Friday, December 30, 2011

Wave season is upon us, time to book that cruise!

The cruise industry’s heaviest booking period, called “wave season”, is typically January through March. It is also when cruise lines offer some of their best deals. Best deals and heavy booking means you will want to jump in quickly, especially since cruise fares are steadily rising this year and you won’t find much last minute discounting. Early booking also helps ensure the ship, itinerary and stateroom location that you desire.

Early bird pricing, upgrades, two-for-one deals, free airfare -- the industry would love to book a boatload of reservations for summer, fall and even 2013 cruises. But do you really need to book this far ahead? What about those fantastic last-minute deals you keep hearing about?

First, everyone needs to forget 2009's rock-bottom deals. The recession brought the cruise industry to a low, along with the rest of us. But 2010 was up for the industry, and 2011 bookings were even better, industry analysts say. Whether you book now depends on what you want. Thinking Alaska this summer? The Mediterranean? Family cruise? Those are hot sellers, so now is the time to buy.

One thing to remember is to always book with a travel agent. Most of the cruise lines have a flat pricing policy, which means the fare is the same whether you buy from the cruise line or a travel agent. But where travel agents can still be creative is by offering extras, like pre-paid gratuities, discount on shore excursions and in some cases group or block space rates.

Looking for a travel agent, we can assit you with your travel needs. Just let us know! You can visit us on the web at, email at or give us a call at 888-882-5793. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you plan your dream vacation.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Our Disney World Trip

I do not normally write about my land vacations on this blog, but for this trip, I really felt that I had to.

My husband and I took our 2 1/2 year old daughter to Disney World last week for her first time. I really wanted to go during the holiday season, as I love the way Disney decorates. And, since our daughter loves Mickey Mouse and friends and is really into the Disney Princesses, I thought this would be a great time to go.

Yes, it was packed ... more so because of the holidays. We arrived at the park (after parking and monorail) at about 10:30am. I think I was more excited than anyone to get there. We had a great day planned. I was able to secure reservations at Cinderella's Royal Table for lunch with the Princesses, and dinner was at Chef Mickeys. We did take in a few kiddie rides with our little one, then off to lunch. What a great experience for her. Included in the lunch fare is a portrait with Cinderella. Lunch was great, and four princesses visited the tables (Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Belle and Jasmine). Great photo opps with each, although our daughter kept picking up her pizza for the pictures!

After lunch, back to the park and walked around. We decided we would catch one of the shows by the castle. At this point, our daughter was tired, but there was no way she was going to take a nap with all of the excitement. So, she went into a little melt down. So, being that we were at Disney, one of the gentlemen that was making sure the streets were clean, came over to our crying daughter, reached into his pocket and handed her a few metallic colored Mickey Mouse ears. The crying stopped. This is an example of what Disney is all about. Every employee in the park knows how to make the experience "magical" and memorable.

When it was time for dinner, back to the monorail to go to the Contemporary Resort where Chef Mickeys is located. This is a buffet style meal, and five characters visited us this evening. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Donald. This was a great
experience as well.

I think the point of my posting is that Disney is a fantastic vacation, whether you are visiting a park or taking the cruise. Yes, Disney is more costly than other vacations or cruise lines, but you do get what you pay for. It was an amazing experience. We are scheduled to be on the Disney Dream for our second cruise in April with our little one, and after the Disney park experience, we are looking forward to it even more.

Don't forget that we do handle land vacations as well as cruises. So, when you are ready for your Disney trip, give me a call and let CruiseOne Freer & Associates help you with the process! or toll free, 888-882-5793.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Regent Seven Seas Mariner

We recently got an opportunity to do a ship tour and have lunch on board Regent Seven Seas Mariner. We jumped at the chance, as it is not often that a luxury ship opens for viewing.

First, some facts about the ship. She is 709 feet in length and 93 feet wide. She only carries 700 guests and weighs in at 48,075 tons. She entered service in 2001, however she just underwent refurbishment a few weeks ago (this is as of December 19, 2011). Seven Seas Mariner is the world’s first all-suite, all balcony ship. She also has earned the distinction of being the first vessel to offer dining by Le Cordon Bleu ® of Paris in Signatures, one of four open seating restaurants. Hallmarks include generous amenities and a welcome spaciousness. Catering to only 700 guests, her staff to guest ration of 1 to 1.6 ensures the absolutely highest level of personal service.

So, what makes the ship luxury you may ask and is it worth the price? Well, yes, you will pay a higher rate up front than a contemporary or premium cruise line. However, you really need to look at what is included in that rate. In the rate are the following inclusions: Round trip air, unlimited shore excursions, luxury hotel package, ground transfers, beverages (including fine wine, beer, premium spirits, soft drinks, bottled water, specialty coffees and teas), in suite mini bar replenished daily, 24 hour room service, no charge for specialty restaurants, gratuities, pillow menu, and a staff that caters to your needs. Wow, talk about all inclusive!

How about we do a breakdown of cost? Let’s compare a Mediterranean sailing between Regent Seven Seas Mariner and Holland America Eurodam. Both sailings leave about the same time in Spring of 2012 and sail for 10 nights.

Here is a breakdown of per person costs for Holland America
Ports Visited: 8
Cruise Fare for a Superior Veranda: $2,999.00
Government Fees: $87.00
Air from U.S. East Coast: $1,389.00
Ground Transfers: $138.00
Shore Excursions: $695.00
1 Night Pre Cruise Luxury Hotel: $300.00
Gratuities: $110.00
Bar Drinks: $288.00
Soft Drinks / Bottled Water: $115.00
Alternative Dining (3 nights): $60.00

Total Per Person: $6,181.00, or $618.00 per day

Here is a breakdown of per person costs for Regent Seven Seas Mariner
Ports Visited: 9
Cruise Fare for a Superior Veranda: $5,499.00
Government Fees: $163.00
Air from U.S. East Coast: INCLUDED
Ground Transfers: INCLUDED
Shore Excursions: INCLUDED
1 Night Pre Cruise Luxury Hotel: INCLUDED
Gratuities: INCLUDED
Bar Drinks: INCLUDED
Soft Drinks / Bottled Water: INCLUDED
Alternative Dining (3 nights): INCLUDED

Total Per Person: $5,662.00, or $899.00 per day

When you do the actual breakdown of costs, there are often times when luxury can come out less expensive, and you get the luxury experience. I for one know that I have been in “sticker shock” when I get my bar bill at the end of a cruise! And lots of times we don’t do the shore excursions because we do not want to be out of pocket the extra money.

If you are thinking of a suite on a premium line, let me do the comparison for you. No. luxury ships are not for everyone. They are usually smaller, and while there are activities, there are not as many as on larger ships. Also, keep in mind that smaller ships usually visit more ports on a sailing, so you will be spending less time on board the ship.

So, with all that said, what did we think of the tour? We were pleasantly surprised. You do notice the attention to detail in the fabrics and the woods. The staterooms (well, they are called suites) are larger than normal staterooms on other premium lines. The silver in the dining room is actually real silver. There is a casual environment on board. It is nowhere near “stuffy” and you do not have to be formal on board. The food was wonderful and the service was fantastic. I was not very thrilled that we actually had to leave the ship!

Interested in looking at an itinerary and pricing? Give me a call and let me work out some comparisons for you. Remember, as a travel agent, I have your best interest. I am not working for a single cruise line. While I do represent all major cruise lines, who I really represent is you. I do not charge a fee, and it is my goal to match the right ship and itinerary with the individual or family I am working with. Let me show you why CruiseOne is the Nation’s largest cruise retailer.

You can reach me anytime toll free at 888-882-5793, visit me on the web at for our contemporary and premium cruise lines or at for our luxury cruise lines. You can also visit us on Facebook, like us and be kept up to date on specials.

I look forward to hearing from you and helping you plan your dream vacation!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Like us on Facebook

If you are interested in hearing about great travel deals, without being slammed by emails, check us out on Facebook. Like us and you will be able to be kept up to date on special offers, such as on board credits, spending reimbursments, great sales, and so on. You can also start and join discussions, or let us know what you are interested in.

We look forward to seeing you on our page!

Kathy Freer, ACC
CruiseOne Freer & Associates

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

There is still time to book that holiday cruise!

Just a quick little reminder ... there is still time to find a perfect vacation at sea for the holidays. The December holiday season is a great time to cruise and a wonderful way to spend the holiday with family. You will find decorations, themed events, special entertainment ... just to name a few.

Whether you are looking for an action packed family trip or a quiet relaxing get-a-way, we can help you find and plan the perfect holiday trip. Just give us a call and let us do all the work for you. You will be relaxing and having fun at sea in no time!

CruiseOne Freer & Associates, on the web at or toll free 888-882-5793. We can also be reached by email,

Monday, November 7, 2011

Exclusive Spending Reimbursement Promotion!

CruiseOne Freer & Associates is running a Spending Reimbursement Promotion from November 7, 2011, through November 30, 2011. This is a great time to book your vacation! The reimbursement value is dependent on the total cost of your trip and can be valued up to $200.00. This promotion is good for land vacations as well as cruises.

With this promotion, the reimbursement amount is credited back to the credit card on file after your trip is complete. So it is a nice credit after you travel. The reimbursement amounts are as follows, and they are combinable with any promotions that are offered by the cruise lines, if any, at the time of booking.

