Cruising

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Cruising to the Midnight Sun

<p>For those of us who think of Europe as two-countries-before-breakfast tiny, Norway is a surprise. It’s about 2400 kilometres to cruise from Oslo to the top of Norway – about the same distance as Sydney to Townsville.</p> <p>However, unlike the Australian coast, the Norwegian coast is deeply inset with <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/bergen-is-the-gateway-to-the-fjords-of-norway.aspx">fjords</a>, some deep enough to accommodate the largest ships. Standing on deck looking up the sheer sides of a fjord rising more than a kilometre above and almost close enough to touch is magical. And watching a giant cruise ship turn in a fjord little wider than the ship’s length reveals impressive nautical skills.</p> <p>Most Norwegian cruises start on the southwest coast. Indeed, a lot don’t go anywhere near the capital city of Oslo. If you do travel via Oslo, I recommend an excursion out to Trondheim, the home of the legendary polar explorer Roald Amundsen. It’s tricky to get to – and to get back from – but it provides an interesting insight into a fascinating man. My other must-see recommendations are the Viking Ship Museum and the exciting new Opera House.</p> <p>The best-known port of the itinerary may well be the first and its most rewarding. Bergen is wonderful. It’s a World Heritage city and picturesque Bryggen, the city’s historic district and its heart from the days of the Hanseatic League, rewards hours of exploration.</p> <p>However, it’s a good idea to venture into the suburbs to Troldhaugen, which was composer Edvard Greig’s home. Sometimes there are recitals of Peer Gynt here. Venture down from his house to the waterfront to visit the simple hut where he wrote much of his music. He couldn’t have written it anywhere else: Greig’s compositions perfectly encapsulate the wonders of the dramatic Norwegian coast. “In the Hall of the Mountain King” indeed.</p> <p>One dramatic point of entry into fjordland is sailing into Flam, deep in a narrow fjord and the terminus of the Flam Railway. It will offered as a shore excursion and no other compares: the train climbs 865 metres over 20km to Myrdal on a journey justly rated as one of the most spectacular in the world. The rails begin mere metres from the dark, deep waters of the Aurlandsfjord. The next day you are likely to cruise along Sognefjord, Norway’s longest fjord at over 200km.</p> <p>Recently, I had the chance to ask the Norwegian captain of the <a href="http://www.azamaraclubcruises.com/en-au">Azamara Journey</a>, Captain Johannes Tysse what were his favourite fjords. Not surprisingly, they were all Norwegian. He nominated Geirangerfiord with the Seven Sisters waterfall and Naeroyfiord off Sognefiord into Godvangen. But his absolute favourite is Trollfiord, south of Tromso, where the Azamara Journey is the largest cruise ship able to turn within it.</p> <p>Norwegian summers can be a challenge. With luck, sunny days reveal snow-capped alps reflected in mirror-smooth fjords. But inclement days top up the snow cover while sometimes fog and cloud merge into an opaque white wall.</p> <p>While many of the best sights of the magnificent Geirangerfjord can be seen from the decks of the ship, in pretty Geiranger town it’s worthwhile venturing inland to Flydalsjuvet lookout, the one that features in so many gut-wrenching pictures.</p> <p>On a voyage north a stop may be Alesund, an important fishing port that burned down in 1904 and was rebuilt over the next three years in Art Noveau style. Heading north, Molde offers a chance to visit the Trolls Road and the beautiful new viewing platform at the top.</p> <p>Next are the two Ts. Trondheim, on the very open Trondheimsfjord, was once the capital of Norway and is still the country’s third most populous city. It’s a big step to the north to Tromso that lies above the Arctic Circle and has an impressive collection of wooden buildings in the city centre and a cable car to provide a bird’s-eye view of the city.</p> <p>A 12-hour visit to Honningsvag is barely enough time to appreciate North Cape. But if you are lucky, your ship may cruise around the cape and provide a perspective denied to land-based visitors. It’s also closer than most people will ever get to the North Pole.</p> <p>The ultimate goal of a Norwegian cruise is North Cape (or Nordkapp). At 71.1725°N this is as far north as you can go on the European continent - the next stop is the North Pole. The main attraction is to gather at a giant clifftop globe of the world and watch the midnight sun skirt above the horizon before rising again. Honningsvag is the tiny port for North Cape.</p> <p>There’s a very wide range of options for a Norwegian cruise as most cruise companies offer it throughout the European summer. The classic voyage is with <a href="https://www.hurtigruten.com/">Hurtigruten</a> that began running mail boats to remote coastal communities in 1893 and offers an extensive selection today.</p> <p>Otherwise, just consult your favourite cruise company be it Azamara, Silversea, Costa, MSC, Holland America, Saga, Fred Olsen, Seabourn, NCL, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas, Crystal, Oceania, P&amp;O, Princess, Windstar, Lindblad, Sea Cloud and Viking, of course. There’s a very good chance they’ll all be able to offer you a cruise with the chance to embrace your inner Viking.</p> <p><em>Written by David McGonigal. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/cruising-to-the-midnight-sun.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></em></p>

