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Those of us with a passion for travel often daydream about the cities and places we want to visit someday. And in these daydreams, we think about the person we love most and traveling the world with them. For couples who dream of checking off destinations around the world together, there’s a way to see and do more with your vacation time: take a river cruise!

River cruising is one of the best ways to visit multiple cities without the stress of travel days, unpacking and repacking, or getting lost trying to find your hotel. With their panoramic suites, themed excursions, and incredible itineraries, Avalon Waterways is the ideal vacation for couples looking for a romantic trip through Europe and beyond.

Avalon Waterways Tapestry 2 in Paris

SEINE RIVER CRUISES

Whether you call it the City of Lights or the City of Love, Paris has captured the imagination of romantics for centuries. This city is famous as the home to some of the world’s greatest museums, restaurants, and the iconic Eiffel Tower. Through the heart of Paris runs the river Seine. Avalon Waterways sails the Seine with several itinerary options to ensure travelers can experience the beauty of Paris and beyond.

Roundtrip itineraries start and end in Paris while also giving guests the chance to explore Northern France with stops in Giverny, Rouen, and Normandy. Some itineraries also feature Paris as the departure point or final port. This means that travelers can plan to spend a few extra days in the city exploring its famous sites before or after their river cruise.

Aw Inspired Dining on a River Cruise

DANUBE RIVER CRUISES

Perhaps the most famous river in Europe for river cruising is the Danube. This river begins the mountains of the Black Forest in Germany and flows all the way to the Black Sea. The river winds through Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, and more countries, treating travelers to views of castles and quaint towns straight from the pages of a fairy tale. With so many countries and sights to see along its banks, the Danube provides plenty of scenery and culture to explore.  

From four-day cruises to twenty-day sailings, Avalon’s Danube itineraries offer the most flexibility and variety for river cruising. This means it’s easier than ever for you and your partner to choose the cruise that works for you. And with cruise extensions, you’ll have the chance to spend even more time in the cities you’ve been dreaming about.

Christmas Market In Frankfurt on a River Cruise

CHRISTMAS MARKET CRUISES

Looking for a way to escape for the holidays or perhaps the perfect gift to give one another? Each year Avalon Waterways helps their guests experience the best of Christmastime in Europe with their Christmas Market cruises. These selected Danube itineraries make sure to include ports in Austria and Germany where Christmas Markets are a staple of the holiday season.

These Christmas Market Cruises sell out fast, so the sooner you book their stateroom, the better! Reservations for 2024 are now open!


Are you interested in experiencing the joy of traveling the world together? Let’s start planning your next romantic getaway today!

While cruise ship dining was long associated with basic dining room fare and over-the-top midnight buffets, cruise ships of today tout imaginative menus, fun experiences, and a variety of specialty restaurants that cater to every preference. This rise and demand from foodies has also inspired creative dining programs, culinary-inspired itineraries, and gourmet experiences on nearly every commercial cruise line.

Creative restaurants, cuisine, and itineraries make these cruises perfect for foodies:

ROYAL CARIBBEAN: WONDERLAND

Wonderland

Cuisine inspired by the five elements (earth, sea, fire, ice, and sun) reigns supreme at Wonderland, where your dining experience kicks off with dipping a paintbrush in water and painting your menu to reveal the food options. Presentation here is stunning – be sure to have your camera ready as your server places each dish before you.

UNIWORLD: TIMELESS WONDERS OF VIETNAM, CAMBODIA & THE MEKONG

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Travelers intrigued by Asia’s culinary delights will find much to savor on this 15-day journey from vibrant Ho Chi Minh City to historic Hanoi. Traveling through Vietnam and Cambodia on the Mekong Jewel, guests will find themselves absorbed in the spices, seafood, and other local edible favorites that connect cuisine with culture.

From toasting at a treasured local restaurant to exploring the night markets, a cruise on the Mekong Jewel highlights the exotic flavors of the region.

CELEBRITY CRUISES: LE PETIT CHEF

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Le Petit Chef isn’t just dinner…it’s a unique dining experience paired with an enchanting story told through table art. Four animated miniature chefs from Italy, Spain, France, and Japan showcase specialty dishes from their homelands, combining a choreographed tabletop show with the server’s presentation of your meal. It’s a magical display of culinary and art skills that you’ll remember forever.

