Cruising is back. Hooray!

Also know that, despite all the testing, temperature checks and new procedures, cruise ship personnel and islanders are genuinely happy to see you, and happy that tourism has restarted. We have been on two cruises since the restart, and thought it might be a good idea to talk about how the cruise lines are implementing their  health and safety protocols. Cruising is back. Hooray! Is it different? Of course. COVID is still very much among us. First, it’s …

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Getting To Know Celebrity Apex

ABOARD CELEBRITY APEX_581 days. Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo told us that’s how long it’s been from the original date of Celebrity Apex’s grand U.S. debut. Then the pandemic hit. But now the time has come, and Ms. Lutoff-Perlo delivered a simple but powerful message to an assembled crowd of travel advisors, media and guests: “The comeback will be stronger than the setback.” Amen. We were all there for a short preview cruise and the …

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Final Thoughts on Our 10-day “Luxe Adventure” Caribbean Cruise on Atlas Ocean Voyages’ World Navigator

Our 10-day “luxe adventure” Caribbean cruise on Atlas Ocean Voyages’ World Navigator is in the books. Now it’s time to summarize our overall impressions of the ship and what we experienced. First off, as we all know, traveling today isn’t just having a passport and a boarding pass. In most cases, in addition to being double vaccinated, you’ll need proof of a negative COVID test as well. Actually, multiple negative tests as you enter and leave countries. …

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Day 9 – World Navigator, Atlas Ocean Voyages (Mayreau)

MAYREAU_I bet there’s a good chance you haven’t run across this place in all your cruising. We haven’t. It’s the smallest inhabited island in the Grenadines, with a population of under 300. World Navigator lies anchored just off a wide stretch of sandy beach, and Zodiacs have been going back and forth all morning, ferrying supplies and equipment for a very special treat for those of us onboard: A full-on beach BBQ. And when I say “full-on,” …

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Day 8 – World Navigator, Atlas Ocean Voyages (At Sea)

AT SEA_Today our destination is … nowhere. It’s a sea day, and we’ll spend it cruising the Grenadines, between St. Vincent and Grenada. There was a heavy rain overnight, and a gray, fog-like haze envelopes the islands as we sail by. It pretty much stays with us all day. No matter, while some head to the spa, for us it’s chill time by the pool. This morning there’s also a cooking demonstration in The Dome, where Brazilian …

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Day 7 – World Navigator, Atlas Ocean Voyages (St. Lucia)

ST. LUCIA_Hard to believe, but we have arrived at one of the last islands on this 10-day cruise, and it’s among the most beautiful, with its white sand beaches, mountainous terrain, rainforests, hiking trails, hot springs and of course, the world-famous Pitons, two volcanic spires rising dramatically out of the sea. Many of the 50-some passengers on World Navigator have signed up for a tour of the island, and we are assembled in the Atlas Lounge awaiting …

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Day 6 – World Navigator, Atlas Ocean Voyages (Antigua)

ANTIGUA_And now we arrive in Antigua. Or maybe not. As we finish breakfast and go to the Atlas Lounge to assemble for our walking tour of Nelson’s Dockyard — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — we learn the seas are too rough for the tenders, so the ship is moving north to dock at the island’s capital, St. John’s. The announcement was late in coming, so both passengers and crew are scrambling to readjust, as are the …

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Day 5 – World Navigator, Atlas Ocean Voyages (St. Kitts and Nevis)

ST. KITTS AND NEVIS_We are rapidly moving toward the mid-point of our 10-day cruise, and as is customary, the time is flying by. For the next two days, we will visit the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, and as is the case with our earlier ports, we will be among the first cruise ships to call here since the pandemic started. Both islands have strict COVID protocols, including masking and temperature checks, and tours are only …

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Day 4 – World Navigator, Atlas Ocean Voyages (St. Barts)

ST. BARTS_Bonjour! We have arrived at this Caribbean French playground for the rich and famous, but happily they also welcome the not-so-rich unknowns as well. Shopping here is something like an island version of Rodeo Drive: Lots of high-end brand names that draw the yachting crowd like a magnet. But there are also deals to be had. Some of our new friends came back with jewelry, clothes and accessories that didn’t break the bank. Normally, Pam would …

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Day 3 – World Navigator, Atlas Ocean Voyages (Saba)

SABA_After leaving St. Maarten, our next stop is somewhere we’ve never been, and frankly, didn’t know about: Saba (prounced SAY-ba). We first heard about it from our St. Maarten taxi driver, who told us it was featured in the 1933 film classic, “King Kong.” That definitely got my attention. Once it came into view, the connection was obvious. Rising out of the ocean, we saw its towering cliffs and jagged rocks, the top of the island obscured …

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