Princess Cays – A Day In Paradise

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Welcome to Princess Cays! Located on the southern tip of Eluthra in the Bahamas, this private island offers plenty of options so you can do as much – or as little – as you want. We visited this tropical paradise on Sunday, Feb. 18th.

Princess Cays is operated by Carnival Corp for the pleasure of passengers of several Carnival brand lines, such as Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruise Line, Holland America Line, etc.

Lunch is Served!

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Serving 2000 – 3000 people lunch is no easy task, but with 4 serving lines the wait wasn’t too long and the lunch was very tasty (if you like hamburgers and hot dogs).

 

There was plenty of seating under the shady shelters.

Water Like Windex

One of the true pleasures of cruising in the Caribbean / Bahamas is the crystal clear waters. This makes for a perfect day of snorkeling, and there was plenty of under water life for us to observe.

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The Beach

Of course the central focus of a private island is the beach. Princess Cay’s didn’t disappoint.  The same was clean, deep and very inviting. And there is plenty of room for the passengers of some very large cruise ships.  Take a look!

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Let The Cruiseman send you to Princess Cays on your next cruise vacation!  Give us a call at (800) 889-7683

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How to Avoid Norovirus; Take a Cruise

norovirusPHOTO: The actual threat posed by norovirus aboard cruise ships is much less than you might think. (photo via Pixabay)

By JASON LEPPERT

While norovirus does rear its ugly head from time to time on a cruise ship, its likelihood remains very rare.

What’s more, travelers need to be reminded that it is not a cruise-specific virus.

It’s up to all of us in the industry—travel agents included—to accurately inform the public following a sea of misinformation presented by the mainstream media.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has compiled the infographic below from the CDC National Outbreak Reporting System to indicate the realities of norovirus on a cruise.

People are statistically more likely to become sick from it at a health care facility, restaurant, school, daycare or private residence. There’s only a 0.18 percent chance of contracting the virus on a cruise ship during an outbreak.

“According to the CDC, there are more than 685 million cases of norovirus cases on land around the world each year and only a very few on cruise ships,” adds Mike McGarry from CLIA.

“CLIA estimates the chances of getting norovirus on a cruise ship compared to land is .007 percent, a fraction of a fraction. So, in many ways, the best way to ensure people don’t attract norovirus is to take a cruise, especially considering the rigorous cleaning protocol on cruise ships.”

I can personally attest to such sanitary processes having just returned myself from Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom of the Seas. During our cruise, a number of norovirus cases were reported, but the ship was extremely diligent to regularly clean surfaces throughout and frequently provide Purell sanitizer. As a result, none in our party were stricken with illness.

Of course, the greatest defense against norovirus is thorough hand washing after using the restroom and before eating, and the Freedom’s captain often repeated this information over the ship’s intercom as well.

READ MORE: How Cruise Ships Battle Norovirus

CLIA recently released a list of five best practices for staying healthy onboard, and they mirror the procedure:

Sanitation

As I witnessed, crew members frequently sanitize ships. Staterooms are cleaned at least once daily, and public venues like restaurants, snack areas, pools and elevators are continuously cleansed. All voyages conclude with a ship-wide sanitation as well.

Screening

Early detection of illness is particularly crucial, so pre-boarding health questionnaires and screenings are used to determine sick passengers and staff. Medical teams are on hand to evaluate prior to further interactions accordingly.

Medical Facilities

What’s more, all CLIA oceangoing cruise line members adhere to ACEP Guidelines (2014) developed along with the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). These ensure high-quality infirmaries, staffing, equipment and procedures.

Collaboration

For further prevention, cruise lines follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP). That means unique federal scrutiny and transparency is in place not even present for hotels, airlines or restaurants.

Training

A final element is the proper training of onboard crew in first aid and public health practices. All positions are well versed in emergency procedures, signals and alarms, evacuation procedures and fire prevention safety.

READ MORE: Attention Media: Norovirus Isn’t Just On Cruise Ships

With all of these efforts, ship’s like Holland America Line’s Eurodam are scoring 100 on United States Public Health (USPH) inspections. Impressively, the ship recently achieved the perfect rating for its thirteenth consecutive time—its third in 2017 alone.

During the last four years, Holland America ships have received a 100 over 22 times including on the Koningsdam and Oosterdam, also in 2017.

“With each new perfect score Eurodam’s entire team clearly demonstrates their pride and commitment to excellence and to continuing their amazing streak of perfect scores that raises the bar in the industry,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, in a press release.