AMAWATERWAYS: WINE CRUISES

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Is there anything more enticing than a meandering cruise through Europe’s wine regions? AmaWaterway’s themed itineraries showcase the celebrated wine regions along the Danube, Douro, Mosel, Rhine, Rhone, and Seine rivers. Guests will find themselves in the company of award-winning vintners from generations of wine-making families on each cruise.

Passengers visit esteemed wineries like Châteanueuf-du-Pape, Saint-Emilion, Sauternes, Médoc, and Margaux. Onboard wine lectures and tastings are accented by optional excursions to olive and truffle farms, and visits to the Cognac region where passengers can blend their own brandy.

WINDSTAR: JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION (SOUTHEAST CANADIAN EXPLORATION)

Seafood On Ice With White Wine


This collection of itineraries from the luxury line Windstar seeks to bring foodies closer to the cuisine of a region, through the perspective of a James Beard Foundation-selected chef. A wine expert also joins the host chef onboard to educate and entertain guests with daily wine tastings.

Itineraries sail from Montreal to Boston, stopping in ports Québec City, Gaspé, Cap-aux-Meules, Louisbourg, Halifax, Lunenburg, Bar Harbor, and Portland. Along the way, passengers will snack on poutine and Arctic char, sample French-styled lobsters, and try the fabled donair of Halifax…all while sightseeing and enjoying an education in history and culture.

Contact us today to experience one of these amazing cruises for foodies!

What do you get when you combine Marvel Super Heroes and Villains with a Disney cruise? Marvel Day at Sea! Whether you’re a newcomer to the Marvel universe, a lifelong fan,or traveling with someone who is, you will love this action-packed day aboard the Disney Dream, setting sail from Miami January-March 2023.

More than 30 Marvel Super Heroes and Villains will be featured in new heroic encounters and live entertainment throughout the event.

Which Marvel characters will be there? Captain America Sam Wilson, Mighty Thor, Shang-Chi, Marvel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Kate Bishop, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Thor, Loki, Black Widow and more.

Shows and activities include Heroes Unite (a nighttime spectacular with stunts, special effects and pyrotechnics), shows in the Walt Disney Theatre, an interactive training experience, a costume bash with a high-energy party on the upper decks, an adult-exclusive dance party and so much more.

Guests can experience this epic day at sea on the following Disney Dream itineraries in 2023:

Departing Jan. 7, Jan. 21, Feb. 4, Feb. 18 and March 4, 2023, the Western Caribbean itinerary features Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.

Departing Jan. 16, Jan. 30, Feb. 13 and Feb. 27, 2023, the Western Caribbean itinerary includes stops at Cozumel, Mexico and Castaway Cay.

These cruises are extremely popular and will sell out. Contact me today if you want more information or you’re ready to book your Marvel-ous cruise.

Packing for an Alaskan cruise is VERY different from packing for a warm-weather cruise. The weather in Alaska is unpredictable, it can be warm and sunny one minute and drizzling the next. Remember that even though it is summer, it won’t be warm! 

The key to packing for Alaska is layers!

  • Pants – jeans or khakis (you may want to leave room underneath for long johns)
  • Ladies may opt for leggings; you may even choose a fleece-lined pair
  • Long johns or tights – perfect for those chilly days!
  • T-shirts – cotton is best.
  • Sweater or sweatshirt – don’t bring anything too bulky.
  • Flannel – these are very Alaskan and easy to peel off if it gets warmer.
  • Vest – great to layer! I like this one for women and this one for men because they are easy to pack and water resistant.
  • Lightweight puffer jacket – I like this one because it is water-resistant and has a hood! There is a similar version for men. You may want to size up if you will be layering underneath.
  • Waterproof rain jacket – I like this one and this one because they fold nicely into a little pouch. Here is a good option for men. 
  • Wool or warm socks

