How to Plan a Luxury Cruise Vacation

A luxury cruise vacation is something most of us dream about. Sailing the ocean under sunny skies, our every want and need anticipated by attentive staff, food and wine everywhere we look, not a worry in the world. Well, what's keeping you?

Three-quarters of the earth is covered by water. What better way to explore our planet than in style on a cruise ship? Today's luxury cruises run the gamut from small vessels that carry 8 or 10 passengers to giant ocean liners with every amenity you could imagine, and a few you could not.

If you want a smaller, more intimate luxury cruise, look into small-ship luxury cruises. These all feature the service you would expect at a 5-star resort. You'll use fine china for dining, eat outstanding cuisine prepared by highly-trained chefs, and enjoy a selection of activities and destinations.

The smallest luxury cruises are actually aboard chartered yachts, and you can have the ship all to yourself – or your group. Ships that sleep 34, 42, up to 80 can be chartered to travel at your whim.

However, there are several cruise lines that specialize in small-ship luxury cruises. Regent Seven Seas features four different luxury ships: the Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator and the Paul Gauguin. The Seven Seas Mariner was the first all-suite, all-balcony cruise ship in the world and was such a hit she was quickly followed by the Voyager. Both the Voyager and the Mariner sleep up to 700 guests, while the Navigator can accommodate up to 490 travelers and the Paul Gauguin can travel with 330 guests.

Crystal and Cunard are two other cruise lines well-known for providing luxury on cruise vacations. Crystal's luxury liner the Crystal Serenity can accommodate 1,080 guests and typically sails in Europe and the South Pacific. However, she's scheduled for an around-the-world tour departing from Los Angeles in January of 2008 and arriving in Southampton, England, 110 days later.

Cunard Cruise Line was founded in Britain in 1838 and has been sailing successfully since then. They are well-known for both safety and luxury. Currently, the Cunard Line sails three luxury liners, the world-renamed Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2), the Queen Victoria, and the Queen Mary 2.

The immortal QE2 is 963 feet in length and can cruise with up to 1,778 guests aboard. She has logged 5.5 million nautical miles, carried over 2 million guests, and is still the fastest merchant ship in operation. Definitely one of a kind!

The Queen Mary 2 is one of the most magnificent ocean liners of all time. At 1,132 feet she can sail with up to 3,056 passengers in full luxury. Billed as "your sanctuary at sea", the accommodations and dining are first-rate. A luxurious ballroom, planetarium, and sports decks will all keep you occupied. The spa will relax you when you're all done.

Launching in December 2007, Cunard's Queen Victoria will sail her maiden voyage to New York. At 964.5 feet, she'll accommodate 1,980 passengers on 12 decks with typical Cunard service and cuisine.

There are many, many choices for luxury cruise vacations, but no matter which ship, line, or destination you choose, you'll remember that cruise for the rest of your life.

staffleverage made a real revolution in the industry. Visit smartgreentech-solutions.com to find out more regarding tm44 inspection

Alzheimer’s – Discovering the Health Insurance Options

Learning that you or your loved one has Alzheimer's disease is a frightening experience. Alzheimer's is a progressively worsening condition of the brain where a person goals who he is, who he knows and what he can do. As a person's Alzheimer's disease worsens, it becomes harder on the caregiver than on the patient. One thing that an Alzheimer patient and his family should not worry about is health insurance. There are a wide variety of options for health care to deal with the associated costs of providing long-term health care to the patient.

Alzheimer's disease often affects the elderly. For now, the government provides federally-funded insurance in the form of the Medicare program which covers many of the costs associated with the disease in those Americans 65 years of age and over who are covered by Medicare. In general, Medicare covers 100% of hospitals and about 80% of non-hospital care. Reports indicate that Medicare covers many Alzheimer's treatments such as doctor visits, physical and speech therapy, mental health care and skilled home nursing care. There is a deductible associated with Medicare. Even with Medicare, many Alzheimer patients require supplemental insurance to cover additional costs not covered by Medicare.

Often, a Medicare patient will have a form of supplementary insurance provided by a private insurance company. This type of insurance coverage is secondary to the coverage provided by Medicare and is also referred to as Medigap insurance. The coverage provided by a Medigap policy of insurance is determined by federal and state law but it can vary quite a bit. If you or a loved one with Alzheimer's disease needs a Medigap insurance policy, then you should carefully consider the policy and the coverage it provides. Read the fine print to ensure that you are getting the coverage you need.

