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Find shore excursion news for cruisers, Travel Agents and Tour Operators in our ShoreFox Cruise Blog. Fascinating stories, adventures, new opportunities and perspectives: read them here first. From here we post on Facebook and Twitter, and summarize it once a month in a newsletter. Stay tuned with your preferred channel including the RSS feed.


Finding Your Tour Guide Just Got Easier 2015-10-26

Every tour description shows if the tour starts at the cruise pier or you will travel to the meeting point. We always put a text description of how to reach the meeting point, and now we’ve added a map with a marker on it to make it easier to find. You can see an example below. The map shows the meeting point for Civitavecchia, the port of the beautiful town of Rome. In this port, a free shuttle brings people from the dock to the exit of the port. From there, it’s a two minute walk to the meeting point where your guide is waiting and you’ll find it easily with the map.

Voucher with Map and QR-Code

You might be wondering what the squared black-and white box on the left is. That’s a QR-code. You can download a free QR-code reader to your smartphone and scan this box with it. Then, depending on your operating system, either Apple Maps or Google Maps will open and navigate you to the meeting point from wherever you currently are. It couldn’t be easier.

And now one last hint for the techie inside you: Copy and paste or key-in the exact numbers below the QR-code in a Google Maps search box and see what happens. Hint: a route guidance will start after you hit enter since the numbers are longitude and latitude coordinates.

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Cruising to the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda 2015-01-20

September 2013: The Oracle Team was sailing for the America’s Cup in the San Francisco Bay and 1:8 behind the New Zealand Team. Spectacularly, after 15 race days, the Oracle won 9:8. In all of history, sailing never received so much attention.

This win enabled billionaire Larry Ellison, owner of the Oracle, to set the time, the place and the rules for the next America’s Cup race. And change them Ellison did: with faster boats, bigger boats, no more sails, more athleticism, shorter (and more broadcastable) races, and a venue where the races can be watched, in person, for free. Those are some big changes for the oldest trophy in sport.

The rules are set: The boats in the next race series will still be catamarans, though slightly shorter, enabling them to sail - or fly - with the same speed. Five challengers will be competing: England, Sweden, Italy, France, and New Zealand. With an entrance cost and budget of more than $100m, it’s certainly a pricy competition!

The place is set: Three US cities competed to host the event: San Francisco, San Diego, and Chicago. But none of them made the cut. The lucky winner was Bermuda, a British overseas territory. Reportedly it’s also a financial decision: The tax status of the island and a $77m investment package alongside the event contributed to the decision. And of course, geography was a key factor: since Bermuda is located between the US and Europe it becomes more attractive for European companies to pay for broadcasting rights.

The time is set: The event will be held from June 20th to July 23rd 2017. At that time of year Bermuda enjoys pretty stable 12 knots of wind. Not too small for the high-tech race boats and also not too high like San Francisco – where one of the cats flipped.

The 65,000 residents of Bermuda celebrated the award of the event like Carnival. But they still have to wait a while: Four races with smaller cats are planned in preparation, one in Bermuda. And only in 2017 the full optimized large high-tech cats will arrive in the Great Sound.

And last, the most important question for anyone who’s both cruise and sports sailing addicted. By booking the right cruise, can I watch a race from my balcony? Unfortunately the answer is no: All three ports Hamilton, King’s Warf and St. George’s are close, but not that close. But when you plan to be in Bermuda during the event, you better hurry to book your excursions as tourism to the island is expected to be at an all time high. From the last Americas’s Cup in San Francisco we know: Things sell out quickly!

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Best Places To Visit For Breathtaking Fall Foliage Views 2014-09-21

Every fall, New England rolls out a foliage carpet dressed in blazing oranges and reds, yellows and purples. It’s the perfect time to visit the region. Known as “leaf peepers”, travelers come to drive the winding country roads, hike lush mountain paths, and stroll town greens to soak in the vibrant vistas of color. A growing trend in cruising is to take a fall foliage cruise. Imagine sailing in and out of these small harbor towns as their lush colors greet you. Sounds beautiful doesn’t it? If you’re planning a trip to the region, here are the most stunning places to see fall foliage state-by-state.

Early October is prime leaf peeping time for the northern states, while the southern half stretches into late October and even early November. Throughout September and October, these foliage-focused cruises typically depart from Boston, New York, Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J., and Baltimore, and head north to Quebec City or Montreal. Ports of call along the way include Bar Harbor, Maine, Newport, R. I., Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. Many schedules include cruising the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Saguenay Fjord in Canada.