Shoes

  • Tennis shoes for walking
  • Nice shoes for dinner
  • Waterproof shoes or hiking boots – this will depend on your planned excursions, but you will need some type of shoe that can get wet. Merrell makes great waterproof hiking boots. XTRATUF boots are very popular with Alaskans. Timberland and Sperry also have great options. 
  • Slippers – I like to wear them in my cabin, but they are not necessary

Accessories

  • Pashmina – great to wear as a scarf or wrap over your shoulders at dinner or while on deck
  • Warm scarf – great while on deck or on excursions
  • Baseball cap
  • Beanie
  • Gloves 
  • Small umbrella

You may also want to bring:

  • At least one pair of shorts – you may have a warm day; the weather in Alaska is unpredictable! 
  • Bathing suit – it may only be warm enough on embarkation day to swim or you may want to hit the hot tub
  • Flip flops – for the pool or hot tub
  • Waterproof rain pants – probably only necessary if you have some type of excursion that you will get wet on like hiking and it rains. Also available for men and kids
  • Binoculars – they don’t have to be super fancy; your excursions will likely have a few pairs for everyone to share but it is nice to have your own on the ship

Formal nights in Alaska are WAY less formal than what you generally see on other cruises. There won’t be any tuxedos or formal dresses. Men will wear a suit but you will also see a lot of sports coats with a collared shirt and dress pants. Ladies will wear nice dresses, but it will be chilly so don’t forget tights or nylons and a light sweater.

For dinner on non-formal nights dress; you will see everything; most will wear business casual. Most ladies will be wearing pants and a blouse or sweater and sometimes even dresses. Men will wear dark jeans or khakis with a dress shirt or sweater. You don’t need to get dressed up by any means but should look nice. 

Packing Tips

Power outlets have traditionally been scarce in staterooms, though cruise lines are slowly modifying them to have more. A 3-way plug or extension cord may help if you have many devices to charge – it must be cruise ship approved and not be a surge protector.

Bathroom counter space is also lacking so you may want to bring a hanging toiletry bag. The counter should be fine for 2 people, but a family of 4 will be crowded for space. We also travel with these magnetic hooks to hang bags, hats, etc. The staterooms walls are magnetic and these come in a few different sizes to hold different weights. 

You may want to bring a low-wattage nightlight particularly if you are in an interior stateroom.

Cruise cabins are small. Consider bringing Poo-Pourri. That’s all I’m going to say about that!  

The three things you MUST bring are sunglasses, sunscreen, and bug spray. Even though it is cold the sun will reflect off of the ice in the mountains or the water and it is bright! You will regret not bringing sunglasses. I prefer polarized lenses, but any sunglasses will do. Along those same lines, the reflection of the sun will cause you to burn so bring sunscreen. Mosquitos are jokingly known as the Alaska state bird; enough said. 

Take a wristwatch. Clocks are few and far between onboard. You also need a watch when you are off the ship. The port you are visiting may not be on the same time as “ship time”. Set your watch to “ship time” and leave it there. When they say the ship will leave at 3PM, that does not always mean 3PM local time, and you may very well (literally) “miss the boat”. And do not use a cell phone as your watch (it may sync to local time).

In your checked luggage, place photocopies of your passport, medicine prescriptions, return airline tickets, and emergency contacts. You may also want to keep the international toll-free number of your credit card company in case you lose your credit cards.

You will need a bag to carry your items if you are going on an excursion, shopping or even just wandering around the port.  You will need to bring your stateroom key card, photo ID, phone, credit card and some cash. A small bag is fine (I like a crossbody bag) but a small backpack may be best to store your extra layers in. 

Many guests will bring a nice big Tervis or travel coffee mug with a lid. You can fill it up and enjoy a morning walk around the ship with your coffee or with ice water and tea. Great for sitting out by the pool or on the balcony.

If you are ready to book your Alaskan cruise, contact me today!

Princess Cruises has officially debuted their newest ship, the Sun Princess, which is scheduled to sail in early 2024. Its inaugural spring/summer season will be in the Mediterranean followed by Western and Eastern Caribbean voyages out of Port Everglades, Florida in the fall of 2024. 

