Shared Photos – Post #3

As you probably know, we asked for our clients and friends to share their travel photos so that we could post them and remind ourselves of the joy which travel brings AND of which it will bring again, when conditions allow.

So, today’s photos are from Jack J., who cruised last Fall in Asia…..

CE Share Jack J Forbidden City

Forbidden City 

CE Share Jack J Fukuoka, Japan

Fukuoka, Japan

CE Share Jack J Great Wall 2

Great Wall

CE Share Jack J Great Wall

Great Wall

CE Share Jack J HKG

Hong Kong

CE Share Jack J Mutianyu wall

Mutianyu wall

CE Share Jack J Saigon

Saigon

CE Share Jack J Singapore 2

Singapore

CE Share Jack J Singapore 3

Singapore

CE Share Jack J Taipai

Taipei

 

It’s not too late to send your photos, if you have not done so already; we’d love to add them to our upcoming posts!  If so, please email to info@CruiseEscapes.com and include the location where each photo was taken.

More will follow soon; watch for our next post !

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Filed under adventure cruising, China Cruises, Cruise Escapes, Cruise News, Great Wall of China, Our Cruise Stories, Singapore

Shared Photos – Post #2

A few days ago, we asked for our clients and friends to share their travel photos so that we could post them and remind ourselves of the joy which travel brings AND of which it will bring again, when conditions allow.

So, today’s photos are from David F., who cruised to Antarctica last year, a bucket list destination for many of us ….

CE Share David F Antarctica 1CE Share David F Antarctica 2CE Share David F Antarctica 3CE Share David F Antarctica 4CE Share David F Antarctica 6CE Share David F Antarctica 7

It’s not too late to send your photos, if you have not done so already; we’d love to add them to our upcoming posts!  If so, please email to info@CruiseEscapes.com and include the location where each photo was taken.

More will follow soon; watch for our next post !

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Shared Photos – Post #1

A few days ago, we asked for our clients and friends to share their travel photos so that we could post them and remind ourselves of the joy which travel brings AND of which it will bring again, when conditions allow.

So, today’s photos are from Mary J., who is an experienced, world traveler!

CE Share Mary J Falkland Island penguins

Falkland Island penguins

CE Share Mary J Golden Temple, Amritsar India

Golden Temple, Amritsar India

CE Share Mary J Grocery shopping in Bologna

Grocery shopping in Bologna

CE Share Mary J Masai Mara

Masai Mara

CE Share Mary J Sunrise at the Angkor temples

Sunrise at the Angkor temples

CE Share Mary J Villefranche Sur Mer, France

Villefranche Sur Mer, France

It’s not too late to send your photos, if you have not done so already; we’d love to add them to our upcoming posts!  If so, please email to info@CruiseEscapes.com and include the location where each photo was taken.

More will follow soon; watch for our next post !

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Let’s Share

During this time, when many of us are ‘sheltered in place’, we were thinking that it might be enjoyable if we share some of our travel photos.  Since travel is not really possible for the moment, we can still enjoy the images of places we’ve yet to experience, or maybe we can be reminded of a great visit from the past.

So we’d like to ask that whoever is interested that you send us some photos to share.  We can then send out other posts from here and on our Facebook page to share the ones we receive.  If you’d like the photo credit, then we’ll just use your first name and last initial (i.e. Don M.).  Depending of how many we can gather, we’ll send a few at time, either at random, or maybe grouped by general destination.

Please email your photos to info@CruiseEscapes.com

To get things started, here are just a few we have on hand now….

CE Share Tuscany

The Hills of Tuscany

CE Share San Diego

Sunset in San Diego

CE Share Musee d'Orsay

The Louvre, as seen from inside Musee d’Orsay in Paris

CE Share Lima

Lima, Peru

CE Share Hermitage

The Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia

CE Share Durnstein

Durnstein, Austria

CE Share CEL Edge

The Celebrity Edge

CE Share Buenos Aires

A very cloudy day in Buenos Aires, Argentina

CE Share Caribbean

The Sunny Caribbean!

