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Travel To Germany

Travel To Germany

Germany continues to gain popularity worldwide as a tourist destination for vacationers around the world.
Germany’s unique culture, friendly people, and distinctive destinations are just a few of the distinctions that have made this beautiful country one of the hottest tourist vacation spots since 2000. Each year, the number of overnight visitors grows. In fact, Germany attracted over 2.2 million visitors from the United States alone within the first six months of 2006!

Travel to and from Germany with ease and in style can be a relaxing and pleasant experience in and of itself. Depending on where the visitor is coming from, Germany can be reached by boat, airline, automobile, or train. With all of these options available, there is a safe, convenient, and affordable option accessible for travel to Germany for every one!

Air Travel to Germany

Air travel affords the world traveler speed and convenience. Germany can be reached as an air destination from major airlines located across the globe. The most accessible German cities by air include Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt. Germany’s own airline Lufthansa accesses over 75 countries, reaching more than 175 cities. No matter what continent the German tourist is located on, there is a flight headed to Germany nearby.

For the budget-minded traveler, there are a variety of no-frills air fare packages available. Some of the airlines to consider when flying affordably are Air Berlin, Ryanair, Germanwings, and Easyjet. For the most recent and up-to-date deals on airfare to Germany near you, contact your local favorite airline.

Travel to Germany on an Ocean Liner

For the traveler that isn’t in as much of hurry, or wants to combine their German vacation with another unique and memorable experience, visiting Germany by way of a cruise can be the perfect choice for relaxation and fun. The benefits of a cruise to Germany include avoiding the hustle and bustle that can be associated with flying and another option to reaching Germany from an overseas destination than via a plane.

Rates vary substantially with packages, but cruise lines typically offer great deals on packages and for the traveler that is available on a flexible schedule. In fact, some cruise lines can offer rates that come out to be pennies on the dollar when compared to premium air line rates!

Popular cruise lines that port in Germany are Norwegian Cruise Lines and Sea Cloud cruises.

Visit Germany by Train

European transportation is world famous for its efficiency, speed, and affordability. So for the budget-minded traveler, catching a train to Germany is an option that the traveler can’t afford not to look into!

But don’t discount the amenities available aboard trains! Packages offered by German rail travel can vary from the no-frills to the extravagant. There is truly something available for everyone.

Trains allow tourists visiting Germany to relax and enjoy the countryside without the added stress that can come with airline travel. Meeting new people and sharing the experience is a traditional aspect of vacationing in Europe and traveling by train affords the vacationer a unique opportunity to have the option of mingling with their fellow passengers if they want or to ride in privacy if they wish – something no long flights in a plane can present.

Enjoy Fun-Filled Adventure on a Family Vacation Cruise

Enjoy Fun-Filled Adventure on a Family Vacation Cruise

Cruises aren’t only for romance, adults, and college kids. You can take your entire family on a cruise and have just as much fun as you would on any vacation. Many cruise ships today offer family cruise packages with fun stuff for kids and a good, clean atmosphere for the entire family. These usually don’t have the typical “partying” atmosphere as many spring break cruises and cruises for adults only. Let’s see what family vacation cruises have to offer.

Cruisin’ with the Kids

Kids might find a normal cruise boring, but with family cruises, there’s a long list of things to do. A cruise that caters to families and kids will allow you to have a great time without having to constantly come up with ways to entertain the kids. There are swimming pools with special kiddie stuff such as water slides or water games, video arcades, on-board games for kids of all ages such as shipboard Olympics, pizza parties, miniature golf, magic shows, sports, concerts, fun educational projects, and more. Some cruises have family-friendly movies and skating. Many offer on-shore kids’ adventures and tours to enjoy as you reach each destination.

Where to Go

A tough decision to make is where to go on a family vacation cruise. Some places are just not suitable for families. They might have too much of a party type atmosphere catering to couples or single young adults. Some places are just too boring for the family to enjoy. Compare cruise offerings to find a destination that caters to families with attractions such as zoos, children’s museums, amusement parks, water parks, tours of historic sites, or family fun centers. Teens might enjoy more adventurous activities such as snorkeling, parasailing, and hiking. When you exit the boat, you can pick and choose among several attractions to make the whole family happy.

Some great cruise destinations for families include Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida (with Disney Cruises), islands of the Caribbean, Hawaii, California, and Alaska. European cruises are also great for families, allowing you to explore interesting sites in Europe by sea and land.

