ABOARD CARNIVAL SUNRISE- DAY FOUR

Photo courtesy of Gerry Barker

  Sunday morning — our last day at sea. How do these cruise days go by so fast? In less than 24 hours, we’re back at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, right where we started. First, the weather report you’ve been waiting for: The winds have picked up, but nothing so far like the trip out. Lots of sunshine streaming through our balcony window. We start with “Brunch at Sea” in the Sunshine room. While Pam goes traditional …

Read more

51 Reasons You Won’t Be Bored on a Cunard Transatlantic Crossing

  By Bryce Sanders Special to AllThingsCruise Are you one of the 11.5 million Americans who have taken a cruise?  If not, you might have your reasons. You may think you are too young. Too old. You’ll get bored. The last reason discourages many people from transatlantic crossings. Here are 51 reasons why you won’t get bored. 51 Reasons? Really? Ships come in all sizes, catering to different demographics. Some Caribbean cruises seem to stop in a …

Read more

Dining on prize-winning tapas during brief visit to Valladolid

  Visiting Spain: Dining on prize-winning tapas during brief visit to Valladolid Trying to take photos between the cars passing by, I didn’t stop to count the stone lions in front of the University of Valladolid. Good thing I didn’t. “It’s considered bad luck if you count the lions,” said guide Nuria. “If you count them while you are a student here, you will never graduate from the university.” So how many are there, I asked Nuria. …

Read more

Seeing the strange and beautiful in Salamanca, Spain

  Shore Excursion: Seeing the strange and beautiful in Salamanca, Spain Craning their necks, a crowd of people gathered outside the University of Salamanca searching for a tiny frog somewhere on the university’s walls. A street vendor stood ready to help onlookers find the tiny critter and to sell them a postcard photo and souvenir of the elusive amphibian. Now celebrating its 800th birthday, the University of Salamanca has many treasures and tales and the frog is …

Read more

Spanish birthplace of Saint Ignatius preserved as popular pilgrimage site

  Shore Excursion: Spanish birthplace of Saint Ignatius preserved as popular pilgrimage site Gravely injured when a cannon ball crushed his legs, the warrior endured several excruciating surgeries without anesthetics. Warned to prepare for death, the nobleman spent his bedridden time reading whatever was at hand. “The only books he had were about the lives of the saints and Christ,” said Mikel Mugalari. “Then a miracle happened. He didn’t die. He had a conversion. He decided to …

Read more

Hemingway, bulls and much more highlight historic Pamplona

  Visiting Spain: Hemingway, bulls and much more highlight historic Pamplona When Ernest Hemingway attended his first fiesta in 1923 in Pamplona, Spain, he was inspired to write his literary masterpiece, “The Sun Also Rises.” Today, visitors from around the world attend the annual San Fermin Fiesta for eight exciting days in July in honor of the patron saint of Navarre in Northern Spain. The event is better known as the “Running of the Bulls.”  But Pamplona …

Read more

Recipe for traditional Spanish migas

  Visiting Spain: Recipe for traditional Spanish migas Roaming from place to place to tend their flock, Spanish shepherds created a tasty inexpensive dish prepared over an open fire in a single pan. The basic ingredient was easy to find – stale bread. Nothing went to waste in the humble life of a shepherd and the dish known as “migas” was comforting, filling and simple to prepare. Today, migas – which literally means “bread crumbs” –  is …

Read more

Writer Maimonides honored in his Cordoba hometown

  Visiting Spain: Writer Maimonides honored in his Cordoba hometown The tips of his shoes and the hem of his robe gleam golden. Although the rest of the bronze statue is a deep dark brown, those golden glows are from the many admirers who have touched their hands to this tribute to Moses Maimonides. “He was a very important philosopher, rabbi and writer,” said tour guide Juan Torres Carmona. “He was born here in Cordoba during the …

Read more

Learning about Iberian ham from a Spanish champion in Salamanca

Shore Excursion: Learning about Iberian ham from a Spanish champion in Salamanca Anselmo Perez didn’t eat much Iberian ham when he was growing up. “We couldn’t afford it,” he said. Now, Perez can eat as much of the exquisite delicacy as he wants. And he can have it carved by one of Spain’s champion Iberian ham carvers – himself. “I eat it every day,” he said. “Iberian ham is good for you.” And it is important that …

Read more

Regal Princess 12: Repeat cruisers get perks on Princess ships

ABOARD THE REAL PRINCESS – A sure sign of Princess cruise popularity is the huge turnout for the Captain’s Circle cocktail party. For repeat cruisers, the invitation-only get together was packed on my Regal Princess cruise. No wonder. Of the 3,291 passengers on my cruise, 2,400 were repeat Princess cruisers, Captain Tim Stringer said. “We welcome you back and appreciate your loyalty,” he said. That’s a whole lot of people. But the most surprising number was the …

Read more