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7 Reasons to Book a Cruise for 2021 Now



With the fate of 2020 cruises still unknown, yet probably unlikely, it is time to begin planning for next year. This year’s uncertainty is not the only reason to book a cruise for 2021 now. In fact, we highly suggest you start examining the cruise line websites to find your perfect voyage departing sometime next year. Here are the 7 reasons why right now is the perfect time to book a cruise for 2021.

7 Reasons to Book a Cruise for 2021 Now

Availability of Cruises in 2021

When it comes to 2020, what cruises, if any, will actually set sail is still a mystery. We are much more confident that cruise ships will be allowed to sail from U.S. ports in 2021.

All cruise lines have admitted that cruising will return in a phased roll-out approach. Yet, many cruise lines still have most ships available for booking on their websites. This doesn’t coincide with the gradual roll-out of ships in the fleet. So, odds are, there will still be many further cancellations to come.

Why miss out on a cruise because you chose the wrong ship?

There is a much greater likelihood that more ships and sailings scheduled for next year will cruise as planned.

Still, you can be prepared by selecting a sailing that is less likely to be cancelled. Think cruises leaving from major cruise ports like Florida and cruises visiting private islands.

In fact, we highly suggest those eager to be among the first to cruise book a 3 or 4-day cruise from one of the Florida homeports.

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Best Cabin Selection

Another reason to book a cruise for 2021 now has to do with the availability of cabins.

Given that cruise lines will be sailing at reduced capacity, planning in advance will give you greater options for the trip, as well as a better cabin selection. While cruise lines might be selling all cabin types, we suggest booking a balcony or higher to allow for access to fresh air.

Be cautious of pricing when comparing cruises, as many of those “low fares” are for inside cabins or porthole view rooms.

Even with the implementation of a number of new protocols, we certainly do not want to risk being quarantined in an inside room.

Taking advantage of current rates, as well as the ability to choose your ideal room location, booking that 2021 cruise as soon as possible will ensure you get the best cabin for the best rate.

Related Post: When Cruise Lines Plan to Resume Cruising

Take Advantage of Sales and Promotions

Speaking of best rates, cruise lines are always running new promotions and sales. With the cruise lines looking to secure as much capital as possible right now, many of them are extending these sale rates for cruises in 2021 too.

We generally book our trips about 8-12 months in advance anyway. In our experience, booking early secures the best price. This cruise tip is especially true for the newer and larger ships.

While we have not seen huge discounts on pricing due to the pandemic, we have seen frequent promotions on cruise planner items and an increase in perks offered. This goes for both cruise lines and travel agents.

Free gratuities, onboard credit, drink package deals, and other bonus offers are popping up all over the place. Taking advantage of the promotional prices and/or these added benefits is certainly worth it.

Take Advantage of Flexible Cancellations

While we love to cruise, we don’t love the cruise line’s typical cancellation policies. Normally, you have between 90 to 120 days before the trip to cancel without penalty. Even at these distant time frames, many cruise fare rates still forfeit your deposit.

Well, to encourage cruisers to book their 2021 cruise now, many cruise lines are extending their generous 2020 cancellation policies to next year.

For example, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Peace of Mind policy applies to cruises through October of 2021. Cruisers can cancel a 2021 cruise up to two weeks in advance, and NCL will issue a future cruise credit for all funds paid towards the trip. This credit will need to be applied to cruises through December 2022.

Similarly, Royal Caribbean has extended its Cruise with Confidence policy on sailings through the end of 2021.

When cruisers book by the end of September, they will have the ability to cancel up to 48 hours in advance and still receive a future cruise credit for all monies paid on a cruise. This credit can be applied to cruises through April 2022.

Use Your Future Cruise Credit

Did you already have a cruise cancelled this year?

Well, if you took a future cruise credit, now is the perfect time to apply that extra percentage to a cruise or two in 2021.

Most cruise lines are offering cruisers an extra 25% with the future cruise credits. Using those funds to pay for a trip that might already be discounted gives you even greater savings. This might be enough to book a second trip or perhaps upgrade to a higher room category.

If you have several cruise credits, make sure to use all of these funds before they expire by planning your 2021 cruise now.

We had our trip on Carnival Mardi Gras cancelled twice already, so we were able to apply the deposit, a 25% voucher, and $600 of onboard credit to our new sailing.

Essentially, we were able to get a balcony room for close to half off on a brand new ship. Not a bad deal! Now, we are just keeping our fingers crossed that this cruise is not cancelled too due to further delays in delivery.

