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Booked Your First Cruise? 5 Things to Remember Before Heading Off to Sea

Your first cruise drums up excitement, but it also puts pressure on you to get all of your affairs in order. With cruises lasting from 3 days to several months, home preparation before you embark is crucial to keep your home and belongings safe. Leaving appliances on or newspapers strew about on a front lawn is cause for trouble.

Your Paperwork

At least a week before your cruise, contact your local post office and hold your mail. You typically pick it up after your vacation or have the postal worker bring it on normal rounds. Leaving mail to accumulate in your box tells potential thieves that you are not home. Newspapers should be cancelled for the cruise’s duration as well. Apply for your passports several months before your trip. Passports take up to 8 weeks to receive in the mail. They must be in your hands as you board the ship or you cannot sail.


The Money Question

Set up any bills that must be paid while you are gone through online payment schedules. You do not want to come home to a darkened house and a late fee. Your checking account should have ample funds to pay the cruise line after your trip. Drinks, souvenirs and outside excursions are usually extras billed to your room number. The bill must be paid in full before you debark. Keeping your checking account full prevents any delays at the terminal.


Turn Off Those Appliances

No appliances should run while you are gone. Electrical shorts and flooding can occur, causing extensive damage. For the best safety, unplug your appliances so they cannot operate. Turn your hot water heater to the vacation mode to save money on heating costs while you are gone.


Ask For Help

Friends and family should visit your home to check on appliances and basic care, especially if you have plants or pets. Visitors to the home deters thieves as they roam streets for potential targets. Making your home busy makes criminals think twice about trying to break in.


When you embark on your cruise, the last thing on your mind should be home care. Sit back and enjoy your trip because proper preparation prevents most problems from occurring.

Make Sure Your Next Vacation Is Your Best Vacation: 4 Things to Remember

You have probably been counting the days till you leave on that vacation that you booked months ago. Now the time has come to go to that destination that you have been fantasizing about ever since. Regardless of whether you are going to relax on the beach, camp in the wilderness, or explore a city you have never been to, you want this to be a memorable vacation that you can look back on for years to come. Here are some tips to help you avoid common vacation mishaps so that you have an enjoyable experience.


Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! Nothing will ruin a vacation faster than painful sunburn, or even worse, sun poisoning. It only takes a couple of hours of being in the sun with not enough protection for your skin to start burning. This tip is not just for beach vacationers either. Anyone who is outside and exposed to the sun should take some SPF with you.

Avoid Using Cash

Do not cash out your savings account. While it is always good to carry some cash on you in case of an emergency, don’t carry too much on you. Muggers always know how to spot a tourist. The last thing you need while vacationing is for them to rob you of everything, leaving you without any spending money, or means to get home. Use traveler’s checks, debit cards, or credit cards instead. You can always get more cash when you need it.

Get Educated

Always educate yourself of the location you will be traveling to before you get there. Get information from the internet, a travel agent, or others who have traveled to this area. You will get a much better experience if you know where to dine, shop, sight see ahead of time. Research the hours of operation for places you will be visiting on your trip. This will help keep you from wandering around desolate areas that may leave you susceptible to falling victim to a crime.

Accidents Happen Sometimes

Nothing combines relaxation and fun like a cruise. They offer so many activities, stop at several breathtaking destinations, and have incredible dining options. You can watch a show, play roulette, or sit by the pool. Lately there has been a rise in cruise ships breaking down due to mechanical problems, leaving people stranded. Don’t let that ruin your fun. Find a cruise ship accident attorney before you go. It will give you peace of mind, letting you kick back and enjoy your vacation.

No matter where you are vacationing, following a few simple tips, and just using good judgment will make your vacation not only safe, but also unforgettable.

5 Of The World’s Most Beautiful Sailing Destinations


08.2012 Vorobek Bahamas - swimming pigs

Sailing is one of the world’s most popular and beautiful sports. There are few pastimes that can compare with the serenity and grace of sailing in the seas, and of feeling the wind on your face while you enjoy the process of steering your own yacht, or of just sitting back and watching the waters flow past you. Almost three quarters of our planet consists of water. Therefore, there never is any dearth of places where you can indulge in your favourite activity. From the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, the world is full of amazing sailing destinations, and it is not easy to choose just the top five among them. However, we have put in some research and effort, and tried to narrow down the list. Here are five of our favourite sailing destinations in the world.