Cruising

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Ship shape to Australia

<p> “This morning we will cruise past the Sydney Opera House and under the Sydney Harbour Bridge to tie up at White Bay in the suburb of Balmain,” the captain declared.</p> <p>These are some of the most welcome words in travel. Sydney Harbour is simply one of the world’s most spectacular inlets and the best way to see it is from the deck of a ship. The highlight is passing under the Bridge when it looms close overhead.</p> <p>Sadly, many ships sailing into Sydney are too big to fit under the Bridge and that’s their loss. In May 2017 the Australian Cruise Lines International released a report revealing that the three most popular destinations for the rapidly growing group of Australian cruisers (1.3 million last year) are the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, passing Europe for the first time.</p> <p>While there are many vessels to choose from, the Azamara Journey has to be one of the most appealing. Carrying less than 700 passengers (served by 400 crew) and being only 30,000 tonnes, it’s a relatively small ship. That means it can visit ports that larger ships can’t and embarking and disembarking is relatively fast and painless.</p> <p>The ship looks stylish and functions rather like a floating contemporary country club – but one where drinks are included. There’s a range of dining venues plus several bars, a small casino and the Cabaret Lounge.</p> <p>In a substantial refit last year, every part of the ship was revamped. Impressively, there is now bow-to-stern full strength wifi coverage. There’s a range of accommodation options from interior cabins to spacious suites. Our Ocean-view cabin had a decent sized window (that didn’t open) and enough space for the two of us (and lots of under-bed storage for our suitcases). But the bathroom was rather small, especially the shower stall, and on a return visit I’d aim for a room with a balcony.</p> <p>The quality of the food onboard was impressive. The main Discoveries restaurant changes menus for lunch and dinner every day and there are window tables on three sides of the restaurant. Or, for an extra charge, there’s the Mediterranean Aqualina Restaurant or the steak and seafood restaurant Prime C. The indoor/outdoor Windows Café was light and airy and we mainly visited for breakfast or a quick dinner.</p> <p><a href="https://www.azamaraclubcruises.com/en-au">Azamara Club Cruises</a> has the tag line “Stay Longer. Experience more”, which was reflected in our itinerary: 12 days from Wellington NZ to Sydney. There were two days in each of Wellington and Picton and very full days in Akaroa (for Christchurch), Dunedin, Milford Sound (and others) and Hobart. Even Sydney was unhurried – we stayed on for an extra night, basically a relaxed staycation in our own town.</p> <p><strong>Voyage highlights</strong> <br />The cruise got away to a very good start with an evening of entertainment at Te Papa, the impressive national museum in Wellington. It included a private tour of the museum’s brilliant Gallipoli exhibition that utilised <em>The Lord of the Rings</em> team to bring the conflict to life as it never has before.</p> <p>The time in Picton was sufficient to visit NZ’s best vineyards, a glow-worm gully, Abel Tasman National Park, and the Peter Jackson-supported <a href="http://omaka.org.nz/">Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre</a> that has some amazing old aircraft and pieces of the Red Baron’s aircraft.</p> <p>Arkaroa on the volcanic Banks Peninsula is a worthwhile destination in its own right. But it’s also only a coach ride away from Christchurch, which is going through a rebuild with admirably positive spirit.</p> <p>Dunedin was a delightful surprise that deserves its own thorough review. Albatross, a castle with a sad family history, penguins and seals, a chocolate factory (soon to close), beautiful gardens, street art and a rapidly developing urban renewal that matches the world’s best make it well worth a visit.</p> <p>We had a day scheduled in New Zealand’s glorious southern fiordland and the weather cooperated with blue skies and great visibility. Our master, Captain Johannes Tysse showed both his Norwegian heritage and the Azamara Journey’s ability to manoeuvre in tight situations.</p> <p>In the early morning we came into Dusky Sound then passed through the narrow Acheron Passage into Breaksea Sound. On our last afternoon in NZ we did a ship tour through Milford Sound. The captain manoeuvred the ship almost under the waterfall and up to village who’d taken an overnight excursion to play golf across the South Island.</p> <p>Two full sea days on the way to Tasmania gave a welcome break to simply enjoy ship life. In Hobart, on a Sunday, we took in a street market before cycling down Mt Wellington. The views from the top are wonderful and little peddling is required on the downhill leg all the way to the Cascade Brewery then into the city via Battery Point.</p> <p>Sailing down the Derwent as we left Hobart almost made me wish that I’d done a Sydney-Hobart race to appreciate this great scenery at the end of the race.</p> <p>Finally, we sailed past Bondi Beach and turned to port into Sydney Harbour.</p> <p>The rapid growth in interest in sailing from New Zealand to Australia seems rather incomprehensible at first glance. What is there that you could do by flight and rental car? However, after doing it I’m hooked. It was wonderful to see the highlights of the South Island then return to our cabin each evening before enjoying the luxuries of life on the Azamara Journey.</p> <p>Fiordland can only be appreciated from the water and Hobart is a great cruise destination. The Azamara Journey was the perfect vessel for this voyage. It was small enough that we never felt just one of the crowd and soon staff were recognising us around the ship. Yet the ship was very stable on the crossing of the Tasman Sea. The Azamara Journey will revisit the route in February 2018. The almost-identical Azamara Quest will be in Australia in early 2019.</p> <p><em>Written by David McGonigal. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/ship-shape-to-australia.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a>. </em></p>

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Discover the best South Pacific cruise destinations

