Author Archives: David Kriso

About David Kriso

David Kriso has been a travel writer since August 2011. He is a contributing writer for both of his hometown's newspapers, The Gazette, and The Observer. His articles focus on cruise and railroad travel. David is also published online at ProwsEdge.com, a cruise magazine based in Vancouver, Canada and at Amtrak's story site, Whistlestop.Amtrak.com. David also writes for the publication Examiner.com. On Examiner.com, he writes about cruise and rail travel. David is a long-time train traveler, avid cruiser, and a Disney traveler since age 4.

Theme cruises: Five floating, unmissable extravaganzas

David Kriso has been an avid cruiser since age sixteen. Aside from being an aspiring travel writer, he's a veteran cruise line shore agent in the New York area.

David Kriso has been cruising since age sixteen. Aside from being an aspiring travel writer, he’s a veteran cruise line shore agent in the New York area.

A cruise: a pleasure voyage on a ship, usually with stops at various ports. That’s one definition. The more appropriate definition is “a never-ending floating party on the move”. Cruises offer so much to do, so much to experience, and so many new things to try. Cruises enable people of all ages to break outside their comfort zones and discover a whole new meaning of the term “vacation”. Whether sailing on a seven or ten day adventure, cruises provide never-ending excitement. Group cruises feature occasions of all types. Theme cruises tell a whole other story. From special interests, to musical tastes, to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, guests get to explore the world in the most unique ways. Theme cruises are vacation experiences not to miss. If anyone wants to explore the world outside the box, here are five best theme cruise experiences worth raving about.

 

Acclaimed for his dry sense of humor, Star Trek icon George Takei will be joining the excitement on Star Trek The Cruise.

Acclaimed for his dry sense of humor, Star Trek icon George Takei will be joining the excitement on Star Trek The Cruise.

5) Star Trek-The Cruise: Long live the greatest sci-fi television and film series ever created! Star Trek first aired in 1966. Followed by millions of sci-fi fans from around the world, this is an adventure that takes guests “where no man has gone before”. Star Trek has been a part of our TV and movie culture for more than fifty years. Everyone remembers turning on their television sets and tuning in to this legendary show. Who can’t remember the iconic Star Trek musical score?! Movie goers still can’t get enough of the Star Trek fever. On January 5th and January 11th, 2018, the magnificent Norwegian Jade will be the hosting vessel. Well-known Star Trek stars including Geroge Takei will be on hand for autograph signings and a smorgasbord of special events. The Norwegian Jade will be sailing from Miami to the Caribbean and Norwegian’s Harvest Caye in Belize. Adventure begins at www.startrekthecruise.com. 

With its up close and personal on board service, the beautiful Celebrity Summit will be hosting the Flower Power Cruise and The 80s Cruise.

With its up close and personal on board service, the beautiful Celebrity Summit will be hosting the Flower Power Cruise and The 80s Cruise.

4) Flower Power Cruise: Any 60s music fans out there? This is of the best theme cruises not to pass up. February 24th, 2018, the magnificent Celebrity Summit will be hosting the grooviest trip at sea. The Flower Power Cruise takes guests back in time to when the most famous bands rocked the stage and the radio waves. Hosted by The Monkees’ Mickey Dolenz, the Flower Power Cruise will feature performers including The Hollies, Herman’s Hermits, The Guess Who, and The Grass Roots. Among the on-board activities will be a special wedding vow renewal ceremony, trivia contests, dance contests, and pool parties. The Flower Power Cruise is a cruise experience like no other. The Flower Power Cruise is one of the most highly anticipated and love-filled travel experiences on the high seas. The Celebrity Summit will be the grooviest ship afloat. The grooviest cruise vacation in the world begins at www.flowerpowercruise.com.

Grammy Award winning jazz piano artist Chick Corea will be among the headline performers on the Blue Note At Sea cruise.

Grammy Award winning jazz piano artist Chick Corea will be among the headline performers on the Blue Note At Sea cruise.

3) Blue Note At Sea: A full week of jazz on a cruise ship? Why not?! Jazz fans should mark their calendars and pack their bags. Blue Note At Sea is stealing the show once again. Blue Note At Sea defines what is now and hip in the world of jazz while retaining and respecting those elements which make jazz a leading music genre throughout the world. The hosting ship will be the magnificent Celebrity Summit. The Celebrity Summit will be departing from Ft. Lauderdale to the ports of Labadee, St. Thomas, San Juan, and Coco Cay. Labadee and Coco Cay are Royal Caribbean’s private ports-of-call. The cruise will feature a lineup of performers which guests will not experience anywhere else. The Blue Note At Sea cruise will feature jazz performers including Leslie Odom, Jr., Chick Corea, Marcus Miller, Dee Dee Bridgewater, David Sandborn, and Charles Lloyd & The Marvels. The Blue Note At Sea cruise emcee will be Don Was. Blue Note At Sea is calling all jazz fans to step aboard the Celebrity Summit be a part of a seven-day extravaganza they’ll never forget. It will be the smoothest and coolest cruise of 2018. Jazz fans can book at www.bluenoteatsea.com.

The Bare-Necessities Tour & Travel Company has been hosting nude cruises since 1990. Here, two young ladies enjoy a dip in the ship's pool.

The Bare-Necessities Tour & Travel Company has been hosting nude cruises since 1990. Here, two young ladies happily enjoy a dip in the ship’s pool.

2) Bare-Necessities “The Big Nude Boat”: With its popularity rapidly increasing over the past ten years, nude cruising is an traveling adventure unlike anything in the world. Nude recreation has rapidly increased in popularity among young adults. There is simply no better way to soak up the ocean breeze, the sun’s rays, and a ship’s main pool than in the nude. No travel company does nude cruises like Bare-Necessities Tour & Travel. Bare-Necessities Tour & Travel is based in Austin, TX. Bare-Necessities Tour & Travel, has been known for its warm hospitality and fond cruising memories since 1990. On February 2nd, 2018, the beautiful Carnival Victory will sail on a memorable ten-day voyage to the ports of Half Moon Cay, Amber Cove, Curacao, Bonaire, and Aruba. From lounging on the sun deck in the nude, to soaking up the sand and surf in the nude, and enjoying the friendly company of others in the nude, a Bare-Necessities nude cruise is the perfect cruise experience for ages eighteen and up. The Bare-Necessities nude cruise is set to “take off” on February 2nd, 2018. The fun starts at www.cruisebare.com.

