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Voluntourism and Cruising  March 2016
Nancy Schretter, Together for Good's Founder, is featured in a session entitled "Shorex and the Rise of Voluntourism" at Seatrade Global 2016, the cruise industry’s premier conference. This session covers how cruise lines and others are catering to travelers' interests in combining volunteer opportunities with leisure travel and ways ports can adapt and cater to this voluntourism trend.
Presenters include Tara Russell, President of Fathom & Global Impact Lead, Carnival Corporation & Plc; Daniel Skjeldam, CEO, Hurtigruten; John Stoll, Vice President, Land Programs, Crystal Cruises; and Yoshioka Tatsuya, Founder and Director, Peace Boat.

Great Press!

Together for Good was recently featured in articles in

  • Agent@Home magazine
  • Fox News
  • Travel Channel
  • Chicago Tribune
  • and other media outlets.
We've also been included in stories in Leisure Group Travel magazine, USA Today, the International Business Times, Porthole Magazine, and many other print and online publications. See our Stories page for links and more information. Thanks for all the media support.

Destinations:

Aruba
Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Costa Rica
Dominican
   Republic

Grenada/
   Grenadines

Guatemala
Honduras
Jamaica
Mexico
St Lucia
St Martin
USA

NCL Tweet Up For Good Caribbean Cruise

Everyone needs a break after the December holidays, so give yourself a vacation while giving back to others as well. Join Together for Good on January 3-10, 2010 for a fun-filled cruise vacation aboard the Norwegian Spirit. Nancy Schretter, Together for Good's Founder, will be leading this cruise along with Shannon Lane, a Louisiana-based professional travel journalist and social media aficionado.

Our cruise departs from New Orleans, Louisiana and visits the exotic ports of Costa Maya, Mexico; Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico. Enjoy visiting beautiful destinations, participating in fun activities, and assisting with local community projects to benefit schools, orphanages, and children in need. This is a wonderful way to make a difference, meet new people, and have fun on a relaxing cruise vacation.

Here's the exciting itinerary for our NCL Tweet Up for Good cruise:

January 3: New Orleans, LA
Hopefully you've had a chance to spend some time in New Orleans, enjoying the city's fabulous restaurants, smoky jazz music, and the spirit of perpetual Mardi Gras. Here in New Orleans, Together for Good is facilitating donations to Covenant House, a wonderful charity for homeless and at-risk children. Then it's time to board the Norwegian Spirit for our exciting 7-night cruise. The Norwegian Spirit has all of the hallmarks of a great Norwegian Cruise Line ship: lots of restaurants, extensive kids programs, cool nightclubs and lounges, and a marvelous "Freestyle Cruising" program that allows guests to do whatever  - whenever. Get settled in and enjoy exploring your new home for the week. A welcome get together will be held onboard the ship to talk about our activities for the upcoming week and make final plans.

January 4: At Sea
Our leisurely day at sea provides the perfect opportunity to relax and get to know each other. The Norwegian Spirit offers lots of fun activities at sea as well as plenty of opportunities to take a dip in the pool, get a spa treatment, play bridge or bingo, see a show, or hit the gym. At a meeting later in the afternoon, we'll organize our materials, review our plans for our upcoming exciting ports of call, and make decorations for the kindergarten and primary school in Costa Maya. You can participate in organized ship shore tours or come along with Together for Good on our giving back excursions when available. It's all up to you.

January 5: Costa Maya, Mexico
Beaches and doing good combine beautifully on our day in lovely Costa Maya. The port of Costa Maya offers an enticing combination of crystal blue waters and alluring beaches, kid-friendly activities, adventure tours, historic sights, and good shopping. This beautiful region is located about a four-hour drive south of Cancun, Mexico. Protected by the second largest coral reef in the world, the area is home to lovely white sand beaches, the spectacular Chacchoben Mayan ruins, the charming town of Mahajual, and a variety of opportunities for cultural interaction.

Our Together for Good shore trip in Costa Maya has been developed with the Uai Nat Ze Foundation and members of the local community. Our first stop will be at a small two-room kindergarten and primary school in a very low income area. We'll decorate the school with the help of children and local community leaders and provide school supplies. Next, we'll visit a pregnant mothers and infant development center and a small kindergarten in the Las Casitas area, bringing supplies to help underprivileged children in the local community. Our tour will also take us to the medical clinic in Centro de Salud to learn what is being done here. Finally, our group of volunteers will have a ground breaking ceremony and start work  on a new children's playground with Mahahual's Alcalde (Mayor) and community leaders. Afterwards, participants will have the option to enjoy lunch and play in the Caribbean before heading back to the ship.

