Cruise for Your Charity Accompanied Cruises

Cruise For Your Charity Accompanied Cruises begin in January 2020! I’m on each of the cruises as the “go to” person for questions, and assistance on-board. I bring the insights of a cruise travel advisor with the experience of over 50+ cruises. In addition, I have  35 years in the health and human services professions. And, I am also a Certified Accessible Travel Advocate.  John Diczok, my partner in Cruise for Your Charity, will also be available to assist cruisers throughout each trip. John Diczok has traveled for business and pleasure both domestically and internationally. His financial services background includes both IRS and New York State income tax certifications plus other financial licenses.

Cruise for Your Charity Accompanied Cruises offer:

  • The personal features of a custom designed cruise package.
  • The financial and social benefits of a group package.
  • The companionship of others in the group.
  • Daily social meet ups.
  • Access to cruise ship activities for solo travelers and singles as well as couples..
  • The opportunity to cruise your way. But, also have companionship at meals and recreational activities.
  • The comfort of knowing you have seasoned professionals on-board that you can call upon as needed.
  • A donation, in your name, will be made to your favorite charity. You will get the tax deduction for this charitable gift.

The donation, made in your name, can range from $150 to $1,300 and even higher. The amount of the donation is based upon the length, destination, and price of the cruise. Also, the  cruise line, the stateroom you choose, and your amenities are a consideration when determining the donation.  There is one donation per stateroom. There is no preset donation schedule.

A check is issued to a charity, in your name, one month following the cruise. You receive the tax deduction for the donation. Your donation comes from my commissions as a Cruise Planners Travel Advisor and Franchise Owner.

Cruise for Your Charity enables meto continue my practice of donating 10% of my annual income to charity. Making a charitable donation in your name, is my way of thanking you for choosing Cruise for Your Charity. Please view my video on the Cruise for Your Charity website for a complete description of the donation process.

Cruise for Your Charity Accompanied Cruises in 2020:

 

January 26, 2020   7-Night Western Caribbean MSC Meraviglia Yacht Club  Starting at $2,436 pp

Jamaica,  Cayman Islands,  Mexico,  Ocean Cay  MSC Marine Reserve

MSC-Yacht-Club-Restaurant-and-Lounge on Cruise for Your Charity Accompanied Cruises

MSC-Yacht-Club-Restaurant-and-Lounge

Leave Miami on a 7-day round trip cruise in the exclusive Yacht Club of the MSC Meraviglia. A ship within a ship, the Yacht Club Caribbean experience  offers: Butler service, unlimited beverages, a private dining room, lounge, pool and sundeck. Amenities Include: Internet service, laundry package, $200 per cabin on-board credit, trip insurance, taxes, fees, and port charges. Our Cabin Donation to Your Special Charity: $200

 

April 19,2020   26-Night British Isles Regal Princess  Balcony  Starting at $6,877 pp

7 Countries: Portugal, Spain, Belgium, England, Channel Islands, Ireland, Northern Island, Scotland and France.

Scottish Castle and Bagpiper

Scottish-Castle-and-Bagpiper

Leave Fort Lauderdale and return from home from Paris. Transatlantic Cruise Amenities Include: Gratuities, airport transfers,$400 per cabin on-board credit, one photo or photo credit-no cash(one per cabin) excludes Platinum Studio, one bottle of wine per cabin, Princess travel mugs, 2 per cabin,, trip insurance, taxes, fees, and port charges. Our Cabin Donation to Your Special Charity: $500

 

July 31, 2020   21-Night Northern Lights Route  Queen Mary 2-Balcony  Starting at: $ 6,626 pp

Nova Scotia,  Newfoundland,  Iceland,  Scotland,  England, USA

Northern-Lights-above-Reykjavik-Iceland, Queen Mary 2 Northern Lights Route cruise

Northern-Lights-above-Reykjavik-Iceland

Leave from and return to New York City on this 21 day Northern Lights Route Cruise. Amenities Include: Gratuities, 2 Verandah restaurant dinner cover charges per person,  240 minutes of Internet access per person, a $250 per person on-board credit,
a bathrobe and Cunard travel mug per person (2 per cabin), 8 x 10 photo (one per cabin) trip insurance,taxes, fees, and port charges. Our Cabin donation to Your Special Charity: $500.

