This time of year generates depression in many of us, and a bit of tension in our daily lives is not unusual, especially as we interact with other people. This year things might even be worse; real estate values are down, the holidays are approaching, gas prices are way up and we are approaching a major election year.
All of these things individually cause tension, but put them together and as we try to keep a sunny disposition on the outside, on the inside we are struggling just to cope.
So, how do you deal with your grumpies? My favorite cure is light therapy, like a cruise to the Caribbean or Mexican Riviera, of course.
This year, I urge you to book your post-holiday cruise right away. Why? Because gas prices are rising so you know you don't want to take a road trip. Plus, having a cruise booked gives you something to really look forward to, a sure-fire way to get rid of the winter blahs.
And if it seems too pricey to think of a cruise now with the holidays coming up then try this on for size; You propose to your spouse/family that you make it a simpler Christmas because you want to save money. Then you give them the cruise as a Christmas gift and say "this is why I wanted to save money!"
In any case, if ever there was a year when I think I will be needing a winter getaway cruise, it is this one. I'm feeling the winter blues already.
Be Good to Your Travel Agent
If you have a favorite travel agent, be good to them this year. Things are getting tougher for them. Some cruise lines just announced they are cutting commissions on the air portion of cruise sales. Another cruise line just announced they will be adding a fuel surcharge to cruise fares of $5/day. Yes, that's tough on all of us, but the travel agent still has to sell the cruises at a higher price now, and won't get any commission on the fuel surcharge portion. Also, some cruise lines are cracking down on agents who try to rebate (to save you money) threatening to cut their commissions if they get caught.
Fuel Surcharges Coming
If your travel agent contacts you to say he/she needs to collect additonal money from you for a fuel surcharge on a cruise you have already paid for, that is NOT a scam. Carnival and all their brands have implemented a fuel surcharge on all cruises leaving on Feb. 1st or later. Even if you have already paid for your cruise you will probably be contacted to pay this additional surcharge.
The surcharge is $5/day for the first and second passengers in any stateroom. That's just another non-palatable new task travel agents have to deal with now. It isn't their fault. The cruise lines this applies to are Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, and The Yachts of Seabourn.
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Carnival Freedom hits Miami
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Carnival Freedom, January 19, 2008.
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Carnival Freedom, Thanksgiving, 2007.
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