Lessons From a Carnival Cruise Ship

For those who follow Travel N Relax on our Facebook site, you will know that we just returned from a fabulous Panama Canal cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas.

During that trip we took an all ship tour which led us to many of the behind the scenes spots that one often will not see on a cruise ship. One of the stops we made was on the bridge, where the official displayed to us the ship navigation systems and advised us on how the bridge crew navigates around other cruise ships.

Given the current affairs of the day, it now seems almost prophetic looking back that one of the statements that this official jokingly made was that “…when navigating around other ships we generally try to stay about 3 miles away. However, if it’s a Carnival ship we then try to double that and stay at least 6 miles away.”

Cruise Ship Accident in Cozumel

As you have likely seen from your online news sources, and other news outlets, there was an incident the other day in Cozumel Mexico where the Carnival Glory slammed into the Carnival Legend while the Glory was steering to dock. In this process, the back end of the Glory slammed into the Legends nose thus slicing through the back of the Glory, where the ship’s Platinum Restaurant sits, and resulting in six passengers sustaining minor injuries. Thankfully, the Glory narrowly missed also hitting Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas which was also docked nearby at the same time.

Cause and Effect of the Mexico Cruise Ship Accident

While an investigation into the cause of the accident is currently taking place, Carnival’s official statement is blaming “spontaneous wind gusts and strong currents,” as being the reason for the accident.

After assessing the damage on both ships Carnival also believes that “there are no issues that impact the seaworthiness of either ship.” As such Carnival advised its guests to enjoy their day in Cozumel and both ships continued on their normal itineraries as if no incident had ever even occurred.

Carnival has also announced that rather than fix the gaping hole now in the back of the Glory the ship will have no down time and will just continue to sail the normal holiday sailings in the weeks ahead.

Is a Cruise Vacation Safe?

To the regular consumer following this news story, this story may cause questions regarding the level of safety that a cruise vacation might afford. Indeed, a question that we been asked after this incident is …. Is a cruise vacation safe?

For Travel N Relax, this is a critical question since one of the elements we focus on when planning our guest’s vacations is destination safety and security. To our our professional travel advisers, nothing is more important then assuring that all of guests remain safe during their travels. As such, we put a good deal of effort into our research on each trip that we help plan, to assure that guest safety and security will be met during your travels.

With this particular cruise ship incident, we do confess to having several questions running through our minds regarding the operation of this particular cruise vessel. Among these:

  • For a port that had nine other ships docking the same day, why did only this one vessel have issues with these supposed “winds guest and currents?”
  • If the wind guests and currents were so severe, should not safety have come first and perhaps another way to dock be found? Perhaps a more skilled crew member could have been put in charge of docking.
  • What is the level of training that this crew received?
  • Most concerning to us though is why Carnival seems to be putting profit before safety in continuing to operate future cruises with this ship while it maintains the level of damage that it has. By not fixing the issue could not the damage become more severe thus leading to potential future safety issues?

All of that expressed, we also fully recognize that this incident only occurred with one cruise line. Many other cruise lines are out there which offer quality service and strong safety elements. To say that a cruise vacation is unsafe based only on the actions of this one ship would be reckless and wrong. It also would not reflect our true feelings.

Travel N Relax does truly believe that a cruise vacation is safe and we will therefore continue to promote this type of holiday.

How Travel N Relax Can Help You Plan the Perfect Cruise Vacation

With that noted with all travel, there are always elements that need to be looked at and evaluated as your travel is planned, and cruise travel is no different in this regard. When planning a high quality vacation, it is vital to also look beyond just price, and to look at the individual suppliers and evaluate each suppliers record based their known history. Knowing that a supplier has a quality safety record helps to assure your own safety when traveling.

When you work with Travel N Relax, your professional certified cruise travel adviser is fully trained in these skills and will help guide you to the perfect enjoyable and safe vacation – whether by land, or by sea!

At Travel N Relax we have the tools and know how to keep you safe and evaluating our suppliers whom we recommend to you is just one small element of the many steps we take to assure your safety.

