Nona and the Kids: Tips for Planning an Intergenerational Cruise

image courtesy of Cynthia Janssens

  ABOARD THE NCL BREAKAWAY – It has been just over a week since my family returned from our cruise to the Western Caribbean on the Breakaway. I had thought I would be able to write about the trip on a daily basis but soon learned that we all were much too busy for me to accomplish that. So I have some catching up to do. But first I want to give you some tips on planning …

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Our family of nine heads off for a week of Caribbean fun on the NCL Breakaway

Tomorrow is the big day. Nine of us – two moms, one dad, five children and me (Nona Cindy) – will board the NCL Breakaway in Miami for our first family cruise. The reason we have decided to do this is that my husband – Grandpa Chet – passed away unexpectedly in early May. This particular seven days, the last week of July, is the week that my daughters and their families flew in from San Diego …

Read moreOur family of nine heads off for a week of Caribbean fun on the NCL Breakaway

Viking Celebrates New Ships with Picasso Tour, Dinner and a Rare Concert

  BASEL, Switzerland — As I discussed a week ago, Viking just named seven new river ships  and did a lot of celebrating. There were nearly 20 cruise journalists in attendance and Viking made our Basel visit extra interesting by inviting us to tour their operational headquarters in Basel. This turned out to be quite the treat as it gave us insight into the depth of their operations. Executive VP Tony Hoffman led us from department to …

Read moreViking Celebrates New Ships with Picasso Tour, Dinner and a Rare Concert

Viking Names Seven New River Ships in Impressive Ceremony

  BASEL, Switzerland – Yesterday Viking Cruises kicked off the 2019 cruising season with the naming of seven new river ships. But there was a hitch: Only two of the ships were in Basel. Two were at the shipyard in Rostock, Germany, two were in Brunsbuttel, Germany, delayed by weather and the last was in Porto, Portugal. But Viking put its creative talents to work and devised a “virtual” naming. All of the ships’ godmothers were in …

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Malala Yousafzai christens Celebrity’s newest ship, the Edge, in an inspirational ceremony

When the Celebrity Edge was introduced to the cruising world last month it touted lots of new features…a big orange thing-a-ma-jig called the Magic Carpet which goes up and down the side of the ship, a huge multi-story, multiuse room full of plants called Eden and a prow unlike any other. But all that aside, the most impressive thing that Celebrity Cruises did is pick a most unusual godmother to christen its newest creation. For those who …

Read moreMalala Yousafzai christens Celebrity’s newest ship, the Edge, in an inspirational ceremony

Something different: A Viking Ocean cruise through Canada and the Northeastern U.S.

In two days we will set off on another cruise adventure, and part of this trip visits a region that I haven’t visited by ship before: The Canadian Maritimes. We will be traveling on a 12-day itinerary called the “Eastern Seaboard Explorer” on the new Viking Sky. This will be our third trip this year with Viking. Last year at this time we spent two wonderful weeks venturing around the Baltic Sea on the line’s first ocean …

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Queen Mary 2: Is she truly a “unique” ship?

In recent years, the standard way of constructing new cruise ships is to make several of the same design, thus reducing the cost of creating and implementing different designs. Rarely can a ship call itself “unique,” means “one-of-a-kind.” The Queen Mary 2 — the flagship of Cunard Lines — does so and with justification. For one thing, she defines herself as an “ocean liner” which means she sails a regularly scheduled route between points A and B …

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The Queen Mary 2: What is there to do all day long at sea?

ABOARD THE QUEEN MARY 2 – We had a most interesting lunch today. Four of the people who joined our table in the Brittania Dining Room were part of the Road Scholar group and they were absorbed with studying British murder mysteries. The question they discussed between themselves today was which was better: The Detective Morse mysteries or the Endeavour series (which we learned came after the original Morse series but told of his younger years.) Now, …

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Cunard celebrates the Royal Wedding aboard the QM2

ABOARD THE QUEEN MARY 2 – We have only been on the QM2 a couple of days. Our first day was mostly spent exploring the ship and its many activities. Rain and cold weather kept most everyone inside so the atmosphere was subdued. Yesterday was a whole ‘nother story. Much attention was paid to the Royal Wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry and American Meghan Markle which transpired early in the day. I turned on the telly to …

Read moreCunard celebrates the Royal Wedding aboard the QM2

A crossing on the QM2: Not like any other cruise

The last couple of days before departing on a trip are always busy with an array of last-minute to-dos. Today is no exception. We are leaving on Wednesday to fly to New York to board the Queen Mary 2 for a transatlantic crossing. Usually the crossing is straightforward – six days of sailing and then you get off in Southampton, England. This particular itinerary is a bit different in that while it does call in Southampton, it …

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