you at a lower price if and when it becomes available.5. In the unfortunate even that something goes awry during your trip, your travel agent will act as a mediatory between you and the offending cruise line.Booking online also has many advantages. Although a rare occurrence, searching for last minute deals online can still yield results. But even if you cant find a last minute cruise bargain, you may choose to book online for one of the following reasons:1. Online cruise websites contain most of the information that is available to travel agents. This puts the control of your vacation directly into your hands. You may also be able to browse inside information that would not have come up during a normal meeting with your travel agent.2. You can access online travel agencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This allows for a lot of convenience and flexibility, which is perfect for people who have a hard time keeping and making appointments.3. When it comes to researching your vacation, there is no better place to do it than online. Here you will find numerous research tools as well as photos, diagrams, reviews, schedules, and videos just to name a few.4. Using an online calendar, you can search for the most inexpensive package available through the cruise line of your choosing. Sometimes you can save a few hundred dollars by leaving a week earlier or later than your scheduled time frame.5. Since your travel agent narrows in on certain lines, ships, and destinations according to your wants and needs, you may not be able to browse all of the options available. Booking online will allow you to do this and more.As you can see, there are many advantages of each, so it may be hard to make a decision. If youre finding this to be true, you may want to book your vacation through an agent and perform additional research online yourself. Whatever your decision, once you have looked at all the details, go for it!

Cruising - Five Quick Tips Before Taking A Cruise Ship Vacation

Cruising - Five Quick Tips Before Taking A Cruise Ship Vacation

Cruising is a wonderful and relaxed way to see several countries while enjoying the sun. Today, cruise trips are extremely popular due to their low cost and luxury travel experience.However, like all travelling, there are a few things you need to be aware of before you start to plan your cruise ship vacation.Here are some cruise tips to help guide you on your journey.1.All inclusive cruises are not availableMost all cruise lines do not offer an all inclusive cruise package. Alcohols, soft drinks and even water all needs to be paid for when on cruise ships. The only things included are the cruise itself, your cabin and generally at least 1-2 meals a day.2.Shop around and consult different cruise travel agentsCruise travel agents are like travel agents, but are experts in cruising. Be prepared to tell the cruise agent exactly what you are looking for. You could visit 5 different agencies and receive 5 different quotes for the same cruise. In addition, look for deals in off weeks. A fare may be $2000 one week and $800 the following week.3.Be aware of added chargesIf you are planning to cruise alone and don't want to share your cabin, you can anticipate a single's supplement charge of 10% to 100% of a per person's rate (depending on cruise line). In addition, a lot of cruises require you to pay extra for any cruise shore excursions, or any special activities that are offered on board. Be prepared to spend an additional 30% of the cost to take part in any of these activities.4.Knowing when the best time to cruise isCruising is usually a little cheaper during the spring or fall. Weather can be uncertain, especially in the fall given many Caribbean destinations could have hurricane seasons during this time. This is something to watch out for. The dry season for Caribbean cruises is during the summer where as the rainy season is during the winter. Other cruise lines have short cruising seasons, such as Alaska cruises which normally run from May to September.5.Have fun!One of the most important tips that I can give to you on your "cruise ship vacation" is to have a great time. Relax! After all it's your vacation and you deserve to make the most out of it. There are many things for you to do, fancy dinners and dressing up, meeting new friends, visiting exotic locations, being on deck in the sun, doing cruise "shore excursion" s, and much more! It's important to have fun, so when you come back you feel better about yourself and that you got the most out of your time and money.Remember, cruising is an absolutely exceptional way to spend your vacation. They are very relaxing and a very enjoyable way to spend some time away. However, like all vacations, you need to know what is required before purchasing your dream cruise ship vacation. Keep this in mind and I have no doubt your cruise trip will be a complete success!

Learning Spanish: Begin By Listening - Part 2

Learning Spanish: Begin By Listening - Part 2

The place most worth considering where instruction in how to learn a second language abounds just might surprise you. Africa is the place where more people are multilingual than anywhere else in the world. Thousands of her people speak multiple dialects, different languages in which they conduct all manner of business, multiple native tribal languages, and colonial languages. These Africans have done so without the availability of a classroom, textbooks, workbooks, CD's or cassette recordings, or teachers. And yet, they learn these languages with what would seem to us an almost uncanny ease.In almost every case, it was a work situation in which these folks acquired their new languages. They left their hearth and home to go to another village or city where there was a work opportunity. They found some sort of job and began working with others who spoke another language. The newcomers did not enroll in a language course. They just worked side by side with the people who spoke the new language. They listened. That's all. They just listened. Before long, they began to understand what was being said. Little by little, the confusing chatter became clear. Then came small steps in production in the new language. They lived in the environment in which the living language thrived (immersion). Soon production in the new language emerged. It seems these people learned the new language effortlessly.Some critics will point out that adults are not children and therefore an approach to second language acquisition should not be given such a simple example for adults as "passive listening." And yet, languages are absorbed, assimilated, or acquired by people who are unable to afford expensive language courses using the African method. We met many bilingual Mexicans in the resort areas of Mexico who learned their English in the exact same way as in the African example I've explained above. The way in which children learn their native tongue is the same way poor, third-world people (adults) learn scores of different languages. Need drives them to do what is necessary to learn the language in which they will be more successful in making a living. They do not worry about verbs, direct object pronouns, syntax, tenses, or moods. They just listen.They listen to the language being spoken in the context of seeing the language being acted out by the native speakers. They listen, repeat, and make visual associations with what they are hearing. Soon, they begin to mimic, produce, and put together sentences in simple, feeble, and often error-filled combinations.The African way of second language acquisition is THE WAY in which we all learned our native tongue and still is THE WAY in which we acquire a new language.