Please call me at 212-710-2662 or email me at jean@cruiseforyourcharity.com and learn more about our Cruise for Your Charity Accompanied Cruises. Check out my post on July 22nd when I publish the schedule for my Cruise for Charity Luncheon Series. Luncheons will be small gatherings in NYC and Miami from September through January 2020.  Luncheons focus on the custom designed accompanied cruise experience for couples, singles and solo travelers.

I’ve cruised in the MSC Yacht Club, sailed to Europe on Regal Princess, and crossed the Atlantic on Queen Mary 2. Each is a Resort at Sea!

 

Cruise Value vs Cruise Price

Understanding Cruise Value vs Cruise Price will help you choose a cruise that meets your needs, interests and your cruise budget. Value is subjective and reflects our personal feelings, opinions and expectations. It varies from person to person.  It helps us determine if we are getting the best overall cruise experience for our money.

There are two components to cruise price. The first is the published fare that generally states, “Fares start at.”  Additional taxes, port fees and other charges may or may not be listed or included. The second component is the unlisted, hidden or back end charges. These are the components that will impact the total cruise price. Most of all, they not only affect the cruise value but your subjective favorable impression of the cruise experience.

Cruise Value vs Cruise Price: An Example of  Cruise Pricing’s Two Components

Let’s review Oceania’s Insignia July 11, 2019 sailing from Miami, FL.

Cruise Value vs Cruise Price, Oceania pricing for June

Cruise value vs cruise price, Oceania pricing for July 2019

 Oceania C, cruise value vs cruise pricing

A lowest price only person would select the G-Inside Stateroom at $849.

Delta Air Lines’ main cabin round trip air fare from New York to Miami is $368 plus baggage fees of $70 each way for 2 bags for a total of $508.

The cruise only fare plus the Delta air fare total $1,357

The basic Oceania fare for both examples include all non-alcoholic beverages, specialty restaurant dining, taxes, fees and port charges. The O Life package includes air fare, free Internet and we selected the $400 On Board Credit. The total cost $1,349.

Besides Price, What Gives a Cruise Value? 

To begin with, your cabin, its square footage, location on the ship, and cabin amenities, can increase  your enjoyment and add to the value of  your cruise. Not all cabins, in every category, are created equal. Some are next to an elevator, or under a lounge with live music.

A cruise catering to people in your age group will have activities and entertainment and destinations that suit your interests. A varied selection of food offerings, in different food venues, greatly increases the value of your cruise.

Picking a cruise based on the value of what it offers will often cost less than choosing one based on price alone. Why? Because value filled cruises include amenities in the cost of the cruise. When amenities such as beverage packages, laundry services, specialty dining, and internet service, are purchased separately on-board, they can add a significant charge to the original low cost of a cruise.

Cruise value packages often include other amenities such as free gratuities, and on-board credit.  Low end priced cruises do not include gratuities in the price of the cruise. They also do not offer on-board credit in the cost of the cruise.

Jean Campbellimage, cruise value vs, cruise price

Please call me at 800-388-8781 to learn more about our custom designed, individual cruises and the accompanied cruises I will host in 2020.

My charitable tax deduction in your name to your charity is truly unique. View my video on the Cruise for Your Charity website for a complete description.  Whether booking a custom cruise or an accompanied cruise, you receive a tax deductible donation. The donation can range from $150 to $1,300 and higher.

