Cruise Ship Dance Journey - Organized by Ray Sahelian, M.D., Lora Cain, and Arthur Pond

Travel with your fellow dancers on the cruise ship Monarch of the Seas, February 23 to 26, 2007. We will have dinner together each evening (we will rotate tables each night so we get a chance to sit and talk to a variety of people) and dance around the ship in the night clubs, on deck, or wherever there is music. This is a fun trip with no pre-arranged dance classes or facilitators. You are free to be part of the group dancing and prancing around the ship, or you can do your own thing, or hanging out with other passengers. We are just getting a group together to enjoy our time together in a relaxed way. We did this cruise 2 years ago and it sold out with 30 people! We all shared such a good time together that we are organizing another one. Monarch of the Seas is a 4 star ship run by Royal Caribbean Cruise line. It has over 2000 passengers.


Cruise Ship Communication

Until recently, cruise passengers who wanted t

o make a call from the open sea had to bring their own satellite phones or use the ship's phones, generally paying $8 to $10 per minute. With the new technology, guests will be able to use their own cell phones and handhelds anywhere in the world. When a call is placed, it will be detected by cellular antennae onboard the ship and transferred to a satellite. The satellite redirects the call to a base station on land, and it is then routed through the cellular network, connecting the call within seconds. Cruise lines such as Norwegian, are the first to offer cell phone service at sea,. Other cruise lines have announced that they will offer this new technology -- Carnival, Crystal, Norwegian, Oceania Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Silversea, MSC Cruises and Regent Seven Seas.
   The cost to install the necessary equipment is about $250,000 per ship and is paid for by the communications companies. Cruise passengers will not have any charges on their onboard accounts but will see the charges on monthly cellular phone bills. The cruise lines will receive a portion of what the communication company makes on every call. The cost for the service will vary based on where the call is placed and which cellular phone network is being used. Most calls will cost $2 to $5 per minute. The cost for guests to send e-mail using handheld devices or text messages by phone will be a few cents per message.


Cruise Lines

Carnival cruise line
Celebrity cruise line
Clipper cruise line
Costa cruise line - Costa Magica - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean from Ft. Lauderdale; Costa Romantica - 7 Night Western Mediterranean from Rome; Costa Fortuna - 7 Night Tunisia/Spain/France from Genoa; Costa Europa - 7 Night Canary Islands from Genoa.
Cruise West cruise line
Crystal cruise line
Cunard cruise line
Delta Queen cruise line
Discovery World Cruise
Disney cruise line
Holland America cruise ship
MSC Cruises
Norwegian cruise line
Oceania Cruises
Orient cruise line
P&O Cruises
Princess cruise line - On July 18, 2006 the brand new Crown Princess, the crown jewel of the Princess fleet, departed Port Canaveral en route to New York on the last leg of a 9-day Caribbean cruise. At 3:30 pm, 11 miles from port and in calm seas, the ship suddenly tilted 16 to 18 degrees, sending passengers and crew (and anything else that was not nailed down) flying. The frightening incident lasted 30 seconds and injured 240 people (there were 3,100 passengers and 1,140 crew members onboard at the time). The ship returned to Port Canaveral. Guests with minor injuries were treated onboard, but 94 passengers were taken to area hospitals. At last report, one passenger remained hospitalized and was expected to make a full recovery. All passengers were given a full refund for the cruise and Princess arranged for transportation home from Florida for all who required it.

Regent (Radisson)
Royal Caribbean Cruise line
     Mariner of the Seas, 7 Night Eastern Caribbean from Port Canaveral. Vision of the Seas, 7 Night Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles; Navigator of the Seas , 7 Night Western Caribbean from Miami; Jewel of the Seas; Adventure of the Seas, 7 Night Deep Southern Caribbean from San Juan.
Seabourn cruise line
SeaDream cruise line
Silversea cruise
Star Clippers
Uniworld cruise line
Viking River Cruises
Windjammer cruise line
Windstar cruise


Riverboat Cruise

Avalon Waterway -  you can cruise the Rhine River on the Avalon Tapestry, a new ship owned by Avalon Waterways, which is in turn owned by Globus Tours. On most river cruises, at least part of every day is spent docked in a town. In Basel, Switzerland and Kehl, Germany Avalon Tapestry docks in industrial areas where buses are necessary to reach the tourist areas. Everywhere else - the German towns of Speyer, Mainz, Rudesheim, Coblenz, and Cologne plus Amsterdam -- the main tourist areas are an easy stroll from the ship.


