A luxury cruise is one of life’s delights. Indeed, luxury cruises are perfect for holidaymakers who want to conveniently and elegantly see the world. Most contemporary luxury cruise liners have crafted marvellous expeditions to provide the very best service, lodging, food and adventure.

In recent years, luxury cruise businesses have invested billions in astonishingly incredible ships. The economic downturn in travel has triggered considerable capacity in the market and has given smart holidaymakers unbelievable cruises at remarkably low prices. With all the travel activity moving towards the seas, the only thing left to do is to find the right one for you.

Here are some top tips on how to achieve the luxury cruise vacation of a lifetime:

Ask the Right Questions

The first question you could ask yourself is, which luxury cruise line complements my character? Review testimonials, ask questions on travel site message boards and communicate with experienced travel representatives to whittle down the best options for you.

Small Ships Offer Big Benefits

Huge ships provide remarkable range and activity while small ships with a capacity for fewer than 1000 guests commonly offer much better value. Small ships are able to sail into ports that the larger ships cannot reach. With just a few hundred guests in port instead of a couple of thousand, you won’t be part of a mass tourist experience.

Balcony Cabins Are Ideal

Reserve a balcony if you take pleasure in a ‘room with a view’. From a balcony cabin you can watch the sun paint shades of peaches and cream across the evening sky. Or you can dine on coffee and croissants as the ship moves past a mesmerising landscape. You just get one shot at seeing a few of the world’s most memorable destinations so why not have it be from your own personalised balcony.

Luxury liners go to unique locations to give you uninterrupted leisure or excitement. There are such a variety of choices available to every holidaymaker that you are bound to find one that suits you. Even if you’ve travelled in the past, it is unlikely that you will have experienced the splendour of today’s brand new marvels.

It can happen in a moment, usually after a life-changing realization or event. Everything goes dark. The air in your body gets sucked from your lungs. A lead ball crashes into your core, leaving you weak. Your throat constricts and your body begins to sweat. Your heart races. Your temples pound. We have all been there.

I can remember this happening to me a few times in my life. Something completely unexpected happens. You get a devastating phone call; you're counting on people and no one shows up; you wake up from a lie and realize just how shaky the ground you've been standing on is. These moments send you reeling down the rabbit hole into the deep dark abyss.

You think you'll never recover from whatever it is, but most of us do eventually. Once we have regained equilibrium, we look back and wonder how we got from there to here, and then we swear that we will NEVER go back there again.

Yet we do that, too. You see, that is the evolution of life. Pain is often the catalyst for periods of intense growth, when we are ready to shed the old, but are not yet ready to embrace the new. Pain is perhaps the defining characteristic when we are thrashing about in the murky waters of denial, shame, fear, anger, and doubt until we regain the strength to swim to the nearest shore.

The times I have spent in the rabbit hole have been scary as well as painful. I will admit that I have wanted to run, hide or find anything just to make it stop. I have prayed that I would fall asleep and wake up to the realization that it was all just a dream. The truth is, there is no way around it. We can temporarily avoid it but it will always come back until either the lesson is learned or we have been awakened from a deep sleep. It would be nice if growth could come in prettier packages and with detailed instruction manuals to follow, and at times it does. But if you are anything like me, with a stubborn streak, then there are times when the Universe has no other choice but to bring the hammer down. Not to punish us, but to awaken us.

EVERY time I have been in the darkness, I have learned something new — about myself and about the lessons I have come to this life to learn. I have gained more insight into my deeper truth and have brought healing to my core wounds. I have learned to reach out and ask for support so I do not drown in the pain. And once I have climbed out of the rabbit hole, I see the enormous gifts that I received from my time there.

I am not going to lie and say I look forward to these periods of painful growth, but I will say that they no longer frighten me as they once did. You see I have gotten the tools and recourses that I have needed to see in the dark. My faith, my purpose, my truth, and my courage have been loyal companions. There are moments that I forget that they are there, but before long I am reminded again.

We will NEVER be able to outrun the darkness. The more we run, the more painful the process. It will inevitably find us lurking behind some tree or hiding underneath the bed. We eventually have to face it.

Wouldn't it be great if you knew what to do when it comes knocking at your door?

What if you could befriend it so that you can learn quickly what it has come to teach you? ?

AND…

What if you no longer had to constantly fear the day that it will find you so that you can live FULLY in the present?


About Suzanne Hanna

Suzanne Hanna is a Licensed Psychotherapist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Coach, Writer, and Inspirational Speaker. She has helped hundreds of men and women move through their fear and pain as a way to live a more Inspired Life. Suzanne believes that it is up to the mid-lifers and beyond to come out from the shadows of their own fear, pain and shame in order to be the way – showers for the younger generations.

