You’re invited … Greek Island Hopper Tour with fun folks!

 

Santorini Resort Pool

So many destinations on our bucket list, and too little time and money to complete them all right now. In 2016, we’ll knock Greece off our list as we spend luxurious days in Athens, Mykonos, and Greece. One of my friends emailed late last year, saying he wanted to spend his 40th birthday in 2016 in Greece, so he wanted to know which cruise line did the best job in Greece.

If he wanted to visited Greece, Turkey, and perhaps Croatia, a cruise line is absolutely my recommendation, but if he wants to just spend time in Greece, I definitely recommend a land trip. On cruises, you only get to spend a few hours of one day in each port in most cases, so you just don’t get to immerse yourself in the culture and really enjoy these gorgeous islands. I recommended Globus Greek Island Hopper tour, and we selected the tour that would include the dates of his birthday, June 22 – July 1, 2016.

Our international flight will leave the US on June 21, and we’ll fly into Athens to meet up with all our friends, enjoy dinner and drinks, and spend two nights there. Our sightseeing there will include a visit to the Parthenon atop the Acropolis, the Erechtheum with its Porch of Maidens, the beautifully preserved Theseum, Roman temple of Zeus, theater of Dionysus, and the Agora where Socrates taught. On our second morning there, June 24th, we’ll head to the port of Piraeus, to sail on a ferry on the deep-blue waters of the Aegean Sea to the mountainous island of Mykonos, where we’ll enjoy a dinner with our friends tonight at a local restaurant, then spend three nights on this gorgeous island, including a walking tour. On June 2th, we’ll board the ferry to sail to Santorini, the stunning “Black Pearl of the Aegean,” where we’ll enjoy dinner with friends at a local restaurant, then settle in for three nights and a walking tour. I can’t wait to not only

The Parthenon in Athens

explore these fabulous islands, but relax and enjoy the beauty as well. On June 30th, we’ll head to the airport for a short flight back to Athens, where we’ll wrap up our Greek adventure with one more night in Athens, before heading home to the US on July 1st.

Here’s a link to the details online based on the 2015 itinerary. Our tour is June 22 – July 1, 2016, and it ends up being an 11-night vacation, since your outbound International flight is overnight. We love to travel with friends, so you’re invite to join our fun-loving group, which all ages, races, and gay and straight folks, all who love an adventure.

Globus is honoring their 2015 price for this tour of $1,892 per person. The cost of the intra country flight from Santorini to Athens must be added on once those flights are confirmed, and this year that flight was $331 per person, so we’re expecting much the same for 2016. Once Globus has their international flights for this tour contracted, we can check prices for our international flights. Globus airfare prices are usually lower than what I can find independently, and you can reserve your flight with a low deposit, instead of paying for it in full when you book it.

Santorini

These prices are based on double occupancy, so let me know if you’d like to see prices for single or triple occupancy. And, send me your preferred airport if you’d like me to send you a guesstimate for your international airfare.

The deposit for the tour is $250 per person, and you can book that right now. Once the intra-country air is added, that requires an additional $250 per person deposit due, probably in September. And, when you add Globus international flights, that will require an additional $350 per person deposit. Final payment is due 4/2/2016, so you pay the deposits as they are due, then you can make payments along until you make the final payment on that date … or you can just charge the final payment any time before that date. I’m happy to accommodate payments for the folks who like to pay for a “layaway vacation.”

The price is not locked in until the deposit is paid, and the price will likely increase over time. There’s only 40 seats on this trip, so this trip can and will sell out. Booking now not only locks in your price and your seat, but it also allows you more time to pay off your layaway vacation.

Deposits are fully refundable at this time. Once the tour is confirmed and guaranteed in September, the deposit becomes fully non-refundable. At that time, I highly recommend you add Globus Cancel for Any Reason Travel Protection of $249 per person. That way, no matter what happens in the future, you have protection.

If you this sounds like fun to you, come go with us! All I need to book your travel with us is your legal name exactly as it appears on your passport, your date of birth, address, phone, and email, plus a debit or credit card to pay the deposit. I plan all kinds of vacations, so I’ll help you with any vacation, but how about joining us in Greece in 2016! Here’s how to reach me or stay in touch with me.

Mykonos

Why You and Your Spouse May Need a Cruise

Blog 31Our Contributing Editors

Tom & Mary Milano

 

Ladies, you may want to send a link to this blog to your hubby.

There is a good chance the Cruise Fairy will surprise you!

One day Mary and I were watching Oprah, and we heard a renowned expert in the field of marital relations make a statement that got our attention. He said, “The number one cause of couples losing the sense of intimacy and love that they enjoyed in the first years of their marriage, is the mother allotting all her time to her children and their activities and not making time for her husband.”  