“Receiving a perfect USPH score on an unannounced inspection is not easy, yet the team on Eurodam certainly makes it look that way year after year. We all know what a tremendous effort it takes to get that 100. Congratulations to everyone on Eurodam.”

Our New Office

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We just completed our move to our new office in our hometown of Nixa, MO.  In the picture you can see some of our friends, clients and associates helping us cut the ribbon for our Grand Opening.  If you live in the Springfield – Nixa, MO area, please stop by and see us. If you live somewhere else this probably didn’t matter to you, but we still thought you might like to see what our office looks like.  Our phone numbers remain the same (800) 889-7683  (417) 881-2789.

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Now we are working on our web site.  The content is the same, but we are working on making it more user friendly.  The most popular part of our web site is our Cruise Finder. This tool allows you to search a huge data base of all currently scheduled cruises with all the cruise lines (except Disney & Princess) and compare the current rates between the different lines.  Go ahead and give it  a try.

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We are looking for experienced cruisers that would like to make some good money selling cruises from home, part-time.  Don’t confuse this with those phony $599 “Official Travel Agent ID Card” scams.  Our Outside Agent’s program has been in operation for over 20 years, and some of our Agents do quite well. It all depends on how much time you have to put into it, and how many cruises you can sell.  For all the details, please CLICK HERE. You must be an experienced cruiser to be a part of this program.

The Cruiseman
208 Village Circle St.
PO Box 1287
Nixa, Mo 65714

Who Is The Cruiseman, Anyway?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Cruiseman is a national “cruise only” travel agency. We have been in business since 1994, beginning in North Carolina, and then moving to Missouri in 2005. Our function is to assist you in the planning of your next vacation and to make all the arrangements for you. We take pride in giving our clients personal and complete service. You will get the same person every time you call, and all calls are promptly answered! We represent all major cruise lines, as well as Sandals All-Inclusive Resorts.
And …. our professional services are free to you.

The Cruiseman Says:  “I fell in love with cruising on a “day trip” cruise to Bimini on an old ship that was built in the 50’s! A few years later I found myself in the Cruise business, starting from scratch with no customers and no experience. It’s been 23 years now, and I have thousands of customers from all across the USA. My passion for cruising has increased over the years, and I still look forward to each opportunity to go cruising, just like I did at the beginning.  I love my customers and try to treat them just like family, with honesty and integrity.”

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The Cruiseman has been quoted in:

  • Arthur Frommer’s Travel Website
  • Newsweek Magazine (April 14, 2003 & July 18th, 2005)
  • US News & World Reports, Feb. 9th, 2004
  • USA Today website
  • The Chicago Tribune, April 2nd, 2000
  • Cruising For Dummies
  • USA Today Weekend Magazine, Aug 24th, 2008
  • USA Today Cruise Log July 28th, 2009
  • Travelmarketreport.com

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What others are saying about The Cruiseman

I wouldn’t consider using anyone else. Your attention to detail, immediate attention to ANY questions and considerable knowledge and advice is beyond reproach — Martin Kennedy; Buffalo, NY

We’ve booked a HAL cruise from New York to Montreal for late May with the Cruiseman. I was so impressed when Jim, the president, answered the phone himself. He has already sold me with his quick responses to all of our questions and best possible price. Having become accustomed to the lack of personal attention most businesses give, I found working with the Cruiseman a pleasure.  — Jolene Schadler; Merced, CA

I would not hesitate to recommend his services to anyone, and his newsletter is one of the best on the web.  I am not sure how we happened to find him on the web, but we are certainly happy that we did. My husband and I are very happy to have the “Cruiseman” in our corner and helping us plan our next cruise.  — Jacqueline Ruse; Brecksville, OH

Having sailed on 17 cruises, I have done business with many Travel Agents. None can come close to the experience I had with The Cruiseman. Jim immediately answered every question I Emailed him and gave me First Class service. It seemed like I was his only client by the way he rendered to me his personal attention. A great guy and a great company. I Recommend him highly.  — Charles Glady; Richmond, VA

I wanted to say that we enjoyed our cruise on Legend of the Seas very much. I know that this sounds weird but we had confidence in you as our cruise consultant and that really helped. Our previous cruise was a complete disaster, made worse that our travel agent could have cared less. It is obvious that you have a passion for what you do and that, matched with expertise is a formula for success for both you and your customers.  Thanks, Jeff Taylor  — Glenwood, MD

The Cruiseman (Jim) is just wonderful to work with.  We have been doing business with him for many years and around 10 cruises…with the expectation of many more. He is very familiar with most all cruise lines and their itineraries, also is  extremely helpful and able to answer all questions.  Your Cruise travel arrangements and side trips couldn’t be easier!  Thanks Jim!!   Bruce Swenty — Springfield, MO

