Sunday, December 29, 2013

What story do you want to tell post-cruise?

Rolling with the punches and having a few laughs!
Photo: bjearwicke on
I've noticed there are 3 different types of people on a cruise, when it comes to how they respond when things go wrong.

3 types of people missing luggage on a cruise:
1. joking about wearing the same shirt
2. acting glum in the same shirt
3. seething about wearing the same shirt

3 types of people with damaged luggage on a cruise:
1. sharing luggage stories at the bar
2. miserably nursing a drink at the bar
3. berating the bartender

3 types of people who miss the ship, arrive 1 day late on a cruise:
1. sharing travel delay stories
2. pouting poolside
3. acting angry in the atrium

Will you be pouting poolside?
Photo: DownonIris on

So, ask yourself, what kind of story do you want to tell post cruise?
1. what you saw/did/ate
2. we got over it, had fun
3. how "they" ruined your vacation

Are you going to let a snarl up ruin your cruise?
Photo: _succubus on

How you see things colours your experience.

With any kind of travel, things go wrong. You should expect it. The difference maker is how you respond.

When things go wrong on your cruise, of course it is natural to be frustrated or disappointed. And, yes, if there is something to complain about, then file your complaint. Then shake it off, put it aside, and get on with your vacation.

There's no sense moping around the ship with a black cloud over your head, thinking 'poor me'. The only person's vacation you are going to spoil is your own.

So, roll with the punches, and get on with having a fabulous vacation...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Celebrity Reduced Single Supplements

Celebrity Silhouette -ponti esterni-
Yes, that's real grass on the Celebrity Silhouette!
Celebrity Cruise Lines has just announced reduced single supplements on a few upcoming sailings. If you are looking for value on an outstanding solo cruise experience, check these out.

Single supplements are reduced to 150% on these sailings
Interested? Contact me for details and to hold your space!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Club Med - waived solo supplement

Turks & Caicos
Imagine yourself here...
Hit the beach solo with Club Med!

Club Med has a great offer for solo travelers right now: the Club Med Turks & Caicos is offered with no single supplement until December 21, 2013. Please contact me for details.

Related links:

Friday, November 1, 2013

AmaWaterways - waived single supplements

AmaWaterways has a promotion on until the end of November on a number of their 2014 river cruise offerings. What caught my eye was a number of itineraries and sailings on which the single supplement has been waived.

Paris and Normandy

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the AmaLegro is sailing roundtrip from Paris to a number of Normandy sights. The itinerary is: Paris - Vernon - Giverny - Vernon - Caudebec en Caux – Jumièges - Caudebec en Caux – Jumièges - Rouen - Les Andelys - Conflans - Paris.  More information. These are the sailings on which the single supplement has been waived:
  • April 10, 2014 - Paris roundtrip on Ama Legro (7 nights)
  • May 1, 2014 - Paris roundtrip on Ama Legro (7 nights)
  • May 8, 2014 - Paris roundtrip on Ama Legro (7 nights)
  • July 3, 2014 - Paris roundtrip on Ama Legro (7 nights)
  • July 17, 2014 - Paris roundtrip on Ama Legro (7 nights)
  • July 24, 2014 - Paris roundtrip on Ama Legro (7 nights)
  • July 31, 2014 - Paris roundtrip on Ama Legro (7 nights)
  • August 7, 2014 - Paris roundtrip on Ama Legro (7 nights)
  • August 14, 2014 - Paris roundtrip on Ama Legro (7 nights)
  • August 28, 2014 - Paris roundtrip on Ama Legro (7 nights)
  • October 16, 2014 - Paris roundtrip on Ama Legro (7 nights)
  • October 23, 2014 - Paris roundtrip on Ama Legro (7 nights)
  • November 6, 2014 - Paris roundtrip on Ama Legro (7 nights)

Cruising the Rhine

AmaWaterways has waived the single supplement on 2 different itineraries cruising the Rhine River.

Book by November 30, 2013. The single supplement offer excludes suites. Contact me for additional terms and conditions.

Not a solo? AmaWaterways has a number of other fantastic offers available through this promotion.

