Tag Archive | cruises

My Video of the Pink Sands of Bermuda

Sand is nice no matter what color it is, most people prefer golden-colored sand or white sand.  I never thought about pink sand until I went to Bermuda.  My video doesn’t show just the pink sands, but the turquoise blue of the ocean, and the swaying of the palm trees…..it shows the beautiful paradise that is Bermuda.

This video will show you two beaches – Horseshoe Bay Beach, and Warwick Long Bay/Jobson’s Cove Beach.  I also added some nice music so that you can completely relax while watching it.  After that, you can dream of your next vacation, and you never know……it just might be to Bermuda!

You will see the couple in the picture below taking their stroll along the beach – I took their picture prior to the video taping.

Warwick Long Bay/Jobson’s Cove Beach, Bermuda

Then my daughter taped some of the video footage, while the taxi driver was ready with my camera to take a picture of me and the kids.  Somehow, the sand doesn’t look that pink in this picture.

Warwick Long Bay/Jobson’s Cove, Bermuda

When you watch the video, I hope you will see how beautiful Bermuda is.   I hope you like my video.

My Video of Snorkel Beach and Kings Wharf, Bermuda

I’m not sure if many of you are into snorkelling – I have never tried it, nor can I tell anything about it – but I can show you a video that I made of a place called Snorkel Beach – it’s in Snorkel Park, Bermuda.

This is the entrance to the beach, and if you watch the end of the video, upon exiting Snorkel Beach, you will see the narrow path I talked about in a previous post, that led to a rather unpleasant incident – yes, it happened right on the street you’ll see in the video, which is also on the same road as the one shown in the picture below.

Snorkel Park Beach, Bermuda

Snorkel Beach is quite different to Horseshoe Bay Beach or Warwick Long Bay – the other two beaches I saw in Bermuda – it doesn’t have pink sand, but it is still a lovely beach.

Snorkel Park Beach, Bermuda

You will get a better feel for this particular beach by watching my video – sometimes pictures capture the essence of a place really well, but sometimes a video can do it even better.  I hope you enjoy the video.

My Video Of The Enchantment Of The Seas – Midnight Buffet

There is no shortage of food on a cruise, there are restaurants galore, buffets that go on all day long, and specialty restaurants for those who want something other than the food in the main dining room every night.  There are snack shops, and even specialty coffee shops selling you your favorite Starbucks drinks.  You can even get Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream on a cruise ship!

Did you know you can get a chocolate and dessert buffet at least once during most cruises?  On the Enchantment Of The Seas, we had our dessert and chocolate buffet on Day 4 of the cruise – on Monday, August 6, 2012.  This special buffet started at 10:45 pm, and finished at around midnight.  Location?  The main deck – around the swimming pool.  Here’s what the pool looked like that night.

Main Swimming Pool, Enchantment Of The Seas

Here’s just some of the desserts:

Chocolate and Dessert Buffet – Enchantment Of The Seas

There was also fruit!

Midnight Buffet – Enchantment Of The Seas

Who can resist chocolate or dessert?  Certainly not me!  Watch out, you might be heading for a midnight buffet of your own!  Thank you for watching the video that I made.

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!

Disco Party – Enchantment Of The Seas

Enchantment Of The Seas

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!

UCSD Zor, performing Bhangra

And here I am with UCSD Zor who are in their Bollywood outfits now, instead of Bhangra outfits (as above)

UCSD Zor – Carnival Splendor

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!

Main Swimming Pool – Enchantment Of The Seas

Bermuda Can’t Just Be A One Time Visit!

The Bermudian, Bermuda

Here are some last pictures of when we sailed away from Kings Wharf in Bermuda on August 7th, 2012.

Kings Wharf, Bermuda

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!

Kings Wharf, Bermuda

Kings Wharf, Bermuda

We also saw the Norwegian Dawn yet again, and I just had to take pictures.

Norwegian Dawn in Bermuda

Norwegian Dawn in Bermuda

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).

Spa – Enchantment Of The Seas

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.

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.

Enchantment Of The Seas – A Photo Review

Want to experience enchantment on the seas?  Well, you might wish to consider taking a cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas from Baltimore to Bermuda.  We took a six day cruise from August 3 to August 9, 2012, and found it to be an enchanting ship  with a lot of people of all different ages.  I was quite surprised to see a lot of families with young children, and my pictures can give you a glimpse of just how many people were on this cruise ship, and give you an idea of the age range.  This was definitely the right ship considering I have three kids – they felt completely at home, and Adventure Ocean was definitely not short of kids.  This ship can hold about 2,446 people, and was truly packed!  Here are some of my photos:

Enchantment Of The Seas

The Main Swimming Pool is on Deck 9, and is in close proximity to the kids swimming pool and splash area.  That is a big bonus for families – it takes a lot of thinking to come up with the perfect solution where everyone can be relaxing and enjoying themselves in the same area.

Enchantment Of The Seas

Main Swimming Pool, Enchantment Of The Seas

The kids pool, and guess who loved it?  Chandi had so much fun and the best part of this pool is that the kids pool is right next to the main pool.  So often on ships, the kids pool is at the other end of the deck, but on the Enchantment, the pools are in close proximity, so that the whole family can have fun close by to each other, and the kids pool is very safe.

Kids Swimming Pool, Enchantment Of The Seas

Kids Swimming Pool, Enchantment Of The Seas

Kids Splash Area, Enchantment Of The Seas

Relaxation on the Enchantment Of The Seas

The ship also looks completely enchanting in the evenings.