The progress of Alzheimer's disease from the initial diagnosis to the eventual death of the patient can take years. In that way, Alzheimer's is a chronic disease. That is why it is so important to make sure that your loved one has the proper health insurance to provide coverage over the long run. If your loved one is not old enough to qualify for Medicare, you may want to look into disability insurance to cover the costs associated with Alzheimer's. Typically, that type of coverage will pay a percentage of the person's salary from when they were employed. Your loved one may also qualify for social security disability insurance, but qualification can be an intensive process and may require hearings and appearances before the coverage is approved.

If you need assistance in locating coverages to cover this condition, we can help. Please visit our website at http://www.health-insurance-buyer.com and leave your contact information so we may respond to your request and guide you.

The History of Anime – Where Did Anime Start?

Are you interested in Japanese filmmaking, have you ever wondered, while watching their anime, drama or manga, where it all started? Anime first started off in Japan in the 20th century briefly after the boarders were opened in the late 19th. This made the animation techniques that developed in the West easy to transport to Japan by 1914. “The very first three animated films created in Japan fit on one reel and were between one to five minutes long.”(Patten) The content of these works were primarily of old folk tales and samurai legends. Japanese animators were greatly influenced by American animators so the black and white style was a must but the rounded heads and animal adaptations of people was Japan’s first signature to making a style all to their own.

Many animators were urged to produce animations which enforced the Japanese spirit and national affiliation as a result of cultural nationalism, that japanese government began to enforce. Anime started to gain more appeal. The one to five minute shorts about common folk tales gave way to a more Western like style. The change in style meant that Anime was now going in a comedic fashion used to lighten people’s moods on intense topics like war.

In 1970 Anime introduced its most popular style of work yet: Mecha. Mecha, which is short for mechanical, involved large robots that were used in times of war. Also a theme variation started to show itself through Anime. Writers began to twist the good guy/bad guy roles and relationships. The idea of a troubled hero presented itself in shows like Lupin Sansei where a human infected with a demon had to use the evil inside him to defeat other demons.

If you are interested in watching anime, its just one click away.

[email protected]

Risks and Benefits of Tax Lien Investing

Tax lien investing is something that every serious investor in real estate should consider. But the last thing you must do is leap into it without considering all that's involved.

What are tax liens?

Most states of the USA have a system for collecting unpaid property taxes and enabling reliable payers to be deposited back on the tax roll. These states use either a "tax deed" system or a "tax lien" system, depending on what rights are sold to the purchaser of the property. Under a tax deed system, county Governments will sell full ownership and possession rights to the investor. In tax lien states, it is only the right to the tax lien or tax claim on the property that is sold.

The tax lien is an encumbrance or enforcement right. It provides the investor with the right to receive interest penalty charges if the lien is paid off by the delinquent owner, or the right to foreclose and take title to the property if the lien is not paid.

So tax liens are a highly attractive investment opportunity. These are just some of the many benefits:

· The tax lien is a high priority lien which takes precedence over judgment liens, mortgage liens, trust deeds etc.

· There is the right to collect interest or foreclose. If the lien is redeemed by the delinquent property owner, you can collect a double-digit return. If not, you can foreclose and obtain full ownership rights.

· It is the responsibility of the county to chase up payment – it is not your problem.

· The tax lien is usually for a small fraction of the property's market value, so the investment is highly secured.

· The investor is not subject to land owner liability. This is clearly an advantage, as there are an increasing number of laws against property owners.

· Interest rates are usually 16-24 percent, according to state law.

· The investment is low risk and low maintenance.

So the temptation is to leap blindly into this seemingly very attractive type of investing. But those who do not take care can get their fingers burned. These are aspects you should attend to:

· Assessing the property. Since you are purchasing the lien, not the property itself, it is tempting to go ahead without bothering to view the property. However, the security and value of the lien are based on the actual property. So you do need to see what sort of property it is.

· Market value of the property. There are all sorts of factors that may affect the value of the property and hence the value of the lien. These include zoning regulations, location, city restrictions, flood plain paths etc. Researching these factors is essential.

· Although property tax liens have a high priority, in some states federal and state tax liens share equal priority. Sometimes people who have failed to research survival liens and encumbrances have received a nasty shock when they find their lien is not number one. This shock can easily be avoided with some simple research.

· One risk factor can be created by the delinquent taxpayer becoming bankrupt after the purchase of a lien. The tax lien holder is usually given high priority in this situation. However there could have been a problem in the case of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy where payment of the tax lien has to wait until the expenses of administration are paid.

· If a lien is administrated by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) there could be serious delays in the foreclosure process. It is essential to check whether this is so before completing the purchase.

The good news is that most of these risks can be avoided by doing reasonable research before investing. This makes tax liens one of the safest and most profitable forms of investment. And if you as the investor do fall into any of these traps after reading this, you only have yourself to blame!