Financial Source Information John Diczok, BA, MBA – Fordham University, Financial Planning – Oglethorpe University,  FINRA Licenses Series 7, 9, 10, 24, 31, 63, 65; Georgia Insurance license, IRS and NYS Tax Certifications

 

Cunard Cruises, a Favorite of Single Women 55+

I recently took around trip Atlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2. This was my third time on the Queen Mary 2. While I have taken a number of transatlantic cruises, this was my first Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossing where the ship is the destination. I found that the Queen Mary 2 is a favorite of single women.

 

An Atlantic Crossing on the queen Mary @ out of NYC

While many of the passengers were 65+ couples, there were a significant number of solo travelers and singles traveling in groups. They ranged in age from 40+ to 80+ years.

The Queen Mary 2 holds a 10 AM social gathering each day for solo travelers and group singles travelers. The Queen Victoria holds similar gatherings. One lady, from Australia, who was our breakfast companion, has taken world cruises every year, for the past 20 years. She is part of a group of women who have met one another through world cruising. Her cruise agent travels with the group, and hosts meet ups each day for members of the group. Queen Mary’s staff makes it their business to watch out for solo travelers. If they don’t show up for a meal, someone checks in on them to see if they are well.

The dining room managers seat solo passengers with other guests for open seating at breakfast, and lunch. At the dancing sessions there are dance partners for women and men who are solo travelers. Queen Mary 2 staff extend themselves to make single women travelers comfortable. It is easy to understand why the Queen Mary 2 is a favorite of single women.

Conversations at meal time were never boring. I came away with a greater understanding of the life styles, customs and cultures of other countries. I met unassuming people who had led, or currently lead fascinating lives.

The Queen Mary 2 is a relaxed, fun, social and interesting way to travel, especially across the North Atlantic. The Queen Mary 2 is a favorite of single women and a resort at sea!

Jean Campbell

 

An Atlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2

In late April, I took an Atlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2. It was a round trip, and I was at sea for a total of 14 days. This was my third time on the Queen Mary 2. While I have taken a number of transatlantic cruises, this was my first Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossing where the ship is the destination.

The Queen Mary 2 has a long history of transporting passengers from New York City to Southampton, and  Southampton to New York. An elegant ship, it offers excellent live theater, newly released movies, and several music venues.  In addition, passengers have access to services not found on any other ships. There are kennels for pets, a planetarium, and the best ocean-going ship stabilizers. Most of the time it felt as if we were not moving at all! When we hit a few patches of rough weather the stabilizers enabled passengers to enjoy their meals, and the many ship activities with a minimum of movement.

An Atlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2 out of NYC

An Atlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2 out of NYC

I enjoyed many of the on-board activities. But what made the trip for me were the people I got to know during our hours of conversation each day. There are a lot of hours to fill when you are at sea for 7 days.  An Atlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2 really sharpens one’s social and conversational skills!

Breakfast and lunch gave me the chance to share a table with new people each day. Dinner was a designated table with the same dinner companions. Going over, many of the passengers were British, returning home after spending the winter in the U.S. southern states. Others were from the U.S., throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Dutch South Africa. There were 430 American passengers making the round trip crossing!

 Why An Atlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2?

Despite where they came from, when asked, passengers would share that they preferred an Atlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2 to flying. American passengers were taking the Queen Mary 2 to vacation in other parts of Europe.

On the way back from Southampton to New York City, a number of passengers joined the cruise from the Queen Victoria. They had just completed a 97 day world tour, and were taking the Queen Mary 2 home to the states. Others were spending a few days in NYC then catching a plane back to other parts of the U.S., Australia, or New Zealand.

Cunard Ships Are a Favorite of Single Men and Women

While many of the passengers were 65+ couples, there were a significant number of solo travelers and singles traveling in groups. They ranged in age from 40+ to 80+ years.

The Queen Mary 2 holds a 10 AM social gathering each day for solo travelers and group singles travelers. The Queen Victoria holds similar gatherings. One lady, from Australia, who was our breakfast companion, has taken world cruises every year, for the past 20 years. She is part of a group of women who have met one another through world cruising. Her cruise agent travels with the group, and hosts meet ups each day for members of the group. Queen Mary’s staff make it their business to watch out for solo travelers. If they don’t show up for a meal, someone checks in on them to see if they are well.

