Shipmates: Writing and cruising work well together

Breakfast is over on the Grande Caribe cruise ship. Picking up her Mac laptop computer from her cabin, Lillian Herzberg heads to the ship’s lounge where her husband Ernie sets up a card table. While the Cumberland River flows peacefully outside the lobby windows, Lillian starts working on her newest book – “Escape From Girona.” “I’ve got it all written,” the 85-year-old author said. “I’m just editing it now and then I will turn it in to …

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Entertainment and the spa are both very special on the new Celebrity Eclipse

Entertainment is a high point on this ship — there are lots of options for passengers of all ages here, ranging from live entertainment to fitness activities to swim and spa facilities… You can catch a late night comedy show, live musical performances, or a movie in a cozy, casual atmosphere at Celebrity Central. The Eclipse Theater features three different shows with a full cast of singers and dancers on every seven-night cruise. These are highly entertaining …

Read moreEntertainment and the spa are both very special on the new Celebrity Eclipse

Shore excursion: Turning back time at Waverly Plantation in Mississippi

WEST POINT, Miss. – When Melanie Snow was seven years old, her parents bought a deserted Southern mansion that might have sent other youngsters screaming in fright. But for Melanie and her family, it was love at first sight. “I think it was meant for Mom and Dad to have this house,” Snow said, standing on the porch of her beloved home. “Whoever took this house would either have to have a lot of money or a …

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Shore excursion: A visit to the home of playwright Tennessee Williams

COLUMBUS, Miss. – Behind a glass frame on the wall of the Tennessee Williams Home is a treasure that was almost tossed in the trash. Faded with time, the laurel wreath once lay on the famed playwright’s body at his 1983 funeral. “It was saved and given to us by Tennessee Williams’ assistant,” a tour guide said. It seems only right that the funeral wreath is displayed in the home where Williams spent the first three years …

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Cruising the Med is a Dutch Treat on the Nieuw Amsterdam

  SAILING IN THE MEDITERRANEAN: I confess to being a little nervous as our ship approached the Strait of Messina. That’s the strip of water between the toe of Italy’s boot and the large Mafia-legendary island of Sicily. That narrow gap was where Odysseus, the ancient mariner of the Mediterranean, was forced to navigate carefully between Scylla and Charybdis. If you remember your Odyssey, Scylla was a six-headed creature who occupied a cliff on one side of …

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Our Editor-at-Large sails on Celebrity’s newest ship, the Eclipse, and is considering a family reunion on board

After a marvelous three days at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle resort, it was time to move on to the U.S. debut of Celebrity’s newest Solstice-class ship, the Eclipse. We had a brief lunch with friends at downtown Miami’s Intercontinental Hotel (a wonderful choice; the Beef Wellington was excellent). The Intercontinental is a great spot to consider staying prior to your cruise, as it is only a 10-minute drive to the Port of Miami, the embarkation locale for …

Read moreOur Editor-at-Large sails on Celebrity’s newest ship, the Eclipse, and is considering a family reunion on board

The Seabourn Spirit: A look back on 20 wonderful days through a fascinating part of the world

Recently I spent 20 days aboard the lovely Seabourn Spirit sailing through India and Malaysia and I reported extensively on those ports in this blog. However, I did want to do a final reflection on the overall Seabourn experience. For many years, Seabourn has been ranked among the top small-ship luxury cruise lines. Having now enjoyed the “The Yachts of Seabourn” personally I can tell you why: The stellar service they provide. At times the food wasn’t …

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Grenada harbor walkabout: St. George’s looks brand new after Hurricane Ivan

By Tim O’Keefe Grenada (pronounced “Greh-NAY-dah”) so reminded early Spanish sailors of the beloved green hillsides above their home port they named it Granada (“Grah-NAH-dah”). The spine of a steep hill divides St. George’s, the island capital. The harbor side of the hill, known as the Careenage, is the most picturesque. The cruise dock is located on the wrong side at the Esplanade, which has been developed extensively due to the fairly recent opening of the cruise …

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American Safari Cruises is great for families…Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet can attest to that

One of my favorite small ship cruises lines is American Safari Cruises. These ships are really small, 10-20 passengers, and they offer a wonderful experience. Thirteen years ago my husband Chet and I sailed on the Safari Quest during its first season. The story that I wrote about that trip appeared in newspapers all over America. It was so much fun…tucking into small bays all around Alaska. There were only 16 of us on that trip. Chet’s …

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Need a birth document, or a passport, or a visa fast? Here are the people to use…

Preparing for a cruise is always exciting and not always in good ways. Of course, there is the fun of anticipation but then there are the problems we encounter along the way. Right now Chet and I are working out the details of our next cruise: We are sailing the Seabourn Spirit from Dubai to Singapore in December. It is an exciting itinerary that will take us to Oman, India, Thailand and Malaysia. All of the ports …

Read moreNeed a birth document, or a passport, or a visa fast? Here are the people to use…

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