He said, “The demands on mothers in today’s society are at an all time high. Many wives are working moms. Not only do they work, they also have to do the house work, the cooking, the shopping, get the kids off to school, take them to extra school activities, attend PTA meetings, help the children with homework, and many more things too numerous to mention. BUT, and it’s a very BIG BUT, it is absolutely essential that she and her husband find a way to have private time together, away from the children. Otherwise, over a period of time their marriage will slowly but surely disintegrate.” He said, “I know it isn’t easy for a wife to turn the switch on and off. One moment being an all-encompassing mother and then the next moment, the sultry, passionate lover, her husband wants her to be. BUT, again the big BUT, it is an absolute necessity that you have some private time, so you and your spouse can rekindle the fire of your love.” 

Mary and I have a suggestion we think you should give some serious thought. What better way to rediscover each other, than you and your spouse spending seven romantic days on a cruise ship, alone, without the children. Just imagine, no kids, no cooking, no shopping, no chauffering, no dog to walk, no litterbox to clean, no phone, no beeper, no commitments, just you and your loved one alone. Being on a cruise, on one of these magnificent floating resorts is without a doubt, a wonderful and ideal way for a husband and wife to rekindle the fire of their love. Seven full days of being with your loved one… in the most romantic intimate setting imaginable; a chance to be alone with your spouse with no responsibilities except to enjoy one another. You probably can’t remember the last time that happened. Well it can happen, but you have to make it happen. One way you can jumpstart your search for private time is to take a cruise. It’s a wonderful way to rediscover the reasons you married each other. 

Let us know if the Cruise Fairy comes to your house

Our Warmest Regards

Tomandmarymilano@yahoo.com

 

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When a Hurricane is in the Path of Your Cruise Ship

Blog 31Our Contributing Editors

Tom & Mary Milano

 Mary and I live in New Smyrna Beach Florida, an area that has just been visited by Hurricane Charley. Although the hurricane came across the entire state of Florida, it lost little of it’s force and had a devastating effect on our area. Trees and downed power lines everywhere. A nearby town, eight miles south of us, had twenty homes that were totally destroyed. We lost three magnificent pin oaks and half the shingles on our roof, but thank God we weren’t injured and we still have our home.

We are writing this article because we know many of our readers have booked a cruise or are considering booking a cruise during this hurricane season, and are apprehensive and concerned that they might be at sea during a full-blown hurricane. Mary and I felt the same concerns when we were booked on the Norwegian Sun, September 2002, and learned that Hurricane Lili was barreling through the Caribbean in the direct path of our itinerary. We had always wondered what a Captain does when his ship is in the path of a hurricane and now we were about to find out.

Needless to say, everyone was on edge, not knowing what to expect. The evening of the first night, Captain Vorren made an announcement that we were not to worry, because he would keep us informed of the position of Lili and what he would be doing to stay clear of it. Every morning and at various times during the day, Captain Vorren made announcements from the bridge. He gave a very concise and thorough report telling us the strength of the storm, where it was, and what he was doing to avoid it. The captain did an excellent job of putting everyone at ease and alleviating their fears. Being Lili was in our direct path, the Captain made a decision to circumvent the area of the storm, by going on the other side of Cuba, then steering a course for the Eastern Caribbean, a complete reversal of our itinerary. We never experienced any heavy seas during our entire cruise. In fact, the waves never reached a height of more than two or three feet. After making our ports on the eastern itinerary, Captain Vorren again reversed course, so we made our Western itinerary ports. Not only did we avoid Hurricane Lili, we made every one of our ports as we dodged and at times out ran Hurricane Lili.

 Dont Be Afraid of Cruising During Hurricane Season. For the last seven years Mary and I have booked one or two cruises during the hurricane season, and we have booked another for this year. We are sailing on the new Caribbean Princess on September 4th. If you book a cruise during June through October, and there is a threat of a hurricane, be assured your safety is the number one concern of the captains of these magnificent floating resorts. They are prepared to divert from their intended course and choose a route that will assure you a safe journey. That plus the fact they have the awesome responsibility of taking care of the cruise lines half billion dollar vessel under their command. We hope these facts have alleviated most of your concerns about cruising during the hurricane season.

For our readers who are concerned about getting seasick, here’s a Remedy For Seasickness: Something a great many people fear is getting SEASICK. Well the best advice we can give you is to ask their family doctor for a prescription for [Transderm-SC 1.5mg Dis Nova]. This is medicine which prevents nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. It is a small patch that you place behind your ear. The patch is good for three days, then you replace it with another. It will stay on even when you shower. Place the patch behind one ear, the morning of the sailing. This gives the medication a chance to start working. Also when you have to change the patch, do it first thing in the morning. Believe me, it works.