Known for their mega-hit, "In The Living Years", Mike & The Mechanics will be among the star-studded lineup on The 80s Cruise.

Known for their mega-hit, “In The Living Years”, Mike & The Mechanics will be among the star-studded lineup on The 80s Cruise.

1) The 80s Cruise: The 80s were a decade that undeniably defined music. Those who grew up in the 80s were exposed to the most unique terminology. The 80s were a decade filled with words such as “bogart”, “ditz”, and “amped”, and expressions including “Gag me with a spoon!”, “Get real!”, and “What’s crackalackin?”. The 80s Cruise is the cruise which these terms will come flying back. The 80s Cruise will once again be sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to the Caribbean aboard the magnificent Celebrity Summit. The Celebrity Summit will be sailing round-trip to the ports of Nassau, St. Thomas, Tortola, and Coco Cay. The 80s Cruise will feature a lineup of the finest 80s performers. The linup will include Mike & The Mechanics (In The Living Years), Loverboy (Everybody’s Working For The Weekend), The Tubes (She’s A Beauty), Katrina (Walking On Sunshine), and Tommy Tutone (Jenny I’ve Got Your Number). The 80s Cruise will be feature Sirius XM’s “80s on 8” DJ’s Nina Blackwood, Alan Hunter, and Mark Goodman. The 80s Cruise can’t have a better emcee for 2018, other than 80s rock legend Rick Springfield. Does everyone “got the 411”? The 80s Cruise is the “bomb”. The party starts by booking at www.the80scruise.com.

It is without a doubt that cruising is the greatest way to explore the world in one week or more. The entertainment is simply non-stop. With theme cruises, the entertainment is guaranteed to be non-stop. Theme cruises give guests the opportunity to vacation with an exclamation point. Star Trek stars and fans will be taking over the Norwegian Jade. The Celebrity Summit will again be hosting the Flower Power Cruise, The 80s Cruise, and the Blue Note At Sea cruise. The Fun Ship, Carnival Victory, will be hosting more than twenty-eight hundred guests on an adventure which only mother nature can reward them with. There are a multitude of ways to enjoy cruising. Regardless of how avid cruisers take to the waves, the fun is non-stop. The top five theme cruises are as packed with excitement as promised. Theme cruises, no matter what the tone or dress code, legitimately define how cruising was meant to be.

On-board charge accounts: Paper vs. plastic

Besides taking in the warm weather, the guests' stateroom key cards are too warming up.

Besides taking in the warm weather, the guests’ stateroom key cards are too warming up.

Cruising can’t be a more rewarding away to explore the world. There is simply no better way to leave the real world behind. Guests enjoy refreshing alcoholic drinks by the pool, treat themselves to specialty dining, indulge in duty-free shopping, and go on exciting shore excursions. Without a doubt, guests are just glowing. Did someone say “glowing”? The things that are really glowing are the guests stateroom key cards.  By the end of day one, their stateroom key cards are significantly warm having made a mountain of purchases. This is typical cruise behavior. The question asked by millions of guests is “What is the most preferred method of payment?” From least popular to best, here are the three forms of payment used for on-board charge accounts.

On cruises, cash accounts have mixed reactions. Guests should monitor their balance at all times.

On cruises, cash accounts have mixed reactions. Guests should monitor their balance at all times.

3) Cash: All cruise lines allow guests to set up cash accounts on board. There are pros and cons to cash accounts. The first pro is that it’s beneficial for guests who aren’t prone to spending a whole lot of money. There’s nothing wrong with being frugal. The second pro is that guests can replenish their cash accounts at any time during the cruise. Guests, however, need to be aware of the cons.  The only con with cash accounts is a big one. Guests are often guilty of being overdrawn. This happens often at the end of the cruise. Guests must make sure that they pay all outstanding charges before disembarking. Guests who set up cash accounts should form a habit of logging into their on-board charge accounts via their stateroom TV set. There, they can view their account activity. Cash accounts are ok, but it is paramount for guests to be aware of their balance at all times.

Debit cards and credit cards are two better choices of payment. Most cruise lines place a hold on debit card accounts.

Debit cards and credit cards are two better choices of payment. Most cruise lines place a hold on debit card accounts.

2) Debit card: Using a debit card is a more preferred payment method versus a cash account. At the check-in counter, or during the online check-in process, guests can register a debit card for their on-board charge accounts. It works the same way as the credit card. The guests’ total balance is automatically routed to their debit card accounts upon the conclusion of the cruise. There is a con to using a debit card. When guests register a debit card on their on board charge accounts, the cruise line will place a hold of “x” amount of dollars on their accounts. Whatever amount isn’t spent will be refunded back to the guests at the end of the cruise. Cruise lines differ in how much of a hold they place on debit card accounts. For instance, Carnival places a hold of $200.00 on debit card accounts. Norwegian places a hold of $150.00 for cruises less than five days. For cruises five days or longer, Norwegian places a hold of $300.00. At the check-in counter, guests sign a form authorizing the hold.

Credit cards are the best choice for on board charge accounts. Having no hassles goes a long way.

Credit cards are the best choice for on board charge accounts. Having no hassles goes a long way.

1) Credit card: Of all three forms of payment, a credit card is the guests’ most popular method. During the online check-in process or at the check-in counter, guests regularly register a credit card to be used for their on- board charge accounts. Guests can use their stateroom key cards to charge anything to their accounts, including alcoholic drinks, duty-free souvenirs, shore excursions, and photo gallery packages. They are all charged to their on-board charge accounts. Upon disembarkation, the total balance is automatically routed to the guests’ credit card accounts. Cruise lines place no holds on credit card accounts.

Besides debit cards and credit cards, gift cards are also accepted. On Carnival cruises, only Carnival gift cards are accepted at the check-in counter.

Besides debit cards and credit cards, gift cards are also accepted. On Carnival cruises, only Carnival gift cards are accepted at the check-in counter.

What about gift cards? Gift cards, regardless of whenever or wherever used, are sophisticated. Pre-paid gift cards (ex. Visa gift cards) can be registered at the guest services desk on board ship. On board Disney ships, Disney gift cards can also be registered at the guest services desk. Carnival makes using gift cards easier. Carnival gift cards are accepted at the check-in counter.

