Princess Offers Military Benefits on All Sailings

Honoring All VeteransWhile most cruise lines offer current and former military personnel discounts on some sailings, Princess Cruise Line offers veterans onboard credits on every sailing. The aggressive benefits program, started over a year ago, is designed to attract current and former armed forces members to Princess. Veterans receive onboard credits of $50 for cruises 6 days or less; $100 for cruises 7-13 days; and $250 for cruises 14 days or longer.

Princess recognizes the service of active military, retired military, and many others who were honorably discharged. Veterans need only provide proper documentation to their travel agent who will then make the request on behalf of the veteran.

The program applies to members of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard or Reserves, Canadian National Defense – as well as the British Army, Royal Marines, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force or Reserves.

For more information or to book a cruise and take advantage of this special military benefits program from Princess Cruises, call AREA Vacations at 770-591-5552 or send an email to travel@area-vacations.com.

NASA Predicts Record Northern Lights Activity in Winter 2012

Northern Lights on Hurtigruten Cruise
Strongest activity in 50 years according to NASA

Waiting to see the Northern Lights? Well, winter of 2012 may be the best chance of lifetime to see this amazing natural phenomenon. NASA predicts that this winter will see the strongest Northern Lights activity in 50 years and what better place to see them than from a Hurtigruten ship where they are set against the dark night sky, away from artificial light.

The Northern Lights have increased in intensity since 2007, and will be at their peak in 2012. The Solar Maximum, the period with the greatest solar activity, peaks around every 11 to 12 years. According to NASA, 2012 is the year that we will once again witness the Solar Maximum, and it will be stronger than at any time in the last 50 years.

The Northern Lights are at their most active in the late autumn and they occur most frequently and at their brightest in a belt of some 2,500 kilometers from the magnetic pole. Much of the Norwegian coast lies in an area with the greatest Northern Lights activity, especially the high Arctic above the Arctic Circle.

For more information or to book your Hurtigruten Cruise to see the Northern Lights, please contact AREA Vacations at 770-591-5552 or travel@area-vacactions.com.

Getting the Most Out of Your Carnival MasterCard

Carnival "FunPoints" MasterCardOne of the best “rewards” credit cards for cruise enthusiasts is the Carnival MasterCard. The card is available through Barclays Bank. The Carnival card tracks your purchases in FunPoints – one FunPoint for each dollar charged. The World and Platinum versions of the card double the points for eligible purchases made directly from¬†Carnival Cruise Lines. Charge a $2,000 Carnival cruise and the card holder is rewarded with¬†4,000 FunPoints!

FunPoint redemption for small amounts is at the rate of approximately $50 for every 5,000 FunPoints redeemed or a 1% payback. FunPoints can be used like cash to offset air travel purchases or purchases from Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, and Holland America. 

What is important for Carnival MasterCard holders to know is that the rate at which FunPoints can be redeemed increases dramatically when redeeming 100,000 FunPoints or more for cruise purchases of $1,500 or more. Once that level is exceeded, the redemption rate will be $75 per 5,000 FunPoints or a 1.5% payback. If the FunPoints were accumulated by making cruise purchases at the rate of 2 FunPoints per dollar spent, the payback is actually a whopping 3%.

To get the best payback it is necessary to accumulate¬†at least 100,000 FunPoints. Then purchase a cruise that is at least $1,500.¬†For whatever reason, the payback calculator used in the program requires 149,900 FunPoints to pay in full a cruise purchase of $1,499. However, if you purchase a cruise that costs just $1 more – $1,500 –¬†the FunPoints necessary to pay it off in full¬†is just 100,000. That is 49,900 FunPoints LESS!

If you want help getting the most out of your FunPoints contact AREA Vacations to book your next Carnival Cruise.

Cunard’s First Ever “Weddings at Sea” Program

Cunard announces new weddings at sea programCunard Line, one of the oldest names in passenger shipping operating¬†the youngest fleet at sea, will offer its guests onboard weddings. This is the first time in its 171-year history that the cruise line will allow its guests to say “I Do” during a voyage. Beginning in December, couples will be able book cruise marriages for sailing dates in the Spring of 2012 and later.

The new program requires that Cunard’s three ships be re-flagged – moving the registration from Southhampton, UK to Bermuda. English law does not permit marriages to take place at sea. Bermuda has no such restriction. Consequently, the Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria will all be re-registered in Bermuda by the end of November.

Cunard is joining Princess, P&O Cruises, and Celebrity Cruises – other lines offering weddings at sea. For more information about cruise weddings or destination weddings, contact AREA Vacations at 888-883-9720 or travel@area-vacations.com.

World’s Largest Cruise Sale – October 17 – 23

Coinciding with National Cruise Vacation Week, travel agents across America will hold the “World’s Largest Cruise Sale” during the week of October 17-23. Member agencies of Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) and 25 cruise lines support the event with major incentives for travelers.

For the public this means potential savings of $100 to $5,000 or more in some cases, credits for shipboard spending valued at $50 to over $300, upgrades to suite accommodations, or other incentives such as complimentary shore excursions, reduced deposits, and more. Among the outstanding offers: Three to five day Caribbean cruises starting at $249; six to eight day sailings starting at $429; $2,000 savings per couple on a river cruise through Burgundy and Provence; and two-for-one fares with free airfare plus up to $5000 in bonus savings on sailings in Europe or the Pacific.

Additional cruise deals are expected to be announced in the days leading up to the event so contact your local travel agent for details. If you are planning to cruise in 2012 or 2013, book it during National Cruse Vacation Week.

ABBA Fans – Don’t miss “adbacadabra”

adbacadabra - the ultimate ABBA ConcertIf you have enjoyed the music of ABBA, you must experience the “ultimate ABBA concert” by¬†adbacadabra. This amazing group performed all of the ABBA favorites to perfection while role-playing each of the original four members of ABBA. Amazingly, the concert took place on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas. It may have been the best cruise show ever.

This group is worth seeing and worth scheduling your vacation around. Adbacadabra is scheduled to perform in 2020 on the following Royal Caribbean cruises:

  • 2/9/2020 – Mariner of the Seas
  • 2/14/2020 – Mariner of the Seas
  • 4/24/2020 – Serenade of the Seas
  • 5/5/2020 – Serenade of the Seas
  • 5/29/2020 – Radiance of the Seas
  • 6/5/2020 – Radiance of the Seas

AREA Vacations promotes Adbacadabra cruises so contact AREA Vacations today about reserving your cruise to see this amazing shipboard concert. Call 770-591-5552 or email travel@area-vacations.com.