Cruise Destinations

Alaska Cruise Tours
Asia/Far East
Asia/Far East Cruise Tours
Australia/New Zealand
Canada Cruise Tours
Canada/New England
Caribbean (Now thru October 10)
Caribbean (October 11 thru November 25)
Disney World & Bahamas Cruises (Combination)
Europe Cruise Tours
Greek Isles
Mexico/Central America
Middle East
Northern Europe
Pacific Northwest
Panama Canal
River Cruises
South America
South America Cruise Tours


Cruise Alaska now more expensive
On August 22, 2006 voters in Alaska narrowly approved a controversial $50 per-person tax on every cruise ship passenger entering state waters. Ballot Measure 2, or the "cruise ship tax" as it is commonly referred to, was sponsored by Bluewater Network, a California-based environmental group, and an organization called Responsible Cruising in Alaska, among others. Their stated goal for the initiative was to better protect Alaska's resources and to generate additional revenue to pay for infrastructure needed to support the cruise lines and their passengers. From every $50 collected, $46 is supposed to be spent on port and harbor facilities and other tourism services, and $4 will be dedicated to the creation of "ocean rangers" to be deployed on every cruise ship to monitor wastewater treatment practices and pollution control. Ballot Measure 2 also calls for a 33% tax on onboard gambling and a corporate income tax on cruise lines' marine revenue. The measure will require cruise lines to prominently disclose their mark-up on shore excursions. Residents of Alaska can file complaints or lawsuits against cruise lines for any alleged violations of any environmental statutes and receive 50% of any fines collected. Cruise lines currently provide 70% of Alaska's tourists, and tourism is responsible for 26,000 jobs. Communities that depend on cruise passengers are worried that the taxes may discourage travelers from visiting Alaska and reduce the amount of money cruise passengers spend ashore. Cruise companies such as Carnival Corp., which deploys 16 ships to Alaska--eight from Holland America, seven from Princess Cruises and one from Carnival Cruise Lines are upset with the vote. CEO Micky Arison released a statement a few days after the vote stating, "We are very disappointed that Ballot Initiative 2 has passed, as we believe this will inhibit the future growth and expansion of Alaska's tourism business." Other cruise lines have had a similar reaction, and several organizations intend to appeal portions of the initiative in court. In Alaska, the final vote was 52% in favor of the tax and 48% opposed.
   In addition to taxing passengers, the Alaska Cruise Tax measure creates a new 33% tax on onboard gambling profits and a corporate income tax on cruise lines' marine revenue. It also requires cruise lines to disclose their mark-up on shore excursions and allows Alaska residents to file complaints or lawsuits against cruise lines for alleged violations of any environmental statutes, and share in any fines collected.


Passport Requirement
A plan by the US Department of State called the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, requires people traveling to and from Canada, Mexico, Panama, the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda to have a passport to enter or re-enter the United States. The implementation of these new passport requirements for land and sea travelers, begin June 1, 2009. Citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico and Bermuda will be affected. The proposed timeline is as follows:

Beginning January 8, 2007, a passport will be required for all air travel to or from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda.
Beginning June 1, 2009, the passport requirement will be extended to include all land border crossings and sea travel to or from the above-mentioned destinations.
Currently, passports are recommended but not required for travel to and from Canada, Mexico, Panama, the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda.

 Cruise Ship Doctor and other Travels
Right after I completed my medical residency in Philadelphia, I signed up to work on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. This was in 1987. I also worked on a cruise ship sailing out of Honolulu in Hawaii and I spent several months on the Southward, a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, sailing out of San Pedro in Los Angeles. The cruise ship company based in Honolulu was American Hawaii cruise line. I worked on the Constitution in the summer of 1988.


February, 2004
I took a cruise in the Caribbean on board of Costa Atlantica. I was a cruise sponsored by Yoga Journal.


May 2006
I spend a week on the cruise ship Sapphire, from the Princess Cruise line, cruising the Inside Passage from Vancouver to Whittier, Alaska.


Other Travels

June 2006- A trip to Greece with visits to Athens, Delphi, Santorini, and Crete. Yoga retreat on the island of Santorini.