Once I was asked what my”ultimate” getaway would be.  Then, I was raising two children who were both in private schools and I had a large home.  My dream was to go to a luxury hotel with excellent room service and “veg” for a while day on TV, not getting up until 10:00 a.m. and then having breakfast in bed.  The children are grown, educated, and the house is smaller.  Now, the getaway would be a long, long cruise.

Years ago I was invited to tour one of Crystal Cruises ships.  The ship was scheduled to leave Miami in the early evening.  I visited the bridge, spa, theatre, dining rooms, work out facilities, library, pools and ended in the Crystal Penthouse with veranda (the ultimate suite on the ship at 1,345 square feet).  I felt it would fit my needs from the living room, dining area, personal butler service, a devine sound system, pantry, library and all the bells and whistles that one could wish.  There were enough acitivities on the ship to keep anyone busy from dawn to dusk!

After the ship leaves Miami (the World Cruise sails January 11, 2010) it heads to St. Lucia, Castries and on to my favorite island in the Caribbean, Barbados.  January 18th it reaches Devil’s Island, Giuana, continuing to Fortaleza and Rio de Janiero, Brazil.  Stops are made at Buenos Aires, Montevideo and then we cross the South Atlantic Ocean to Cape Town, South Africa.  You can take any one of 7 portions of the Cruise with the first one ending in Rio, the second one ending in Cape Town.  Continue to Pt. Elizabeth and on to Durban, Zanzibar, Mombasa, the Seychelles, Mali and Cochin and Mumbai, India.

Before returning from London, you’ll stop in the Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, Italy, Portugal, Spain and France.

“Madam, are you leaving the ship?” the steward asked.  I wondered, for a second, if I could stow away.  But, I smiled and left the ship reluctantly.  It had been the voyage of a lifetime…and I’d only spent just over $300,000 including taxes and my single occupancy of the suite.  The memories were worth every penny.