January 6: Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala
The port of Santo Tomas de Castilla offers opportunities for exploration, cultural interaction, historical tours, nature walks and hiking, and shopping for a wide variety of indigenous handicrafts.

Today, our Together for Good group will be taking a leisurely 5-hour trip up the Rio Dulce by water taxi to visit communities and a local school in the Livingston area. As part of our humanitarian tour, we'll be bringing much needed school supplies and other items for students as well as donations for a large orphanage of over 250 located up the river. Schools in this area suffer from a severe shortage of basic materials. See the children’s faces light up with smiles as you get together with them and hand out school supplies. Our group will have the opportunity to meet and interact with members of the local community, have lunch, purchase locally made handicrafts, and enjoy the beauty of the Rio Dulce region. Our activities will do good, promote cultural exchange, and give back to communities in need of assistance. When we return to the port area, there will be opportunities to shop for handicrafts and souvenirs before re-boarding the ship. Don’t miss tonight’s memorable sail away, as the taxis and tour drivers line up their vehicles and flash their car headlights and community members wave to wish us a heartfelt goodbye.

January 7: Belize City, Belize
 Divers, snorkelers, adventurers, historians and shoppers all flock to Belize. The port of Belize City is the gateway to the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, tropical rivers and rainforests teeming with wildlife, over 600 Mayan sites, and some excellent shopping opportunities at the cruise terminal.

In our Belize port of call, our Together for Good group will be bringing personal care items, crafts and school supplies to a local orphanage. The orphanage is home to up to 45 abandoned, abused or orphaned children between the ages of 1-15. Here, we'll spend time volunteering and playing with the children and drop off donations of clothing, shoes and personal care items. Then we'll visit the ancient city of Altun Ha, once a key link in the Mayan trade route through Mexico's Yucatan region. This site was made famous by the discovery of the world's largest carved jade head, depicting the Mayan sun god Kinich Ahau. Altun Ha contains the 2000-year-old remnants of 13 key structures surrounding two major plazas. Stone steps will enable you to climb to the top of three of the main temples. At the end of our tour, you'll arrive back at the Belize port facility where you can shop, enjoy local drinks, or return to the ship to relax.

January 8: Cozumel, Mexico
Cozumel is the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean and one of the most popular cruise ship ports of call in the region. In fact, Cozumel receives more cruise ships than many other ports in the Western Caribbean. Here, cruise passengers will find an incredible array of options for spending their day in port. This little island is loaded with duty-free shopping, world-class snorkeling and diving opportunities, wildlife encounters, adventure tours, cultural experiences, enticing bars and restaurants, and so much more. Those who wish to venture over to the mainland can visit the seaside Mayan ruins at Tulum or Xcaret, an immense eco-theme park complete with a dolphin encounter program, a bird sanctuary, a butterfly pavilion, underground rivers, restored Mayan ruins, beaches, and a variety of water activities.

Today, our Together for Good excursion will deliver much-needed items to a local orphanage that provides a family-oriented living environment for over 20 children in Cozumel. Next, we'll head to a popular beach club that serves as a drop-off site a community-based non-profit organization that provides school-related materials to low-income Cozumel families. Since Mexican public school students must provide their own uniforms and school supplies, many Cozumel families lack the financial resources to send their children to school. Here, we'll drop off school supplies such as backpacks, pens, pencils, scissors, and other items to help children in need. Then we'll spend the rest of the day at the beach club, where we'll enjoy beach chairs, umbrellas, hammocks, and the use of non-motorized water toys. Lunch, snacks and drinks are also available for purchase.

January 9: At Sea
Free day! This is a wonderful day to relax on the ship after our exciting days in port. Check out the ship's daily bulletin and choose from a wide variety of fun activities - or just lounge around enjoying the sun by the pool. Our fantastic Norwegian Spirit crew fills the day with contests, sporting events, fitness programs, shopping opportunities, and fabulous meals.

January 10: New Orleans, LA
Our cruise ends today as we arrive back in New Orleans. If you can, take some time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city before heading to the airport on your way home. You'll leave with new friends and fond memories of the many ways you've helped others on this trip.

How To Participate in the NCL Together for Good Cruise

This is not a formal group booking, so cruise reservations and arrangements can be made through your own travel agent or directly through Norwegian Cruise Line. Detailed information on the Norwegian Spirit can be found on NCL's website at www.ncl.com.

No matter how you book, you must register with Together for Good no later than December 19, 2009 to let us know you're coming so we can send you activity information in case you want to participate in Together for Good events and excursions. Simply e-mail Nancy Schretter at KidTravel@aol.com or info@togetherforgood.org and we'll be back in touch with full details.