Fall Foliage

Bar Harbor is the largest town on Mount Desert Island, and nearby Acadia National Park encompasses some 50 square miles. Once dubbed the “Philadelphia on the rocks", travelers come to appreciate the striking setting of mountains, woodlands, lakes and ocean waves crashing against granite cliffs. It’s a lovely place for biking and hiking or to relax after a fun day of sightseeing with a delicious lobster roll.

Bar Harbour Maine, ShoreFox

Bayonne, New Jersey is the jumping off point for many fall foliage cruises. It’s a quick ride into New York City where you can view the changing leaves of Central Park beneath the famous skyline of the city. With a myriad of activities held daily in the park, its the perfect place to take a long romantic stroll, enjoy a picnic under the leaves or go out on a boat in the lake.

New York City Fall Foliage

Prince Edward Island is one of the most charming places to visit on a fall foliage cruise. Originally inspiring the famous literary series “Anne of Green Gables”, it was made famous in the books with descriptions of a landscape of “ruby, and emerald, and sapphire…a temple of woods, fields and shore, where the sunset sky shines like a great rose window at the end of a cathedral aisle.” When the leaves change color its simply magical.

Prince Edward Island, ShoreFox

For more information on the idyllic ports of New England, check our the ShoreFox port reviews for everything you need to know to ensure your best cruise vacation.

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Top 10 Tips For Your Carnival Cruise 2014-08-19

10. Visit the Secret Deck: Located at the very front of most Carnival ships, on varying decks depending on the ship, these areas are typically accessed through a door located on either side of the ship all the way forward. Make sure you check the signs carefully, and wear comfortable footwear as you may need to climb up or down small flights of stairs. The best thing about the Secret Deck? It is still relatively private in comparison to other areas of the ship and offers a great place to get away from the crowds and experience some great views.

9. Try New Things: In the traditional dining rooms, you are not limited to only one appetizer and one entree per person. You can order two entrees or three desserts if you choose. You can also order appetizer-sized portions of entrees as starters or order a few appetizers for your main meal. It’s a great way to try new foods you’re not sure you’ll like (escargot, anyone?).

8. Save on Storage Space: Most stateroom bathrooms are quite small with limited storage space. Pack smart and bring a toiletry bag with a hook. These devices are wonderful with separate compartments to hold all your toiletry needs and keep liquids safe from the rest of your clothes. Besides saving space in your luggage, they can help you “unpack” in a flash. Just hang the bag on the hook on the back of your door and you are done - saving the limited counter space for the few items you need to keep by the sink. Also check your stateroom: Carnival designed the bulk of their couches with drawers built in underneath for storage.

7. Bring Your Sense of Adventure: Did you know that most Carnival ships have an onboard water park and watersides? Many also feature a ropes course and outdoor movie screens. Take advantage of all these different activities as they are included in your ticket price. And don’t forget your camera to record the memories!

Group Horseback Riding

6. Outsmart Onboard Internet: Bringing your laptop with you so you can stay in touch? Internet access onboard can be pricey - anywhere from $0.55 per minute and up - so type your emails out in advance. Then when you are ready to send them, long on and paste in the completed text so you can send all your emails in just a few minutes.

5. Keep the Power On: Many staterooms have only one outlet, which isn’t typically enough if you want to be able to charge your laptop, cell phone, iPad - and blow-dry your hair - all at the same time. Bring a small power strip with you and tuck it under your desk out of the way so that you can keep all your devices fully charged and not have your camera battery run out at a critical moment.

4. Stay Connected: Traveling with a group on one of the larger ships? Consider bringing along walkie-talkies to keep everyone connected onboard the ship without cell phone roaming charges.

3. Eat on Your Terms: Carnival ships all feature both traditional dining and specialty restaurants. If you enjoy group dining and making small talk with strangers (and new friends!) then eating in the traditional main dining room is a cruise staple you will enjoy. But if you prefer to have a more flexible schedule and want to try different cuisines then include specialty dining in your planning. Unlike the general dining room which is included in your cruise, there is usually a flat entrance fee to the specialty restaurants and some of them even offer a la carte dining.

2. Tip Smartly: Many crew positions onboard depend on your gratuities to supplement their income. Carnival includes those gratuities (covering your stateroom attendant, your waiter etc.) in your cruise fare. But what about the bartenders and bar servers? For every drink you order a 15% gratuity will be automatically added to the bill. Had outstanding service and want to add on more? Go right ahead. Just know what you are signing for.