Indeed, when working with a cruise vacations travel agency like Travel N Relax you will get the benefit of having guidance and help on which cruise options and cruise lines are best for you. As well, you will gain the value of having a professional certified cruise travel agent assist you in selecting shore excursions and making other pre-cruise and post-cruise arrangements that will assure that you have the maximum enjoyment on your trip.

We invite you to discover the difference in working with a professional family and cruise travel agency like Travel N Relax and seeing the value that such a relationship can provide to you.

Give us a call today at 303.317.6945 to let us take care of all the details while you and your family truly Travel N Relax!

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Differences Between a Family River and Family Ocean Cruise

When deciding upon a family cruise experience, one of the first things to determine is which will be best. A family river cruise, or a family ocean cruise. When looking to answer this question there are many variables to be considered which a family travel agent can assist with.

Among these considerations is whether you prefer being out in the open sea or if you prefer the closer in views that a river cruise can offer you.

Differences between a Family River Cruise and Family Ocean Cruise

On an ocean cruise you will be out on the ocean in a larger vessel with occasional ports of call in multiple countries. On a river cruise you will sail down one of the major rivers in the country generally seeing multiple countries on a single trip.

Because of the narrower rivers and locks the ships must navigate, as well as the heights of bridges the ship must pass under, river cruise ships tend to be smaller boats with fewer facilities than the ocean ships will have. Nevertheless, as the river cruise market evolves and new ships are built, larger suites, more luxurious facilities and family friendly considerations are becoming easier to find on these ships.

Family Cruise Shore Excursion Options

Likewise, on either an ocean or river cruise, shore excursions will be a major element of your family cruise vacation experience. The land tour choices provided by family cruise lines are almost unlimited and provide options that can please all members of your family. Because of the wide selection of tours available, you might want to consider turning your trip into a group vacation and bring along the grandparents! When you create a a multi-generational vacation in this way you can make your family vacation even more special!

Some examples of options you might have to pick from include active expeditions such as hiking, parasailing or biking to gentle paced walking tours to special interest tours such as culinary, wine or artistic tours. If the ships selection of tours does not meet your satisfaction fully customized day trips can also be arranged. Your family travel agent will be able to help you select the best options and arrange these tours for you.

Tour pricing will differ greatly depending on the tour you select and the level of customization that you desire. With many river cruise companies the cruise line will provide free excursions that are included in your cruise fare with additional for fee tour options available. These extra cost excursions will generally be more extensive options that allow you to learn about your destination or the sights you are seeing at a deeper level.

In all cases working with a family vacations travel agency like Travel N Relax you will get the benefit of having guidance and help on which cruise option is best for you. As well, you will gain the value of having a professional certified family travel agent assist you in selecting shore excursions and making other pre-cruise and post-cruise arrangements that will assure that you have the maximum enjoyment on your trip.

We invite you to discover the difference in working with a professional family travel agency like Travel N Relax and seeing the value that such a relationship can provide to you. Give us a call today at 303.317.6945 to let us take care of all the details while you and your family truly Travel N Relax!

 

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What to Anticipate on a Family Cruise Experience

When planning your family cruise experience there are many considerations that must be made to assure that you and your family have a great family vacation.

Family cruise lines offer ships of various sizes, different cruise itineraries and various cruise lengths. A family cruise can range from only a few days, to extended packages that combine both the cruise with a pre or post cruise stop to a family friendly destination such as a Disney park or Universal Studios.

Despite these differences, when working with a professional family travel agent who can determine your wants and needs, you can be assured of an exceptional cruise experience that will both please and satisfy you.

Utilizing the connections that a family vacation travel agency will have, and the knowledge and training of a family travel agent, you will be matched to a cruise experience which provides true family fun.

A family friendly cruise will offer you great food and beverage options in a wide array of restaurants, quality staterooms to accommodate your family and a wide selection of entertainment offerings to please every member of your family. Some ships will also offer character interactions that allow the young, and young at heart, to meet, greet and mingle with their favorite film characters.

Generally on this style of cruise, one will find a wide selection of activities which might range from rock climbing walls, mini golf, ice skating, laser tag, merry go rounds and other similar kid friendly activities that will keep your entire family satisfied. Additionally, kids clubs are often available to allow mom and dad to enjoy some alone time should they desire it.