 

On any cruise, guests are have the time of their lives. There is so much to do, so much to experience, and so many ways to be entertained. The possibilities are endless. The dilemma often faced is deciding which form of payment should be used for their on-board charge accounts. Their choices are a cash account, a debit card, or a credit card. There are pros and cons to using cash accounts and debit cards. Credit cards, on the contrary, pose little to no hassle. Little to no inconvenience goes a long way. They are the indeed the most preferred type of payment for on-board charge accounts. The next time the question “Paper or plastic?” is brought up, the answer is decidedly clear.

A group cruise: Uncovering the formula to a successful voyage

A group cruise is more than just a vacation, it's an experience shared by all.

A group cruise is more than just a vacation, it’s an experience shared by all.

Cruises are the best way to explore the world in one week or more. The entertainment is non-stop, the on board service is over-the-top masterful, and the memories last a lifetime. Week-in and week-out, cruise passengers have high expectations for the trip they have been looking forward to for many months. It is a much needed getaway from work and from the stresses of everyday life. A group cruise is an even more exciting experience. Sharing a traveling experience with a large group of people is truly rewarding. For a group cruise to be successful, there are a handful of important points to consider. The not only pertain to the group leader, but to the entire group as a whole.

A group cruise starting and ending on a high note solely depends on group effort. How so? There is much responsibility on both the group leader’s behalf. Likewise, there is hint of responsibility on the group’s behalf. The five key points to a successful group cruise vacation are as follows:

The list of group themes and occasions is endless. This is an example of a retirement cruise.

The list of group themes and occasions is endless. This is an example of a retirement cruise.

5) The theme team: Before a group cruise can be organized, the group leader(s) must come up with the theme or occasion for the cruise. The list of themes and occasions for a group cruise is endless. The cruise could be a family reunion, someone’s retirement, a birthday, a sweet sixteen, a graduation, or an occasion pertaining to an organization. In addition, the group leader occasionally prepares special apparel for the group to wear on sailing day (See photo.). This being said, the energy and excitement on a group cruise is undoubtedly tremendous.

Depending on the occasion, a group cruise is for not just for the elderly, but the younger crowd too.

Depending on the occasion, a group cruise is for not just for the elderly, but the young crowd too.

4) The rule of sixteen: A group cruise cannot be made possible without the magic number. In order to be considered a group, the group leader must have a minimum of sixteen (16) guests (including the group leader). For every fifteen guests booked, the sixteenth guest travels free. To ensure the a count of sixteen or more guests, the group leader must widely market the cruise to the age range and the demographic that would best fit the theme of the cruise. Sounds like a daunting task, doesn’t it?! It’s all true. Adequate marketing, proper use of social media, and continuous communication are vital to a group cruise becoming a reality. Further, they’re important keys to reaching the desired magic number.

When a group cruise reaches its preparation phase, communication must be crisp and all members of the group must be attentive.

When a group cruise reaches its preparation phase, communication must be crisp. All members of the group must be attentive.

3) Crisp communication: Once the theme has been decided on and the magic number of sixteen or more guests has been achieved, it’s crunch time for the group leader(s). From the time of booking, to the preparation phase, to sailing day, the group leader must maintain solid communication with everyone in the group. The communication must be CRISP. As time winds down towards sailing day, the group leader must relay all pertinent information to the group. Important announcements, revisions, etc. are to be immediately relayed to the group. No one in the group, for any rhyme or reason, should be left out in the cold.

In the main dining room, a group occasion jumps into high gear, with memories shared on a nightly basis.

In the main dining room, a group occasion jumps into high gear, with memories shared on a nightly basis.

2) At-ten-tive-ness: A successful group cruise doesn’t always rest solely on the shoulders of the group leader. The group MUST also be attentive. As the group leader carries out communication, everyone in the group MUST acknowledge the group leader. Whichever ways the group leader reaches out to the group, whether via telephone, email, or written letter, members of the group MUST respond. It is paramount that everyone in the whole group including the group leader communicate consistently, so that they are on the exact same page. When on the same page, the cruise will be go successfully as planned.

The group coordinator is the "go-to" officer on board ship. He/She is responsible for handling all special group events and requests.

The group coordinator is the “go-to” officer on board ship. He/She is responsible for handling all special group events and requests.

1) Contacting the group coordinator: Upon boarding the ship, the group leader has one more task on his/her list to accomplish. In order for a group’s sailing needs to be well-addressed, the group leader MUST search out the ship’s group coordinator. The group coordinator is the most important officers on board. If the group leader booked any special group excursions or arranged special events on board, the group coordinator is the person to be addressed. Any special requests are relayed via the group coordinator. Constant communication with the group coordinator is key. The group coordinator is the liaison between the group leader and the ship’s staff. When it comes to groups, the group coordinator is the “go-to” officer.

A group cruise is a vacation experience to be remembered for as long as the good times themselves. The memories are endless. Unlike a regular cruise with a friend, significant other, or loved one, a group cruise is an experience filled with memories shared by all. From sailing day, to the on board activities, special on board events, to unforgettable dining experiences, group cruises have it all. For any group cruise to be successful, five key points MUST be adhered to. Not only the group occasion MUST have a fun theme, but the group MUST comprise of sixteen guests or more. The communication MUST be crisp. Simultaneously, all guests in the group MUST be attentive. Lastly, reaching out to the ship’s group coordinator helps assure a grand experience for everyone. Without a doubt, it pays to understand that every group cruise requires a group effort.

“Barbados: A modern pirate’s treasure” coming soon

Located in the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is the jewel of the southern Caribbean.

Located in the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is the jewel of the southern Caribbean.

The Caribbean is the one region in the world everyone enjoys visiting on a yearly basis. From Jamaica, to Puerto Rico, to the U.S. Virgin Islands, to St. Maarten/Martin, there’s so much to choose from. There are so many great experiences that await on each island. The one island that always makes a splash among travelers is Barbados. Barbados is the jewel of the southern Caribbean. From its rich history, to its crystal blue waters, to its warm-welcoming people, it is the grand daddy of them all. What will this brand new presentation cover? Here’s a sneak peek.

