Category Archives: luxury cruises

“Why does it seem unfair to pay double to cruise single?”

Cruising Solo

“Do I really have to pay 200%?” 

I have been a Cruise Specialist for almost 12 years now and approximately 1/4 of  my clients are solo/single travelers.  Cruising is a great way for singles to travel.  Whether it is with a group or a couple of single friends, after a day on a cruise solo travelers are suddenly “not so solo” anymore!  On any given cruise ship there are bound to be quite a few singles…so you won’t be alone!  Cruise lines do cater to the singles by hosting “meet & greet” cocktail parties throughout the cruise.

For singles & solo cruisers, having your own cabin is often the most preferred way to cruise as it is nice to have the privacy of your own cabin. There is however, one question that always comes up when someone traveling solo calls for information…

”Why do I have to pay double to have a have my own room?”  

For those of you unfamiliar with cruising, the cruise fare is usually quoted in a “per person”  rate.  That rate is always based on double occupancy.  However, if you are planning to have your own stateroom as a solo you are required to pay “double” (except on very few occasions where the cruise line is running specials).  For many this seems unfair and sometimes it is a deciding factor in cruising for a single/solo.

Although on the surface, it does seem unfair.  But if you think about the cost of a cruise in terms of booking a hotel rate, it is really not unfair at all.

If you are planning a weekend vacation at a hotel, you are quoted a “per night” rate based on the room you choose.  For example, you may choose a hotel accommodation that costs $300 per night.  If you are traveling alone it will cost you $300 per night.  If you are sharing with a friend and splitting the cost, it would then cost you each $150 per night.  The hotel does not charge you half the room price if you are only 1 person in the room.  The hotel bases their operating budget on the cost of the room, whether 1 or 2 guests are in the hotel room.

A cruise ship is very similar.  If a stateroom costs $300 per night, as a solo you would pay $300 per night and if you share the stateroom you would split that.  Sounds fair…but why does it seem so unfair?

It is the way Cruise pricing is quoted…on a “per person basis.” If a client hears that a cruise is $150 per person/per night, it is hard to understand why as a solo you have to pay double ($300 per night).  It somehow sounds wrong for a cruise to charge a 200% cruise fare for a solo traveler.  But the reality is that the Stateroom has to be paid for, exactly like the Hotel room.  The Cruise lines formulate a budget based on each stateroom being filled whether 1 or 2 guests are in the stateroom. IF the cruise was quoted in a “Per Cabin” rate instead of a “per person” rate, no one would think twice about the solo pricing.

Some cite that the difference is that Cruise fares include meals and the solo traveler is only eating for 1, so shouldn’t there be a discount?  Yet if you were staying at a hotel that included daily breakfast, you would not get a discount on the Hotel room rate if you are solo.  Again, it is thought of in terms of a “Room charge per night”.

As a solo cruiser, it might sound unfair to pay double, but when you compare it on equal terms to a hotel vacation, you will still find the Cruise a much better value…even when you are traveling solo!

So don’t let that 200% charge for a Solo Cruise fare scare you away…it is just in the way it is phrased.  And let’s not forget the benefits of having your own room – privacy, space and your own closet!  Plan your solo travel today! 

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Cruise & Travel Deals of the Week!

April 4, 2011 Last Minute Cruise Deals

Confused by all of the offers and websites on the internet?   Sometimes it can be overwhelming!

Just remember…”The internet is for looking, your Travel Specialist is for booking!”

When you are spending money on a vacation, it is important that it is the right “fit” for you.  Every Cruise ship and Resort has a unique personality and it is my job to match your personality up with the perfect vacation!  As a Travel Specialist, I can clear the confusion and make your life easier (and happier!).

Don’t make planning a vacation become a huge headache…

Check here for Weekly deals and then call me to make your life easier!

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Port of Call of the Week – St Martin

A video says a thousand words!!  Need I write more?

Some people say “I have already done that itinerary.  I want to see other islands.”

I say that the great thing about going to the same port many times is knowing exactly “What” you want to do when you get there.  It really is much more enjoyable when you don’t feel pressured to see everything and you can spend all day doing your favorite thing on the island.  In St Martin, our favorite thing to do is spend the day at Orient Beach…more specifically “Coco’s Beach”.   Of course you can go on an excursion to Orient Beach, but then you will be like a herd of cows (not a literal picture!) and not feel special.  Take my advice…take a cab to Coco’s and feel the difference!

