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Ask Peter: Plan Ahead for Cruises, Caribbean Islands & More

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We’re looking ahead this week with advice on 2013 travel. Find out the hottest Caribbean islands, the evolution of  river cruising, and the factors to consider when buying travel insurance as a family in this week’s Ask Peter column.

Peter answers questions online every Travel Tuesday and on air every Saturday on his weekly Peter Greenberg Worldwide broadcast. You can call (1-888-88-PETER (1-888-887-3837)), email him (, tweet questions to @petersgreenberg (use #askPeter), or post questions on his Facebook page.

Remember to leave your contact number if you want to talk to Peter on air for a real-time conversation.

Keep reading to see this week’s answers!

Linda in Virginia asked: My husband and I are thinking of taking a European river cruise in the next year or two. Is it safe to take such a European trip? We’ve received tons of information from Grand Circle Travel and something from Uniworld, Viking, and others. Are they safe, are they reliable, are they trustworthy?

Peter said: I’ve been on all of those ships. I’ve been on Uniworld, I’ve been on the Viking River Cruises. They’re not only safe and trustworthy, they’re fun. And the new versions of the ships have been redesigned with cabins that are basically suites with balconies.

It’s an amazing experience because you’re actually seeing Europe the way it was designed to be seen, since originally commerce existed along the river. What makes a river cruise special is that you’re not going to big cities, you’re going to small towns. Yes, it is totally safe and fun. Look into one of the new ships on Viking. I think you’ll be quite pleasantly surprised and even the food is great.

For more information, watch Peter’s 2012 trend report on River Cruising.

Frank in Albuquerque, New Mexico asked: What would be the best Caribbean islands to visit in January for snorkeling?

Peter said: Few places are going to top the Cayman Islands in terms of accessibility, diversity, visibility, and marine life. Remember, it’s not just Grand Cayman, it’s Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. One caution, Cayman Island’s waters are a little more crowded. I like Turks and Caicos, the waters are great there. The rumor of course is that Jojo the dolphin is still there, but I don’t believe that. Now, I know you mentioned snorkeling, but if you want great diving consider Bonaire.

One more caveat. January is high season. And in high season, you’re paying $95 for a Diet Coke. But who says you have to go in January? You go in June, July, and August. As long as you get outside the hurricane belt, like Bonaire or Grenada (another snorkeling option), you’ll be in great shape.

Check out everything that happens on the water in Hidden Gems: Turks & Caicos–Naturally Beautiful.