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CruiseCompete Currents
Cruise News and Information
December 31, 2017

2018 is Nearly Here!
Best Wishes for a Prosperous and Exciting New Year
Filled with Travel Adventures!

Bon Voyage! The Hottest Super Specials for 2018

We've Made Planning Your Shore Excursions Easier!

Diary of A Voyage on the Regal Princess
 

Dear Currents Readers,
 


Our entire team sends you and your families warm holiday wishes and our sincere thanks for using CruiseCompete. We are truly honored that you take the time to read our newsletter.
 
Happy Holidays! We wish you and your family a very happy and prosperous New Year!

Warmest Wishes,
Heidi 

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Ready for your next adventure? Our agents have an ocean of Super Specials exclusively for our members. See today's hottest Super Cruise Specials.
 

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Shore Excursions      image 

The Top 4 Reasons to Book Your Excursions Before You Sail

CruiseCompete has made dreaming about and planning travel experiences easier, offering online tools to book land tour activities or shore excursions at substantially discounted rates prior to arriving at a selected destination. Experiences such as yacht racing in Antigua, a 4x4 Jeep Safari ride, ocean treasure hunting in Aruba, or private scuba lessons in the Bahamas are bookable online. These are just a few of the many exciting adventures to choose from, whether vacationing on land or at sea.

In addition to the excitement of dreaming and planning, there are also some very practical reasons to plan land tour activities and shore excursions before arrival at a destination:

1. Time is valuable. Booking ahead allows avoidance of standing in long lines at ship or hotel’s concierge to book land activities or shore excursions.

2. Land tours and shore excursions sell out, thus travelers miss out.

3. Looking at all possible options in advance allows you to weigh your options more fully. Cruise Compete links you to tour providers on every continent, in almost every county, and in many cities and destinations.

4. CruiseCompete’s excursion provider gives access to higher quality excursions at substantially lower prices.


How to: 

Staying on land?  Visit CruiseCompete’s Land Tour Activity Offers.

Traveling via cruise ship? Visit CruiseCompete’s Shore Excursions Offers

  • Click on the name of the ship and destination to find available shore excursions, or call 1-866-578-7508 or +1-954-449-6309 for expert advice to help select the best excursions for you.)

 

 

Sea Tales 2018 Family Cruise Travel Planner   image


The Sea Tales 2018 Family Cruise Travel Planner is Here! Our comprehensive guide to family cruising details every aspect of the family cruise vacation experience. Readers will find the 2018 edition has updated information and new sections that cover family suites and children’s dining, as well as details about the popular onboard cruise line characters from children’s books and movies.

 

  Regal Princess Diary   image

 

Regal Princess 1: Boarding the ship is a breeze

By Jackie Sheckler Finch- Click here to read the entire diary.

Seeing the long line waiting to board the Regal Princess, I thought I would be standing there for quite a while. I was wrong. Boarding the big cruise ship was a breeze.

What made embarking so efficient and quick? The well-organized Princess staff kept the line moving quickly and most passengers had prepared their pre-boarding forms via computer at home. That meant passengers arrived with boarding passes in their hands.

Ah, the joys of technology!

In the comfort of my home, I had leisurely completed typing in the necessary information and printed out my boarding pass.

Princess also had sent me several emails before my cruise date reminding me of any information they might still need. Three days before the cruise, I received an email with “Final Information Before You Sail.”

The email listed what I needed to bring – my ship boarding pass, passport and any medication. I also received a luggage tag on line to print and staple to my suitcase handle. The tag had my name, ship name and cabin number. I travel with carry-on luggage and my computer bag so I stapled the luggage tag on my suitcase and was ready to go.

Before leaving home, I also had booked the cruise ship shuttle from Fort Lauderdale airport to Port Everglades terminal. Cost was $18 per person, a bargain for not having to hail a cab in the airport chaos. I also booked the shuttle back to the airport at cruise end.

When my plane landed, it was easy to find the Princess shuttle kiosk in the baggage claim area. The Princess rep checked my name off the shuttle list, gave me a big blue laminated cardboard with my shuttle number and directed me to a seat to await the shuttle.

The Princess rep also distributed health advisory forms that needed to be completed and handed in when we arrived at the ship terminal. That also was a time-saver. I noticed that some ship passengers at Port Everglades didn’t have the forms so they had to stop, get a form and fill it out.

When the airport shuttle boarding time arrived, the Princess rep led a procession of cruisers to the big transport bus. My luggage was stored underneath the bus and I would not see it again until it was delivered to my ship stateroom.

The ride to the ship terminal took about 15 minutes. In the terminal, the line moved quickly and I was soon walking aboard the Regal Princess.

It was about noon. Cabins weren’t ready yet but a wide array of food was. The Horizon Court/Bistro buffet on Deck 16 was huge. I suggest walking around to see what is offered on the buffet before taking a plate and making a choice.

The woman next to me in the buffet asked where I got the sushi. Her plate was already full so I’m not sure where she would put anything else but it’s good to see all the day’s offerings before making a commitment. That helps prevent waste.

To make the food choices even more tempting is a large buffet room between the Horizon Court and the Horizon Bistro. Called The Bakery, it is supposedly the largest dessert station on any cruise ship. My, oh, my, the sweets I glimpsed in there.

When I was at home, I also had paid online for the Unlimited Soda & More Package at $7 per person per day plus 15 percent gratuity so my boarding card already had the little sticker designating that I had paid for the program.

When I sat down at my Horizon Court table with an ocean view, a server quickly took note of the Unlimited Soda sticker on my boarding card and brought me a Coke.

Paying ahead of time online for that Unlimited Sofa package is another time-saving tip. Instead of having to find the table aboard ship that is selling the beverage packages, your boarding card is already stamped and ready for use.

A passenger from Maine seated at a table next to me had bought the Premier Beverage Package before boarding and already had a tasty-looking Bahama Breeze cocktail. The premier package costs $59.99 per day per person plus 15 percent gratuity and includes unlimited (costing $12 or less on the menu) cocktails, wine, beer, bottled water, soda, and specialty coffees. Those packages can be purchased only on the first day of the cruise.

The Regal Princess emphasizes health practices and signs of that are abundant around the ship. Along with the customary hand sanitizing stations, the ship also has little alcoves with sinks, soap and paper towels before entering Horizon Court.

As noted in a printed health advisory given to us when we boarded the ship, “hand sanitizers are only partially effective against norovirus and should therefore be used after and not instead of hand washing, particularly before eating in the buffet.”

Rather than having to find a bathroom to clean my hands before eating, those hand-washing stations are very handy. A great idea.

So I’m on board the Regal Princess for my week-long cruise. When I check into my cabin, I’ll let you know what it is like. I’ve already seen photos of it online and know it will be great.

Notice all those online computer references I’ve mentioned? Technology has made this boarding process so much simpler and I haven’t even told you about the biggest Princess technology yet – the brand new Ocean Medallion program – the first of its kind on ocean cruise ships.

It’s supposed to be quite a high tech deal so I’m looking forward to finding out more to share with you. Stay tuned.

Click here to read the entire diary.

 

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Photos by ©Dennis Cox/WorldViews, iStock, R. Levinstein, Jackie Sheckler Finch

 



 
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