Sure…you could go to Kontiki’s, Waikiki (totally expensive!) or Bikini Beach, but you won’t feel the intimate friendly service.  As with any restaurant or resort, service is always key…and at Cocos the employees really care.  You can feel it.  And I attribute that to the owner Sophie.  She is hands on and a part of the experience.  You can always count on the food being fabulous, the service being top notch and the “after lunch specialty rum” being …oh how can I say “rumilicious!” (is that a word?!)

Look for the Periwinkle umbrellas and THAT is Coco’s.  I recommend the lobster salad, the Rigaletto Pizza or the grilled chicken (devito style!).  Ask for Phillipe, Roman and Sophie and tell them Janet & Frank sent you…and don’t forget to say “Bonjour!”

Take a cruise to St Marten, stay at one of our fav hotels (Alamanda or Esmeralda) or renta villa (Casa Lana, Coccinelle or Dolce Vita – depending on your budget)….but just GO!  I have been going there for over 25 years and love it!

For more tips on St marten and booking that special vacationClick Here!

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Celebrity Eclipse Update! “Who are those Mysterious Bathrobe people?” I will tell you…they are people who know HOW TO START A RELAXING VACATION! That could be YOU!

Call today 732-577-9150 to plan your Celebrity Cruise!

Go to www.jdevito.cruiseone.com for great last minute deals!

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Azamara Club Cruises

“You’ll Love Where They take
You” is the Azamara Motto…. and I say “You’ll Love How They Take
You There”!

Okay, so I was
having way too much fun to write every day for 12 days! I
admit it, I procrastinated! But here I am, 6 days home from
my Azamara Journey cruise and I am still wishing I was back on the
ship! I have already written about my first impressions of
the Journey, now I will write about my “lasting impressions” of the
Journey. And there were plenty! It is so often that you
travel, whether on a ship or at a resort, and something happens
that disappoints you. The sad thing is that often, it can
ruin what would otherwise be a great trip. Of course, at the
end of the vacation you can always put your comments in the box,
and although satisfying, it still leaves a bad taste about the
experience. I must admit, that did happen to us on the
Journey. What is amazing is how my disappointment actually
became the best thing about the Journey! The first 2 mornings, the
breakfast service was not so good. Coffee was consistently
unlabeled (caf – decaf), dirty plates stood in front of guests for
up to half hour (yet plenty of waiters around)…I would basically
say that it seemed as though there was NO service. And that
is not what we expected from such a luxury cruise. It seemed
so unusual since every other point of service was excellent!
But those mornings could definitely spoil everyones
experience. What happened on the 3rd day was truly amazing,
and something I have NEVER seen before! Each guest was given
a comment card and asked to complete it that day. The letter
said that it was the Journey’s way of addressing any issues early
in the 12 day cruise. I thought this was a fabulous idea!
So I wrote down how pleased I was with everything except that
morning breakfast service. What a GREAT opportunity for the
Azamara Journey to say “We care and we want to make this a
fantastic experience”! After handing in my card, breakfast
service was impeccable! Yes, the lax service issue was
addressed and resolved! I was so impressed with the results
that it made those first 2 mornings a past memory! Hey,
everyone makes mistakes, but to make the effort to correct it WHILE
on the vacation is truly great service! SO KUDOS to the
AZAMARA Journey Staff for that! There were many things that we were
truly impressed with on the Azamara Journey. One was the
cleanliness of
the ship. It was cleaner then a Disney Cruise! And that
says alot! Again, I will use the word “impeccable”.
Cabin
service
was “on spot”!
Dany was always there when we needed him
and always with a smile! The Main
dining room
“Discoveries” was wonderful. Food selection and quality was
excellent. Service was wonderful (Chris was a
favorite!
). The
Aqualina” dining
experience was perfection. “Prime
C
” was a disappointment only because the
steak that I had the night before in the main dining was
better…but again, service was excellent. The
Fitness center
was well equipped and had a wide variety
of classes. The pool
deck
was pristine and very clean.
The poolside BBQ
events
were spectacular. Great
atmosphere and food selection. The
entertainment was
awesome. I truly appreciate the effort they put into a
special Christmas play. It had me laughing and left me
tingling with emotion. It was
excellent. Captain Tysse
was actually a Captain that we had on a previous Sea Dream Yacht
Club cruise and I must say, his humor, warmth and connection with
the passengers was inspiring. He runs a tight ship and it
shows. Azamara should be proud to have him on the Journey!
Acupuncturist was super knowledgable. Internet Cafe was
very well run. Little things that stood out…refreshment
table on the jogging deck for morning walkers. Very nice
touch! My final and only disapointment was actually the most
exciting moment for me! I WON THE JACKPOT BINGO! I was
so excited and happy! Everyone was waiting to see how much I won!
I was shaking with anticipation! Would it be $ 2,000 ?
$ 1,000 ? even $ 500 would be thrilling! NOPE. It
was $ 85! YES! $ 85 dollars! Heck, it cost me $ 40 to
play! If I knew that it would be $ 85 I never would have
wasted that precious hour of sunshine!! (Everyone was
complaining to the Bingo staff on the way out that it was actually
tacky to give a Jackpot Bingo prize of $85 dollars!) It was
actually embarrassing for them to do that. In the end…Take an
“Azamara Journey”. You will LOVE HOW they take you
away. (Just don’t bother wasting time playing Bingo!)
Thank You to the Azamara Journey Crew for making us feel so
welcome! The video below is my THANK YOU…so the Crew can
say “Hi” to their families back home!

