Destination Hawai’i with Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess: Maui Hoops & Beaches

LAHAINA, Maui – Many basketball fans were in town today for the second round of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational tournament being held at the Lahaina Civic Center. Scheduled from November 25th through the 27th, the 2019 teams included BYU, Chaminade, Dayton, Georgia, Kansas, UCLA, Virginia Tech, and Michigan State – a collection of programs that boasts a combined 198 NCAA Tournament appearances, 44 Final Four berths and 16 national championships. (Michigan State lost yesterday to Virginia …

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Destination Hawai’i With Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess: Garden Isle of Kauai

NAWILIWILI, Kauai – As the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands geologically, Kauai is the most highly eroded.  The resulting landscapes of jagged peaks and ridges, canyons, and precipitous cliffs have a prehistoric feeling.  Combined with thick, lush rainforest vegetation, the island appears to be the perfect setting for a movie about earth at a primitive stage, which probably explains why Stephen Spielberg filmed Jurassic Park on Kauai. Spielberg also used Kauai as a background in Raiders of …

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Destination Hawai’i With Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess: Aloha Honolulu

HONOLULU, Oahu – Our stateroom on the Grand Princess is on the 12th deck, also known as the Aloha deck. When the elevator door opens on this deck, passengers are greeted with a hearty “Alo-ha!” Undoubtedly the word in the Hawaiian language best known throughout the world, Aloha has a deeper meaning than hello or goodbye. To Hawaiians, Aloha is spiritual, a way to a harmonious life, and is embedded deeply in the culture. The meaning of …

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Destination Hawai’i With Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess: Specks in a Vastness of Blue

ABOARD the GRAND PRINCESS – During four days at sea en route to Hawai’i, there is time to contemplate the oldest of the world’s seas, the Pacific Ocean, and the place of the Hawaiian Islands in it. Ranger John, former national parks employee, is onboard to help with a seminar entitled “Think Hawaiian Geology is Boring? No Way Baby, It’s Explosive.” It’s commonly known that the islands of the mid-Pacific are the result of volcanic action, the …

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Destination Hawai’i With Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess: Grand Entertainment

ABOARD the GRAND PRINCESS – In addition to a very comfortable bed and bright new carpeting, our compact, and well organized, inside stateroom is equipped with a large high definition TV screen. Upon first turning on the TV, a 14-minute video starts up playing the familiar theme song to the classic TV show The Love Boat, but with new safety lyrics. Several of the original actors from the show charmingly ham it up while welcoming passengers on …

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Destination Hawai’i With Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess: Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay

SAN FRANCISCO – The largest cruise ship in the world when it was launched in 1998, Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess carries 2,600 passengers and a crew of 1,150, making it a standard-size ship compared to today’s megaships with passenger capacities nearing seven thousand. Partially refurbished this past March, details for which I will explore in the coming days, Grand Princess will take five days to reach the first of the four Hawaiian Islands to be visited.  The …

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Heavyweights of the Seas

  I normally arrive a day early for cruise departures, but have made an exception for a cruise out of the Port of Miami. I came three days early this time in order to photograph some representative heavyweights of cruising, megaships of MSC, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival that are currently in port. All are overwhelmingly huge and seeing most of the attractions onboard would require at least a four-day cruise on each. I only have a …

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Cruising in France: Day 6 on the Burgundy Canal

  On the last leg of our cruise, from Lezinnes to Tanlay, there are five more locks and some of the group wanted to make the most of the nice weather by walking most of the way. A few others took the opportunity on our last cruise day to ride bikes. Throughout the cruise, Captain Jolanda has made a point of warning everyone not to fall overboard when getting on or off the barge at the locks. …

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Cruising in France: Day 5 on the Burgundy Canal

  A sunny morning permitted the group to get out to walk on the towpath while La Belle Epoque cruised today from Ancy-le-Franc to Lezinnes, with an excursion in the afternoon to the town of Chablis. A most notable town in Burgundy is Chablis dominated by the spire of the 13th century Collégiale Saint-Martin à Chablis. The city is packed with cellars aging the namesake wine. There are 300 producers with the most prominent being Domaine Laroche. We visited …

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Cruising in France: Day 4 on the Burgundy Canal

Les Riceys is the only wine growing area of the Champagne region to have three Appellation d’Origine Contollees. It is the major supplier of grapes for Alexandre Bonnet.

  Today our cruise on the Burgundy Canal is from Ravieres to Ancy-le-Franc. Following a morning drive into Champagne to inspect the vines at a Les Riceys vineyard, we moved on to the Alexandre Bonnet winery for a demonstration of the making of Champagnes by Ervine, the future wine maker of the winery. Included was a sampling of fine Alexandre Bonnet Champagnes. A Champagne aperitif and multicourse gourmet lunch was hosted by the vivacious Baroness Segolene and …

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