A Break for Parents

One luxury you’ll enjoy on a family cruise is you can take breaks from the kids occasionally. They can enjoy supervised games and activities while you relax in the Jacuzzi, enjoy a romantic dinner, try out a casino, or just sunbathe by the pool. Many cruises have a trained youth staff for various age groups to direct the children’s activities. A schedule of kid’s activities is provided so parents and kids will know how to plan each day.

Find the Perfect Family Cruise

Family cruises are easy to book using the Internet. Check out some of the main cruise lines to find out what they offer and what destinations are available. Some of the most popular are Disney Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess, Norwegian Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises, and Costa Cruise Lines. You can easily choose a cruise package that will fit your family’s budget. But be sure to book a cruise that offers activities your family will enjoy. It should be a vacation to please everyone.

Some online resources to book a family cruise are Travelocity, Expedia, Travelzoo, and Orbitz. You can usually get discounted tickets by securing an all-inclusive family cruise package. An all-inclusive cruise will include meals, lodging, transportation, and some forms of entertainment. Be sure to find out what’s included and what’s not so you’ll know how to plan financially for the trip.

If your family vacations seem a little drab lately, a family cruise can provide the new, thrilling adventure your family has been longing for!

When it Comes to Engagements, Manners Matter

When it Comes to Engagements, Manners Matter

With marriage proposals modernizing into an “anything goes” mentality, long-standing proposal customs are often considered optional, adding confusion to what’s considered proper when it comes to proposing.

In fact, a recent proposal survey conducted by Korbel Champagne Cellars revealed that 68 percent of Americans agree that there’s no “right” way to propose.

Korbel and etiquette expert Peter Post weigh in on some of today’s most-discussed proposal etiquette issues:

Meet the Parents

* This is a common question and an area where the rules have slightly changed. The concept of asking your intended’s parents’ permission to wed may seem old-fashioned, but the modern equivalent isn’t – discussing your plans and intentions with your future in-laws is still a sign of respect.

On Bended Knee

* Once considered a sign of servitude to the lover, this tradition dates back to the days of knights and chivalry and continues to evoke romance today. But if you think you’ll be weak at the knees when proposing, pick another pose that’s comfortable for you.

Romance Rules

* Decide on what your intended will find sentimental and memorable and incorporate meaningful gestures – such as asking for her hand at her favorite restaurant.

As etiquette guidelines evolve with the times, planning a proposal can be confusing and overwhelming. That’s why

Korbel is once again helping men and women make their ultimate “Marry Me?” moment a reality through The Korbel Perfect Proposal Contest.

Judges will select three first-prize winners and Korbel will bring their winning proposals to life just before Valentine’s Day, 2005, including an exclusive round Signature Diamond Engagement Ring from Blue Nile (created from among the top 1 percent of all diamonds in the world). The grand prize winner will also receive a honeymoon cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line.

Gearing up for an Adventure Vacation Cruise

Gearing up for an Adventure Vacation Cruise

Adventure vacation cruises is one of the most fun and exciting means of getting a new perspective of the other side of the world.
This is because it allows people to see splendid sights, sounds, and heritage of other people in various parts of the world. Apart from giving you a new experience, taking adventure vacation cruises will also open up an opportunity for you to see and appreciate different cultures as well as enjoy nature-endowed sceneries in marine and land.

If you want to explore some of the world’s hidden treasures, now is the time to plan the details of your adventure vacation cruise. This is because adventure vacation cruises can be quite complicated especially for first time cruisers.

To save you from the hassle, here are some of the things that you need to consider in gearing up for an ultimate adventure vacation cruise:

1. Date and length of your adventure vacation cruise. The date of leaving for a cruise should be determined as early as possible because you need to book early. In terms of length, the usual vacation cruises range from six days to one month—depending on how much the cruiser would want to do and see and the time and money he/she would want to spend. But, for an adventure vacation, 6 to 7 days would do. Given this time, you can get all things and activities covered.

2. Who will be going and the total number of the participants of the adventure vacation cruise. Whether you will go on an adventure vacation cruise with your date, family members, or friends, it is always best to discuss thoroughly the final participants of the trip and the destination. Always remember that in planning any adventure vacation cruise, the major consideration should be who is/are going on the cruise and their preference because this will ensure the success of the trip.

3. Which cruise line to use. Determining the cruise lines that sail to your chosen destination will help you finalize your plan. This is because it will give you a estimate of how much you need spend, the amenities to expect, and the activities that you can do during the cruise. You can choose from Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise West, Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Crystal Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean International because these offer the most vacation destinations.

