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Crown Cruise Vacations | August 20, 2018

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Meeting my River Butler on the American Duchess

June 18, 2018 | Jackie Sheckler Finch



By Jackie Sheckler Finch

His name is W. Gerard Williams. He is my River Butler and he seems to be everywhere.

When I checked into my Loft Suite aboard the American Duchess, Gerard was there to show me the cabin’s light switches, in-room safe, mini-fridge stocked with complimentary water and sodas, Keurig coffee maker with eight one-cup coffee pods, TV controls, two telephones (one upstairs and one downstairs), balcony door lock, thermostat and other grand features of my amazing stateroom. Read more...

Shore Excursion: Winter’s Tale – dolphin survives overwhelming odds, inspires visitors

June 11, 2018 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Only two months old, Winter the dolphin was dying after getting tangled in crab trap line near Cape Canaveral in December 2005. A fisherman found her, cut the line and called a rescue team.


Transported to Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter overcame overwhelming odds and lived. But she lost her tail. Read more...

Carnival’s ‘Rare Finds’ on dining room menu offers chance to try unusual food

June 4, 2018 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

Carnival’s ‘Rare Finds’ on dining room menu offers chance to try unusual food

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Ever have a yearning to try an unusual dish but not sure you want to waste your money and appetite if it turns out you don’t like it? Well, Carnival Cruise Lines has a deal for you. Read more...

Cruise Destination Trivia: Identify the grave

June 1, 2018 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

Cruise Destination Trivia: Identify the grave

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Photo by Jackie Sheckler Finch

Recognize this pyramid-looking grave? Know where it is located? It is huge and seems quite out of place in this historic cemetery. I was told that locals don’t much care for it, thinking it too grand and ostentatious. Read more...

Carnival Sensation Seaday Brunch offers leisurely way to start the day

May 30, 2018 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

Ah, sea day! A chance to sleep in, stroll around the ship, check on fun activities and enjoy a leisurely brunch in Fantasy Dining Room.

I’m not much of a buffet fan so I decided to skip the busy one on the Carnival Sensation. Not really pleasant to start the day by filling up a tray at a noisy crowded buffet and then have to look for a table to sit on the Lido deck. Read more...

Carnival Cruise Line shares martini recipes

May 23, 2018 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

Before taking the evening ferry across San Francisco Bay to the town of Martinez, patrons at the Occidental Hotel would imbibe in a new cocktail called a martini.

That’s the most widely accepted origin of how the famous martini began in 1862.  Whatever the true story, martinis are now a popular drink. And Carnival Cruise Line offers a mini martini tasting to savor some of the many different versions of martinis. Read more...

Regal Princess has a name befitting her elegant beauty

May 16, 2018 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

It’s always fun to step onto a new ship and discover its décor, its dining and entertainment spots, its places to go to be with people and its places to go to be alone.

The Regal Princess has plenty of everything.

The décor is lovely and subdued – warm woods, glistening marble, sparkling crystal, gleaming brass, bunches of windows, plenty of glass and light. The feeling is very open and airy. The Regal Princess certainly lives up to her elegant name. Read more...

Shore Excursion: Grand Hotel takes guests back ‘Somewhere in Time’

May 9, 2018 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

On a whim, a young playwright from Chicago decides to take a trip and stay at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan. Although he is a success in his profession, Richard Collier feels lonely and unhappy. He has never found his special love. Read more...