Deck 9, Enchantment Of The Seas

In this picture, you can see the Rock Climbing Wall

Rock Climbing Wall, Enchantment Of The Seas

Other Areas of the Ship:

Orpheum Theater

Roots Vibrations Band, Enchantment Of The Seas

Captain Gus Andersson

Desserts on the Enchantment Of The Seas, that were served in My Fair Lady, which is the main Dining Room that spans two floors

Key Lime Pie, Enchantment Of The Seas

Sorbet, Enchantment Of The Seas

Ice Cream, Enchantment Of The Seas

Dessert, Enchantment Of The Seas

Tiramisu, Enchantment Of The Seas

My Fair Lady, Enchantment Of The Seas

My Fair Lady, Enchantment Of The Seas

Schooner Bar, Enchantment Of The Seas

Schooner Bar, Enchantment Of The Seas

Chops Grille, Enchantment Of The Seas

Chops Grille, Enchantment Of The Seas

Some of the artwork on the Enchantment Of The Seas, the first two were taken by the staircases, and the last two were taken in the Spa:

       

Now to the Solarium, however, the pool is for adults only.

The Solarium, Enchantment Of The Seas

I was expecting to see the Park Cafe in the Solarium, and was so disappointed, as I just loved going there for breakfast on the Radiance Of The Seas.  However, as the picture above and below show: there were other lunch options, as well as pizza, and snacks

The Solarium, Enchantment Of The Seas

Someone sure liked the ice cream on the ship, and she wasn’t the only one!

Ice cream on the Enchantment Of The Seas

Enchantment Of The Seas in Bermuda

Casino Royale, Enchantment Of The Seas

Casino Royale, Enchantment Of The Seas

Floor near Casino, Enchantment Of The Seas

Boleros Lounge, Enchantment Of The Seas

Chandi often came back with her face painted, but she had so much fun and loved it at Adventure Ocean, the greatest place for kids age 3-11.

Adventure Ocean, Enchantment Of The Seas

Main Swimming Pool, Enchantment Of The Seas

The Shops, Enchantment Of The Seas

The Shops, Enchantment Of The Seas

Midnight Party, Enchantment Of The Seas

Midnight Party, Enchantment Of The Seas

Enchantment Of The Seas

Enchantment Of The Seas

Towel Art, Enchantment Of The Seas

Our Inside Cabin, even though it was a little tight for all four of us, served us really well, and we really enjoyed our cabin.

Inside Cabin on Enchantment Of The Seas

The Lobby (or Centrum as it is referred to on the ship):

Centrum, Enchantment Of The Seas

Centrum, Enchantment Of The Seas

Centrum, Enchantment Of The Seas

The decks are a great place to take a walk or run, and try to keep in shape.

Enchantment Of The Seas

There was a Cake Decorating Challenge on Day 6, and the Captain participated, and I believe he won.

Day At Sea, Enchantment Of The Seas

Two of the singers who are also great dancers from the Orpheum Theater, performed for us in the Centrum on Day 6.

Summer Breeze Music Concert, Centrum

On Day 6, we also had the International Parade of Flags, and this was such a fitting ceremony, especially since the Olympics were taking place during the same time

International Parade of Flags, Centrum

Want to learn how to create towel art?  Well, on the Enchantment Of The Seas, they gave a demonstration of how to create the towel animals (however, I still can’t do it).

Enchantment Of The Seas

Do you like Ben & Jerry’s?  Well, their ice cream is available on this ship (not included in the cruise fare) – you will have to pay for this, as well as for the premium coffees and pastries at Lattetudes, and for alcohol.

Ben & Jerry’s, Enchantment Of The Seas

Lattetudes, Enchantment Of The Seas

Now for some pictures of the Indian food – finally, I found it on Day 6 in the WindJammer Cafe.  However, it was available every day on the menu in My Fair Lady, which was my assigned Dining Room for dinner at 6pm.  There was always something that was Indian, and ranged from Sholay (chick peas curry) with rice and naan, to Aloo Gobi (potatoes and cauliflower) with rice and naan bread.

Indian Food, Windjammer Cafe, Enchantment Of The Seas

These pictures below are a 1) a delicious rice dish 2) Fish Tikka 3) Aloo Muttar 4) Tikka – Butter Chicken 5) Malai Kofta (also shown above in bigger picture)

       

I didn’t always have Indian food, and often opted for other dishes such as the chicken dish shown below

Food on the Enchantment Of The Seas

The waiters on the ship are absolutely fantastic.  Our waiter is the one waving in the picture below.

Enchantment Of The Seas

Bernie Martini at the Schooner Bar – he is a fabulous singer!

Bernie Martini, Schooner Bar, Enchantment of The Seas

Balloons ready for a Farewell Dance Party in the Centrum

Centrum, Enchantment Of The Seas

Centrum, Enchantment Of The Seas

Well, that evening the party got into full swing, and balloons were flying everywhere!  Adults as well as kids were having a great time trying to catch the balloons.

Enchantment Of The Seas

The entertainers who usually entertained us in the Orpheum Theater, were now entertaining us in the Centrum, and there was such a party atmosphere, it was a truly nice way to end the cruise.

Enchantment Of The Seas

Closing thoughts on my cruise experience on the Enchantment Of The Seas.  Well, I think it is a great ship for families, and there is a lot to do. There is bungee jumping, rock climbing, a jogging track, the gym, ping-pong tables, a Spa, and of course the Orpheum Theater for spectacular entertainment.  Also, a really important bonus that is on many other Royal Caribbean ships is Adventure Ocean kids club, which made my family vacation really great, as Chandi absolutely loved being there.

To see some more photos that I put on my Facebook page, please click here: facebook.com/luchaniktravelandcruises

Thank you for reading my post, and I hope you enjoyed my pictures.