Total Booking Amount $1,000 to $2,499, Reimbursement Amount $50.00
Total Booking Amount $2,500 to $4,999, Reimbursement Amount $100.00
Total Booking Amount $5,000 to $7,999, Reimbursement Amount $150.00
Total Booking Amount $8,000 +, Reimbursement Amount $200.00

Give us a call or send us an email for more details. Let us help you plan your next vacation!

CruiseOne Freer & Associates, email or toll free 888-882-5793.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Top 10 things to prepare for your cruise

Now that you have booked your cruise, you may be wondering what to do next. Here is a quick guide that will help you through the process of preparing for your cruise.

1) Get or renew your passport. If you are using your passport as your proof of citizenship, make sure it is current. The requirement in most cases is that the expiration date is more than six months away from the date of sailing. Currently, if you are a United States Citizen and traveling on a cruise that departs and arrives back to a U.S. port, you are able to travel on an original or certified copy of your birth certificate and a valid government issued identification (drivers license for example). However, it is recommended that you get a passport. Of course traveling abroad requires a passport. Your travel agent will help you with what is required.

2) Flights and hotels. If you are flying to the city where the cruise departs from, it is recommended that you arrive a day early and stay in a hotel. Speak with your travel agent to discuss flight and hotel options to determine what best fits your schedule. Review flight information for flight times and the correct spelling of names as the airline may deny boarding if the names do not match. Many hotels will offer a shuttle to the cruise terminal; your travel agent will be able to assist you with selecting the best options.

3) Register online. Once your reservation is paid in full, you will need to complete your online registration with the cruise line. This is how you will get your boarding pass, as most cruise lines do not send out paper documents to your home any longer. You will need your cruise reservation number, your passport information and a few other items to complete this process. It should take about 10 – 15 minutes to complete.

4) Make show and dining reservations. Many of the large cruise ships are packed with entertainment and dining options. You are able to reserve show times and dining times online prior to sailing. It is best to do this ahead of time, as you will have more options as to the times that fit your schedule. You can wait until you board, but your selection will most likely be limited.

5) Spa and Salon appointments. As with shows and dining, you can also make your spa and salon appointments before you sail. By booking early, you have more options to choose from. Keep in mind that while the ship is at sea the spa is usually booked, so book sea days early. Also, most cruise lines will run a special for days the ship is in port. So do not rule out port days for your spa visit.

6) Pre-book shore excursions. If you want to do a shore excursion while in port, book it early. Shore excursions have a limited number of spaces and they do sell out. Chances are that if you see a shore excursion that you think is great, others think the same thing. Booking early offers the most choices. Also, if you do book early and need to change your excursion or cancel it, you are able to do so usually outside of 48 hours of the excursion date.

7) Packing. Check your cruise itinerary and cruise line’s attire guide, as this well help tremendously with your packing. Depending on your destination you will want to bring certain things. Be aware of any formal nights and the evening dress code for the dining room. You also want to make sure you bring any necessary items such as medications and toiletries. Keep in mind that when you arrive at the cruise terminal, your luggage will be checked. If there is anything that you want to keep with you, pack it in a carry bag (back packs work great).

8) Make arrangements for the care of your home. Before you leave, you may want to arrange with someone to check on your home a couple of times while you are gone. If you will be away for an extended period of time, have your mail and newspaper delivery held so the outside of your home does not look like it is vacant. Make necessary arrangements for your pets as well.

9) Speak with your travel agent. Travel agents are a great resource and can help with any of these items. They will also think of things that you may have missed.

10) Relax and have a fantastic time!

Looking for a travel agent? Let CruiseOne Freer & Associates help you with your plans. We offer excellent service and a best price guarantee (details on our website). Give us a call, 888-882-5793, or send us an email today at!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cruising on the world’s largest cruise ship, Allure of the Seas

Last week we attended CruiseOne’s National Conference on board the Allure of the Seas. I must admit, I was a little apprehensive about the entire trip simply due to the size of the ship. Would it take four hours to board? Will I feel like I am being herded like cattle? Will there be any breathing room for me on board with 5,700 other passengers? To my surprise and pleasure, everything was wonderful from embarkation to disembarkation.

Arriving in Port Everglades, looking up at this massive structure, all I could say was “wow, that ship is huge!” No doubt about it, this is the largest cruise ship in the world. Well, now it is time to stand in long lines to board the ship. But wait just a minute, where is everybody? No lines to board? How can this be? We were through the terminal and on the ship in less than 15 minutes. The reason it took so long is because there were six of us in three staterooms and we waited for all of us to check in.

Royal Caribbean certainly does everything right with this ship. Everything was amazing from the food in all dining venues to the wide variety of shows and entertainment. There is so much to do for all ages on board. My only complaint is that I did not get to experience everything in my one week on board, so it looks like I will just have to sail the Allure of the Seas again (sailing again is not part of the complaint!).

Our itinerary was the Western Caribbean, making stops in Labadee, Haiti (Royal Caribbean’s private island); Falmouth, Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico. The only port we stayed off the ship for any length of time was Falmouth. I know a great local taxi driver there that has taken us around in the past. He was wonderful, and we used him again (there will be a separate blog about our trip with him). The rest of the time was spent on board exploring. Cozumel met us with an all day rain storm, and the seas were quite choppy for our return home. The Allure of the Seas handles choppy seas very nicely. You could hardly feel any movement making her a great choice for a cruiser who might get motion discomfort.

This ship is a definite must sail. It is wonderful for families, singles and people of all ages. There is something to do around every corner whether you are looking for action or relaxation. And, surprisingly, you really do not notice that you are traveling with 5,700 other passengers.

Looking for more detail on this ship? Feel free to send me an email at and I will be more than happy to share! You can also visit us on the web at

Monday, October 17, 2011

Great Savings on Cruises This Week!

Have you been thinking of a cruise? This is THE week to book! National Cruise Vacation Week runs from October 17 – 23, 2011.

National Cruise Vacation Week, an exciting event designed to showcase the incredible choice, diversity and value of cruise vacations. Travel agencies across North America will team up with 26 member companies of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to provide consumers with exceptional offers and information on cruise vacations in every part of the world.

National Cruise Vacation Week (NCVW) is the highlight of October’s National Cruise Vacation Month, the once-a-year period during which travel agencies across North America sponsor exciting events and promotions all focused on cruising – the most enjoyable, satisfying and value-oriented vacation option available in today’s marketplace.

Check out some of the fantastic cruise deals that you can take advantage of this week:

AMA Waterways (River Cruising)
Fly to Europe for $199 per person, including taxes and fuel surcharges. Or, choose a “Triple Savings” offer of $1000 off per stateroom, complimentary one-category upgrade plus a $100 shipboard credit.

Avalon (River Cruising)
National Cruise Vacation Week Exclusive Offer - $2000 Per Couple Savings on Select 2012 European River Cruises!

Azamara Club Cruises
Between $300 and $500 On Board Credit

Fun Select rates + Up to $150 Cash Back per stateroom

Celebrity (Premium Cruising)
Between $50 and $400 On Board Credit for Europe and Non-Europe Sailings Including Both Non-Loyalty and Loyalty Offers

Up to $300 Shipboard credit and Reduced Deposit

Crystal Cruises
$100 per person National Cruise Vacation Week Savings

MSC Cruises
Up to $200 On Board Credit for Select Sailings in the Caribbean & Europe

Oceania (Luxury)
2 for 1 Cruise Fares with Free Airfare plus up to $5,000 Bonus Savings on select voyages.

Royal Caribbean
Up to $200 OBC on Select Sailings Departing After November 15, 2011

Silversea (Luxury)
$200 Savings Certificate Valid on Any 2011 or 2012 Silver Sea Voyage

Give us a call for details. You do not want to miss out on these savings! Deposit your stateroom today! CruiseOne Freer & Associates, 888-882-5793. Visit us on the web at or visit our National Cruise Vacation Week Mini Website at for information on select cruise lines. We are available 24/7 for your questions. Let us help you bring your dream vacation to life!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top 11 Reasons to Sail Celebrity Cruises for the Holidays

Here are the top 11 reasons to sail Celebrity Cruises for the holidays.

1. All the holiday planning and preparations are done
• Celebrity’s chefs artfully prepare every meal
• Attentive staff make every moment carefree and relaxing
• Elegant holiday decorations onboard create a festive holiday mood
• Holiday entertainment and activities are taken care of—clients just relax and enjoy

2. Family togetherness
• Precious holiday moments are spent with family and friends
• Opportunities for individual downtime for everyone in the family; massages or dinner for two in Murano for mom and dad, while the kids enjoy age-specific activities in the Fun Factory
• Special holiday entertainment and activities for all ages

3. Award-winning dining with all the holiday fixings
• Sumptuous traditional Christmas menus
• The whole family will enjoy a Christmas Day brunch
• Delicious traditional Hanukkah holiday menus
• Midnight desserts—even on Christmas Eve, while waiting for Santa’s arrival

4. Holiday shows & entertainment
• A spectacular line-up of holiday entertainment will exhilarate your clients with holiday spirit

5. Special onboard holiday programming
• Professional singers caroling throughout the holiday season—various times throughout each sailing
• A gift-bearing appearance by Santa for the children
• A stunning New Year’s celebration with champagne and party favors

6. Holiday traditions
• Gingerbread houses created by Celebrity’s team of expert Pastry Chefs
• Perfectly trimmed holiday trees and dazzling decorations
• Holiday gifts courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

7. Luxury accommodations
• Airy staterooms designed with all the right, tasteful details, including flat-screen TVs, down comforters and plush linens with twice daily turndowns

8. Exceptional service
• Intuitive service with a keen eye for detail will let your clients escape their daily routines with nearly one staff member to very two guests

9. Exciting destinations
• Your clients will visit some of the most desired destinations in the world—with the opportunity to be completely immersed n the local cultures with Celebrity Shore Excursions

10. Holiday escape from winter weather
• Clients will enjoy tropical, blue skies, white sand beaches, and crystal clear waters, while enjoying the festivities of the holiday season together as a family

11. ChoiceAir Specials for the Holidays
ChoiceAir Holiday Specials booked directly through Celebrity Cruises

What better choice for a holiday vacation! Give us a call to check rates and availability. 888-882-5793, via email at or on the web at Let CruiseOne Freer & Associates help bring your holiday vacation dream to life!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Exclusive Cruise Sales!

