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
We 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)
TALL SHIPS WITH SAILS
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)
CRUISING FOR A CAUSE
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.
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.
THE VIKING EMPIRE EXPANDS
Traveling to Avignon, France we were witness to Viking River Cruises breaking their own Guinness World Record, christening 18 ships in 24 hours
VIKINGS INVADE PORTUGAL
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.
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.
PORTRAITS OF SOUTHERN FRANCE
Returning 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)
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.
CLASSIC MOVIES CRUISE
Sailing 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)
SEABOURN FOOD AND WINE
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)
Flying 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.
THE VERY BEST ENDING
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.