The dining room managers seat solo passengers with other guests for open seating at breakfast, and lunch. At the dancing sessions there are dance partners for women and men who are solo travelers.

I was so impressed with the solo travelers, of all ages, who were either coming from or going on land tours throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. One lady was traveling to the U S. to spend four months walking the Appalachian Trail.

Services on An Atlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2

The Queen Mary 2 is a safe, comfortable environment for all passengers. It has a large medical department capable of caring for everything from motion sickness to those needing to be airlifted for life saving care.

 The Atrium, An Atlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2ssing o

Atrium of the Queen Mary 2

The ship is fully accessible for persons with disabilities. Passengers with food allergies can review the menus for the following day’s lunch and dinner. They then can make selections that are safe for their dietary restrictions.

Conversations at meal time were never boring. I came away with a greater understanding of the life styles, customs and cultures of other countries. I met unassuming people who had led, or currently lead fascinating lives.

The Queen Mary 2 is a relaxed, fun, social and interesting way to travel, especially across the North Atlantic. The Queen Mary 2 is a resort at sea!

Coming Soon!

On June 10th, I will publish the Inaugural issue of , “Cruise Along with Jean”. It will be available via email subscription.

The newsletter will cover such topics as:

  • Our monthly Cruise for Your Charity luncheon schedule
  • Jean’s hosted annual cruise schedule
  • Value, price and quality tips for planning your custom cruise
  • Cruising amenities for singles, and those cruising with a partner, spouse or family
  • Reader Q&A

Thanks for visiting,

Jean

Fall Foliage Cruises from the U.S. to Canada

Canada is a beautiful country, but never more beautiful than during the fall foliage season. Each year, fall foliage cruises make their way from the U. S., stopping in New England ports, then on to Eastern Canada.

fall foliage cruises in Prince Edward Island

Rural area of Prince Edward Island in Autumn

These fall foliage cruises give cruisers access to the colors of autumn in rustic settings such as Prince Edward Island, and St. John’s, New Brunswick. Fall foliage adds to the charm of Halifax and the historic beauty of Old Quebec City. Each port of call gives cruisers the opportunity to appreciate the varied colorful landscape as they approach the harbor.  Land excursions expand on the fall foliage experience by visiting sites known for varied colorful foliage.

Some fall foliage cruises take the St. Lawrence Seaway to Montreal, where passengers disembark for  rail or air transport home.  Other cruises continue their exploration of Nova Scotia and return to their U S. ports.

Fall Foliage Cruises From the U. S. to Canada in 2019

Several premium and luxury class ships will cruise to Canada during mid-September to the end of October.  Seabourn, Oceania, Silversea Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, and Cunard, which are classified as luxury cruise lines, all have fall foliage cruises. Many of their cruises are 10-12 days in length. Premium cruise lines, such as Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Princess Cruises are also offering foliage cruises this year. These cruise lines are offering trips of various lengths from 7 to 14 days.

Cruise ships depart from various U.S. ports including Baltimore, New York and Boston. A number of the cruises are round trip. Others end in their last port of call, which gives cruisers the opportunity to spend a few days touring such locations as Montreal and Quebec before heading home.

Image of Montreal Fall Foliage

Montreal foliage

I’ve taken foliage cruises on the Queen Mary 2, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Holland America’s Rotterdam in 2018. Each was a unique cruise experience with varied excursion offerings. Food and service were excellent, as was entertainment. When I disembarked in Montreal, I took a tour of the city.  Afterwards I caught the Amtrak train to NYC.

My vacation continued while traveling through Canadian and U.S. farmland and the mountains and villages of upper New York State. By the time I reached Penn Station, I’d finished the picnic foods I purchased in the Montreal train terminal. I hopped a cab and was home in 10 minutes.