If you are interested in cruising aboard in any of these cruise lines, make sure that you conduct a research so you can compare each of them and come up with a cruise line fit for your needs and budget.

4. The size of ship to be used. Basically, two sizes of ships are used for adventure vacation cruises, which include the small ship, and the one is the big ship. For first time cruisers, big ships are ideal because it can provide almost everything they need. But, today, more and more people prefer cruising using a small ship because it provides an up close look at the destination as well as giving a more intimate environment.

A small ship, on the other hand, is chosen by some because it is more intimate and allows better itinerary. It is up to you to decide which one will give you the best comfort and amenities possible.

Why Not Consider A Caribbean Cruise Special?

Why Not Consider A Caribbean Cruise Special?

Source: Flickr

Come winter and your mind wanders to the lovely cruise ship sailing on the idle waters in your Caribbean cruise special. Why not make that dream come true? You may have the time of your life and the kids will love it as well. The best part of a cruise, as you would know, is a hassle-free trip where you are greeted with a fresh new panorama every morning and you unpack only once. Besides, your accommodation, food, entertainment, etc all are paid for in one price. However, if you decide on a Caribbean cruise this winter then choose a Caribbean cruise special. It is simply great.

A Caribbean cruise special often comes in several versions like a choice between a three, five or seven-day cruise, though people mostly prefer the latter as that offers four different destinations yet provides a couple of days cruising the calm seas with nothing to do but relax with a capital R.

Though a Caribbean cruise special comes “all inclusive”, i.e. your food, sleeping quarters and everything else paid for in one price, you may have to pay for alcoholic drinks as most of the cruise companies keep the bar apart from their usual fare. In some cases, even the tips are well looked after but here again, decency demands a generous tip to cabin and dining room stewards/stewardess.

Caribbean Cruise Special – How To Look For And Book A Cruise

Most travel agents offer a wide variety of choices in regard to a Caribbean cruise special. As a matter of fact, all cruise companies look forward to the winter season when they customarily offer their best ships for these specials. Here are some cruise lines to narrow down your choice – take the Royal Caribbean cruise or Celebrity cruise or Holland America Line, Carnival Cruise and of course, the Norwegian cruise Line. You are advised to carry out an online search to find out more about the various cruise companies, options and their specials.

Consider a Caribbean Cruise Special – If you are cruising for the first time

You want to find out whether a cruise is for you so do some research before deciding on a particular Caribbean cruise, otherwise you could be disappointed if it does not meet your expectations. Don’t forget you cannot leave the ship once you are aboard. For example, if you are a happy jovial young family, you will surely like Carnival cruises which are popularly called “Fun Cruises” as they cater for younger families and are always jam packed with parties and revelry. You may, on the other hand, prefer Holland America Line for the peace and tranquility aboard the ship if you prefer the quieter life, looking for peace and serenity on the high seas.

A Caribbean cruise special could be just the ticket for your winter vacation but choose carefully and I am sure you will have the time of your life.

Take A Virgin Island Cruise

Take A Virgin Island Cruise

Sometimes called “American Paradise” the US Virgin Islands are not only full of white sandy beaches and blue water but green mountains and hills. This makes the islands a popular destination for vacationers. There are plenty of tourists during its peak season during November through May.

To get to the Virgin Islands one must fly or travel on boat. A number of Virgin Island cruises make their way to St Thomas or St. Croix. There are fewer ships reaching St Johns docks as it is the smallest of the Virgin Islands and therefore can’t accommodate certain cruise ships. If you do want to reach its shores there are day trips that can be arranged. St John does not have an airport so you will have to make use of the ferries available on either St. Croix or St. Thomas.

Charlotte Amalie is the capital city of US Virgin Islands and it has the distinction of having the most frequented port of the Caribbean. This is where most cruise ships dock. There is plenty to do in this town such as taking meals at numerous restaurants, going to one of the many duty free shopping centers and or taking part in a variety of land or water sports.

Here are a few names that offer a cruise line going to the Virgin Islands:

Carnival Cruise lines, Princess Cruise Line, Caribbean Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Radison Seven Seas Cruises, Sea Dream Yacht Club, Windstar cruises, Celebrity Cruises, and many others. The cruise ships have all the comforts and luxuries you can think of and come in many different sizes to accommodate anything from as little as six people or a lot more.

