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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.

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda

Horseshoe Bay Beach, 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.

Food Vendor, Warwick Long Bay Beach, Bermuda

Warwick Long Bay/Jobson’s Cove Beach, Bermuda

Warwick Long Bay/Jobson’s Cove Beach, Bermuda

Warwick Long Bay/Jobson’s Cove Beach, Bermuda

Warwick Long Bay/Jobson’s Cove Beach, Bermuda

Warwick Long Bay/Jobson’s Cove Beach, Bermuda

Warwick Long Bay/Jobson’s Cove Beach, Bermuda

Warwick Long Bay/Jobson’s Cove Beach, Bermuda

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:

Pink Flecked Sand, Bermuda

Warwick Long Bay/Jobson’s Cove Beach, Bermuda

Warwick Long Bay/Jobson’s Cove Beach, Bermuda

That’s me on one of the fantastic pink sand beaches.

Warwick Long Bay/Jobson’s Cove Beach, Bermuda

It sure is a nice place to relax and read, or to just look at the ocean.

Warwick Long Bay/Jobson’s Cove Beach, Bermuda

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.

Visitor Information, Kings Wharf, Bermuda

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:

Bermuda

Bermuda

Bermuda

Bermuda

Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Bermuda

Henry V111 Restaurant & Bar, Bermuda

Henry V111 Restaurant & Bar, Bermuda

Houses of Bermuda

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.

Marina, Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda

The Bermudian, Bermuda

The Bermudian, Bermuda

Bermudian Shorts, Bermuda

Hamilton Ferry Terminal, Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda

Hamilton, 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!

Marks & Spencer, Hamilton, Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda

Oh, my gosh!  I can’t believe it……these things are everywhere I go!  I can’t seem to escape them now.

Hamilton, Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda

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.

Hamilton, Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda

Pink Buses of Hamilton, Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda

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:

Hamilton, Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda

I took another picture of the Norwegian Dawn

Norwegian Dawn in Bermuda

I also got a glimpse of our ship from afar:

Enchantment Of The Seas, Bermuda

and from up close:

Enchantment Of The Seas, Bermuda

Just had to take this picture as we got back into Kings Wharf to remind me of where we had just been today.

Bermuda

Phone Booths, Bermuda

Kings Wharf, Bermuda

Kings Wharf, Bermuda

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:

Sunset over Kings Wharf, Bermuda

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.

Kings Wharf, Bermuda

Kings Wharf, Bermuda

Kings Wharf, Bermuda

Kings Wharf, Bermuda

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

Clock Tower Mall, Kings Wharf, Bermuda

The Enchantment Of The Seas in 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:

Norwegian Dawn 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.

Bermuda

Clock Tower Mall, Bermuda

Bermudan Flowers

Bermudian Palm Trees

Horse Carriage Ride, Bermuda

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 Beach, Bermuda

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.

Snorkel Park Beach, Bermuda

Snorkel Park Beach, Bermuda

There is a great place to get refreshments at – and those were certainly needed as it was an incredibly hot day.

Snorkel Park Beach, Bermuda

Snorkel Park Beach, Bermuda

Snorkel Park Beach, Bermuda

Snorkel Park Beach, Bermuda

Snorkel Park Beach, Bermuda

Snorkel Park Beach, Bermuda

Snorkel Park Beach, Bermuda

Snorkel Park Beach, Bermuda

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:

Survived A Bermudian Motorbike

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.

Baltimore – it’s so much more!

First you might be asking, why the title?  The answer is simple: because I didn’t take enough pictures – I arrived late from Washington, DC and then only had a few hours the next morning before taking the cruise.   I know Baltimore is a beautiful place – I have been there a long time ago, but don’t even know if I have pictures from back then – would have to search for them.  Here are the pictures of this recent trip to Baltimore (sorry, there’s only a few):

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD

It was at least 6:30 pm or so, when we arrived at the hotel, we stayed at the Homewood Suites, a Hilton property on President Street.  This property is shared by the Homewood Suites and the Hilton Garden Inn.