With its endless limestone caverns and stalagmite formations, Harrison's Cave is one of the islands most iconic natural wonders.

With its endless limestone caverns and stalagmite formations, Harrison’s Cave is one of the islands most iconic natural wonders.

1) Harrison’s Cave: Located in the central uplands of the island, this breathtakingly beautiful, crystallized limestone cavern is a testament to nature’s mastery. It is one of the most iconic natural wonders of the Caribbean. Flowing streams, deep pools of crystal clear water and towering columns characterize this living cave. Visitors gaze in wonder at the white flow stones. They stare in awe at the beauty of the stalagmite formations which adorn the cave. No trip to Barbados is complete without visiting Harrison’s Cave.

Known as the island's most famous fishing village, Bathsheba is located on the northeastern shore. It is situated in the parish of Saint Joseph.

Known as the island’s most famous fishing village, Bathsheba is located on the northeastern shore. It is situated in the parish of Saint Joseph.

2) Bathsheba: Bathsheba is the main fishing village in the parish of Saint Joseph with some five thousand inhabitants on the east coastline of Barbados. The town has a number of quaint churches; Saint Joseph Anglican Church was built on Horse Hill in the town as early as 1640 but was rebuilt in 1839 following a hurricane in 1831. Little Saint Joseph chapel was built nearby in 1837 but was restored and dedicated to Saint Aiden in 1904 following a landslide. It has a number of attractions including the Flower Forest and Cotton Tower which is renowned for its dramatic scenery and views of Scotland District.

 

With its bustling streets and friendly people, Bridgetown is the largest city and the island's capital.

With its bustling streets and friendly people, Bridgetown is the largest city and the island’s capital.

3) Bridgetown: Bridgetown is the capital and the largest city on the island of Barbados. Formerly known as the town of Saint Michael, the Greater Bridgetown area is located within the parish of Saint Michael. Bridgetown is sometimes locally referred to as “The City”, but the most common reference is simply “Town”. As of 2014, its metropolitan population stands at roughly 110,000.

“Barbados: A modern pirate’s treasure” is set to debut in mid-June 2017. Out of all of the islands throughout the Caribbean, Barbados shines the brightest. Barbados is more than just an island destination. Barbados is a modern Caribbean treasure. Barbados is an island adored by millions of travelers from all over the world. Whether they come from the United States, Europe, Australia, or Asia, they are welcomed with open arms by the islands greatest feature; its people. They enjoy the pristine ocean waters, the local flavors, and the well-known cuisine inspired by the native traditions and European roots. Barbados is not just an island visited by millions coming off a cruise ship or airplane. Barbados is an island that stands as a model to the world. Barbados shows to the world what good people can do for one another. Ultimately, Barbados demonstrates to the world how pride and unity, from the past to present day, can inspire millions around the world.

Two Brothers Travel: A travel agency with a golden touch

Meet the agents: David and Stephen Kriso. Photo taken aboard the Oasis of The Seas.

Meet the agents: David and Stephen Kriso. Photo taken aboard the Oasis of The Seas.

Since childhood, traveling has been a long-time passion of my brother’s and mine. In February 2009, I joined the New York area shore staff (Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services). Working in the cruising industry has been a true delight. Assisting families and couples with their cruising concerns couldn’t be more rewarding. In August 2011, I entered the world of travel writing. My very first piece was on Amtrak and its Student Advantage program. I have had the pleasure of writing for a handful of publications, including my college alma mater’s magazine, “Report From Newport”.

In January 2015, I decided to bring my travel writing out into the limelight. I became a travel lecturer. My topics have captured the imagination of library patrons all throughout northern New Jersey. My topics have included cruising, Amtrak travel, Disney World, the New Jersey Shore, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each and every one of them have been an overwhelming success.

All aboard! David and Stephen enjoy one of Amtrak's Amfleet II coaches at National Train Day in Washington, DC.

All aboard! David and Stephen enjoy one of Amtrak’s Amfleet II coaches at National Train Day in Washington, DC.

This February 2017, my brother Stephen and I are embarking on a new venture together. We are launching our very own home-based travel agency. The business will be named Two Brothers Travel. Two Brothers Travel is an affiliate of Montrose Travel, based in the Los Angeles area. Montrose Travel was our choice of company for three reasons. The first reason is that we won’t be under the pressure of generating the numbers which many other travel businesses demand. Secondly, Montrose Travel provides exemplary ideas and guidance for all travelers alike. Lastly, Montrose Travel provides travel resources for all occasions. Whether assisting families, couples, or groups, Montrose Travel provides the proper travel resources for occasions of that caliber.

What types of travel will we be specializing in? Our three specialties will be families (i.e. Disney), romantic getaways (i.e. couples and honeymoons), and a wide variety of group occasions. Having been well-versed in cruising, Amtrak, and Disney, we are looking forward to leading the way to enjoyable and pleasurable vacation experiences. Cruising will be our ultimate specialty. The cruising industry tends to families, couples, and groups at high volumes. We have worked with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, Carnival, Princess, and Cunard. We also have had the privilege of working with the Disney Magic.

David Kriso in front of Rock 'N' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

David Kriso in front of Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Stephen and I have shared a long history with cruising and Disney. I have enjoyed traveling on Amtrak since age four. I was a Walt Disney World cast member in 1999-2000, during the Millennium Celebration. In 2014, I was recognized by Amtrak for an article I had written about Washington, DC’s Union Station. That same year, Stephen joined Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services. Stephen is well-versed in business and marketing. He is involved in both the Hasbrouck Heights and Mahwah chambers of commerce. He has helped many northern New Jerseyans with their business aspirations. One can easily imagine the great travel experiences they will have booking with us. After booking with us, families, couples, and groups will most definitely turn to Two Brothers Travel as their go-to travel professionals.

Many travel agencies assist their clients only a fraction of the way. At Two Brothers Travel, Stephen and I intend to be at the clients’ service every step of the way. From the time of booking to the day of travel, we will assist clients on any concerns and issues that may arise. We believe that no clients should ever be left out in the cold. Families, couples, and groups will be undoubtedly satisfied. We will assist them the whole way, every trip, every time.

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David and Stephen Kriso standing along side the Disney Dream in Nassau, Bahamas.