1. Book Your Shore Excursions in Advance: Popular shore excursions usually sell out if you wait to book them while onboard and they can be very expensive. Besides who wants to spend their time ashore with a herd of people? Book in advance with professional tour operators through ShoreFox - you can save up to 40% from cruise prices, get better service away from the crowds and have an amazing time.

Looking for more in depth information on the ports of call you are going to visit? Check out our complementary Port Reviews available for each port of call - and packed with everything you need to know to make the most of your time ashore.

Happy Children Snorkeling

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Top 10 Tips For Your Mediterranean Cruise Vacation 2014-08-01

10 - Get There the Night Before: Before you make your air arrangements, consider arriving at least one day before the start of your cruise. Besides the chance that your air travel is delayed due to weather or airline difficulties, there is a lot to see in the homeport of your cruise ship. Why not take advantage of seeing the local area so that you can begin your vacation on the right foot? Whether your cruise ship is departing from Barcelona, Athens, Venice or beyond, book a sightseeing excursion in your home port to extend your cruise vacation and make the first day of your cruise more than just a long checkin process.

9 - Pack a Carry On: With tens of thousands of pieces of luggage being delivered onboard the ship each boarding day, it can take a while for your suitcase to arrive. Pack anything you need for the afternoon and first evening on the ship (including medications, bathing suit, toiletries, valuables, evening clothes to change into etc.) so that you don’t end up waiting for hours in your stateroom for your luggage. And what about all your gadgets? Make sure to keep those with you - just like when you fly we don’t recommend that you pack them in your regular luggage.

8 - Get Ready for Formal Night: The elegance of formal night tradition is still alive and well on most Mediterranean cruises. With an international mix of guests onboard, the formal nights tend to be observed and you will see men in suits and women in evening wear. So pack appropriately, grab a glass of champagne and get ready to shine!

Venice Sightseeing

7 - Have Breakfast in Bed: On a port day, breakfast can get crowded as everyone tries to eat at the same time before getting off the ship. Our advice? The night before an early-morning excursion, order room service. It’s complementary and you won’t get stuck in a long buffet line and risk missing your departure. Better yet, if you have a balcony - you can eat outside as you sail into port. Mediterranean ports make for breathtaking arrivals. Our favorite? Seeing the colorful houses of Villefranche tucked into the hills over morning coffee.

6 - Outsmart Onboard Internet: Bringing your laptop or tablet with you so you can stay in touch? Internet access onboard can be pricey - anywhere from $0.55 per minute and up - so type your emails out in advance before you connect. Then when you are ready to send them, long on and paste in the completed text so you can send all your emails in just a few minutes.

5 - Sightsee in Comfort: Public toilets in Europe are generally well maintained and available in cities and sightseeing areas. The cost of that maintenance is passed on to the user - most toilets will charge a fee (typically a 50 cent piece) for entrance. Make sure to carry coins with you as proper change makes it easier in case they don’t have change!

4 - Dress Appropriately: Going to visit some religious sites? It’s best to dress conservatively then as a matter of respect. Ladies should keep their shoulders and bare legs covered (a light shawl in you purse is a lifesaver!) and men should keep their legs covered as well.

Ferrari

3 - Take Precautions: High concentrations of tourists make prime targets for thieves. Many pickpockets now work in groups with an accomplice to distract you while the thief divests you of your wallet. For peace of mind, carry with you only what money you need that day. If you carry a credit or ATM card, ensure you have another one tucked safely back onboard in your stateroom safe.

2 - Know the Tipping Customs: In Europe, standard service gratuity is not expected by waiters, taxi drivers, maids etc. All those positions earn a fair wage from their employers. When dining at a restaurant, just rounding up the bill with a few coins will be sufficient.

1 - Book Your Excursions in Advance: Popular shore excursions can sell out if you wait to book them while onboard and they are usually expensive with large tour groups. Besides who wants to spend their day waiting in line to book activities? Book in advance with professional tour operators through ShoreFox - with affordable public tours, incredible private tours and amazing experiences you can’t find anywhere else - Ferrari driving anyone? - we guarantee that you will have your best day on shore.

Looking for more in depth information on the ports of call you are going to visit? Check out our complementary Port Reviews available for each port of call - and packed with everything you need to know to make the most of your time ashore.

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