Homewood Suites, Baltimore

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD

We decided to eat at the Harbor East Deli, since my kids love pizza.  We ordered an extra large pizza that we all devoured – it was good!  This was a three minute walk or so from our hotel, and we ate at around 8pm.

Harbor East Deli, Baltimore

The next day, went for a walk in the morning and walked past the Harbor East Deli again.  All the pictures in this post were taken within 5 or 10 minutes walking distance of our hotel.

Harbor East Deli, Baltimore

Here are some other pictures:

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD

Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, Baltimore

Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, Baltimore

Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, Baltimore

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD

Then we had to hurry back to the hotel, and we caught a taxi to the cruise terminal.  It was a 8 minute  or so ride that cost $18.  In the next post, I will show you pictures of the Enchantment Of The Seas – the cruise ship that we took from Baltimore to Bermuda.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cruising

Frequently Asked Questions About Cruising

Is cruising affordable and a good vacation value?

Cruising is the best vacation value! There are cruise vacations to suit every budget. Your cruise fare includes your accommodations, on board activities and entertainment, most meals, plus transportation from port to port. You’ll know what your vacation will cost you before you go. (Typically, your only extra expenses will be drinks, specialty restaurants, optional shore excursions and personal services such as massages or hairstyling.)

How long are cruises?

As long or short as you want. Most cruise lines offer itineraries from three days to three months.

Where can I go?

Wherever you want! Cruises visit over 500 ports worldwide and practically every destination accessible by water. You can embark on your cruise vacation from a wide variety of over 30 North American ports close to home or exciting and exotic locations around the globe.

How do I book a cruise?

Couple of options: Call Davinder at Luchanik Travel & Cruises (doing business via CruiseOne) at 858-427-4972 or send an email to dkaur@cruiseone.com.  If you prefer to do it yourself, go on Davinder’s website at http://www.likecruises.com, and research cruises, you may even book and pay for a cruise, hotel, or all-inclusive resort yourself!  If you have any problems whatsoever, please give me a call, and I would love to help you.

Are all ships fairly similar?

Far from it. They range from intimate and yacht-like to vessels stretching longer than three football fields. You can sail with fewer than 100 fellow guests or with more than 5,000.

Enjoy atmospheres ranging from casual to formal, contemporary to classic. Enjoy the endless activities offered on a contemporary resort-style cruise, or immerse yourself in the culture of a destination on a special interest cruise.

MSC Musica Cruise Ship

Are there different types of cruises?

There are cruises designed to suit virtually every interest and personal preference.

The choices include: boutique, luxury cruises with globetrotting itineraries; large, contemporary ships with a fantastic array of recreational facilities; classic vessels evoking the time-honored traditions of cruising; special interest, or exploration cruises specializing in unique destinations with an accent on cultural enrichment; river voyages into the heart of a destination.

There are cruise lines that feature soft adventure expeditions to such unique frontiers as Antarctica, the Amazon Rain Forest or the African Serengeti. Or, discover historical legacies closer to home with enlightening itineraries to New England, French Canada, Colonial America, and America’s Rivers.

For experienced travelers, destination-focused cruises specialize in culturally-rich ports of call with itineraries dedicated to illuminating such historic, world-class treasures as the antiquities of classical Greece, the Polynesian paradise of Hawaii, the fabled splendor of Norwegian fjords or the castles and museums of Europe’s rivers.

For many, the perfect vacation includes the non-stop fun and sun of a tropical resort-style cruise to the Caribbean, where you can sample a variety of island cultures and cuisines while relaxing your cares away. Plus, many cruise lines create special “themes” on board, with entertainment ranging from jazz festivals and classical music concerts to golf clinics and murder mysteries at sea!

Are there any special educational programs on-board?

To complement the spirit of discovery that travel evokes, many cruise lines feature an extensive program of on board enrichment programs hosted by distinguished guest experts. In addition to lectures highlighting the history and sights of the ports you will be visiting, there may also be special in-depth presentations ranging from Renaissance art to strategic financial planning to epicurean secrets of classic French cuisine.

What’s an air/sea cruise?

A fly/cruise or an air/sea vacation package includes, along with your cruise fare, free or reduced-cost airfare to and from the ship’s port of embarkation. These convenient money-saving options are available from most major North American cities and include ground transfers between the airport and ship as well as baggage handling.