If you are interested taking a fall foliage cruise, call me at 800-388-8781. I can help you plan a custom cruise that meets your interests and needs. Please visit my website, www.cruiseforyourcharity.com, and learn how you can receive a tax deductible donation for your favorite charity when you take a cruise through Cruise for Your Charity.

Best,

Jean

Cruise for Your Charity: A Custom Cruise and Tax Deduction

Cruise for Your Charity Log on Custom Cruise and Tax Deduction When you take a custom designed cruise with Cruise for your Charity; I will make a donation, in your name, to your favorite charity. You will get the tax deduction for this charitable gift.

The donation, made in your name, can range from $150 to $1,300 and even higher. The amount of the donation is based  upon the length and  destination of the cruise.

It also takes into consideration the price of the cruise, the cruise line, and the stateroom you choose.  Amenities are also factored into the donation. There is one donation per stateroom. There is no preset donation schedule.

How Does the Custom Design Feature Work?

Each cruise booking is custom designed based upon your responses to our cruise questionnaire and follow-up conversations. A Sample Custom Cruise Package, is on the website. It is an example of a cruise package price with a donation.

The Program is open to residents of the United States wanting to cruise anywhere in the world. Cruise for Your Charity can develop value packages with most cruise lines. Cruise ships can vary in size from small, luxury ships to Mega ships that offer something for every age group.

You can assign your donation to a favorite charity when booking a cruise. To qualify for a donation a charity must be a nonsectarian and nonpolitical  501(C)3 organization.

A check is issued to a charity, in your name, one month following the cruise. You receive the tax deduction for the donation.

Your donation will come from my commissions as a Cruise Planners Travel Advisor and Franchise Owner.

charity banner for Cruise for you Charity

Cruise for Your Charity gives me the opportunity to continue my practice of donating 10% of my annual income to charity. Making the donation to your charity, in your name, is my thank you for choosing Cruise for Your Charity.

If you want to discuss the Cruise for You Charity Program further, please call me at 212-710-2672. I am happy to answer any questions about how Cruise for Your Charity works. When you choose to move ahead with planning a cruise, complete and submit the cruise questionnaire on our website. I will call you to begin the planning process of designing a custom cruise for you. I will request a planning fee of $100, which will be deducted from the cost of your cruise at the time of your booking.

I look forward to helping you enjoy a cruise, of you choice, generating a donation for your favorite charity, and receiving the tax deduction for the donation.

Please visit my cruise website, www.cruiseforyourcharity.com and begin to check out your cruise options in 2019 and 2020.

Thanks for visiting!

Jean

Medical Care on a Cruise Ship

Most of us don’t think to ask about medical care on a cruise ship until we are on a cruise and need medical care. My first experience of medical services at sea occurred during my first cruise. The second day out from New York City, on the way to Bermuda, sea sickness got the best of me. The medical facilities physician checked me out, and gave me the medication I needed to eliminate my nausea. I’ve taken 50+ cruises since then, and have not needed medical attention.

Standards for Medical Care on a Cruise Ship

All oceangoing cruise ships that are members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) must comply with guidelines that identify the standards of medical care on a cruise ship. The following guidelines are the collaborative efforts of CLIA members and the American College of Emergency Physicians:

  • Each ship must have at least one qualified medical professional available 24/7 to care for persons coming into the on-board medical facility, or needing to be seen in his or her cabin. Larger ships usually have two physicians and three to four nurses.
  • Physicians and registered nurses must have at least three years of postgraduate experience in general and emergency medicine or board certification in emergency medicine, family medicine or internal medicine.
  • Doctors and nurses must be fluent speakers of the predominant language spoken on the ship.

senior lady beig examined , Medical Care on a Cruise Ship

Cruise Ship Medical Facilities

Medical facilities on a cruise ship handle non emergency conditions.

Facilities usually include a number of beds, an exam room, and an intensive care room. They have equipment for processing labs, monitoring vital signs and administering medications. Equipment also includes wheelchairs, a backboard to immobilize the spine, oxygen, EKG equipment, and a minimum of two defibrillators.

