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Fifteen day cruise to Hawaii end of January was so much fun.  It’s always good to get away from winter for a bit. Hawaii was beautiful. great weather as always, no matter what month we travel.  We made new friends, sang at Karaoke, played trivia, played cards, danced and sometimes just chilled with a cool drink.  We celebrated Patty’s and Liz’s birthday one day and Richard’s big 8-0 a few days later.

You probably know we own ABC Travel. The media is not telling you everything happening with cruise lines.  If you haven’t cruised or if you are looking to book your next one, prices are really good now. This virus will run its course and we will get back to our regular schedules. Anticipation is a big part of your vacation.  Booking now for later this year or next year, or even into 2022 gives you something to look forward to. Check us out at

Stay well.

Who wants to cruise for New Year’s Eve?
Royal Princess sets sail on December 28 for 7 days going to Mexico from LA.
Three ports–
Cabo 11 Am-8PM
Mazatlan 8 AM-6PM
Puerta Vallarta 7AM-6PM
One sea day before Cabo, and two after PV.
Sea days are great for sitting by the pool, or joining in one of the many activities—–dance classes, trivia, pool games, Zumba, yoga, seminars about the ports, Movies under the stars, concerts on the big screen, or just sitting back and relaxing, meeting people, or reading the newest novel.
For techies, Royal is part of the new Medallion class—instead of a plastic key card, you receive a medallion. On embarkation day, You can walk in the terminal and just keep going, the medallion has you checked in. It unlocks your cabin door as you get near. When you go to the bar or a shop, it tells them who you are and they greet you by name. You can message friends and see where they are. You can play casino games (for money). You can order a drink and the bar knows where to serve it,
Consider a cruise, whether for New Year’s, a family celebration, or just to get away.
We book all cruise lines and will help you find the right cruise.

We just returned from a summer cruise on Carnival Splendor. We usually don’t cruise in the summer, and had not sailed on Splendor before. I had read reviews saying the decor was pink and gaudy, but it didn’t seem that way to me. This trip was a “sit back and relax” trip, so we never left the ship. We have been to the Mexican ports numerous times.

It had been several years since we had sailed with Carnival.  One nice thing they do is upgrade you on the current cruise instead of waiting til the next one.  We only needed one day to level up, and were levelled up when we checked in.

One disappointment is that now they only make drinks they have in their system, and they must be made exactly by their directions.    For instance a cosmo calls for vodka, you cannot change it to tequila.  We had a conversation with one of the bar managers who confirmed this.

Our favorite place on Carnival ships is still the Deli. The menu has been updated and it was delicious as always.  Also you could request anything on the menu, add or leave off whatever you wanted.  Interesting that the Deli can make changes but not the bar

We were happy to find hot tubs in the shade on deck 10.  They were never crowded when we were there.

Disembarkation was fast and smooth–we were off the ship just after 8 AM.

The last time we sailed on Carnival Spirit, it was moved. Same thing happened with Miracle.  So, we weren’t surprised to find out that Splendor is leaving LA also.

The good news is that Panorama is coming to LA and it is a new ship.  The west coast has needed a new Carnival ship for a long time.





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This September we went to ALASKA for the 7the time. Never before did we have such good weather.
In all the trips to ALASKA there has been at least one bad day weather wise.
As usual the RED DOG SALOON was a blast.












5678We tried to make friends with these ladies but they were incognito. They were having a great time.


st-thomView from our balcony, arriving into St Thomas.  We have been here many times. as we have friends who live there.  More views of entering the harbor below.



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The beautiful Regal atrium.












This is Tanya, one of the great flight attendants on Southwest Airlines.  She made our flight more fun.

Beach signs on Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private Island.  They direct you to all the fun places.  They served a great barbecue, and we spent the afternoon relaxing in the shade with our cruise buddies.

Wading is so refreshing, but she kept sinking.  The salt water and sand give you a mini-pedicure.

This is Cornie’s bar and grill right on the beach in St Kitts.  Cornie and his wife have been at this location for decades.  He is a great guy with fun stories.  He was not happy to raise his beer price from $1.50 to $2 recently, but sort of forced to by his competition.  What a deal! We had a nice shady spot viewing the beach.

It is wonderful to leave the snow and cold at home and cruise to the Caribbean in the winter.  Eighty degrees in the shade with an ocean breeze beats shoveling snow in 30 degrees every time.