Do I need a passport?

Cruise Lines International Association, Inc. (CLIA) recommends passports on all cruises. While the U.S. Government may not require a Passport for Sea travel on certain “closed loop cruises” originating in the U.S. and for travel only within the Western Hemisphere, other specified documentation is required. For specific U.S. governmental Passport and Visa regulations visit: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html.

Be sure to ask your travel agent what passport requirements apply to your cruise vacation. CLIA strongly recommends that all travelers apply for or renew their passports as soon as possible. Government regulations are continually being modified and it is best to be prepared. Besides, a passport grants you unlimited cruise vacation options around the world!

Further Information on Do I need a passport?

All passengers must provide proof of citizenship when boarding the ship, even if your cruise includes only domestic destinations.  If your cruise is an international sailing, the countries you visit will also require proof of citizenship.  The cruise lines strongly recommend bringing a valid passport as this is the only form of identification accepted by most countries as required by the US Department of State for reentry into the Unites States.

Additionally, some countries require visas.  You will need both a visa and a passport if your cruise departs from or visits a port of call that requires a visa.  You are responsible for acquiring the necessary visas.  If your cruise departs from or visits a port of call that requires a visa you must have a valid passport for your trip.  Non US citizens must present a valid passport and any visas or travel documents required for re-entry into the US.  Contact your consulate for specific requirements.

Are there different classes of service?

The vast majority of today’s cruise ships are “one-class.” Everyone can use all of the ship’s facilities. The price of your cabin is based primarily on its size and location. Regardless of the category you book, you’ll enjoy the same courteous service, menus, activities, and entertainment as everyone else on board.

Will I get bored? Feel confined?

Hardly! Being at sea gives you a feeling of total freedom that no land-based resort can offer. There’s plenty of room and it will probably take you two or three days just to discover everything that’s on board. Plus, you get the added adventure of exploring many exciting ports of call, often a new one every day of the trip!

Cruise ships are floating resorts with all the choices fine resorts have to offer. You can lie back in a lounge chair, breathe in the sea air, soak up the sun, read good books, or watch the ever-changing seascape. Smaller ships focus on the treasures and delights of myriad destinations.

If you’re more active, join in exercise or dance classes, or sports contests. Practice your tennis stroke or golf swing, or take in some fresh air on the jogging deck. Or you can swim, stretch out in the sauna or work out in the gym. You can also watch a feature film, attend an enrichment lecture by experts, or play backgammon and bridge. And that’s just when you’re on board!

What can I do in port?

So much that you’ll have a hard time choosing! You can explore on your own or take a guided tour (referred to as shore excursions). Search ancient ruins or hunt for shopping bargains. Ride a raft over river rapids or a horse across miles of hills and beaches. Climb a waterfall or pyramid. Follow the footsteps of history or the wake of a waterskiing boat. If there’s still time, play golf or tennis. Learn how to windsurf. Sun and swim at some of the world’s best beaches. Catch a record marlin. Sail, snorkel or Scuba dive. Take a cable car to the top of a mountain. Explore dark catacombs.

In short, cruising is the perfect way to sample a number of new destinations and try all the things you’ve ever dreamed of doing, while never having to pack and unpack!

Do I have to participate in the activities?

On a cruise, you do what you want, when you want. You can do everything or do absolutely nothing. It’s your vacation!

Do cruise lines welcome families with kids?

More and more cruise vacations are booked by families with children. Twenty-five percent of cruisers sail with children and a majority of cruise lines provide plenty of supervised activities for kids, especially during school holidays. If your children enjoy swimming, sports, games, movies and the adventure of new places, they’ll love a family cruise. You’ll find that children adapt to shipboard life with ease, and you won’t have to wonder what they’re up to every minute. Trained youth counselors will help keep them safe, busy and entertained. Ships even offer different types of age-appropriate activities, suitable for toddlers to teens.

What’s there to do at night?

