Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Regent Navigator Ship Inspection

Today I went to Port Canaveral to go onboard the Regent Seven Seas Navigator for the day. I was invited to go and see the ship, starting with a presentation on Regent, followed by a tour of the ship. Than we had lunch in the Compass Rose dining room. For me it was more of a subtle difference from the premium cruise lines out there. It was the smaller details that made it stand out from the others.

The fitness center had all the state of the art equipment including flat panel monitors on the cardio machines. They even had a fridge full of complimentary water bottles. How convenient!

The cabins were very nice. The starting cabin was 300 sq. ft. with a large picture window and a nice size sitting area. For me my favorite was the split bath and walk in closet in all the cabins. Check out the balconies!

They had a cafe with a professional barista! I had myself a latte and it was very good. This coming from quite the coffee critic.

The dining was definitely worth talking about. The tables were set with fine china and silver, with a beautiful presentation. Daniel and I ordered the halibut which was tender and flaked right off with my fork. Chynell had the filet mignon which she said was like butter. She could have cut it with her fork it was so tender. Yum I know! And the servers were wonderful; it was certainly a fine dining experience.

Over all the day was well spent and I am full on my way to completing my LCS (Luxury Cruise Specialist) certification. This kind of firsthand experience is great for us as cruise consultants so that we know the products we are recommending to you our clients.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Jens Top Five Cruise Tips of the Month

1. Take (or you can buy on the ship gift shop) a lanyard with a clear card holder on it to carry your room key around your neck. It is much more accessible than having it in your wallet or having to hand-carry it.

2. If you are a big Coke drinker, many cruise lines have a coke card you can purchase, which is cheaper than buying drinks individually. Unless you are on a luxury cruise line, drinks are not free; with the exception of coffee, tea, and water.

3. You don't have to book your shore excursions with the Cruise line, but be careful where you book. A company I recommend and use for my personal vacations is Shore Trips. To browse their trips go to and click on SHORE TRIPS . Most times Shore Trips have smaller more personalized trips than the cruise line. You will probably be less likely to be put on a motor coach of 40 people or more. One thing I find comforting is they have the same guarantee the cruise lines have, making sure you dont miss the ship.

4. Ladies, if you have thick hair, it is usually a good idea to take your own hair drier. I have found that many of the ones on cruises are not very powerful, plus the location of some of them makes it hard for two people to get ready at the same time.

5. Most important tip of all, when on the ship, forget all your worries back home and just relax and be pampered! Most of us don't have that option in our every day lives!"

**If you have cruise tips of your own, add them as comments to share with other cruisers. They may even end up as one of next months top five cruise tips!

FINAL Passport Rule Issued for Land and Sea Borders

Departments of Homeland Security and of State issued the final rule making concerning the requirements of passports for land and sea border crossings under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. After years of development following 9/11, this ruling is the end of the process and can be considered FINAL ensuring you will have the proper identification when traveling.

Effective June 1, 2009, the following rules take effect for cruise passengers:

U.S. citizens on cruise voyages that begin and end at the same U.S. port (closed-loop itineraries) must show proof of citizenship* and government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license). A passport will not be required for passengers that fall into this category.

*Documents include: Original or certified copy of birth certificate; Naturalization papers; Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by Department of State

All other passengers and/or itineraries (such as cruises which begin in one U.S. port and return to a different U.S. port or any cruise that begins or ends in a foreign port) will require a passport or other recognized document. For a list of accepted documents, see good news for a majority of cruise passengers – American citizens that leave and return on their cruise from the same U.S. port – is that the travel document requirements will remain largely unchanged from how the industry is operating today.

I continue to encourage travelers to obtain passports to allow the broadest travel opportunities. You can visit to obtain information on how to apply at more than 9,000 passport acceptance facilities in the United States.

*Please call Jen Mitchell to set up an apointment for specific passport requirements regarding your cruise reservation. I will be glad to help you!