Two Brothers Travel is expected to be in full operation by February 18th, 2017. Two Brothers Travel will not be a run-of-the-mill travel agency. From start to finish, Two Brothers Travel will be a part of every family, couple, and group’s vacation experience. It takes great desire, dedication, and experience for a travel agency to be successful. Stephen and I bring plentiful experience and talent to the table to make this travel agency thrive. Families, couples, and groups will have bounteous travel experiences to cherish. We truly look forward to serving families, couples, and groups of all types. Our experience will be their testimonial. Their memories will be our legacy.

We invite prospective clients to visit our web site at www.twobrotherstravelnj.com.

Cruise transportation: A matter of time vs. cost

Transportation often raises concern when reaching a cruise terminal. Newark International Airport is twenty minutes from Bayonne's Cape Liberty Cruise Port and approximately forty-five minutes from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal.

Transportation often raises concern when reaching a cruise terminal. Newark International Airport is twenty minutes from Bayonne’s Cape Liberty Cruise Port and approximately forty-five minutes from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal.

Cruising can’t be a more enjoyable vacation experience. The on board entertainment and on board activities are non-stop. There is something fun for everyone to do. Before all of the fun can begin, cruise passengers have to deal with the grueling process of getting transportation to and from the cruise terminal. Whether cruising locally or from a port city requiring a plane or train, finding the proper transportation always raises concern. The cost of taking a taxi, bus, or a limousine can be unimaginable. Time is also critical. Here are three helpful hints to take into consideration regarding cruise transportation.

1) Use mass transit!: When it comes to cruising from a short distance, it is best to use mass transit. If mass transit is available, use it. For example, New York City’s Manhattan Cruise Terminal and Boston’s Black Falcon Cruise Terminal are the two easiest ports to reach via mass transit. In Manhattan, the New York City Subway C and E lines stop at 50th Street. After getting off the bus at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, or the train at Penn Station, cruise passengers can easily take the C or E train to 50th Street. From 50th Street, cruise passengers can walk four blocks west to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. With an MTA Metro Card, the cost each direction is $2.75.

Mass transit is among the best modes of transportation when traveling to and from a cruise terminal. New York Penn Station serves Amtrak, Long Island Railroad, and New Jersey Transit, and is located along the A, C, E, 1, 2, and 3 subway lines.

Mass transit is among the best modes of transportation when traveling to and from a cruise terminal. New York Penn Station serves Amtrak, Long Island Railroad, and New Jersey Transit, and is located along the A, C, E, 1, 2, and 3 subway lines.

In Boston, cruise passengers can take the T’s silver line bus to the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal. Boston’s South Station is Amtrak’s terminal. South Station is on the silver line route. On the T subway system, South Station is on the red line. The ride to the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal is fifteen minutes. From Boston’s Logan International Airport, cruise passengers can take the blue line south to State Station. At State Station, it’s a short ride to Downtown Crossing, where cruise passengers can change over to the red line. South Station is the very next stop. The MBTA’s Charlie Card is $2.25 per passenger. Regardless of what city cruise passengers use mass transit, it is paramount to PACK LIGHT.

When time is on the tight side, taxis are the proper way to reach the airport or train station.

When time is on the tight side, taxis are the proper way to reach the airport or train station.

2) If time is critical, take a taxi.: This is not to be confused with hint #1. Very often, cruise passengers will book their returning flights or trains very close to disembarkation. At many times, they book their trains and flights too close. Frequently, cruise passengers book their flights and trains too early, along with misjudging their time of disembarkation. In these situations, cruise passengers miss their bus transfer. In the worst case scenario, they miss their flights. To avoid this inconvenience, it is best to take a taxi to the airport or train station. Disembarkation can be hectic at times. Each and every week is different, predicated upon how quickly passengers clear through customs. Cruise lines such as Disney Cruise Line have disembarkation down to a science. Disney Cruise Line is known to for finishing disembarkation by as early as 9:30 am. If time is of the essence, taking taxi is the way to go.

3) Know before you go!: Some cruise passengers have tight budgets. Some cruise passengers plainly like to do things in an efficient manner. Further, there are cruise passengers who research every detail and option concerning their cruise transportation. It pays to know the drill. The cruise lines’ bus transfers can be pricey. It is often predicated upon on the cruise line and/or cruise port. Some cruise line bus transfers cost as much as $40.00 per person. A limousine ride may cost more than the bus transfer. A taxi ride may cost less than both the limousine and the bus transfer. Obtaining the contact information of taxi and limousine companies in the port area is a huge plus. It’s an even bigger plus to obtain fare quotes from each of them. It can be the difference maker. Doing ample research on the port city and transportation costs will greatly reduce cruise passengers’ worries.

Prior to sailing day, cruise passengers should research taxi, limousine, and cruise transfer fares. Being aware of fares ahead of time makes a significant difference.

Prior to sailing day, cruise passengers should research taxi, limousine, and cruise transfer fares. Being aware of fares ahead of time makes a significant difference.

A cruise vacation cannot be a more rewarding way of getting away from the real world. The entertainment, the unforgettable dining experience, and the welcoming atmosphere are all a part of what makes a cruise the perfect escape from the stresses of life. When it comes to cruise transportation, cruise passengers dislike putting up with the frustration. It comes with the territory. Cruise passengers shouldn’t have to stress at all. Cruise passengers should use mass transit to and from the port, if available. It saves a significant amount of time and money. If time is tight, cruise passengers should take a taxi to the airport or train station. Cruise passengers should not have to miss their trains or flights due to misjudging their disembarkation. This pin-points the vitality of hint #3. Cruise passengers should know before they go. Voluminous research and proper planning are the name of the game.

Wheelchairs and cruising: Three hints, zero confusion

Aboard most cruise lines, wheelchair assistance is provided upon request. Guests must request wheelchair assistance via the online check-in process.

Aboard most cruise lines, wheelchair assistance is provided upon request. Guests must request wheelchair assistance via the online check-in process.

Cruising is the most relaxing way of seeing the world in a week. Wait, did somebody say “one week”? Some cruises last two weeks or longer. No matter how long a cruise vacation may last, the fun and excitement is non-stop.

