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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


Cruise Lines' Private Bahamian Island Resorts

Did you know that the top Caribbean cruise lines own private Bahamian island resorts?  Well, if you did not, now you do.

Cruise lines such as Carnival, Disney Cruises, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International have multiple cruise itineraries to the Bahamas year-round.  The fact is the islands of the Bahamas are very close to south Florida, have great weather all year, and are a major magnet for vacationers.

Consequently, it makes sense to have pieces of prime property where certain specialties can be offered to cruise passengers.

Cruise lines' private Bahamian island resorts are used largely as beach stops.  Each island has nicely carved out beach spots, as well as a ton of other activities for cruise passengers.

Expect to find adult-only fun areas, as well as those for the entire family. You will also have a chance at many water equipment and sports such as parasailing and jet-skiing.

Finally, the private Bahamian island resorts are set up to provide you with an enjoyable Caribbean-style lunch - a hearty bite, while you enjoy the Caribbean Sea.  You will also find vendors on the islands.

So, what are the Caribbean Cruise lines' private Bahamian islands?  Carnival shares ownership of the Half Moon Cay with Holland America.  Disney owns Castaway Cay.  Norwegian owns Great Stirrup Cay. 
Princess Cruises owns Princess Cays.  Royal Caribbean owns CocoCay (Coco Cay).

Expect a ton load of fun, if you book a cruise that includes one of these island resorts.

Note: Above photo was taken on Princess Cays by yours truly.

Petes Travel Center


Galveston Inclusive Cruises

For those people who live the populous state of Texas or other states nearby, you are blessed with a very active cruise port in Galveston, Texas.  

You will be happy to know that you can find year-round cruises from this port in southern Texas to several locations.

The two major cruise lines which offer Galveston inclusive cruises are Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International.  These cruise lines sail to popular ports in Mexico, as well as the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Ports of call visited from Galveston include Costa Maya, Progreso and Cozumel, all in Mexico.  Other ports of call are Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Falmouth, Jamaica; Key West, Florida; Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas; Roatan, Honduras and Belize City, Belize.  These are all super places to visit.

What itineraries are available from Galveston?  You can expect to find 4-day, 5-day and 7-day cruises offered by Carnival.  You can also find 6-day and 7-day cruises offered by Royal Caribbean.

If you live near the south Texas area, your first choice for finding a family cruise vacation should be one of several Galveston inclusive cruises.

Happy sailing!

Peter Grant


All-Inclusive Caribbean Cruises from Florida

If you are looking for a Caribbean cruise from Florida, you are in lots of luck. 

Florida is the state for the origin of most Caribbean cruises.  

Unlike any other state in the Union, there are more all-inclusive Caribbean cruises from Florida all year-round, with all of the top cruise lines, and several cruise ports.

Florida offers five ports with cruises to the Caribbean: Jacksonville, Port Canaveral (near Orlando), Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale), Miami and Tampa Cruise Port.  From these five cruise ports, you can find long and short cruises – 3-days, 6-days, 14-days and longer.

Inclusive cruises from Florida will get you to the eastern, western and southern Caribbean.  You will also find many sailings to the Bahamas.  (There are also sailings to the Panama Canal and South America.)

Wondering which cruise lines sail from Florida?  All the big names do – Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America, MSC, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.

While all the big names in cruising sail from Florida, all of them do not sail from all the ports.  Currently, I believe that Carnival is the only cruise line sailing from all five Florida cruise ports.

How do you get to the ports?  You can choose to travel by train, bus, car – if not coming from far – or fly.  The cruise ports that are closest to their cities’ respective airports are Port Everglades and Miami.  Port Canaveral is the farthest from the main airport in Orlando, but you can fly into the Melbourne International Airport.

All the cruise ports have parking space, the most expensive of which will be at the Port of Miami.

Are you ready to enjoy an all-inclusive Caribbean cruise from Florida?  There is nothing to stop you.

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


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


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


You Must Check Out Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class of Cruise Ships

Royal Caribbean currently holds the title as the cruise line with the biggest ships on the high seas.  Now, they are taking things further with their new class of ships – the Quantum Class.

The cruise line has debuted two ships in this class in quick succession: the Quantum of the Seas graced our presence last year and the Anthem of the Seas has recently left the shipyard for England.  Each of these ships has features never before seen at sea.

Here are a handful of things to expect on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class of ships:

The North Star – How would you like to soar above the sea in a capsule that takes you as high as the Statute of Liberty and gives you a 360 degree view of the ocean?  Welcome to Royal Caribbean’s the North Star.

RIP Cord by iFLY – Have you wanted to skydive, but could not find the courage for it?  Now you can on board a Quantum Class ship, which will feature the first skydiving simulator at sea.  It promises to be a fun ride!

Sea Plex – Welcome to the largest indoor play area at sea, which is quite transformative.  During the day, this space will allow for games like basketball, foosball, air hockey, and other games.  At night, this space becomes a racetrack for bumper cars and a place for roller-skating.

Broadway at Sea – Have you seen a Broadway show?  Now you can at sea.  The Quantum Class of ships will feature the Broadway hit, Mama Mia and others.

Are you as excited as I am about these new features?  What will they add next to these luxury vessels?

If you are in North America, get ready to bid goodbye to Quantum of the Seas as she heads off to China to stir up things in that emerging cruise market.  However, do not worry about missing out on sailing on a Quantum Class ship.  The Anthem will sail in Europe for several months and will then be re-positioned to Cape Liberty, New Jersey later this year.

The good news is that you can now make plans to be among first families sailing on the Anthem of the Seas from her U.S. homeport.  You are guaranteed an experience that is out of this world!

I really hope that you will be able to experience the thrill that so many families have when they choose a cruise ship vacation.

Go have fun!

Peter Grant
McDonough, GA


Cruising Is Affordable: Some Carnival Cruise Prices for May

While cruising offers the best value in terms of a package deal for families, many people think twice about booking a family cruise vacation.  
The biggest fear is that it costs too much.

However, if you compare the price for a cruise ticket and all the things included: accommodations, food, activities, entertainment, plus visiting new places with the price for a land vacation, you will conclude that cruising is a great value.

Admittedly, if you attempt to sail during the summer when everyone else is cruising, you will pay more than at other times.

However, if you choose a Carnival cruise package, you will often come out a winner.  Carnival Cruise Line is known for its efforts to make cruising available to people of all backgrounds.

Below are some Carnival cruise prices for May.  If you can drive to a cruise port, this will save you tons of dollars on travel as airfares tend to get out of hand.

Sample 1 – Prices Include Taxes & Port Charges

3-day Cruise from Miami to The Bahamas on May 29th

Fares for 2 people per cabin start under $760.

Fares for 3 people per cabin start under $980.

Sample 2 – Prices Include Taxes & Port Charges

4-day Cruise from Port Canaveral (near Orlando) to 2 Stops in The Bahamas on May 17th

Fares for 2 people per cabin start under $780.

Fares for 3 people per cabin start under $970.

You may search for more family cruise vacation options for May by clicking here.

I hope that you will go have fun, now that you realize that if choose the right time, cruising is affordable and is a great value for your family.

Bon voyage!

Peter Grant
McDonough, GA


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