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inspWe just returned from four days on Carnival Inspiration.  The ship is maintained well and the crew were some of the best. We missed having a balcony, but thought we could stand it for a short cruise.  It only has balconies in suites.  They recently added Serenity, an adults-only retreat on the stern.  Between the noisy air ducts and the constant scraping of chairs from the buffet above, it was not very serene.  We chose this cruise because we did not have to fly, and wanted to see Catalina Island after 30+ years.

 

Tracy Arm was beautiful, so calm and serene.  Our ship was the first of the season to get all the way in.  Just the week before, ice prevented it.  There was a naturalist describing how the glaciers formed and what wildlife was there.  At certain places she would have to turn off her mike, as it is considered a disturbance.  We did not take one picture.  First off, we are not good photographers and nowadays we only use our phones for pics.  We met a cute young couple who are great photographers, and they were going to email us some pics that I could put here.  However, two days later they both became ill and I guess they forgot to send us pics when they got home.  We chose to stay inside, as we are wimps.  Really. though, we have been there before and didn’t feel like getting out the coats this time.  The Crow’s Nest is a wonderful place for viewing if you don’t want to go out on deck.  It was full, but people were friendly and let you get in front to see for a minute.  When it was time for happy hour, the Crow’s Nest was very crowded, but this happened every day.  At 3 45 there was one bartender and a few guests spread around.      At 3 59 there were 4 bartenders, 4 servers and every seat in the room taken.      Next stop Juneau.

 

 

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                                                                                     ms Oosterdam

Embarkation day is always exciting to me, every time.  We woke up in Seattle to rain,but that didn’t dampen our spirits.  We only had carry-ons to deal with, as Holland had picked up our check-in luggage the night before.  We met in a lounge in the hotel, and soon boarded out shuttle to the pier. It was a short ride, then a short line and we were once again on MS O (Oosterdam).  A quick trip to cabins to get rid of carry-ons, and off to explore the ship.  This ship is so elegant and easy to get around.  One of our fave places is the Crow’s Nest on deck ten.  It has lots of windows around for great views.  Happy hour happens there at 4 every afternoon.  First up is muster drill, which is now done before sailing.  It was fast and we did not have to drag life jackets.  They had good music (but not live) at the aft pool, and a special drink of the day, but no activities staff to get some dancing going.  We enjoyed sailaway anyway.  It is a great feeling to be on a cruise ship.

The Fairmont Olympic HotelGood day everyone.
As usual with a very cold winter, spring pretty much skipped over into hot summer.

However we escaped for a week for a cruise to Alaska. First stop Seattle, which is a fun city and easy to walk around downtown and Pike’s Market.  We booked ground transportation and hotel through Holland America, and what a great way to begin your trip after your flight. We were met by the reps who took care of our luggage and then we boarded a shuttle to the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.  It is a grand, beautiful hotel, and very elegant.  After checking in, we took a walk and ended up at Pike Place Bar and Grill for lunch.  We had been there on our  last trip and it was so good we wanted to return.     We were a group of 6, and decided to forgo the Space Needle when it was  almost a 2 hour wait after you got through the long line to get tickets.  There’s always another time!

Stay tuned for part two!

 

It has been a long cold winter, like many other places.  We are happy to see a bit of warmth and sunshine.  The birds are singing and starting to nest, so hopefully spring is here.

Our last cruise was to Hawaii on Sapphire Princess.  We love the sea days, and there are 8 on this cruise.  The weather was cooler than other times, lots of cloudy days, but we don’t sunbathe, so it didn’t bother us.  In Hawaii, it was the nicest weather we’ve ever had there.  It was mid-70’s and sunny with a cool breeze.  Sapphire has a great cruise director staff with lots of games, line dancing and ballroom dance classes.  We even got to try Zumba, which was great exercise and a lot of fun.

We met some lovely people and had fun visiting with them.  I met a fellow cross-stitcher and she showed me her beautiful stitching.  She had several projects going,  just like I do.

Have a great day, everyone!

100_0074_055This is Cessna, a majestic eagle we visited in 2003 in Alaska.  He had injured his wing, and was in rehab at the time.  He was healing nicely and soon to be released.  At the time we owned a Cessna airplane, and were sad to know he got his name because he flew into a Cessna.payday loans  If you have not seen these magnificent birds up close, they are so beautiful.

BERMUDA 090This is not a picture from a cruise, LOL.  But this is what happened here yesterday–about 6 inches of fluffy white snow.  This is the reality of winter that we cruise to forget.   And while we shovel or plow, we think of Caribbean islands or Hawaii.   And drink of the day!

For now it’s time to sit by the fire, keep warm and do some stitching.

Happy second day of 2013!

We wish everyone health and happiness in this new year.  And cruises!

We are having very cold weather here; about 10 below zero in the  mornings for the past few days.  We had about 8 inches of snow overall last week, and with no sun for a few days it is not melting fast.  Like so many others, we are paying now for last year’s mild winter.

Well, if it’s January, spring is just around the corner!

Best wishes

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World famous Mountain Top in St Thomas.   What a fun place!

We took a tour on winding roads up to the top.  We could see our ship and others in the harbor on the way, and beautiful views of the ocean.

It is at the highest point on St Thomas, which is 2100 feet above sea level.  The view is magnificent, as are the banana daiquiris made with fresh bananas.  They were the best ever.  There is a huge shopping mart where I found cute string-art earrings.  I am not a big shopper, but love to look.   As I was paying for my earrings, the power went out.  The clerk said “Don’t worry, it happens all the time! ”   And she proceeded to ring me up with her back-up system. There was a fire a few years ago, so it has all been rebuilt.  It was a great day.

Who has parasailed? It is a fantastic thing to do. I thought we would land in the water, so I was not anxious to do this. After finding out we would take off from the boat like a kite, gliding up gently and then be reeled back onto the boat, I agreed to try it. It was so much fun, and so quiet. It reminded me of the time I went up in a glider. Eddie and I went tandem, and he finally got me to let go of the harness and just enjoy. It was a terrific day.  

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