Medical facility physicians and nurses care for the ship’s crew as well as cruisers. They see cruisers with a variety of non life-threatening health issues. They routinely treat respiratory problems, urinary tract infections, motion sickness and injuries.

When someone presents for care with a life-threatening illness the medical staff will stabilize the patient. They will make arrangements to have the patient transferred to a medical facility in the nearest port. If the patient needs immediate attention, arrangements will be made to air lift the patient to a medical facility.

Cruise ship medical facilities are not emergency rooms at sea. The vary in size given the size of the ship.

Cruise Ship Pharmacy Stock

While the ship’s medical facility will have a basic supply of most used medications, inventory will vary by ship. You will be able to get antibiotics, aspirin, seasick medications and other, most often prescribed, medications. They will also have those medications necessary to treat more serious conditions .

Who Pays for Medical Care on a Cruise Ship?

If you require medical care while on a cruise you are responsible for the cost. The cost of your treatment and medication will be billed to your ship account. Trip insurance will reimburse what you have to pay out of pocket. You will need a copy of the billing statement from the ship to submit to the insurance company.

On-board medical care can be costly.  However,  cost for care if you need to be moved to a hospital for treatment can be many thousands of dollars. Trip insurance isn’t a luxury it’s a necessity, and for the price, it’s a wise and inexpensive decision.

Medical Care on a Cruise Ship Tips

Carry a list of your medications and your medical history with you when cruising. It will make it that much easier for you and for the medical staff should you need medical attention.

Carry all the medications you will need on the cruise. Don’t assume that the ship’s medical facility will have your medication in stock.

Chances are you will not need medical care when cruising. But it is good to know that care is available.

If you have questions about Cruise for Your Charity please call me at 800 388 8781

Thanks for visiting!

Jean

Know Your Laundry Options When Cruising

Why do you need to know your laundry options when cruising? To begin with, you want to know if you  can do your own laundry, or must you use the ship’s laundry service. This can help you decide how much clothing you want to pack. If you are taking a seven to 14 day cruise you may not want to pack clothing for each day. You may want to pack light and wash what you have a few times during your cruise. So, what laundry services are available on shipboard and what do they cost?

Many of the cruise ships have self-service launderettes enabling cruisers to do their own washing and ironing. Costs are similar to doing clothes in a neighborhood laundromat. Launderettes are located on each cruise cabin floor, which gives passengers easy access from early morning to late evening.

Launderettes are equipped with 4-6 washers and the same number of dryers. They also have 2-4 ironing boards and irons. Some have a large sink for hand washing. You can purchase detergents and fabric softeners from dispensers. Tokens or key cards enable you to operate the machines.

Laundry options when cruising, image of washing machines

Ships That Offer Laundry Service in Lieu of Launderettes

Not all cruise ships have launderettes. Others offer a fee per garment laundry service. It is very convenient. In your cabin closet are paper laundry bags containing a check form listing items to be laundered and pressed and the cost associated with each item. After you fill out the cabin information you place it outside your cabin door, in the early evening. It will be picked up by your room steward,  and returned to your cabin within 1 to 2 days. Some cruise ships also offer dry cleaning services.

While having your laundry done for you seems like the way to go when you are cruising, there are drawbacks:

  • This can be costly when you are traveling with children who may require more than one change a day.
  • Extended trips, such as 14+ days can get expensive for anyone, even when taking advantage of laundry service discounts or special  laundry packages.

What Does Laundry Service Cost?

Here is a sample of the pricing for basic items of clothing. Most ships will not launder or dry clean specialty items such as wedding dresses or other formal wear.

Laundry options when cruising, a laundry service price list

Tips on Laundry Options When Cruising

  • Ask your travel agent about what laundry accommodations are available on your cruise ship.
  • Plan your clothes packing based on whether you will have self-service or ship laundry service.
  • If traveling on a luxury category cruise ship, your ship laundry service may be complementary.
  •  On a premium ship, there maybe discounted ship laundry packages that will reduce your costs.
  • Eliminate the cost of ship laundry service by booking a cruise offering a package, which that includes free laundry service.
  • Use on-board credit to reduce or eliminate the expense of ship laundry service.

