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Linda Garrison

Linda's Cruises Blog


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Disney Magic Cabins and Suites

Saturday May 31, 2014
The Disney Magic has six different types of
Disney Magic cabin
cabins and three levels of suites, ranging from the inside standard cabin that sleeps 2, 3, or 4 to the 1,029 square-foot Royal Suite with veranda that sleeps seven. These photos are from a deluxe family stateroom with veranda that could sleep 4 or 5 if the sofa bed is used and the hidden bed in the ceiling is pulled down.

Disney Magic Cabin (c) Linda Garrison

Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve near Richards Bay, South Africa

Friday May 30, 2014
The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi (pronounced shu-shu-ee um-fo-loo-zee) Park is the oldest game reserve
Zebra at the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa
in South Africa. Established in 1895, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi is one South Africa park where the Big Five (lion, elephant, rhinoceros, cape buffalo, and leopard) can be found.

I visited Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve in the early morning while on an African cruise on the Silversea Silver Wind. The ship stayed two days in Richards Bay so that passengers could do overnight excursions to other nearby game reserves like the St. Lucia Wetlands.

Zebra (c) Linda Garrison

Cruising the Greek Isles - FAQs

Thursday May 29, 2014
The best way to see the picturesque Greek Isles is on a cruise ship.
Santorini in the Greek Isles
Each island is just the way you might imagine--sun drenched, with white-washed houses, charming people, and delicious food. The scenery around each corner is interesting and makes you want to see more. If you are planning a cruise to the Greek Isles, these basic FAQs might be useful.

Santorini (c) Linda Garrison

Oasis of the Seas Outdoors

Wednesday May 28, 2014
The Oasis of the Seas has wonderful indoor public areas, but the outside decks really are special and different.
Oasis of the Seas
Its size allowed the designers to be very creative in their use of the space. And, since the Oasis of the Seas is based year-round in the sunny Caribbean, it makes sense that the cruise ship would have spacious outdoor areas and plenty of activities for guests to enjoy in the sunshine and fresh air.

Two of the most talked about areas are the Boardwalk and Central Park. However, these photos demonstrate some of the many other fascinating outdoor deck areas on the Oasis of the Seas.

Oasis of the Seas (c) Linda Garrison

Dining on the Seabourn Odyssey

Tuesday May 27, 2014
The 450-passenger Seabourn Odyssey has three main dining venues, a poolside grill, and 24-hour room service.
Seabourn Odyssey Restaurant 2
Since the ship is almost all-inclusive, none of the dining options carries a surcharge, and reservations can be made up to 48 hours in advance. I loved all the dining venues (and all the food) on my cruise on the Seabourn Odyssey.

Let's take a pictorial tour of the dining options on the Seabourn Odyssey.

Seabourn Odyssey Restaurant 2 (c) Linda Garrison

Tour of the Seabourn Odyssey

Monday May 26, 2014
The Seabourn Odyssey is the first in its class of ships for The Yachts of Seabourn. She has two sister ships, the Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Quest.
Seabourn Odyssey at anchor in Fiscardo, Greece

The 450-passenger Seabourn Odyssey maintains the exceptional service, delicious cuisine, and casual onboard atmosphere that past Seabourn cruisers love and expect.

I sailed a 7-day Adriatic cruise itinerary from Venice to Athens on the Seabourn Odyssey and loved everything about the ship. Join me on a tour of the suites, dining venues, and public areas of the Seabourn Odyssey.

Let's take a pictorial tour of the Seabourn Odyssey.

Seabourn Odyssey at Anchor in Fiscardo, Greece (c) Linda Garrison

French Polynesia and the South Pacific - Raiatea

Sunday May 25, 2014
Raiatea has something for everyone -- nearby sandy motus, pearl farms, sacred marae, and the only navigable river in all of French Polynesia.
Raiatea in the South Pacific
In addition, cruise ships can tie up at the dock rather than have to tender passengers ashore, making shopping easier!

Things to Do and See on Raiatea

Raiatea (c) Linda Garrison

Exploring Jekyll Island

Saturday May 24, 2014
Although I love to go to Jekyll Island, Georgia because it is relatively uncrowded and has beautiful scenery, it has plenty of activities for those who want to do more than just sit and read a book or walk on the beach.
Jekyll Island, Georgia
The bike riding is fantastic for two reasons--the island is flat and has plenty of interesting historical sights like the Millionaires' Village. The island is also covered with wind-swept live oak trees, giving it a mystical look. In addition, those who want a more "civilized" activity can play golf at some of the finest courses along the coast or hone their tennis skills.

American Cruise Lines includes stopovers at both Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island on cruises of the Southeast USA. If you are looking for a cruise close to home, this small ship cruise line might just be what you are looking for.

Jekyll Island (c) Linda Garrison

Juneau - Things to Do on Your Cruise of the Inside Passage of Alaska

Friday May 23, 2014
Juneau is almost always included as a port of call on Alaska Inside Passage cruises.
Ice Fields near Juneau, Alaska
Juneau is the only state capital in the USA that is inaccessible by car. The city of about 31,000 residents is perched on the southeast coast of Alaska, and you need a ship or a plane to get there. Since the mountains come down almost to the sea, Juneau hugs the coastline for several miles.

Juneau offers many good opportunities for excursions and activities, and its airport makes the city a good one for small cruise ship embarkation or disembarkation. I was in Juneau at the conclusion of my small ship cruise on the Wilderness Discoverer, stayed at the delightful Silverbow Inn, and managed to cram in as many activities as possible in just two days.

With several cruise ships visiting the city each day during the busy summer cruise season, the small town seems to burst at the seams, with tourists roaming from shop to shop, buying all sorts of souvenirs and Alaskan crafts.

Juneau, Alaska Photo Gallery

Juneau Photo (c) Linda Garrison

Tips on Tipping

Thursday May 22, 2014
Tipping on a cruise ship has to be one of the most discussed topics about cruising. When do you tip? How much do you tip? Whom do you tip? These questions baffle most travelers, but cruisers are particularly challenged since tips are handled differently than in hotels or restaurants.

Cruise lines either have a no tipping policy, add a suggested tip onto your bill, or provide suggestions to passengers on how much gratuity to give to the staff. It is important to know that on most ships, tips represent a large portion of a crew member's salary, and you need to factor in this cost when planning your cruise. Let's take a look at tipping in general and tipping on cruise ships.
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