You can sail with your own yacht to the Virgin Islands. There are services available that can accommodate a range of vessel sizes for long and short term guests. And if you don’t have a yacht you may charter one and all you will have to do is to get details like food and drinks organized.

To book your vacation cruise, the best source is the internet. There is the option of traveling on a day cruise but most find that time is not enough. With a Virgin Island cruise you are able to see more and take note of the other little islands as you go on your way.

Innovative Sports Features Make Cruise Ships A Healthier Place To Be

Source: Flickr

by Roy Witman © 2006

Generally the phrase “cruise ship” brings about thoughts of pampering, exceptional food, indulgence and luxury. While these are still the case, no one can deny our culture as a whole is becoming more health-conscious by the day. The cruise industry recognizes this. In fact, several cruise lines are incorporating some pretty innovative sports features into the designs of their new ships due out later this year.

Norwegian Cruise Line is looking forward to the launch of its latest vessel, Norwegian Pearl, in February 2007. Pearl will feature a fitness center (as most ships do). But most notably, Pearl will be the first ship to include a full-size, 10-pin bowling alley.

Following the fitness trend herself, Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas (which will debut in May 2006) throws some punches of her own – boxing punches, that is. Freedom will be the first ship to offer a full-size boxing ring. Freedom plans incorporate the inclusion of Royal Caribbean’s popular FlowRider™ surfing simulator as well as a new group Pilates reformer studio.

Fight Klub will offer Freedom guests a variety of boxing-related activities. Go one-on-one with an experienced instructor. Run the circuit with speed bags, jump ropes, heavy bags and more. Spar with body master bags or work out with your own on-site boxing coach.

Looking for something a little less intense, but just as effective? Freedom will include the first-ever dedicated Pilates reformer group exercise program at sea. Personalized training is available for guests who can also partake of yoga classes while onboard.

The newest cruise ships, such as Pearl and Freedom, also offer a variety of fitness classes including step, total body conditioning, stretching, core, circuit training, walking, jogging, running, strength training and more.

To further your knowledge of good practices for a healthy lifestyle, seminars are also available on a wide range of topics.

Not all fitness activities take place on the ships. Freedom will also add an innovative feature for runners and walkers. “Avid runners can follow mapped-out routes at select ports of call and enjoy a safe run at each destination without having to worry about getting lost on their way back to the ship or measuring the distance on their own.

From ice skating to rock climbing to the always-popular treadmill jog, cruise ships are following the fitness craze. As you can plainly see, cruising is now more about living your best life in balance than sheer indulgence. While you’re being pampered, getting a glowing tan and treating yourself to truly lavish cuisine, you can also be toning, shaping and firming so you look better than ever when you return.

Caribbean Cruise Vacation

Caribbean Cruise Vacation

Caribbean cruise vacations are very popular especially during the winter.
This is perhaps because people want to feel warm when the weather back home is cold.

But cruise lines sail along the Caribbean waters all year round. If you don t want to go during the peak season, try booking during the summer because this is the best time to go bargain hunting.

There are a lot of cruise lines to choose from. Some of them include the Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Crystal Cruises. For those who find this to be way out of their budget, they can inquire at Seabourn Cruise Lines.

Let’s talk a little bit about these companies.

The Royal Caribbean’s fleet offers to the Eastern, Southern and Western Caribbean. You could be away for a few days to a couple of weeks. The Radiance of the Seas for instance sails round trip from Ft. Lauderdale to San Juan, Philipsburg, St. Thomas and Nassau.

Apart from the good food on board, there are activities that you can do once you reach port like snorkeling, nature trekking, scuba diving and Catamaran sailing.

If you happen to book a trip in January, February, November or December, there are festivals that you shouldn’t afford to miss such as the Aruba Carnival Celebration, the Barbados Jazz Festival, Mustique Blues Festival, Bob Marley Week in Jamaica, Valentines Day, Tranquility Jazz Festival, Anguilla, St. Patrick’s Day, Bahamas International Film Festival and St. Nicholas Day in the Dutch Caribbean.

The Norwegian Cruise line offers almost the same itinerary as the Royal Caribbean. You can choose the three day , seven day or fifteen day package to the Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean and Southern Caribbean aboard its large ships.

Crystal Cruises only has 1 package and this voyage lasts for 12 days. You depart from New York, then move on to Bermuda/Hamilton, then to St. Maarten/Phillipsburg, Antigua, St. John, Curacao/Willemstad, Grand Cayman/Georgetown before heading home to Miami.

