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Home-Schoolers Cruise In The Fall

It is no secret that thousands more families than ever before are home-schooling their children.

Homes-schooling offers great flexibility with schedules and therefore I contend that home-schoolers should cruise in the fall.

If your children are home-schooled, do not spend more money than you need to in order to cruise during the summer. Simply wait until most children are back in school and then take your family's inclusive cruise vacation.

Why do I recommend this? It is quite simple:

1. There are fewer people and children cruising in the fall;
2. The prices on fall cruises are much better than on summer sailings; and,
3. You have a better chance of getting on the cruise ship and with the cruise line you desire.

Use your flexibility in scheduling as your biggest advantage and plan your next family getaway. 

Who knows?  You may make your home-schooler cruise in the fall an annual family vacation.

Happy sailing!

Petes Travel Center


Exciting Group Cruise Opportunities for 2016

Before you know it, the New Year will begin.  

What family vacation plans have you already made? If you said, "None", then I have some exciting group cruise opportunities for 2016 to share with you.

These cruises are with three different cruise lines: Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.  The cruises are during different months of 2016.  One cruise with Carnival is actually a "mission" sailing, giving you a great opportunity to help needy orphans in Cozumel, Mexico.  Also, the cruise with Royal Caribbean is aboard the biggest cruise ship at sea, Allure of the Seas.

Sounds like fun to me!

Click on the link for each cruise, check it out, discuss it with your family and return to the link to reserve your cabin.

Here are the cruises:

1. Cruise Pack Mission Cozumel - Please join us as we bring backpacks with supplies to an orphanage in Cozumel, February 15-20, 2016.  You may click here to view the information and reserve your cabin.  You have until December 10th to pay only $200 per person to hold a cabin. Final payments must be made by December 15th.

2. End of Winter Princess Cruise - Celebrate the end of winter and ring in spring aboard an exciting cruise ship to the Caribbean.  Plan to escape on the beautiful Emerald Princess.  This cruise sails from Ft. Lauderdale.  To see more information and reserve your cabin, click here.

3. Caribbean Cruise Springathon - How about springtime in the Caribbean?  Do so with friends and relatives for sheer fun.  Sail with Carnival Paradise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel at really great prices.  Click now to view the information and reserve your cabin.

4. Cruisers Only - This one is for cruisers only.  If that's you, plan to get away in the middle of spring to the Caribbean.  Set sail from Miami to the Turks & Caicos Islands aboard the highly popular Carnival Breeze.  Bring some girlfriends along for the ride.  Click here to see the information and reserve your cabin.  

5. Biggest Ship Getaway - The biggest cruise ship on the high seas is Royal Caribbean's, Allure of the Seas.  This ship offers just about everything.  Think Central Park, carousel, zipline, aqua-theater and so much more.  Now you can plan to sail away on this huge and fun ship in October 2016.  Grab some pals and go.  Click here to view the information and reserve your cabin now.

I hope that one of these exciting group cruise opportunities for 2016 works for you and your family.

Remember to go have fun!

Peter Grant
Petes Travel Center


Carnival Cruise Line’s Age Policy Easier for Cruising Minors

Carnival Cruise Line does not have the biggest cruise ships on the high seas, but its Fun Ships are packed with excitement and its prices are usually the best.

Now, Carnival goes a step further and makes changes to its age policy on cruising minors.  The following are some things to note.  For additional information, see your Travel Agent.

1.  Guests must be 21 to travel alone, with some exceptions.  These exceptions include married couples younger than 21 years old and military personnel.  See an agent for more info.

2.  Previously, guests under 21 had to travel with a relative or legal guardian 25 or older.  Now, guests not yet 21 can travel with a guardian who is not related.  At the time of booking, the cabins must be linked.  See your agent for more information.

3.  Previously, most minors under 21 had to room with parents, across the hall, or in a cabin next door.  Now, only minors 12 and under must be across the hall or next door.  Guests 18 – 20 may be anywhere on the ship, while 12 to 17 may be up to 3 cabins away.

It is encouraging that Carnival has added greater flexibility to how parents/guardians and their children may be situated on their ships.  Before you book, get all the facts on the age requirements.

One key thing to note for those minors traveling without a legal guardian or relative, the guardian on the ship is urged to travel with an originally signed letter from the parent/guardian giving the minor permission to travel.

Go have fun!

Peter Grant


Cost Of A 3-Day Cruise

If you have considered taking a cruise but have thought that the cost is too high, your best bet is to take a 3-day cruise.