The Bahamas

Rum and pineapples, palm trees and excellent beaches – there is so much to see and do in the Bahamas. These 2400 cays and over 700 islands are among the world’s best sailing destinations. The warm Atlantic Ocean, the splendour of the natural beauty of this region, and the many different islands where you can explore new cuisines and new vistas are but a few of the reasons why this is a popular sailing destination. The temperatures remain almost the same throughout the year and whether you are a novice or an expert, you are sure to find routes to make you happy.

The Greek Islands

With over 6000 uninhabited islands, this Mediterranean region is a fabulous place to go sailing. Whether you are just starting from the stunning island of Mykonos or you are sailing to Symi, there are excellent mooring places all around. There are some great restaurants almost everywhere, which boasts of the famed traditional Greek hospitality. From this cradle of the western civilisation, you can sail across to several other destinations such as Turkey and Croatia. Many sailors also travel from here to the coastlines of France and Spain, enjoying the balmy water of the blue Mediterranean.

New Zealand

The New Zealanders have more boats per capita than anywhere else in the world, and they have some of the best sailing routes in their vicinity. Lovely inlets, stunning coves, good weather and excellent infrastructure – sailing enthusiasts just love to go to New Zealand for a sailing holiday. The most popular sailing spot is the historic maritime park, the Bay of Islands. It consists of over 144 islands, wildlife such as dolphins, penguins and exotic birds, and a long interesting coastline.

Petite Anse Kerlan, Praslin Island, Seychelles


For glimpses of paradise, Seychelles beckons you. Crystal clear waters, pristine beaches, without the tourist crowds, and calm and cool waters are all a part of these beautiful islands. You can dock at any one of their well-equipped marinas and even go for a trek up the mountains next to the coast. Water sports are available in plenty, and the waters are easy to navigate. The white beaches seem endless and the scenic vistas range from green forests to rugged mountains.


Enchanting Thailand has become one of the most popular sailing destinations in Asia. Phuket bay is the prime destination, but all around the coastline of Thailand you can find inlets and coves that offer great sailing experiences. The majestic limestone cliffs jutting out of the clear blue waters at Phang Nga Bay are among the most spectacular scenes in the world. Thailand is renowned for its beautiful coastline and amazing cuisine. Luxurious relaxed sailing through calm waters and peaceful bays make this a great sailing destination.

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Brad Chambers is a keen sailing enthusiast and blogger for and leading stockist of waterproof sailing apparel. Brad regularly tweets when he is not enjoying the open waters in the Solent.

Transatlantic Cruises – Itineraries, Activities And Reasons Why This Is A Great Holiday


Going on a cruise is a luxury that many people will enjoy each year. While you are on board a cruise ship you will get to feel the ocean air in your face as you sail through different parts of the world, stopping to enjoy various places along the way.

Transatlantic cruises are the ideal way to spend your holiday. They will set off from a port in the US and travel across the Atlantic Ocean before heading to places such as – the Caribbean, the West Indies, France, Italy, Seville, Canada or even the UK. In most cases travellers will then take a return flight back home from the last place visited. This gives you even more time on board to enjoy your cruise to its fullest.


Exciting Itineraries

Before you book your cruise you will be able to take a look at the itineraries that you could be experiencing. You will see that these cruises will take in as many interesting places as possible to give you a real taste of the world. Each destination that you will visit on your cruise will have places of interest for you to visit and you can be as active or as sedate as you like. You don’t even have to go ashore if you don’t want to, but with such wonderful stops you will want to take in the sights and sounds of the local area before moving on to your next port.

You will notice that you can book onto cruises that are for certain age groups which is a good idea if you are older and don’t want to be stuck on a cruise for 18 – 30 year old (unless you like to party). There are also dedicated cruises for singles, couples, families and so on, which means you will be able to book yourself onto the one that will be the most suitable.

Plenty of Activities on Board

As you will be spending a lot of time on the cruise ship the cruise company go to great lengths to make sure that you have plenty to do. On board you will find various activities from sports to quizzes and wine tasting. Some cruises also have activities such as line dancing, cookery classes, Wii tournaments for the kids (and adults) and more. So if you like to get involved there will be plenty for you to do. If you prefer to take it easy you can chill out on deck or have a lazy swim in the pool. It’s your cruise so you can do what you like.