Sun Princess is the first ship in their fleet to be sustainably powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), which significantly reduces air emissions and marine gasoil to minimize the ship’s environmental footprint. Sun Princess, the fleet’s largest ship ever constructed, will accommodate 4,300 guests in 2,150 cabins. 1,500 of those cabins will have balconies, which is the most of any Princess ship. 

According to Princess, the ship will offer dynamic views of the world and innovative experiences through service, food and entertainment. The 3-story Piazza offers comfortable outward-facing seating with ocean views in every direction. The LED screen in the center will be used to deliver live entertainment programming. Adjacent to the Piazza atrium will be a coffee shop, bars and a pizzeria.

The Dome, inspired by the terraces of Santorini, will be a multi-level covered deck and first-ever true glass-enclosed dome built on a cruise ship. During the day, the comfortable space will offer an indoor/outdoor pool and unique water feature. At night, the Dome will be transformed into an entertainment venue complete with stage, lighting effects and stunning entertainment. 

Sun Princess will debut the Reserve Collection with premium location Mini-Suites and Cabanas, exclusive access to a private restaurant, and additional amenities. The Reserve Collection was previously called Club Class accommodations and will be available on all Princess ships.

The new level of suite accommodations, the Signature Collection, will be exclusive to Sun Princess. They will offer, in addition to premium stateroom amenities, suites with access to the Signature Restaurant, Signature Lounge and private Signature Sun Deck, a private area of the Sanctuary.

The Sun Princess will be a beautiful ship with iconic, elegant lines, world-class technology and modern designs infused with light. She is the third ship to be honored with the Sun Princess name and is sure to deliver a luxurious experience to her guests!

To be one of the first to sail on Sun Princess, contact me today!

At the recent D23 Expo, the biennial exposition for the official Disney Fan Club, it was announced that Disney Cruise Line is bringing the magic of a Disney vacation to Australia and New Zealand beginning in late October 2023. 

The Disney Wonder will offer cruises ranging from 2-6 nights and will depart from four home ports: Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia; and Auckland, New Zealand. The limited-time “Disney Magic at Sea” cruises will immerse guests in Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars stories. 

For those looking for a longer cruise (13 and 15 nights), the transpacific cruises will sail both directions between Honolulu and Sydney. These will be the first South Pacific voyages for Disney Cruise Line, giving guests the chance to experience destinations like Fiji and Samoa. And if you’re looking for even more, you can add a special Adventures by Disney itinerary in Sydney. The Sydney Escape offers a 4-day, 3-night adventure, where you can explore some of the best that this magnificent city has to offer, making it the perfect pre- or post-adventure for your South Pacific Disney Cruise.

I am so excited about this news! Imagine adding a Disney cruise to your trip to Australia, New Zealand or Hawaii! Combine the magic of Disney with the magic of these destinations and you truly have a bucket list vacation that everyone in the family will remember for a lifetime.

To book your Disney Cruise, contact us today!

Probably the most frequently asked question I receive is, “What do I should I pack?” Here is my list. I know it is a lot, and maybe you won’t need everything on this list, but it includes everything that I’ve found useful on our cruises!

Attire

Everyday attire is extremely casual. Most people wear shorts and T-shirts (and definitely don’t forget your swimsuit!). Breakfast and lunch generally don’t have dress guidelines other than common courtesy and decency. Dinner in the main dining room sometimes has regulations; check your cruise line’s specific policy as some do not allow shorts, sleeveless shirts, etc. in the main dining room.

New cruisers are sometimes concerned about “formal night”. For most cruise lines, this is really not the big event it used to be. Once or twice during a cruise the main dining room will require formal wear. If you dislike dressing up, you still have dining options such as the buffet or room service. Check the daily newsletter in your cabin to see what the dress is for each evening. Most cruises have at least one formal night. 

If you love to dress up, have fun with it! If you DO participate, check your cruise line’s exact policy for formal attire. Some people still dress “formal” (such as a tux, suit and tie, floor length or cocktail dress), but most passengers now dress down considerably. Slacks and a polo shirt are very much the norm, and even some wear jeans. Again, this varies drastically between cruise lines. There will be professional photographers available, so take this opportunity to have a nice photo taken.