<p>One of the many joys of living in Australia is that you can take a Pacific Islands cruise from your home port. At least that’s true if you live in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne. But even new ships don’t move very fast so the Pacific ports you visit are the ones closest to Australia.</p> <p>If you wish to explore the islands of Tahiti or Hawaii you need to allow a lot more time and book on a trans-Pacific or an around-Pacific cruise. Or, better yet, fly to your destination and join a ship operating there.</p> <p>That same pesky issue of physics dictates cruises out of Australia, too. A cruise out of Brisbane may be seven days but one out of Sydney visiting the same ports may be 10 days and one from Melbourne 12 or 14 days.</p> <p>If you are new to cruising you may be thinking that all those “wasted days” out of Melbourne can be avoided by flying to Brisbane and departing from there. But cruise ships have evolved and now you need to allow sea days simply to enjoy your ship and the facilities it offers. The proportion of sea days to port days is purely a matter of personal preference. Indeed, some cruisers love being aboard so much they don’t even leave the ship when they have the chance to explore off-shore.</p> <p>The South Pacific (or Oceania) is made up of Australia, New Zealand and Norfolk Island; Melanesia (including Fiji, New Caledonia, PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu); the tiny islands of Micronesia; and Polynesia (most significantly French Polynesia, Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands). Many voyages out of Australia visit only the nearby ports of New Caledonia, Fiji and Vanuatu.</p> <p>There are some names that keep turning up on cruise itineraries. They include Lautoka, Lifou, Port Vila, Isle of Pines and “Mystery Island”. In common, they all have the laid-back lifestyle and warm blue oceans fringed by white sand beaches leading you to the wonderful, colourful coral reefs that now draw tourists but were once the bane of mariners. Cruising is the perfect way to see this part of the world.</p> <p><strong>Lautoka</strong><br />Fiji’s second largest city is on the western side of Viti Levu, close to the Yasawa Islands and north of Nadi. The first Europeans here were led by Captain Bligh. It’s the capital of the Western Division of Fiji and has a population of more than 50,000 but the pace of life seems decidedly small town. The main industry is processing the harvest from the surrounding fields of sugar cane. Its standing is revealed in the line of royal palms that run down the middle of Vitogo Parade, the wide main street. When there’s a ship in town the already-large regular markets are extended by other vendors selling handicrafts. The large Hare Krishna temple is impressive and it’s worth visiting the Botanical Gardens.</p> <p><strong>Noumea</strong><br />After the Great Barrier Reef, the second longest coral reef in the world runs along the top of Grande Terre, the main island of New Caledonia. On a peninsula off the south coast of the island stands Noumea, the capital. The city is entertainingly French and there are some beautiful beaches both in the city and beyond. Besides the towering cathedral that dominates the skyline, the most dominant feature of town is the array of flame trees, hibiscus and bouganvilleas that colour the streetscapes. The Tjibaou Cultural Centre, located 20mins from the city, is architecturally impressive. A day cruise out to the lighthouse-dominated coral cay of Amadee is a glimpse into great tropical beauty.</p> <p><strong>Port Vila</strong><br />An excellent natural harbour on the southern shore of the island of Efate is the setting for Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu. This Melanesian city offers a bustling market where local traders will sell you anything from colourful flowers and necklaces to brightly coloured dresses and shells. There are some good nearby beaches and divers will find Port Vila offers some of the Pacific’s best wreck diving including a flying boat, an old trading vessel and a sailing boat. The fishing, sailing and golf are good, too. The National Cultural Centre is on Rue d’Artois and guided tours may include a traditional feast, with dancing. The historic joint rule of the islands by France and Britain (the Condominium) has left a legacy just as confusing as the island’s 130 distinct cultures and languages.</p> <p><strong>Isle of Pines</strong> <br />More correctly called Kunie, the Isle of Pines (or l’Ile des Pins) is a distinctive part of the Pacific, quite unlike the rest of New Caledonia. As the name suggests, the distinctive tall, thin pine trees are everywhere on this island that is just 17km in length but they are interspersed with rosewood and sandalwood trees. There are also some pretty villages and if you are lucky enough to be here on a Sunday, you’ll see the locals in their finery – and hear some wonderful choral singing. However, it could also be called the Island of White Sand as visitors discover beautiful coves of tranquil water fringed by the whitest of sands.</p> <p><strong>Lifou</strong> <br />Lifou, the largest coral atoll in New Caledonia’s Loyalty archipelago, has its own distinct style. On the eastern (Australian) side of the country, it’s bigger than the island of Tahiti, for example, but its population of about 15,000 people has maintained its strongly traditional Kanak culture. The beaches and headlands are spectacular – the north coast features high cliffs while the beaches are on the south side. Whether snorkelling through remarkable coral gardens, beachcombing to see what shells you can find or bicycling along the coast to visit and explore simple villages is the perfect way to unwind to Pacific time.</p> <p><strong>Mystery Island</strong> <br />Even after it’s explained there’s an element of mystery to this tiny uninhabited coral atoll. Its name is Inyeung and it is located near the larger island of Aneityum that has a population of around 1200 people. There’s virtually nothing on the island apart from some facilities for cruise passengers on day visits. Indeed, finding a shady spot under a tree, playing with the local children and shopping at the stalls set up by the locals are the main land-based activities. The real joy is in the water so don’t forget your reef shoes and snorkeling gear.</p> <p><em>Written by David McGonigal. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/discover-the-best-south-pacific-cruise-destinations.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a>. </em></p>

Cruising

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Sailing: The only way to see the Greek Islands

