Scenic Tours Christmas Markets Cruise- Cruising with a Local Flavour

Scenic cruises has a new addition to their port tours – the chance to spend time with local residents, with an opportunity to get a personal glimpse into the real life of the area. Today we  separated into small groups to meet the locals.  There was a good list of choices so each passenger could select an experience that would be meaningful – from cookie making, to hiking with a guide , from a bike ride around …

Read moreScenic Tours Christmas Markets Cruise- Cruising with a Local Flavour

Scenic Tours, Christmas Markets Cruise-A day in historic Wurzburg

WURZBURG-Today we are docked in historic Wurzburg, a charming old city that straddles the river.  It is infamous for the witch trials that took place here in the early 1600’s.  Much of the city was destroyed in fire bombings at the end of World War 11, but the city has been painstakingly and lovingly restored. The graceful old bridge, the Alte Mainbrucke, is adorned with statues of saints and historic figures and resembles the Charles Bridge in …

Read moreScenic Tours, Christmas Markets Cruise-A day in historic Wurzburg

Scenic Christmas Markets cruise

We awoke this morning in Bamberg, to slightly chilly weather and little flakes of snow, quite perfect for a tour of this lovely old town.  We did a walking tour with guide Christian, who told us the history of the town and showed us the cathedral, the royal residences, and the historic buildings, including an ancient brewery, famous for its smokey beer.  We ended at the Main square with its traditional Christmas market and wandered for an …

Read moreScenic Christmas Markets cruise

The Christmas Markets Cruise: Aboard the MS Scenic Crystal with Scenic Tours Initial Impressions and a Warm Welcome

Within minutes of boarding the ship, we had met many of the crew members, we had been given a quick overview of the boat and our private butler had introduced us to the details of daily life on the Crystal. (Two pieces of ironing can be done gratis each day, the mini bar is restocked daily, there’s a “Do Not disturb” light to engage when you want to be left alone, etc. ) We unpacked – the cupboards …

Read moreThe Christmas Markets Cruise: Aboard the MS Scenic Crystal with Scenic Tours Initial Impressions and a Warm Welcome

A visit to the town where Vincent Van Gogh spent his final most prolific days

Auvers sur Oise, France — I’m literally walking in Vincent Van Gogh’s footsteps to the field where he painted the famous paintings like the Wheatfield of Crows and where he shot himself. Such a sad story. Van Gogh, of course, was only 37 when he died and not yet famous.  He had come to the town of Auvers sur Oise, a short distance from Paris on the train because Dr. Paul Gachet, lived here.  A great friend …

Read moreA visit to the town where Vincent Van Gogh spent his final most prolific days

In Rouen, France — where Joan of Arc died and Monet painted a famous cathedral

Rouen, on the Seine River in Normandy — She was a teenaged girl who was seeing things.  Centuries later, she is the national symbol of France. Joan of Arc was born in 1412 to a family of farm laborers. When she was a young teen, she started to hear voices telling her to help the dauphin regain the throne.  From the start of the Hundred Year’s War in 1337, the English and French fought over that throne …

Read moreIn Rouen, France — where Joan of Arc died and Monet painted a famous cathedral

A cruise with a difference — along the Seine River in Normandy

ON THE SEINE RIVER BETWEEN PARIS AND NORMANDY — We’re gliding along a field dotted with daisies; at lunch I watched a family of swans. I’m on a different kind of cruise—a River Cruise on the Seine in France on Avalon Waterways Creativity—just 140 passengers on this 361-foot long barge and with just 70 staterooms and two suites.  (The newest Avalon ships will be all-suites.) “You get to know people here… and it’s nice that you unpack …

Read moreA cruise with a difference — along the Seine River in Normandy

Cruising on the Seine River – a stop at Monet’s Garden in Giverny

ON THE SEINE RIVER BETWEEN PARIS AND NORMANDY — I’m walking in Monet’s glorious gardens at Giverny on sunny day thinking about a little girl skipping over the famous green Japanese Bridges a big smile on her face. That was my daughter Melanie, 7 at the time, who was enamored of the book Linnea in Monet’s Garden, so from the time we announced we were going to France in 1998, she announced we must visit Monet’s Garden.  …

Read moreCruising on the Seine River – a stop at Monet’s Garden in Giverny

Royal Caribbean’s Happy Family (Vacation) Deals

This is the kind of information I love to pass along; Royal Caribbean is celebrating the family vacation this year with 3 different offers. In short, they are: 1.     Children can tour free aboard select ships in Europe, 2.     A free upgrade opportunity for Bahamas, Bermuda or Caribbean sailings in the fall, OR 3.     Royal Incentive Reward certificates, available for purchase for an anticipated vacation or as a gift. Here are the details, straight from the line, …

Read moreRoyal Caribbean’s Happy Family (Vacation) Deals

A family affair: The challenges of cruising with adult children

For 20 years we traveled with another “couple.”  We rented beach houses together, took cruises and went on golf vacations.  But then they split up and moved away.  And now, after several years on their own, we’re planning a reunion vacation, actually, a family reunion.  The other “couple,” Amanda and Scott, are our children, and are now in their late 20’s. Oh course, it won’t be easy.  There are “Significant Others” (SOs) in the mix.  When we …

Read moreA family affair: The challenges of cruising with adult children

CLOSE
CLOSE