Do not forget hats, sunglasses and sunscreen – especially for Caribbean cruises. And use the sunscreen. You are much further south, and you will burn before you know it.

Pack a light jacket. Even during the summer, a breeze off the open ocean can have a slight chill. You may also want to take a sweater for the dining room and the theater in the evenings.

It is also a good idea to bring a pair of tennis shoes. Many ships have activities like rock climbing or laser tag that require them.

If you want to pack light (and do laundry), make sure to check — not all ships offer free (or for-fee) laundromats. Otherwise, laundry is a service provided by cruise lines but it can get expensive. There’s always Febreze!

Packing Tips

Power outlets have traditionally been scarce in staterooms, though cruise lines are slowly modifying them to have more. A 3-way plug or extension cord may help if you have many devices to charge – it must be cruise ship approved and not be a surge protector.

Bathroom counter space is also lacking so you may want to bring a hanging toiletry bag. The counter should be fine for 2 people, but a family of 4 will be crowded for space. We also travel with these magnetic hooks to hang bags, hats, etc. The staterooms walls are magnetic and these come in a few different sizes to hold different weights. 

You may want to bring a low-wattage nightlight particularly if you are in an interior stateroom.

You do not need to pack beach towels – they are provided for free, and you will be allowed to take those off the ship to the island beaches. Free towels are also available at the pools.

You will likely have wet clothes/swimsuits so bring a bag for wet items.

Consider a waterproof case for your ID, cruise card, credit card, etc. while swimming or snorkeling in port. We also bring our own snorkel equipment. We have these snorkel masks and love them or you can go the traditional snorkel and goggle route with these or these made for kids. 

Take a wristwatch. Clocks are few and far between onboard. You also need a watch when you are off the ship. The local island may not be on the same time as “ship time”. Set your watch to “ship time” and leave it there. When they say the ship will leave the island at 3PM, that does not always mean 3PM island time, and you may very well (literally) “miss the boat”. And do not use a cell phone as your watch (it may sync to island time).

In your checked luggage, place photocopies of your passport, medicine prescriptions, return airline tickets, and emergency contacts. You may also want to keep the international toll-free number of your credit card company in case you lose your credit cards.

Most cruise lines will allow you to bring a small amount of wine onboard per person (typically one bottle). Some will allow you to bring water or canned sodas, it varies by cruise line. It must be carried on and not in your checked luggage. You may also be able to order bottled water and soda to be delivered ahead of time to your stateroom. If you bring your own wine, don’t forget a small corkscrew. Your cabin steward can provide ice, an ice bucket and wine glasses.

If you are going ashore, you will need a bag to carry your items if you are going on an excursion, shopping or even the beach. You will need to bring your stateroom key card, photo ID, phone, credit card and some cash. You may also need to bring a change of clothes and a beach towel from the ship. I even take my day bag up to the pool on sea days with everything I may need including my kindle and a deck of cards.

Many guests will bring a nice big Tervis or travel coffee mug with a lid. You can fill it up and enjoy a morning walk around the ship with your coffee or with ice water and tea. Great for sitting out by the pool or on the balcony.

If you have a CPAP machine, take it as carry-on. Cruise staff see these every day, and they know what it is. In your CPAP travel case, pack a long extension cord (with the machine). In most cases, your cabin will NOT have an AC outlet next to the bed. The extension cord must be cruise approved and not be a surge protector.

Are you ready to book your next cruise vacation? Contact us today!

Disney Cruise Line’s Fall sailings will once again include Halloween on the High Seas from mid-September through October, and then from mid-November through December Disney’s Very Merrytime sailings.

Disney Dream

After her summer in Europe, the Disney Dream will take a Transatlantic cruise back to New York City where she’ll sail to Bermuda throughout the fall.

Disney Fantasy

The Fantasy will continue sailing from Port Canaveral, with 7-night itineraries to the Caribbean.

Disney Magic

Beginning October 5, 2023 the Magic will sail Eastbound through the Panama Canal to its Fall home port in San Diego. She’ll sail two to seven-night cruises to Baja and the Mexican Riviera throughout the fall before returning through the Panama Canal to Galveston in early December.