When the stars come out, a cruise ship turns on. There’s dancing, live entertainment, nightclubs and lounges, feature films, and parties with all your new friends. Most ships also have casinos. What’s more, there are many special events like the Captain’s Cocktail Party, Passenger Talent Night, Broadway-style shows and Las Vegas-type revues.

Is there a charge for entertainment?

On a cruise vacation, the entertainment is on the house. There’s no cover, minimum or charge for an admission ticket. The shows are live, films first-rate and all included in your cruise fare.

Will there be people like me?

There’s no such thing as a typical cruise passenger! All kinds of people take cruises now… all ages… from all walks of life… singles, couples and families. Just ask your CLIA-affiliated travel agency for advice on the best ship for you, based on your tastes and lifestyle.

What should I pack?

Pack like you would for any resort. Cruise vacations are casual by day, whether you’re on the ship or ashore. In the evening, ships vary as to dress. As on shore, attire is dictated by occasion. At the Captain’s Gala, for example, you’ll probably want to wear something more formal, such as a dark suit, or cocktail dress; perhaps even a dinner jacket or gown.

Will I need a tuxedo?

Reflecting today’s lifestyle trends, many cruise lines now feature a more relaxed and casual approach to dress throughout the cruise – while on others, formal dinners or parties are part of the fun. But don’t buy a tuxedo just for the trip. Even on the most formal of ships, a dark suit and tie are fine for the dressiest occasions. Plus, many ships offer tuxedo rental services.

Can singles have fun on a cruise?

Cruising is ideal for people traveling alone because it’s so easy to meet other people. In fact, most ships have parties for singles early in the cruise, so you can get to know other guests right away. Some ships even offer gentlemen hosts to be dance partners, dinner companions or a fourth at cards.

Many ships also have single staterooms and others offer single rates for double staterooms. If you ask, many cruise lines will even find you a roommate so you can obtain the per person/double occupancy rate, saving you even more on a great vacation..

Can I use my hair dryer or shaver?

Most ships have 110-volt outlets in the staterooms but do check with Davinder at Luchanik Travel & Cruises to be sure. Most ships feature hair-dryers in your stateroom.

What about meal times?

Choices, choices and more choices. During the day, there are many different dining options – in the formal dining room, on deck, in a pizzeria and at an espresso bar, to name just a few. At night, most ships offer several venues. Some ships’ dining rooms can accommodate all guests at one time, called a “seating.” Many ships offer you a choice of several seating times, and others offer multiple restaurants for “anytime” dining. More traditional ships have two seatings in their formal dining rooms, which differ only by time: typically 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

To choose, just decide whether you prefer to dine early or late – then have Davinder at Luchanik Travel & Cruises request your preference when you book your cruise. Frequently, you can choose to enjoy dinner someplace other than the formal dining room, such as in an intimate restaurant that features Italian or Asian cuisine. More and more cruise lines are opening up their informal lido areas to evening dining, where the dress and dishes always are casual, and sometimes, you can even eat out under the stars. And a large number of ships offer romantic in-cabin dinners. The choice is yours!

Is cruise ship dining as good as I’ve been told?

Everything you’ve heard about cruise ship dining is true. At each meal, you’ll find a varied selection of entrees (appetizers, salads, soups, vegetables, and desserts, too), and each day the selection will be different. If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with a cuisine or try a dish, you can feel free to order more than one entrée or appetizer (or dessert!). But, just because your cruise ship offers plenty of delicious food, doesn’t mean you’ll come home out of shape. You can choose low-cal, spa, vegetarian or fitness menu selections that are just as tempting as the regular menu. Best of all, the one thing you’ll never see on a cruise ship menu is a price. Because your meals are included!

Can I get a special diet?

Most ships can accommodate salt-free, low-carbohydrate, low cholesterol, diabetic, or other diet preferences. This request should be made in advance, so be sure to advise Davinder at Luchanik Travel & Cruises when you book your cruise.

What about dining companions – can I sit with my spouse and friends only, or will I have table-mates?

Experienced cruisers say they prefer sitting at a table with several other diners; some lifelong friendships have been made this way. But the cruise lines are geared to accommodate each guest’s wishes, and it is possible to request a table for two or four. In the unlikely event that you do wish to change tablemates, speak with the maitre d’, who will make every effort to seat you with more compatible dining companions…discretely and politely.

