My Video – Enchantment Of The Seas – Farewell Party
I really enjoy most kinds of music, and disco music is no exception. Disco music is a lot better than the kind of music they play today. Tunes such as “Night Fever, Night Fever” , “In The Navy”, “Get Down On It” and “I Will Survive” are just classics (and they’re all in my new video). If you grew up in the 70’s and/or 80’s, you will surely know what I mean. The music they played at the “Farewell Party” on the Enchantment Of The Seas, centered around disco music. Enjoy the video!
Indian Cruises – Cultural Enrichment At Sea
I enjoy Bollywood and Bhangra music and dance. I just love Indian culture, and there’s nothing wrong with that – after all, I am Indian. I may have grown up in England, and now live in the USA, but culture is deeper than where we live, it’s the embodiment of who we are – who we interact with, and what makes us bond together, and what we enjoy. I may be Indian, but I am also British and I’m also American. I may love Bollywood, and Bhangra, but additionally….. I love pop music, soul music, reggae music and jazz, and even a bit of rap. If I didn’t love the other forms of music, I wouldn’t tape them as ardently as I do when I go on cruises, and then show the world…..I only do that – because I love to watch most forms of dance and musical entertainment, and then of course, I love to photograph and video tape it too!
When I had the chance to introduce a bit of culture on a cruise ship, I was all for it. I hired a group – UCSD Zor – one of the top Bollywood dance teams in the USA – to perform on my Bindi Cruise to Mexico on the Carnival Splendor in July, 2011. I didn’t think twice about it. It took a lot of planning, and was quite a huge undertaking for me – a fairly new travel agent at that time (I just started in this business in January 2010). Would I do something like that again? Who knows? Maybe, sometime in the future.
I love Bollywood movies, but when it really comes to Indian music – I have to admit that I love Bhangra just a bit more than I do Bollywood. That’s why I asked Zor – who are really more of a Bollywood team to do a Bhangra routine, and guess what…..they were really good at it. When you have versatility like that, you are true performers. I was really happy with the performances of Zor on the cruise. Here’s a picture of UCSD Zor below, they are fantastic at both Bollywood and Bhangra!
And here I am with UCSD Zor who are in their Bollywood outfits now, instead of Bhangra outfits (as above)
Want to know more about Bhangra? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhangra_(music)
Want to see hear the full-length Bhangra song that was partly shown in my new Enchantment Of The Seas video, and see who the musician is? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJztXj2GPfk
Want to see a fabulous Bhangra dance video that I put together of UCSD Zor – one of the top Bollywood dance teams in the USA, when they were dancing to Bhangra on my Bindi Cruise to Mexico on the Carnival Splendor?
Want to see a fantastic Bollywood dance video that I put together of UCSD Zor when they performed on my Bindi Cruise to Mexico?
Thank you for reading!
My Video Of The Enchantment Of The Seas
I just finished uploading my video today, and hope you will like it. This video shows many areas around the Enchantment Of The Seas, and it shows the Sailing Away Party, in addition to the Farewell Party. What was interesting was that many people danced during the Sailing Away Party, when there was regular Western music, but as soon as Bhangra music was played, there was just one person dancing. I had to show this in my video – because I love Bhangra, as well as Bollywood, but I also love many types of Western music. Okay, I will admit that there weren’t as many Indian people on this cruise ship as I’ve seen on other cruise ships, but you would think that Bhangra music should have caught on by now. Bhangra music has a very catchy beat, and it’s hard to resist moving when you hear this wonderful music.
Other than the Sailing Away Party, I also showed the Captain’s Reception, some of the entertainment in the Centrum, and the common areas, including the main pool, Schooners Bar, and the Solarium.
Anyway, I hope you will watch my video, and remember……cultural enrichment can brig you joy!
Sunsets in San Diego
Sunsets in San Diego can be pretty spectacular!
This picture is one that I took in Coronado at the Hotel Del
My sunset picture as shown on this page (at the sides):
But now, I need to add three more pictures to the collection, and these were not taken by me – but by my 11 year old son, Luca. It looks like I have some competition in the field of photography! Luca took these pictures at Swami’s Beach in Encinitas.
So what do you think? I think he’s onto something! Do you know he already won a competition at his school a few years ago with a wonderful photograph taken in London. I’ll have to show you it sometime.
Bermuda Can’t Just Be A One Time Visit!
Here are some last pictures of when we sailed away from Kings Wharf in Bermuda on August 7th, 2012.
Let’s catch the Dockyards one last time through the port-hole window of the cruise ship! You will see the reflection of Clock Tower Mall.
And here is the Clock Tower Mall in all it’s glory!
We also saw the Norwegian Dawn yet again, and I just had to take pictures.
Well goodbye Bermuda, I will try to make it back to you so that I can take more pictures of your beautiful country next time. You certainly can’t be just a one time visit!