The Seabourn Cruise has only 2 packages. You can choose to go on a Caribbean vacation that could last 7 or 13 days. Apart from Fort Lauderdale, you can also catch a ride in New York City and visit Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas), and Bridgetown, Barbados. The best part about being in a yacht compared to a big ship is that it is not very crowded.

You can find out more about these shipping companies by letting your travel agent do the research or browsing online yourself.

By doing so, you will be able to know when are the scheduled their trips, compare their prices and find out what is inclusive in their packages. Once you have confirmed your trip, all you have to do now is pack your bags and leave.

For those coming from the west coast or mid-west, don’t forget to also plan your air travel so you don’t miss the ship before it leaves port. Some of these companies already have air fare and transfers inclusive so there is nothing to worry about.

The Caribbean cruise vacation is one of the best places to go if you are on your honeymoon, celebrating your anniversary or simply need time away from the real world. Once you come back, you will feel refreshed and ready to continue what you were doing before that.

Family Cruising Enjoys Wave Of Popularity

Family Cruising Enjoys Wave Of Popularity

Family cruising is enjoying a wave of popularity. There’s good reason. Cruise lines now feature a cornucopia of family fun, including sports, art activities, planetarium shows, disco parties, pizza fests, ice skating, youth Olympics, rock climbing, scavenger hunts, wildlife exploration and much more.

Family travel is on an upsurge, according to the Travel Industry Association, with one in four household trips-or more than 170.1 million- including children under 18.

The experts at Travelers Advantage offer these tips and trips for the ultimate family cruise:

Family Cruise Tips:

• Be sure the kids’ programs are operating on the dates of your trip.

• Check the size and location of the cabin, and the guardrails on the bunks.

• Some ships have cabins that can sleep five; some have adjoining cabins; some give special rates for a second cabin for teens.

• Check required documentation for your children (ID, etc.).

• You never know when illness might hit your household and change your plans, so check cancellation fees and fees for changing dates. Trip-cancellation insurance may be worth the price.

Family Cruise Trips:

• Royal Caribbean International

There are a number of fun and educational complimentary programs including Adventure Ocean, a program for ages 3 to 12 and teens from 13 to 17 with special meals and play areas. The program has supervised activities for day and night. It includes educational entertainment programs and special menus.

• Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival will host 525,000 kids this year on its “Fun Ships.” These vessels offer parties, special performances by entertainers, ship tours for kids and teen shore excursions, face painting, scavenger hunts, talent shows, photography workshops, art classes and waterslides.

• Disney Cruise Line

As you’d expect, families will find special facilities and activities with Disney Cruise Line, all beautifully executed. There’s an entire deck for kids, with a large staff, age-specific programs, and hands-on activities.

Other family-friendly cruise lines include Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line and Norwegian Cruise Line.

Plan Your Cruise For Convenience And Fun

Plan Your Cruise For Convenience And Fun

In order to ensure that you have fun and relax on your cruise, it is essential that you plan your cruise meticulously. You go on a cruise to have fun on water. The cool sea breeze and the spectacular view of the vast expanse of water in front of you can really intoxicate you with pleasure. Since you spend so much on a cruise, you should ensure that you enjoy every minute of it. Planning is the first thing you should focus on if you are going on a cruise.

Pick the Best Cruise Liner
The first step in planning a cruise is to choose the best cruise line and the destination. Study the offerings of the various cruise lines and base your decision on what you really want from the cruise. It is also important to decide the duration of your cruise.

You can choose from any of the world famous cruises such as the panama cruise, Mediterranean cruise, carnival cruise, Caribbean cruise, Europe cruise, Alaska cruise, and Norwegian cruise.

Check with People Who Have Gone On Cruise
Check out with other people who have experience in such cruises and then decide on the cruise line. You should also check the facilities being offered by them and whether these are in consonance with your aspirations. The next step is to check if the cruise that you select operates to the destination that you want to visit.

Booking the Cruise
Having selected the cruise line and the cruise, you should make the booking for the cruise either through a travel agent, or through online sources. You should also select the type of room that you would like to have and book the same with the cruise booking. If you want to avail of shore excursions or other off-ship activities you should also book these early.

A good planning will really stand you in good stead and you can have all the fun in the world on your cruise. A good planning will ensure that you come rejuvenated from the cruise and ready to face the realities of life once again.