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LezCruise March News
March 2007

Greetings!

We hope you're enjoying spring as much as we are. Every time it stops raining we try to hop on our bikes and look for new flowers in bloom. In this issue, we profile a popular cruise port, Puerto Vallarta, provide information for single cruisers, and introduce you to River Barge Excursion cruises. Thanks for reading!

in this issue
  • Let Us Make You a Star!! (sort of)
  • Regent Seven Seas
    1 Week Alaska Sale
  • Elise & Pam on Puerto Vallarta
  • Cruising 101 - Cruising Single
  • River Barge Excursions

  • Elise & Pam on Puerto Vallarta

    Our friends Elise and Pam from 2 Girls Travel lead a tour to Puerto Vallarta every fall (they are also leading a cruise to Alaska on the NCL Pearl in May), and have graciously agreed to provide us with a profile of Puerto Vallarta:

    Puerto Vallarta is a fun and easy city to explore. The main area of town is not far from the cruise dock. Cabs are plentiful - just walk out to the main street and catch a yellow cab. Be sure to ask what the fare will be. It should be about $4 - $5 to downtown and $5 - $6 to Old Town. It's easy to get back - just repeat the process!

    Along the Malecon (the walkway along the beach in downtown) there are many shops and restaurants. One of our favorites is the Cheeky Monkey, the first gay bar on the Malecon. It's on the third floor under the flags, across from the ladder sculpture on the Malecon. There is also an excellent Italian restaurant on the second floor. Both of these are run by Troy as in "Troy Donohue." These are great places to stop, rest and enjoy views of the bay and people along the Malecon.

    The Mercado Flea Market, near the river, is also a fun place to shop. You can get some great bargains and you can negotiate the price.

    In Old Town there are also many great gay friendly restaurants, the Pacifica Grill with its "all you can eat shrimp," the Kit Kat with its modern style and martinis, and Polo's - great food at great prices. The shopping in Zona Romantica (Old Town) is more upscale, less souvenirs and more art.

    We have enjoyed the Canopy Tours De Los Veranos and something new is the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens about half an hour to the south. This is a great place to explore or just relax in a beautiful setting.

    If you desire a totally gay atmosphere visit the Blue Chairs - mostly boys but very fun. Also, look for Diana's Tours.

    If you are thinking about a land vacation, take a look at our website, 2GirlsTravel.com for details on our next trip to Puerto Vallarta.


    Cruising 101 - Cruising Single

    First the bad news: If you are single and you decide to go on vacation by yourself and book yourself a nice room at the Bellagio in Las Vegas they don't say to you, "Oh, you're single - that will be 75% more." But that is what happens when you book a cruise most of the time. Every cruise price you see quoted is per person, double-occupancy. It doesn't really seem fair, but the way the cruise lines see it is that they can make a lot of money selling that second bed in your room so if you're going to have it all to yourself then they're going to make you pay more for it. To make matters worse, some cruise lines have begun charging increased port charges to single travelers. NCL doubles the port charges for singles and Princess and Holland America apply their single supplement to the port charges as well as to the cruise fare. Yeah, it sucks.

    Now the better news: Every cruise line is different and every cruise line has different policies regarding singles and what they call the "single supplement." (That's what you pay for the privilege of having that stateroom all to yourself.) These supplements range from 25% to 100% of the quoted cruise fare and vary from cruise to cruise. Not every cruise line dings singles on the port charges either. For example, this month's featured cruise line, River Barge Excursions, normally has a single supplement of 50% but they are offering some summer cruises with a 25% supplement (and $100 onboard credit.)

    A few cruise lines (Holland America, Carnival and Princess) also have single share programs where they will try to find someone to share the stateroom with you and if they can't, you get the room to yourself without the single supplement. I must admit I'd be very afraid to do that, but it's an option. Olivia also does room shares if you don't want to pay the single supplement (much less scary but still a little scary, methinks.)

    Following is a breakdown of the single supplements charged by various cruise lines going from lowest to highest.

    • Silversea - 10 to 100%
    • Crystal - 25 to 50%
    • Seabourn - 25 to 75%
    • Regent Seven Seas - 30 to 100%
    • Holland America, Carnival, Princess - 50 to 100%
    • Cunard, Windstar - 75 to 100%
    • Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, NCL, Oceania - 100%


    River Barge Excursions

    This month's featured cruise line is River Barge Excursions. As its name suggests, this line specializes in River Barge cruises and they travel the major waterways of the South - the Mississippi, Ohio, Illinois and Cumberland Rivers as well the IntraCoastal Waterway along the Louisiana and Texas coasts. We have not sailed this line yet, but we can't wait to try it (you may be noticing that there are lots of cruise lines we can't wait to try - we'll need to win that lottery).

    The vessel (the 196-guest R/B River Explorer) is small and casual - no formal nights, no Broadway shows, no casinos and rock walls and dancing the night away. Rather, River Barge Excursions is about the river. They focus on "Insider" Experiences - shore activities, entertainment and special events allowing you to experience the culture, history and sights of the region you are sailing through. Or, as they put it on their web site, "[we] will help you explore the soul of America, experience its culture and history through visits, song and story. Our focus is always the river."

    River Barge Excursions is also all-inclusive - your fare includes accommodations, entertainment, meals, tips, taxes, port charges and scheduled shore activities. The only thing you will pay for is outgoing telephone calls, gift shop purchases and liquor. And they are offering $100 per person cruise credit on selected Summer 2007 sailings. Give us a call at 1-888-649-2879 or email us if you'd like more information on this very cool cruise line.


    Let Us Make You a Star!! (sort of)

    Want to become
    marginally famous? We spend a lot of time racking our brains to think of good content for this newsletter and we think you could help us make it better. If you would like to be profiled in our "Meet our Users" section, or if you can provide an article profiling a favorite ship, destination or shore excursion, please drop us a line!

    What's in it for you? Fame, fame, fame. And maybe a web link, like the one for 2 Girls Travel - three times in one newsletter!

    Regent Seven Seas
    1 Week Alaska Sale

    Now, through Sunday March 25, Regent Seven Seas is offering 2 for 1 savings on three Alaska 2007 cruises. The voyages are Vancouver to Seward May 23 and June 6 and Seward to Vancouver on May 30. Fares start at $2848 per person. That fare includes a very large balcony suite and all beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

    If you've been thinking about Alaska this summer, Regent Seven Seas is definitely the way to go, and these three voyages are a great value! Give us a call if you'd like us to book for you. 1-888-649-2879


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