When anyone prepares for a cruise vacation, there is a hint of homework which the guest must complete. When it comes to preparation, guest must decide whether or not he/she will require special assistance. When the two words “special assistance” comes up, the word “wheelchair” comes to mind. On cruises, wheelchairs can be numerous. It depends on the itinerary. There can be more than twenty guests in need of wheelchair assistance. Elderly and/or physically impaired guests need to keep in mind three major hints when seeking wheelchair assistance. If they follow these three hints, life on two wheels will be a walk in the park.

1) Online check-in process: Most online check-in processes in the cruise industry are mirror image of each other. Once the cruise is fully booked and the payments are made, the online check-in process begins. Online check-in is king in the cruising industry. It is the way of the world. Plus, it saves a significant amount of time at the check-in counter. What does online check-in have anything to do with asking for a wheelchair? There is a step which guests need to be on the lookout for. Part of the online check-in process includes the question whether/if the guest will need wheelchair assistance at the cruise terminal. Wheelchair assistance is available upon request.  If the guest answers “yes”, the he/she must specify as to whom in the party will need wheelchair assistance.  If wheelchair assistance was requested online, the guest should have a relatively short waiting time. It is easier done than said.

2) Wheelchairs on-board ship: There is always a ton of confusion regarding wheelchairs at the cruise terminal and wheelchairs on-board ship. They are two completely different matters. If the guest is in need of a wheelchair throughout the cruise, he/she must visit the guest services desk on-board ship. Wheelchairs on-board ship are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are a limited amount of wheelchairs on-board ship. Once having boarded the ship, the guest must visit the guest services desk. If a guest rented a scooter or wheelchair through the cruise line or via the travel agent, the guest should follow up with the guest services desk. This must be done immediately. On sailing day, the guest services staff are often busy handling hundreds of guests’ matters of a more pertinent nature. If in need of a wheelchair, the guest should not procrastinate.

To avoid all confusion on any cruise vacation, the guest's best move is bringing his/her own wheelchair.

When cruising, the guest should always bring along his/her own wheelchair. Regardless of cruise line, it is the right move.

3) Bring your own!: Waiting for a wheelchair at the pier and looking for a wheelchair on-board ship are enough to dampen a guest’s spirit. Without a doubt, It can be over-the-top stressful. To avoid the obstacle course of waiting for a wheelchair at the cruise terminal and looking for a wheelchair on-board, the guest should do the easiest thing of all; bringing his/her own wheelchair. By bringing his/her own wheelchair, the waiting game is completely eliminated. Upon arrival at the pier, the passenger can be taken care of right away. Disney Cruise Line greatly preaches to guests the convenience of bringing their own wheelchair. The guest bringing his/her own wheelchair allows for a smooth transition from pier to ship, and vice-versa.

A cruise vacation is the perfect way to escape the stresses of the real world. There is so much to look forward to. Guests look forward to the fine dining experience, the world-class entertainment, and definitely, the exciting shore adventures. When it comes to guests requiring wheelchair assistance, three hints of advice need to be kept in mind. The guest must request wheelchair assistance when completing the online check-in process. If the guest needs a wheelchair for the duration of the cruise, he/she must immediately visit the guest services desk on-board ship. To make life one hundred percent easier, the guest should bring his/her own wheelchair. The more prepared the guest, the smoother the transition between the pier and the ship. Musical Chairs is a fun game to play, but it should not have to get in the way of anyone’s cruise vacation.

Mary, Queen of the Universe: Orlando’s saving grace

The Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe was opened on January 31st, 1993.

The Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe was first opened on January 31st, 1993.

Orlando is every family’s favorite vacation destination. There is Walt Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Orlando Resort. The Orlando area is home to other great places of interest including the Citrus Bowl and Cypress Cove Nudist Resort in Kissimmee. Whether visiting Mickey Mouse and company, strolling around Universal’s City Walk, or baring it all, Orlando has it all. Time and again, the famous question is asked. The question is, “Where can we go to church?”. Without hesitation, Orlando visitors can consider the question answered. Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe is where all Orlando area residents and visitors come together. Basilica of The National Shine of Mary, Queen of The Universe, is the church where all Orlando area visitors feel at home.

The Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe is a short driving distance from the Walt Disney World resort, off Interstate 4.

The Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe is a short driving distance from the Walt Disney World Resort, off Interstate 4.

The Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe is located at 8300 Vineland Avenue, in Orlando, Florida.  Located near the intersection of Route 535 and Interstate 4, it is the most gorgeous church building any Florida vacationer can experience. The church has an impressive history.  The story behind it is the most inspiring. It all started in 1975. Walt Disney World was already four years old. Walt Disney World vacationers were arriving by the millions, roughly thirty million each year. To meet the spiritual needs of the growing crowds, the Diocese of Orlando arranged for masses to be held in area hotels. Area hotels included Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and other hotels in the nearby Disney Village (now Disney Springs). It was referred to as a “tourist ministry”. To head this ministry, the Diocese of Orlando named Fr. F. Joseph Harte the pastor of Orlando’s Holy Family Parish. The dream was underway. The first phase of construction began on December 8, 1984, the Feast of The Immaculate Conception. The first phase was completed in 1986.

Here, congregation at the Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe assembles for Saturday night mass. Masses are offered on Saturdays at 6 pm, and on Sundays at 7:30 am, 9:30 am, 11:30 am, and 6 pm.

Here, congregation at the Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe assembles for Saturday night mass. Masses are offered on Saturdays at 6 pm, and on Sundays at 7:30 am, 9:30 am, 11:30 am, and 6 pm.

Today, the Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe is one of the most beautiful churches in all of Florida. Millions continue to visit Orlando every year. Thousands upon thousands are turning to the Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe to attend mass. In May 2007, Mary, Queen of The Universe was officially named a National Shrine. Orlando area residents and visitors were witnesses to history. More so, they were witnesses to history in the making. The Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe is still continuing to grow, giving credit to local residents and Orlando area visitors for their generous donations. Very soon, a permanent pipe organ will be added to the church’s ever so breathtaking sanctuary.

From the altar of the Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe, one can be taken away by the church's peacefulness and beauty.

From the altar of the Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe, one can be easily amazed by the church’s peacefulness and beauty.

