Did you know that you can “link” cruises together? In other words, you can combine itineraries to turn, for example, a 7-day cruise into a 14-day or 21-day (or longer) cruise. My husband and I frequently link on Princess Cruises. In recent years, we have linked Eastern and Southern, Eastern and Western and, most recently, Eastern, Southern and Western Caribbean cruises during the month of January. A few years ago, we linked a British Isles cruise with a Trans-Atlantic cruise on the Royal Princess in October. The first time we did this, we learned how common it is – especially among seasoned cruisers.
Here’s an example of how to link cruises together:
Begin with a Trans-Atlantic cruise itinerary in the spring or fall. To link another cruise to this itinerary, find another cruise that ends on the first day the Trans-Atlantic cruise departs. The key is to make sure both cruises are on the same ship. Linking cruises is quite popular, and it works best if the cabin you select on cruise #1 is also open on the cruise you’re linking to. I recommend booking six months or more in advance – and watch for cruise sales! The best sale on Princess is the Anniversary Sale (early December through the end of February).
So how do you transfer from one cruise itinerary to the next?
On the night before the last day of the first completed cruise, you will receive a customs form and a transit card, as well as instructions explaining the transition to the next voyage and indicating where and what time to meet. You’ll probably be asked to bring your passport, transit card, current cruise card and your completed customs form.
On the day of “transit”, you will meet at the time and place indicated in your instructions, and a cruise attendant will swipe your cruise card. Once all of the transit guests are accounted for, everyone will depart the assigned area by row. A U.S. Immigration Officer will look at your passport and cruise card, and swipe your cruise card again.
It’s that easy! You don’t even have to leave the ship! Depending on how many people are “linking” cruises, this process takes approximately one hour. Of course, transit times and procedures will vary a bit, depending on the destination.
More tips for linking cruises:
Your credit card number rolls over to the next cruise.
Your account on the first cruise will close at the end of the first cruise. You will begin a new account on your second cruise.
Make sure your travel agent “links” the two cruises.
You may have the option to keep the same dining table on the second cruise. (Sometimes the wait staff changes.)
You can keep the same cabin, providing it’s available at the time of booking both cruises (which is why it’s important to book six months or more in advance).
Onboard credits, internet minutes and the onboard account MAY roll over. (Mine have always rolled over on Princess.)
If you have reached Elite status (Captain’s Circle), you will get a new minibar set-up on the second cruise.
Rent a condo for the winter? Or, cruise for one or two months?
On our January 2017 cruise, approximately 400 people linked two or more cruises. We also heard of a couple from Boston who stayed on the ship from January until March. They preferred cruising over renting a condo in Florida or Arizona for the winter! A few advantages of cruising over renting a condo:
The scenery changes every day.
You don’t need a car.
All meals, entertainment, cabin cleaning, and transportation are taken care of. And there’s all kinds of activities onboard and onshore that are already planned for you.
Plus, if you’re at the highest frequent traveler level, your laundry is done for free. Otherwise, there are laundry facilities located on each passenger deck.
While in port, you have the option to explore on your own, have lunch, play a round of golf, shop, join a ship excursion, go sailing, or just stay on board the ship! The options are endless!
And the best part … you meet wonderful people from all over the world.
Are you ready to book your next back-to-back cruise? Give us a call at 800 GO WITTE (800-469-4883) or fill out our Contact Formto connect with a Certified Cruise Specialist!
As more travelers seek out experience-based vacations and stray further away from traditional “tourist traps”, bike and barge tours have emerged as a booming trend—particularly among people over the age of 50. With adventure travel and river cruising also rising in popularity, bike and barge tours offer the best of both worlds: the excitement of an active, culturally immersive, off-the-beaten-path experience, combined with the all-inclusive comforts and amenities of a river cruise!
Island Routes is a Caribbean Tour operator and a member of the Sandals Group of Companies. It was founded by a group ofCaribbeanpeople whose mission is to showcase the culture, beauty and natural resources that define each unique island destination. Currently, Island Routes operates over 140 tours inJamaica,St. Lucia, Antigua, theBahamas, Turks and Caicos, andBarbados. Island Routes recently received the 2010 World Travel Award for “World’s Leading Caribbean Attraction Company” and has set the tour industry standard by becoming the only tour company to receive a prestigious Six Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.
Islands Routes has tour desks in all of the Sandals and Beaches properties as well as the Grand Pineapple locations; however, guests staying anywhere on the islands (or cruise passengers visiting the islands) can book tours with Island Routes.
This cruise has something for everyone, whether you are part of Generation X, Baby Boomers, or beyond. You can join in as many walking tours and excursions as you want and truly “custom” design your experience. If you want a leisurely cruise or an action-packed cruise, it’s your call. For me:
I LOVED being able to unpack and make the cabin my “home” for the duration of the cruise vs. a typical tour where you stay in multiple hotels and don’t have a true “home” base.
Participating in as many evening walking tours that I wished to.
Being able to pick and choose the excursions I wanted to join in vs. having it automatically built into the cruise package.
The option to explore independently, but at the same time being a part of a mini community (there were 100+ passengers on the trip) where I was guaranteed to run into my fellow passengers while investigating new villages and cities.
Having all meals, except the first lunch upon arrival, included in the cruise, as well as tipping to our tour manager and cruise personnel.
I appreciated the smiling and helpful staff of the Salvinia who were always helpful. I now know why Henk has used the Salvinia for so long. Not only is the ship “simply perfect” for our passengers and the cruise, but the staff is top-notch.
Surprising highlights at every turn of the cruise. I must admit that the Organ recital at the Martinikerk (Groningen and Friesland excursion), the Orchid Farm (Overijssel, Northeast Polder, and Friesland excursion), and the Frisian folklore group performance in Franeker didn’t sound interesting to me at all. Guess what? I was totally wrong on all three scores. I am so glad the two sites were included on the excursions I joined and that my good friend Barb talked me into participating when the folklore group came on board or I would have missed out on three amazing experiences.
Cruising the waterways was a highlight in itself. You never knew exactly what you’d see and the scenery was spectacular.
Carnival Cruise Lines will resume visits to Mexican ports of call based on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, which is no longer recommending against non-essential travel to Mexico. Once all voyages with previously modified itineraries are completed, those vessels will revert to their original routes featuring stops in Mexico.
Most itineraries were modified through mid-June with the exception of the Holiday which was modified through late May.
Please rest assured that the health and well being of our guests and crew is our highest priority and we are returning to Mexico after careful evaluation and consultation with the CDC. It is important to note that the concentration of H1N1 flu cases in Mexico has been inland rather than in the coastal resort areas where our ships visit.
The cruise industry works closely with U.S. public health officials in the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program in developing and complying with extensive policies and procedures that are effective in mitigating illness aboard cruise ships. Carnival will continue to follow CDC guidelines for cruise ships which include pre-boarding health questionnaires for all guests and crew, along with secondary screening by shipboard medical professionals as necessary. Additionally, all Carnival ships stock influenza test kits and anti-viral medications for treating type A influenzas.
Mexico is one of our most popular destinations and we look forward to once again providing your clients the opportunity to enjoy its many wonderful sites and attractions. We are very pleased to be returning to Mexico and would also very much like to thank you for your understanding and patience during the past few weeks.