Are there non-smoking areas?

Virtually all dining rooms are smoke free as are designated areas in other public rooms onboard the ship. Check with Davinder regarding the individual cruise line’s policies.

Can we celebrate a special occasion?

Absolutely! Most cruise lines will even treat you to a complimentary cake and a chorus of “Happy Whatever” to honor the occasion. Your birthday or anniversary can be more festive with champagne, flowers or canapes. You can even arrange for a special private party. All you have to do is advise your Davinder in advance.

Is cruising right for honeymooners?

Without a doubt. Cruising offers an atmosphere that’s just right for romance…cozy dinners for two, strolling on deck at sunset, dancing the night away (even under the stars). Most lines provide special services – from Sunday or Monday departures to champagne and breakfast in bed.

Also, some ships offer special packages for performing a marriage ceremony or renewing marriage vows.

Can we stay in touch with the outside world?

Maybe too easily! Most staterooms are equipped with televisions and have satellite or cellular telephones. You can even use your own cell phone on some ships, where cellular service is available. Many cruise ships are now Wi- Fi enabled, so you can check your e-mail on your laptop in your stateroom or go to the on board computer café for Internet access. You can also call someone on shore through the ship’s radio officer while at sea. In addition, most ships have a daily newsletter with news, headlines, selected stock quotes and sports scores.

What about tipping?

Tipping is a matter of individual preference. A general rule of thumb is $3.50 – $5.00 per person per day for your cabin steward and dining room waiter and about half that for the dining room assistant. Other shipboard personnel can be tipped for special services or at your discretion. Some lines include an automatic gratuity in the price of your cruise and will advise you of that as well as the amount while other lines maintain a no tipping policy. Check with your Luchanik Travel & Cruises regarding the individual cruise line’s policies.

Are there medical services onboard?

While cruise ships are not comprehensive medical facilities, cruise lines understand that some people may have health needs during a cruise. Thus they are committed to providing first response and emergency care to guests until they can be transferred to a shoreside medical facility. Most cruise lines have 24-hour medical services and staff operating under guidelines developed in conjunction with the American College of Emergency Physicians (AECP). Cruise lines and travel agents encourage vacationers to obtain medical insurance, travel with adequate supplies of medical prescriptions and devices and to disclose pre-existing medical conditions before sailing.

Are there laundry services aboard ship?

Almost all cruise ships have laundry facilities and many provide dry-cleaning services. There is, however, an additional charge for professional laundry and dry-cleaning services. Many ships also have self-service launderettes.

Do cruise lines accept group bookings?

Most lines welcome groups – often at special rates, depending on how large the group. Policies vary from company to company and sometimes seasonally. Davinder would love to book your group, and can offer you the very best service for your group by booking you a conference room if needed, meeting space, organizing refreshments, and helping with special requests.

Are there meeting rooms onboard?

Nearly every full-size ship has public rooms or a conference center to offer as meeting space for private or corporate groups. Many feature dedicated meeting facilities. If you’d like to make meeting or incentive travel arrangements, ask Davinder at Luchanik Travel & Cruises to contact the cruise line’s group sales department to coordinate schedules and arrange for any special requirements. Your ship may also be able to offer audio-visual equipment, communications, meeting coordinators, secretarial and printing services and more.

Can I extend my cruise vacation?

Cruise lines feature special pre-or post-hotel packages that allow you to extend your vacation in either your port of embarkation or debarkation.

Is motion discomfort a problem?

Rarely. Popular cruise itineraries ply some of the calmest waters in the world. In addition, stabilizers on modern ships, availability of advance weather information, and development of effective preventative medications have, for the most part, eliminated the incidence of motion discomfort.

How can I stay healthy on board?

Follow your mom’s advice and wash your hands! Cruise ships work very closely with public health agencies such as the CDC to make sure they provide the healthiest shipboard environment for guests. The last thing you want is to be ill while you’re on vacation, so take the simple precaution of washing your hands often with soap and warm water thoroughly. Wash your hands after using the restroom, before eating and avoid touching your face.

