Just How Inclusive is “All Inclusive”: Comparing 6 Top River Cruise Lines

Cruise Girl

Trying to sift through the slight differences between various cruise line packages can be a headache, but this article by Travel Weekly provides an excellent summary of what is included in all of those ‘inclusive’ offers.

ImageLibrary_princess_caplounge_service_mod_0131For a company like Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, which this year made a concerted effort to go after the higher-end river cruise and markets its offering as a “six-star” product, its all-inclusive pricing covers almost everything except for international airfare (this is a given for all cruise lines) and port charges.

As part of its rebranding, in 2014, Uniworld decided to also include gratuities in its pricing, as well as unlimited beverages onboard, not including top-shelf wines and spirits.

Another line embracing all-inclusivity is Scenic Cruises, which covers gratuities, unlimited beverages and port charges in its prices.

Viking CruisesCCFreya_Melk_Horiz also includes port charges in its prices. But Viking’s prices do not cover gratuities or unlimited beer and wine — Viking offers complimentary beer and wine with lunch and dinner.

AmaWaterways does not include port charges in its prices. Ama’s prices cover unlimited beer and wine with lunch and dinner, and do not cover gratuities.2008 Poetry Photoshoot

Avalon Waterways prices exclude port charges and gratuities, but include unlimited wine and beer with dinner, and sparkling wine with breakfast.

  Tauck’s river cruise prices cover gratuities, unlimited beer, wine and premium spirits, and port charges (the only line besides Scenic to include all three). Most meals are included, save for occasionally during a pre or post-cruise hotel stay when the ships are docked in larger cities where guests have free time to explore on their own — Tauck might not include a lunch or a dinner here or there to allow guests to have a meal in town, according to a company spokesperson. Tauck also includes some onshore meals in the cities and towns on the itinerary.

It’s the difference between the size of the bar tab or no bar tab at all, and some elements, like port charges, that are either part of a commissionable price or not. The differences are admittedly often slight and do not detract from the overall rally cry about the inclusiveness of river cruises in general.

Fox World Travel is currently offering several special offers on River Cruise vacations.

To learn more about River Cruising, contact your travel agent today.

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5 Benefits of Having a Destination Wedding

  1. DestWeddingYou can say “I Do” anywhere! A destination wedding is considered at least 100 miles from where the bride lives.
  2. It’s easier. A Fox World Travel Destination Wedding Specialist will take care of all the hassle of planning and leave you to enjoy your dream wedding.
  3. You can save money on everything from a smaller guest list to the décor. The white sand beaches, snow-topped mountains, or the Eiffel Tower make for beautiful backdrops in your photos! Many resorts offer complimentary or affordable all-inclusive destination wedding packages, and, by choosing an all-inclusive resort, the cost of food, beverages and lodging will be included in the guests’ vacation packages. In addition, extending your time in the destination will cost you far less than taking an entirely separate honeymoon.
  4. Enjoy quality time with your loved ones and guests. You’ll have more time to enjoy together as well as with your friends and family during a week in paradise, versus a few hours at a traditional wedding reception. Relax together, eat together, dance together…all without feeling like you have to jam pack talking to everyone in one day.
  5. You can start the honeymoon early! A destination wedding is an easy two-in-one. Enjoy your special day and then sit back and relax as newlyweds.

Our destination wedding specialists would love to help you plan your fairytale wedding!

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10 Reasons to Cruise the Caribbean With Norwegian

NCL Spirit 01

With Norwegian Cruise Line, ‘Freestyle Cruising’ is all about flexibility and freedom. Freedom from stress. Freedom from schedules. Freedom to create your own vacation.  Here are the top 10 reasons Fox World Travel believe you should cruise the Caribbean with Norwegian:

1. Norwegian is the only cruise line offering Freestyle Cruising®, giving guests the freedom and flexibility to do what they want, when they want.

2. Norwegian has a young, modern, award-winning fleet of ships sailing to The Caribbean, including our two newest Breakaway-Class ships.