It Pays To Have Travel Insurance
It can be quite costly if you travel without purchasing travel insurance, and something happens to you during your travels.
Count your small investment in travel insurance as a blessing and not a cost (it’s also peace of mind).
I am happy to report that I made the right choice when I purchased my trip insurance back in May. As you know, I suffered an injury in Bermuda (wrote about it in a previous post), and not only did I suffer an injury, but my camcorder got smashed up too around the lens. Accidents can happen anywhere, but imagine if I had gone to the hospital and had to pay out of pocket for the ambulance, guess who would have reimbursed me? My travel protection company! Luckily, I did not go to the hospital, so I did not have that expense. However, my camcorder which cost about $469 or so, was fairly new, and therefore, I put in a claim upon my return. I made a quick phone call, filled out a few forms, and supplied a copy of my receipt to Travel Guard. Imagine, to my delight, when I received a check in full. I thought I would have to get a repair estimate, but Travel Guard didn’t ask me for any of that, they just cut the check and I got it within two or three weeks or so of filing the claim.
Additionally, I want to tell you about a client who booked a cruise, and had an emergency come up one week before her scheduled cruise – her aunt had died of cancer. Understandably, she could not go on the cruise, and had to attend the funeral (which was scheduled to take place during the same time as the cruise). Luckily, she had purchased travel protection from me and she was refunded in full (since she had a reason that was covered, and could be fully documented). Remember, certain covered reasons allow a full refund when you have trip insurance, even when you would not get a refund from the cruise line because you are after full payment date (penalty phase).
So, please next time you travel…..whether on a cruise or on a flight, remember to purchase travel protection, and you will be protected.
Beautiful San Diego – Some Places You’ll Want To Escape To
It has been way too hot in San Diego this year. In fact, just today, it got up to 101°F on the coast in Del Mar. This weather is definitely unusual for us. We always have a nice breeze here by the coast. Where has the breeze gone to, and when is it coming back? Powerhouse Beach in Del Mar, and the Hotel Del in Coronado are just a few perfect places to escape to.
First, a glimpse of beautiful San Diego as seen from Coronado:
Powerhouse Beach in Del Mar – this is an absolutely beautiful beach complete with children’s playground, palm trees, restaurants on the beach and much more.
What better playground than this for kids? Play in paradise, swing overlooking the ocean….it just doesn’t get any better!
Even dogs want to get in on the action at the playground.
Some people escape the heat to this place, and the words on the flag are so appropriate!
Some people still want to be active, and what better place than the beach?
You might know that the Hotel Del is my favorite place in San Diego (see my previous post on San Diego). Today, the sky was so beautiful and blue, there’s just no place like the Hotel Del.
People escape the heat, and go to the Hotel Del. Weddings take place here as well as on the beach all the time.
This beach is right in front of the Hotel Del in Coronado, and on this particular day in July – I saw two weddings on the beach and one occurring in the grounds of the Hotel Del. That place sure is popular for many!
Even though this picture was not taken at Powerhouse Beach in Del Mar or in Coronado, I just felt it was fitting to show it here – along with the other picture of the dog in this post. Dogs sure get pampered in San Diego!
So whether you have a dog that appreciates the finer things in life, or whether it’s yourself, take a visit to America’s finest city, and you will find a place that will become your piece of paradise.
Please note, this is an addition: I just had to add La Jolla Cove as a place you’d want to escape to as well, here is the link: https://luchanik.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/incredible-san-diego-la-jolla/ . Also, please take a look at one of my other posts on Beautiful San Diego: https://luchanik.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/beautiful-san-diego/
The Pink Sands of Bermuda
Here are some photographs of beaches that I did not show in the previous post. Sometimes, I tend to include so many pictures in one post, that I thought I would divide them out. These pictures were taken on Day 2 in Bermuda.
And now for Beach No. 3 (Beach 1 was Snorkel Park Beach, and of course 2 was shown above). We unfortunately did not get to go on Horseshoe Bay Beach, all the pictures that I took above were from higher up at a distance. I think cars can not drive down the hill, and of course, I couldn’t still really walk down a hill like that in my current state. However, the beach below is more accessible by car, and our taxi went all the way down, parking within feet of the beach. The beach is part of South Shore Park – it is Warwick Long Bay/Jobson’s Cove.
This picture shows the vendor that is right at the entrance.
The beaches in Bermuda are well known for having pink sand, and this is a naturally occurring phenomenon. I asked the taxi driver why the beach at Snorkel Park did not have pink sand, and was told that that beach is a man-made beach. However, Jobson’s Cove and Horseshoe Bay Beach are both pink sand beaches, and certain parts of the sand are more pink than other parts. You can be the judge, and figure out which picture I have shown above best shows the pink sand. If you’d like a closer look at some of the sand from Warwick Long Bay/Jobson’s Cove Beach, see the picture below:
That’s me on one of the fantastic pink sand beaches.