It sounds too good to be true! Is it?

The one complaint we hear time and again is that cruises end far too soon! Beyond that, it’s hard to find any negatives. All you have to do is relax and enjoy your vacation. Most importantly, every crew and staff member on board is dedicated to making your cruise the best vacation of your life (until you top it with your next cruise!)

Should I get travel insurance?

Travelers purchasing a cruise also can protect themselves by paying with a major credit card, and/or obtaining low-cost travelers’ insurance that covers trip cancellation for any reason, including supplier default.  The latter is available through Davinder, who through CruiseOne – will insure you with one of the best trip protection plan carriers.

Who should I talk to if I have questions that haven’t been answered?

Ask your travel agent Davinder or email her at dkaur@cruiseone.com.  We look forward to helping you.

Reprinted onto this page, with some modifications, on January 9, 2011 from Cruise Lines International Association, Inc. (CLIA) http://www.cruising.org/vacation

Top Ten Reasons To Choose A Cruise

Top Ten Reasons To Choose A Cruise

A cruise ship is a floating resort, with all the things a fine resort has to offer and more! As a matter of fact, cruise vacations have a higher percentage of satisfied customers than any other vacation experience. What are you waiting for? Here are the Top 10 Reasons why you should choose to cruise.

  1. Choose to cruise for VALUE. One price buys your cabin, entertainment, dining, and more.
  2. Choose to cruise for ROMANCE . Secluded beaches, en suite dining on a balcony overlooking the ocean and spa services for two are just some of the romantic pursuits available.
  3. Choose to cruise for CUISINE. Tantalize your taste buds with gourmet fare that showcases exotic ingredients, old standbys like pizza and ice cream or spa cuisine for a healthy alternative. Depending on your mood, dine in a traditional ballroom setting, a small bistro or a casual eatery.
  4. Choose to cruise for VARIETY. With over 200 distinctive ships, 3000 ports of call and an unbelievable array of places to see and things to do, there is a perfect cruise for you. For even more choice, consider a pre- or post-land tour.
  5. Choose to cruise for ACTIVITIES. Fill your days with sightseeing, sports activities, cultural lectures, educational tours led by naturalists and historians or simply lounge by the pool and relax. At night, enjoy dance extravaganzas, musical revues, gaming or a quiet evening gazing at the stars.
  6. Choose to cruise for SIMPLICITY. Don’t come back from your vacation needing a vacation. Planning a cruise is simple; Call Davinder at 858-427-4972 at Luchanik Travel & Cruises (doing business via CruiseOne) to handle all of the details or book your cruise online at www.likecruises.com   Once you’re on board, nearly all expenses are pre-paid… talk about hassle-free.
  7. Choose to cruise for NEW HORIZONS. Fall asleep in one destination and awake to a new horizon… and you only have to pack and unpack once!
  8. Choose to cruise for FAMILY. Families love cruising. Children’s programs, kid-friendly menus and tours of the ship will keep your children happy, while affording you some well-deserved time alone.
  9. Choose to cruise for PAMPERING. Regardless of your budget, all cruise lines pamper their guests with first-class service around the clock.
  10. Choose to cruise for SATISFACTION . It’s a fact that cruises have a higher percentage of satisfied customers than any other vacation experience.

MSC Musica Cruise Ship

This information was taken from the website of Cruise Lines International Association, Inc. website at http://www.cruising.org/vacation/about-clia and modified slightly by Davinder Kaur of Luchanik Travel & Cruises.

As per their quote for the first-time cruiser, “For value, variety and satisfaction…you haven’t lived until you’ve cruised!”

PS: This is also one of the pages I had on my websites that will not be hosted as of June 30, 2012 and I have decided I will cut and paste the info from time to time, so you can read it here (as per my previous post “Why I Started A Blog In The First Place?”

Royal Caribbean’s Radiance Of The Seas, Vancouver to Alaska – Part 2

On this video, I have more video footage than photographs. I captured a sighting of a porcupine – I’ve never seen one before, therefore, I was so happy to get that on video! I also show the specialty restaurants, and a little of the entertainment. Also, you get to see the Solarium, and my favorite breakfast place on the ship – the Park Cafe.