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Something Different

by Bill Edwards

So it’s not unusual to have our clients ask if we know of or have done anything different lately. ….Well, I can say YES! Having just returned in August from a Croatia-intensive cruise on CroisiEurope.  Chances are you’ve not heard of CroisiEurope.  It is a France-based company which is actually Europe’s largest river cruise operator.  (Yes, Viking is larger but we consider them US-based).

La Belle de l’Adriatique in Split

La Belle de l’Adriatique in Split (see more photos below)

If you’re familiar with river-cruising then take that concept, put it on a slightly larger version of a river cruise ship, and cruise along the beautiful ports and islands of the Dalmatian coast.  The ship “La Belle de l’Adriatique” sails a regular series of 7-night roundtrip cruises from Dubrovnik going to Mljet, Korcula, Sibenik, Trogir, Split, Hvar and Vis (all in Croatia) and ending with one last stop in Kotor, Montenegro before returning to Dubrovnik.  I’m sure we have quite a few clients that have taken a Mediterranean cruise that might have included a stop in either Dubrovnik or Split, but this was Dalmatian coast immersion….and I LOVED it.  Croatia is a cross between Italy and Greece…. Beautiful water and beaches (though largely pebble beaches; not sand beaches)…medieval history…friendly English-speaking locals….good food and local Croatian wines.  Getting to Dubrovnik is really quite easy.  There are schedules with one change of planes via Philadelphia (on AA) or via London or Madrid by flying American and British Airways.  We added extra time in Dubrovnik and rather than staying right in town, we stayed in a quieter area about 5 miles outside of town at a lovely Sheraton resort on the coast.  From the Sheraton there is a local ferry that takes you right back into Old Town Dubrovnik so it was the best of both worlds.  I would highly recommend staying at the Sheraton!

So back to CroisiEurope.  Is it for everyone?  Perhaps not…but it’s probably for a lot more people than it isn’t.  The ship, built in 2007 carries a little less than 200 guests, has the feel and design of a river cruise ship (4 decks rather than the usual 3 found on river cruises)  with similar attributes to river-cruising:

  • Single seating dining
  • An included excursion at each port
  • Soft drinks, beer, wine AND standard spirits INCLUDED throughout the cruise, not just at mealtime, (the only extra expense would really be gratuities).

There were some differences, though:

The ship has a definite, pervasive French flair.  I was told the cruise my wife and I were on was typical of what one could expect on any of these Dalmatian coast cruises….meaning a little more than half the ship was French and the remainder being mostly from other European countries.   There was a group of about 35 Norwegians and a smaller group from Spain.  We were seated with the other US guests onboard at a table of 6.    Yes, a total of 6 Americans.  Did we feel out of place? Absolutely not!  ….everyone was friendly (staff AND guests alike).  Announcements were made in French and English and we were on English-speaking tours (which meant small groups as the Norwegians joined in with some of us other English-speakers on tours).

The other big difference, which I grew to like, was with regards to lunch and dinner.  At both of these meals there is a pre-set menu served to everyone….meaning everyone is served the same starter, entrée and dessert.  I think not having choices on the menu actually resulted in the galley being able to put their best efforts into quality and presentation…and resulted in streamlined service.  Dietary needs are certainly accommodated as well as any particular dislikes.  In our cabin by noon each day we had the FOLLOWING day’s lunch and dinner menus so that it was possible to addresses those concerns with the dining room manager in advance for accommodation.  We did have lunch buffet twice during the cruise along with an elaborate buffet dinner on deck one evening while in Split.  There was a selection of 4 red wines; 4 white wines and 2 rose wines each day…mostly Croatian wines, with some from France, of course.  Wines were poured and then bottles were left at the table for self-pouring….so there was no excuse for an empty wine glass!  Breakfast was always buffet with eggs/pancakes cooked to order.  Some of you have sailed into Kotor and would appreciate this, but the morning we sailed into the bay of Kotor our breakfast was served on the top deck…so we had the opportunity to enjoy the spectacular approach to Kotor while enjoying breakfast.  This was one of the highlights of the trip.