<p>Convincing anyone to visit the Greek Islands is an easy task: endless sunshine, crystal clear blue waters, ancient archaeological sites, and the best olives you’ll ever taste. But with so much to see and do, the way you get around makes a huge difference to your trip; and by far the best way to do it is by boat.</p> <p>Board a yacht or catamaran and you’ll find yourself on the most hassle-free, yet exciting trip of your life. Only having to unpack your bag once, you’ll see far more than you would navigating on your own.</p> <p>The living quarters are compact but comfortable – this is no luxury cruise, but you won’t want to be spending too much time on the boat when you’re surrounded by warm water, stunning hiking trails, and vibrant local ports.</p> <p>These trips are suitable for all ages and fitness levels, and companies such as G Adventures and Peregrine offer group tours for people who are social, but want to steer clear of the infamous under-30s party tours.</p> <p>If you’re interested in discovering the more authentic side of the islands, and finding the perfect balance between exploring Greek culture and relaxing in stunning locations, then this trip is for you.</p> <p>Sailing tours offer a fantastic combination of group and independent travelling. Each morning you’ll get up and make breakfast with the rest of the ‘crew’, before setting sail for the day’s destination (you’ll average one night at each island depending on the length of your trip).</p> <p>If anyone is interested, the boat’s skipper will spend this time teaching everyone the basics of sailing – knots, steering, reading charts – or you can spend your time on deck reading or soaking up some sun.</p> <p>Once you arrive at the next island, how you spend the rest of the afternoon is up to you. Some people choose to spend most of their time at the beach, others will explore the cities or hike through the surrounding hillsides. Dinner is usually together, at a local hidden gem suggested by the skipper.</p> <p>Flexibility is a key part of these tours, and you’ll have the option to visit a wide variety of different islands depending on the desires of everyone on board. Some of the islands you won’t want to miss out on include:</p> <p><strong>Naxos</strong></p> <p>Inhabited throughout the entire year, you’ll find Naxos has one of the best examples of more authentic Greek lifestyle and is very family friendly.</p> <p>In addition to sand beaches, you can hire a car or ATV to travel inland to explore ancient temples, olive presses, and ouzo distilleries. The night life in the main port is fantastic – stop at a restaurant called Flamingos to see the head chef light the ground on fire and dance the sirtaki across it.</p> <p><strong>Santorini</strong></p> <p>Famous for its volcanic black beaches, you’ll find some of the most stunning natural scenery on Santorini. Take a day trip from the island to explore nearby volcanoes, hot springs, and end by watching the sunset in postcard perfect Oia.</p> <p>You've probably seen sunsets from Santorini on hundreds of postcards but it's truly breathtaking to see it in person</p> <p><strong>Mykonos</strong></p> <p>One of the more expensive islands, this is the place to treat yourself to some off-boat pampering. Partying and boutique shopping are the two most popular activities here, but you can find some secluded beaches if you travel away from the main port.</p> <p><strong>Paros</strong></p> <p>One of the most beautiful islands in Greece, you’ll be stopping to take a photo every two metres. Octopi hang from doorways and white building walls with bright blue doors surround small docks. The boats even sit matching alongside the beautiful Greek colors. Paros' nightlife is more relaxed and is a fantastic place just to wander about and absorb the sights.</p> <p>If you’re planning a trip, July and August are the peak season – but be aware this means big crowds. For the best combination of summer sun and a little peace and quiet, June is the best time of year to go.</p> <p><em>Written by Casey Ventura. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/sailing-around-the-greek-islands.aspx"><em>Wyza.com.au.</em></a></p>

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Having a whale of a time: What to do in Sydney

<p>Whether you live in Sydney or are visiting, any reason to get out on Sydney Harbour should be grasped with enthusiasm. For most of us, the closest we get to the open ocean is catching the ferry to Manly and walking down the Corso to the surf beach.</p> <p>Thankfully this is all changing and the shift is due to the return of the whales migrating along the east coast of Australia. In the past, seeing a whale off Sydney was a major event. Now several thousand humpbacks pass by each year on their annual migration between Antarctica and the tropics.</p> <p>To see if we could find any whales we took an afternoon <a href="http://www.captaincook.com.au/">Captain Cook Cruise</a> from Circular Quay on a sparkling Sydney winter day. The trip past Fort Denison and Rose Bay was beautiful. Then we turned east between Manly and Watsons Bay and set off through the Heads.</p> <p>Previous days had been quite windy so we had been told to expect some swell and to take whatever pills worked best to prevent seasickness. However, the large and new 160-passenger catamaran named “Maggie” was very stable and in the fresh air of the top deck no-one was suffering.</p> <p>The boat’s skipper headed north towards Harbord as a whale had been seen up that way. It was a young humpback, so perhaps just 20 tonnes of baby fat, and he was more interested in feeding than interacting with us so we went out further where a mother and calf had been spotted.</p> <p><strong>Watch out</strong><br />Whale watching is a closely regulated activity in Australia. The approach distance for a vessel is 100m from a whale but when calves are in the pod, the approach distance increases to 300 metres. To the delight of passengers, whales and dolphins often approach the vessel. In these situations the captain is required to slow down gradually, stop and wait until the animal moves beyond the approach zone. It’s the moments in between that make the cruise truly special.</p> <p><strong>Fantastic photos</strong><br />And so it was for us. The first male had given us some great photo ops with his tail in the foreground and Centrepoint Tower in the background. The calf seemed curious so the boat sat still as they swam around us then dived to surface right alongside, to considerable squealing from all of us. They stayed with us until finally moving far enough away that we could move on – towards yet another whale that proved quite elusive. You’d think it would be hard to lose something that weighs 30 tonnes but we did. Throughout the voyage we had expert commentary from a staff member with a PhD in her study of whales.</p> <p>In any case, it was time to head back to Circular Quay and we were well on our way when another whale appeared, being very active some distance ahead of the boat. Like the others he was a humpback and he did some partial breaches, flipper flaps and tail slaps before we got the grand finale – a full breach when the whole whale was suspended in mid air before crashing back with tsunami-like force.</p> <p><strong>Stunning views</strong><br />As we sailed back through the Heads the sun was setting down the harbour, bathing the whole city, the Bridge and the Opera House in a golden glow. That glow was shared by all of us on board who had just witnessed a great sight of the natural world.</p> <p>The majority of whales seen along the New South Wales coastline are Humpback and Southern Right Whales, with the occasional sighting of Killer and Minke whales. Throughout June and July Humpback Whales head north for breading before return south with their calves from September to November. Southern Right Whales do not migrate, instead move along the coast finding protected shelters for their young.</p> <p><strong>Where to go</strong><br />There are a handful of cruise companies who offer whale watching tours in Sydney. Captain Cook Cruises operates whale watching cruises daily until Sunday 01 November, 2015. Book before 31 July to pay $49 per adult, normally $65, and $29 per child (5-14yrs) normally $40. Whale Watching Cruises operate daily from Jetty 6, Circular Quay, departing at 1.30pm and returning at 4.15pm. An additional morning cruise operates on Saturday and Sundays departing at 10.15am and returning at 1.00pm. With a 99% success rate, Captain Cook Cruises offer a whale guarantee; if a whale is not spotted, passengers can cruise again for free.</p> <p>For more information on whale watching in NSW <a href="http://www.visitnsw.com/things-to-do/nature-and-parks/whale-watching?gclid=COOg2vqJtMYCFcEDvAod6BcKvQ&amp;gclsrc=aw.ds">click here.</a></p> <p><em>Written by David McGonigal. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/having-a-whale-of-a-time.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Why your once-in-a-lifetime trip should be to LUX

