Archives for category: Cruise

For someone who spent her childhood and adolescence growing up on the The Garden Island, Na Pali Coast was always just out of reach. Between school, extra curricular activities and family travel funds prioritized for experiences off the island, Na Pali fell through the cracks.

When the opportunity arose to show a Mainland friend around my home island, we made like the smart tourists and booked a water tour of the coast. There are helicopter tours available which provide some incredible aerial views, but our tour included more intimate interactions with the elements, if you’re into that kind of thing.

The Blue Dolphin Charters experience was the perfect finale to our week long visit to Kaua’i. Captain Chad, a native of Kauai’s West side, and his crew kept us entertained, beveraged, and most of all, safe. He also reminded me of one of my club volleyball coaches by the same name, but I digress.

While no pictures, or even the most descriptive adjectives could capture that Sunday afternoon, in lieu of actually being there my best effort to illustrate the day is summarized below:

Na Pali Coast is truly a feast for all of the senses.

IMG_2145

Just LOOK at this.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

As one sister returns to San Diego fresh from a 10-day cruise in the Baltic Sea that began in Copenhagen with stops in Berlin, St. Petersburg and Helsinki among others, the other is gradually pulling her plans together for a Greek Islands cruise in the Spring. Putting aside my envy of their past and pending travels, I am reminded that cruises can be an easy way to travel and experience new places.

That said, here are rive reasons to consider a cruise for your next trip:

  • 1. Sample multiple destinations with one plane ticket: Cruising is a practical way to get a taste for destinations you’d like to see yet would be ok without exploring any particular place in-depth. One doesn’t have to be chained to the extent of your walking abilities; onboard, book a shore excursion that oftentimes includes transportation to and from activities. During a cruise around Alaska, I signed up for a bike and brew tour during our stopover in Juneau.
Post-bike tour, headed towards the brew portion, my favorite.

Post-bike tour, headed towards the brew portion, my favorite.

Read the rest of this entry »

Do you have a memory that instantly puts a smile on your face every time you revisit that memory? One particular afternoon during a family reunion several years ago does just that. We were on a seven-day Alaskan cruise aboard the Princess line, and while I returned home with more highlights than I could capture in one Facebook photo album, this particular memory tops the list.

It was mid-itinerary as we sailed through the Inside Passage, which meant that it was time to unzip the luggage, push aside the cold-weather apparel and pop open the bottles of wines we were saving for this very moment. This was also the moment that would make the additional investment in balcony rooms worth it.

While some tended to uncorking the wines and our private outdoor seating arrangements, the others approached the dining buffet to pile plates high with meats, cheeses, crackers and other satisfying carbs, grapes and melons. 

Out on the balcony, glass after glass of reds and whites were poured, a soft, cool breeze accompanied our lazy banter while the sun lit up the serene, cobalt-colored passage as we steamed past bits of glacier here and islets there.

This was summer in Alaska, and on that afternoon some yoga pants, a zip-up jacket and a scarf was just right. In between the sipping, munching and laughter I’d stop to look over our balcony and listen to the persistent whooshing as the water gave way to the huge ship. After that I would pour myself another glass of wine.

I also looked up, down and sideways and as far as I could see we seemed to be the only ones out here. It was probably better that way; the number of empty bottles seemed to influence the volume of our conversation. We continued to uncork the grown-up grape juice anyway.

At that moment, we had nowhere to be except for down memory lane, recounting past family reunions in Hawaii, Chincoteague, Florida. At the same time, we took in the present; we were on our own private balcony, floating through the fjords of Alaska’s greens and blues and grays, reds and whites in-hand.

My sassy aunt, verbose grandfather, wisecracking Uncle and brother-in-law among others also made for quite the entertainment out on our private patio. Everyone was happy and thoroughly enjoying each others’ presence. It was perfect.

Fresh air, the outdoors and good company have the ability to recharge the mind and spirit if you can pause long enough to let it, and aren’t too tipsy to appreciate it. Despite all of the wine, we accomplished both.

603431_10100607095472757_1733666602_n

%d bloggers like this: