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What are repositioning cruises?

These days, there are dozens of cruise lines and hundreds of cruise ships that travel all over the globe.  Whether in exotic corners of the world or in popular destinations that lots of tourists visit, chances are there’s a cruise ship there at least part of the year.

But in almost every destination, there’s a time of year when the weather’s not that great.  Even in paradise, it’s usually hurricane season between August and November.   Since no one wants to take a cruise where it’s rainy, windy, and cold, the cruise ships that sail in these waters when it’s nice usually relocate when the rainy season starts.

Those relocation trips – where a ship sails one way from one destination to another – are called repositioning cruises, and they can be a really good deal.  As a rule, they don’t visit as many ports as regular cruises, which usually visit a different port almost every day.  And there are often several days at sea.  For instance, a ship that repositions from the Caribbean to Europe will spend five or six days crossing the Atlantic ocean.

Today’s cruise ships have so many amenities onboard – everything from ice skating rinks to bowling alleys – that there’s plenty to do even when the ship is at sea.  And then, there are all those meals.  During sea days, the cruise lines often have special buffets in addition to all the regular meals.

Because repositioning cruises stop in fewer ports, they don’t sell as well as conventional cruises that call in five or six places.  For this reason, they’re often much less expensive on a cost-per-day basis.

Before you calculate your savings, find out what the airfare will be.  Since you may end up buying two one-way tickets, your airfare may be more expensive than a roundtrip ticket would be.

A short repositioning cruise, say one from California to Vancouver, is a great way to see if you like cruising.  And if you live within driving distance of the port, your airfare should be very reasonable.  Fares for these cruises are often as low as $50 per person, per night.  Considering that that covers your lodging, meals, transportation, and entertainment, that’s pretty hard to beat.

If you’d like to know more about repositioning cruises, visit http://repositioningcruisesguide.com.  Find out more about California cruises at http://repositioningcruisesguide.com/2010/03/west-coast-repositioning-cruises-on-norwegian-cruise-line-and-princess-cruises-in-april-and-may-2010.

Taking an All Inclusive Cruise Tour

Travelers love all inclusive cruises because one price is paid and everything is included, from accommodations, meals, and entertainment to transportation. Some things are not included, like alcoholic beverages, shore excursions, and tipping any of the staff. Therefore, while the cruise is inclusive in some ways, it is not for optional accommodations and services.

Most cruises include some basic amenities in the price. There should be a list of these services provided when booking online on the cruise line’s website or through a travel agent. Usually, all meals, snacks, basic beverages at meals, onboard entertainment, activities, all of the ship’s facilities, and port-of-call transportation are included. It is very rare to find an all inclusive cruise that includes soft drinks, tips, and alcoholic beverages. Those services may be included in the base price on a luxury cruise line. For most travelers, those extras are paid for as used on the ship. Additional services like spa treatments and shore excursions are extra.

Cruises are always offering deals, as they want their cruise ships to fill up before the sailing date. Sometimes there are specials as low as $300 and $400 per person for a short five day cruise. Many websites out there will even send an email when a cruise goes on sale, so having flexible dates is a plus. VacationsToGo, Expedia, Travelocity, and Kayak are just a few websites to start watching for prices.  Some of the best deals on my all inclusive cruises that I have gone on were obtained from VacationsToGo, for example.

So when planning the next couple or family vacation, take into consideration the benefits of an all inclusive cruise, especially the flight cost to reach far flung departure ports, like European cruises departing from the south of France, or yachts that traverse Australia and New Zealand. Most services are included, so there is not a guessing game as to the cost. Most cruise lines will show their prices for shore excursions as well, so families can plan ahead. There is also a variety as to how long travelers want to cruise as well, from three day cruises to fourteen day cruises being the norm.

San Antonio for All Seasons

Readers of Globe Trott, here’s a new place to take a holiday: San Antonio!

Visiting San Antonio is fun- it’s one of the undiscovered travel destinations. That’s not to say that people don’t visit San Antonio, but if people knew how fantastic it was there would be even more visitors. In future years, more and more international visitors will likely discover the joys of San Antonio.

Once a sleepy town, San Antonio has come a long way. It is the home to several military U.S. Army posts and United States Air Force bases.Many of the soldiers and airmen stationed here have chosen gracious San Antonio as their place of retirement. The lifestyle is so easy and friendly.

Traveling to San Antonio is not difficult. Drive in via the highway, or arrive at the San Antonio airport. Cars are easily rented at the airport.

Once you have your bearings, it’s time to start exploring the town.

What can you do in San Antonio?

Well, first and foremost, you must eat! Mexican food in San Antonio totally rocks. Drive up to any cafe, and you will probably be delighted. I would recommend Chicken Fajitas or Beef Fajitas. These dishes cost a bit more because of all the meat, but wow, are they good.

Visiting The Alamo is an important stop. This is a part of Texas history, and of American history, so take a tour. In addition, don’t forget to have a photograph taken in front. (I should stress that you should pack your home electronics carefully before leaving home, so that things like MP3s, DVD players, and digital cameras are not forgotten.)

The Riverwalk is a fine place to book your hotel, or to simply explore during the day. Hotel rates with a river view can be quite pricey, but if you want that memorable experience, then why not save up and spend your money on a r0verview room. Don’t miss the retail shops, large and small.  You’ll find shopping  to be fantastic and you can find some incredible things at delightful prices.

Military museums at places like Fort Sam Houston are quite interesting, and something that most tourists miss. Entering military bases can require some registration as an anti-terrorism measure, so be patient as you go through that process, and be thankful that such measures are in place to protect you.

San Antonio has tourist-friendly weather all of the year. Summers can be humid and hot, so if you prefer milder temperatures, consider visiting in the winter. Whenever you go to visit San Antonio, I am sure you will enjoy your trip.

Lovina, Bali’s Secret Destination

Lovina beach, on the north coast of Bali, Indonesia, is a must-see destination that many tourists never get around to visiting. It’s too bad because chances are the Lovina/Singaraja area of Bali has the more easy-going feel and slower pace that you probably had in mind when you booked your holiday in Bali in the first place. Between the lower prices, friendlier locals, good restaurants in excellent Lovina hotels, one could easily base a Bali vacation on this north coast instead of the hustle and bustle in the south end of the island.

Lovina is a great starting point for day trips to a national park that sits in the northwest corner of Bali.  The coastal road is surprisingly good and it’s a pleasant drive over to the park. Arrive early in the morning for the heat really picks up; you’ll enjoy a short hike through the lush tropical greenery.

Another day trip you can take from Lovina is a visit to the caldera at Kintamani, maybe via the small town of Bedugul. Take a break from the heat of the coastline and get a glimpse of what the island was like decades ago as you drive through small Balinese villages up in these hills.

Restaurants and hotels in Lovina beach have remarkably low prices compared to the south end of the island. The fact is that in some ways this coast resembles rural parts of Java or other Indonesian islands more than it does Bali tourist areas. If you have come for more than just a party and nonstop shopping, you might find it interesting to take a breath and slow down in Lovina. At the very least you’ll enjoy having a hotel room right near the placid Bali Sea, as opposed to having to fight the  heavy traffic and street hawkers in other parts of the island, just to get to your little patch of sand at the beach.

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