Related Post: All Cruise Line Cancellations Due to the Coronavirus

More Time to Pay it Off

The pandemic has not only affected cruise travel.

This global crisis has impacted every aspect of life on land as well. For many, this means cut wages and hours, furloughs, and other negative economic outcomes.

We speak from personal experience as both of us have had hours cut/partial furloughs at work.

So, having extra time to pay for your next cruise is probably a welcomed option. Plus, many cruise lines are even running deals with reduced deposits. That means, you will not need to put down much money to secure your preferred sailing and ship.

Spreading out the payments over the next several months can make it more financially feasible for cruisers to take a trip. This is especially true for those bargain hunters who normally select inside cabins but are opting to upgrade to a balcony for fresh air.

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Beating the Rush to Cruise

The cruise lines are working closely with government officials and agencies to implement health and safety measures. While there are European cruise lines that have started sailing with these new procedures, the effectiveness is not yet known.

Once these new procedures are tested and widely adopted, cruise lines will likely start earning back the trust of travelers. Thereby, more individuals will be inclined to book cruises. With more individuals looking to cruise, prices could increase. Further, ships could fill up quickly given the reduced capacities. This means you could miss out on that long awaited cruise!

As more cruises set sail, we can only hope that the reports are of happy and safe cruisers, which will certainly increase demand. Given the slow roll-out of ships in the fleet, cruise lines will not necessarily have the means to meet the cruiser demand.

So, don’t wait, booking your 2021 cruise now can help you avoid the rush.


Do you have plans to cruise in 2021? Have you booked your trip(s) for next year yet? Drop us an anchor below with your upcoming cruise plans.

The post 7 Reasons to Book a Cruise for 2021 Now appeared first on

By: Don
Title: 7 Reasons to Book a Cruise for 2021 Now
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Published Date: 8/11/2020 4:06:42 PM

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Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday




Days spent on hiking is beneficial to every individual involved. It boosts up metabolism, burns out calories, releases oxytocin, and strengthens the muscles while keeping our bodily functions alert sharpening our senses. Hiking is a delightful way to explore places with our loved ones, friends, and relatives, so if you know a hiker inside your closest circle, giving them quality presents that can be used for hiking can enhance their experiences.

Black Friday Outdoor Equipment Deals

Hiking and wilderness exploration can be an excellent dynamic activity open to everyone. For some of us, a common detriment that we encounter is the amount of gear and equipment to prepare and bring for each of our adventures. These things should ensure our safety and convenience while being able to function proportionate to our needs.

Every seasoned backpacker or trekking enthusiast may indulge in quality tools and equipment that can assist them with their undertakings. If you know a passionate hiker you can read this review of the north face jester backpack in case you are wondering what to give them as a gift this coming holiday. Remember that the gear you want to present to them is manufactured with rugged materials built to withstand the strains and difficulties of natural terrain and different atmospheric conditions.

Black Friday is one of our most awaited shopping days of the year since it gives us the opportunity to land affordable deals with items of interest. Several companies have already launched many discounts and sales three weeks early before the actual event happens. More enterprises and products are expected to follow this trend until the ultimate showcase of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

If you want to purchase gifts in the form of outdoor gear and equipment, some of them are already accessible for early acquisition. But it is recommended to wait for Black Friday to avail them at their most discounted price. Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a shopping experience you do not want to miss when choosing and buying the best equipment for your next hiking activity.

Top Black Friday Gifts for the Hiking Enthusiast

Every outdoor specialist or hiking enthusiast knows the value that every tool on their arsenal can bring them while on the trail. They know that the quality of each item is proportionate to the function with their primary purpose. Modern-day equipment is built with robust materials that perform in conjunction with each personal need during any hiking adventure.

Hiking Jacket

Any person that wants to go on a hike should be prepared with every possibility. Rain, snow, hail, sleet, are probabilities that come naturally with adverse atmospheric conditions. Having a reliable hiking jacket layered with quality waterproof and tear-resistant fabrics keeps you dry while regulating your sweat output and body temperature.

Hydration Flask

Modern fluid flasks come in various forms such as the camel bak that lets you sip water or the rugged hydro flask manufactured with industrial metals. One of the difficulties caused by strenuous activities such as mountain climbing, jogging, hiking, or PT is the onset of dehydration. Outdoor items such as flasks and hydrating-equipment are designed to accompany every adventurer while providing them enough fluids during their journey.