Please contact me for more information.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dance the nights away at sea (dance hosts)

Do you enjoy dancing the nights away at sea? You might think that the tradition of the gentleman host is a fading tradition... but not really.

Break a leg!

Cunard Line

Cunard Line embraces the tradition with dance hosts on EVERY sailing, with 4-8 hosts onboard:
  • Queen Mary 2 - World Cruise Sailings: 8 dance hosts
  • Queen Mary 2 - all other sailings: 6 dance hosts
  • Queen Elizabeth - World Cruise Sailings: 6 dance hosts
  • Queen Elizabeth - all other sailings: 4 dance hosts
  • Queen Victoria - World Cruise Sailings: 6 dance hosts
  • Queen Victoria - all other sailings: 4 dance hosts

Holland America

Holland America offers dance hosts on select sailings (some may be broken into segments):
  • January 4, 2014 - ms Amsterdam - Fort Lauderdale, roundtrip - 113 nights
  • January 5, 2014 - ms Prinsendam - Fort Lauderdale, roundtrip - 68 nights
  • February 7, 2014 - ms Maasdam - Fort Lauderdale roundtrip - 49 nights
  • March 14, 2014 - ms Prinsendam - Fort Lauderdale to Rome - 57 nights 
  • September 21, 2014 - ms Amsterdam - Seattle to San Diego - 78 nights
  • October 31, 2014 - ms Maasdam - Fort Lauderdale, roundtrip - 42 nights
These are all gentleman hosts, in the tradition of having the male dance partner available on board for ladies sailing alone.

But it's not just for women sailing solo. I know of one couple who take advantage of the service, as she loves to dance, and he doesn't. Picking a cruise with a dance host onboard is the perfect solution for them.

If you're interested in learning more, or would like to book aboard one of these sailings, please get in touch.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Uniworld River Cruises: Solo Traveler Savings

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering both waived and reduced single supplement savings on a number of sailings.

I particularly like Uniworld's offers for solo cruisers, as they completely waive single supplements on many sailings, while still reducing them on others. Their offers strike me as fair, as they work hard to provide the greatest value on a wide range of cruises from their collection.

International river cruising is Uniworld's specialty. These vessels tour the great rivers of Europe, Asia, and Egypt. Uniworld's river cruises offer conveniences and amenities you wouldn't expect to see on small vessels. Most shore excursions are included in the cruise tour price. TO EDIT

Waived Single Supplement Savings is available on the following select river cruise itineraries and departure dates:
Bordeaux, Vineyards, and Châteaux | Bordeaux to Bordeaux | 8 Days
 2014: May 25
Burgundy & Provence| Avignon to Lyon| 8 Days
 2014: April 6
Castles along the Rhine | Basel to Amsterdam | 8 Days
 2014:  Nov 2, 9
Classic Christmas Markets | Nuremberg to Frankfurt | 8 Days
 2013: Dec 22
Enchanting Danube | Budapest to Passau | 8 Days
 2013: Nov 10
 2014:  Apr 6, 20, Nov 2, 9
European Jewels | Budapest to Amsterdam | 15 Days
 2013: Oct 20

European Serenade | Vienna to Amsterdam | 13 Days
 2013:  Oct 17, Nov 2
Imperial Capitals of Europe | Istanbul to Vienna | 16 Days
 2014: Apr 7 (cruise and tour)
Imperial Waterways of Russia | Moscow to St. Petersburg| 13 Days
 2014: May 28
Legendary Rhine & Moselle | Amsterdam to Basel | 13 Days
 2013: Oct 15, Nov 8
Paris & Normandy | Paris to Paris | 8 Days
 2014: Mar 16, 23

Paris & the Heart of Europe | Paris to Vienna | 18 Days
 2013:  Oct 5, 19
Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley | Porto to Porto | 8 Days (cruise only)
2013: Nov 14
 2014: Mar 30, Apr 6, Apr 13

Springtime Tulips & the Rhine | Amsterdam to Frankfurt | 8 Days
 2014: Apr 2, 9, 16
Timeless Wonders of Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong | Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi | 15 Days
 2013: Dec, 4, 8, 18 (cruise and tour)
 2014: Jan 1 (cruise and tour)