This trip there were 3 birthdays celebrated and we all had a great time.


ed-base                                                                                                                           bass3

What can you do in Ensenada, Mexico ? The winery tour is fun.  You can take the shuttle out to the blowhole and have a good time walking around all the booths in the swap meet.  You can sample churros, buy all kinds of food,  and try one of the restaurants.

Our favorite place downtown is El Corralito restaurant.  Eduardo and his staff are excellent and he makes a perfect margarita. The pork carnitas are so delicious. Musicians come by and I was able to play the bass for a few minutes.  I gestured to the bass player and he let me take his place.  I hadn’t played bass in many years and it was great fun.  El Corralito is a fsmily business which has been around for 50 years.  Eduardo runs this one downtown and his dad runs the one on the                                                   other side of town.  It is well worth a visit


Eddy playing bass                                                                                                                                                                                                       Great trio


January is a good time to reflect on the past year and make plans for this year.  Are you planning a cruise this year or even for next year?  After booking, the anticipation is part of the fun.  Researching the ports you will visit, reserving shore excursions, talking about it with friends and shopping for new outfits makes the time pass faster when you book months or even a year away.  We have cruises booked as far out as Feb of ’17, which isn’t that far away now, but it was when we booked it.

Your first cruise is one you always remember.  Our first was in 1991 on Premier Cruise Line, The Big Red Boat.  It was actually the Oceania, but its 3 ships were affectionately know as The Big Red Boats because of their red hulls.  Now it would be a small ship, compared to all the giant ships today.  We had no balcony, no window, not even a porthole.  There were 2 bunks waist high on the walls and we had to step over a ledge about 6 inches high to go into the bathroom. There was no tv, radio or telephone. We were with a Shriner’s group, and Eddie was an officer, so a few of  us got to have dinner with the captain and his wife.  It was a short 3 day cruise with a beach day the only port, but it was a lot of fun and kept us dreaming of the day we could do it again.  Our next cruise wasn’t until 2003, a 7-day to Alaska, and there was a noticeable difference in the size of the ship and the cabins and public areas were so much nicer. Premier later became Disney Cruise Line.



The Red Frog Pub is relatively new on Carnival ships.  We recently sailed Miracle to Mexico again and played RFB progressive trivia.  It was different from any other trivia we have played because the questions were all related to the Caribbean or the pub.  Examples:  What is a group of frogs called?  What was the original name of the Bloody Mary?You get one point for each correct answer on the the first five, then on the second 5 you get two points each.  However, if you don’t know the answer and write a funny one, you get one point. The host checked the papers and read the funny answers.  Normally Carnival allows you to check your own, leading to the same people winning a lot with no one checking their answers.  For extra points, we had to appear one night with our shirts on inside out and backwards.  Every team participated.  The second night we got extra points if we brought a new team with us, but none of us were able to find one. We had two groups of people say they would show up, but neither did.


Here is Terrance, our fun host for trivia.  He was the ultimate cruise staff member and we had many good times with him. Our team is wearing bathrobes over our elegant night clothes for extra points.  Once again, every team showed up in bathrobes.


Our team won!  We received a medal, a deck of cards, a 14-carat gold (plastic) ship on a stick and that huge Beachcomber drink, which the four of us shared after dinner.  It was delicious and a great ending to the evening.

The Pub has games like chess, Jenga, electronic darts, Foosball and table shuffleboard.  It was challenging figuring out where to aim the puck, allowing for the ship movement.  At night they had a band playing and most of the time the pub was packed.  The bartenders are top notch and fun.  They take pictures of the customers and they pop up on tvs all around the room.  Do check out the pub when you cruise on Carnival.

After 35 cruises, I have to say we have never noticed the cruise director much.  Except for introducing the shows and the Captain at parties, they seem to be behind the scenes most of the time.  They do have a lot of work to do behind the scenes.

But, our last cruise on Carnival Miracle was a brand new experience.  Enter Cory Rogers!  He is fabulous. We first met him at the sailaway party, where he not only appeared, but got right in with the dancing.  He is so much fun to be around.  He taught a dance class one day and hosted Harry Potter trivia, to the delight of the younger cruisers.   He seemed to be out and about from early morning to late night.

On the last night, he and most of his staff were hanging out in the Red Frog, talking to guests, having a drink and dancing to some great music.  Oh, and we played shuffleboard with some of his staff.  The Red Frog is a great new addition to Miracle, with board games, darts, foosball and shuffleboard.   A shout out to Abbey, Hailey, Jonathan and Gary,, who kept us entertained with trivia, Karaoke, dance classes and more.  There was so much to do, sometimes we had to choose one activity over the other.

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