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Friday, September 25, 2015

When Cruising is Unforgettable

A big reason I think most of us travel is for that element of surprise. Let’s face it; our lives can become pretty routine. Leaving home brings out the explorer in us and brings the promise of the unforgettable.
As we’ve cruised over the years, we’ve had a number of moments that will stay with us always.
Many have been in the ports we’ve visited, and some have been onboard. Here are just a few:

Curaçao in color
Sunset over Curaçao. With no trees or power lines in the way, you can get some amazing sunsets over the sea. Rushing back to the ship in Curaçao after putzing around in town, we were treated to an amazing blaze of color that changed by the minute. Cameras came out and we captured memories that bring us back to that day again and again.
The schooner, the sunset and the Pitons. During a slow turn around St. Lucia’s Pitons on Holland America’s Noordam, a schooner in full sail passed between us and the iconic peaks, just as the sky was putting on its own show. The confluence of the elements made for some spectacular shots.

Some twists and turns, and then a peek into paradise, on the lovely isle of St. John
St. John the Divine. Tired of shopping in St. Thomas, we ventured out on an excursion to its sibling  isle of St. John. The bus took us up and down the steep slopes, and round and round tight turns. But nothing could have prepared us for the overlooks—pure paradise. It’s no wonder the island’s remote and untouched beaches show up again and again in cruising brochures and websites (and Musing’s blog wallpaper).
Alone on the bay. We couldn’t tear ourselves away from Mahogany Bay—even when nearly everyone else was back on the ship. The prize was the chance to float in the calm clear water—completely alone with a relaxation seldom known.
Sugar cane and an ocean view. The quality of excursions varies wildly, but the best we took was a bus tour around Barbados. The driver was knowledgeable and chatty, happily doling out Barbados 101 as we passed banana trees, poinsettias in the wild and windmills. A lookout stop over the wild Atlantic side brought incredible ocean views for great photo-taking and a vendor who shared his sugar cane with me for my first taste of raw sweetness.
Juiced up and iced up in Glacier Bay. The cold gray mist that chilled our bones was quickly forgotten as the Golden Princess slid gingerly through the narrow mountain-framed channel and icy silent waters of Glacier Bay, eventually revealing a massive baby-blue glacier, its frozen spires piercing the cloudy skies. While not a postcard-perfect Alaska day, most definitely one we’ll not forget.
Midnight at the buffet. Our first cruise on Celebrity’s Constellation started it all for us, now 10 years in the past. The eye-popping midnight buffets may be long gone, but cruising’s still making us marvelous memories…

The Constellation's Grand Buffet is a thing of the past, but the memory lives on
…like a stunning sunset at a Ft. Lauderdale sailaway….water show high dives on Allure of the Seas…the Constellation room steward rushing to open our cabin door for us…Michael Love truffle pops at the Welcome toast on the Caribbean Princess…Christmas music with a reggae beat on the ferry into Philipsburg…

What are some of yours?