Grand Centrum 033. Norwegian Cruise Line has racked up some pretty impressive industry accolades in The Caribbean region. The World Travel Awards recently named them The Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line. While Yahoo! Travel named Norwegian Breakaway the 2013 Best Cruise for Families. Caribbean Travel + Leisure recognized us as the Best Value Cruise for 2013. And Norwegian Epic earned Travel Weekly’s Readers Choice Award for Best Overall Individual Cruise Ship two years running.

4. Norwegian’s family activities are always a hit with guests. Only Norwegian offers exclusiveMI-BWY-Experience-Family Nickelodeon™ entertainment and activities at sea. Plus, with their fleetwide complimentary youth programs – Splash Academy and Entourage – they have something the whole family will enjoy. 5. It’s easier than ever to cruise The Caribbean thanks to Norwegian’s convenient weekly sailings. Plus, they’ve got eight amazing ships sailing from six departure cities that are amazing destinations themselves: Miami, New York, Tampa, New Orleans, Houston and Boston.

modal_breakaway_burn-the-floor6. With more entertainment venues than any other cruise line sailing to The Caribbean, guests can bask in the bright lights of Broadway with performances like Burn the Floor and Cirque Dreams & Dinner® Jungle Fantasy. Tickle their funny bone with hilarious comedic performances. Marvel in The Illusionarium, a surreal magical experience. Watch the colors fly with Blue Man Group. Or get their groove on at The GRAMMY® Experience.

7. From top to bottom and from bow to stern, Norwegian offers more to do onboard than ever. Kid's WaterparkGuests can splash around at The Aqua Park with Free Fall – the fastest waterslides at sea. Or they can walk The Plank, which extends 8 feet over the side of the ship. And with our luxurious spa, they can pamper themselves whenever they please. With plenty to do and see, there’s never a dull moment on board.

8. With up to 29 dining options – the most at sea – guests can try something new every night of their cruise. From complimentary main dining rooms and expansive buffets to specialty restaurants like Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian, dining on Norwegian means having plenty of choices.

9. Freestyle Cruising aboard a Norwegian ship is the best way to explore the sandy beaches and turquoise waters of the most popular cruise destination in the world. Plus, with hundreds of Caribbean shore excursions to choose from, it’s the perfect time to start discovering the tropics.

10. Guests can unwind in comfort and style with a wide range of staterooms, including The ncl_Brkwy_SpaSuite_S9_MODALHaven by Norwegian™, their most luxurious, well-appointed and spacious accommodations. And whether they want to make it a family affair and stay in a Family Suite, vacation solo in a Studio or enjoy a Balcony Stateroom with some of their best friends, Norwegian has just the room for them.

For more information on Cruising the Caribbean with Norwegian click here.

Free For all Special Promotion valid from July1st 2014- August 2nd 2014

Or connect with your personal travel agent today!

Content and Photos courtesy of NCL

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6 Tips for Traveling to Europe

  1. It is recommended to have some foreign currency of your destination before arriving. This will come in handy when you are looking to wake up with a cup of coffee at a nice little café after that long flight.
  2. Invest in a neck pillow. Your neck can get kinked and sore pretty easily from trying to catch some shut eye on that long flight. There are inflatable neck pillows that are easy to deflate and will fit nicely into your carry-on after use.
  3. Try not to nap once you arrive in your destination. It can make your jet lag worse and make you feel more tired. If possible, carry on with the rest of your day and get a good, blogpostfull nights rest that evening.
  4. Hand sanitizer is an essential for traveling abroad. Since there is sometimes a charge to use public restrooms, having a quick and easy solution to sanitize is nice and convenient, especially after a subway ride.
  5. There is not always such a thing as “free” water at restaurants like we are use to in the states. Be sure to ask for tap water if it is available or be prepared to pay for bottled water.
  6. Immerse yourself in the country’s culture. Try a traditional dish of paella in Spain or catch a cabaret show in Paris. There are so many things to do and see in Europe. Open your mind and enjoy!
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Top 10 Honeymoon Hotspots

experience-long-honeymoon

Your honeymoon is a time to celebrate a new phase of life together. It should reflect the special interests you share as a couple.  This list is just a snapshot of the many honeymoon destinations around the world. 

honeymoon-planning-hawaii1.  Hawaii Honeymoon - Dramatic coastlines, volcanoes, green forests, native Hawaiian culture, tropical breezes, white sand beaches, spectacular resorts. This is the magic that brings couples to Hawaii for the best in honeymoon getaways.