Luxury London Hotels Are Dreams Of A Lifetime

Luxury London Hotels Are Dreams Of A Lifetime

Ask almost anyone and they will tell you that staying in luxury London hotels is just part of the perfect trip to London. It is often heard that some save for a lifetime, just to have the perfect trip to London as it may be their only trip. Going to websites which provide information on the four and five Star hotels can be very helpful in selecting the right hotel. There are several hotels in London that are four and five Star; the following are some of the highly rated in the area.Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel * Five Star Hotel in the heart of Knightsbridge* Closest Tube: Knightsbridge/Closest Rail: Victoria* 220 bedrooms and suites* Considered to be 1 of the finest hotels in London* Located near some of Londons most luxurious shops, restaurants and entertainment. * Hotel includes a health club, pool, concierge and room service* Rooms include daily housekeeping, private bathroom and in-room safeThe Hempel * Five Star hotel in West London* Closest Tube: Bayswater/Closest Rail: Paddington* Known as a Boutique Hotel and was created by the designer Anouska Hempel* Located near Buckingham Palace, London Hyde Park and Kensington Palace* Hotel includes concierge, 24 hour room service, a health club, and several restaurants and bars* Rooms include air conditioning, safe in room, mini bar and TV and Internet accessLondon Outpost of Bovey Castle * Five Star hotel* Closest Tube: Sloane Square/Closest Rail: Victoria* Of the London hotels, this was previously an exclusive residence turned hotel* Excellent wine and food list * Has private access to Cadogan Gardens* Within walking distance of Harrods as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum* Hotel includes concierge, room service and express check out * Rooms include air conditioning, a mini bar and TV and Internet accessThe Leonard Hotel * Four Star hotel centrally located in London* Closest Tube: Marble Arch/Closest Rail: Marylebone* Constructed of four 18th Century luxury townhouses* Known for its extraordinary Grand Suites* Near to the Shops of Oxford Street and Bond Street, as well as Hyde Park and Madame Trussads* Hotel includes multilingual staff, concierge and room service* Rooms include housekeeping, in-room safe and air conditioningThe Royal Park Hotel * Four Star Hotel* Closest Tube/Rail: Paddington* North of Hyde Park and Lancaster Gate* Known for its timeless elegance* The hotel is home to the famous statue of Peter Pan, the Serpentine lake and the Diana Memorial Gardens* Hotel includes concierge, room service and laundry facilities* Rooms include TV and Internet access, air conditioning and a robeFinding the perfect hotel to make the dream of visiting London even better is as simple as doing a little investigation on the Internet. There are several London hotels that will provide the luxury of a suite and attentive service, not to mention superb dining.

