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12 indulgent experiences to enjoy onboard a cruise ship

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Everyone should take at least one cruise in their lifetime. Want to visit multiple places on one trip? Experience different cultures while living in luxury and trying something new every day? A cruise offers this and more.

Cruise lines are becoming increasingly creative in the activities and experiences they put on for their passengers – here are 12 of the most indulgent waiting for you onboard.

Four Jandals Blogging on Amsterdam River Cruise

1. Pamper yourself in a spa

Cruises are renowned for their relaxing atmospheres, and this is reflected in the high quality of their spas. There are a mind-boggling number of treatments on offer, from hot-stone massages to facials, massages and even seaweed body wraps. Spoil yourself by booking a spa package and enjoying a day of your favourite treatments.

2. Indulge in afternoon tea

Afternoon teas are a staple of the cruise experience. The best cruise ships for afternoon tea present their customers with mouthwatering pastries, dainty sandwiches and the best scones on the high seas. Debate continues to rage about which comes first – the cream or the jam– but whichever way you take yours, your taste buds are in for a sumptuous treat.

3. Champagne tasting

What could be more romantic than sipping Champagne in the luxury of a lounge bar with your better half? Try various Champagnes from the best houses, learning more about the styles vary, or if you’re cruising with friends, why not try a bottomless brunch where the bubbles flow non-stop while you nibble on delicious food prepared by top chefs.

4. Win big in a casino

If Vegas is your thing, a visit to the casino is a must. Pop on your tuxedo or little black dress and try your luck on the slot machines. Or test out your poker face in a card tournament while drinking a Martini – shaken, not stirred…

5. Watch a show

Take your pick from live music (remember Jane McDonald?), a Broadway show or a comedy performance. Some cruises even have aqua or ice shows. Take your seat and enjoy exhilarating performances you’ll never forget.

6. Take a dance class

Fancy yourself as the next Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers? Take a dance class and master the skill of not standing on your partner’s toes with a professional dance instructor. From ballroom dancing to salsa, you’re bound to find something that suits your dance style.

7. Watch a movie under the stars

If you’re after a quieter night, snuggle up under a blanket on deck and watch the latest Hollywood has to offer on the big screen.

8. Go skydiving

Even the impossible is possible on a cruise – on some cruises you can find out what it’s like to skydive. Pull on a jumpsuit, launch yourself into a specially made air machine and feel the adrenaline rush and the wind in your face.

9. Book on a culinary class

Want to learn how to make sushi? Or maybe create the ultimate dinner-party menu for your family and friends? Then take a culinary class and learn the top tips in the trade from an experienced professional chef.

10. Attend a formal night event

The pinnacle of any cruise has to be attending a formal or gala night. Experience fabulous food, excellent entertainment and the height of cruise-ship fashion during these exceptional evenings. If you’re going to go, go big. Dust off that tux or ballgown and show your fellow travellers what you’re made of.

11. Get married

What could be more glamorous than getting married onboard a magnificent cruise ship? Appoint a wedding organiser to take the stress out of the planning and say ‘I do’ in idyllic surroundings with your friends and family. Weddings aboard cruise ships have become more popular, and all aspects of your wedding, from the cake to the photographer, will be catered for.

12. Dine at the Captain’s Table

If you want to get yourself seen, an invite to dine at the Captain’s Table is the way to go. You may have to do a bit of schmoozing with the ship’s social team to secure an invitation but once you’ve got one, put on your glad rags and enjoy a fun-filled evening with free drinks and entertaining tales from the Captain or a senior crew member.

 

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Travel Tips

Time To Start Travelling Again – Soon!

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Fellow travelers, most of you must be feeling that old wanderlust very strongly right now! I’m pretty sure most of us are ready to go out and explore like we did before. The good news is that it looks like we are nearing that point.

Most major airlines and destinations are at the very least starting to open up and book non-humanitarian flights (check sites like SkyScanner & CheapOAir), with departure dates ranging from two weeks to three months’ time, depending on, depending on the destination.

So the question remains: where should you go first? Here are some of Four Jandals’ thoughts on the subject:

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

We’ve already been to Montreal many times before, as that link can surely show you. We really want to go back and enjoy the life in that vibrant city. Here’s a few reasons why:

-International flights will be available in a few weeks.

-Everything except for combat sports, amusement parks (La Ronde closed, too bad), and major events is now open.

-Cuisine, cuisine, and more cuisine. Bagels, smoked meat, poutine, mmmmmmm.

-Montreal for all it’s panache is surprisingly cheap if you know how to avoid the tourist traps.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Why Punta Cana? Great all-inclusives. This option is really good for people who just want to kick back and relax and not necessarily even move that much, which is something maybe we all want at one time or another.

Several days of beaches, buffets, luxury accomodations and absolutely no schedule. And nobody else does it quite like they do it in Punta Cana!

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City gets a lot of tourism, but for some reason it’s always been greatly overlooked as tourist destination, all the same. This is a shame, because this city has a whole lot to offer.

First off, it’s a world-class culinary destination. You can get food from all over Mexico and all over the world here, from chapulines on the street corner to tacos to seafood Veracruz style to asados to Michelin star restaurants, Mexico City will never fail to disappoint a foodie!

Besides this, together with NYC and London, Mexico City features some of the world’s best and most prestigious museums. One could literally spend months on end here and still not see everything the museums have to offer.