CruiseOne Freer & Associates has exclusive cruise sales with four cruise lines for cruises booked from September 22, 2011 through September 29, 2011. Details are below:

Celebrity Cruises
On board credit offer per stateroom
$50.00 for Inside Staterooms
$75.00 for Ocean View Staterooms
$100.00 for Balcony Staterooms
Applies to all ships and sail dates! This is a great opportunity to sail on the beautiful Solstice Class ships of Celebrity. Great rates and on board spending money!

Royal Caribbean
Up to $200.00 off per stateroom
Applicable for Ocean View Staterooms and above on select ships and sail dates, please give us a call or send us an email for details.

Princess Cruises
Reduced per person deposit
Ship wide savings coupon booklet worth up to $325.00
Reduced deposits allow the opportunity to book your cruise with less money up front. Great time to book that dream voyage and pay it off over time!

Receive up to $300.00 in on board credit per stateroom.
On board credit is based on stateroom type and sailing length. Now is the time to book your voyage on one of Cunard’s majestic ocean liners!

This sale is good for one week only. Give us a call to reserve your stateroom today! We can be reached 24/7 at 888-882-5793, by email at or on the web at We look forward to speaking with you and helping bring your dream vacation to life!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

CruiseOne is offering Xtreme Poker Cruises on 4 sailings in 2012!

CruiseOne Freer & Assoicates is offering Xtreme Poker Cruises, with the best of private, live tournament poker while sailing aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines newest ships!

Combine your cruise vacation with your favorite pastime. Game with real LIVE dealers (no electronic tables). Play in a private, professionally managed poker room. Enjoy cash games at ALL levels, ALL limits. The most popular games offered are 1/2 no limit hold em, 2/4 limit hold em, and 4/8 limit hold em! Enjoy daily tournaments including the XtremePokerCruise Main Event tournament with a $125 buy in.

Xtreme Poker Cruise Includes: Live Dealers, Cash Games & Tournaments Everyday, Final Day Freeroll Tournament, Welcome Cocktail Party, Bottle of Sparkling Wine, Daily Single Table Turbo Tournaments, Free Poker Instructional Class

Xtreme Poker Cruises offered on the following sailings:
7-Night Western Caribbean, March 4, 2012, Norwegian Pearl, Starting at $599.39
7-Night Eastern Caribbean, March 17, 2012, Norwegian Epic, Starting at $798.46
7-Night Eastern Caribbean, November 10, 2012, Norwegian Epic, Starting at $673.35
7-Night Eastern Caribbean, December 8, 2012, Norwegian Epic, Starting at $668.35

Give us a call to reserve your spot on one of these sailings! Space is limited, don't miss out! CruiseOne Freer & Associates, 888-882-5793, or

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Don’t miss this great opportunity if you are looking to cruise this year!

Our EXCLUSIVE On Board Credit sale begins on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 and ends on Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What is the AMAZING offer?

We will be funding an exclusive onboard credit up to $125.00 for both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity.

This exclusive offer is combinable with any other consumer promotion in the marketplace. Both offers are combinable with our Free Shore Excursion offer that runs through August 31, 2011, as well.

Also, with Celebrity you are able to take advantage of an already in place up to $100on board credit on select sailings, so you can actually have up to $225.00 onboard credit on select sailings!

Here is how the on board credit will be calculated:

Total Trip Price
$1,000 to $1,999 - On Board Credit Amount $25.00
$2,000 to $2,999 - On Board Credit Amount $50.00
$3,000 to $3,999 - On Board Credit Amount $75.00
$4,000 to $4,999 - On Board Credit Amount $100.00
$5,000 and Above - On Board Credit Amount $125.00

Royal Caribbean Promotion - Up to $125 Onboard Credit, FREE Spa Treatment & Onboard Savings Booklet!

New bookings ONLY made between August 17, 2011 and August 31, 2011
All sailings departing on or before 9/30/11 will receive up to $125 per the grid listed above
All Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas sailings departing on or before 12/31/11 will receive up to $125 per the grid listed above
All Europe departing on or before 12/31/2011 will receive up to $125 per the grid listed above
Book an outside category stateroom on any 7 night or longer sailing and receive one Passport to Savings Onboard Value Booklet.
Book a balcony or above category stateroom on any 7 night or longer sailing and receive a Complimentary Spa Treatment, in addition to Two Passport to Savings Onboard Value Booklets!

Celebrity Cruises Promotion - Up to $225 Onboard Credit, 50% Reduced Deposit, PLUS $50 Specialty Dining Certificate!

New bookings ONLY made between August 17, 2011 and August 31, 2011
All sailings departing on or before 12/31/11 will receive up to $125 per the grid listed above
Select sailings will receive an additional up to $100 OBC
50% reduced deposit on select sailings

There are a lot of details and some conditions to this offer. Give us a call to take advantage of this amazing sale. Kathy Freer, CruiseOne Freer & Associates, 888-882-5793. Visit us on the web at or send me an email at

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Feed Your Inner Foodie With A Menu Of Tempting Events

REPOST: Celebrity Chef Dena Marino will be on board the Celebrity Eclipse sailing December 10, 2011, doing a 7 night Eastern Caribbean itinerary!

Enjoy cooking? Always wanted to meet up with a professional chef? Well, here is your opportunity! And, to do it while on a vacation on board the beautiful Celebrity Eclipse … that makes it even better! Here is what will be happening:

Adding flavor to an already robust onboard experience are new special interest cruises, a part of the Celebrity Life Savor series, geared to those with a fine appreciation of food and wine. A renowned guest chef or wine maker will be invited aboard select cruises to celebrate all we love about good food and wine. There's no better place to showcase all this talent other than aboard the award-winning Celebrity ships with their already outstanding food and drink experience.

Feed Your Inner Foodie With A Menu Of Tempting Events.

Each "Savor Your Destination" culinary cruise offers a series of experiences to engage your taste buds and your mind.

• Meet and chat with the guest chef during a cocktail hour and have your photo taken together.
• Watch a chef-led cooking demonstration highlighting techniques and ingredients in the ship's theatre.
• Book signings, for those chefs with published books.
• Watch-or be selected to participate in-the "Star Chefs" competition cook-off. Guests are selected from the audience, then guided by the ship's own top chef to compete in a cook-off judged by a panel of fellow guests.
• Take part in a hands-on cooking class led by the chef in the ship's galley and receive a special recipe booklet featuring the chef's own creations.
• Exclusive food-and-wine-pairing dinner in the Murano Restaurant, designed and presented by the chef. Leave with a special booklet of the chef's recipes.

I have some group space on the Celebrity Eclipse, sailing December 10, 2010, doing a 7 night Eastern Caribbean itinerary, visiting San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten.

Interested in this sailing, or perhaps any other dates that might be available? Give us a call! CruiseOne Freer & Associates 888-882-5793 or visit us on the web at

Monday, August 8, 2011

3 Day Exclusive Royal Caribbean Sale!

We have an EXCLUSIVE sale with Royal Caribbean! Pre-Paid Gratuities! Complementary Dinner for Two in a Specialty Restaurant! Complementary Spa Treatment! And … on select sailings even some on board credit!

Contact Kathy Freer at CruiseOne Freer & Associates for details and to book your stateroom today! But hurry! This offer is only good for new bookings made between August 9, 2011 through August 11, 2011, and sailings must be 5 nights or longer, booked in a balcony or above and depart August 26, 2011 through December 31, 2011 to qualify.

Please read details below.

Give us a call at 888-882-5793, visit us on the web at or send me an email at

Book a balcony or above stateroom on any 5-Night or longer Royal Caribbean cruise departing August 26 – December 31, 2011 and receive: Complimentary Dinner for Two in a Specialty Restaurant Plus Complimentary Spa Treatment Plus Pre-paid Gratuities!!

And when you book select sailings, you’ll also receive 50% Reduced deposit AND On select sailings, between $25 - $100 Onboard Credit per Stateroom

These special offers are available on hundreds of sailings, including Royal Caribbean’s newest, most innovative ships, the Oasis of the Seas® and Allure of the Seas®!

SPA: Spa offer valid for balcony or above staterooms on any 5-Night or longer cruise departing August 26 - December 31, 2011. Spa offer will be limited to one treatment per stateroom, and it will be at the guest’s discretion as to which guest on the stateroom redeems the treatment. The guest redeeming the spa offer will choose among one of three of the spa treatments: La Thérapie Hydrolift Facial; Swedish Massage; Reflexology including Massage.
DINNER FOR TWO: Specialty dining offer is valid on any 5-night or longer Royal Caribbean cruise departing between August 26 - December 31, 2011 and on a ship featuring specialty dining restaurants. Not all ships feature specialty dining restaurants. Applicable to outside and above stateroom categories. On Oasis-class ships, 150 Central Park, Johnny Rockets and Izumi are excluded from the dining offer. Dining voucher is applicable for one dining experience in a specialty restaurant for up to two guests. Beverages are not included in the value of the voucher. Specialty dining gratuities are included.
PRE-PAID GRATUITIES: Gratuity offer is valid on any Royal Caribbean cruise departing between August 26 - December 31, 2011. Special offer includes pre-paid gratuities for the first and second guest in a stateroom. Gratuities for 3rd, 4th or more guests in the same stateroom will be the responsibility of the guest. Limit one pre-paid gratuities offer, up to two guests, per stateroom. On 3 – 4 Night itineraries, the gratuity offer is applicable to suite categories and above. On 5-Night or longer itineraries, the gratuity offer is applicable to outside and above stateroom categories.
REDUCED DEPOSIT: Reduced deposit offer is applicable to all Royal Caribbean ships, sail dates and stateroom categories, except those sailings that are within final payment. Any bookings made on sailings within final payment will not be eligible to participate in this offer. Only 50% of the normal deposit amount will be required at the time of deposit. The normal payment schedule will apply thereafter. Note: Gratuity amounts for suites (Grand Suite and higher) are higher than the categories. Reduced deposit must be applied to bookings by August 11. After the close of the sale, bookings will require full deposit if not deposited during the sale.
ONBOARD CREDIT: Bookings made in outside or above stateroom categories between on select sailings will also receive between $25 to $100 onboard credit per stateroom. Please contact me to determine which sailings are applicable. Onboard credit is applicable to select sailings, and amount varies by itinerary length. This offer is not transferable. OBC is in U.S. dollars and is not redeemable for cash. The onboard credit offer cannot be used with certain fares. The Onboard Credit offer cannot be combined with any onboard credit or dollars off coupon on the same sailing.

Monday, August 1, 2011

World's Most Scenic Cruises

I saw this article online, from Travel and Leisure. I thought it was a good one to share.

From coral reefs to calving glaciers, set sail for gorgeous views on the world’s most scenic cruises.

By Fran Golden

Scenic views are the most priceless part of the amenity-packed cruise experience. And, as savvy travelers seek more adventure opportunities, cruise lines are responding by charting a course to ever more beautiful—and remote—corners of the map.

With their shallow drafts, small cruise ships can get close to the sights, and they come equipped with inflatable Zodiacs that allow for intimate coastline exploration.

But big ship lines, too, are bringing passengers to ocean-accessible scenic wonders like Alaska's Inside Passage, where the roar of calving glaciers is best experienced from the vantage point of a ship's deck. Even Carnival Cruise Lines, with its strong base in the Caribbean, is positioning a ship year-round in Sydney, beginning in fall 2012. It's easy to see the reasoning: the South Pacific, South America, and Africa are all hot cruising destinations, according to the Cruise Lines International Association, the industry's top marketing group.

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but on the world's most scenic cruises, Mother Nature serves up views that will please the most jaded traveler—and may even change the very way you look at the world.

Galapagos Islands

Located some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, and virtually untouched by man, these islands have fostered hundreds of species found nowhere else on earth. Giant tortoises, curious iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and Charles Darwin's famous finches are the main attractions. You'll cruise past volcanic peaks and beaches, with opportunities to schmooze with land critters, snorkel with sharks, or watch the birds and contemplate the ongoing evolution in this wild spot.

Season: Year round.

Sample Itinerary: 7-day on the 92-passenger Celebrity Xpedition, from Baltra, Ecuador. From $3,499 per person, based on double occupancy.

The Kimberley

The rugged red cliffs and white sands of northwestern Australia make for one of the wildest, most beautiful coastlines in the world—and the best parts are accessible only by ship. In this outback, where the Indian Ocean meets the Timor Sea, remote islands proliferate, and rivers and inlets lead to isolated gorges, towering rock faces, majestic waterfalls (as high as 328 feet), and roving saltwater crocodiles.

Season: April–October.

Sample Itinerary: 10-day, from the frontier cities of Darwin or Broome, on the 50-passenger Coral Princess. From $7,337 per person, based on double occupancy.


Cruising the calm waters of Alaska's Inside Passage delivers high-drama views -- namely, the awesome sight of immense glaciers thunderously calving into the sea. But what may linger in your memory is the sheer vastness of the wilderness, icy and forested. Keep your binoculars handy to catch glimpses of whales, eagles, and, if you're lucky, a grizzly.

Season: May–September.

Sample Itinerary: Weeklong Eastern Coves on the 68-passenger Wilderness Discoverer or 57-passenger Wilderness Adventurer, between Juneau and Ketchikan. From $1,795 per person, based on double occupancy.

Antarctica and the South Shetland Islands

The captain charts a course south from Argentina's tip to the "Great White Continent," where wild beauty comes in the form of spectacular glaciers, giant white and blue icebergs, and snowcapped mountains. In this stark setting, you can spot orca and sperm whales from the deck and observe penguins and elephant seals up close on island stops. What you won't find is any sign of humans (beyond a smattering of scientific research stations).

Season: November–February.

Sample Itinerary: 11-day Antarctic Explorer, round trip from Ushuaia, Argentina, on the 122-passenger Clipper Adventurer. From $4,890 per person, based on double occupancy.


In the heart of the Malay Archipelago awaits the third largest island in the world, where ancient tropical rainforests support a zoological wonderland. There are interesting plants, and animal and bird life galore, and offshore, the reefs are full of colorful coral and marine life. Don't miss the monkeys in the wild, particularly orangutans.

Season: September–January.

Sample Itinerary: 10-day Camp Leaky on the 100-passenger Orion II (includes a stop at the orangutan rehab center featured in the IMAX film Born to be Wild). From $6,930 per person, based on double occupancy.


As you island-hop across the Indian Ocean, passing Mauritius, Reunion, and the Comoros, you'll be wowed by such sights as volcanoes (both extinct and active), dense forests, and some of the most pristine beaches and teeming coral reefs in the world. The East African cruise experience peaks at Madagascar, so big it's been dubbed the "eighth continent," which presents the added allure of lemurs—those spooky primates whose eyes make them look perpetually startled.

Season: December–March.

Sample Itinerary: 15-day East Africa, from Mauritius to Zanzibar on Zegrahm Expeditions' 110-passenger Clipper Odyssey, one of the only ships that devotes more than a day to the remarkable island of Madagascar. From $12,480 per person, based on double occupancy.

Greek Isles

Ancient architectural wonders combine with whitewashed towns, beaches, and abundant sunshine to make the Greek Isles a highly desirable cruising destination. The most magnificent scenery belongs to Santorini, where your ship sails into a bay that is actually a giant caldera, created when a volcano erupted in 1500 B.C. Multihued cliffs and the 1,000-foot-high town of Fira complete the view.

Season: May–September.

Sample Itinerary: 12-day Holy Land Cruise, round trip from Rome (Civitavecchia) on the brand-new 2,886-passenger Celebrity Silhouette. From $1,599 per person, based on double occupancy.

Milford Sound

Rudyard Kipling called Milford Sound “the eighth wonder of the world,” and it’s hard to argue when you behold the ethereal beauty of a waterway little changed since the Maori people discovered it more than 1,000 years ago. In South Island’s Fjordland National Park, the sound cuts through steep cliffs carved by glaciers. Your ship may get close enough to a roaring waterfall for you to feel the spray.

Season: Year-round.

Sample Itinerary: 14-day New Zealand, round-trip from Brisbane, Australia, on the 1,990-passenger Sun Princess. From $1,699 per person, based on double occupancy.

New England

The colorful leaves that light up the Eastern Seaboard each fall are recognized worldwide as one of nature's best shows. Seeing the red-and-gold display from the sea is a refreshing alternative to traffic-clogged roadways. Plus there's the added delight of rugged coastline and sightings of humpback and minke whales. Cruises typically head up to Canada, and some seek out a route that includes the tree-lined fjord of the Saguenay, which cuts through what may be the oldest rocks on earth.

Season: September–October.

Sample Itinerary: 10-day Canada/New England, including Saguenay, on Holland America's 2,100-passenger Eurodam from New York or Quebec City, from $1,499 per person, based on double occupancy.

Norwegian Fjords

The crystal-clear Norwegian Fjords serve up an embarrassment of natural riches. These stunning waterways cut right through 1,000-foot cliffs, revealing snowcapped mountains, glacier-fed waterfalls, and rolling lowlands. The spectacular views just keep on coming and continue well past dinnertime as you cruise with the midnight sun.

Season: May–August.

Sample Itinerary: 9-day Norwegian Fjords, round trip from Copenhagen on the Seabourn Sojourn. From $3,995 per person, based on double occupancy.

Give CruiseOne Freer & Associates a call to check rates and reserve your scenic cruise today! You can reach us 24/7 at 888-882-5793, visit us on the web at or email at

Friday, July 22, 2011

World Cruise - Round Trip from Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Many would agree that the idea of a world cruise is amazing. Just imagine ... boarding a beautiful cruise ship, getting to your stateroom, unpacking just once and visiting multiple cities and countries all over the world. On top of that, all of your meals and entertainment are included too (not to mention someone makes your bed and cleans your room daily)! Who could ask for anything more?

Most world cruises start in one port and end in another, for example, the Pacific Princess starts in Ft. Lauderdale in January, and end in Venice in April. There are a few that start and end in the same port however, and Holland America has a really nice (and convenient) sailing that starts and ends in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, which for those in the United States, it means no international flights!

Check out the itinerary below! You get a taste of just about everywhere. The voyage rates are very attractive as well. Inside Staterooms start at $20,015.47 per person; Ocean View Staterooms start at $24,295.47 per stateroom; and Balcony Suites start at $36,415.47 per person. These rates include cruise fare, port charges and taxes.

Holland America Line
113-Night Grand World Voyage, Fort Lauderdale R/T
Day Date Port Arv Dep
Fri 01/06/12 Fort Lauderdale, Florida - Embark - Times are subject to change 05:00 PM
Sat 01/07/12 At Sea
Sun 01/08/12 At Sea
Mon 01/09/12 Roseau, Dominica 12:00 PM 06:00 PM
Tue 01/10/12 Bridgetown, Barbados 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
Wed 01/11/12 At Sea
Thu 01/12/12 At Sea
Fri 01/13/12 Belem, Brazil 08:00 AM 06:00 PM
Sat 01/14/12 At Sea
Sun 01/15/12 At Sea
Mon 01/16/12 Recife, Brazil 08:00 AM 06:00 PM
Tue 01/17/12 At Sea
Wed 01/18/12 At Sea
Thu 01/19/12 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 08:00 AM
Fri 01/20/12 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 04:00 PM
Sat 01/21/12 At Sea
Sun 01/22/12 At Sea
Mon 01/23/12 Buenos Aires, Argentina 08:00 AM
Tue 01/24/12 Buenos Aires, Argentina 05:00 PM
Wed 01/25/12 Montevideo, Uruguay 08:00 AM 06:00 PM
Thu 01/26/12 At Sea
Fri 01/27/12 At Sea
Sat 01/28/12 Falkland Islands 08:00 AM 06:00 PM
Sun 01/29/12 At Sea
Mon 01/30/12 Antarctica
Tue 01/31/12 South Shetland Islands
Wed 02/01/12 Wilhelm Archipelago
Thu 02/02/12 Cape Horn, Chile
Fri 02/03/12 Ushuaia, Argentina 07:00 AM 01:00 PM
Sat 02/04/12 Punta Arenas, Chile 07:00 AM 07:00 PM
Sun 02/05/12 Chilean Fjords
Mon 02/06/12 At Sea
Tue 02/07/12 At Sea
Wed 02/08/12 At Sea
Thu 02/09/12 At Sea
Fri 02/10/12 Easter Island, Chile 07:00 AM 04:00 PM
Sat 02/11/12 At Sea
Sun 02/12/12 At Sea
Mon 02/13/12 Pitcairn, Pitcairn Island, UK
Tue 02/14/12 At Sea
Wed 02/15/12 Papeete, Tahiti 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
Thu 02/16/12 At Sea
Fri 02/17/12 At Sea
Sat 02/18/12 Pago Pago, American Samoa 07:00 AM 04:00 PM
Sun 02/19/12 At Sea
Mon 02/20/12 At Sea
Tue 02/21/12 Cross International Dateline
Wed 02/22/12 Lifou, New Caledonia 12:00 PM 06:00 PM
Thu 02/23/12 At Sea
Fri 02/24/12 At Sea
Sat 02/25/12 Sydney, Australia 10:00 AM
Sun 02/26/12 Sydney, Australia 04:00 PM
Mon 02/27/12 At Sea
Tue 02/28/12 At Sea
Wed 02/29/12 Cairns, Australia 08:00 AM
Thu 03/01/12 Cairns, Australia 03:30 PM
Fri 03/02/12 Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Sat 03/03/12 Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Sun 03/04/12 At Sea
Mon 03/05/12 Komodo Island, Indonesia 11:00 AM 05:00 PM
Tue 03/06/12 Lembar, Indonesia 08:00 AM 04:00 PM
Wed 03/07/12 At Sea
Thu 03/08/12 At Sea
Fri 03/09/12 At Sea
Sat 03/10/12 At Sea
Sun 03/11/12 Hong Kong, China 08:00 AM
Mon 03/12/12 Hong Kong, China 06:00 PM
Tue 03/13/12 At Sea
Wed 03/14/12 Nha Trang, Vietnam 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
Thu 03/15/12 Phu My, Vietnam 08:00 AM 11:00 PM
Fri 03/16/12 At Sea
Sat 03/17/12 At Sea
Sun 03/18/12 Singapore 08:00 AM
Mon 03/19/12 Singapore 11:00 PM
Tue 03/20/12 At Sea
Wed 03/21/12 Phuket, Thailand 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
Thu 03/22/12 At Sea
Fri 03/23/12 At Sea
Sat 03/24/12 Colombo, Sri Lanka 08:00 AM 06:00 PM
Sun 03/25/12 At Sea
Mon 03/26/12 Mangalore, India 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
Tue 03/27/12 Marmagao, India 07:00 AM 03:00 PM
Wed 03/28/12 Mumbai (Bombay), India 06:00 AM
Thu 03/29/12 Mumbai (Bombay), India 11:00 PM
Fri 03/30/12 At Sea
Sat 03/31/12 At Sea
Sun 04/01/12 At Sea
Mon 04/02/12 At Sea
Tue 04/03/12 At Sea
Wed 04/04/12 At Sea
Thu 04/05/12 Safaga (Luxor), Egypt 07:00 AM 11:59 PM
Fri 04/06/12 Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt 07:00 AM 01:00 PM
Sat 04/07/12 Suez Canal, Egypt
Sun 04/08/12 At Sea
Mon 04/09/12 Piraeus (Athens), Greece 08:00 AM
Tue 04/10/12 Piraeus (Athens), Greece 06:00 PM
Wed 04/11/12 Katakolon, Greece 08:00 AM 04:00 PM
Thu 04/12/12 Messina, (Sicily) Italy 11:00 AM 08:00 PM
Fri 04/13/12 Naples (Napoli), Italy 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
Sat 04/14/12 Ajaccio, (Corsica) France 10:00 AM 06:00 PM
Sun 04/15/12 Barcelona, Spain 12:00 PM
Mon 04/16/12 Barcelona, Spain 06:00 PM
Tue 04/17/12 At Sea
Wed 04/18/12 Cadiz, Spain 08:00 AM 11:00 PM
Thu 04/19/12 At Sea
Fri 04/20/12 Funchal (Madeira), Portugal 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
Sat 04/21/12 At Sea
Sun 04/22/12 At Sea
Mon 04/23/12 At Sea
Tue 04/24/12 At Sea
Wed 04/25/12 At Sea
Thu 04/26/12 At Sea
Fri 04/27/12 At Sea
Sat 04/28/12 Fort Lauderdale, Florida - Disembark - Times are subject to change 07:00 AM

So, do you have 113 days to spare? Looking for a world cruise? How about a segment of a world cruise? Give us a call and we can help you find the perfect ship and itinerary.

You can reach us anytime at 888-882-5793, visit us on the web at or send me an email at Let the experts at CruiseOne Freer & Associates help you plan your dream vacation!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Speakers Covering Spectrum of Interests To Enrich Crystal Cruises’ 2012 World Cruise

Television legend Regis Philbin, Hall of Famers Hank Aaron (baseball) and Don Shula (football), Olympians Dorothy Hamill (ice skating) and Cathy Rigby (gymnastics), and astronauts “Hoot” Gibson and Rhea Seddon join a cadre of political insiders, military leaders, and foreign correspondents on Crystal Serenity’s 94-day 2012 World Cruise.

In addition to dozens of guest entertainers, Crystal Cruises has tapped top experts from varied fields to enrich and inspire via complimentary presentations throughout the epic voyage, including:

• General Hugh Shelton—Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under two U.S. Presidents.
• Deborah Fallows—Linguistics expert whose book, Dreaming in Chinese, was one of Oprah’s 2010 “Books to Watch.”
• Major General Pat Brady—Chief U.S. Army spokesman, and top helicopter pilot, during the Vietnam War.
• Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin—Former U.S. Ambassador to Laos and Pakistan who played a key role in the post-9/11 campaign against al Qaeda.
• Tom Faranda—Global trend forecaster who predicted China’s rise.
• Farhana Qazi—Counter-terrorism expert and most prominent American-Muslim woman to study al-Qaeda and Muslim conflicts.
• Shelby Coffey III—LA Times, CNN Business News, and ABC News management veteran.
• Neil Leifer—Considered the greatest sports photographer in history.

Back by popular demand is “Ocean Views,” where noted panelists debate issues of the day.

“Our guests are intelligent and curious travelers who relish insights into the visited destinations and the world in which we live,” says Bret Bullock, vice president, entertainment. “To appeal to their wide range of interests and satisfy their discerning tastes, we seek out only the most engaging experts.”

Departing January 18, the grand round-trip Los Angeles itinerary consists of five 16- to 22-day segments through Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, South Korea, Japan, Russia, Alaska, and Canada, with numerous port overnights (including a 3-day Beijing exploration) en route.

Two-for-One segment fares start at $9,760/person, including complimentary airfare from 24 North American gateways (or air credit), plus up to $2000/couple shipboard credit. Full World Cruisers receive additional savings and perks.

Crystal’s award-winning, luxurious offerings always include a diverse selection of thought-provoking, scholarly, and sophisticated enrichment activities that provide extensive onboard choices for cultured world travelers.

