June 2018 - 10 Night Glacial Adventures (Seattle Roundtrip) Cruise on Regatta
I've traveled pretty much all my life - starting out in the Merchant Marines at 16 (Guam, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam) - had an interesting discussion with my high school vice principal when I returned late for the school year from my first trip. Didn't discover cruise ships until 2000 - and am making up for lost time.
May 2018 - 10 Night Iberian Gems & Morocco (Barcelona To Lisbon) Cruise on Seabourn Ovation
September 2017 - 6 Night Pacific Wine Country Southbound (Vancouver To Los Angeles) Cruise on Emerald Princess
May 2017 - 1 Night Pacific Northwest (Vancouver To Seattle) Cruise on Emerald Princess
May 2017 - 1 Night Pacific Northwest (Vancouver To Seattle) Cruise on Ruby Princess
September 2007 - 13 days on Tahitian Princess
Great town - deserves another hour or two.
Lots to see and do - even with all the waterfront construction going on.
Cruise terminal is awkwardly placed.
Saw the parrots.
Loved Puerto Rico - got there a a few hours early and explored.
Saw the distillery.
Two for the price of one.
Although there have been a few corporate mergers since this cruise - the kitchens are still great.
Didn't spend much time in San Diego - but the town is worth a day all by itself.
The Ryndam was built in the mid 1990s - when cruise ships still looked a little like ships (sweeping pointed bow, elegant lines, and nautical stacks). Cool. I understand she underwent major renovations in 2004.
I think it was off-season for the divers - but they put on "second stringers" for us - still cool.
What's not to like about San Francisco (other than the politics)? Cable cars, water front, China Town - all neat.
Cozumel was bright and cheery. Sipped cocktails and watch the swirl.
Didn't actually get to Cartagena due to cartel issues.
Some economically depressed areas - we stuck to guided tours and the beach.
The Coral Princess was younger then (she's older than that now...)
Explore the back roads (canals) - don't bother with "Harry's" unless you absolutely have to say "'been there."
See all the ancient sites.
The leaning tower.
If you have time - explore. It is worth it.
Pompeii is an absolutely must see.
Things have surely changed since this trip - but the buffet and MDRs were top quality - no need to pay extra for the specialty restaurant(s).
One of my favorite Caribbean destinations.
My general motto is - if it doesn't come from there - don't buy it there. Bought some high karate emerald ear rings - gorgeous and affordable (considering).
A hectic disembarkation - but got to the airport with LOTS of time to spare. Should have considered an excursion.
Visit Catherine's many palaces, see the churches - see the Hermitage (indescribable).
Take the Hop on Hop off bus. See the Vigeland Sculpture Park (incredible) and the Thor Heyerdahl museum.
Buy amber jewelry.
Explore Warnemunde (an easy walk) - buy a fish sandwich and walk to the lighthouse/beach (brrr). Then take a "cruise" to Rostock - bravely shaking off the last vestiges of the cold war hammerlock.
Again - the Hop on Hop off busses do this city proud.
Walk to town - it is worth it - see the (little) mermaid.
Mid ships - and even a lower deck may be advisable if facing rough seas.
Tour the distillery (I was disappointed to learn that all those different "flavors" of curacao are the same exact liquor - with food coloring).
Neat - two for the price of one (one has only one 'a."
We came a day early and stayed a day after disembarkation and enjoyed seeing the town (waterfront, Moro castle - and beaches). Great restaurants.
The spice island. Stock up on cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
We were there over Christmas - a special treat - got to see the locals celebrate Christmas with Saint Nicklaus and his henchman - Black Peter.
Rum distillery, pitons, volcanic hot springs.
I have heard she hasn't aged well - but we have fond memories.
Diverted to another - unmemorable port.
Touring the Madonna del Salute (sp?) baroque church.
Book early if you can - and get a tour of the Hypogeum incredibly ancient Neolithic bronze-age temple (they only allow a few visitors per month). Failing that - hop on hop off bus will get you a lot for a little.
This was just for disembarkation and a bus ride to the airport - short of time - rush hour traffic and hectic. Not the best end to an otherwise great trip.
Old town is a must.
Lots of cool tours into the interior and the "old capital" but - book these through the ship.
It's been a while (November of 2012) but we absolutely loved this ship and everything about her.
Really fun town - but don't pay extra for tourist King Crab or Salmon (you'll do better on board ship).
Seattle has GOT to be the best place to embark/disembark. Build in extra time to explore Seattle - on both ends of the trip.
Study up a bit on Gold Rush lore to get the most of this stop.
Juneau is the capital but we failed to take advantage of this in any meaningful way.
Build time on either end to enjoy Seattle. Spend some time in the library - plan to enjoy their formal nights - don't count on too much quality time in Victoria BC.
Victoria BC is often "sacrificed" due to weather - even at the best of times, the port is often at the commercial port and not conveniently close to the town proper. Stops are inconveniently short.
Great "Hop On Hop Off" trolley option - neat museums - beautiful town.
Enjoyed the old town - bought some fake Cuban cigars - which was fun (but don't pay too much - try to get a box of phony Montecristo No. 2s - for $20 or $25 - the box is cool - the cigars are crap)
Met a friend who showed us around and lunched at the Trump golf course - LUXURIANT.
POSH - port side out, starboard in still works - particularly down the coast to Mexico and back.
All scheduled tours were cancelled due to a small but vocal "union strike." We sat on the bus for over an hour until Cruise ship staff explained the bad news. I walked into town to take photos.
Great access to wildlife tours (Tombo National Reserve) etc. Town itself is worth an entire day.
Walk the town (it isn't that big but is fascinating) - work up an appetite and go all the way to the east end and feast on all you can eat gaucho-style lamb, beef and grilled "king" crab.
Gateway to Chilean Patagonia. Be sure to book wildlife tours - penguins and seals/sea lion colonies. Optional tours to Antarctica are prohibitively expensive - but after all - for me this was a bucket-list trip.
Great, clean, friendly (and SAFE) town to walk around in. If you haven't bought your herba mate paraphernalia souvenirs, now is the town (leather case, thermos, silver "straw" and silver brimmed gourd) - go native and eschew the "tourist" versions.
I LOVED Port Stanley. For a special and unique "souvenir" I stopped in at the local police station and asked for a driver's license. The license itself is a big sheet of paper with photo and vitals - for a bit extra they throw in a wallet-sized version (all-told around $50). It took around 30 minutes and is good for life. Warning: the local banks won't accept U.S. dollars that have been "defaced" (that's ANY marks, ink pen scribbles, stamps, etc.). This causes local stores trouble - they want your dollars but don't want to get stuck with bills the banks won't accept.
We were only in port for embarkation and it was a MESS. Use your smart device to track Port union strike activity
Princess Cruise's loyalty programs keep their passengers loyal. All else being equal, I'm pretty locked in (going for the Black Card) - River Cruises excluded.