Mary Allan writes:
A friend asked me what was my favorite type of vacation. The answer was easy…a cruise.
From an early age I went sailing in Canada with my father, and later my Uncle Lorne. My family had always been sailors, whether on a sailboat or one of the ships of The Allan Line.
During my fifty years as a travel agent, I took 40 cruises. Usually, when a new ship was being premiered, travel agents were invited to tour the ship, and sometimes to take a short cruise as well. Ah, the perks of the job!
Most travel magazines introduce new ships in a bulletin as did RECOMMEND in their cruise section this month.
American Cruise Lines’ AMERICAN EAGLE, a 150 passenger cruise ship is their newest paddlewheeler which will ply the waters of the Mississippi River (no passport needed). You can cruise for 7, 14 or 21 nights roundtrip from Memphis to New Orleans, New Orleans to St. Paul and St. Paul to St. Louis. Having paddlewheeled along the Mississippi, it’s an outstanding way to see our country. The Mississippi has been the “heartwater” of our country’s history.
I love to cruise because of the serenity of the voyage. Access to some of the most delightful towns and cities in our country is a plus. Cabins on the EAGLE are spacious – 300 square feet with balconies part of most cabins.
Ships are a comfortable walk on-walk off mode of transportation, all meals are included and breakfast in your cabin is not unheard of! Sleep late, watch the shoreline pass by, take a swim in the pool of most ships. If you want to do a day of shopping, there are shops on board usually clothes to toys and other gifts plus shopping when in port.
As ships like CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE’S new Carnival Vista come into a port of call in the Mediterranean, 3,436 passengers can disembark!
Cruise lines offer escorted sightseeing tours in most ports of call. The escorts always allow time for shopping. But you’ll visit several ports of call on a cruise in this country or in foreign countries. Bring comfortable walking shoes.
When you are on board a ship you can relax in the sun on deck, swim, attend several programs usually covering upcoming sightseeing at ports of call, and even an afternoon of cooking classes with the ship’s chef…
I’ve enjoyed a relaxing massage, having my hair done or playing card games with passengers. Most ships have a good library, so you can catch up on your favorite authors.
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE’S newest ship is the m/s Koningsdam. She’ll enter service April, 2016 from Italy with a capacity of 2,650 passengers. As a first, the ship will have 32 specially designed staterooms for families, each one accommodating up to five guests. The cabins have two bathrooms and range in size from 222-231 square feet. The ship also has newly designed single cabins.
All ships have excellent food, buffet luncheons and dinners, some meals served outside on the deck depending on the weather.
And, yes, there is entertainment from an orchestra to some musical reviews complete with dancers on some larger ships. Piano recitals are possible as well as the ever present comedian.
Usually, before arrivals at most foreign ports of call, there are lectures on sightseeing highlights in order that passengers can decide what tour they wish to take, or perhaps go off on their own in certain areas.
Movies are shown, there is usually a casino on board, and during the day there are activities on deck. Many of the activities are for children.
I’ve been known to sleep late, have breakfast in my cabin, take a good book out to my balcony, relax and enjoy another cruise…