<p>One week out from the trip of a lifetime, I’m rummaging through my parent’s bookshelf, searching for one particular photo album. It’s bulky and I’m having to peel the pages apart, probably due to the sticky hands of my younger self. I’ve always loved looking through Mum &amp; Dad’s old travel photos, but this one trip they took is my favourite.</p> <p>Two sun-kissed love birds stand on the horizon where a strip of golden sand meets a brilliant, turquoise ocean. The sea and the sky fade into one another in a smooth gradient of “has-this-been-photoshopped?” blue. On the back of the photo, in my Dad’s distinctive cursive writing, “Maldives, 1988.”</p> <p>Around the time my parents visited, a tiny island called Olhahali was a famed picnic spot for those seeking a private dining experience in the Indian Ocean. Part of the North Male Atoll, the island was rimmed by pastel corals, sand bars and a flurry of brightly-coloured fish that inhabit them. The surrounds are much the same today, but the island itself has been transformed beyond belief.</p> <p><strong>Why stay at LUX* North Male?</strong></p> <p>LUX* North Male Atoll is everything I imagined the Maldives to be and more. Much more. Just from the name, you’ve probably gathered that this resort is no run-of-the-mill hotel. LUX* embodies luxury in every sense, but that’s not where the name comes from. Lux is the Latin word for light, and the asterisk represents a new philosophy – lighter, brighter.</p> <p>This new approach spans from the design and decor to the way the staff interact with guests. It’s a leap away from the stuffy, over-furnished, and often heavy feel of other 5-star hotel brands. LUX* offers an exceptional, personalised experience, delivered playfully.</p> <p>LUX* North Male immediately stands out from the other resorts in the Maldives. You won’t find the typical thatched roof-style villas. Instead, extravagant penthouse villas with infinity pools and private rooftop terraces await. The crisp white walls glisten in the sun, in striking contrast against the #nofilterneeded blue of the ocean. Superyacht-chic just about sums it up.</p> <p><strong>Your dining options</strong></p> <p>With just 67 villas, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were the only person on the island. Everything you need is right there in your mini-mansion so guests tend to revel in their own space. In-villa dining makes this even more fun. In the morning, you can have a spread of pastries, fruits, eggs and juices delivered and launched into your private pool. Floating breakfasts have become the hallmark of luxury tropical holidays and there’s no better place to experience it than the Maldives.</p> <p>In the evening, your Island Host will create the perfect setting for a dinner under the stars. The in-villa dining menu spoils guests with a variety of seafood, steaks, Maldivian-inspired and Western cuisine. Each course is delivered on your cue with wine glasses topped up swiftly and generously.</p> <p>After dinner, your private restaurant turns into an outdoor cinema. A film of your choice is projected onto the white wall and the daybed serves as the perfect spot to snuggle up and enjoy the movie. You may find your attention being drawn upward though. The sky above puts on a show of its own. The lack of light pollution allows for some of the best stargazing in the world.</p> <p><strong>The Villas</strong></p> <p>As someone who often judges a hotel by its shower, I was more than a little excited to see the bathroom. Two double doors roll away to reveal a deep stone bathtub sitting on an intricate mosaic tile floor. Behind the glass, the pane is a shower big enough to park your car in. It has three settings, two shower heads and one hell of a view to the garden (which has yet another shower).</p> <p>The already magnificent bathroom is made even more magical with the finer details, particularly the toiletries. Mamma Aroma is a signature bath and skincare range, exclusive to LUX* resorts. It’s made from locally sourced ingredients with no nasties. After a day in the sun, there’s nothing better than rinsing off the salt from the ocean and slathering on the moisturiser.</p> <p><strong>Your daily schedule, sorted</strong></p> <p>If sunning yourself by the pool or swimming off your private dock gets a bit tiresome, you can try one of the island excursions. The Turtle Quest comes highly recommended. The three-hour round trip involves a boat ride out to a protected reef where marine life thrives in the warm water of the Indian Ocean. Equipped with a snorkel, flippers and a life vest (if needed), you’ll jump in and swim side-by-side with turtles, as well as a few thousand tropical fish.</p> <p>If you’d prefer to stay dry, LUX* North Male Atoll has its mini-submarine that takes you out to explore the home reef. Most importantly, a sunset cruise on the island’s private yacht or a catamaran trip could be more your style. In addition, it’s also just as entertaining to park yourself on the sun lounges near Beach Rouge and watch the jet skiers whip around leaving a flurry of whitewash in their wake.</p> <p><strong>The on-site restaurant options</strong></p> <p>While you’re there, it’s only fitting to toss back a cocktail or two from the bar. Beach Rouge has a fabulous selection of cocktails but the bartenders love it when you say “surprise me.” During the day, this is where your fellow holiday-makers may be hanging out. It’s the best restaurant on the island for lunch with the resident DJ playing a mix of laid-back tunes.</p> <p>For sunset though, you’ll want to head to the other side of the island. Glow overlooks a huge infinity pool with plenty of comfy lounges and dining tables. The cocktail menu is even more extensive but it’s the wine list that will blow you away. Savour the sunset and toast to another day in paradise, and as soon as the sun dips into the ocean, head upstairs for a true culinary treat.</p> <p>Inti is a Peruvian-Japanese restaurant with a stellar team of chefs plating up some of the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten. There is a live sushi station sits in the middle of the room with expert knives man slicing and dicing today’s catch. Delicate decanters fill impeccably polished wine glasses and beautifully presented dishes grace the tables of hungry diners.</p> <p>The ceviche is unbelievable, and the quinoa risotto comes in a close second. You can spoil yourself with a five-course feast complete with wine pairings from Alexander Van Beek’s two chateaux in Bordeaux.</p> <p>To sum up, the second you arrive at LUX* North Male Atoll to when the staff wave you goodbye at the jetty, every moment is special. The experiences, restaurants and villas are all carefully thought out. You have everything you need to fulfil your dream Maldivian holiday. And with your Island Host on speed dial, you truly feel as if you’re the only person in the world.</p> <p><em>Written by Bethany Plint. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/luxnorthmaleatoll/">MyDiscoveries.</a></em></p>