Together for Good humanitarian activities in port are informal events arranged through local tour/transportation providers. Please be aware that all Together for Good shore excursions are totally optional, available on a first-come, first-served basis, and are not included in the price of your cruise. Our efforts for this cruise are done on a volunteer basis, and we do not charge overhead or receive any monetary compensation from cruise bookings, shore excursions, or other activities on the cruise. Specifics of our shore excursion plans are subject to change and space is limited. Directions for booking any of the Together for Good shore excursions will be provided when you register with us by contacting KidTravel@aol.com or info@togetherforgood.org.

Join Us On A Virtual Vacation!
Can't come along on these dates? Then join us on a virtual cruise as we "broadcast" live via Twitter. You can follow us at @KidTravel (Nancy Schretter) and @Cajun_Mama (Shannon Hurst Lane) and follow #NCLTweetUp4Good for the complete feed of all our fun and doing good on our Norwegian Spirit cruise.

NCL Tweet Up For Good Caribbean Cruise

Everyone needs a break after the December holidays, so give yourself a vacation while giving back to others as well. Join Together for Good on January 3-10, 2010 for a fun-filled cruise vacation aboard the Norwegian Spirit.

Our cruise departs from New Orleans, Louisiana and visits the exotic ports of Costa Maya, Mexico; Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico. Enjoy visiting beautiful destinations, participating in fun activities, and assisting with local community projects to benefit schools, orphanages, and children in need. This is a wonderful way to make a difference, meet new people, and have fun on a relaxing cruise vacation.

Here's the exciting itinerary for our NCL Tweet Up for Good cruise:

January 3: New Orleans, LA
Hopefully you've had a chance to spend some time in New Orleans, enjoying the city's fabulous restaurants, smoky jazz music, and the spirit of perpetual Mardi Gras. Now, it's time to board the Norwegian Spirit for our exciting 7-night cruise! The Norwegian Spirit has all of the hallmarks of a great Norwegian Cruise Line ship: lots of restaurants, extensive kids programs, cool nightclubs and lounges, and a marvelous "Freestyle Cruising" program that allows guests to do whatever  - whenever. Get settled in and enjoy exploring your new home for the week. A welcome get together will be held to talk about our activities for the upcoming week and make final plans.

January 4: At Sea
Our leisurely day at sea provides the perfect opportunity to relax and get to know each other. The Norwegian Spirit offers lots of fun activities at sea as well as plenty of opportunities to take a dip in the pool, get a spa treatment, play bridge or bingo, see a show, or hit the gym. At a meeting later in the afternoon, we'll organize our materials and review our plans for our upcoming exciting ports of call. You can participate in organized ship shore tours or come along with Together for Good on our giving back excursions when available. It's all up to you.

January 5: Costa Maya, Mexico
Beaches and doing good combine beautifully on our day in lovely Costa Maya. The port of Costa Maya offers an enticing combination of crystal blue waters and alluring beaches, kid-friendly activities, adventure tours, historic sights, and good shopping. This beautiful region is located about a four-hour drive south of Cancun, Mexico. Protected by the second largest coral reef in the world, the area is home to lovely white sand beaches, the spectacular Chacchoben Mayan ruins, the charming town of Mahajual, and a variety of opportunities for cultural interaction.

Our Together for Good shore trip will stop at a small kindergarten to provide books, school supplies, crafts, and other items to help underprivileged children in the local community. You’ll watch the children’s faces light up when you visit. Then, we'll likely head on to the Uvero Beach Club where we may spend some time cleaning up one of the beautiful beaches near the area. Because of the tidal currents, large quantities of plastic garbage wash up on the beaches in the Costa Maya region. The local people do their best to keep the shores clean, but more help is needed. Approximately 85 percent of the litter that washes ashore in this area comes from countries other than Mexico. After we finish, we'll play in the Caribbean Sea and relax in the sun before heading back to the ship. Lunch, drinks and snacks will be available for purchase at the Beach Club and we'll return to the port terminal in time to do a little shopping as well.

January 6: Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala
The port of Santo Tomas de Castilla offers opportunities for exploration, cultural interaction, historical tours, nature walks and hiking, and shopping for a wide variety of indigenous handicrafts.

Today, our Together for Good group will be taking a leisurely 5-hour trip up the Rio Dulce by water taxi to visit communities and a local school in the Livingston area. As part of our humanitarian tour, we'll be bringing much needed school supplies and other items for students as well as donations for a large orphanage of over 250 located up the river. Schools in this area suffer from a severe shortage of basic materials. Watch the children’s faces light up with smiles as you get together with them and hand out school supplies. Our group will have the opportunity to meet and interact with members of the local community, have lunch, purchase locally made handicrafts, and enjoy the beauty of the Rio Dulce region. Our activities will do good, promote cultural exchange, and give back to communities in need of assistance. When we return to the port area, there will be opportunities to shop for handicrafts and souvenirs before reboarding the ship. Don’t miss tonight’s memorable sail away, as the taxis and tour drivers line up their vehicles and flash their car headlights and community members wave to wish us a heartfelt goodbye.