Disney Wish

Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Wish, will continue sailing from Port Canaveral, with 3–4-night itineraries to the Bahamas.

Disney Wonder

No information was released on what the Wonder will be doing this Fall.

If you would like to book your Fall 2023 Disney Cruise, contact us today!

We all love new things, right? It’s exciting to learn about, see and experience them. What’s new with Princess? So many things! NEW summer sailings, NEW San Diego departures and a NEW homeport for Royal Princess in San Diego. Princess has been sailing the West Coast for more than 50 years, and they just continue to up their game each year.

New summer sailings: For the first time, Princess is offering week-long sailings that visit La Paz, along with more cruises to the California Coast and Hawaii.

New San Diego departures:  You now have more choices for close-to-home cruising with a variety of roundtrip sailings out of San Diego. Choose from an all new 7-day Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez cruise visiting Loreto, La Paz and Cabo San Lucas. Or venture further south all the way to Panama as Princess debuts their all new 20-day Central America & Mexican Riviera voyage.

New homeport for Royal Princess in San Francisco: Princess’s largest ship to homeport in San Francisco for the season will sail the California Coast, Hawaii and Mexico, including a new 11-day Mexican Riviera cruise with an overnight in Cabo San Lucas. More time for mariachis and margaritas!

Hawaii: Princess is the only cruise line that sails a full season roundtrip from the mainland, with a choice of roundtrip departures from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C. You’ll visit Maui, Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island with a More Ashore late-night stay in Honolulu on most sailings. For the ultimate South Pacific cruise, sail on the 28-day Hawaii, Tahiti & Samoa cruise to see the French Polynesian islands like Moorea, Bora Bora and more. 

California Coast: Cruise along the beautiful California coast, with ports in L.A., San Francisco, San Diego and Catalina. Or choose an itinerary that travels farther north to Astoria and Monterey. What a great way to explore California!

Whether you’re feeling the Aloha spirit, yearning for the Mexico experience, or looking to pair the perfect wine with the scenic beauty of California’s coastline, Princess and I are here for you. Let me help you pick the perfect itinerary for your vacation wishes.

Royal Caribbean has announced their Europe deployment for 2023! From April to October, you can choose from itineraries that visit Norwegian fjords, Iceland and Scotland, Spain and France, Greece and Croatia, the Greek Isles, Italy and Adriatic, the British Isles, Western Mediterranean, Scandinavia and Russia, Greece and Turkey.

From colorful Mediterranean coasts to whitewashed seaside Greek villages, the best way to see Europe is with the cruise line voted Best Overall for 19 years running. Immerse yourself in ancient Greek cultures. Sample the delights of wine-country wonders throughout France, Spain and Italy. And experience unique itineraries from fjord-filled getaways in Norway to trekking across the Arctic Circle. 

Has Greece been on your bucket list? With 227 islands, it can be daunting to put together an itinerary. When you cruise the Greek Isles, all the decisions are made for you. Unpack once and see the best of Mykonos, Santorini, Athens, Zakynthos, Skiathos, Thessaloniki, or, for the first time ever, Olympia. Royal Caribbean has four ships with various itineraries sailing the Greek Isles in 2023.

Perhaps you’re considering a Mediterranean cruise. With Royal Caribbean, you can take a grand tour of all the classics. Indulge in the delicacies of Italy, marvel at famous monuments in France and soak up the sun on the seaside shores of Spain. 

Why do people love cruising in Europe? You get to sample a number of countries and ports without the hassle of checking in and out of hotels, and without eating up precious vacation time moving from city to city. In addition, your cruise fare includes accommodations, all meals and entertainment onboard and (possibly) your airfare. You don’t need to worry about exchange rates or currency fluctuations. And let’s not overlook the incredible experience of cruising – wonderful and attentive service, all the services and activities, the variety of dining options and the overall relaxed shipboard lifestyle. 

With nine ships sailing throughout Europe, you will undoubtedly be able to find the perfect itinerary for your ideal European vacation. In fact, you will probably struggle to decide which itinerary to choose. Don’t worry! Nobody ever said you can take only one cruise. Contact me to book your European cruise today!