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Cruise insider reveals “little known secret” to save money

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cruise deals and secrets can be difficult to find, but one cruise insider has revealed the best way to save money onboard the ship. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Getting a good deal on a cruise habit doesn’t have to be tough, according to this expert who recommends to cruise passengers to avoid buying drink packages on the first day of the holiday. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Anytime you buy a beverage package, you have to purchase it for the remaining days of your cruise,” the blogger wrote. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“So if you buy a beverage package on day one, you’re paying for the package for seven days. This goes for the entire spectrum of beverage packages.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“However, a little known secret is that beverage packages are available anytime during your cruise.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Staff on cruise ships are obliged to encourage passengers to to buy packages, however, holiday-makers needn’t feel pressured to buy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The insider also advises cruisers: “While you’ll have staff asking you (often) if you want to buy a beverage package on day one (and even on day two), you do not have to buy them right away!</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My husband and I always buy our drinks a la cart on the first two days. This lets us see how much the various drinks cost, how many we’re consuming on a daily basis, and estimate how much it would cost us to for the rest of the trip.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard to say no to the super-nice and super-convincing staff when they walk by.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Mr. Crumbs and I spent a good bit of time going back and forth on whether or not it would be worth it for us! But once we did the math, it was easy to say no. We just don’t drink enough to make any beverage package worth it for us.”</span></p>

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Cruise ship workers reveal the “evil” lurking on board

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cruise ships host millions of people each year and thousands on a single vessel. While it is a holiday filled with relaxation, comfort and ease - there are a variety of different personalities that make their way onboard, and cruise staff must cater to each of these cruisers needs. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While it can be an enjoyable experience to make sure guests are satisfied, one former senior cruise ship officer Jay Herring told </span><a href="https://www.express.co.uk/travel/cruise/1132937/cruise-2019-cruises-ship-social-evil-cheating-infidelity-crew-passengers"><span style="font-weight: 400;">express.co.uk</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> there is a clear “social evil”permeating through the cruises. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In his book, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Truth About Cruise Ships, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">the former Carnival Cruise Lines employee said some experiences left a sour taste in his mouth, especially amongst passengers. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“For me, there was social evil on board the ship.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m speaking, of course, about rampant infidelity.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“On land, I am probably surrounded by more unfaithful people than I realise.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jay also noted his wife, who worked abroad casinos on the same ship, saw “multiple affairs in progress every day.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It bothered me not just because I witnessed it, or it existed, what bothered me was that it was so commonplace and so frequent that its came to be considered normal behaviour,” she said. </span></p>

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Why you should always avoid this cruise cabin

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While cruisers will surely be keen to spend most of their time out of their cruise cabin and above deck, or out at the islands and beaches they’ve paid to venture to - that doesn’t mean they won’t spend much time in their cruise cabin. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are often a number of rooms to choose from when booking an ocean getaway, which range in size, price and location. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There is one category of a ship cabin however that travellers should avoid at all costs unless they are willing to make a big risk. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Online cruising specialist is </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cruise Bulletin </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">has urged those looking for advice for when booking a cruise to avoid “guaranteed cabins” unless they are willing to book a room that might not meet their expectations.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While guaranteed cabins sounds like a good idea considering travellers could end up with the better end of the stick for an awesome price - they do run the risk of getting a cabin they might not have anticipated. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Guaranteed cruising may offer a room that seems great because of the price, but you never truly know what you’re gonna get until you’ve already booked. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“These types of cabins are sold with a big discount on them (which is why they get booked),” </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cruise Bulletin</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The cruise lines do tend to use them to fill up those ‘awkward’ spots that guests wouldn’t normally choose to book.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“These include cabins above the theatre, below the sundeck and next to the lifts are common examples.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This means travellers might end up with a stateroom that could be too noisy, cramped, or badly positioned on the vessel for them.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Experts recommend thorough research ahead of booking a cruise to ensure they are satisfied with their room decision. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you are thinking of going with a guaranteed booking, just remember you always run the risk of ending up with an unsuitable room. </span></p>

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Here is where you MUST go to beat seasickness on a cruise ship

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cruise ship holidays are one of the best ways to travel if you are looking for a mostly-inclusive trips with multiple perks and a relaxation guarantee. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However , there are unfortunate side effects with being out on the water that some passengers may experience and this is sea sickness. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Motion sickness is caused by repeated movement while travelling including bumps in a car or moving up and down in a boat. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Doctor Ben MacFarlene has revealed the best place to go on a cruise when battling pesky sea sickness in his book </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cruise Ship SOS. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Doctor MacFarlene recounted an experience while aboard a vessel with particularly difficult weather which caused a number of cruisers to report signs of seasickness. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“‘You know the other thing we should prescribe?’ Kiri [a nurse] says in one quiet patch as [Doctor] Edward stars extolling yet another of his ancient mariner sea sickness cures,” he wrote. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"‘A couple of hours in the casino. [Casino worker] Kieran says it’s designed to be the most stable room on the ship.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“'They don’t want to compromise the roulette ball. Nor do they want any seasick passengers heading back to their cabins and interrupting a losing streak.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“'If you’re feeling queasy on board then Kieran reckons the casino is the only place to be.'”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The next place to go if there is no casino present on your cruise ship, experts recommend finding fresh air on a deck, or looking straight at a fixed point (such as the horizon), closing your eyes and breathing slowly. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Doctor MacFarlene noted however medical staff can pick out those trying to pass a hangover as sea sickness. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Seasickness is a very convenient illness,” Macfarlane’s medical colleague told him, he writes in the book. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You’ll notice that the people who suffer the most are the ones who were in the bar knocking back mojitos at 2am the previous night.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You’ll also see that these people never have hangovers. They come to us with sore heads in the morning because they’re prone to ‘migraines'.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“They feel sick when they wake up because of the air-conditioning in the staterooms, not because of all the vintage port they consumed at midnight.”</span></p> <p> </p>

