Love Boat Legacy

One of my sister Elaine’s favorite television shows was the “Love Boat,” the 1970s series that helped make Princess Cruises a household name. Airing on ABC from 1977 to 1986, “Love Boat” was set on the Pacific Princess cruise ship. So Elaine jumped at the chance when I suggested we cruise on the Regal Princess. Our weeklong cruise would go round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale in Florida to Princess Cays, St. Thomas and St. Maarten in the Caribbean …

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Celebrity Equinox cruise a happy 2020 memory

Andrew Thompson slipped off his sandals and scrunched his toes in the luxuriant grass. “We don’t have this at home yet,” the Michigan man said. “It’s still winter so this green grass is quite a treat. Never expected to find this here.” Wearing eye protection, Eleanor McCarthy gently turned the hot glass figure of a fish she was creating. Under the careful direction of instructor Justin Lewis, the Florida woman said she was crafting her own souvenir …

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American Cruise Lines adds personalized coaches for passenger comfort and safety

Here comes the American Cruise Lines coach rolling down the road. The road? Yep, the popular riverboat line has added personalized private coaches for the convenience and safety of passengers. It certainly is easy for American Cruise Lines passengers to identify their special bus when it pulls up. The new sanitized cruise coach has the American Cruise Lines logo with the red, white and blue stars and stripes and the words “Cruise Close to Home.” “All American …

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Home of baseball’s first professional team–Cincinnati Reds

“People will come, Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball.”                                                      James Earl Jones’ character in “Field of Dreams” Hearing the number of runs that Pete Rose hit during his baseball career is impressive. Seeing them is mind boggling. A 50-foot-tall “wall of balls” at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum brings home that staggering fact. Arranged in rows, the three-story wall has 4,256 baseballs for the record set by …

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Cruise pianist Jon England shares music during this “quiet” time

Part of the joy of cruising is the entertainment. A popular entertainer on American Cruise Lines is pianist Jon England and his “Velvet Virtuosity.” Although he has been docked at home as part of the COVID-19 shutdown, Jon is scheduled to cruise again in July. As though he knew I might be a bit homesick for cruising on the mighty Mississippi, Jon sent me an email today with a link to a half-hour program that’s going out …

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Historic Door County lighthouse now a museum

On Oct. 15, 1868, the light beamed from the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse tower for the first time. Located in Fish Creek, Wisconsin, the lovely lighthouse honorably served sailors and ships as they navigated the treacherous waters of the Great Lakes. When modern technology made the lighthouse obsolete, it shut down in 1926. For decades, the lighthouse sat empty and neglected. Then a strange thing happened. In 1960, The Door County Historical Society received permission to restore and …

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Celebrity Equinox wows after extensive refurbishment

A half-acre of luxuriant green grass. A glass furnace where visitors are taught to make their own unique souvenirs. A 3D dining experience where four teeny chefs create special dishes on each tabletop and dinner plate. Can all of this be on a beautiful cruise ship? Yep, these and other attractions are drawing compliments for the recently renovated Celebrity Equinox. Although I had cruised on other Celebrity ships, including the celebrated Celebrity Edge, I had never been …

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Valencia, Spain: Hometown of famed architect Calatrava

With its glistening white and shiny glass, it looks like the legendary city of Atlantis floating on a sea of blue. Or it might be a gigantic eyeball in a basin of water. Or a flying saucer that has landed in the midst of a city pool. It could even be a helmet that some mammoth warrior dropped. The City of Arts and Sciences is a work of art itself and can make the imagination soar just …

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Rollin’ on the river … new American Harmony draws admiring looks on river voyage

With cameras and cellphones in their hands, people on shore watched as the new American Harmony cruise ship docked along the Louisiana shore at St. Francisville. And they weren’t disappointed. The ship’s unique bow opens like some mythical creature’s jaws from which a retractable gangway can be extended for bow landings virtually anywhere. Passengers then walk comfortably down the extended gangway. Standing ashore, I admired how the sleek ship with its eye-catching bow looks like something from …

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Astoria Cruise: Learning about special olive oil on Astoria cruise ship

Never know who you might meet on a cruise ship. Since seats aren’t assigned in the Astoria dining room, I was invited to sit next to a woman at dinner one evening. After introducing ourselves, I reached for the olive oil and fresh bread before our dinner menus arrived. The olive oil is delicious and I have been starting every dining room meal enjoying that tasty oil with the unusual name – ACAIA. The woman sitting next …

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