Guilty As Charged: I Slept Around A Lot In 2014


According to TripIt, one of my favorite iPhone apps, I have traveled 397,231 miles to bring you information about cruise vacations so far.  Along the way, I slept at a bunch of different places.  Here are my favorites.

 LET THE DANCE BEGIN

Nieuw Amsterdam - 01We began the year sailing with Holland America Line on board Nieuw Amsterdam for Dancing With The Stars: At Sea.  Stacked with stars from the TV show, 15 finalists competing for the mirror ball trophy and a whole lot of rabidly loyal fans, the at-sea entertainment level was off the charts. (more)

Stars Perform - 11

 

 

TALL SHIPS WITH SAILS

Cabin 208 - 05

We first saw Star Clippers tall sailing ship Royal Clipper docked in Barbados more than a decade ago, then visiting the southern Caribbean port off an 8-day sailing of Carnival Legend .  Sailing through the windward islands, it became clear very quickly:  this was a unique sailing experience like no other. (more)

Royal Clipper - Whitney - 08

 

 

CRUISING FOR A CAUSE

Heart Cruise - 013

Spending some time with Princess Cruises for Cruising for a Cause: Princess Has Heart, a February sailing that celebrated Valentine’s Day with a special line-up of expert guests and celebrities who will helped educate passengers about heart health.  Also on board and an enduring memory from that event, meeting Bernie Kopell of TV’s The Love Boat.

Bernie Kopell - 004

 

 

MIAMI BEACH

DSC_0872

Every Spring brings Cruise Shipping Miami, the trade show for all things cruising held at the Miami Beach Convention Center.  An enduring but unrelated memory, this sunrise on Miami Beach caught steps from our hotel.

#CSM2013 - 02

 

 

 

THE VIKING EMPIRE EXPANDS

2014 Viking Longships - 29

 

Traveling to Avignon, France we were witness to Viking River Cruises breaking their own Guinness World Record, christening 18 ships in 24 hours

2014 Longships - 018

 

 

VIKINGS INVADE PORTUGAL

Viking Hemming - 062To make that launch of 18 ships in one day happen, we also went to Porto, Portugal where a special modified version of the Viking longship was launched

Porto Gallery - 43

 

 

BOSTON ADVANTAGES

IMG_8634

 

In Boston for AARP Member Advantages, we stayed at the historic Boston Park Plaza hotel.  Basically a trade show for value-minded seniors, the regional shows offer a wide variety of benefits, savings and enrichment programs.

50+ Boston - 065

 

 

CONNECTING

IMG_9096

Taking their broad experience on land, combining it with their luxury-level planning skills, Abercrombie & Kent Connections river/land tours produce a viable alternative and stand-alone good travel experience.  We began with an overnight at Munich’s Hotel Torbrau then started sailing in Nuremberg then sailed along the Rhine river toward Amsterdam.

Along the Scenic Rhine - 248

 

 

RECONNECTING

Sofitel Legend Ams - 08

On the back end we overnighted again, this time in Amsterdam at the Sofitel Legend Amsterdam, one of the nicest hotels we have had the pleasure of enjoying when traveling.
DSC_0578

 

 

PORTRAITS OF SOUTHERN FRANCE

IMG_1594Returning to Viking River Cruises, we went back to Avignon, France for a sailing along France’s scenic Saône and Rhône Rivers past some of the most beautiful vistas the French countryside has to offer.  (more)

Day 4 Tournon - 162

 

 

CRYSTAL LUXURY

Suite 10062 - 02

Sailing for the first time with Crystal Cruises ‘luxury’ was defined every step of the way, in every area of the experience from attentive butler service to a coastal Fall Foliage itinerary that took us far north to Canada.

Sep 28, 2014 - 091

 

 

CARNIVAL LIVE

Returning to where it all began, we enjoyed sailing with Carnival Cruise Line on Carnival Breeze for a Carnival LIVE voyage that included legendary rock band Styx.
IMG_6352

 

 

CLASSIC MOVIES CRUISE

Day One - 019Sailing with Turner Classic Movies on Disney Cruise Lines’ on Art Nouveau-themed Disney Magic was our first experience being live on board with a themed cruise.  In their fourth year, Turner has perfected themed sailings, offering more, more and more for fans of classic films (more)

2- Castaway Key - 199

 

 

SEABOURN FOOD AND WINE

Monte Carlo, Monaco - 060

Simply sailing from Monte Carlo to Rome on a luxury cruise line has a good chance of ending up a wonderful memory.  Add celebrity chefs, engaging culinary events and cooking demonstrations along the way and the Seabourn Food & Wine cruise easily became one of our favorite events of the year.  (more)
4- Santa Margherita - 327

 

 

NUREMBERG

IMG_3321Flying to Nuremberg, Germany a day early for a sailing with Viking River Cruises, we enjoyed a pre-cruise extension sponsored by Viking at Nuremberg’s Meridien Grand hotel as well as some wonderful room service.

IMG_3464

 

 

THE VERY BEST ENDING

IMG_6236

Ending 2014’s roster of events, we returned to Europe for a Christmas markets sailing of Viking River Cruises on their Romantic Danube itinerary with a number of #VikingSocial friends who Tweeted, Instagrammed and Facebooked the journey from start to finish.

Viking Social '14 - 073