Here is why I recommend a 3-day cruise for first-time cruisers:

1. The price is usually great; and,

2. You get an opportunity to test the waters – a manner of speaking – to see if cruising is for you.  Cruising is not for everyone, and a 3-day cruise gets you away from land long enough, but not too long.

So, what's the cost of a 3-day cruise?  The cost of your cruise will depend on a few things: when you cruise, which cruise line you sail with, and which ship.

If you book a 3-day cruise with Disney Cruise Line, you will pay a lot more than with Carnival Cruise Lines.  Depending on when you go, a 3-day Carnival cruise can cost you less than $300 per person.  If you have more than two people in the cabin, you will even pay less.

As usual, the best time to sail in during the fall or winter months.  You will always find 3-day cruises for less than $400 per person, if you sail during fall and winter, except near or around holidays.  

You may even get very lucky and find a deal for $200 per person.  Contact a Travel Agent and have him/her get you the best deal.

Note too that the bigger the cruise ship, the more the cruise package will cost.  Aim for smaller ships to begin your cruising adventure.

Go have fun!

Peter Grant


Nearest Airport to New York Cruise Terminal

The New York Cruise Terminal has become quite popular over the years.  It offers many inclusive cruises to families in the northeast, as well as to families who can fly into one of three area airports to board a cruise ship. 

Today, many popular cruise lines such as Carnival, Holland America, Crystal, Norwegian and Princess Cruises offer cruises from the Big Apple.

For people flying into New York to board a cruise ship, there are three airports from which to choose: John F. Kennedy, La Guardia and Newark International Airport.  The nearest airport to the New York Cruise Terminal is actually La Guardia.

Flying into La Guardia gives one the opportunity to catch a cab and be whisked to the cruise terminal in a shorter time frame than from the other two airports.  The terminal is located on 12th Avenue between 46th and 54th Streets.

If you have to fly into New York, choose any of the airports, but La Guardia is your best bet for getting to the New York Cruise Terminal the fastest.

Happy sailing!

Peter Grant

McDonough, GA


Sail for FREE With Carnival Cruise Lines

Have you thought of cruising?  

Do you think that you can get some friends or family members together for a cruise?

Great news!  Carnival Cruise Lines allows you to earn a free cruise, if you can get 16 people together for a group cruise.

How about a family reunion cruise?  How about your dance club, sports club, art club or church group?  How about a birthday celebration at sea?  If you can pull 16 or more people into 8 cabins, you will earn 1 FREE sailing for every 16 people who pay the full fare.

While the above information on group cruises is standard, there are times when Carnival sweetens the deal.  Now is one of those times.

Here are more details:

1. You must book your group cruise by June 30th.

2. You can only choose select sailings between January 1, 2016 and April 30, 2017.

3. For every 10 people in 5 cabins who pay the full fare, 1 person will go FREE – meaning that he/she will only pay the taxes and port charges.

4. You will not have to make any payments until 120 before a 2-5-day cruise, or 150 days before a 6-9-day cruise.

What should you do now?  Find some people who will sail with you, select a sail date and then check with your Travel Agent to pull this all together for you.  If you do not have an agent, I will be happy to help you.  

Email me at

I hope that you will plan your own Carnival group cruise, save some money, and go have lots of fun.

See you on the high seas!

Peter Grant
McDonough, GA


All-Inclusive Caribbean Cruises from Miami

The Miami Cruise Port is by far the busiest port for cruise departures to the Caribbean.  While this port sometimes compete with Port Everglades for volume, it continues to dominate.

There are many all-inclusive cruises from Miami to the Caribbean.  In fact, most of the big names in the cruise industry offer Caribbean cruises from Miami.  

Expect to find cruises with Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International.

All-inclusive cruises from Miami are of varying lengths and will get you to many different locations in the Caribbean and the Bahamas.  Find cruises to the Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean, Southern Caribbean, the Bahamas and ports of call in Mexico.

One great thing about cruising from Miami is that the Miami International Airport is very near to the cruise port and many airlines fly into it.  You can travel from just about anywhere in the world to Miami.

If you are searching for all-inclusive cruises from Miami to the Caribbean, you are in for a great treat.  There are just too many from which to choose.

Go have fun!

Peter Grant
McDonough, GA


Dynamic Dining On Royal Caribbean Quantum Class Ships

Have you cruised before?  