Without a doubt, Orlando area vacationers ask the question “How do we get there?”. Getting to the Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe is very easy. The key is not to make such an easy drive so difficult. The church indeed draws quite a crowd and most definitely quite the traffic jam leading up to mass.  This can be easily avoided. Walt Disney World guests need to take Epcot Center Drive as they are exiting the Disney property. Having left the Disney property, Epcot Center Drive becomes World Center Drive. Guests are to bare left for International Drive. International Drive will snake its way for approximately ten minutes until turning onto Vineland Avenue. Vineland Avenue will be on the left. The key landmark is the Hilton Grand Vacations at Tuscany Village.

From Interstate 4, church goers should follow the exit for Walt Disney World. Disney Springs and the Disney Casting Center will be on the right. Church goers must head toward Epcot Center Drive and then proceed toward World Center Drive. Once on World Center Drive, they should proceed ten minutes to International Drive. Once on International Drive, it is a five minute drive until Vineland Avenue appears on the left. Five minutes later, church goers will arrive at the Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe on the left, avoiding the traffic jam completely. When it comes to God and worship, it is a necessity to avoid all gridlock.

To avoid traffic, church goers must reach the Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe via International Drive.

To avoid traffic, church goers must reach the Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe via International Drive.

Since opening on January 31st, 1993, the Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe has been the center of Orlando’s Catholic community. Not only has it welcomed millions from around the country, but from around the world. It all started in 1975 with a dream. In the shadows of Walt Disney World, the Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe too stands as a model for churches around the world. The Orlando area cannot be more proud of such an accomplished church. It has clearly inspired the lives of millions. The Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary, Queen of The Universe is truthfully and undeniably, Orlando’s saving grace.

“Puerto Rico: La isla de las estrellas brillantes” coming January 20th

Puerto Rico is the Caribbean's most legendary destinations. In Old San Juan, Castillo Felipe del Morro sits proudly at harbor entrance.

Puerto Rico is the Caribbean’s most legendary destinations. In Old San Juan, Castillo Felipe del Morro sits proudly at the harbor entrance.

The Caribbean is one of the world’s most frequently visited regions. Among the many great islands in this vast region is the island known as “rich port”, or Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is the largest insular territory of the United States. It is neighbored by its smaller islands Vieques, Mona, Culebra, Desecheo, and Caja de Muertos. Puerto Rico is not just any island to which natives call home, but an island known for so much more. Puerto Rico is an island that is the home of great icons. It is an island known for its great highlights. Further, it is the island home to many of the famous people who made a long-lasting contribution to our American culture.

Puerto Rico is rich in history and culture. Angel Garcia-Rivera participates in an impromptu jam on island.

Puerto Rico is rich in history and culture. Angel Garcia-Rivera participates in an impromptu jam on island.

Whether visiting the Caribbean via plane or cruise ship, Puerto Rico is the island at the ready with a welcoming smile. Its official languages are English and Spanish. However, Puerto Rico no longer observes Daylight Savings Time. With a population of 3.5 million, Puerto Rico’s rich history, inspiring culture, tropical climate, diverse natural scenery, and renowned traditional cuisine make it a popular destination for travelers from around the world.

Originally populated by the aboriginal Taino people, the island was claimed in 1493 by Christopher Columbus for Spain. It later endured several invasion attempts by the French, Dutch, and British. During the four centuries of Spanish rule, Puerto Rico’s ethnic, cultural, and physical landscapes were transformed as the island was settled overwhelmingly by Spanish settlers. In result, Puerto Rico is an overwhelmingly Catholic and noticeably Hispanic territory in terms of culture and language. In 1898, following the Spanish-American War, the United States took over the island under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.

Located on the island of Culebra, Flamenco Beach is considered to be one of the top ten beaches in the Caribbean.

Located on the island of Culebra, Flamenco Beach is considered to be one of the top ten beaches in the world.

Puerto Rico is deeply rich in history and culture. Candidly, its geographical highlights are what take visitors’ breaths away.  Out of Puerto Rico’s five neighboring islands, only Culebra and Vieques are inhabited year-round. Culebra, located merely eighteen miles away from the Puerto Rico mainland, is home to Flamenco Beach. Flamenco Beach is considered to be one of the top ten beaches in the world. Mona, which has played a key role in maritime history, is uninhabited most of the year except for employees of the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources.

The coqui, Puerto Rico's iconic tree frog, makes the most peaceful sounds imaginable.

The coqui, Puerto Rico’s iconic tree frog, makes the most peaceful sounds imaginable.

One of the most important peaks on Puerto Rico is El Yunque. El Yunque is one of the highest in the Sierra de Luquillo at the El Yunque National Forest, with an elevation of 3,494 ft. Puerto Rico has seventeen lakes, all man-made, and more than fifty rivers, most originating in the Cordillera Central. Puerto Rico is composed of Cretaceous to Eocene volcanic and plutonic rocks, covered by younger Oligocene and more recent carbonates and other sedimentary rocks. Most of the Puerto Rico’s caverns and karst topography on the island occur in the northern region in the carbonates. Karst topography is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves. The oldest rocks are approximately one hundred and ninety million years old. These rocks are located at Sierra Bermeja in the southwest part of the island.

Tony Award winning actor and writer Lin-Manuel Miranda has dazzled audiences with "In The Heights" and the historic musical "Hamilton".

Tony Award winning actor and writer Lin-Manuel Miranda has dazzled audiences with “In The Heights” and the historic musical “Hamilton”.

Puerto Rico without question, has produced some of the most talented stars the world of showbiz has ever seen. Such stars include Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, and Jimmy Smits. Not to be outdone, Puerto Rico has produced some of the most iconic names on the Broadway stage. What would the Broadway world do without “Hamilton” and what would the stage do without Lin-Manuel Miranda? Not just Miranda, Chita Rivera is another legend of the Broadway stage. In the sports world, Roberto Clemente was the face of professional baseball. He was one of the great role models of his time. His life was cut short in a plane crash in Puerto Rico in 1972. To top it off, Puerto Rico was the birthplace of one of the most influencial public figures of the 20th Century.   Luis Muñoz Marín (1898-1980) was a gifted poet, journalist, politician, and statesman. His name is forever etched in Puerto Rico’s history. He was regarded as the “Father of Modern Puerto Rico” and the “Architect of the Commonwealth.”

Bacardi has been making rum on Puerto Rico since 1936.

Bacardi has been making rum on Puerto Rico since 1936.