Staterooms on family cruise ships often feature private balconies, and provide larger than average stateroom options that can accommodate your entire family in one unit. Some staterooms might also offer a multi level option with a slide that your little ones can zip down inside the unit.

While these elements are generally always common on a family cruise where things do differ is in the style of travel that each cruise line presents. This is where the knowledge and training of a professional certified family travel agent really comes in handy. Learning your preferences and personality, the family travel agent can guide you to a family cruise line that truly meets and caters to your families unique desires and needs providing you with an exceptional family vacation experience!

Utilizing the connections that a family travel agency will have, it becomes possible for the guest to be presented with an amazing family cruise experience that will truly please and wow them!

Whether the guest desires a large cruise vessel, a smaller style ship or a ship packed with family fun features, when you utilize the training and knowledge of a professional family travel agent your family vacation wishes can become a reality!

We invite you to give Travel N Relax a call at 303.317.6945 to discover the difference that working with a family travel agency can bring to you! Travel N Relax looks forward to servicing you!

 

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Amazing Disney VIP Trips You Must Experience in Your Lifetime

As a family travel agency, Travel N Relax is always seeking out the best vacation experiences for our guests to enjoy. One company we have come to depend on for offering exceptional family vacations is Disney. Whether on a Disney cruise, an Adventures by Disney land package or a trip to one of their global theme parks Disney always seems to deliver.

Among the Disney offerings, Adventures by Disney offers some amazing tours that a family travel agent is always quick to advise on. Adventures by Disney tours offer small group tours where Disney trained guides provide guests with exclusive events, skip the queue access to key sights and private adventures with local specialists to enjoy the destinations culture.

While all Adventures by Disney tours offer something special, there are some tours that that our family travel agents have learned go above and beyond in offering something special. These are tours that one should experience at least once in their lifetime. Among these are:

Disneyland Resort and Southern California Tour

For passionate Disney lovers this tour is a must. Working with Adventures by Disney, our professional family travel advisors will arrange VIP tours of the park along with exclusive tours of the Walt Disney and Jim Henson studios which are normally not open to the public. Other surprise extras are also included!

Pasta Preparation in Italy

Italy is a popular destination for all travelers and our family travel agents can work with Adventures by Disney to bring this destination to life! On this tour the guest will enjoy a variety of iconic Italian sights as well as several private VIP tours and cooking opportunities. A highlight on this tour is the winery visit and pasta making in Tuscany!

Luxury Tours of Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone is an iconic national park which is renowned for being the first national park in the United States and one of the first in the world. Due to the park’s popularity, Yellowstone was Disney’s very first Adventure trip and remains a perennial favorite today. Working with Adventures by Disney, our family travel advisors can arrange a tour which combines seeing the key sights of the park along with thrill seeking adventures such as zip-lining, whitewater rafting and horseback riding. As with their other national park tours these tours do tend to sell out quickly.

Marvel at the Wonders of Egypt

A new Adventures by Disney tour is their Egypt tour which allows you to admire the iconic sights of Egypt. This tour will take you from the magnificent pyramids of Giza onto a Nile River cruise and offer many one of kind experiences like snorkeling in the Red Sea and an Egyptian cooking class. Working with a travel agency specializing in family vacations you will experience Egypt in a much deeper and meaningful way than could be accomplished on your own.

San Francisco Highlights

On this long weekend escape, our family travel agents will work with Adventures by Disney to combine the scenic sights of San Francisco with some exceptional magical Disney add ons such as a stop at Lucas Film studios and a tour up to Muir Woods Redwood forest and Napa. This, and other long weekend escapes that your family vacations travel agent can offer, will provide you with an exceptional re-charge in your life to allow you to face the daily routine with more vigor.

While Adventures by Disney offers many other trips, the above provide a small sample of the types of tours available.

Working with our certified family travel agents at Travel N Relax, they will be able to determine your preferences, help you select the ideal destination and tour for you and your family, and create a fully customized family trip that will truly please and impress you!

We invite you to give a professional family vacations travel agency like Travel N Relax a call at 303.317.6945 so that you can experience the many other benefits and perks that we can offer you! At Travel N Relax we take care of all the details so that you and your family can truly Travel N Relax!

 

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