Consult a Hawaii Travel Specialist

 

honeymoon-in-mexico2.  Mexico Honeymoon - A vast country with enough variety to please all. Bask in the sun at posh resorts along the Baja coast in Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa or Los Cabos, or take in the beauty of white sand beaches on the Yucatan Peninsula in hot spots like Cancun/Riviera Maya and Cozumel. All-Inclusive resorts are abundant in throughout Mexico.

Consult a Mexico Travel Specialist

 

honeymoon-planning-jamaica3Jamaica Honeymoon – Passion is inevitable on this tropical paradise island. Jamaica is the place if you are looking for non-stop nightlife. If the bar scene isn’t for you, stay in one of Jamaica’s all-inclusive adults-only resorts. If you are a nature lover, take a leisurely bamboo raft trip or explore the many caves and waterfalls that abound in its green forests.

Consult a Jamaica Travel Specialist

 

 

italy sunset4.  Italy Honeymoon – Italy is one of the top picks for Europe honeymoon locations. No wonder, it’s the land of Amore! From the Northern Alps and lake country to Rome and the Almalfi Coast, Italy has everything for a romantic and classy honeymoon.

 Consult an Italy Travel Specialist

 

honeymoon-in-stlucia5.  St. Lucia Honeymoon - A bit of France, a bit of Britain, and a nature-lovers paradise including a volcano. Great snorkeling in clear, blue warm waters. Sip a cool tropical drink in your hammock. Walk through a rain forest while viewing the ocean. Truly a newlywed’s paradise.

Consult a Caribbean Travel Specialist

 

honeymoon-in-caribbean6.  Dominican Republic Honeymoon – The Dominican Republic has become a beautiful, affordable island destination. Being a larger island, that doesn’t just focus on tourism, you can get some great deals. There are many all-inclusives that will meet the needs of most couples.

Consult a Dominican Republic Travel Specialist

 

honeymoon-planning-tahiti7.  Tahiti Honeymoon – How do you describe paradise? Many call it Tahiti! With many islands to choose from, including favorites Bora Bora and Moorea. From its natural beauty to its Polynesian hospitality. If you do not want to share your new spouse with anyone, this is the place to be. Even its resorts are designed for your love to burn and grow.

Consult a Tahiti Travel Specialist

honeymoon-in-fiji8.  Fiji Honeymoon – Fiji has it all if you are looking to fill that image of white powder beaches with beautiful palm trees, green mountains sweeping to the sea, warm tropical breezes, and lots of secluded resorts scattered among its 300+ islands.

Consult a South Pacific Travel Specialist

Duoro9.  Spain Honeymoon - Spain is a location full of energy, but still with the laid-back Mediterranean style that any couple could love on their honeymoon. Fall in love with the art and gardens of Madrid, or bask in the Barcelona sun. From the sand to the sangrias, Spain is full of the timeless elegance that’s sure to make for a dreamy honeymoon getaway.

Consult a Spain and Portugal Travel Specialist

beaches-beach10.  Turks and Caicos Islands Honeymoon – Turks and Caicos is the perfect romantic getaway for couples looking for exclusivity and seclusion. It is less developed and more upscale than many other spots in the Caribbean. Made up of forty islands, eight of which are inhabited gives the islands an intimate feel. Activities for couples are limitless, from snorkeling and scuba diving to bird watching and horseback riding. Be sure to see the sunset over Grace Bay, famous for the elusive “green flash” at sunset. This split-second burst of emerald light sometimes happens along the horizon on a clear day and is sure to make an unforgettable honeymoon experience.

Consult a Turks and Caicos Islands Travel Specialist Today

 

For even more honeymoon destinations, click here.

Make sure your special trip is perfect:  Honeymoon Planner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Tips and Tricks for Family Travel: How to Plan a Memorable Vacation for Travelers of all Ages

Planning a family vacation? Traveling with kids can change the way of the game, but no worries, with these 10 travel tips, you can plan a family getaway easily and efficiently and have a vacation filled with memories that will last a lifetime for the little travelers and the big ones!

