Category Archives: Cruises

Discovering “Decebalus Rex” on a Danube Viking River Cruise

After writing scores of articles about ocean cruises, we decided to see what motivates vacationers to take European river cruises. We are glad we did. So much to choose from There are endless selections of river cruise itineraries on the internet, so we sought the guidance of three prominent river cruise companies in Europe – Amway, Uniworld, and Viking. Viking River Cruises comes through …

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Exploring Sitka: Our Favorite Alaskan City

  Stepped in history and culture, and surrounded by picturesque forested islands, towering mountains, a distant volcano, and soaring eagles – Sitka is what most tourists imagine when they think of Alaska’s natural wonders. Founded by Russian explorers in the eighteenth century, Sitka (once called New Archangel) is within easy view of Mt. Edgecombe, an …

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Returning to Historic Catalina Island and the Echoes of Big Bands Past

Long before Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco, throngs of everyday Americans in the difficult 1930s and 1940s were keeping a stiff upper lip to the world’s problems and singing “…I left my love in Avalon…” to the Big Band sounds of Miller, Herman, Goodman, James and Dorsey. The song “Avalon” was first …

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Cruising the Rainforests of New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park

The “Other Down Under” destination of New Zealand is on the Bucket List of many Americans — and justly so. Problem is, New Zealand is a long way from anywhere U.S.A. Consequently, most tourists want to see as much as possible on their first visit. Our suggestion for an orientation trip to New Zealand – book a cruise. The rationale …

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Charting a Course in the Florida Keys on the Legendary African Queen

As we travel, we check off places that are on our Bucket List. Being film buffs, many of the things on our list are related to movies we have seen over the years. We recently checked off another “to do” from our list by skippering the authentic “African Queen,” the boat made famous by Humphrey …

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A Table Rendezvous with Italy’s Chef Ottavio Bellesi on the Golden Princess

Dining at a Chef’s Table should always be a titillating treat of tantalizing tastes. Traditionally, a Chef’s Table is located in the kitchen – where the guests can watch, and “ooh” and “ahh” as the Chef and his/her team work their culinary magic. That was not how it was at the Table of Chef Ottavio …

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A Memorable Panama Canal Christmas Cruise Aboard Holland America’s Amsterdam

We live in California and two of our best friends reside in Florida. We wanted to visit them during the holidays, but didn’t want to endure the stress and aggravation of crowded airports and airplanes – so an opportunity to sail from nearby San Francisco to Ft. Lauderdale through the Panama Canal was especially appealing. …

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The Best Suites for Two Aboard the Golden Princess

Our goal in taking a month-long cruise around Hawaii and Tahiti on the Golden Princess was to experience – and then write about – how a major cruise line like Princess caters to its suite passengers. It was one of our most enjoyable projects. Suites for two Over the past ten years, we have photographed …

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Cruising With An Inspiration Named Julia

On a recent Panama Canal cruise on the Holland America ms Amsterdam we met a most extraordinary passenger with a remarkable past. Her name is Julia. We do not usually write about fellow travelers, but Julia is exceptional for several reasons that stirred our interest and imagination. Julia’s most noteworthy characteristic is that she belongs …

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A Dockside Voyage Aboard the Iconic Queen Mary

The great ship Queen Mary has been part of Southern California’s treasures since the City of Long Beach acquired her in 1967. Long Beach then spent several million dollars to prepare her for the waiting public. Her grand California debut was on May 8, 1971. The Queen Mary is a remarkable floating hotel, complete with …

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