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes are built with nylon, advanced composites, and durable yet lightweight fabrics. These shoes are designed to be waterproof while having a slip-resistant base that helps you grasp even the slimiest surfaces. They are also incorporated with enough padding and fits well with the contours of your feet that aids in preventing physical damages and discomfort while hiking or navigating rough terrain.

Campground Tents

In case your hiking ends up in a two or more day ordeal, having a convenient camping tent may provide you immediate shelter and a forward outpost. Camping tents are now capable of fitting in 8 people all at once built with reliable and flexible all-weather fabrics supported by modular poles for quick builds. These tents can be easily folded and stored in a carrying bag for travel convenience.


Hiking is an enjoyable activity that everyone can benefit from. It is great for exploring natural areas of the earth while providing enough exercise to burn out calories and excess fat stored while sitting in the office. If you know an outdoor enthusiast, then Black Friday can be a great opportunity to gather items valuable to their next adventure.

The post Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.

By: Shahbaz Ahmed
Title: Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday
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Published Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2020 13:44:00 +0000

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Surprise Alaska 50% bonus promotion, buy miles at 1.83 cents per mile





A surprise Alaska 50% bonus promotion is underway right now, where members can purchase miles with up to 50% bonus. The current promotion of up to 50% bonus is applicable on minimum purchase of 30K miles, on transactions completed by December 23, 2020.


Link to Promotion


This promotion is tiered with 40% bonus on purchase of up to 29k miles. Minimum purchase of 30K miles is required for the 50% bonus. The bonus tiers look like this;

  • Buy 3,000 – 29,000 miles, get a 40% bonus
  • Buy 30,000 – 100,000 miles, get a 50% bonus

With a 50% bonus, this promotion yields 1.83 cents per mile – a decent value. Note that Alaska MileagePlan has has 60% bonus promotions in the past, which yield 1.72 cents per mile. The current promotion can be maximized by purchasing 100K miles, for a total of 150,000 Alaska miles;

Recall that Alaska airlines will not be joining OneWorld alliance until March 31, 2021, which means a window to leverage the sweet spots in the program. In its current state, Alaska miles are one of the most valuable airlines currency in the market and come with great airline partners and routing sweet spots (including stopover on on-way awards) – couple of examples;

  • Cathay Pacific from North America to Asia (Cathay Pacific Business Class on 777-300ER review 2018), o/w for 30K/35K/50K/70K across all cabins
  • Fiji Airways (no first class) and Qantas from North America to Australia, o/w for 55k in Business or 70K in First Class
  • American Airlines from North America to Europe, o/w for 22.5K/57.5K across Econ and Business

If you plan on purchasing miles, I recommend using them in a short turnaround, because there is a good chance we see some devaluations as the generous Alaska MileagePlan joins OneWorld.

Additional Terms and Conditions of the promotion

  • Transactions must be completed between 6:00 AM PST November 13, 2020 and 11:59 PM PST December 23, 2020 to be eligible for bonus miles.

  • Miles are purchased from Inc. for a cost of $27.50 per 1,000 miles, plus GST/HST for Canadian residents. QST will be charged to Quebec residents.

  • Miles are non-refundable and do not count toward MVP and MVP/Gold status.

  • You may purchase and gift Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles in increments of 1,000 miles up to 60,000 miles, and in increments of 5,000 miles up to a maximum of 100,000 miles per transaction.

  • MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K Mileage Plan member (Elite Member) accounts have no annual limit on the number of miles which may be purchased or gifted through If you are not an Elite Member, your account may only be credited up to a maximum total of 150,000 miles acquired through in a calendar year, whether purchased by you or gifted to you.

  • Offer is subject to change and all terms and conditions of the Mileage Plan Program apply.


By: Points Miles and Bling
Title: Surprise Alaska 50% bonus promotion, buy miles at 1.83 cents per mile
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Published Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2020 18:05:04 +0000

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Sponsored: The Modern Sapien: Book One: The American – Sci-Fi, Apocalyptic, Satire Book Review




Sponsored – this review is sponsored by writer of The Modern Sapien, John Michael Thomas.



For the most part, I’ve been stuck inside since March, due to COVID-19. I’ve had to cancel plenty of travel plans, and have been cooped up in my place due to my pre-existing condition making COVID a higher threat for people like me. While I have been daydreaming and planning future trips – late in 2021, hopefully – I’ve been trying to improve my knowledge base and read more. The author reached out and asked if I’d do a review, and I said I’d be happy to read and review. I purchased The Modern Sapien on Amazon for $2.99 for Kindle, and there is also a paperback and Kindle Unlimited subscription option.

