This is default featured slide 2 title
This is default featured slide 5 title
 

Monthly Archives: June 2018

Info of Western Caribbean Cruise

Staterooms:

Our stateroom was an inside aft cabin and we were not disappointed. It was roomy enough and the lighting was adequate. Closet space and drawers were also sufficient for our use. We noticed that the double beds here were actually a bit better than the one we had on the Adventure since we couldn’t really feel the split between the two separate beds like we did last time. If there’s one thing that can be improved is the shower curtain. The one installed was not adequate in keeping in all the water from the shower. The shower on the Adventure utilized a double glass door system which was far superior. Otherwise, the cabin was nice and dark for sleeping at night. Although we heard a little noise from the cabins next to us, it was minimal. We didn’t miss having any window or balcony at all since we were hardly ever in our stateroom. We were either at port or elsewhere on the ship and went back to our cabins just to relax or sleep. We would definitely book an inside cabin again with RCI unless we had a free upgrade.

Dining:

The main Cascades dining room was nice and meals were good. Breakfasts had the same menu every morning. Lunch at the dining room was okay. The dinners were good but not every meal item was a winner. There was the odd appetizer and dessert that was not up to par. One thing that my partner noticed was that the portions of the main courses seemed to be smaller than those served on the Adventure. We usually went upstairs to the Windjammer to get more food after dining at the Cascades. In some parts of the Cascades room, the tables were placed too cramp so walking to out own table was tricky at times. The self serve Windjammer was good. It usually had more variety of food than served downstairs at the Cascades. Breakfast and lunch were busy at the Windjammer but during evenings, most people chose to dine at the Cascades. The two other optional restaurants onboard Portafino and Choppe House were available at $20 US per person but we never tried them since the meals already included at the Cascades and Windjammer were fine by us. Other passengers who did go to these optional rooms told us that they were nothing special. There was another cafe available during late evenings called the Seaview and they provided fare such as sandwiches, salads and burgers. This was a nice feature. One thing we did object to was that they charged for the coffee and tea there. There was also a specialty coffee place on the main centrum of the ship and they also charged. We had more availability of free beverages on the Adventure.

Service:

The service by the stateroom attendants and dining room staff was top notch as expected.

Entertainment:

The evening shows at the Aurora Theatre were a mix of the ship’s own crew of dancers and singers plus some outside comics and singers. In general, the shows were quite good. We would have liked them to mix up the entertainment each night rather than allocate music, comedy and magic into different evenings. Rather than an entire show of magic, we would have preferred each night featuring a variety of entertainment. Live music around the ship was a nice added touch.

Amenities:

Although smaller than the Adventure, the Radiance had fine amenities including the gym/spa, mini golf, pools and the shops. There was internet access but at 50 cents per minute, the service is a bit steep. There were things to do during the days at sea such as art auctions, cooking demos and dance classes. However, we felt that there was more offered on the Adventure. As for embarking and disembarking, there was no problem on the Radiance. The 6th level contained the casino and for non-smokers, this was a problem. The ventilation in the casino was not great and as a result, cigarette smoke travelled to adjacent areas near the casino. My partner wanted to avoid going on the 6th level whenever possible.

Antarctica Cruise

The tourist season for Antarctica is restricted only to the months of December through February when it is the peak of summer in the southernmost part of the world. Only vessels equipped for the icy waters cruise to one of the coldest areas of the earth. Three major cruise lines offer Antarctic cruises: Celebrity Cruises, Orient Lines, and Radisson Seven Seas. Smaller specialty expedition companies also offer other trips to this destination.

Celebrity Cruises travels to Antarctica with the polar icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov, a refitted 1980’s Russian polar research vessel. This ship takes a fortunate 106 passengers to the polar region with the amenities expected from Celebrity Cruises such as pool, sauna, and gym. Accommodations are small by comparison to a cruise ship; staterooms can be as small as 135 square feet while a suite with private bath is only 285 square feet.

Currently Celebrity Cruises has one 11-day trip to Antarctica scheduled for departure February 6, 2006. The price is approximately $10,000 per person. The cruise originates and returns to Ushuaia Tierra Del Fuego, the southernmost town in South America near Cape Horn. As with all cruises in the frozen waters, destinations depend upon actual weather conditions during the cruise.

