Lovely weather in Halifax makes for a great Sunday tour

September 25, 2011 HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – After days and days of cold, chilly weather the sun shone all day in Halifax and temps got up into the 80s which made for a glorious Sunday. Halifax is such a pretty city. It had been 30 years since I visited here and the waterfront is totally changed. Yes, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is still the centerpiece but everything around it seems new. It was by far …

Read moreLovely weather in Halifax makes for a great Sunday tour

Piano man Tom Franek packs Crooners Lounge every night with comedy and tunes

There are times when this ship seems rather sedate, probably due to the generally older age group aboard this transatlantic cruise (the average age is 67, according to the hotel manager.) However, there are some times when the energy really buzzes. One is when the shops have their outlet sales in the dining room (this is a genuine mob scene)… The other is when Tom Franek starts playing the piano. Tom is the entertainer in the so-called …

Read morePiano man Tom Franek packs Crooners Lounge every night with comedy and tunes

We visit a small village in Greenland named Qaqortoq…hard to pronounce but easy to appreciate

September 22, 2011 QAQORTOQ, Greenland – Today we visited a small village on the southwestern coast of Greenland. It is pronounced something like “KAK-or-TOCK.” Founded in 1775, this town has a population of just 3,230 — just a few more than the number of passengers sailing on the Emerald Princess (2,985). It is located at a latitude of 60°. This is our first visit to Greenland. It is included on a few arctic and transatlantic itineraries, but …

Read moreWe visit a small village in Greenland named Qaqortoq…hard to pronounce but easy to appreciate

This transatlantic cruise attracts experienced cruisers and they are being thrifty

September 20, 2011 AT SEA on the Emerald Princess –We are just over halfway through this 18-day Northern Atlantic repositioning cruise on the Emerald Princess cruise ship and this would be a good time to make some observations on the cruise itself: The passengers: Most passengers on this cruise are experienced cruisers, with platinum or elite status with Princess. Many are holdovers from the previous Baltic Cruise. They are also very thrifty. Therefore, they know they have …

Read moreThis transatlantic cruise attracts experienced cruisers and they are being thrifty

Our first experience in Iceland is magical, for so many reasons

September 19, 2011 REYKJAVÍK, Iceland –We had simply an amazing day in Iceland. This small island country has long been on my “must” list of places to visit. I was a bit concerned that we were only going to be here for less than a day for our first visit, but was still hoping for a good experience. We weren’t disappointed. The place is magical. We were fortunate to be on a private tour set up by …

Read moreOur first experience in Iceland is magical, for so many reasons

At Sea On The Emerald Princess

September 18, 2011 AT SEA on the Emerald Princess – After three busy days of touring, everyone on board was ready for this full day at sea. The waters were a bit rough through the night, but nothing like a few days ago. I think most folks have their sea legs. This morning we attended a port talk on Reykjavik, Iceland, which we will be visiting tomorrow. Iceland has always been on my “bucket list” – isn’t …

Read moreAt Sea On The Emerald Princess

Charming Northern Ireland — Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway

September 17-18, 2011 BELFAST, Northern Ireland – Yesterday we visited Belfast, a city I have long been interested in. We had a very early start as our small group tour departed at 7 a.m. The tour was organized through the Cruise Critic roll call online by Mary Ziergiebel, who tells me that she has been organizing such small group tours for about seven years. I connected up with Mary at the Cruise Critic “Meet and Greet” on …

Read moreCharming Northern Ireland — Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway

Our day in Dublin features typical weather — rain, then sun!

September 16, 2011 DUBLIN, Ireland – Today we woke to typical Irish weather – rain. Oh well, it is to be expected. Because we have both been to Dublin before, we decided to book the shuttle ($20 round-trip) into the city and to explore on our own. This worked out fine and by about 11 a.m. the sun came out. Again, typical for Dublin. We saw most of the sights…did a bit of shopping…and headed back to …

Read moreOur day in Dublin features typical weather — rain, then sun!

Our day in Scotland features a visit to the Falkirk Wheel

September 15, 2011 GREENOCK, Scotland –After two rambunctious days at sea we arrived today in Scotland and after a foggy morning the day turned out gorgeous, with blue skies and white puffy clouds. Our tour guide Lesley thanked us for bringing good weather, noting that the weather has been gray and rainy of late. Today we took a ship excursion to see the Falkirk Wheel and visit the small city of Stirling. This turned out to be …

Read moreOur day in Scotland features a visit to the Falkirk Wheel

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