Day one on the Orion … and the ship remains at the dock

You, no doubt, have been on lots of cruises but this is only my second (and my first was nothing more than three days traveling from Los Angeles to Encinada, Mexico and back) so perhaps this is perfectly normal, but after we embarked yesterday and after we had our mandatory lifeboat drill and learned how to properly put on our life preservers (true confession: even after being shown several times how to slip it through my arms, …

Read moreDay one on the Orion … and the ship remains at the dock

Boarding the Orion in Tasmania: Miss Lobke to the rescue

Small, cold rain is drenching me and about twenty other passengers ready to embark on an Orion expedition cruise out of Launceston, Tasmania. We are standing on the wharf at Beauty Point, kittycorner to the Platypus House or, if you don’t know where that is, directly across from Seahorse World (“Where you can discover the secret life of the Seahorse!” according to the sign on the side). The problem is there’s a short, stout young Tassie maritime …

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So much to see in Puerto Rico

Follow the glow sticks! It is pitch black and we are kayaking through red mangroves, trying to dodge the roots, on our way to the Bioluminescent Bay Laguana Grande at Las Croabas, Fajardo in Puerto Rico—one of three on the island, I learn from our guide Joel from GSI Adventures. The bay is home to a large colony—more than a million—of dinoflagellates that light up and produce the glowing waters that make the water glow when we …

Read moreSo much to see in Puerto Rico

Austria: Prettiest part of the Danube thus far

On the day after Thanksgiving, as our countrymen were standing on line waiting to buy electronics or sweaters, many of my fellow passengers and I climbed back aboard AMADolce after a brief walking tour of the little (350 people qualifies as “little,” doesn’t it?) town of Durnstein, Austria. It was cold and windy, tiny drops of moisture – not even qualifying as a drizzle – dropped onto our heavy coats. Our faces reddened by the early morning …

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Uniworld Boutique River Cruises Earns Top Spots in Eyes of Condé Nast Traveler Readers

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has had an excellent year in 2011, earning among other accolades, the number one spot in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards for the world’s Best River Cruise Line. This is the first time Condé Nast Traveler has had a separate river cruise category, and Uniworld is honored to be their readers’ top choice with a score of 90.3. Uniworld was also included in Condé Nast’s 2011 Gold List as one of …

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Sometimes no plan is the best plan on vacation

All my plans for this week have gone awry. The freak snowstorm that struck the Northeast over the weekend knocked out our power in Connecticut and we have no clue when it may be restored. After one cold dark night in the house, we decamped to New York City last night and likely will be hotel hopping the rest of the week (if we can even find a room as the NY Marathon is this coming weekend). But …

Read moreSometimes no plan is the best plan on vacation

Holland America Line Wins Nine 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards from Porthole Cruise Magazine

Premium Cruise Line Earns Accolades for Top Itineraries, Best Private Island and ms Nieuw Amsterdam Holland America Line, a leader in premium cruising, has earned top honors with nine 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards from Porthole Cruise Magazine, one of the world’s leading cruise travel publications. The awards included Best Alaska Itineraries, Best Medium-Sized Ship for ms Nieuw Amsterdam and Best Private Island for Half Moon Cay, its exclusive island in the Bahamas. Porthole Cruise Magazine’s Readers’ Choice …

Read moreHolland America Line Wins Nine 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards from Porthole Cruise Magazine

Door busting is for the birds…take advantage of a holiday sailing sale

Before you go out and battle the crowds this Black Friday or rush to get an online deal on something you regret later on Cyber Monday… relax and enjoy your holiday lounging the couch, watching football, eating a leftover turkey sandwich as you let the tryptophan kick in. Festiva Sailing Vacations has just launched its HOLIDAY SAILING SALE where you can save 30 percent on 2012 sailing dates when you call to book between now and 5pm …

Read moreDoor busting is for the birds…take advantage of a holiday sailing sale

Explore the Best of Alaska with Holland America Line’s Alaska/Yukon 2012 CruiseTours

Combine glacier cruising with inland wildlife viewing, natural wonders and gold rush history on 17 CruiseTours From the breathtaking views of Glacier National Park to the wilderness of Denali National Park and the Yukon’s Klondike Gold Rush territory, Holland America Line’s 2012 Alaska CruiseTours feature 17 different itineraries that immerse guests in a rich Alaska nature and frontier experience.  Departures provide “cruise first” or “tour first” selections to stunning landscapes and less-visited landmarks throughout The Last Frontier. …

Read moreExplore the Best of Alaska with Holland America Line’s Alaska/Yukon 2012 CruiseTours

Norwegian offers exclusive cruise deals celebrating Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Receive up to $250 to spend on board and reduced deposits fleet-wide  Norwegian Cruise Line launches its Black Friday/Cyber Monday limited time offer to celebrate the biggest shopping days of the year with special savings on Freestyle Cruises to exciting destinations. Beginning on Wednesday, November 23, 2011, guests can take advantage of exclusive savings on Norwegian’s sailings of three days or longer to Alaska; Bahamas & Florida; Bermuda; the Caribbean; Europe; and Hawai’i. Vacationers who book their …

Read moreNorwegian offers exclusive cruise deals celebrating Black Friday and Cyber Monday

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