Per the author, The Modern Sapien “…takes place in future phoenix, and is a satirical take on the way we live. It’s sci fi cyberpunk.” Sounds good to me, I’m a huge fan of sci-fi, alternative history, and the like from authors like Robert Conroy or Harry Turtledove, so this should be a fun review. I’m writing this as I read through it, which is something I have not done before.

Cover art from Amazon


Initial Thoughts

I’m not even 10% into the book, and it lives up to what he said – satirical take on the way we live. Set ~80 years in the future, the EU has launched their neucular arsenal against what’s left of the United States, based in Phoenix, and people are not only not afraid, they welcome the destruction. Lots of discussion about warring hash-tags and selfies and the misery olympics, between presumably better-off people of Phoenix ‘almost’ dying and having conniptions, and the “poverty-stricken Malawi” saying welcome-to-my-everyday-life in Africa. Definitely a very reputation-oriented culture in this book, which reminded me of the episode “Majority Rule” by FOX’s Orville by Seth McFarlane, where citizens rate each other and appearance is everything.
The book’s structure of data entries from various character’s point of view is a bit jarring, not entirely setting the stage for readers to grasp. Who is this person, why is this person the perspective that is important – is not entirely clear. Similar to the World War Z book where it’s told from different person’s perspectives, perhaps later in the book they’ll tie together somehow.
Modern Sapien paints a fantastical, disparate picture of the world 80 years in the future, due to the devastation from something called the “Seattle Hack” led by evil villain Jeff Bezos, and how companies became conglomerates and their own city-states to survive. There’s a online universe called the Nexus, which is similar to the Oasis from Ready Player One or the Matrix virtual reality, but with the real-life costs of the movie Surrogates, where the humans still need nutrients to survive. It is strongly anti-consumerism, I think, highlighting the reverence and honor paid to the Red Solo cup for example, as a goal to be achieved – everyone wants an authentically created one, rather than a “fabricated” product.
A quarter of the way in, the book starts to explain the setting. I’m a bit confused why it’s brought up here, when it should have been at the beginning, but I just shrug and move on.
I learned a lot more about encryption than I cared or needed to know, but interesting nonetheless, at a very basic level.


While it is sci-fi and futuristic, it is relatable, such as when the Japanese kid at his graduation party (called adulting party) gets mobbed by far off relatives he barely knows, or is forced by his parents to make small talk and say hello to people he just could not care about. I certainly understand that feeling, as growing up I was told to go say hi to this person or talk to that person, and I just hated feeling like a talking, dancing monkey.

There’s a very good Handmaid’s Tale vibe of sacrificing freedoms for security with protection military and drones. Give up your guns, and everyone is safe (thanks to the drones)

Very distinct sci-fi vibe, maybe steampunk I could see as well.



As I’m progressing through the book I’m getting a very weird Brave New World vibe where everything, everyone has its place. The satire continues, as the author mocks vegetarians, war hawks, gun nuts, the younger generation, social media obsession, consumerism, religion, and many other topics. Very interesting, making me develop a mental ??? as I’m reading through it.



I did notice and do some double-takes over various typos in the book, which I assume an editor would have caught, which can change the wording or meaning of the sentences. That’s not ideal, but a good first effort. I would certainly read more about other books in the series once they are released, and for a reasonable $3 for 200+ pages, I’m pretty pleased with this purchase, sponsored or not. It boots you off to this parallel world where things are different, yet vaguely the same. I was not expecting some of the NSFW language or scenes I found in the book, so I wouldn’t prescribe it for young adults, but to each their own.

You can purchase a copy or learn more about the book on Amazon here.



Sponsored – this review is sponsored by writer of The Modern Sapien, John Michael Thomas.

Featured Image is from Pixabay. Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which, should you click through and/or make a purchase, grant me a commission. Also, I only post in the best interest of my readers. Lastly, thank you for supporting my blog and my travels. 

What do you think of my writing? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments, or reach me directly at! Like my posts? See more here, on TravelUpdate! Follow me on Facebook (The Hotelion) or on Twitter and Instagram: @TheHotelion

By: The Hotelion
Title: Sponsored: The Modern Sapien: Book One: The American – Sci-Fi, Apocalyptic, Satire Book Review
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Published Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2020 01:41:35 +0000

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