It sure is a nice place to relax and read, or to just look at the ocean.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my pictures of Bermuda. Just remember, no matter how hard life is or what it deals you, all your worries can go away when you see a beautiful beach.
Bermuda – Day 2 – Some Photographs
Well, no matter what…..you can’t be in Bermuda and not see it (my previous post will explain why I would say that). Therefore, after a relatively laid-back morning (and I would not have done this if I had been okay) – we got off the cruise ship at around 12:30 pm. I knew I could not walk around a lot. Therefore, I glanced at the Visitor Information board (shown below) and the prices seemed to be very reasonable, however, I did not have the ability to be adventurous as usual.
Therefore, I talked to a taxi driver, and took the first taxi after the driver told me he would give us a two hour tour of the main sights, and beaches and drop us off in Hamilton at the ferry terminal for $40. I could have paid $24 (since Chandi had stayed behind at the Adventure Ocean kids camp for the day) – one adult day pass was $12 and two kids passes were $6 each, but the convenience of not waiting and not knowing how much I would have to walk made the answer in my mind very clear, it had to be the taxi.
I took some of these pictures from inside the taxi, I liked all the bright colors:
It was after this point, that we saw the two more beaches other than Snorkel Beach. However, I am going to include them in my next post, and will go on to show you some pictures of Hamilton, which is the capital of Bermuda.
Who’d have believed it? Good old Marks & Spencer’s – all the way from the UK – is now here in Bermuda! This certainly brought back memories!
Oh, my gosh! I can’t believe it……these things are everywhere I go! I can’t seem to escape them now.
But, I passed by them with Flying Colors! Notice, how the spelling of colors is “colours” as spelt by the Brits, and also how I used to spell this word many years ago.
We got into a ferry at around 5:30 pm to take us back to the cruise ship. It cost $4 for my ticket one-way, and $2 each for the kids. This is a little of what I saw from the ferry:
I took another picture of the Norwegian Dawn
I also got a glimpse of our ship from afar:
and from up close:
Just had to take this picture as we got back into Kings Wharf to remind me of where we had just been today.
That evening as my kids were planning on going bungee jumping, I realized that I could get some photos of Kings Wharf right from the ship, these are the pictures:
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines held an event over at Kings Wharf in the evening today called “Destination Dockyard Festival” at the Royal Naval Dockyard from 7:30 – 10:00 PM. However, I could not make it back off the ship – I was tired and my ankles would not allow for any more walking.
So even though, I had been feeling pain with every step, and had been wondering as I lay in my cabin last night as to what was going to happen in the next few days – some of these questions could not help but flash in my head: Would I be able to get off the cruise ship? Would I be able to see more of Bermuda? Would my kids have to enjoy three more days on the cruise ship on their own, and go around by themselves? I had persevered, and made it through. I had seen the pink sand beaches of Bermuda (see the next post) and even though I hadn’t seen all that I wanted to see, and feel sad that I did not walk on the sands of Horseshoe Bay Beach as I had on Warwick Long Bay, I feel happy that I did the best that I could – considering the circumstances. I hope you enjoyed my post, and thank you for reading it.
Bermuda – How This Cruise Itinerary Was Different – Day 1
We got to Kings Wharf, which used to be part of the Royal Navy Dockyard, at around 3pm on August 5th, and had half a day there, then we had the entire day on August 6th, and we departed at around 12 noon on August 7th. That is why this cruise was different to any others that I’ve ever taken before, as with this cruise there was a chance to explore the destination much more than you are typically allowed with many cruise itineraries where you only have about eleven hours or so at the port (and sometimes even less). I could have done so much more in Bermuda than I did – if it hadn’t been for an accident that I had – on the first evening. I could have taken so many more photos, but I was in quite a bit of pain. Anyway, we will talk about the accident later, but now for some pictures.
Day One in Bermuda
The Clock Tower Mall, at Kings Wharf, Bermuda
It was such a beautiful day, but quite hot, and the sky was a lovely blue, with just a few clouds. The Norwegian Dawn was also at the port in Bermuda:
We stayed close by to the cruise ship since it was my son’s birthday, and we wanted to go back to the cruise ship and celebrate his birthday at dinner time in My Fair Lady.
Although Bermuda is located off the East Coast of the USA, and is closer to North Carolina, it is part of the British Commonwealth, and officially classed therefore as part of the British overseas territories. However, USA dollars are accepted as much as the local currency – the Bermudian dollars, as there are plenty of American tourists there. There is of course, a big connection to the UK, and hence the British style phone booths.