If you would like more information on this sailing, please contact Kathy Freer at CruiseOne Freer & Associates 888-882-5793 or via email You can also visit us on the web,

Friday, July 1, 2011

Why Use CruiseOne Freer & Associates as your Travel Agent?

I have posted on this topic in the past, but it keeps coming up, and after all … it is a good question. And this past week, I have actually had the question asked of me numerous times, including right after I answered the phone: “Thank you for calling CruiseOne, this is Kathy” the caller’s first statement “Hi Kathy, why should I use you versus anyone else or the cruise line direct?”

I went on to explain to the caller about my knowledge, my service, and my experiences. I answered all of her questions, and I earned her business.

So, a little bit about me as a travel agent … I own my CruiseOne franchise, which I purchased in January of 2010. I was in the travel business in the 1990’s ventured out of it, and have returned. I am passionate about what I do. I love the fact that I help people with their vacations, family reunions, honeymoons, and quick get-a-ways … whatever their desires are. I have my own tag line “we bring your dream vacation to life.” I love to travel, especially cruising. I also specialize in family travel. Having two children myself, it is important to know what vacations and cruises fit our needs, and what will give not only me the best options, but my children as well.

I am a member of CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) and achieved the accreditation of ACC (Accredited Cruise Counselor). This is done by education and earning credits, sales and personal travel experience. I am one 7 night cruise away from earning my MCC (Master Cruise Counselor), which is obtained by more education and personal travel experience. It is important to continue my education so I can best serve my clients. Likewise, it is important for me to have firsthand knowledge of the products that I am presenting to my clients, so I try to travel as much as I can, or do educational opportunities, such as ship inspections.

So what makes me different from the cruise lines or the travel agent down the street? Well, most of the time all the pricing is the same. There are some cases where we might have some block space (purchased staterooms ahead of time) that will offer lower fares than the current rate available and perhaps some on board amenities like on board credit or a bottle of wine. But putting price aside, let’s talk about service. I will never put a client on a cruise just to sell a cruise. I listen to my clients, listen to their wishes, what they need, are they traveling alone, do they have kids, what is important to them. This helps me qualify them for the perfect vacation. I will also speak about stateroom types and locations. Some clients simply want the lowest fare stateroom and they don’t care about location. Others have many questions as to location. I also will not try to up sell clients to other levels, unless they have questions and are interested. I will however recommend certain stateroom types for certain itineraries (for example, a balcony is almost a must in Alaska).

This past week, I was on the phone with a client two nights in a row from 11:00 pm, until 1:00 am. Now, you can’t get that from a cruise line! I make myself available at almost any time of the day. I have a lot of clients that have schedules that don’t give them the opportunity to call me during a typical 9:00am – 5:0opm work day. I want to go above and beyond and offer my services and assistance when it is convenient for my customers. This client that I was on the phone with actually had contacted the cruise line directly, and did not have a good experience. She was told the rooms she wanted were not available. She wanted two rooms, four people in each room, and she wanted them as close as possible. I went through all the options with her, and did the best we could (this is a close in sailing that is very popular). I felt wonderful that I was able to help her, and to close the call, she thanked me very much, told me she had a bad experience with the cruise line, and she was very happy with me. Was I tired? Yes! It was 1:00 am! But it was worth it. Not because of the sale, but because I helped her with her trip.

When planning your vacation, it is still wise to use a travel agent. Especially one that does not charge a fee and has the same prices or better than going direct. We have the knowledge and experience to help you with your trip. We can look at all options for you. If you go to a cruise line directly, you will only get information on that cruise line, and you will speak to a different agent each time that simply wants to sell you a stateroom on their ship.

I will be there through every step, from first call until after you sail. You will have the same dedicated person handling your reservation and all of your questions. I will not simply sell you a stateroom on any ship. I will, however, build a relationship with you and learn about you and what you really want.

So, what are you waiting for? Give CruiseOne Freer & Associates a call today and let’s get started planning your next trip! You can reach us toll free at 888-882-5793 on the web at or by email at

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

On Board Credit With Royal Caribbean!

Have you been thinking of taking that cruise on the Allure of the Seas or the Oasis of the Seas this summer (or any Royal Caribbean ship)? Well, now is your time to book!

From June 7 through June 9, you receive between $50 to $200 onboard credit per stateroom when you book ANY Royal Caribbean cruise departing between June 24 – December 31, 2011! Bookings must be in an outside or above stateroom category to apply, and the amount of on board credit varies by itinerary length (3 – 5 Nights: $50 on board credit per stateroom; 6 – 9 Nights: $100 on board credit per stateroom; 10-Nights or longer: $200 on board credit per stateroom). This offer is only open through this Thursday, so reserve your stateroom today!

This offer CAN be combined with: Senior rates, Resident rates, Military rates, Police and Fire Fighter rates and YNOT price codes, Crown & Anchor Society offers (saving certificates, diamond discounts, balcony discounts, etc), Sales Event pricing, Shareholders Benefits, NextCruise and Future Cruise offers, and any other promotional offer.

Keep in mind that we also have a promotion for a free shore excursion worth up to $75.00 for all 7 night or longer sailings, this just makes it sweeter!

Give us a call to check rates and availability and book your cruise! You can reach CruiseOne Freer & Associates at 888-882-5793, email us at or visit us on the web at

We look forward to helping you plan your cruise!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Free Shore Excursion!!

CruiseOne Freer & Associates is offering a free shore excursion on any 7 night sailing or longer booked now through June 24, 2011. The free excursion has a value up to $75.00, and is good on any 7 night or longer sailing that departs between now and June of 2012.

Go on a snorkeling adventure in Roatan, take a scenic tour around Santorini or swim with dolphins in Puerto Vallarta... build memories of a lifetime!

When you book your cruise with us, either online at or by telephone, 888-882-5793, you will recieve an email with a unique promotion code for you to use when booking your shore excursion. Shore excursions must be booked online through Shore Excursion Group (which is our preferred vendor).

Need more info? Give us a call and we will help you with the details!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You are about to book your cruise, but you have questions … Here are some answers!

How do I book a cruise?

We offer you more ways to book your cruise than most other travel agencies:

• Book it Online at - We were the very first website to offer full online booking of cruise vacations. Start by choosing your cruise from our database of over 40 cruise lines, 100 ships, and 22,000 itineraries. You can even take Virtual Cruise Ship Tours, read Ship Reviews, compare Dining Menus, and Kids Programs before picking the right ship for you. Once you've found it, simply choose a date and the website will do the rest, including offering full "Cruise Only" and "Air and Cruise" pricing on the major cruise lines.

• Speak with a Real Agent - For "live" assistance, please call. We are knowledgeable, friendly, and fully equipped to give you instant price quotes while you're on the phone.

However you choose to book your cruise, whether online or with a Live Cruise Consultant, We are dedicated to customer service and will do whatever we can to help you plan the vacation of a lifetime at the lowest possible price.

Why should I book with your company?

There are a number of reasons to book with us. Among them: fast, courteous service with the best rates in the country.

I've never done business with you. How can I be sure you're legitimate?

Very good question and one you should ask any agency you're working with. We encourage you to contact the Better Business Bureau where you will find that we've had no complaints against us. We're a member of the Cruise Lines International Association, the National Association of Cruise Only Agencies, and are part of National Leisure Group. You may contact the cruise line that you are considering and ask them about us. We can give you references of other clients in your area. We will be glad to give you any information that will make you feel comfortable with us.

With regards to your vacation investment. Our agency discourages payments by check, cash or money order. We feel that credit cards will always give you the most protection when booking a vacation. Furthermore, your statements show that you payments go directly to the cruise line and that they have your money, not with us. Therefore, in the unlikely event that you are unhappy with our service, the cruise line has your money and you can assign it to the travel agency of your choice at any time.

Why are your rates better than what my local travel agent is quoting me?

Top Producing Cruise Only Travel Agencies have better buying power than over 90% of the travel agencies across the country. Our margins are often better because we buy in bulk. Often we have group rates that your local agent doesn't have. We are informed immediately of special regional, last minute, and senior promotions. Our agents are trained to ask for the best deal and most corporate intensive agencies are not. By specializing in cruises, we're also very good at finding them at the best prices, often passing on our margins to you in the form of greater discounts.

Is it better to book my cruise early or wait for a last minute discount?

It depends on your level of flexibility, but overall, it is better to book early. The cruise lines will often lower your rate if a better promotion comes along after you book your trip. Some guidelines are listed below for when you should consider booking, but again what they really come down to is flexibility.

Book early (at least 6 - 8 months in advance) if:

• It's an inaugural cruise
• You want specific cabin, i.e. (suites or mini-suites; location (port, starboard, middle of the ship, bedding, etc.); handicapped
• It is a unique itinerary (holiday, infrequent)
• You're not flexible with dates (honeymoon, vacation, etc.)
• You need a cabin for 3 or 4 people
• You need multiple cabins (family, group, etc.)
• You are particular about seating at dinner (especially if you want late seating)
• You plan to use frequent flyer tickets to get to the port (especially foreign cruises)

Book late if:

• You have lots of flexibility (itinerary, dates), especially if only two people are cruising
• You don't care about the location of your cabin and you will take an inside cabin
• You can drive to the port (and none of the other guidelines apply)
• You feel it isn't any fun unless you have lots of pressure :-)

Some cruise lines will now guarantee dinner seating and take a lower deposit when you book early (this may only be for repeat passengers).