"I am on a mission to remove the stigma around fear, pain and shame. I want to teach others about the importance of the journey into darkness in order to reclaim their power and true selves. I believe it is the ONLY way to get to personal freedom. Several years ago I went on my own version of The Wilderness Walk when I hiked across the United States with my golden retriever Grace. It changed my life." http://www.thewildernesswalk.com/

Choosing life insurance can be a big decision – one that you definitely want to get right. But how do you know when you should get life insurance? Are you ever too young or old to get life insurance? Who does life insurance work best for? How do you find the right policy for you?

These are just some of the questions people ask when they are thinking about getting life insurance. And they are all good questions to ask – which is why we have set ourselves the task of answering them.

What does life insurance offer?

There is not one specific type of life insurance. Each insurer and each policy can offer different levels of cover and different types of cover. However, the basic idea behind life insurance is that it helps to offer financial protection to those you leave behind.

Say you have a partner, a few kids and a mortgage. If you were no longer around, could your partner cope financially? Who would pay the mortgage, the bills, the school fees, the day-to-day expenses? If your family relies on your income, life insurance can offer a substitute for that income to help them get back on their feet.

Life insurance also offers other features. Funeral cover can be included in a life insurance policy, which can provide a fast payout to help cover funeral expenses. Some policies also offer early payouts for terminal illness or loss of sight or limbs, which could help to cover everyday expenses or medical treatment.

When should you get life insurance?

There is no age when you must get life insurance. Life insurance depends more on your circumstances than your age.

If you have people who depend on you financially, then life insurance could be beneficial. If you have a partner, kids, an elderly relative, or anyone else who depends on you, your life insurance payout could make life much easier for them if you were no longer around.

Similarly, if you have financial obligations, such as a mortgage, loans or credit card debts, you need to think about how your family would cope paying those off if something were to happen to you. A life insurance payout could pay off the mortgage or other debts, allowing your family to worry less about their finances.

How do you choose the right health insurance?

Before you look into getting life insurance, first find out if you have any cover elsewhere. You may have life insurance with work, or included in your superannuation. If that's the case, work out how much cover you have, and whether you need more.

To work out how much life insurance you need, try using a life insurance calculator, or speak to a professional. Even if you work part time or you are a stay-at-home parent, don't undervalue the work you do at home as a cook, a cleaner, a nanny, and a taxi driver!

To find the best life insurance, research all your options and compare policies and insurers. Think about how much you will pay, but don't choose your policy just because it's cheap, as it may not offer the cover you need. When you find the right policy, review it regularly to make sure it keeps pace with your changing lifestyle.

For some, buying a home will always be the dream. However, changing economic conditions have created a new ideal, for those who do not want to buy, or cannot afford to buy. Generation Rent, as they are sometimes known, choose renting over buying, and are especially common in large cities where house prices are high.

But which option is better? Should you rent or should you buy? The answer to this will depend on your own circumstances. However, here are our top six reasons why buying is better than renting.

Improving your credit

Having a mortgage can help to improve your credit – as long as you treat it correctly and always pay your repayments in full and on time. When you apply for credit – such as another loan or a credit card – the credit provider will check your credit history to assess your credit worthiness. If you have a mortgage and consistently pay your repayments on time, lenders will generally look on your credit applications more favourably.

Borrowing against your home

Having your own home can allow you to borrow against it and use it as collateral. If you want to apply for a personal loan, you may use your house as security. If your mortgage is in good shape, the personal loan should be easier to get, and as it is secured against your house, the interest rate you pay may be lower. However, don't risk your home with a loan you cannot afford – only take out credit against your home if you are sure you can pay it back.

Creating a nest egg

This is one of the main reasons to buy instead of rent. As you pay off your mortgage, you own more and more of your home (unless it's an interest-only mortgage). Once your mortgage has been paid off, the house is yours. When you retire, you won't have to worry about paying rent each month, and you have a substantial asset in your name.

Buying can be cheaper

In some areas and in some circumstances, buying can be cheaper than renting. Compare the differences in your area, and think about whether buying your own place would work out cheaper in the short term and the long term. Use a mortgage repayment calculator to work out a home loan repayment schedule that works for you.

Not being at the whim of a landlord

When you rent, you are at the whim of your landlord. The landlord could choose to evict you or raise your rent. You could have a landlord that is completely useless and leaves you without hot water for a week while waiting for your boiler to get fixed. While having a landlord can have advantages (no Strata, no council rates, no maintenance costs), it can also have its disadvantages.

Rent money is dead money

There is the argument that rent money is dead money. While you certainly get a service for the money you pay your landlord (most notably, you get a roof over your head), you are essentially paying someone else's mortgage. This can be fine in the short-term, but what about the long-term?

Autumn in Carthage

by Guest Author

I am often told it’s important to be able to capture the gist of a novel in a sentence. What is it “about”? Well, in a sentence, Autumn in Carthage is “about” using the standard tropes of genre fiction to illuminate deeper issues. As a manic reader and blog-addict, I am convinced that serious literature […]

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