The news this week that the United States will open their land and sea borders to vaccinated international travelers should give a boost to the economy as the travel industry is a multi billion dollar industry. It should also result in more flight itineraries to international destinations for Americans. It has been very difficult to find decent air pricing or routes as there are just not enough options.
Cruise lines are gradually bringing back their ships a few at a time and are sailing out of several ports in the US. They are sailing with enhanced protocols due to COVID-19 but so far things appear to be going well. Most of the ships are not sailing at full capacity. Vaccinations, testing, and masks are required. The cases that have arisen have been dealt with quickly to prevent spread of the disease.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted these reminders about when not to tip on cruise ships. Cruise Critic had a piece about cruise line tipping this week:
- The Bar. The price of drinks on a cruise line already has the tip built in. No additional tipping is necessary. (Some cruisers feel as thought they get better service if they tip the bartender at the beginning of the cruise.)
- Specialty Restaurant When you reserve at a specialty restaurant and pay the extra fee, you don’t need to worry about tipping. It’s already in that extra cost.
- The Spa You should always check your receipt at the spa. Many cruise lines add that gratuity to your final bill.
- Kid’s Club No need to tip the staff when you pick up your children from the Club.
- Ship’s Officers, Cruise Director, or Maintenance People: No need to tip.
Most cruise lines add the gratuities for your cabin steward and restaurant waitstaff to your final bill. That gratuity is shared with the dining room, buffet and specialty restaurant wait staff, cooks, laundry staff, and the general housekeeping staff that cleans the ship’s common areas,. If you have been especially happy with your service from a particular individual, no one will refuse an extra gift at the end of the cruise.- Cruise Critic, 10/14/21
Every ten years, the people of Oberammergau, Germany perform the Passion Play, a tradition that dates back hundreds of years. The villagers promised God that if their village was spared from a plague, they would perform the ‘Play of the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ’ every ten years. The play usually takes place in the years that end in “0” but because of COVID it was moved to 2022. The nest scheduled performance will be 2030. We do have a group going to Oberammergau and there is limited availability. This video shows a bit of the performance:
April 4-15, 2022 Lynn and Lidia’s Sicily and Southern Italy tour with Sant’ippolito! Join us as we fly to the Sicilian Capital of Palermo. where we will spend 2 nights exploring the city. There will be an opportunity to take optional tours to Cefalu, Monte Pellegrino, and the goal market. We will then travel to Taormina by way of Agrigento to visit the Valley of the Temples. Once in Taormina we will take a walking tour of the Corso Umbreto and on to the Piazza for a panoramic view of the bay. The next day, explore Taormina at leisure or maybe take an optional trip to Mt. Etna and Savoca, home of the “Godfather”. We will then cross the Straits of Messina and on to Calabria. Here you will have an opportunity to visit your family villages located outside Cosenza. After a stay in Calabria we head to Matera, Alberabello, and San Giovanni Rotundo to see the shrine of Padre Pio, and then make our way to Rome for our departure. Call for availability. Trafalgar
April 20-29, 2022 Tulips and Windmills during Tulip Time See everything from tulips to windmills on this journey during the season of rebirth. From the canals of Amsterdam to the belfry of Bruges, you’ll discover the best of the Netherlands and Belgium. Stroll through colorful acres of tulips at Keukenhof Gardens to get a sense of the Netherlands’ extraordinary connection to these blooms. Then visit the 19 UNESCO-designated windmills of Kinderdijk to better understand how these mighty structures have been used to protect the Low Country from ever-rising water levels for hundreds of years. This ship is almost full. Uniworld River Cruises
May 11-20, 2022 Shades of Ireland This is one of my favorite trips: Enjoy Dublin,Kilkenny, Waterford, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher, Limerick, and Galway. Ride a jaunting car, kiss the Blarney Stone, and visit a family farm. Our last night’s stay is in a castle. I have a few spaces left if you are interested. Will need to return unsold seats to Collette next month. Collette Vacations http://gateway.gocollette.com/link/101529
