Wednesday June 19, 2013
Most of these penguins seem to be either on guard or waiting for their ship to arrive. However, I think the little guy rushing across the rocks in the foreground thinks they've already missed the boat!
This Antarctica cruise photo was taken from Paradise Bay on the white continent of Antarctica. We were ashore from the Hanseatic cruise ship while on a cruise roundtrip to Antarctica from Ushuaia, Argentina.
Penguin Photo (c) Linda Garrison
Tuesday June 18, 2013
The Disney Magic
has three swimming pools - one for adults only, one for families, and a third for kids.
The adult pool is much quieter than the other two pools. A large screen used for movies, videos, and special events like the Super Bowl, overlooks the family pool. The kids' pool is shaped like a Mickey head and includes a large water slide that all the children love. We watched some of them going up the stairs and down the slide dozens of times.
Photos of the Pools and Deck Areas on the Disney Magic
Disney Magic Pool (c) Linda Garrison
Monday June 17, 2013
Sometimes smaller is better, as I found out last month when sailing the Galapagos Islands on the 32-guest M/V Evolution of Quasar Expeditions.
Since I love science, wildlife, and outdoor activities like hiking and snorkeling, I've long dreamed of visiting this archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, so my expectations were high. The Galapagos Islands greatly exceeded those expectations, in large part because Quasar Expeditions and the crew of the M/V Evolution yacht presented the package of activities and sights so skillfully, thereby enhancing the memorable Galapagos experience.
We had up-close looks at the fearless wildlife the Galapagos are famous for like giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies, and learned first-hand about the diversity of species and fascinating natural history of the island group. I saw vast numbers of marine life when snorkeling, including sharks, penguins, sea lions, and large schools of manta rays. I had a baby sea lion tickle my leg with his whiskers and watched the elaborate courtship of the blue-footed boobies. All in all, it was a marvelous voyage.
More on Galapagos Cruising with Quasar Expeditions
Quasar Expeditions' M/V Evolution (c) Linda Garrison
Sunday June 16, 2013
The "Meeting of the Waters"
occurs about 8 miles from Manaus, Brazil, when the "white" Solimoes River meets the "black" Rio Negro, forming the Amazon River.
Amazon River (c) Linda Garrison
Saturday June 15, 2013
Today is the annual Trooping the Color
ceremony in London, which is held as part of Queen Elizabeth's annual official birthday celebration on a Saturday in June each year.
(Her real birthday is April 21.) The idea of marching the regiment's colors by the troops as a rallying point dates back to the 17th century and has been incorporated into the British monarch's birthday celebration since 1805.
Trooping the Color is English pageantry at its best. The ceremony starts at 11 am, when the Royal Procession arrives and The Queen takes the Royal Salute as she drives slowly past the Royal Guards and the Household Cavalry. After the inspection, the Royal Family gathers at 1 pm on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a flyover of RAF planes. It's all very impressive!
Buckingham Palace (c) Linda Garrison
Friday June 14, 2013
The Costa Deliziosa
sails northern Europe in the summer and the Mediterranean the rest of the year.
The ship is beautiful, with expensive furnishings and fixtures and contemporary design.
Costa Deliziosa Photo Courtesy of Costa Cruises
Costa Deliziosa Photo Gallery
Thursday June 13, 2013
The Flying Dutchman pirate ship from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean
used to be one of the first things seen at Castaway Cay
, Disney Cruise Line's private island in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, since the ship was a movie prop, the weather took its toll, and the old ship had to be removed. Many fans of Castaway Cay hope it will someday be replaced by a similar ship.
Castaway Cay Photo (c) Linda Garrison
Wednesday June 12, 2013
The interiors of the Oceania Regatta are elegant, expensive, and warm.
With its faux fireplaces, Oriental rugs, and heavy drapes, the ship looks much like an English country house. The interior decor of the Regatta is identical to that of its two Oceania Cruises' sister ships--the Insignia and the Nautica.
The bars and lounges reflect this English country style, as do the rest of the Regatta interiors.
Regatta (c) Linda Garrison
Tuesday June 11, 2013
The MSC Splendida interiors
are beautiful, but the outdoor decks of the ship also have much to offer for those who love the marvelous sea air.
These photos of the outdoor areas
on the MSC Splendida provide a good overview of how you can have both fun and relaxation on the cruise ship.
Tour of the MSC Splendida
MSC Splendida L'Equatore (c) Linda Garrison
Monday June 10, 2013
Norwegian Cruise Line launched the 4000-guest Norwegian Breakaway last month at a gala event in New York City.
Now, the cruise ship is spending the summer season sailing roundtrip from her New York home port to Bermuda. Later this year, she sails from New York roundtrip to the Bahamas and Florida. As seen in the photo above, the ship certainly looks like she's from New York!
I was on the Norwegian Breakaway for the christening and two-night preview cruise. The ship was designed for Norwegian's "freestyle-cruising", and has over 20 dining venues and about the same number of bars. All the dining venues are either open seating or by reservation-only. About half have an additional surcharge or charge a la carte pricing. The staterooms and suites are varied, with a price point for every budget. Those who expect more amenities and are willing to pay for them will enjoy staying in The Haven, the Norwegian Breakaway's exclusive and luxurious "ship-within-a-ship". The interiors are contemporary, and families will love the Aqua Park and Sports complex. The links below provide access to more detailed information and lots of pictures of the new ship.
More on the Norwegian Breakaway
Norwegian Breakaway Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line