January 7: Belize City, Belize
 Divers, snorkelers, adventurers, historians and shoppers all flock to Belize. The port of Belize City is the gateway to the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, tropical rivers and rainforests teeming with wildlife, over 600 Mayan sites, and some excellent shopping opportunities at the cruise terminal.

In our Belize port of call, our Together for Good group will be bringing personal care items, crafts and school supplies to a local orphanage. The orphanage is home to up to 45 abandoned, abused or orphaned children between the ages of 1-15. Here, we'll spend time volunteering and playing with the children and drop off donations of clothing, shoes and personal care items. Then we'll visit the ancient city of Altun Ha, once a key link in the Mayan trade route through Mexico's Yucatan region. This site was made famous by the discovery of the world's largest carved jade head, depicting the Mayan sun god Kinich Ahau. Altun Ha contains the 2000-year-old remnants of 13 key structures surrounding two major plazas. Stone steps will enable you to climb to the top of three of the main temples. At the end of our tour, you'll arrive back at the Belize port facility where you can shop, enjoy local drinks, or return to the ship to relax.

January 8: Cozumel, Mexico
Cozumel is the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean and one of the most popular cruise ship ports of call in the region. In fact, Cozumel receives more cruise ships than many other ports in the Western Caribbean. Here, cruise passengers will find an incredible array of options for spending their day in port. This little island is loaded with duty-free shopping, world-class snorkeling and diving opportunities, wildlife encounters, adventure tours, cultural experiences, enticing bars and restaurants, and so much more. Those who wish to venture over to the mainland can visit the seaside Mayan ruins at Tulum or Xcaret, an immense eco-theme park complete with a dolphin encounter program, a bird sanctuary, a butterfly pavilion, underground rivers, restored Mayan ruins, beaches, and a variety of water activities.

Today, our Together for Good excursion will deliver much-needed items to a local orphanage that provides a family-oriented living environment for over 20 children in Cozumel. Next, we'll head to a popular beach club that serves as a drop-off site a community-based non-profit organization that provides school-related materials to low-income Cozumel families. Since Mexican public school students must provide their own uniforms and school supplies, many Cozumel families lack the financial resources to send their children to school. Here, we'll drop off school supplies such as backpacks, pens, pencils, scissors, and other items to help children in need. Then we'll spend the rest of the day at the beach club, where we'll enjoy beach chairs, umbrellas, hammocks, and the use of non-motorized water toys. Lunch, snacks and drinks are also available for purchase.

January 9: At Sea
Free day! This is a wonderful day to relax on the ship after our exciting days in port. Check out the ship's daily bulletin and choose from a wide variety of fun activities - or just lounge around enjoying the sun by the pool. Our fantastic Norwegian Spirit crew fills the day with contests, sporting events, fitness programs, shopping opportunities, and fabulous meals.

January 10: New Orleans, LA
Our cruise ends today as we arrive back in New Orleans. If you can, take some time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city before heading to the airport on your way home. You'll leave with new friends and fond memories of the many ways you've helped others on this trip.

How To Book Your Cruise
This is not a formal group booking, so cruise reservations and arrangements can be done through your own travel agent or directly through Norwegian Cruise Line. No matter how you book, it is important to register with Together for Good no later than December 8, 2009 to let us know you're coming so we can send you activity information in case you want to participate in Together for Good events and excursions. Simply e-mail Nancy Schretter at KidTravel@aol.com or Shannon Lane at hurstlane@aol.com and we'll be back in touch with full details.

Together for Good humanitarian activities in port are informal events arranged through local tour/transportation providers. Please be aware that all Together for Good shore excursions are totally optional, available on a first-come, first-served basis, and are not included in the price of your cruise. Our efforts for this cruise are done on a volunteer basis, and we do not charge overhead or receive any monetary compensation from cruise bookings, shore excursions, or other activities on the cruise. Specifics of our shore excursion plans are subject to change and space is limited. Directions for booking any of the Together for Good shore excursions will be provided when you register with us.

Join Us On A Virtual Vacation!
Can't come along on these dates? Then join us on a virtual cruise as we "broadcast" live via Twitter. You can follow us at @KidTravel (Nancy Schretter) and @Cajun_Mama (Shannon Hurst Lane) and follow #NCLTweetUp4Good for the complete feed of all our fun and doing good on our Norwegian Spirit cruise.