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Sea Dream Yacht Cruise

Sea Dream Yacht Club


It’s not Cruising, It’s Yachting!

I have been very fortunate to have sailed the Sea Dream II a few years ago. It truly is a “once in a lifetime” trip. But now I am fortunate enough to do it twice! (As a celebration of my husbands 50th!) I will let you know if it is better the second time around! That is, unless, you join us!! Then you can decide for yourself!

There are not many things that I can recommend without a single doubt, and Sea Dream Yacht Club is one of them! It is like caviar…a luxury to savor. OH! Did I mention that while in Jost Van Dyke, the captain and crew serve you champagne and caviar off of a surfboard IN THE WATER! Yes, another once in a life time event, that I am doing twice!

I have a lot of memories of that first Sea Dream Cruise, and the Champagne and Caviar event in Jost Van Dyke is truly awesome. It is a perfect example of why Sea Dream charges what they charge. Because it is soooo worth it! This ship has so much to offer!

5 Star service – prepare to be spoiled!

5 Star cuisine – Extraordinary cuisine, open seating, room service

Entertainment – intimate entertainment

Fitness Center – All the basics plus training and yoga!

Sea Dream Spa – Treatment selections including Thai therapies

Boutique – Select merchadise for savvy shoppers

Sea Dream Marina – play with water toys off the ships platform

Casino – Small, intimate, Monte Carlo feel

Sea Dream has other unique features too. Balinese bedding on the top deck is a signature of Sea Dream. Relax during the day or lounge in the evenings under the stars while sipping a glass of Pinot Noir.

So we are yachting once again on February 21 for 7 luxurious days in the Caribbean. Because of Sea Dreams 14 foot draft (the amount of ship below the waterline) she is able to stop at islands and ports that other large ships cannot get to. For example, in St Marten, the Sea Dream docks in Marigot (gorgeous little french town) as opposed to the busy port of Phillipsburg on the Dutch side.

AND she stays till midnight, so guests can truly enjoy the islands nightlife. While all the other ships are leaving at 5 pm, Sea Dream guests are just showering for dinner and then getting back off the ship for dancing to a calypso band.

We will be sailing from Antigua to San Juan. In between we will be visiting the intimate ports of :

Nevis – A true South pacific feel, gorgeous volcanic island

Saba – a Scuba / snorkelers dream!

St Barths – Quaint French island full of charm and glitz

St Marten – French / Dutch island with fabulous Orient Beach

Anguilla –Sugary white sand beaches with amazing turqouise water

Jost Van Dyke – Sip champagne and Caviar on this British Virgin Isle

San Juan – disembarkation

Pricing starts at $ 3999 per person. And remember the old adage “You get what you pay for”! On Sea Dream you get more!

Still undecided?

Celebrating something special?

Birthday? Anniversary? Life?!!

This is the Ultimate way to do it!

Visit Sea Dreams Website www.SeaDreamYachtClub.com

Call today! And Save!

732-577-9150

jdevito@cruiseone.com

www.cruiseone.com/jdevito

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