The beach was wonderful. Palancar Beach is a free beach in Cozumel.  The snorkeling was good not great. Royal Caribbean was better in most way to Carnival.  But Carnival has its moments. Roatan was a time of renewing old friendship for wife and making new ones for both of us.  We did a lot of talking and none of the usual site seeing.Belize we saw the city.  Others told us of better excursions.  But we were lazy.  We were satisfied with what we did.  You did a great job of negotiating my CC points.  I actually look forward to do it again. I will continue to use you for all my cruising. Bruce Baker — Houston, TX

Good cruise, just had some issues with a guest on the boat.  The Cruiseman did a great job, very easy to pick a cruise and get it booked. If there were questions or issues he took care of them instantly!  Todd Waterman — Lewisville, TX

One more fantastic cruise under our belts thanks to the Cruiseman!  We wouldn’t trust anyone else with our cruise details. The Cruiseman is top-notch at what he does. No problems, no hassles.  — Carol Mueller — Ormond Beach, FL

The ship was older and smaller, but it was only a four-day cruise.  Food and service were both excellent.  We had a very enjoyable time.  This is the fifth cruise we have taken and the fourth we have booked with The Cruiseman. Jim is both helpful and very knowledgeable.  Thank you.  —  Lisa Nix, Benton, LA

To Read More About The Cruiseman  CLICK HERE

We are members of:

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The Cruiseman

4728 S. Campbell Ave.  Suite 116
Springfield, MO 65810
417-881-2789  /  800-889-7683
www.cruiseman.com
www.facebook.com/TheCruiseman

How It Works

Booking a cruise vacation is not at all like booking a hotel room. Below I will reveal to you “How it Works” so you will understand the difference.

Hotel Bookings

With glowing sunset as backdrop, downtown Orlando, Florida is reflected in mirror smooth Lake Eola.

Hotels have a minimum or “net fare” that is made available to all those different web sites that you see on the internet. Each of those web sites then adds their own mark up (commission) to that net fare, resulting in the price that they are willing to sell the hotel room to you for.

For instance; The Red Star Hotel has a “net fare” of $100 per night.  Web Site A adds a $25 mark up, making their price $125 per night. Web Site B adds a $30 mark up, making their price $130 per night, while Web Site C decides to add a $35 mark up, making their price $135 per night.  That is the simple explanation of why you get all sorts of prices when searching Hotel prices.

Booking A Cruise

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Booking a cruise works completely different from a Hotel room.  The Cruise Lines publish “gross fares” meaning that the price they make public is the price the cruise cabin will be sold for, no matter which agency you work with.

To make things more complicated, however, most cruise lines have several various promotions going at the same time, meaning various prices are available.  These might include special rates for past passengers, Early Savers, “guarantee” rates where you get a discounted price but the cruise line gets to pick your cabin, military rates, senior citizens rates, and more.

The point is this; No matter what promotion price you qualify for that price is available to every travel agency in the country, and no agency is allowed to change the price. Cruise lines work from a “level playing field” so that every agency has the same prices. So, no matter what you may have read on the internet, the correct price will be the same no matter which agency you call. (We hope you call The Cruiseman, of course).  Look Out! Some online agencies add a “booking fee” or “service charge” to the booking, so you actually end up paying more than the published fare.  We’ll never do that to you.

WARNING:  Because of the “level playing field” policy of every major cruise line, many online agencies will try to fool you with deceptive advertising and come-on’s to make it appear that they have some kind of a special deal that other agencies do not have.  This is, of course, unethical & nonsense. Please don’t be fooled by the “70% off” ads, etc. And be aware of the word “from”, such as “7 night Caribbean Cruises from $399pp”.  That means that the $399 price is available at least once in the next two years, and most certainly not when you want to cruise.

The one exception to all of this is Group Rates. If you form a group, or join an already formed group you will received a discounted rate, or a special amenity, or both.

I hope this will clear up some of the confusion and help you understand “How it Works”. At The Cruiseman we never try to fool you, and we give you the honest facts with no tricks of any kind. That’s been our policy for 23 years …. And counting.

25 Free Things to Do in New Orleans

Thomas Jefferson paid $15 million for the entire Louisiana Territory, or about four cents an acre. That means New Orleans went for about seven bucks. More than 200 years later, New Orleans is still a great deal.

