By George Jenkins

January 27, 2016

My wife and I have used Atlantic Travel (AT) for several cruise ship vacations. We first used AT for a vacation in 2001 to the Southern Caribbean on the Carnival Destiny cruise ship. We sailed roundtrip from Miami with Emilio Valdez, the owner of AT, and several other customers. AT booked both our cruise accommodations and airline travel.


If you’re unfamiliar with cruise ships, it is a fun relaxing time. You can be as busy as you want. You unpack your bags once and visit several destination ports and countries. You choose an itinerary that interests you: the destination ports and length desired. Itineraries can be 3, 4, 5, 7 nights or longer. You can pick a ship and sailing that features a special theme: singles, families, sports, eco/expedition, honeymoon/wedding, NASCAR fans, reggae music, motorcycle enthusiast, Bridge players, and much more.


While on the ship there’s plenty to do. The ships are large enough to feature several restaurants, night clubs, swimming pools, retail shops for gifts and sundries, and whirlpools. Ships usually include a theatre with Las Vegas-style nightly shows, casino, film cinema, athletic facility, spa, and beauty salon. Some ships have ice-skating rinks, mini-golf, water slides, basketball courts, climbing walls, zip lines, and surf-simulator pools. Athletic facilities offer a variety of fitness activities including yoga, Pilates, and spinning classes by trained instructors. You can find stateroom (they’re no longer called cabins) that sleep 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 guests.


A cruise ship is one big WiFi hotspot, so you can use your laptop, smart phone, or tablet in most areas with an onboard paid data plan. If you like to read, bring your e-reader device or get a free printed book in the free library onboard most ships.


Each port destination provides a variety of shore excursions that include beaches, snorkeling, scuba diving, land tours, hiking, golfing, shopping, and more. Or, you can stay on the ship in port and enjoy the onboard amenities.


Even if you’ve visited an island before, there’s enough variety that you can find something different to experience. While onboard the cruise ship, you can book shore excursions in upcoming ports that the cruise line coordinates with local island tour operators. Many people like that because if a tour gets delayed, due to traffic, the cruise ship will wait.


Savvy travelers will arrange their own custom shore tours in many ports. It’s best to arrange custom tours before you sail. Atlantic Travel can help. In Aruba, we rode with Emilio and other AT customers in a rental van. That allowed us to see the sights we wanted to see, in the order desired, and spend as much time at each site as we desired. On a prosperous island like Aruba, renting cars is easy and the roads are well-maintained and marked.


After 25 cruise ship vacations, we’ve sailed to most parts of the world including Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Bermuda, Italy, Greece, and portions of the eastern Mediterranean. We’ve learned the services a good travel agency provides. Emilio and his staff are friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, trustworthy, reliable, and always get us good, low prices. When we have questions, they are always available. To avoid interest charges on our credit cards, we pay over time for our vacations before we travel. Atlantic Travel makes it easy for to make secure payments.

Cruise ships docked in St. Thomas, USVI. April

We have used Atlantic Travel for many vacations, including sailings in 2015 in April from New Orleans (Louisiana) to Boston via the Southern Caribbean on the Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas ship, and in October from Boston to Tampa (Florida) on the Brilliance of The Seas cruise ship. Savvy passengers know that repositioning cruises offer good value with longer itineraries and more ports. Atlantic Travel can help you book one. We like repositioning cruises because ours had a single flight. That meant more vacation time and less time standing in lines at airports.

French Quarter, New Orleans. April

When traveling during winter or departing from a port like New Orleans, we fly there two or three days before the ship sails. That provides plenty of time to enjoy the beaches, sights, restaurants, and nightlife in the departure city and not miss the cruise ship if there are flight delays. To do this, you want an experienced, knowledgeable travel agency like Atlantic Travel to find a good pre-cruise hotel.


We recommend Atlantic Travel for your next vacation.


Topics: cruise ships, vacations, Caribbean, New Orleans, Aruba