Thank you for you for visiting!

Jean

Christmas at Sea on the Norwegian Escape

I spent Christmas at Sea on the Norwegian Escape this past December. Our destination was the Eastern Caribbean. We visited Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas, as well as Nassau.

Over 1, 500 of the passengers were youth ranging in age from infants through 18 years. On board activities in the Splash Academy for children and Entourage for teens gave participants the option of participate in programs throughout the day and evening hours.

The Norwegian Escape’s Kids’ Aqua Park was a big draw for many young cruisers especially the enclosed tube slide. Another favorite, which was always busy, was the two-story climbing structure.

Families could be seen on the Sports Deck playing miniature golf together, shooting hoops, or playing bocce ball. Additionally, there were the many video games to share. Of course, there were also all the Christmas activities to enjoy.

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

The Christmas holiday began as soon we boarded the ship. Brightly decorated Christmas trees lit up the public areas. Holiday favorites and carols played softly in the background.

The dining rooms and buffet areas featured displays of creative winter scenes made of foodstuffs. Each of the specialty dining restaurants also had their own unique decorations that added to the spirit of the season.

Christmas at Sea on the Norwegian Escape decorations

Besides the dining room decorations, staff and crew created a village display in the small atrium. A set of trains chugged their way around the display. The train whistle would blow every few minutes and small puffs of white smoke would come out of the steam engine’s smoke stack. This display put many a fussy member of the under five set in a good mood almost immediately.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day there were traditional holiday meals including prime rib of beef and turkey. Dessert offerings included pies, puddings and Christmas cookies.

Holiday Activities

Christmas Eve was our first port of call day. Guests going ashore boarded tenders for the trip from the Escape to Great Stirrup Bay. Besides enjoying beach activities, guests had five excursion options:

  • Parasailing
  • Marine Life Encounter Eco Boat Tour
  • Kayak Tour
  • Stingray City Bahamas
  • Wave Runner Tour

For guests staying on the ship on Christmas Eve, holiday activities began in the AM.  Christmas trivia was followed by Christmas crafts. In the afternoon, Christmas movies trivia drew a huge crowd!

The Escape choir and crew led guests in singing Christmas carols in the Atrium at 9 PM. At midnight, there was an Interdenominational Christmas service in the Theater.

Christmas Day dawned early with Santa’s arrival in the Atrium. He didn’t come alone. Mrs. Claus made a rare appearance, as did some of his elves. Santa didn’t come empty handed either. He brought gifts and invited the children to have their photographs taken with him.

View of Nassau from Christmas at Sea on the Norwegian Escape

View of Nassau from Christmas at Sea on the Norwegian Escape

Guests spending the day in Nassau, our second port of call, had a choice of five shore excursions:

  • Atlantis Aquaventure
  • Discover Atlantis
  • Discover Nassau by Land and Sea
  • Blue Lagoon Beach Day
  • Charm and Beauty of the Bahamas

Ship Christmas activities included a viewing of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”  on the large screen in the Atrium. A family holiday glow party was well attended.

Evening activities included a performance by four time Grammy winner, Melba Moore, in the Escape Supper Club. Overflow crowds attended the Escape Holiday Spectacular, in the theater at both the 7 PM and 10 PM performances.

Many families chose to celebrate Christmas at sea on the Norwegian Escape. As a result, they got to enjoy being together at Christmas without all the work of holiday preparations.

 

 

Family Friendly Cruising on The NCL Escape

In December 2018, I had the opportunity to experience family friendly cruising on the NCL Escape. The Escape calls NYC its home port and cruises to destinations in the Eastern and Western Caribbean, and Bermuda. After spending three weeks on this ship, I can say that the NCL Escape is a family resort at sea!

