National Parks free to active military and families

The usual entry fees of up to $80 for all U.S. National Parks are now waived for active military and their families.

To get in free, it’s required to show Defense Department identification at any of the 2,000 National Park locations. For more information, go to www.nps.gov/index.htm

Tips: Common myths about cruises ... all wrong! PDF Print E-mail

Cruising can be a whole new and exciting life experience
If you’ve never been on a cruise before, and have been asked or talked into sailing on your first one, many thoughts will go through your mind. For the first-time sailor, there are the typical fears based on myths we’ve all heard before. Most are mere rumors, old wives’ (and old husbands’) tales, To put your mind at ease, you should examine each one.

1. You’ll suffer from seasickness: This is an old myth that may have been true for passengers on the Mayflower. On modern cruise ships, even in high seas, there are stabilizers that tightly regulate the ships’ movements. You’ll feel about as much shaking as you’d experience in a luxury car on a smooth highway. Actually, you’ll probably find the gentle motions of the ship will lull you to peaceful sleep in your cabin at night.


Replay of Battle of Germantown, 1777 PDF Print E-mail

Re-enactors portray British Redcoats attacking Rebel lines

Tip: How to assure your safety on a cruise PDF Print E-mail

Try rock climb aboard, but only if physically fit

Because of constant tight security, cruise ships are much safer than any other vacation venue, including hotels, amusement parks, beaches and mountain resorts. Everyone aboard, both crew and passengers, is registered and accounted for. There are no casual strangers aboard, as you’d find anywhere else on your travels.

However, despite all the protections, crimes and accidents do occur on cruise ships. Some tips from cruise experts and frequent sailors may help you have a safe trip on your next sailing.

Royal Palace Guards, London, England PDF Print E-mail

British soldiers

Tips: Cruise dinner conversation starters PDF Print E-mail

Formal diners

Let’s create the scenario. You’re on a cruise by yourself or with a travel pal, both hoping to meet someone new and interesting. Tonight you’re all spiffed up and looking your absolute best for the main dress-up dinner, so this may be your opportunity.

You’re assigned to a table of ten, and you’re in luck. The person sitting next to you is very good-looking, about your age, so you cleverly come up with sparkling questions, all great conversation starters.

1. Is this your first cruise? This can get some reaction, especially if that person is actually on a first cruise. You can now reveal all of your great knowledge of cruising. Even if this is your first cruise, too, you’ve studied up so you can be an authority on features of the ship, entertainment schedule, spa, pool, best places for food and booze, and which shore excursion is the very best.

2. What’s your hometown? Whatever town your soon-to-be-friend names, you have something pleasant to say about it. For example: Oh, so you’re from Lancaster, Pa. I’ve been there many times. Love the pretzels and family-style restaurants. New York City? I go there every year for the Rockettes show at Radio City. If the answer is Newark or Cleveland, you’ll have to think hard, but clever you will come up with something nice to say about any hometown.


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