Venice & the Po River | Venice to Venice | 8 Days
 2013: Nov 3, 10
Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy | Venice to Venice | 8 Days
 2014: Apr 6, May 4, 11, Jun 22, Jul 6, 27, Aug 3


Reduced Single Supplement Savings is available on the following select river cruises and departure dates:

Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley | Porto to Porto | 8 Days
 2013: Nov 17
 2014: Mar 27, Apr 3, Apr 10
Splendors of Italy | Venice to Rome | 13 Days
 2013: Nov 3, 10
Splendors of Northern Italy, Venice, Florence & Rome | Venice to Rome | 13 Days
 2014: Apr 6

Friday, September 27, 2013

Silversea: Special Single Fares

Built to serve the needs of the ultra-luxury market, Silversea's intimate vessels sail to exotic and off the beaten path destinations that other larger liners can't access.

Silversea is offering reduced single supplements of 125% on select Fall and Winter voyages.

Silver Wind

All-inclusive fares include a spacious, ocean-view suite (most with private veranda), personalised butler service, complimentary wines and spirits, fine dining, sophisticated enrichment and entertainment programmes, and all onboard gratuities.

Silversea is offering reduced single supplements on the following sailings:
On every Silversea voyage, the ship hosts a welcoming champagne reception exclusively for solo guests. In addition, select voyages are escorted by Gentlemen Hosts.

Restrictions may apply. Contact me for full terms and conditions... and to book your cruise!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Holland America: Sailings to/from Vancouver - 2014

Vancouver, BC, Canada is growing as a cruise port. We are seeing more interesting cruise itineraries either ending or beginning in Vancouver. Some are repositioning cruises (when the cruiselines relocate ships for a season, for example, from the Caribbean to Alaska), while others are either world cruises, segments of a world cruise or just new cruise routes. In addition, there are more roundtrip sailings being offered from Vancouver, other than to Alaska. All this is exciting for Vancouverites, British Columbians and anyone planning to travel to Vancouver.

Here are some of Holland America's Vancouver offerings in 2014 - some will sell out quickly, so be sure to book early if something catches your eye (or heart!):

Holland America Lines' MS Zuiderdam
ms Zuiderdam at the Canada Place cruise ship terminal in Vancouver

March 30, 2014 - 33 nights aboard the ms Zaandam
South America cruise from Buenos Aires
More information on this cruise...

April 12, 2014 - 20 nights aboard the ms Zaandam
South America cruise from Valparaiso (Santiago) to Vancouver
Note: this is the same cruise as the one above, only shorter
More information on this cruise...

April 13, 2014 - 29 nights aboard the ms Oosterdam
South Pacific cruise from Sydney to Vancouver
More information on this cruise...

April 14, 2014 - 16 nights aboard the ms Volendam
Pacific Rim cruise from Yokohama (Japan) to Vancouver
More information on this cruise...

April 15, 2014 - 33 nights aboard the ms Statendam
South Pacific cruise from San Diego to Vancouver
More information on this cruise...

April 18, 2014 - 22 nights aboard the ms Zuiderdam
Panama Canal cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Vancouver
More information on this cruise...

April 28, 2014 - 19 nights aboard the ms Amsterdam
Panama Canal cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Vancouver
More information on this cruise...

September 19, 2014 - 16 nights aboard the ms Zaandam
Hawaii cruise, roundtrip from Vancouver
More information on this cruise...

September 20, 2014 - 27 nights aboard the ms Zuiderdam
Combination Alaska and Panama Canal cruise from Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale
More information on this cruise...

September 27, 2014 - 20 nights aboard the ms Zuiderdam
Panama Canal cruise from Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale
Note: this is the same cruise as the one above, only shorter
More information on this cruise...

September 28, 2014 - 35 nights aboard the ms Statendam
South Pacific cruise from Vancouver to San Diego
More information on this cruise...

October 5, 2014 - 22 nights aboard the ms Zaandam
South America cruise from Vancouver to Valparaiso (Santiago)
More information on this cruise...

October 5, 2014 - 35 nights aboard the ms Zaandam
South America cruise from Vancouver to Buenos Aires
Note: this is the same cruise as the one above, only longer
More information on this cruise...

