Missing the German Christmas Markets? 12 Ways We Re-created the Food and Atmosphere

Ever visit the German Christmas markets on a river cruise? Maybe you rented a car, checked into a centrally located hotel and took day trips to different markets. We did the latter. A lot. Like every year for almost 30 years. Then along came 2020. What Makes German Christmas Markets Special? Most European countries have Christmas markets. Consider it a reminder of ancient times when festivals lasted weeks. Unlike a state fair in the U.S., Christmas markets …

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Where You Will See Cats and Dogs on Vacation

68% of Americans own pets according to a 2016 report from the American Pet Products Association. (1)  48% own dogs, 38% own cats, in case you wondered. If you fit into this category, you likely miss your pet when you are on vacation. Here are some places you might find some to cheer you up. TSA Security. It’s a look, but don’t touch environment. Those uniformed beagles sniffing your luggage – you just want to pet them. …

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How Cruising Changed for the Better Over the Decades

“I really miss the QE2.” If you sail often, you will encounter passengers with a rose tinted view of how they remember cruising in the good old days. It’s actually improved significantly. Here’s how. It’s not just transportation. Once upon a time, it was how you crossed the Atlantic. How business people traveled from Britain to Australia or India. Today, the ship is the destination. You can have a great time and never leave the ship. River …

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10 More Holiday Gifts for Your Landlocked Friend

We hope to sail again soon. The cruise industry has started coming back to life. Meanwhile, US cities are starting to return to lockdown. New York City has a 10:00 PM curfew. Philadelphia is closing indoor dining and banning indoor events, including in home entertaining for friends through the end of 2020. You want to give gifts. You might not be able to deliver them in person. In addition, you don’t want to break the bank. What …

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Keeping in Touch With Cruise Friends During the Pandemic

Human nature is fascinating. If your cruise a lot, you discover it’s a small world. I’ve been fascinated on Cunard’s world cruises, there are people who take the same trip every year! They know each other in the context of the ship they sail. You might not be spending three or four months at sea each year, but you’ve made friends. How do you keep the connections alive when you are stuck on land because no ships …

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What to Buy Your Cruising Friend for Christmas

The Christmas season has already started. The Hallmark Channel(s) moves into back to back holiday movies in late October. According to Harper’s Bazaar, Mariah Carey declared the start of the Christmas season around November 1st. Since we are still dealing with the pandemic, it’s a good time to start thinking about what to give your loved ones for Christmas. Here are a few ideas. Put down a deposit on a 2021 cruise. This is a spouse or …

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Keeping In Touch While At Sea

The concept of going to sea is getting away from the demands of everyday life. Sometimes those demands follow you. Other times, you want to check in at the office. What are your options for keeping in touch? Ship to shore satellite radio. It’s likely the most expensive communication method invented. It’s been around for years. Buried deep in your ticketing package are some instructions how a person on land can place an operator assisted call to …

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9 Experiences to Enhance Your Next Cruise Vacation

The coolest things about cruise vacations is “getting there” is the vacation. It’s not like flying to a resort. It’s the journey itself. But what if you have cruised a lot? You want something else exciting. Since you are retired or independently wealthy, you have time on your hands. Back to back cruises. You skip the airport entirely! You sail transatlantic from New York to Southampton on Cunard. After seven days, you get off the ship, enjoy …

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Controlling Your Spending While at Sea … 10 Common Sense Steps

No one wants to be a cheapskate on vacation. We have all passed by the Purser’s office on the last day, noticing someone gesticulating wildly about their onboard charges. You want to avoid being a freeloader, hoping your new friends will buy the next round. What are some practical steps you can take? 2018 statistics gathered by cruisemarketwatch.com indicate the average daily spend per passenger across all cruise lines is about $ 62/day. (1)  On a seven …

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Practical Advice About Seasickness

I get seasick. I guess I’m not the only one. Since we take lots of cruises, it’s something I’ve learned how to address. Here are a few thoughts. This is practical advice, not medical advice. River cruises. If seasickness is a really big fear, consider a river cruise instead. You should have smoother sailing. It’s probably one of the reasons this segment of the industry has boomed. Alaska cruises. They often sail the Inland Passage. In my …

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