We hope we have helped you,

Our warmest regards,

Tom & Mary

tomandmarymilano@yahoo.com

Tom & Mary are our great cruising friends, who inspire us in our daily life. If you’d like to receive a daily inspirational email from Tom and Mary, just send them an email asking to be added to their distribution list.

Linked By Sea, Cruise Staff & Guest Friendships

Princess just started a new blog, Linked by Sea, sharing the stories of staff and guests who become friends after the cruise. After reading their first blog post, it reminded me of a friend we made on one of our first cruises, who we haven’t heard from in a long time.  Here’s our story.

On 9/1/2003, we were cruising aboard the Carnival Paradise.  We met two good friends on that cruise, Connie and Steve, who we’ve cruised with over and over with since then.  We had late dining in the Elation Dining Room, with server, Som, and his assistant server, Kat, both from Thailand.  We enjoyed getting to know them throughout the cruise, especially hearing about their mutual homeland of Thailand. Som had completed several contracts with Carnival, but this was Kat’s first contract.

We noticed a little chemistry, shy smiles and glances, between them, so when we had a few minutes alone with Som, we asked about it.  He said he was very interested in getting to know her better, but she was so new on the ship, he didn’t know if she had a boyfriend back home or if she’d even be interested in him.  So, next chance we were alone with Kat, we inquired about her relationship status.  She too was very interested in pursuing a relationship with Som.  Before our cruise was over, we gave Som the green light to pursue a relationship with Kat.  About a year later, we received an invitation to Som and Kat’s wedding in Thailand.  We love being part of love stories, and this young folks provided us with not only good service, but such a great memory!

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Port Canaveral, Florida Recommendations

Radisson Resort at the Port Pool Area

Port Canaveral is one of our favorite places to cruise from for several reasons.  The port area and the cruise terminal are easy to navigate.  That’s good news especially for the folks who are driving to the port and parking their car there during the cruise.

Radisson Resort at the Port is our favorite place to stay when cruising from Port Canaveral.  (We prefer a beachfront hotel when we are actually visiting Cocoa Beach.)  We love the pool area, a fabulous Tiki bar, and easy transportation to the ship.  We can’t wait to hang out with cruising friends at the Tiki Bar in the pool area the night before the cruise

Here are some interesting restaurants we’ve enjoyed in the Port Canaveral area:

Rusty’s Seafood & Oyster Bar:  Roger especially enjoyed this place, because he loves oysters on the half shell.   We enjoyed a fabulous group meal on the open-air deck of this restaurant, with fun live entertainment that had us all swaying our hips, even in our chairs!

Roberto’s Little Havana:  This restaurant is just a little more than a diner, but I love trying new kinds of food, and this was my first taste of Cuban entrees, which I love.  Good food, good service, so this might be a place you want to try!

Durango’s Steakhouse:  Some friends picked this place to meet up with us, against our objection that you don’t eat steak on a coast.  To our surprise, this was among the best steaks we’ve ever eaten, and we ate their twice during our week-long visit.  Highly recommend this place for steaks!

Florida’s Seafood Bar & Grill:  This restaurant is the furthest away from our hotel, but I wanted to throw it into the list, because we enjoyed a fabulous seafood meal here.

Rusty's Seafood Menuhere one evening.

While you’re out on the road headed to or from your restaurant, I highly recommend a stop in Ron Jon’s Surf Shop.  We aren’t big shoppers, but we really enjoy visiting these stores, and we never leave empty-handed.  The most comfortable beach sandals I’ve ever worn came from here!

We visited Cocoa Beach the first time after taking our kids on a whirlwind visit to the four Disney Parks, Universal Studio and Sea World in Orlando.  We had scheduled three days in Cocoa Beach for beach time before flying home.  As we pulled into our hotel, two long limos pulled out of the parking lot, and we commented that someone “important” must be staying there.

Later that night, our son, who was only 17 at the time, slipped out of our room for a little time to himself downstairs, and returned saying that we could get a free drink in the bar if we said we’d seen Tommy Lee Jones or Clint Eastwood at the hotel.  Apparently that’s who the limos were for!

The next morning, Roger and Rachel headed down to the beach early, while Eric and I were relaxing a little longer in the room.  As they rounded the corner from the elevator, they ran into Clint Eastwood who was just coming in from an early swim.  (Yes, their bodies collided.)  Roger was shocked, Rachel didn’t know who he was, so they just moved on, but Roger said Clint was in great shape for an older guy.  We later found out they were filming Space Cowboys at that time, a movie that still makes us smile.

If you have time, you may want to add on some extra days before and/or after our cruise in the Port Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Orlando area, because there’s so much to see and do there.