Picture of Family Friendly cruising on the NCL Escape

Norwegian Escape Nassau

Accommodations

When it comes to making family members comfortable, from the youngest child to grandparents, Norwegian has thought of it all. Beginning with the staterooms, the Escape has accommodations that include family mini-suites, balconies, oceanviews and inside staterooms. Multi-room suites and interconnecting staterooms offer additional options for families. The Haven by Norwegian™, the line’s exclusive ship-within-a-ship concept, offers stateroom categories perfect for the multi-generational family. Families staying in The Haven have access to their own private lounge, restaurant, courtyard and pool. Each suite has a 24-hour butler.

Aqua Parks

The Escape features one of the largest Aqua Parks at sea. It includes four multi-story water slides, a dedicated Kids’ Aqua Park, two pools and four hot tubs. Slides include the Aqua Racer, Norwegian’s first tandem water slide at sea, Additionally, it has the Free Fall, the fastest water slide at sea. For those who prefer a more relaxing ride, there is a family-friendly open-flume body slide. Norwegian Escape’s Kids’ Aqua Park features a multitude of splashing fun including an enclosed tube slide.  There is also a two-story climbing structure for kids to explore. Family members looking for adventure, can conquer the three-story Ropes Course with two planks and five sky rails. There is also a Kids Ropes Course for young children who don’t meet the Ropes Courses’ height requirement. Members of the family who like to take it easy can play mini-golf while enjoying the ocean views.

The parents I spoke with, that had young children, had high praise for the kids water park. They shared that, weather permitting, their children spent hours a day in the water park. While their children made new playmates, parents got to socialize while supervising their children’s activities in the water park.

Water park on Family Friendly Cruising on the NCL Escape

Norwegian Escape Tortola

Splash Academy

Splash academy is a complementary youth  program offered on all Norwegian ships. Splash Academy hours begin in the AM and continue throughout the day and evening, usually until 10:30 PM. Programs break for lunch and dinner so children can join their families for meals. Splash Academy is split into four categories for ages 3-12 and Entourage for ages 13-17.

The Norwegian Escape is the only ship in Norwegian’s fleet to offer childcare services for children ages six months to three years. It is part of the Guppies program. Before spending time by the pool or enjoying the many on- board activities, parents  head to Guppies Program. Here they can drop off their children with an early years coordinator at the nursery.  The nursery includes an active area for play time, and a separate space for napping. In addition to the nursery services, the Guppies program offers a dedicated open play area for parents and babies to play together. The play area features  sensory-based games, interactive media and themed activities.

Splash Academy Space

The Splash Academy areas are colorful, inviting, immaculate and attractively furnished. Staff are educated and experienced working with children. I had the opportunity to see teens enjoying their evening activities around the ship.  It was also great to overhear kids at breakfast hurrying their parents to finish so they could get to their Splash activities.

While kids had fun in the youth programs, during the day, parents enjoyed a variety of day time activities. When kids participated in the evening Splash Academy, some parents had a romantic diner in one of the specialty restaurants.  Others attended award-winning entertainment in the theater, many enjoyed the comedy club, visited the casino,  or had drinks with new friends.

Guppies program, Family friendly Cruising on NCL Escape

 

Dining

The complementary dining rooms and the buffet restaurant offered kid friendly foods at every meal. Menus were varied, foods well prepared, and had eye appeal which is so important to young diners. Even fussy eaters found something  they liked.  Dining wait staff asked about any food allergies and other food restrictions at every meal. Every dessert menu included one or more no sugar added desserts, including ice cream.

Each day, following lunch and dinner in the buffet area, you could watch children headed to the soft serve ice cream machines. They would take their cones and fill them with as much ice cream as their cones could hold!

Family friendly cruising on the NCL Escape is the perfect family vacation any time of the year!

To Be Continued on February 7th-Christmas at Sea on the NCL Escape

Thanks for visiting!

Best,

Jean