Orient Lines provides several Antarctic cruises each year aboard its world traveler ship Marco Polo. This ship was originally built in Germany in 1965 and was rebuilt in the early 1990’s. It has twelve decks and carries 826 passengers, a cruise ship not a research vessel like the Kapitan Khlebnikov. Accommodations vary from deluxe and regular suites to a full complement of cabin categories to choose from. Orient Lines has a high reputation for quality and the Marco Polo is a full service ship with many restaurants and amenities.

Orient offers a variety of Antarctic cruises throughout the season from December to February with the option of 11 to 33 day cruises, depending upon point of departure. The longest trip begins in the Caribbean, passes through the Panama Canal and tours the west coast of South America before touring Antarctica. Once the ship reaches the Cape Horn area, regular 11-day cruises to Antarctica depart from Ushuaia Tierra Del Fuego. Other cruises are 15 or 18-day cruises that start in Santiago, Chile or Buenos Aires, Argentina. Prices start at around $5,000 per person for the 11-day cruise.

Radisson Seven Seas provides cruises to Antarctica aboard the ship Explorer II. Explorer II is designed to cruise safely in the polar region. While this vessel carries 300 passengers elsewhere, only 198 people can take the Antarctic cruise. Explorer II is a small cruise ship with all the amenities expected from a luxury and award-winning cruise line such as Radisson Seven Seas.

European Cruise Travel Vacation

Virtually all of the major rivers in Europe have luxury cruise vacation packages available on them. These magnificent boats cruise the mighty rivers through the indescribable scenery that is steeped in history. Each day you can visit another town, city, village or point of interest – all without travel in uncomfortable surroundings and the packing and unpacking required by other means of European travel.

Many of the cruise itineraries have special cruises available depending on the time of year. Art and music cruises are available. Wine tasting cruises are available taking you to some of the vineyards and wineries in Europe’s wine country. See the fall colours or watch as spring “bursts forth”. Many of the “shore excursions” provided by the river cruise lines are included in your ticket price. Now that’s value added!

These cruise boats offer luxurious surroundings. Many offer common areas with the likes of cherry wood, burnished brass and exquisite fabrics. All have comfortable deck areas for viewing the passing scenery.

Some staterooms offer floor to ceiling viewing windows. Some have separate bath and showers. Most of the stateroom amenities you would expect in the magnificent ocean cruise ships are provided on these luxurious river cruise boats.

The cuisine aboard river cruise boats is exquisite as well. The chefs often make use of local fresh ingredients to provide mouth watering fare. The dining room is set for dinner in elegance.

The pampering service one would expect on any luxury cruise is met and exceeded on these cruises. Luxury travel vacations would simply be travel without the marvelous service bestowed upon the river cruise passengers. The cruise staff are friendly and personable and are definitely there to please!

All about Cruising Glacier Bay

Nowhere else in Alaska, or in the world, can you see the amazing sight of the tidewater glacier that spreads from a peak 3 miles high down to sea level, that is known as the Margerie Glacier.

Only 200 years ago, the beautiful fjords and cruising areas of “Glacier Bay”, were buried under ice thousands of feet thick. In 1794, Capitan George Vancouver saw the face of an enormous glacier at Glacier Bay’s entrance at Icy Strait.

Naturalist John Muir found in 1879, that the vast ice had withdrawn an impressive 48 miles up the Bay. Amazingly, by 1916, its face had receded 65 miles all the way back to the entrance of Tarr Inlet, where it is today.

So, in only 200 years, these massive glaciers have left us with the beautiful, 65 mile long bay we enjoy now.

The glaciers on the Bay are extremely active and quite frequently, you get to hear or see “calving”. It occurs when huge parts of the glacier breaks off and falls crashing into the Bay.

The calving imitates an explosion, reverberating off the walls of the glacier, and the ice makes a giant splash as it smashes into Glacier Bay.

Along with Mother Nature’s incredible playful artistry of twinkling icebergs and striking views, you will probably be entertained by the plentiful wildlife that call this section of Alaska their homefront.

Sea otters, sleek sea lions, wolves, moose, black bears, Alaskan brown bears, puffins, humpback whales, minke and orca, harbor seals, porpoises, stunning bald eagles, mountain goats, and an amazing 200 breeds of birds are a delight to watch.

Puffins are one of the most vibrant birds. They are small seabirds, pigeon-sized, that live on the open water throughout the largest part of the year. Except for breeding.They swim and ride the surface of the ocean all year long regardless of harsh weather.