Royal Caribbean’s Radiance Of The Seas, Vancouver to Alaska – Part 1

This video will show my photos and video footage of the cruise, and the port visits, including pictures of Mendenhall Glacier and Hubbard Glacier. Part 2 will have more cruise coverage.

Some people go on a cruise ship for the destination, and some go for the experience on the ship.  I liked both aspects, because I just love cruises, and love traveling.  My other favorite parts of the actual cruise were the entertainment (got a little bit of Bollywood), the Park Cafe food, and the Indian food in the Windjammer Cafe, where I also got Indian tea.  It’s important to have some of those home comforts!

Skagway

It is now Day 6 of the cruise.  I will be taking excursion no. 3 today, and it leaves at 8am.  Who said cruising was all about relaxing?  I have had to wake up early every single day, and one of the days when there wasn’t a port visit, I had a CruiseOne seminar from 9 am to 4:30 pm or so, and still had to wake up early.  Today’s excursion is called Skagway City and White Pass Summit.  By the way, the three excursions that I booked through my own website (http://www.likecruises.com) with our Shore Excursions provider were only $141 in total for all three – that’s a very good deal, and as you can see from yesterday’s excursion to Mendenhall Glacier, it’s worth getting on a bus and exploring.

The instructions on the ticket said to be just outside the cruise pier, and to check in by 7:40 am.  It was a good job that I brought my passport with me, as we were supposed to go into Canada, just past the border.  I managed to make it to the bus in time, and we set off promptly at 8am.  Here are some pictures that were taken at some of the stops, and this time I am going to use bigger pictures instead of thumbnails, please feel free to let me know if this is a better choice or not.

We must have been near Brackett Wagon Road according to this sign

Skagway

I wonder what’s nicer – being on the train, or being at a distance and seeing the train?

Skagway, near White Pass Summit in Alaska

The landscape is now changing as we are climbing higher up the hills in the bus, this picture was taken from the bus, and shows the trees are now dotted with white.

and it is getting whiter and whiter……..snow!  And lots of it!

It’s beginning to look very white out here, and the sun is trying to break through the sky, but it is very cold!

Snow and Sun, Skagway, Alaska

Welcome to Alaska, a must-have photograph – everyone wants their picture taken here.

White Pass Summit, near the border of Canada

There was too much snow, that we couldn’t go past the border, what a shame!  I would so much have liked to go into Canada again, even if for just a few moments.  We were told the roads were not clear enough, and not passable. Now we headed back down to Skagway from the White Pass Summit.

We stopped here because it was another scenic spot to take pictures.

Scenic Skagway, Alaska

The Norwegian Pearl, side by side with the Radiance Of The Seas.

The Norwegian Pearl, and Radiance Of The Seas in Skagway

We went on a short hike, and saw the Gold Rush Cemetery

Gold Rush Cemetery, Skagway, Alaska

Gold Rush Historical Information, Skagway

Be prepared for a short hike up, about a 5 minute walk to this waterfall, past the Cemetery.

Waterfall, Skagway

Scenic, magical, mysterious Skagway

We are done with the excursion, and I’m off the bus and decided to walk around Skagway, instead of heading back to the cruise ship.  The excursion lasted about two and a half hours, and it is only 11 am or so.  However, we have until 4pm today in Skagway….so might as well see it.

Downtown Skagway, five minutes or so from the cruise ship

Downtown Skagway, Alaska

Tlingits are an Alaskan Native people who have lived in Southeast Alaska for generations.  You can read more about the Tlingits by looking at the picture.

Tlingits, read about Alaskan Native history

Skagway City Museum

Interesting choice of names for these chocolate-covered concoctions. I chose the fudge instead.

Alaskan Fudge Shop Treats

Alaska is famous for its fudge in addition to its natural beauty and wild life, gold panning, Native American history, etc.

I did try their chocolate almond fudge – it was so good!

Alaskan Fudge Shop, Skagway

Nice house in downtown Skagway

Found an Indian restaurant – didn’t eat there though, perhaps next time.