Family 6

Time to plan!

  1. Pack light… VERY light! While packing, keep it in mind that every item that you put into that suitcase, you will be carrying with you hundreds or thousands of miles to wherever your destination is! Not to mention having to keep track of it. That should help to lighten the load. You can always pick up the little stuff once you get there. Pack only the necessities and remember, many hotels and transportation companies offer accommodations like childproof rooms, cribs, and safety seat rentals. Your travel agent can help to teach you all about what various companies have to offer.
  2. Location is key! Find a hotel in a location that is central to the actives you plan to do, preferably within walking distance. This will save on time and transportation costs. Does the location have amenities that are a must for families, like a wade pool for the little ones? A bathtub? What about kid friendly TV channels? Also, look into dining options ahead of time. Make sure the hotel restaurants (or dinning places nearby) offer kids menus. Many may shutterstock_77289121even offer family discounts like ‘kids eat for free’ or family-style dining.
  3. Plan together. Have the whole family help plan the vacation activities ahead of time. The best family vacations are those that every family member gets to experience what they are looking for. Older children and teens, who can be a bit more difficult to please, will be especially appreciative of this!  For some great planning tools click here.
  4. The airplane ride… If you will be traveling with infants or toddlers, this may be the part of the trip that you are most dreading… But don’t worry; there are several tips to make this part of the vacation much more tolerable. If you can, plan the plane ride at night so kids can sleep (this may also mfamily traveling on planeean one less night of paying for overnight accommodations). For seating, know that airlines do not require you to purchase a seat for children under the age of two. However, you may still want to consider it, as it is much safer for the youngsters and it can lessen the meltdowns. Many airlines also offer discounted seats if you do chose to purchase one.

Departure day is here…

  1. Airport security made easy: TSA can be frustrating and can create dramatic delays if you are not prepared. Practice folding up that stroller ahead of time and dress comfy. Dress in layers, you never know when a plane might have the AC on arctic mode! Also, a heads up that babies must remove their shoes as well, so go velcro or slip-on for the day.
  2. Travel entertainment, leave singing Elmo at home. Bring just enough toys to keep the kiddos entertained in long lines, plane rides and car rides. Opt for books and other quiet toys to keep mom and dad, and the other nearby travelers happy. If your kids are like many others, an electronic device can keep them happy for hours. If this is the case, be sure to pack the headphones.
  3. Once arrived, work with kids’ schedules, not against them. They may be at the greatest theme park in the world, but for the little ones, nap time is nap time. Plan for naps, and plot a slower schedule. Many times with family vacations, you just have to roll with the punches and be flexible.family at beach
  4. Check for family deals and do the free stuff! Always do the free stuff. Many times, these are the activities that are most relaxing, memorable, and the best time to bond as a family. After all, that’s why you’re here, right?

Final thoughts to consider:

  1. Do a test run. If this is you first major family trip, or if you have added some new little travelers to the mix, plan a shorter trip together before you go. A weekend getaway or a daytrip will do the trick! This will help you to work out the kinks like items that may be overlooked in packing, timing out activities, and how everyone gets along.
  2. Finally, have fun! Attitude is everything. If you get stressed out about not finding the hotel or an unexpected change in plans, you can bet that the kids will pick up on that stress and become stressed and cranky as well! Have an open mind, be flexible, and go with the flow. And most importantly, have fun!

Family Image

 

For more helpful tips and advice on family travel, visit Fox World Travel.

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Taking New York City By Storm

Carri of Fox World Travel recently took a trip to The Big Apple.  Hear all about her experience here!

New York Skyline

When my children graduate from high school, their gift from us is a vacation weekend of their choice.  This time it was my daughter’s turn, and she chose New York City for her celebration weekend.  We took along several friends who had also never visited the Big Apple.  We planned a busy weekend because in my daughter’s words “I’m going to be a poor college student for a very long time and won’t be able to do this on my own, so I want to see as much as possible on this trip”.

Day 1 We arrived into La Guardia and within five minutes saw Honey Boo-Boo and her mom ordering fast food in the airport.  A hilarious start to our weekend!