If so you are aware that there are several dining options onboard the cruise ship.  There is complimentary dining, allowing guests to eat in beautifully decorated dining rooms, buffet restaurant and at other eateries. 

There is also specialty dining, giving guests the opportunity to try a special cuisine on any given night in a less crowded venue.  This option comes with a cover charge.

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class of ships have changed the complimentary dining option that guests have had for years.

Here some things to note about this new and bold move by Royal Caribbean:

1. Previously, cruise guests chose early, late or anytime dining for one of two main dining rooms.  On the Quantum Class of ships, the 2 main dining rooms are replaced by 5 restaurants serving different cuisines.

2. All five restaurants are complimentary.

3. The 5 restaurants do not have special seating or fixed times for dinner.

4. The 5 restaurants have a kids’ menu.

5. One of the 5 restaurants requires formal wear each night for dinner.

6. Two of the 5 restaurants serve all 3 main meals, while three serve only dinner.

7. Guests can use a new reservation system to reserve seats for dinner.

8. Guests may visit a different restaurant each night.

Here’s a peek at the 5 restaurants:

1. The American Icon Grill – Serving American comfort dishes.

2.  CHIC Restaurant – Serving contemporary, exploratory and new dishes.

3.  The SILK Restaurant – Serving Asian cuisines – Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese…

4.  The GRANDE Restaurant (always formal) – Serving European delicacies.

5.  The Coastal Kitchen Restaurant – Serving Mediterranean and Californian dishes.

Friend, this leap by Royal Caribbean is sure to amaze cruise enthusiasts of all ages.  Look out for Royal’s first newest ships in the Quantum Class – Quantum of the Seas (now off to China) and Anthem of the Seas

By the way, look out for the newest ship, Harmony of the Seas!

Get with your Travel Agent to make reservations and prepare to be wowed at sea.

See you on the high seas!

Peter Grant

McDonough, GA


All-Inclusive Family Cruises

People who would love to take cruise ship vacation, often wonder if there are all-inclusive family cruises.  The biggest concern is whether all family members can cruise.

The big answer is, “Yes.”

Cruising is for people of all ages.  It is true that cruise lines have some restrictions on age, as well as on pregnant women, but other than that, anyone can cruise.

So, you can gather up your children and their grandparents and get them on an all-inclusive family cruise.

Is it really all-inclusive?  The general answer is “Yes.”  Quite often, when you choose a cruise vacation, your cruise fare entitles to you a cabin for sleeping and bathing, all the meals you need, entertainment, amenities and the promise of fun and exotic ports of calls.

You generally do not need to buy anything else on the ship, except in those cases where mandatory gratuity is added.  And even in such cases, you have the right to ask for an adjustment in what is charged.  See more information about mandatory gratuity here.

So, are you ready to book an all-inclusive family cruise?  I hope you will.  There are many cruise lines that offer cruises for the entire family.  Some popular ones are Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.

My family of five has sailed all the above cruise lines, except Disney, and we enjoyed each cruise ship vacation.  I am certain that your family will do the same.

Go have fun!

Peter Grant
McDonough, GA


Buffet Dining Onboard the Crown Princess

Cruise ship dining comes with many options and such is the case on the beautiful Crown Princess.

One may choose to visit one’s assigned formal dining room for all three meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner.  One may request room service, which is complimentary.  One may visit a specialty restaurant for dinner – a steakhouse.  One may grab a bite from the grill or pizzeria.  One may even catch breakfast, lunch or a snack from the International Café, or one may go buffet style dining on the Crown Princess.

Here is the best part - except for specialty restaurants and probably minor charges at a cafe, your cruise ship dining options are covered by your cruise fare.  How cool is that?

Eat all you want!  

Now back to Crown Princess and buffet dining...

You will notice in the attached photo that the buffet restaurant is nicely decorated and furnished.  You may choose to have breakfast, lunch, tea (between lunch and dinner) and dinner in the Horizon Buffet Restaurant on the Lido Deck.  You are guaranteed no shortage of food and a wide variety from which to choose.

You will also be pleased with the service.  Many crew members wait around to serve you beverages, clear your table and help with any other requests.

The waitress you see in the photo was very kind to my family.  She even gave me a hug on the last morning of our Crown Princess cruise.

If you want to get away from the formal setting at any time during of the day, consider going buffet style dining onboard the Crown Princess.

Go have fun on the high seas!

Peter Grant
McDonough, GA


2015 Family Fun Getaways By Petes Travel Center. All Rights Reserved.