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A family tour of a Paris neighborhood with a local guide

PARIS — Green, red or purple? Not crayons, French Macarons, the best cookie you could ever taste. We’re in Gerard Merlot, a shop famous for macarons in the St Germain district of Paris, with Genevieve Robert, who we’ve met through a terrific company called Tours by Locals. You correspond ahead of your trip with a […]

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A visit to the town where Vincent Van Gogh spent his final most prolific days

Auvers sur Oise, France — I’m literally walking in Vincent Van Gogh’s footsteps to the field where he painted the famous paintings like the Wheatfield of Crows and where he shot himself. Such a sad story. Van Gogh, of course, was only 37 when he died and not yet famous.  He had come to the […]

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In Rouen, France — where Joan of Arc died and Monet painted a famous cathedral

Rouen, on the Seine River in Normandy — She was a teenaged girl who was seeing things.  Centuries later, she is the national symbol of France. Joan of Arc was born in 1412 to a family of farm laborers. When she was a young teen, she started to hear voices telling her to help the […]

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Two days touring the D-Day sites in Normandy

Normandy coastline, France — Elizabeth Kelly is standing in front of the gravestone of the grandfather she never met. She’s far from home—as was he as a young Lieutenant from Chicago fighting in World War II.  His name was Forrest Kelly and he’d left behind a wife and two young children. We are at the […]

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A cruise with a difference — along the Seine River in Normandy

ON THE SEINE RIVER BETWEEN PARIS AND NORMANDY — We’re gliding along a field dotted with daisies; at lunch I watched a family of swans. I’m on a different kind of cruise—a River Cruise on the Seine in France on Avalon Waterways Creativity—just 140 passengers on this 361-foot long barge and with just 70 staterooms […]

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Cruising on the Seine River – a stop at Monet’s Garden in Giverny

ON THE SEINE RIVER BETWEEN PARIS AND NORMANDY — I’m walking in Monet’s glorious gardens at Giverny on sunny day thinking about a little girl skipping over the famous green Japanese Bridges a big smile on her face. That was my daughter Melanie, 7 at the time, who was enamored of the book Linnea in […]

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Aboard the new Norwegian Breakaway — plenty to keep kids entertained

DAY 2 — Where’s the baby? If you’re on board the new Norwegian Breakaway, you—and baby—and grandma might all be joining in special “Guppies’ activities—maybe finger painting with special paints or using chalk or crayons made out of vegetables. “We want those younger families whose kids aren’t in school,” said CEO Kevin Sheehan –especially during […]

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Two days on the new Norwegian Breakway – a ship made for New York

DAY ONE–  Ready to walk the plank? Norwegian Cruise Lines (CEO Check Title) Kevin Sheehan challenges passengers to do just that eight feet over the side of the ship aboard Norwegian’s new ship Breakaway—which incidentally at 4,028 passengers and 1,595 crew, is the largest ship to homeport in the heart of New York City at […]

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Cruise lines keep innovating for family travel market

Are you counting down? If you’re a cruise fan—specifically a Royal Caribbean fan—you probably are. Sure many families are skittish about cruising right now given Carnival’s recent  performance—especially those who have never cruised.  “Some people who are sitting on the fence might decide to delay the experience,” acknowledges Royal Caribbean’s Vicki Freed, senior VP of […]

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The last day of the Barbie cruise includes a fashion show and a special birthday celebration

From Eileen’s  Taking the Kid’s Blog, written By Gina Burgos (guest blogger) ABOARD THE ROYAL CARIBBEAN ALLURE OF THE SEAS (Day 3 of 3) — We prepared for the Fashion Show grand finale with a rehearsal Barbie Dance Class, part of Royal Caribbean’s Barbie Premium Experience.  Led by one of the Adventure Ocean staff who […]

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