Most people book 8 months to as much as 18 months in advance. You can always cancel, but of course you have to lay out the money for the deposit. Refunds on deposits are slow, however, and may take up to two months.

In the Caribbean at this time, where they have obviously built too many ships (especially in the winter when the ships are not in Alaska/Europe), some of these rules may not apply. Anyway, they are only guidelines.

Can I book on short notice?

Even the most popular cruises sometimes have space available because of late cancellations. So, have your agent check or visit this website for periodic updates. But, to get exactly the ship, cabin, and sailing date you want, you should plan and book early. Most cruise lines also offer early booking discounts for customers who plan ahead. Then, just sit back and anticipate all the fun you're going to have!

Do the cruise lines have Senior Citizen Rates? Family Rates? Last Minute Discounts?

Most of these promotions are available in the off peak booking seasons, after right after the first of the year and between September and mid-December. Anyone can qualify for a senior rate provided one of the passengers in the cabin is 55 years old or older. Usually these rates a $50 to $100 per person lower than the normal rates. We will post Senior Rates on the Internet as they become available.

Family Rates are programs that cruise lines use to fill the third and fourth berths on cruises on soft sailings. For example, the third and fourth person in a cabin may pay $499 per person on a typical seven night cruise. However, to help fill a ship, the cruise line may reduce this rate to $99 or even offer free passage to 3rds and 4ths. We will post these specials as well.

Finally, Last Minute Discounts are less popular than in the past. Today, the cruise lines are trying fill the ships with better early booking discounts like Royal Caribbean's Breakthrough Rates and Carnival's SuperSavers. They can now tell about three months prior to sailing if a sailing needs help. If they do, they'll institute Past Passenger Discounts First, Senior Rates second, Regional Promotions Third, and then drop the rates if necessary. Either way, if you book early and the price comes down after putting down your deposit, the cruise line will often lower your rate to the new promotion. You're always better off booking early.

What about these rates I see in my Sunday newspaper? Why aren't they ever available?

The rates you see in your Sunday newspaper in January are often for sailings during the most affordable week in the fall and on the shortest cruise. Since this pricing is based on the lowest category on the ship (which also happens to have the fewest cabins), they may be sold out by the time you call. It's very difficult at times to explain to a client that a seven night cruise with airfare and port charges in an outside cabin from Kansas City is $1,099 per person when they saw and ad in their paper stating their cruise rates were from $199 per person. $199 would be for a three night cruise in a bunk bed cabin without airfare and port charges.

Why Can't I Just Deal With The Cruise Line Directly?

You can actually make reservations with some cruise lines, but usually this is not to your advantage. As a Top Producer with most cruise lines, we often get special rates that are not available to other travel agents, much less the public. Furthermore, you deal with one agent with whom you've developed a relationship. Most cruise lines have hundreds of reservations agents. To them, you'd be just another passenger. To us, you're a valued client.

If you booked directly with the cruise line because we weren't available or you didn't know about us, the cruise line will release your booking to the travel agency of your choice provided you do so prior to your final payment

Do the cruise lines ever give free upgrades?

Everyone either knows someone, met someone on a ship, or they themselves have been upgraded to a higher category than they paid for. Yes, it does happen and but not as frequently as people think. How do upgrades work? Who knows? We're still trying to figure it out, but here's our theory.

Most upgrades go to passengers who book early and buy the lowest category on the ship in the form of a "Category Guarantee." A "Category Guarantee" means that when you book your cruise, you are not assigned a cabin number, you are simply guaranteed that category or better. Since most people who cruise simply want to get the best price, "Guarantees" are a great way to fill the ship with people looking for a good rate.

The cruise lines always sell more guarantees in a category than there are cabins in that category. For example, the lowest rate on Celebrity Cruises is a Category 12, inside cabin. There are approximately 6 category 12 cabins. However, on each sailing, Celebrity will sell between 40 and 60 Category 12 guarantees. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that 34 people are going to get a free upgrade. Usually these upgrades are given on a first come first serve basis.

Most upgrades are often from low inside cabins to higher inside cabins, or low outside cabins to higher outside cabins. Rarely do passengers get upgraded from inside to outside but it does happen. But don't book an inside cabin expecting a free upgrade to an outside. It probably won't happen.

If you are assigned a cabin when you deposit on your cruise, your chances of an upgrade are very small. If you are travelling in a quad, your chances are very rare in that there are relatively few quad cabins on a sailing. Cabin assignments on guarantees are usually made between a few weeks and the day of sailing. If you don't like the cabin they give you, tough luck, you're stuck. So if you're afraid of being at the front, back, top, bottom, under the dining room, then don't take the chance. Take an assignment at time of booking.

Can I extend my cruise vacation?

We can arrange pre- or post-cruise land packages at the same time you book you cruise. These are available through the cruise line and usually include transfers or a rental car.

Should I buy travel insurance? Is it worth it? What does it cover?

Without insurance, if you cancel your cruise after final payment, you will suffer penalties. There is no question about it. It could be $50 per person or could be the full cost of the trip. The cruise line doesn't care if it was your life savings, if it was a heart attack, a death or if you promise to rebook and say good things about the line. You will not get your money back after final payment without insurance.
We mention insurance to everyone. We don't push it on anyone. For some reason, people perceive it as a cash cow for us travel agents. It's not. But you should consider your own situation before deciding for or against it.

• Would losing the total cost of trip hurt?
• Do you have family members who are ill or at risk of illness that if their condition turned worse you would abandon your travel plans? Young children or older family members?
• Do you have a pre-existing medical condition?
• Is your trip relatively expensive? Are you leaving the country for 10 days or longer?
• Are at a point in your life where you are susceptible to accident or illness?
• Are you booking your own air transportation?
• Have you ever experienced baggage delay or loss by the airlines?
• Does your insurance cover medical expenses in a foreign country? Probably not?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may want to consider insurance. Insurance typically costs about 10% of your total trip cost and usually covers baggage, trip delay, trip interruption, medical expenses, medical evacuation, and more. The cruise lines' insurance typically doesn't cover pre-existing conditions but we have other insurance we sell to cover this situations. Ask your agent for a brochure explaining it in more detail.

Is Insurance worth it? If you have to use it, definitely. But insurance also buys peace of mind, which is not a bad reason to have it either.

Explanation of Cruise Travel Insurance Policy

How do I pay for my cruise? What are the deposit and final payment requirements?

Always, always, always use a credit card to book your trip. . They're convenient, they are safe, and you get extra protection for your vacation from your credit card company. But if you must, we will accept checks and certified checks for payment.

If you are booking your cruise early (outside of four months prior to travel) the cruise line typically requires a deposit ranging from $100 per person for a 3 or 4 night cruise, $200 - $250 per person for a 7 night cruise, and $300 or more for longer cruises. Your cruise must be paid in full at least 65 days prior to travel for most cruise lines (some require final payment even sooner). Your agent will discuss payment terms with regards to your particular cruise.

You will get a comprehensive receipt for every payment and will receive a final payment reminder to keep you on top of your payments. If you would like to make periodic payments on your trip, you may do so provided all payments are completed prior to the final balance due date.

How old do you have to be to go on a cruise?

This is really a two part question:

1. How old do you have to be to cruise without a guardian?

Most cruise lines have a minimum requirement of 21 years of age for young people traveling without their parents. If any occupant in the cabin is under 21, then a passenger at least 25 years old must be booked in the cabin with them. This rule applies to married couples, as well.

The only exception is that children under age 21 may be allowed to have their own cabin as long as the parents are booked in the cabin next door or across the hall. In other cases, the cruise line will require that, for booking purposes, one parent is placed in each cabin and then guests can switch around once on board.

2. What's the minimum age to get on a cruise ship?

Some family-oriented cruise lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Disney may have Minimum Age Restrictions on their very young guests travelling with their parents. In other words, they require that babies have to be at least 12 - 16 weeks old to travel and maybe older for longer and exotic itineraries. Even if a child meets the age restriction, some lines require that they are at least 2 - 3 years old to join the children.s activity program. Other lines, such as Princess and Disney, capacity-control the number of children of any given age on every sailing, especially over holidays. And some cruise lines, such as Renaissance, do not accept any guest under age 17. As each cruise line is different, it is always best to check with your cruise counselor about the policy of the cruise line you are considering.

Facilities for children and families can vary widely. Budget and Contemporary cruise lines usually have the most to offer and may even have a child.s fare based on age. Some cruise lines charge the children's fare based on the cabin type being purchased, while the luxury and specialty products may not offer third or fourth occupancy in a cabin or even a reduced fare for extra guests. Once again, check with your cruise counselor for the most accurate rate quotes and the cruise line's policies. To learn more about Cruise Line Kids Programs read our Guide to Family Cruising.

If you have any additional questions or would like to contact us, please do so. CruiseOne Freer & Associates is available to take your call! You can reach us at 888-882-5793 or send us an email at Feel free to visit our website at or our Luxury site at

Friday, May 20, 2011

We Booked My Bucket List Cruise!

Well, we have done it … we have booked a 12 night Mediterranean Cruise that hits 4 of my bucket list locations. I knew that if I were to go to Europe for a cruise, I wanted to try to visit all of the locations on my wish list. I only had two options for the time frame we were looking at, and we decided on the Crown Princess, sailing on August 28, 2012, doing a 12 night Greek Isles, Venice to Rome itinerary. My bucket list consisted of: Venice, Italy; Rome, Italy; Santorini, Greece; and Dubrovnik, Croatia. I absolutely love the itinerary. Out of a 12 night sailing, we only have one day at sea. I cannot wait! The time couldn’t go by fast enough for me! And what is wonderful is that I was able to secure this sailing with simply a $200.00 deposit for myself and my husband. Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it! Well, we happen to have some block space on this sailing, and it is in a group which allows for a reduced deposit. And I have a year to make payments toward the trip. Hey, just because I own my travel agency doesn’t mean I get any deals on pricing. I pay just like everyone else!