Our hotel for three nights was the Crowne Plaza Times Square.   I chose this hotel for the excellent location at 49th and Broadway, situated right in the heart of Times Square, the Theatre District, and within steps of the stop for the Hop On/Hop Off.

On my daughter’s “must do” list was a craving for authentic New York Pizza.  We had asked our 143limo driver for a recommendation, and he steered us to Lazzarra’s Pizza in the Garment District.  After checking in to the hotel and dropping off our luggage we took off on foot to find this place.  It was a quick 15 minute walk from our hotel and the pizza was fabulous.

I wanted everyone to see the Statue of Liberty by night, so I booked the Harbor Lights Cruise with Viator.  We sailed at 7pm as the narrator pointed out various sights from the water.  This was a 90 minute cruise along the shoreline and the East River, highlighted by cruising around the Statue as the sun set.  The scene was beautiful as the Statue glowed and the NYC skyline twinkled in the night.

Halal Guys LineAnother “must do” was to find a food cart that we had seen on the TV show Diners, Drive-Ins, and DivesThe Halal Guys operate a cart featuring Indian cuisine.  We found the original location, and for $6 we received a huge bowl of steaming chicken, rice, and vegetables accompanied by various sauces.  It was delicious!  Every time we passed the cart over the weekend there was a long line of tourists, locals, and businessmen.  We later learned that this cart brings in $4000-$5000 on an average day!  (Pictured is the line for the food cart!  Photo courtesy of the Halal Guys official website)

Day 2  Next on our list was a visit to the 911 Memorial and Museum.  I had visited the Memorial in the past, but was looking forward to the Museum which just opened on May 21st.  We purchased tickets ahead of time and when we arrived we walked straight in to a line marked “Top of the Hour 911MuseumTours”, bypassing lines of people waiting to purchase tickets.   The 911 Museum is very well done, but impossible to describe.  It takes you through every aspect of the tragedy, even showing you video coverage of the terrorists passing through airport security on that terrible day.  Visitors are able to view profiles and pictures of every person who perished that day, and listen to stories told by their friends and family members.  We listened to recordings left by the victims on voicemails to their loved ones, and saw the stairway that many of the survivors used to escape that day.  There are far too many things to even begin to describe.  We spent four hours here but agreed that you could easily spend a full day here and not see everything.  It was truly a moving experience, and a place that I think every American should visit. Photo courtesy of 911memorial.org

Day 3  This morning we biked through Central Park.  Biking through the park on a summer Saturday morning was slightly chaotic.  People were skateboarding, biking, and running, and there wasn’t much room to maneuver.  There were so many runners on the trails that I mistakenly assumed that it was a race.  It was actually just weekend traffic.  I think biking would have been much more enjoyable midweek.

By this time we were starving, so we found an Irish pub for lunch before heading off on our next adventure, the TMZ Tour.  This is a great idea for anyone who is up on pop culture.  We saw numerous homes of movie stars and music people, including Katie Holmes, Robert DeNiro, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, Beyonce and Jay Z.   We saw the “in” restaurants, clubs, and hotels, and saw the entourage waiting for the arrival of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.  His birthday party was being held there that night.  It was a fun fast two hour tour and I’d highly recommend it.       

At that point we decided to check TKTS for last minute show tickets.  TKTS is a booth in Timesfantasticks Square that offers discounted show tickets for that evening’s performances.  Based upon a recommendation we grabbed tickets at $50 each to see Fantasticks – the world’s longest running musical.  We hustled off to the tiny theatre and enjoyed this hilarious performance.  My daughter said it was the highlight of her weekend. 

After the show we headed to Ellens Stardust Diner for a late dinner.  This is a “must do”!  Ellen’s is a retro 1950’s themed diner where the wait staff sings and performs.  Prices were reasonable, the food was great, and the entertainment was incredible.  There is a lot of talent working in this diner and we had a great time here. 

startdust

 Day 4 Our busy, fun-filled weekend ended with a quick NYC breakfast of a bagel and coffee, followed by our private transfer back to La Guardia.  

 

For more information on NYC Destination Travel click here or contact a Vacation Travel Specialist today!

 

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