Add to this great live music and nightlife in general, and a generally great climate (it’s rarely below 10 degrees or above 30 degrees centigrade over there), and most importantly, seriously awesome people. Everybody should check this city out at least once.

 

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Travel Tips

G​ive yourself a Florida writer’s retreat

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While folks are still trying to social distance, many freelancers could use a getaway. The same gig in the same house with no coffee shops available to go to? It gets old after awhile.

A​ writer’s retreat might be in order for you. While holed away in a resort, you can get your freelancing organized on Top Content, order from hidden gem local restaurants, relax, enjoy, and get those creative juices flowing.

Florida may not be your top destination this summer. But if you’re looking for a new place to write all alone? Then severalFlorida destinations are a good bet, especially the less obvious ones.

S​tuart

North of Palm Beach County you’ll find calm, peaceful Martin County. Stuart is the largest city in Martin County. The small city boasts both great beaches and diminishing numbers of corona cases, and so it’s an ideal place to get away from it all right now. Because it’s on the water, Stuart is best known for its fresh seafood. Some restaurants are open for dining. Better yet, you can get fresh, local seafood delivered directly to your resort door.

I​slamorada

I​f you’re up for an oceanside drive to inspire your thoughts, make Islamorada the end of your journey. The Florida Keys are a writer’s paradise, even during the hot summer months. Less crowded than Key West and a lot closer, Islamorada Is everything you’re looking for in the Keys, only you can have it all to yourself. Almost every resort in town is directly on the beach, and yours for relatively cheap. Fresh seafood is plentiful, as is beautiful scenery. On your way down, stop at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center.

A​popka

Immediately northwest of Orlando, Apopka features a ton of natural beauty and wifi enabled campgrounds. There are many RV and resort parks nearby, including Lost Lake RV Park and Magnolia Park, a campground featuring butterflies & peacocks. While trying to gain inspiration, you can stroll around hugeLake Apopka. Because it isso close to Orlando, Apopka has the shopping and amenities of a larger city. Once you’re there, though, you’ll feel like you’re way out in the country.

M​icanopy

Just outside of Gainesville and close to Cross Creek, the famed home of Florida writing legend Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, you’ll find Micanopy. Named after a title given to Alachua Seminole leaders, this town is a well-preserved slice of old Florida. One great place to stay is the Herlong Mansion, currently running a reopening deal.

S​ebastian

W​ith wifi-enabled camping grounds, coastal views, and quiet summers, Sebastian is a prime place to visit. The town motto is “Friendly People and Six Old Grouches,” but the six old grouches probably went back up north for the summer. Hotel rates are low, and between Sebastian and neighbor Vero Beach, you can fulfill whatever food or shopping needs you might have. One optionis the Sportsman’s Lodge, a weekly and extended stay property that boasts especially low rates between May & December. Call ahead if you’re looking to book a stay.

A​ change of pace can be great for the writer’s imagination. Hopefully, you can find it in Florida this summer.

 

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Travel Tips

The Best Cities for New Opportunities

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Even in this time, one service that will still remain essential is moving. While relocating to a whole new area might not be at the forefront of many people’s minds right now, there are lots of wonderful places ready to welcome you to a whole new lifestyle. Although lots of people are staying put this summer, moving is one of the safest adventures right now.

If you’re looking to start a new business in your new location, be sure to check out the New American Bancard company at https://www.northamericanbancard.com/ for help getting off the ground. The post-pandemic economy will be a place that a lot of people are looking to start over, so get moving now.

Sarasota, FL

With calm beaches, great culture, and a slower pace of life, Sarasota is a destination for more than just vacationing. Outstanding restaurants and the picturesque gulf waters are anchored by low cost of living and lots of available housing. Schools are great and performing arts thrive in Sarasota, and living close to The Ringling Museum is pretty great, too. If you need great local movers when you arrive, be sure to call Great Local Movers, who will be happy to welcome you to the jewel of west Florida.

Franklin, TN

Want Music City Magic without the Music City cost of rent? 30 minutes south of Nashville, you’ll find your answer. While costs in Tennessee are rising, Franklin remains an affordable option for many singles & families. Close to the Smokey Mountains for nature lovers, Franklin also boasts the historic Mockingbird Theater, a local gem.

Provo, UT

A booming tech sector and growing cultural scene helps boost Provo’s reputation as “the Austin of the Mountain West.” With low cost of living, an exciting music scene, and enormous job growth, you might want to get in on the goods of Provo now, while costs are still low. Proximity to the benefits of Salt Lake City and the stunning beauty of Zion National Park are also terrific reasons to head west.

Lancaster, PA

Close to Amish Country, Philadelphia, and dubbed the new Brooklyn, Lancaster is a great place to move to. It has outstanding restaurants, incredible shopping, and is a rising star on the East Coast. Lancaster offers a lower cost of living with reasonable access to the biggest cities on the Eastern Seaboard. It is a great place to relocate for both young professionals and for families.

Boise, ID

If you’re looking to leave behind urban life without leaving behind culture and opportunities, Boise is for you. Idaho’s largest city experienced growth three times that of the national average in the last decade. Boise is only looking up from there. The natural beauty of the city is boosted by a nearby central Idaho dark sky preserve.

Think of a big move like a very big vacation. Take the plunge, and you might thank yourself once the world has returned to normal.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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