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Cruising with Sculpted Escapes….By: Brianna Korb

I have always loved to travel, especially internationally, meeting new people and experiencing  new cultures. At the end of my trip, I always allow myself time to reflect and remind myself of  how blessed I am to live in the US. It always surprises me that traveling nourishes my mental  and emotional health in ways nothing else can. So, as 2021 continues, or perhaps you are  looking forward to a memorable trip in 2022, know that you need to do what is right for you  and allow others to do what is right for them.  

My husband and I just got back from a week-long cruise in the Bahamas on Crystal Cruise Line.  So I want to offer some information about traveling now and what you should think about and  be aware of when planning your next vacation. 

First, we had to apply for a travel visa to go to the Bahamas; right as we were getting ready to  leave, the Bahamas now requires a negative Covid test to arrive. I have been recommending  my clients take a Covid test before traveling anywhere outside of the US. This way, my clients  know if they might be carrying the virus and not showing any symptoms. We then also had to  

be tested by the cruise line before getting on the cruise ship. This test is required for all  passengers each week, along with proof of vaccination. In addition, the entire crew onboard the  vessel is tested each week, vaccinated, and quarantined for 14 days before the cruises started  in July. They also wear masks correctly and are not allowed to disembark at any ports of call.  When people asked me how I felt about being safe on the cruise, I could not have felt safer.  When I think about the cruise line’s safety measures compared to any hotel, resort, restaurant,  or store, I wish everyone, and every place was held to this high standard. Also, the level of  service was astounding. There were 300 guests onboard our ship and 800 crew members. All  of the crew was so happy to see us again, and you could tell how glad they were to be sailing  and working again. I lost count of the number of times I was asked if someone could get me  anything, help me with anything, or answer questions that I asked them about themselves and  their families. The hardest part of leaving the ship was knowing I would not be welcomed back 

to the US with this same gratitude. There were some changes that we noticed as seasoned  cruisers; most were for the better. 

1) The Muster Drill was done personally at your muster station. We talked to the crew in  charge of our lifeboat, and they explained all the rules to follow in case we heard the  emergency alarm. This was a vast improvement over waiting for all guests to gather in specific  locations to listen to this information simultaneously. 

2) Ice, fruit, and chocolate were only brought to your room if you requested them from your  butler. I enjoyed this new method as it cut down on food waste.  

 

3) All the buffet lines were served by a crew member. You told them what item you wanted,  and they put it on your plate and brought it to your table.  

4) Masks were required on tender boats and in the Bahamas. However, the cruise line did not  require vaccinated passengers to wear masks during the cruise. 

5) Our temperature was checked when we entered each restaurant for a meal, but room  service was also available, so we only noticed this addition for dinner.

 

If you have never taken a cruise before I think you should consider looking into one for the  following reasons: 

1) The food on Crystal was excellent! I don’t usually enjoy cruise food, but it is hard to choose  when it tastes good, and there are so many options. The cruise has restaurants onboard that  feature a sushi bar, Brazilian steakhouse, Italian choices, grill food, and a premium wine pairing  dinner. All these restaurants are in addition to the traditional dining room that has a new menu  each night.

2) The onboard entertainment is second to none. Whether you are looking for a laugh, which  we can all use right now, or want to hear live music by various musical talent, all this and more  can be done on the cruise ship. We even went to a magic show with 20 other guests to see  close-up magic done by a Las Vegas magician. 

3) The crew and how hard they work to make your vacation memorable is genuinely my  favorite part of cruising. Being greeted by name does not happen at massive resorts. I always  suggest small boutique hotels for my clients as I want them to feel that the vacation is made  just for them. Small touches such as the sommelier from dinner seeing you in the cafe the  following day and asking how you enjoyed your excursion make a guest feel valued and wanting  to return. 

I have both domestic and international trips planned for the remainder of 2021. Here are three  things I will continue to do to keep myself safe and able to travel. 

1) I will continue to have a Covid test done before I leave the country.

2) I will purchase travel insurance to make sure I can fly back to the US. This policy is available  to everyone, and the cost depends on your age, destination, and length of your trip. 3) I will continue to feel refreshed after taking time for myself and allowing myself to reflect on  how beneficial travel can be for me and others. 

If you have any questions about my travels or travels of your own, I am happy to talk and see  what might work best for what you have in mind. I can be reached at  

[email protected]

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