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Cruise insider reveals trick to bagging cabin upgrade that WORKS

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cruise ships are not so different from hotel rooms and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and amenities. While some passengers would prefer to save a few hundred dollars by going for a smaller room so they can enjoy their time out in the sun or in the ocean - there are passengers who prefer a level of luxury that can cost. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A former Carnival Cruise Line employee Joshua Kisner told </span><a href="https://www.express.co.uk/travel/cruise/1147756/cruises-2019-cruise-2020-ship-cabin-upgrade-crew-purser-passenger"><span style="font-weight: 400;">express.co.uk </span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">there are simple tips to get a free upgrade so passengers might enjoy lapping in luxury without scraping the back of their wallets. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In Kisner’s book, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Truth About Cruise Ships, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">he wrote sometimes the ships he worked on were fully booked, meaning the only way to get an upgrade was if there were no-shows (cruisers who paid but for some reason or another couldn’t make it onboard). </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The pursers didn’t know if there were any no shows until the ship sailed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Most of the time the cruise line was very accommodating and unfortunately, the ones who complain themes usually got the most compensation.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If a passenger goes out of their way to seek out the cruiser after the cruise ship has set sail, they may be able to get a room upgrade. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you are looking to do this, it is advised not to unpack - so scooting to another cabin will be of ease. </span></p>

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The secret “kit” cruise ship employees bring to every job

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cruise ship employees have revealed their own “life saving” kits to deal with the pressures and demands of staff life. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One former worker, Joshua Kinder opened up about life onboard a cruise after more than five years of employment. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Working as a drummer, Kinder revealed there is a “kit” to brighten their day or make it just a bit better. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“With us we would bring the lifesaving first-aid kit that every forlorn crew member aboard a ship of darkness needs,” he wrote in his book </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Chronicles of a Cruise Ship Worker. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“A red satchel filled with positive attitudes and optimistic outlooks, a sturdy hand powered bilge pump, a couple of gas masks hooked up to oxygen tanks, diving gear in case we found ourselves with unexpected reef in our crew quarters, a lifetime supply of coconut and pineapple scented air fresheners to mask the smell of our cabin.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"A warm wool blanket for when the ship thermostat gets stuck on the setting labelled ‘ice cream freezer’.”’</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The former employee also added: “A thin sheet for when said air conditioning breaks down, horse tranquilisers to be used when the ship is placed in Red Alert, the obligatory bottle of haberno hot sauce to mask the otherwise unpalatable foods served in the crew mess.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Joshua then humorously wrote every employee would need a life raft in case they need to jump ship. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite there being a few “essentials” you could probably skip out on, there are some that are absolutely crucial to get through ship life. </span></p>

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These travel tips are no longer true

<p>We all love an insider tip, but some of the classic tips for travellers no longer hold true.</p> <p><strong>1. Book a plane ticket far in advance to save money </strong></p> <p>This myth may have been true back in the ’60s, when flights were less common than they are today. Back then, the demand for a flight would naturally increase as the date approached, there being few other options. These days, a plethora of alternatives for the most popular routes means that demand is levelled out. According to recent studies, the best time to buy a domestic ticket is between six and seven weeks out.</p> <p><strong>2. The best hotel prices are on travel websites </strong></p> <p>Don’t overlook the benefits of going straight to the hotel to negotiate a good deal on a room. Many hotel chains offer rate guarantees and encourage customers to book directly. Hotels also frequently have discount or perk offers that third-party websites aren’t privy to. On top of this, hotels give the upgrades, not the booking agents.</p> <p><strong>3. Avoid street food When in Rome, do what the Romans do</strong></p> <p>If this means standing up at a cheap street stall, then follow the crowd. Don’t sit down at a restaurant and spend four times more, on the simple assumption that it’s the only safe option. Can you see what’s going on the kitchen?</p> <p><strong>4. Put your money in a money pouch or belt </strong></p> <p>This is the fastest way to stand out from locals – who will have their money in a wallet or purse. Only take what you need when you leave your hotel room and make sure to put your wallet in a front pocket.</p> <p><strong>5. Duty free is cheaper </strong></p> <p>This is only true if you’re buying products that are heavily taxed, such as cigarettes and alcohol. Avoid sunglasses and perfumes, as these usually have a much higher base price than what you’ll find outside the airport.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/tips/travel-myths"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Will you try these extreme holiday cures?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You thrive on adventure, live for the unforgettable experience, there’s just one little thing that scares you…</span></p> <p>Frightened of sharks? <span style="font-weight: 400;">Get up close and personal with the ocean’s most majestic creatures at Beqa Island in Fiji. With no cages or barriers between you and the sharks, you can swim with eight different species including bull sharks, reef sharks, grey nurses and the awe-inspiring tiger shark.</span></p> <p>Frightened of heights? <span style="font-weight: 400;">Take a bungee jumping adventure up a notch by diving head first into an active volcano. A helicopter will fly you into the caldera of a volcano near Pucon, Chile, so you can bungee-jump within 200m of molten lava below.</span></p> <p>Frightened of speed? <span style="font-weight: 400;">Some of the world’s best desert dunes are in the Wahiba Sands, a two-hour drive from Muscat, the capital of Oman. With many about 100m in height, this is the perfect place for some extreme sandboarding action. If you’re not prepared to fly down the dunes standing up, you can warm up by tobogganing down instead.</span></p> <p>Frightened of rats? <span style="font-weight: 400;">Karni Mata Temple in Rajasthan, India, is just what you need to face your fears. Also called the Temple of the Rats, it’s famous for both its beautiful architecture and the 20,000-odd rats that call it home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This article first appeared in </span><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/activities/extreme-holiday-cures"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reader’s Digest</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><span style="font-weight: 400;">here’s our best subscription offer.</span></a></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Did you know this bad cruise habit could get you into trouble?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cruise ships are a haven away from home and a place to put your feet up, relax and enjoy your time on the high seas. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, there are always rule everywhere we go - and a cruise getaway is no different. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There is one rule cruise ship passengers are expected to follow or else they face the risk of getting into big trouble. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Supercruisers said sun lounge “hogging” is no longer acceptable on cruise ships and could get travellers into a bit of trouble if they are spotted making that mistake. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One expert told</span><a href="https://www.express.co.uk/travel/cruise/1157046/cruises-2020-cruise-ship-passenger-chair-hogging-sun-lounger-carnival-cruises"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> express.co.uk</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> passengers have a number of activities to enjoy while onboard so it can come off as extremely selfish to hog beach chairs when there's already a limited number. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If you’re looking to begin your days on the ship relaxing by one of the onboard pools, you’ll be looking to reserve a sun lounger – often a topic of contention on many holidays, both onboard and on land.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“To stop guests unfairly chair hogging, a term that has been coined for the act of reserving prime spots by the pool with towels and other belongings while the chairs remain empty for hours, Carnival Cruises has implemented a strict policy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The rules that are enforced by shipboard team members, state that if belongings are left unattended for longer than around half an hour to reserve chairs, the items shall be removed.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Carnival cruises implemented the new ryle as a way to stamp out selfish hogging. </span></p>