I would be pleased to help you book your Holland America cruise, regardless of where you are located. Please get in touch.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Norwegian Cruise Lines: Single Studio Staterooms

Did you know?

Norwegian has a special Studio Stateroom designed just for solo travelers. In fact, the design earned the cruiseline the "Best Cruise Line for Solo Travelers" Award by Porthole Magazine in 2012.

The Norwegian Epic was the first of NCL's ships to contain space specifically designed and priced for the solo traveler. (No single supplement required)

The Studio Staterooms feature:
  • Full size bed for one guest 
  • A one-way window view to the corridor
  • Unique, hip design
  • Private key card access to "The Living Room", a shared private lounge with comfortable seating, large screen TVs and a bar - perfect to relax or mingle with other solo travelers
  • Best of all: no single supplement!
Meet other solo travellers or have a snack in the Epic's Studio Lounge
The Epic has 128 Studio Staterooms (Decks 11 and 12), with a single large lounge on Deck 11.

The new Norwegian Breakaway also boasts Studio Staterooms, as will the Norwegian Gateway when it sets sail next year.

The Breakaway has 59 Studio Staterooms, with a smaller scale lounge.

Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America, which exclusively sails a Hawaiian Island circle cruise, has also been outfitted with Studio Staterooms.

In at least one cruiser's eyes, the Epic wins the prize for the best overall solo cruise experience, "I can’t help but believe that the Epic might just be the most solo-friendly cruise ship in operation today." Gray Cargill, @SoloFriendly

Studio staterooms are currently available on Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Getaway and Pride of America - with more to come!

A Room For One: Norwegian Epic’s Studio Staterooms - Solo Friendly
Norwegian Epic vs. Norwegian Breakaway - Solo Friendly *
Norwegian Epic Deck Plan Review - Cruise Critic

Speaker at Sea: Desmond Tutu

A few cruiselines bring guest speakers aboard their ships, creating an interesting learning opportunity at sea.

Holland America has announced that Desmond Tutu will be aboard the ms Amsterdam March 28 to April 2, 2014, a segment of the ship's world cruise. Tutu will give two lectures while on board.

If you want to hear Tutu at sea, you can join the world cruise in Hong Kong on March 3, 2014 for 29 nights, disembarking in Cape Town, South Africa. Details on the March 3, 2014 ms Amsterdam sailing...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Take a Break on a Beach

As you know, Expedia CruiseShipCenters specializes in cruises, but did you know that we are much more than cruises?

We have a really great promotion on right now - the Everywhere Under the Sun Sale - that includes a number of land vacations, so I thought I'd post them here. The promotion runs until September 30, 2013.

Here are some highlights for a break on the beach:

Air Canada Vacations: Book a winter vacation package to any destination in Mexico or the Caribbean and save $400 per couple - or $600 for a family ($200 per adult, $100 per child ages 2-12). Plus, earn up to 3,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles per member! Details on the Air Canada Vacations offer...

Transat Holidays: Book and save for vacations in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and more! Details on the Transat Holidays offer...

WestJet Vacations: Book your vacation package now & enjoy WestJet Vacations' Price Guarantee.* Details on the WestJet Vacations offer...

The promotion has lots of great cruise values as well. Full details on the Everywhere Under the Sun promotion...

Or, just contact me if you'd like more information.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Azamara Club Cruises: Monaco Grand Prix Voyages

The Montecarlo's harbour during the days of Formula 1 Monaco GP 2013
Imagine enjoying the Formula One racing up close and personal on the narrow streets of Monte-Carlo.

If you are a Formula One fan, then you know that the Monaco Grand Prix is the race to see. If you never thought you would find yourself rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, under the buzz of helicopters, as the tires screech, you might have to update your dreams.

Azamara Club Cruises is positioning it's two ships so as to be in Monte-Carlo for the 2014 Grand Prix. You can choose between:
You can hang out and enjoy the party and, if you wish, see the race itself (race tickets are optional, for an additional cost).

If you're interested, act fast, as these sailings will sell out quickly.

I would be pleased to help you book your Azamara Club Cruise, regardless of where you are located, please get in touch.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cruise Awards 2013: Larry Pimentel - Lifetime Achievement

The Cruise International Awards 2013 were awarded today. For full results and details on the awards, visit the Cruise International Awards 2013 website.