A fantastic looking cruiseship lit up at night

After dark cruise ships come to life and you will be astounded at the range of entertainment that you can enjoy on board. You will find top class singers, groups, magicians, variety acts, hypnotists and so much more. All of the entertainment on board is tailored to suit the audience which is good news if you are travelling with children and you can take your pick of what you want to see.

Food and Drink

A transatlantic cruise will wow you with the amazing food and drink that you can partake of. There are dishes from all over the world and the standard of the meals is outstanding. The food is plentiful and you will be able to eat pretty much at any time you wish to as the restaurants are open for hours each day and there is room service available, should you need to use it.

Excellent Service

To make sure that you have the best experience ever cruise ships employ the best staff. They are all highly trained individuals who want to give you excellent service. This makes your cruise even more enjoyable and puts the finishing touches to an amazing holiday.

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Written by Joanne who enjoys shopping for last minute cruises from

Yachting Holidays In The Outer Hebrides



The Outer Hebrides is a vibrant holiday place for artists, nature lovers, walkers, wildlife enthusiasts and any other person who is simply looking forward to relax and unwind. Known as one of the best places for sailing, the landscapes here are expansive with many bird reserves and other areas of conservation. Sailing past the gorgeous coastlines of this wild place, and encountering rare wildlife and marine life during Yachting holidays in the Outer Hebrides are truly spectacular.

Sailing on the Yacht along the Outer Hebrides

The Outer Hebrides has several places to offer to every type of traveller. Sailing in this area is completely ruled by the winds and the weather forecast. Hence, there was no particular itinerary that we followed. The World Heritage Site of St. Kilda exemplifies unspoilt beauty, while the vibrant marine life makes the journey worth every moment. There are beautiful coastlines along with some extremely stunning mooring havens in this region.

The Islands in Outer Hebrides

The islands located here have their own historical significance and are full of music, drama, culture and literature. We started our trip from the south with the Isle of Lewis, which is the most populous and the largest island. It has some world renowned archaeological sites, which includes the Neolithic ‘Callanish Stones’, the Norse mill house, the Pictish Carloway Broch among several others.

Drinishader, Hebrides

Moving north, the North Uist is a stunning place with a blend of beaches and rugged moorlands that are an absolute delight for adventure seekers. The beaches are dotted with seals and have a magnificent coastline with freshwater lochs. A causeway links North Uist to the Isle of Grimsay, which has a bustling harbour, Kallin. The gorgeous Isle of Berneray is located at the north and is also one among the favourite destinations of Prince Charles.

At the Isle of Benbecula, one can witness a landscape of small islets and islands along with several interesting monuments. Well-laid out cottages and stunning expanses of deep sandy bays that offer a breathtaking view are some of the other attractions. With over 20 miles of marvelous white shell beaches along with dunes and machair land spread out with beautiful flowers and wildlife, South Uist also has a truly dramatic landscape. It is also renowned for becoming the watery grave to SS Politician ship that sank at the Isle of Eriskay. Our last stopover was at the the Isle of Barra, which is the tiniest island in the region and is home to plenty of dolphins. The most spectacular part of this island is its airport that has a beach for the runway!

Wildlife at Outer Hebrides

Outer Hebrides is known for its unspoilt beauty and has a variety of beautiful species of exotic birds and wildlife. It is home to many iconic and rare species, such as the golden eagle, whale, basking shark, puffins, otter, corncrake and dolphins. The uninhabited islands in the Outer Hebrides are peaceful and have several deserted silver sandy beaches. During summers, the view of these beaches blending with the turquoise blue water is simply brilliant, while the machair lands turn into a colourful carpet with rare and beautiful flowers.

A yachting holiday in the Outer Hebrides is a wonderful experience that combines adventure with beauty. While you bask in the most stunning landscapes, you also sight rare species frequently and are able to explore isolated and beautiful locations. This place truly lets you unwind as you watch the natural world go by in a peaceful and relaxing day.

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Tom Silsby is an avid sailor and blogger who enjoys adventure sailing and windsurfing. He is a blogger at and frequently teaches VHF radio courses for sailing. His hobbies include climbing, hill walking and yachting.