What we decided to do for this trip is do our air round trip from Rome, and we will get in a couple days early and rent a car. This way, we can explore Rome on our own, drive to Florence and Pisa, then make our way to Venice for our cruise. Check out this fabulous itinerary!

Princess Cruises
Crown Princess

12-Night Greek Isles, Venice to Rome

Day Date Port Arv Dep
Tue 08/28/12 Venice, Italy
Wed 08/29/12 Venice, Italy - Embark - Times subject to change 01:00 PM
Thu 08/30/12 Dubrovnik, Croatia 09:00 AM 06:00 PM
Fri 08/31/12 Corfu, Greece 08:00 AM 06:00 PM
Sat 09/01/12 Katakolon, Greece 07:00 AM 04:00 PM
Sun 09/02/12 Athens (Piraeus), Greece 06:00 AM 05:45 PM
Mon 09/03/12 Mykonos, Greece 01:00 AM 06:00 PM
Tue 09/04/12 Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
Wed 09/05/12 Rhodes, Greece 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
Thu 09/06/12 Santorini, Greece 07:00 AM 06:00 PM
Fri 09/07/12 At Sea
Sat 09/08/12 Naples/Capri, Italy 07:00 AM 06:00 PM
Sun 09/09/12 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy - Disembark - Times subject to change 04:00 AM

Do you have a travel bucket list? If so, let me know! Post a comment, send me an email at You never know, my next blog could be about your dream destination! I can also provide pricing and options for you. Give us a call toll free at 888-882-5793, or visit us on the web at or You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

World's Best Ruins to Visit

I saw this posted on, written by Christine Sarkis. I loved it and wanted to repost it. Ruins have always fascinated me, and some of these are definitely on my travel bucket list! If they are on yours, I can help you get there!

Ruins reach across centuries to fire the imagination and fuel travel plans. The very best make you feel young, small, and utterly amazed by the architectural chops of the ancients. Among the many amazing ruins that still exist today, a few stand out as the trip of a lifetime.

No matter which ruins you visit, a few rules hold true: Time your trip for the less crowded times of day, often early or late. Give yourself plenty of time, as some ruins require days of exploration. Hire a knowledgeable guide, since the history is rich but the signage is often cursory. And get beyond the most popular parts of the ruin; you'll need a bit of quiet space to appreciate this kind of ancient majesty.

Machu Picchu, Peru
The journey to Machu Picchu is epic even with relatively newfangled transportation like trains. But each year, about 25,000 people forgo the more direct routes and walk for days along the 27-mile Inca Trail to reach the ruin. Since its rediscovery a century ago, this treasure of the Inca set high in a cloud forest of the Peruvian Andes has captured imaginations worldwide. The massive stone blocks tell the story of both a sprawling agricultural zone with terracing and ancient food storehouses and an urban zone replete with temples, squares, tombs, and living quarters. If you're considering a trek to Machu Picchu, plan ahead: You can only make the hike with a licensed company, and spots book up quickly, especially in high season.

Acropolis, Greece
Waiting for the traffic to speed past at a crowded intersection in Athens, you're likely to forget that history keeps constant watch over the city. Glance up, however, and you'll catch the view Athenians and visitors alike have been admiring for the last 2,500 years. Time has battered the once-pristine temples and gates that crown the hill of the Acropolis, leaving stone ruins that retain a familiar splendor even after thousands of years of wear and destruction. The elegant proportions of the fifth-century B.C. Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike—both dedicated to the city's patron deity—are a reminder of how much we still rely on ancient Greece for our concepts of beauty.

Mesa Verde, United States
Great ruins aren't always an ocean away: Some of the best preserved Native American cliff dwellings in North America reside in Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. Home to the Ancestral Puebloans—whose descendants became 20 different Southwestern tribes, including the Hopi and Zuni—Mesa Verde traces 700 years of history across 4,000 archeological sites. Visit mesa-top pueblos and the dwellings built beneath massive overhanging cliffs. Ascend steep trails and ladders, or crawl through tunnels to explore ancient architecture such as the 150-room Cliff Palace or the hard-to-reach Balcony House. The park's hours vary by season, and not all sites are open year-round.

Angkor, Cambodia
War or natural disaster might have weakened the Khmer Empire's ancient capital, but ultimately, it was the jungle that conquered this ninth- to fifteenth-century urban center. Today, the densely forested 150-square-mile Angkor Archaeological Park protects part of a vast cluster of ancient capitals, many of which remain buried. The park's most famous temple, Angkor Wat, is the world's largest religious building. But the park's dozens of other ruins, including Bayon temple with its wall of 11,000 carved figures, offer quieter glimpses into the art and architecture of this culturally rich 600-year period.

Great Pyramids And Memphis, Egypt
Political unrest or no, a roundup of the world's best ruins can't exclude Egypt. The last existing ancient wonder of the world, the Great Pyramid of Giza stands as a lone window into the far past. With more than 4,000 years to ponder the question, experts still can't agree on how the builders placed more than 2 million stone blocks so perfectly. The rest of the Giza Necropolis holds more wonders: two more Great Pyramids, built during 80 years by 20,000 to 30,000 workers, plus the Great Sphinx, cemeteries, and the ruins of a village. The pyramids are part of a larger UNESCO World Heritage site that includes Memphis, the capital of the Old Kingdom of Egypt. A trip can even include some up-close-and-personal time: Visitors can explore the interiors of some of the pyramids. And the recent drop in tourism offers intrepid travelers the rare chance to experience the pyramids without the usual crowds.

Tikal, Guatemala
Stay overnight in the national park for the ultimate experience at Tikal, an ancient Maya city in northern Guatemala that was home to 90,000 people before being abandoned in the tenth century. Early the next morning, before the park opens to the general public, join a small group making the trek through a jungle awash in the pre-dawn symphony of birds and insects. Climb to the top of Temple IV, the Temple of the Two-Headed Serpent, to witness a sunrise that reveals ancient temples and pyramids rising from the verdant forest blanket. You've still got hours to explore this vast complex of pyramids, temples, and plazas before the big crowds roll in. Along the way, catch glimpses of brown coatis, toucans, howler monkeys, and some of the hundreds of other species to call Tikal home.

Petra, Jordan
Hailed as a "rose-red city half as old as time" in a 19th-century poem, the ancient city of Petra was half built and half carved into red sandstone cliffs. Nabataean Arabs established the city in the sixth century B.C., and for hundreds of years it thrived as a trade center for frankincense, myrrh, and spices. Now, as then, enter the ruins of the city through a narrow, half-mile-long gorge squeezed between cliffs nearly 300 feet high. Inside, explore architecturally elaborate tombs and temples, sacrificial altars, and even a Roman-style amphitheater. Most people explore on foot, but visitors can also ride camels and donkeys. The sun lights up the red cliffs of Petra most dramatically in mid-morning and late afternoon, so be sure to time your visit accordingly.

Colosseum, Italy
Digitally reimagined in Hollywood blockbusters such as Gladiator, the camera really shaves millennia off Rome's Colosseum. But the 2,000-year-old ruins are so evocative up close that special effects seem superfluous. With a bloody history of fights to the death between gladiators, slaves, prisoners, and wild animals, the Colosseum held 50,000 spectators or more in its heyday. Later, Romans used the abandoned arena as a quarry: Stones from the Colosseum are part of the cathedrals of St. Peter and St. John Lateran. Last summer, entirely new sections of the ruin—including the basement— were opened for tours.

Great Wall Of China, China
Like a dragon, the Great Wall of China slithers its way across the landscape for about 4,500 miles, and, like a dragon, the wall protects something treasured. Constructed to shelter China's people and culture from the outside world, the "Long Wall of 10 Thousand Li" was built during 2,000 years by many imperial dynasties. While some parts of the wall are in ruins or have disappeared entirely, other sections have been restored or preserved. The most popular section today is the Badaling Great Wall, close to Beijing. Slightly farther from the capital city and offering a more rugged (and less crowded) experience is the Great Wall at Mutianyu. In Qinhuangdao City, the Laolongtou Great Wall actually stretches into the sea, and is said to resemble a dragon drinking water.

Palmyra, Syria
Twice a day, at sunrise and sunset, the Bride of the Desert blushes, even 18 centuries after her birth. Palmyra, also known as Tadmor, is in the desert northeast of Damascus, Syria, and was once a wealthy caravan oasis along the Silk Road, linking Persia, India, and China with the Roman Empire. At a crossroads of cultures, the ruins of grand colonnaded streets, temples, funerary towers, and aqueducts demonstrate a mingling of influences that made this an awfully cosmopolitan place for the second century. Palmyra was also home to the warrior queen and conqueror Zenobia, and tour guides tell exciting tales that give this seemingly isolated place a starring role in world history.

Looking to check some items off of your travel bucket list? Give us a call at 888-882-5793 or visit us on the web at Let CruiseOne Freer & Associates help you plan your next trip. We handle cruises, land vacations, resorts, all inclusives. We are your cruise and vacation speciailists!