Before leaving Puerto Rico, travelers should not forget to visit the famous Bacardi Rum Factory. It is located on he west side of Old San Juan. Bacardi was founded in Cuba in 1862. Bacardi has a well-decorated history of its own. Bacardi has been an international brand thanks to its business genius Henry Schueg. Henry Schueg was the brother-in-law of Emilio Bacardi. Bacardi has been making rum on the island of Puerto Rico since 1936. Today, Bacardi sells in excess of two hundred million bottles per year. The Bacardi logo, the bat, stands as the symbol for “family”.

Luiz Munoz Marin was one of Puerto Rico's greatest public figures. He was the governor of Puerto Rico for sixteen years.

Luiz Munoz Marin was one of Puerto Rico’s greatest public figures. He was the governor of Puerto Rico for sixteen years.

The Caribbean has a lot of great islands for many to write home about. The U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John) are the most romantic of them all. St. Maarten/Martin is the considered to be the most vibrant island in the Caribbean. There is no island which has affected our history and modern culture more than Puerto Rico. Its breathtaking natural wonders, friendly locals, and well-known tropical climate make it an island to be treasured year-round. What would Puerto Rico be without it’s entertainment and sports icons? Puerto Rico has also been known for its great political figures. Last, but not least, Puerto Rico has been the long time home of the world’s famous rum manufacturers. Puerto Rico is more than just an island of Caribbean flavors and Latino beats. It is “la isla de las estrellas brillantes”, or “the island of shining stars”. “Puerto Rico: La isla de las estrellas brillantes” will make its debut in January 2017.

 

“St. Maarten/Martin: One friendly island-twice the welcome” nearing completion

Shared by two foreign cultures, St. Maarten/Martin is the Caribbean's most unique of island destinations.

Shared by two foreign cultures, St. Maarten/Martin is the Caribbean’s most unique of island destinations.

The Caribbean is the most visited region in the world. Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Aruba, and Barbados, are among the many great destinations that make the Caribbean the perfect home away from home. Every island in the Caribbean has unique characteristics and famous features. Plus, they all have have a storied history. The friendly locals, sugar cane fields, historic structures, well-known delicacies, and romantic sunsets are among their many attributes. Everyone can rave about their favorite Caribbean destination. There is one Caribbean island that welcomes millions from around the world with open arms from two sides. That island is St. Maarten/Martin.

During the high season, the Philipsburg cruise ship pier is buzzing, with up to ten ships per day.

During the high season, the Philipsburg cruise ship pier is buzzing, with up to ten ships per day.

Located in the eastern region of the Caribbean Sea, St. Maarten/Martin is one of the most exciting destinations to experience. It is shared by two foreign cultures. The Dutch side is to the south, with the French side to the north. What makes St. Maarten/Martin so unique is that its economy depends solely on the tourism industry. Tourism is what runs St. Maarten/Martin. With regards to its automobile traffic, eighty-five percent (85%) of it is rental cars. Many may think that St. Maarten/Martin is strictly a tourist’s kind of island. St. Maarten/Martin does have its residents. Much of the island’s residents live on the Dutch side.

St. Maarten's Maho Bay is a must-visit. The Princess Juliana Airport runway is less than one hundred feet from the beach.

St. Maarten’s Maho Bay is a must-visit. The Princess Juliana Airport runway is less than one hundred feet from the beach.

St. Maarten/Martin is home to well-known incredible beach locations, shopping venues, and tourist hot spots. The cruise ship pier, in Philipsburg, is among the busiest during the high season. The cruise ship traffic is a sight to behold. The Phillipsburg pier can accommodate up to as many as ten cruise ships. On some days, visitors will see four to six cruise ships. On the west end of St. Maarten/Martin, visitors can experience Maho Beach. Maho Beach (Maho Bay). Here, beach goers experience the thrill of what it’s like to live at the end of an airport runway. Princess Julianna Airport (SXM) is right next door to Maho Beach. At the very height of the day, approximately noontime, much of the major air traffic arrives. Every major airline, including American and JetBlue, fly to St. Maarten/Martin (SXM) daily. It is easy to see how low they actually are before touchdown. Each and every time a plane is on the approach, cameras are ready. The west end of the runway is just one hundred feet from the beach. The jets are just one hundred feet above the water before touching down. Each and every time an airplane is on the final approach, beach goers get their cameras ready. They even strike a pose, making it look like they’re touching the planes. Maho Beach, for beach goers and aviation fans, is not to be passed up.

Cupecoy Beach is located north of Maho Beach, on the island's western end.

Cupecoy Beach is located north of Maho Beach, on the island’s western end.

One of the greatest reasons Caribbean travelers pick St. Maarten/Martin is the wide array of beaches. Maho Beach is just one of a handful of famous beaches on St. Maarten/Martin. North of Maho Beach is Cupecoy Beach. It is among one of the most picturesque and one of the most romantic beaches on the island’s western end. Near the northern tip of St. Maarten/Martin is Happy Bay. Like Cupecoy Beach, Happy Bay is a quiet beach, and clothing-optional, too. On the French side of the island, clothing-optional is the name of the game. Atop the island’s beach list, and certainly the most famous of beaches on the French side is Orient Beach. Orient Beach is so big, it is broken into five parts. The most famous part of Orient Beach is the southern end, which is the clothing-optional, or nude beach. Club Orient, the family oriented clothing-optional resort, shares Orient Beach. Cruise ship passengers are allowed to use Orient Beach. Cruise ship passengers visit the clothing-optional side, too. Shore excursion buses are provided by the cruise lines.

Orient Beach is home to iconic Club Orient, a five-star clothing-optional resort.

Orient Beach is home to iconic Club Orient, a five-star clothing-optional resort.

Without a doubt, the Caribbean is the most inviting region to visit at any time of the year. The sun, the sand, unique shopping experiences, and unique dining locations make St. Maarten/Martin an over-the-top exciting destination. It is enjoyed by families and couples alike. From airplane watching, to soaking in the French and Dutch culture, and enjoying a smorgasbord of water sports, St. Maarten/Martin is the place to do it all. Certainly, it is the one Caribbean destination where visitors can live up the vibrant beach life. Further, it is place where visitors can soak up the rays, along with the crystal blue waters clothing-optional style.  “St. Maarten/Martin: One friendly island-twice the welcome” is due to be completed by mid-November 2016.