Day 9: Rain drops and tiny bubbles in Dominica

Our day with Oceania’s Insignia in Dominca began on a low note and ended with a high and noisy one on this, the last day of the year. The shore excursion we had booked was cancelled the night before our arrival due to lack of interest. We’d planned a Jeep safari through the rainforest and natural wonders of what we’d been told is one of the Caribbean’s wildest and most unspoiled islands. Luckily, Insignia’s destination services crew …

Read moreDay 9: Rain drops and tiny bubbles in Dominica

Day 8: A spicy day in Grenada

Oceania’s Insignia docked right on time in Grenada. Today marks our third visit here and this time we were determined to have a proper tour of the island on an excursion we booked ourselves through the Grenada Tourism Authority. On our first visit, back in 1986, our Sitmar vessel—remember that cruise line?—docked at Carenage, a perfectly shaped natural horseshoe harbor and one of the most beautiful in the Caribbean. Our 3- and 6-year-olds stayed on board with …

Read moreDay 8: A spicy day in Grenada

Day 7: The bounty of Barbados

Two things I love about Barbados: beaches and shopping. This former British colony, independent since 1966, is an important center of commerce in the Caribbean, most of it centered in the capital, Bridgetown. The cruise terminal sits just a little over a mile from the heart of the city. As soon as we make our way through the maze of shops inside the terminal we emerge into sunlight and walk a short distance to a well-organized taxi …

Read moreDay 7: The bounty of Barbados

St. George’s, Grenada — the Spice Island

ABOARD OCEANIA RIVIERA, DAY EIGHT — Our island hopping continues. This morning we have hopped over to St. George’s, Grenada — the Spice Island. We also have reached the southern-most point in our cruise, 90 miles from the South American coast. Docked beside us and looming large is MSC Poesia, with a passenger capacity almost three times ours. But unlike Barbados, we appear to be the only two cruise ships here today. Since we have stopped at …

Read moreSt. George’s, Grenada — the Spice Island

Day 6: A taste of France

You know you’re in a department of France as soon as you explore downtown Fort-de-France, capital of Martinique. The buildings with wrought iron balconies remind me of New Orleans, the beaches the French Riviera, the bakeries the boulangeries of Provence and the perfume shops the boutiques of Paris. The city even has a Galleries Lafayette where you can buy French scents and fashions and pay for them in euros. Bear in mind, though, that this French enclave …

Read moreDay 6: A taste of France

“Discover Barbados” tour gives overview of Bridgetown

ABOARD OCEANIA RIVIERA, DAY SEVEN- We are docked at Bridgetown, Barbados. So it seems is every other cruise ship in the world. Also here are Princess, Carnival, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, MSC, Pullmantur and a few others. It’s going to be a BUSY day at the port. As first-time visitors, we are going on the “Discover Barbados” tour. Prior to docking, passengers were told two “don’ts” about the island: Don’t smoke in public places (OK – we …

Read more“Discover Barbados” tour gives overview of Bridgetown

Day 5: Swimming with stingrays and sports on board

A stingray feels a lot like a yoga mat in the fitness center on Oceania Cruises’ ship Insignia. And the females would be big enough to plant myself in downward facing dog if only they didn’t skitter away so quickly. Bill and I were booked on the Swimming with Stingrays shore excursion in Antigua, a worthwhile experience that we probably could not have done on our own. Eleven of us met our driver at the pier in …

Read moreDay 5: Swimming with stingrays and sports on board

Tropical rain forest experience in Balata Botanical Garden in Fort de France, Martinique

ABOARD OCEANIA RIVIERA, DAY 6 – It’s hard to believe we are already six days into our cruise — it goes so fast. This morning we wake up to a view of Ft. St. Louis, which means we are docked at Fort de France, Martinique. Weather-wise, the winds are still around and periodic rain is roaming the area. But overall, mostly bright and sunny. This is our inaugural visit here, the capital city of this French island …

Read moreTropical rain forest experience in Balata Botanical Garden in Fort de France, Martinique

Regal Princess Cruise: Learning about the ‘Love Boat’ and Princess Cruises

ABOARD THE REGAL PRINCESS – Sitting at the airport, waiting for my flight home. Weeklong curise on the Regal Princess went way too fast. But they always do. Boarding the ship, it seemed like the seven days stretched ahead of me. So much to do or not to do. The choice was mine. Now I’m looking over my photos and notes. I always knew that Princess Cruises and the “Love Boat” television show were intertwined but I …

Read moreRegal Princess Cruise: Learning about the ‘Love Boat’ and Princess Cruises

Regal Princess Cruise: The Voice of the Ocean serenades on our cruise

ABOARD THE REGAL PRINCESS – Strolling onto the stage of the Princess Theater, Don dedicates his song to his father. Then he starts crooning the Sinatra standard “My Way.” And surprise. Don can sing. All three judges of “The Voice of the Ocean” swivel their chairs around to say “I Want You” in asking Don to be on their team. At evening’s end, Don has won the cruise competition as “The Voice of the Ocean.” A packed …

Read moreRegal Princess Cruise: The Voice of the Ocean serenades on our cruise

CLOSE
CLOSE