1. Get jazzed.
Stroll along Bourbon, Frenchmen and Fulton, where jazz pours out onto the street, or duck into a club for the full experience. Many clubs don’t even charge a cover.

2. Dive deeper into our musical heritage.
Explore New Orleans neighborhoods and their connection to jazz with six self-guided Jazz HistoryWalking Tours provided by the National Park Service.

3. Browse art throughout the city.
It seems like you can find art in every corner of New Orleans – and you can. Check out the galleries on Julia and Royal, Jackson Square vendors and the Mid-City and Bywater art markets.

4. Experience our parks.
Walk among the centuries-old oaks of City Park, picnic in picturesque Audubon Park or enjoy views of the Mississippi River at Woldenberg Park.

5. Attend a free festival.
There’s almost always a festival going on in New Orleans, and many of them are free – French Quarter Fest, Satchmo SummerFest, Po-Boy Preservation Festival, Wednesdays at the Square and, of course, Mardi Gras.

6. Immerse yourself in New Orleans history.
Stop by the Historic New Orleans Collection at 533 Royal Street for a crash course on the city’s history, which spans almost 300 years.

7. Spend a day at the track.
Experience the thrill of live thoroughbred racing at the New Orleans Fair Grounds from early November to late March. Grand stand admission is free.

8. Bike along the levee.
Bring your bike (or rent one) and go for a ride along the levee while taking in the sights and sounds of the mighty Mississippi River.

9. Eat for free.
Oysters, gumbo, crawfish boils – many of these feasts are free at local music clubs for those who are there buying a few drinks.

10. Shop for mansions on St. Charles Avenue.
Come on! You don’t have to be in the market to appreciate these jewels on the Avenue.

11. View the architecture of the French Quarter.
I spy wrought-iron balconies, a cornstalk fence, a hidden courtyard…

12. Tour the oldest restaurant in the French Quarter.
Ask for a tour of the historic Antoine’s that has hosted dignitaries, presidents and notable historic figures in its 160 years. Make sure to peek into the endless wine cellar.

13. Catch a free summer show at Tipitina’s.
This uptown venue pays homage to the jazz legend Professor Longhair with free shows on Fridays during the summer months.

14. Eat some pralines.
This gooey, nutty treat is a New Orleans snack staple. Candy shops throughout the city offer enough free samples to fill you up – and tempt you to bring some home.

15. See haute art.
The fashionable Warehouse District also doubles as the art district. The first Saturday of every month, walk down Julia Street and peruse local artwork in the diverse galleries.

16. Look for ghosts.
Experience paranormal activity and visit haunted sites such as the Bourbon Orleans, one of the most spirited locations in the French Quarter.

17. Spend Saturday morning at the farmers’ market.
Learn a bit about the famous New Orleans cuisine with free cooking demonstrations at the Crescent City Farmers Market.

18. Watch a Cigar Rolling Demonstration.
The New Orleans Cigar Factory is one of just a handful of U.S.-based cigar rolling outfits. Located right in the French Quarter, the store is a walk-in factory with a half-dozen experts rolling tobacco at any given time.

19. Haunt our “Cities of the Dead.”
Take a guided tour of our famous aboveground tombs at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in the Garden District or St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 on Basin Street, believed to be the final resting place of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. Knock three times on her crypt and make a wish. Please note that tours of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 are only available with a guide.

20. Take a self-guided literary tour.
See where Tennessee Williams (722 Toulouse), William Faulkner (624 Pirate’s Alley), Truman Capote (711 Royal), Thornton Wilder (623 Bourbon), Walker Percy (1820 Milan) and Anne Rice (1239 First) lived.

21. Jam at the Square.
During the spring, the Young Leadership Council sponsors free concerts Wednesdays in Lafayette Square.

22. Stroll the French Market
Nearly three centuries of history and six blocks of uniquearts and crafts, souvenirs, and local food stalls to discover. Whatever it isyou’re looking for, you’ll find it at the French Market!www.frenchmarket.org

23. Be moved by our spectacular churches.
The large Catholic population of New Orleans gave rise to breathtaking churches such as St. Louis Cathedral, St. Augustine and Our Lady of Guadalupe.

24. Discover the Besthoff Sculpture Garden.
Located amid the beauty of City Park, the Besthoff Sculpture Garden features one of the most impressive collections of contemporary sculpture in America.

25. Go window shopping on Magazine Street.
While this might start out a free activity, you may find yourself with the uncontrollable urge to throw your money at any one of the unique shops that line Magazine Street so that you can bring a little bit of New Orleans home with you.

 

Source: New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau   http://www.neworleanscvb.com/