Entertainment felt similar to what you would find on river cruises.  One night some local entertainment was brought onboard.  On another night, the Filipino crew put on a show of native dances and song.  The cruise director and a trio of Filipinos put on a wonderful concert one night.  But, like river cruising it’s an early to rise and early to bed routine for the most part.

These cruises, just like river cruises in general, tend to fill early so if you’re interested in 2020 don’t delay in making plans.  Europeans book most of their vacations earlier than Americans, too.  Prices for this 7-night cruise start at about $3000 per person for a cabin with portholes (which I had).  Cabins with 2 big windows start at about $3400 per person….but again that’s EVERYTHING included except gratuities (and airfare).

Please contact me for more information about cruising the Dalmatian coast on CroisiEurope

Pork filet with olives and sweet & sour sauce

Pork filet with olives and sweet & sour sauce

Delicious pasta dish

Delicious pasta dish

Creative, wonderful dessert

Creative, wonderful dessert

One of many featured Croatian white wines

One of many featured Croatian white wines

La Belle de l’Adriatique docked in Trogir

La Belle de l’Adriatique docked in Trogir

La Belle de l’Adriatique standard cabin

La Belle de l’Adriatique standard cabin

Split, Croatia

Split, Croatia

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

 The island of Mljet

The island of Mljet

Different & Fun Shore Excursion

The island of Korcula

The island of Korcula

The island of Sibenik with an excursion to Krka Falls

The island of Sibenik with an excursion to Krka Falls

Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro

Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel

Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel

Bill at the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel

Bill at the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel

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Filed under adventure cruising, Croatia Cruise, CroisiEurope, Cruise Escapes, Cruise News, Dubrovnik, European Cruises, European River Cruises, Kotor, Montenegro, Mediterranean & Europe Cruises, Mediterranean Cruises, Our Cruise Stories, Our Cruises

Cuba Update

Cuba classic photo

Cuba.  The very sound of the name always seems to make one’s ears perk up a bit.  The mystique of being off-limits for Americans for so many years has caused it to gain more instant recognition than any of it’s fellow Caribbean islands.  So now when you hear of a cruise which includes Cuba (or Havana), many might say “well aren’t there some new restrictions on our travel there that makes it less attractive?”  or “are we still allowed to visit there at all?”

The truth is that, while there were some revisions to the U.S. policy on travel to Cuba in late 2017, we Americans can easily travel there and the best way is by cruise.  The aforementioned ‘restrictions’ primarily relate to restricted hotel stays, meaning some are indeed not permitted by our government for Americans to stay as guests there. However, when visiting by cruise ship, this is obviously not an issue.  There’s also the added benefit that Cuba cruises to Havana dock directly in the heart of town and you can easily walk to many great local sights. Cuba offers the most diverse cultural experience of any of the Caribbean islands; the architecture, the food, the people, the history – it’s all fascinating!

Many of the cruises to Cuba call at Havana only and are 4 or 5-day itineraries from Florida, but there are also others which call at multiple Cuban ports by circumnavigation of the whole island nation.  For some examples, click the following, or give us a call:

Royal Caribbean
Norwegian logo 2016

Azamara logo 2016

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Filed under Azamara Club Cruises, Cruise Escapes, Cuba Cruise, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean

Caribbean Update

With the recent hurricane events, Irma and now Marie, some Caribbean islands have suffered significant damage and recovery will take some time.  However, not ALL of the Caribbean has been effected.  USA Today just posted a very good ‘Port-by-Port’ update on the status of the entire region.  It’s informative and well done, to read more click here

CCL Caribbean map

Conditions are evolving and itinerary changes will be made available as situations become more clear.  Contact us for details on any upcoming itinerary of interest.

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