Any Geocachers Out There?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, Geocaching is a high-tech, real-world treasure hunt… a pastime that has taken off in popularity over the last several years and has gained participants of all backgrounds and ages. The particular beauty of this outdoor adventure is that it can be played all over the world; enthusiasts who have a day for exploration can find hidden treasure in even the most remote locations.  This makes Geocaching the …

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Evenings at the Bistro

Artisinal cheeses- Image courtesy of Crystal Cruises Crystal Cruises, well known for their exemplary dining venues and cuisine options (due in large part to Executive Chef Nobu Matsuhisa- who by the way will be on one of their cruises this spring) is expanding one of its most popular venue’s evening hours. The Bistro, with European-style sidewalk café ambiance, will offer “small bites,” desserts, and “midnight” snacks, along with premium wines and flavored coffees.  The new nightly café …

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Alaskan Dream Cruises celebrates second season with new itineraries and ports

Alaskan Dream Cruises, which is owned and operated by a local family in Sitka, Alaska, will commence it’s second season, with new ports and itineraries, in May 2012. The Alaskan Dream will sail three new itineraries, which will include an eight-day trip that visits less-traveled-to destinations, like Hobart Bay and Kasaan, and two extensive 11- and 13-day trips through the Inside Passage. These new trips will mark the inclusion of the ports of Ketchikan, Skagway, Haines, Thorne …

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Ecoventura’s Rainforest Alliance Verification

Image courtesy of Ecoventura Ecoventura, a small ship line that runs a fleet of environmentally friendly fleet of expedition vessels in the Galapagos, has earned the Rainforest Alliance verification in recognition of its commitment to conserving the environment and supporting local communities. Rainforest Alliance verification is awarded to a hotel or tour operator that has met wide-ranging standards to conserve natural resources, protect wildlife and help local communities thrive. Rainforest Alliance verification is aligned with the standards …

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See The World Through The Eyes Of Your Children- On A Family Cruise

Alaskan Brown Bears- Courtesy of Adventuresmith Thinking of planning a family cruise? I just checked in with AdventureSmith Explorations and see that they’ve put together a list of what they consider to be the best family cruises for late 2011 through 2012.  I love the way these cruises focus not on the ship experience (you won’t find mega water parks or 3-D movie theaters aboard these vessels), but on the off-ship adventures and cross-cultural experiences.  I’ve written …

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Disney Comes to New York

Disney is a name known worldwide, and those of you that have experienced a Disney Cruise with your children know that the magic of the parks translates nicely to a cruise. Over time, the Disney Magic has brought its special brand of cruising to ports around the world; Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, England, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Russia; in the eastern and western Caribbean, Mexico, the Bahamas, St. Maarten to name but a few. And now, …

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The Disney Parks

Staying at the Grand Californian, we were pretty conveniently located to be able to run back and forth between Disneyland and California Adventure, which we did.  Frequently.  For three days. California Adventure is a fun park, and there were several rides that we loved over there… a favorite for everyone was the Grizzly River Run, a “raft” style ride that combines river rafting with a rollercoaster.  Prepare to get wet on this ride… there’s a sign as …

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Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and the Downtown Disney District

Before visiting the Disney Theme parks, we investigated accommodations in the surrounding area, and settled on staying at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.  We picked this on-site craftsman-style Disney hotel because of its location- it looks out over the California Adventure Park and has an entrance directly into the Downtown Disney Area.  (A tip: this is paticularly nice after a 14 hour day in the parks- it’s a looong walk just to make your way through …

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LEGOLAND California- Tricks with Bricks

We visited Legoland California in the off-season, a Sunday in October.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the crowds were minimal, and lines for the rides were practically nonexistent; our average wait time was 5-10 minutes, and some rides had no line at all. This amusement park caters to a younger crowd than most, in my opinion, but I think it’s actually geared best for the 5 to 10 year-old range.  The “better” rides (read: faster and …

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The Southern California Adventure Parks as a Pre or Post-Cruise Excursion

Taking a cruise that begins or ends in Los Angeles or San Diego?  My family just got back from a trip to Southern California, where we stopped at both Legoland and the two Disney Theme Parks- all of which have locations that make for an excellent pre or post-cruise excursion. Legoland, located in Carlsbad, is approximately 30 minutes North of San Diego and about an hour South of Los Angeles (get directions here), making it an easy trip if you are …

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