Indian Restaurant in Skagway, Alaska

Downtown Skagway, Alaska

Looks like there’s inscriptions on the rocks, or are they signs?

Skagway

Want to buy gold?  There is still a lot of signs of the Gold Rush era.

Gold Shop, Skagway

A golden hotel…..the Golden North Hotel

Golden North Hotel, Skagway

Really wished I had taken this train to the White Pass Summit

White Pass Summit Train, Skagway

Interesting name for a place

Red Onion Saloon, Alaska

That’s the Norwegian Pearl in the background

Norwegian Pearl in Skagway

Looking back at Skagway for the last few minutes before I head back to the cruise ship.

Downtown Skagway street scene

The trains of Skagway.  I think I like trains…..

    

      

The walk back to the Radiance Of The Seas rock….I passed interesting rock art, trains, and the Norwegian Pearl…..

      

The Norwegian Pearl in Skagway

Now I see the Radiance Of The Seas

The Radiance Of The Seas in Skagway

Now, I am back on the ship, and tomorrow is the last full day of the cruise.  Will let you know how Day 7 goes.  Thank you for reading.

Juneau

It is now Day 5 of the cruise – Tuesday, May 15th, 2012, and I had to wake up early because my shore excursion meeting time  – for the tour titled Juneau City and Mendenhall Glacier Tour – is scheduled for 9:30 am.  This will be shore excursion no. 2 for me, even though it is the third port (I didn’t do an excursion when in Icy Strait Point).

I walked past the train which was right outside where the cruise ship docked, and was half hoping that my excursion would involve a train up to Mendenhall Glacier, but I knew from the tour instructions on my ticket that I would be going on a bus again.  It was only a two or three minute walk, but I was almost late, so I ran the last half minute to the bus.  I was supposed to have been there 15 minutes before the bus set off.  Here are some pictures taken during one of the stops prior to getting to Mendenhall Glacier.  We stopped so that we could take some pictures of the Radiance Of The Seas, and of course, I just loved to take pictures of that beautiful ship.  Here are some of the ship with Juneau in the background:

Radiance Of The Seas in Juneau, Alaska

Radiance Of The Seas in Juneau, Alaska

Here are some pictures taken from the bus, please excuse the reflection of the windows, I just couldn’t stop taking pictures:

    

I think these pictures were taken on one of the stops when we got out of the bus:

I could keep going on, and inserting more pictures, but I think I should stop at that.  I’m sure you can see how beautiful Juneau is, and why Alaska is worth the visit?  Then we went to a place called Chapel By The Lake (it was like a Log Church),  and took a quick look inside, but I was mainly keen to get outside to take pictures:

  

We then drove to another stop to take some pictures of Mendenhall Glacier from a distance:

And now we have arrived at the final destination – first some preliminary pictures of the arrival area:

      

Then, beautiful Mendenhall Glacier, awesome, breathtaking, what can I say?

      

Here are some more pictures of the area surrounding Mendenhall Glacier, isn’t the blue color that’s in the glacier incredible?

      

    

      

  

Well, after all those breathtaking pictures (even though I do say so myself), it seems like a let-down to add pictures of a different kind, but I must finish up, here are some pictures of downtown Juneau, near the cruise ship where our bus took us after the amazing visit to Mendenhall Glacier.

A little background on Juneau: It was discovered in 1880 due to the discovery of gold, Juneau began its history as a prosperous and unique mining town, you can see some of the recommended sightseeing spots by viewing the picture of the sign post below:

You are probably wondering about the food in Juneau, here’s a picture of a menu:

Here’s some pictures I took near to where the cruise ship was docked

          

PS:  If you are going to be in Juneau on June 7-9, 2012, you should not miss Celebration 2012.  This is a major dance and cultural festival held every two years.  Read more about the festival right here: http://www.sealaskaheritage.org/celebration/celebration_2012.htm  and to view beautiful Alaskan Native art showing fabulous Tsimshian culture, please take a look here: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/terrance-h-booth-jr.html?page=2

I really hope that you like my pictures of Juneau, and the Mendenhall Glacier.  You just have to visit this amazing place, it was well worth the visit.  Gold was discovered here, but there is so much more to discover too.