This picture is a hint as to what almost knocked me over only 40 minutes or so after taking this picture, and upon leaving Snorkel Beach.
Snorkel Park and the beach there is only about a 10 minute walk at the most from where the cruise ship docked, and is perhaps a great idea for those wishing to know what they can do on their first day, that is within close proximity of the cruise ship. It is a great beach to go snorkeling at….. is what I heard from another cruise ship passenger.
There is a great place to get refreshments at – and those were certainly needed as it was an incredibly hot day.
It was right after we left Snorkel Beach, when I was holding my camcorder and taping – that the accident happened. My oldest daughter was pushing the stroller with Chandi in it, and walking alongside their brother, while I was behind. The path is a very narrow path from the beach back in the direction of the cruise ship (if you make a right out of the beach). I called out to the kids to be careful as the path was narrow, and you could not see what was around the corner, and thirty seconds after I called out, is when the incident occurred. I saw a moped with a woman who was riding it, and a man who was pushing her from behind. I heard shouting and laughter – it was confusing. I couldn’t believe they were behaving so dangerously, and I was instantly concerned. It all happened so quickly, but the kids got out of the way, and the moped was within inches of my feet, and just then I saw the narrow path widen, so I lurched towards the wide part – not knowing it was a drop down to the bushes. I tripped over and fell into the bushes, trying to escape the moped, however, it also fell over right where I did and landed inches away from me. People came over to assist, and long story short, I had twisted my ankle, but was okay. I was limping for days afterwards, and had a swollen ankle for about two and a half weeks.
The police did not give me a report or even take my statement properly since I had not been hit by the moped, but sustained the injury due to trying to get out of the way of the moped. It just makes you think, did they want me to get hit to prove that the moped was the cause of my injury? Anyhow, the passers-by who had seen the incident were really nice and helpful, even offering to take my kids back to the cruise ship for me incase I had to go to the hospital, but that was not necessary. The paramedics arrived and were the ones who asked me to take my first step, and saw that I could walk, so therefore, this meant nothing was broken. The lady who was on the moped got hurt too as apparently she went up in the air according to some witnesses, and I saw her lying there on the pavement. She was also rather shaken up. Apparently, she was also a fellow passenger on the cruise ship, but I did not know or try to find out what her name was. She seemed to be okay though, as she was talking, and I’m glad that she was okay as well.
My camcorder was also smashed at the lens, and even though it still worked, it wasn’t nice to see that it had got damaged too as it was a fairly new camcorder. However, I still consider myself lucky as my children could have been injured or hit, and my injury could have been much worse – if I had been hit.
Anyway, the brief point I want to get across here is just be careful when you go to a foreign country. You don’t want your holiday spoilt by being hit – or almost hit by a moped or anything else for that matter. Your holiday can be ruined, and it can be very painful. Forget about loss of enjoyment, just getting through the next few days successfully can be quite an effort. As I told the police officer, the moped rental company – I will not name them here – should change their procedures. They can’t let their employees train someone to ride a moped (that is basically what was happening when I saw the man pushing the woman on the moped) in a public place with a narrow path leading to a place of popular interest – such as the beach. There were so many other places that this moped rider could have been trained – on the other side of the clock tower where there was a big empty parking lot for instance. I hope my accident will spur the moped company to change their ways, but I’m not sure that is going to happen. The next day, I just had to buy this fridge magnet:
Even though it said motorbike, instead of moped, to me it really meant the same thing. I believe there are lots of accidents involving mopeds and motorbikes in Bermuda. After I limped back to the ship (we got there about 35 minutes late for dinner, but better late than never!) an employee there told me that every single cruise has some kind of accident story associated with one of the passengers and an accident on the streets of Bermuda. So, just be careful – I’d say don’t rent the mopeds, and also, please stay out of their way!
However, it goes without saying that this could just have been bad luck for me, and it doesn’t happen to everyone. Bermuda is a beautiful country, and I’m still very glad that I visited it, and have no regrets whatsoever. Accidents can happen anywhere, we just have to be careful, and that is why I chose to mention my mishap in Bermuda – in the hopes that I can save this from happening to someone else.
By the way, here is a sample of the itinerary of the 6 day cruise from Baltimore, Maryland to Bermuda:
August 3rd, 2012 Depart Baltimore, MD at 4:30 PM
August 4th, 2012 Day At Sea (cruising)
August 5th, 2012 Arrive Kings Wharf, Bermuda at 3:00 PM
August 6th, 2012 Stay All Day in Bermuda
August 7th, 2012 Depart Kings Wharf, Bermuda at 12:00 PM
August 8th, 2012 Day At Sea (cruising)
August 9th, 2012 Arrive Baltimore, MD at 7:00 AM
Next post, I will write about Day 2 in Bermuda which I was fearful on August 5th – would not be a possibility for me in my current condition at that time.