By Jeffrey Taratoot / email@example.com
The pollen number is on its way down, it’s getting warmer outside, and graduations are upon us.
That means school is about complete for the year, and families will be vacationing. Summer is my favorite season as my passion is traveling, and I have been fortunate enough to have taken some wonderful vacations.
My wife and I took a cruise on the brand-new Celebrity Infinity to Italy, Greece and Rhodes, where her family is from. It was amazing to see the island where many Jews were killed during World War II, as well as hear the tales of a few who got out. We saw the Kahal Shalom Synagogue, built in 1577, the oldest and only remaining synagogue in Rhodes.
Capri and Sardinia were breathtaking and should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Some of my fondest memories are of traveling with my entire family, which includes my wife, two children, parents and brother.
There is nothing quite like traveling with three generations. Each has different wants and needs, along with different sleep schedules, food desires and, of course, energy levels. This is why I recommend cruising for multigenerational families who want to spend some quality time together.
Sheri Cohen, a certified travel consultant with Uniglobe in Atlanta who specializes in cruises, states that last year 32 percent of vacationing U.S. grandparents took their grandchildren along. Cruising provides an impressive vacation value that includes lodging, food, activities and transportation to faraway places for one set price.
For families with younger children, Sheri says, Disney is the most popular. Disney has large state rooms and adult-only pools and “gives a magical experience for all ages.” Families with teens love Norwegian Cruise Line, whose ships include Breakaway, Getaway and Epic, each offering a “Nickelodeon at Sea” experience with large water parks and water slides that reach over the sea.
Our first cruise with my entire group was to the Caribbean, which I recommend to first-timers. Caribbean cruises give the option of shorter and less costly itineraries, and many of the sailing ports are in driving distance. You can go for just a few nights or more than a week.
We enjoyed stopping at a private beach, visiting the Bahamas, and mostly exploring these huge, state-of-the-art ships, a brand-new experience for us. A Caribbean voyage was a good way to evaluate whether cruising was the right vacation for my entire family, which it was.
Because the test to the Caribbean went so well, we decided to take the plunge and book a much longer and more adventurous cruise the following summer to Alaska. We sailed on Princess, out of Seattle, and it was an awesome experience during which we got to appreciate and admire nature. We hiked along a glacier, drove a dogsled, helicoptered over a volcano and went kayaking through seal-inhabited bays.
I recommend cruising because it’s easy for multiple generations to have a good time, from daytime activities on board (wine tasting, cooking and art shows might appeal to people who do not want to leave the ship) to moderate and even rigorous excursions such as diving and hiking, appealing to teens and younger adults who need a thrill.
If needed, wheelchairs are available on the ships, as are other important services, which a travel agent can arrange. Kosher meals also are available.
Best of all, memories are created when the entire family meets back for dinner and drinks in the dining room, where again everyone can order what they like and eat as much as they like. They even give as many desserts as you can eat, for kids of all ages.
Jeffrey Taratoot is the owner of A Caring Approach Home Care Co., based in Dunwoody.