Queen Victoria, Day 3

ONBOARD QUEEN VICTORIA_(Friday, January 10): Friday was a big day. The best way to describe it is to say “The voyage officially started.” The day before, we get a note under the door: “Collect your passports and go through onboard immigration at 7:00 AM.” We both grew up in New York. “There will be a line. We must get up early and get on at the front.” We meet a couple from Denmark, further ahead in line. They …

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Queen Victoria, Day 2

ABOARD QUEEN VICTORIA_(Thursday, January 9): Thursday is our first full day at sea. It’s the last vacation day for people who signed on for the four night Southampton to Hamburg getaway. It’s our first formal night and their last formal night. The seas are calm. Here’s how experience has taught us to wake up. Instead of setting an alarm or getting a wake up call, we place an order for rolls, juice and coffee to be delivered …

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Queen Victoria, Day 1

ABOARD QUEEN VICTORIA_(Wednesday, January 8): We had breakfast in the Executive Lounge at the Hamburg Marriott. Then we explored the area around the hotel for a couple of hours. It’s the part of town with flagship boutique stores and an elegant department store which had a food themed floor. There was a Veuve Clicquot boutique. Yes, you can buy a VC logoed ski jacket. Caviar House had its shop/restaurant adjacent to the shop selling actual truffles along …

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The Top Dozen Things To Do After Boarding Your Ship

The day of your cruise has finally arrived. Unlike boarding a plane, ships let you on hours before departure. Here are a dozen things you should do: Arrive ASAP. You are paying for a vacation. It starts at embarkation. Get on as early as they will allow. Let’s assume that’s about noon. Why? You are paying for your time on the ship. Maximize it. Dropoff your luggage. This is pretty obvious. You have tagged your bags. The …

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Early or Late? Which Dinner Seating Should I Choose? Over 12 Pros and Cons to Consider

If you are traveling on a big ship, it’s likely you will be asked to choose a dinner seating. Traditionally this has been the first seating at 6:00 PM or the second seating at 8:30 PM. Let’s look at the pros and cons. The Early Seating:  6 Pros, 3 Cons The first seating starts at 6:00 PM and you are out of the dining room before 8:30 PM when the second seating starts. Pros: Early risers. Back …

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The Joy of German Christmas Markets – 3 Things To Do, 5 Favorite Markets, Plus 7 Market Tips

Who travels to cold places in the winter? Lots of people, specifically those seeking out Christmas markets for an infusion of holiday cheer.  Many river cruises stop at the right European towns. Major port cities often have them too. Should this be on your 2020 vacation agenda? Where to Go The Europeans approach the weeks before Christmas differently. Maybe they do less shopping and more celebrating. Some Internet research will let you know virtually every European country …

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Hosting a Trendy Gathering (Party) in Your Cruise Ship Cabin – 7 Ideas to Make Your Party More Than Memorable

We travel. We meet people. Now you are at sea, on a cruise ship. You’ve made friends. You want to invite them all to your home for a party. In this case, your “home” is a 262 square foot stateroom aboard ship. What do you do? Consider 4 Other Party Location Options Before you start planning a cabin party, think about other ways you could make this work. The dinner party. Your ship likely has alternative dining …

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12 Reasons Why a Winter Repositioning Cruise Makes Sense

Cape Horn, from the south in the Drake Passage, southern most point of South America

Cruise ships follow the same route over and over. Remember the line from the Love Boat theme song: “The Love Boat, soon will be making another run…” Once or twice a year, the cruise line needs to move their ship from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. That one-off voyage is called a repositioning cruise. Here is a list of repositioning cruises. https://www.cruisecompete.com/specials/deals/repositioning/1 Twelve Reasons You Want to Book a Repositioning Cruise Cruise lines move their ships around …

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Twelve Unforgettable Experiences for Your Next Cruise

Twelve Unforgettable Experiences for Your Next Cruise   Most people secretly want “Once in a Lifetime” experiences. It’s been said Millennials value experiences over products. With a little advance planning, your next cruise can leave you with lasting memories. Which ones sound best to you?   Slow Down! What’s This Advance Planning Stuff? Advance planning is another way of saying “Put in a little thought beforehand.”  Cruise lines have personalities. People who like dressing up shouldn’t be …

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How to Entertain Your Newfound Cruise Friends Stateside

Story by Bryce Sanders … You are not cut out to be a tour guide. You probably don’t run a hotel. Don’t discover this the hard way. You need a plan for entertaining your new friends in your home town. How Does This Happen? You’ve made new friends aboard the ship. After six days you are drinking buddies. You share the same interests. Shortly after telling the bartender “We need another bottle” you say: “You MUST come …

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