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Venice heartache: Cruise ships asked to find a solution before it's too late

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Venice port authority has called on Europe’s most popular cruise ship destinations to tighten their rules as the dangers posed by the massive vessels are taking a serious toll. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Italy’s transport minister has proposed a plan to divert massive shops from porting at Venice’s historic centre after five people were injured when a 13-deck shop hit a tourist boat along the busy Giudecca Canal. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The incident resulted in protests calling for big ships to be banned from the gorgeous Venice lagoon all together. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ships weighing more than 1,000 tonnes will have to find a different waterway to settle into. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Venetians carried banners reading "Ships out of the lagoon" and "No big ships" while others turned to rowboats in the Venetian Lagoon. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Venice hosted 594 cruise ships in 2018, and critics argue the currents created by the vessels are causing costly damages to Renaissance buildings. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"They are destroying Venice, they are physically destroying Venice, physically destroying our lungs," activist Tommaso Cacciari told the </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-09/venice-bans-large-cruise-ships-from-city-centre/11398434"><span style="font-weight: 400;">ABC</span> </a><span style="font-weight: 400;">in March.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The  cruise ship ban follows after a lengthy campaign by Venice residents for a better and more sustainable tourism model. </span></p>

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Mockery or bad timing? Cruise staff member waves giant fake hand as passengers miss the boat

<p>Whether it was intentional or not, a cruise ship staff member picked an unfortunate moment to pull out a giant fake hand and wave goodbye to spectators watching the ship disembark from the shore.</p> <p>Just as two unfortunate passengers realised their cruise ship was sailing away without them, a crew member decided to wave a fake hand as the pair looked completely helpless on a dock at St Maarten, Netherlands.</p> <p>But nothing could be done, as the only option the tourists had was to figure out a way to get to the next port on their own.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcrucerospuertorico%2Fvideos%2F688479485001630%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=266" width="266" height="476" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>Footage of the unfortunate incident was posted on Facebook, as it shows the Royal Caribbean cruise ship setting sail from the pier in Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Looking at the video, it seems that the couple had missed boarding by just a few minutes.</p> <p>As the phone camera focuses on the distressed duo, it soon shows a crew member on the ship waving around a giant fake hand that has the word “BYE” written on it.</p> <p>It’s possible the action was a result of bad timing, as the intention still remains unclear. </p> <p>Footage also shows other passengers on the cruise noticing the couple, shouting, “They missed it!” to help spread the word.</p>

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Cruise staff reveal the hardest part about working on a ship

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While working on a cruise ship can have its perks, there are always downsides to every job. Afterall, working on a moving vessel for months at a time can take its toll. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A former cruise ship worker has shared their perspective on what makes working on a cruise ship so difficult. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Joshua Kinser told </span><a href="https://www.express.co.uk/travel/cruise/1157814/cruise-ship-crew-job-cruises-working-holidays"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Express UK</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> it can be a particularly difficult job in many ways. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There are many difficulties and challenges that cruise ship crew members must endure on their lengthy contracts at sea,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The monotony of the job becomes tiresome,” he explained. “The food served to the crew can sometimes be about as appetising as the seaweed that gets tangled in the cruise ship propellers.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I wish I could have told passengers how much I wanted a lobster tail or some of the great food that they were eating in the passenger dining rooms,” Kinser added.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I know it may seem petty to some people out there, kind of a first-world problem sort of thing, but after three months eating the same slop that is served on some of these ships, most employees just want a taste of the wonderful food that the passengers eat.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Not only is the food  unappetising for the most part, there is also a homesickness that can be guaranteed on the job for many of the employees. Working away from home for months at a time can cause a real strain, Kinser explained. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The isolation from friends and family and one’s life on land can be very difficult for some to deal with at times.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One upside is getting to know new people from different parts of the world, however Joshua says it is not for everyone. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Adjusting to the very different culture and rhythm of life as a cruise ship crew member can be difficult for some,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Being on ship time and having your daily schedule dictated at all times can take some serious getting used to.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This is especially the case if you are a person who has lived most of your life in a country that affords you a considerable degree of autonomy, independence, and free will, or if you’re just a stubborn and oppositional person by nature in general.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If you don’t deal with authority well, you may not be very happy working on a cruise ship.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“All of this is difficult at times, and the degree of difficulty changes with what ship you are assigned to.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The best part about working on a cruise ship though? </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There is a lot to celebrate in ship life: The travel is tops of course,” Kinser said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was able to travel all around the world aboard cruise ships and I am forever grateful to the cruise ship companies for the opportunity to do so.”</span></p>

Cruising