Happy Marriages and Our Marriott Nights

If you travel, you know the importance of status within airline and hotel loyalty programs. You also know those points earned are another currency you can spend on vacations. For years, my wife and I have been enjoying our “Marriott Nights” on a monthly basis. The logic is simple. Weekend rates at hotels catering to business travelers can be pretty inexpensive. Once a month on average, we would book a one night stay in a Marriott in …

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15 Islands We’ve Seen in Films That We Want to Visit

We are getting closer to traveling again. Over the years we have visited many islands. Since we like cruising, islands are an obvious destination. Here are several we want to see again or see for the first time (and why). Most have connections to films or TV series. Manhattan Island, New York. This one might come as a surprise. It’s a 70 mile drive from home. It’s featured in countless movies. Friends we met on a transatlantic …

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Planning Our Next Cruise – What Will Be Different?

We are getting close. After months of hearing how our European friends have booked cruises only to find they are cancelled or rolled into the future, we are ready to book. As Americans, I’m thinking a trip to the Caribbean starting and ending in New York will avoid the complications of European travel. What are we expecting? Aiming towards November. As cruising returns, the kinks will gradually be ironed out. The trend in the US has been …

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12 Wines to Help Pretend You Are Someplace Else

It’s summer. We would like to be sailing. We aren’t quite there yet. Here are 12 ways (and wines) to close your eyes and imagine your port (or shipboard) experience while sipping wines associated with specific destinations. Albarino. It’s a classic Spanish summertime wine that’s widely available. What are you eating? That’s easy. If you were in Barcelona, you would be enjoying either paella or tapas. Both can be ordered as takeout from your local Spanish restaurant. …

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Pros and Cons of a Larger Cabin

Cruise ship cabins often come in four basic categories: Inside, outside, balcony cabins and suites. Within each category are multiple subcategories based on deck and location towards fore and aft. All of these come with different costs. Is a bigger cabin really necessary? Sometimes the answer is yes. If you are celebrating your 25th wedding anniversary you want to “push the boat out.” (Not literally, of course.) if you are traveling with extended family members you might …

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Now Is The Time For Your Luxury Hotel Getaway

We aren’t sailing anywhere yet. That doesn’t mean you can’t be getting away. Sure, you can fly domestically, but how about trying an even crazier idea? Spend a klong weekend at a luxury hotel in the big city near you. Here’s the logic: The city might be empty. New York City is running TV ads to increase domestic tourism. The grand hotel you’ve always wanted to visit is likely offering cheap rates because of the fall in …

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Almost Cruising – Our Long Weekend at Lake Placid

Life is getting back to normal, but no big ships yet. Only boats. Over the weekend of June 12th and 13th we drove the 325 miles from New Hope, PA to Lake Placid, NY. If we can’t fly overseas and our cruising options are limited, we all need to do something to scratch the travel itch. Here’s our story. Background Lake Placid, NY is a small town (population 2,346) located in the Adirondacks about 50+ miles below …

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How We Buy Gifts for Friends While on Vacation

My wife and I are world class shoppers. We hope that category will be added to the Olympics someday. Obviously the Summer Olympics. When on cruises, we buy presents for friends back home. We restock the present closet. We start our Christmas present shopping in January. Let’s look at how we decide what to buy for people. You might ask: “Why?  I know how to shop. I can spend money with the best of them. What could …

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Dispatches From New York City

New York City has often been called the greatest city in the world, even the center of the universe. It’s a cruise port and a major hub for international air travel. Put another way, if you travel, you’ve likely passed through NYC. What’s it like right now? Why is this important? As we come out of the pandemic lockdown, our frame of reference is usually our home town. Here in Bucks County, PA and nearby New Jersey, …

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8 Things I’m Going to Do When We Can Sail Again

Cruising is something I really miss. My wife and I have favorite ships. We are patiently waiting for them to set sail again. When that happens, we are going to make every moment count. Here’s what I have in mind the moment we make our booking. Bring another couple along. For 15 months our friends have heard me moan how much we miss going to sea and being pampered. They hear all about our favorite ships. They …

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