May 15-26, 2022 Alpine Lakes and the Glacier Express with Oberammergau Passion Play This tour is being rescheduled from 2020. I can only hold the few tickets I have for 30 days. Your journey will begin at the beautiful Lake Maggiore. You will then head to Zermatt, Switzerland. The Glacier Express will take you into the Alps. You’ll visit the beautiful towns of St. Moritz, Innsbrook and Salzburg. Enjoy a special Mozart Concert and its the Neuschwanstein Castle before heading to the famed Oberammergau Passion Play. You will return home from Munich. The passion play will not be repeated until 2030. Check out the itinerary at https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/817395 Collette Vacations
June 18-26, 2022 Spectacular Canadian Rockies We will begin this awesome tour in Vancouver, and travel to Victoria Island, Kamloops, Jasper National Park, the Athabasca Glacier, Lake Louise, and Banff National park. Trafalgar
July Alaska Cruisetour (dates vary) Take an 11 day southbound cruise tour aboard Princess Cruises. Fly into Fairbanks, visit Denali Wilderness Lodge, Denali McKinley Lodge and then take the train to our cruise ship for a 7 night southbound cruise. Experience the Hubbard Glacier, cruise through Glacier Bay National Park, and visit Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan before disembarking in Vancouver. This is an amazing cruise tour. Princess Cruises
August 7-15 7 day round trip Venice, Croatia, andGreek Isles with Santorini, and Mykonos. Call for pricing and availability. Norwegian Cruise Line
New! September 7-15, 2022 Israel: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land Join us as we embark on an extraordinary journey. We will begin our journey in Tel Aviv and then travel to the port city of Jaffa on our way to Caesarea. We next visit Nazareth, Cana, and our day in Tiberias for 2 nights. We will take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We’ll make a stop at the Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum. We will visit Bethlehem, Jerusalem, the Western Wall, and much more. Optional extension to Petra. Ready for booking! Collette Vacations https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/1059364
September 18-30, 2022 Rhine, Moselle, and Blissful Baden-Baden Spend 2 nights in the beautiful spa town of Baden-Baden and then board your ship for a cruise up the Rhine and Moselle rivers. We will visit Strasbourg, Speyer, Frankfurt, Rudesheim, Boppard, Cochem Bernkastel and Trier before returning home from Frankfurt. Uniworld Cruises
October 23-29, 2022 Southern Charm Join us on this short 6 night tour as we visit the beautiful cities of Charleston, Savannah. Visit St. Simon’s Island and spend a night on Jekyll Island. End our tour in Jacksonville, Florida before heading home. Collette Vacations https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/1063914
January 17-February 1 Panama Canal This is a full transit of the Panama Canal through the new locks from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale. Ports of call include Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, San Juan del Sur Nicaragua, Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Panama City (Fuerte Amador), Locks transit, and Cartagena, Colombia before disembarking in Ft. Lauderdale.
April 29- May 10, 2023 Discovering Poland We’ll visit Warsaw, Gdansk, Torun, Wroclaw, and Krakow. Check out the itinerary at https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/902378 Collette Vacations
June 17-23, 2023New!! Viking Cruise down the Mississippi Join us as we cruise from Memphis to New Orleans on a cruise called Heart of the Delta. I was only able to get 10 cabins as Viking usually does not do groups on this cruise as it is too popular. I have very few cabins remaining. Believe it or not, I could not get cabins for 2022. We will begin our journey in Memphis, and sail to Vicksburg, Natchez, St. Francisville, Baton Rouge, and Darrow, Louisiana before arriving in New Orleans. The cabins that I have are balcony cabins. Right now air is being offered for $399 per person out of Detroit. Let me know if you are interested. 1 cabin remaining.
*Please note that Skip and I usually escort all our tours. Because of the number of rescheduled tours in 2021-22 it will be impossible for us to be on every tour in 2022. We will escort as many as we can, but whether we are on the tour or not, we will make sure that you have everything you need for your tour and will work hard to insure you are well taken care of by your tour operator or cruise line.
Have a great week!