Blog Archives

Scenic River Cruise Review: Dutch Sites & Belgian Delights

The Rhine is one of the largest rivers in Europe, connecting six countries from its source in Switzerland to the North Sea. It was the main trading hub for many of the towns and cities that connected to it, creating thriving, wealthy economies along the river. As a result, communities along the Rhine are often an example of stunning architecture and historical landmarks. A river cruise on the Rhine is a relaxing way to explore historical sites, taking in the sights in a slow-paced relaxing way. That was why we chose the Dutch Sites and Belgian Delights itinerary on Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours. Our particular sailing had an extra day at Floriade, the once-every-decade eco-horticulture expo. That’s not on the schedule for future sailings. The itinerary is now called Windmills, Tulips, and Belgian Delights, but still shows off some […]

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Sustainable Alaska Seafood on Holland America Alaska Cruises

We love cruising and believe that there’s a cruise for everyone. While we have our personal preferences, we also make different choices based on what we’re looking for. We also feel we have an obligation to broaden perspectives beyond our favorites in order to provide you with sufficient information to make the best choice. We want you to discover a cruise line and itinerary that makes you love it as much as we do, so we make our recommendations very carefully. Readers who ask me about cruising to Alaska always get this recommendation – a Holland America Alaska cruise. They’ve earned their chops – they’ve been sailing to Alaska and the Yukon for nearly 75 years. A recent initiative between Holland America, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, and Culinary Council member (and Seattle chef) Ethan Stowell, puts sustainably sourced Alaska […]

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Alaska Inside Passage Cruise: Onboard Holland America’s Koningsdam

Alaska is one of the most diverse landscapes in the United States. It has expansive mountain ranges, broad diversity of wildlife and marine life, a long-standing cultural heritage, and some of the best seafood around. It is also one of the most remote and elusive states. For many travelers wanting to visit all 50 states, Alaska is the last one to get checked off. Accessing Alaska is not easy, it’s not drivable much of the year from the contiguous US, and some areas have limited access by air. All of this goes into making Alaska a fascinating destination to visit and why an Alaska inside passage cruise is a popular way to see the last frontier. We embarked on a 7-day Inside Passage Alaska cruise with Holland America cruise line on their Koningsdam ship. While I’ve visited Alaska hundreds of […]

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Cruise into Luxury: A Review of Celebrity Apex

Sun, sea, and world-class service are just three reasons to embark on a cruise on the Celebrity Apex, the newest addition to the Edge class ships. The Apex is a 129,500-ton giant that boasts 16 decks, 1,467 staterooms, and revolutionary services and amenities, making it one of the most affordable luxury ocean-liner experiences on the market right now. Read on for a review of Celebrity Apex. So, what can you expect from a Celebrity Apex Cruise? I sailed on the Apex on a mini-cruise in early November. This was an industry sailing, with about 1800 employees, travel agents, media, and other travel industry representatives, and their guests. The sailing was complimentary for invited media and their guest as a way to explore the Celebrity Apex. I traveled with my niece, Audrey, who hadn’t been on a cruise since her daughter […]

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Sail Into Fun: New Carnival Mardi Gras Ship [Review]

Carnival Cruise Line’s new Mardi Gras pays homage to its first cruise ship, the TSS Mardi Gras which was launched in 1972 and retired in 1993. The new Mardi Gras is the first in the new Excel class ship with a passenger capacity of 5,282 passengers making it the largest cruise ship in the Carnival fleet.  I sailed on the first Mardi Gras voyage, a seven-day itinerary out of Port Canaveral (Orlando) with ports of call in San Juan in Puerto Rico, Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, and Nassau in the Bahamas. We sailed with reduce capacity (70%). Walking on it had that new ship smell and made a favorable first impression. Come along for a look at the ship, her features and amenities, and this special debut sailing. The Ship The ship’s look features a distinct exterior design […]

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UNESCO Site: Visiting Malbork Castle, Poland

A visit to Malbork Castle Museum will feature both the historical and artistic aspects. There are also some archaeological activities and research, always looking for ways to add depth to the layers of history of the Teutonic Order and the Castle. The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, usually referred to as the Teutonic Order, is a Catholic religious order dating back to the 12th century. Although it was originally founded as a German military brotherhood, it’s purpose has changed over the years and since 1929 it has been strictly a religious order, although it harkens back to those early years with the conference of honorary knighthoods. Today the Catholic branch of the Order has about 1,000 members, and while originally no women were permitted, members today include a couple of hundred nuns. The Castle of […]

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Enjoy Barge Cruising in Burgundy with European Waterways

We are big cruise fans. We enjoy ocean cruising, river cruising, and earlier this summer we fell in love with barge cruising. We cruised the Burgundy canals, drank fabulous wines, met wonderful people, and enjoyed the history, culture, and cuisine of the area. Burgundy (Bourgogne in French) is located about three and a half hours southeast of Paris and is probably best known for its pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. This was a wine region we wanted to learn more about and the reason we selected the Classic Northern Burgundy itinerary. We were also familiar with the food from this region of France (delicious cheeses, beef bourguignon, coq au vin) and some of the history. This was a perfect itinerary for first-time barge cruisers who are food, wine, and history lovers! We’re excited to review our hotel barge, the itinerary, […]

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You’ll Never Want to Leave: Onboard the Viking Sky, Into the Midnight Sun Itinerary

We sailed off on the Viking Sky, leaving Bergen, Norway, for a 15-day Into the Midnight Sun itinerary that took us to the tip-top of Norway, then headed down to Scotland and England. It was Tony’s first trip above the Arctic Circle, and with the exception of Bergen, it was our first visit to all the locations on the itinerary. We enjoyed our time on the Viking Sky and never wanted to leave! We think you would love it, too. This is part of a series of monthly themed features talking about places we’ve stayed and never wanted to leave. This post may contain affiliate links, sponsored travel, sponsored content, or paid product placement. We’ve hand-picked these destinations and products because we like them and we think you will, too. Getting There We flew into Bergen the morning of our […]

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Adventure Cruise: Discover Pure Panama with UnCruise Adventures

Last fall we sailed on UnCruise Adventures’ Safari Voyager on their Pure Panama: Cultures, Coasts, and Canal itinerary. It was our first small ship adventure cruise and we’re excited to review the ship and itinerary, as well as share our tips and with you. Cruise information is historically the most searched for information on our site during the month of June, so we expect that this information is hitting you right at the time you’re making your plans and reservations for your cruise. Discover Pure Panama with us. And UnCruise Adventures. Is an adventure cruise right for you? Like all vacations, the decision to take an adventure cruise is a big one – you’ll want to research thoroughly to see if the experience and itinerary fit your cruise style. We think the following are important considerations in deciding if an adventure […]

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Cruising: Pure Panama with UnCruise Adventure

This morning we head off to Panama City, via Miami and Hurricane Irma, for some city time followed by a week on the 65-passenger Safari Voyager cruising Panama. This expedition vessel will take us through the canal as well as to many of the smaller islands in the country. This trip is the first time that I’ve left the country this year, a rather unusual occurrence for me, but a lot of family things have been going on and it just hasn’t been the right time for me to take a trip farther than across the country for a few days. With house and pet sitter in place, we’re off. And what a trip it’s going to be! The first challenge will be to avoid Hurricane Irma. She’s rumbling it up in the Caribbean right now, and as I write […]

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