I was excited to see a Lifetime Achievement award go to Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. I "met" Larry recently in a Twitter #cruisechat.

I asked Larry about the process of redesigning a traditional cruise itinerary into today's Azamara Cruise Clubs product with overnight and extended stays in ports. He said it wasn't easy (no surprise) and that it took about 3 years (that surprised me).

Azamara Journey (7432829054)
Azamara Journey
I am also a huge fan of what Azamara has done with the dreaded single supplement, offering a broad selection of cruises at a fair price.

I know the award will bring articles and blog posts on Larry and his contribution to the industry - I am looking forward to them!

Congratulations Larry!

PS. If you want to follow Larry on Twitter, he is @LarryPimentel


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Azamara Club Cruises: Reduced Single Supplements

Azamara Club Cruises offers a truly one-of-a-kind luxury cruising experience. With just two small ships, the Journey and Quest, Azamara sails to ports that larger ships simply can't access. With overnight stays, no other cruise line spends as much time in port.

Think you can't afford the experience as a solo traveler? Think again. On select Azamara voyages, singles pay just 125% of the double occupancy fares. When you compare that to the industry standard of 200%, your dollar gets you superior value.

Consider this: your Azamara all inclusive experience includes fresh cut flowers, a daily fruit basket, butler service, afternoon canapés, specialty dining (2 nights), unlimited bottled water, specialty coffee, beer, wine, standard spirits, port shuttle services... and that's just the beginning!

Azamara Club Cruises

Azamara Club Cruises has single guest rates of 125% of total stateroom fare available on the following sailings: *
If you are interested in booking a solo cruise on one of these dates, or want information about other cabin types and sailings, or are just intrigued by Azamara Club Cruises and want to learn more, please get in touch. I am pleased to help.

Roberta .

Suggested reading:
Solo Cruising - my perspectives on single supplements

* Azamara Club Cruises Terms & Conditions:
On select 2012-2013 voyages single guest rates of 125% of total stateroom fare is available. This offer reflects our 50%-off brochure rates offer, and also includes gratuities for housekeeping, dining and bar staff. This offer is available for new, individual bookings only, and is capacity controlled. All rates, offers and itineraries are subject to change without notice. Offers may be withdrawn at any time. Government taxes & fees are additional.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Enter to Win 1 of 25 Free Cruises!

We have an incredible new contest that has just started. Not only can you enter to win yourself, but if you use the contest form to tell a friend, you get an extra entry for yourself.

Good luck - and I hope you are one of the winners!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cruising Solo (UPDATED with current offers)

One of the few things I don't like about cruising is the solo supplement. If you have ever cruised solo, then you know what I am talking about!

The solo supplement, or single supplement, is a premium
charged to solo travellers when they choose to cruise alone. The
amount ranges from 10 to 100% of the standard cruise fare.
In other words, most solo cruisers pay DOUBLE the cruise fare of their shipmates.

It gets under the skin of any solo cruiser. And no matter what justification the cruise lines may use, it's going to hurt.

Having paid this premium more times than I care to remember, upon entering the cruise industry, I made sharing information on cruises and cruise lines with reduced or no single supplement a focus of my work.

I am passionate about helping you avoid the dreaded solo supplement, allowing you to enjoy your cruise without quietly seething as you sit next to someone in a deck chair who paid half what you did.

RECENT OFFERS FOR SOLO CRUISERS (updated November 16, 2013):
OTHER RECENT SOLO TRAVEL OFFERS (updated November 16, 2013):

Confused? I'd be happy to give you a hand. Please contact me if you'd like my help!


Related resources: 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Welcome to the cruisetravelbug blog!

Welcome to the cruisetravelbug blog! After tweeting for some time as @cruisetravelbug, I figured it was time to create an accompanying blog for longer stories and more in-depth content. Feedback is welcome.

If you are seeking information on a particular cruise, or would like help with any type of vacation, please contact me. I am happy to work with remote clients!

Me in Paris in 2009.
I actually wasn't on a cruise, but did you know
you can visit Paris on a river cruise?