Hello From Montreal - Part 12 - Dinner At Galianos And Celebrating Canada Day

July 1, 2006After my official Montreal bike tour, my individual explorations of the Lachine Canal and my chat with Andr from a Roule, I decided to go for a little stroll to explore Montreals Port area which was hustling and bustling with celebrations on this Canada Day. I strolled out on Jacques Cartier Pier to an outdoor concert stage where two well-known Canadian singers, Kim Richardson and Sylvie Desgroseillers were enchanting the audience with Mo-Town and R&B melodies.I walked east and happened onto a huge playground area on the little island in the Bassin Bonsecours that was a family entertainment zone. Kids were sliding up and down and in and out of a whole variety of huge inflatable slides. Freestyle skiers were jumping off a large ramp and performing summersaults and various aerial acrobatics. The whole area was packed with people enjoying themselves on a beautiful summer day. I walked up Place Jacques Cartier and into a small pedestrian street called Rue des Amables which is full of portrait artists and galleries. At the end of this little street I found my dinner destination: Galianos.Galianos is located in a 200 year-old building on a small cobble-stoned street in Old Montreal. Formerly a "bote chanson" it opened its doors eight years ago. The restaurant stretches over two floors with an open area in the middle and a wooden staircase leading up to the second floor with seating on an interior balcony. The street-side patio adds additional seating capacity and ambience to this rustic restaurant.Always a big fan of Italian cuisine, I was looking forward to a filling meal after a day packed with exercise and activities. The whole area around the restaurant and Old Montreal in general was absolutely hustling and bustling with people and everyone was in good spirits, ready to celebrate since it was "Canada Day" . Street performers were entertaining the crowd. At just before 6 pm it was still a bit early and I was fortunate to find a seat in the lounge area of the restaurant that features several tables flanking an arrangement of leather couches in front of the fireplace.For a few minutes I was able to catch the owner, John Tsinas, to find out more about this culinary establishment. John is part of Montreals famous Antonopoulos family that owns a variety of hospitality restaurants and hotels in Old Montreal. His uncles are silent partners in Galianos. Johns younger brothers Manny and Peter also work with him in the business. At 40 years of age John is the oldest, and the two other brothers are each five years apart. John says that Manny is the people person and today Manny was seating customers, tryig to keep up with the sheer onslaught of customers that were just streaming into Galianos.Manny is also the man with the creative ideas and he was the one that came up with the idea for lounge area and some of the new decorating styles featured at Galianos. Another new idea is to use a small balcony area above the entrance door as a location for a DJ or some live music. And a wine cellar next to the entrance is presently under construction and will be opened in the near future.John has a lot of experience in the hospitality industry: he started working in the restaurant business at age 14 and has worked his way up all the way from the bottom. He even ran a food warehouse for McGill University which included restocking the vending machines and was a waiter at three different restaurants prior to opening Galiano's. John added that he still thinks like an employee and because of his hands-on experience he always treats his staff members with respect. His working style is very hands-on, he says that today he will be calling out the orders in his kitchen and preparing them for the waiters.Galianos is known for its Italian cuisine and its generous portion sizes. Everything is made from scratch at Galianos. John mentioned their signature dishes: Scaloppini alla Veronica, their Antipasto Misto, a Filetto Tre Sapori, home made Lasagna as well as their Quattro Stagioni Pizza. John recommended that I try Galianos Calamari Fritti. Just about 10 minutes after my order a steaming plate of juicy and tasty calamari arrived, the perfect introduction to a filling meal. I followed it up with a Galiano Salad: a huge plate of salad with cold cuts and cheese. John wasnt kidding when he talked about huge portion sizes!John of course had to get back to work after our little chat, but I thoroughly enjoyed my evening meal and by the time I was finished, the lineup was stretching all the way out the door and down the street. Galianos is obviously a favourite destination for many in Old Montreal and for me it was a great starting point for my evening discoveries which would include the official Canada Day Celebrations and a big concert in the Old Port of Montreal.For the entire article including photos please visithttp://www.travelandtransitions.com/stories_photos/montreal_galianos.htm

Discount Airfare To Frances: Some Tips On Getting The Best Deals

France is undoubtedly one of the most interesting places to visit on Earth. Boasting an attractive and varied landscape, as well as a rich assortment of wines and cuisine, France is definitely a major tourist destination.In order to experience the sights and partake of the delicacies the country offers, you would have to prepare a sizable budget. Obtaining discount airfare to France will help you save cash to get the most of your European vacation.Discount airfare to France can be availed of by purchasing tickets from a discount website on the Internet, or by inquiring directly from your favorite airline company. These two popular sources of "discount airfare" to France will yield rather comparable results in terms of the savings you will acquire. However, each method has its own pros and cons.If you choose to get your discount airfare tickets to France via the Internet, you will be presented which much lower prices for the tickets themselves, but on some sites, you will need to pay more for hidden fees and undisclosed taxes.Getting discount airfare to France at the airline companies themselves will cost a little bit more, but you can be certain of the service - and usually, they will present you with more options on customizing your flight details.This brings us to the planning of your trip. Before you set out looking for discount airfare to France, you will first have to lay out your schedule as thoroughly as possible. As far as six months before your planned departure, you should have a general idea of when you are leaving, what your cities of departure and arrival would be, and how many of you will be traveling together.You will have a much better chance of obtaining great discount airfare to France though if you do not have a definite date of departure yet. Most websites and airline companies offer special discount airfare to France or other countries on certain days of the week. Off seasons will also have more discount airfare to France than holidays or summer.If you can find out when the airline is offering discount airfare to France, it would be more practical to schedule your trip around those dates. Traveling in groups or in pairs will also give you more opportunities of acquiring discount airfare flights to France. For more info see http://www.knowdiscountairfare.com/Cheap_Discount_Airfare_Ticket/Cheap_Discount_Airfare_Reservations.php on Cheap Discount Airfare.A helpful tip in looking for "discount airfare flights" to France is to consider taking a series of connecting flights rather than a direct flight to your destination. While it is not that convenient, traveling this way will oftentimes prove to be more economical and in effect give you more affordable discount airfare flights to France.

Summary

Many people are simply overwhelmed when it comes time to book the cruise vacation of their dreams. There are so many options, so many cruise lines, so many destinations, and so many considerations. The list just continues on and on until one feels like they will never be able to sort through the jumble to find the perfect vacation package. But you can book the cruise vacation that youve always dreamed of. And while you can use a travel agent to do it, you can do it just as e...