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Crown Cruise Vacations | May 5, 2016

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Holland America partners with master mixologist Dale DeGroff to create unique libations

February 29, 2016 | Marie Poynter

Like your martini shaken or stirred? How about a shot of bourbon on the rocks?

Watching the sunset over the ocean with a cold drink is one of the joys of cruising. Now Holland America Line has teamed up with master mixologist Dale DeGroff for an innovative menu of creative cocktails. DeGroff’s creations debuted aboard ms Eurodam in January and will expand fleet wide by spring 2016.


About That Elevator

February 23, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

Before I took a recent Amadeus Silver II cruise, I googled to read some reviews of the cruise ship to get a glimpse of where I would be living for 11 days.

One cruise reviewer wrote that the Silver II has a swimming pool and no elevator.

It is just the opposite.


Shore Excursion: Sweet treat at Cologne Chocolate Museum

February 17, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

The woman behind me said she feels as though Willy Wonka might pop up any moment and that the Oompa Loompas will come traipsing out singing their strange song. I know what she means.

The Chocolate Museum in Cologne or Köln, as the Germans call this city, is definitely an unusual sweet treat. Made of glass and steel, the futuristic-looking Chocolate Museum seems like a ship floating on the Rhine River.


Shore Excursion: Visiting a restful lagoon on Iceland cruise

February 3, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

No way around it. I was going to get cold. Very cold.

I’d have to made a mad dash in low 50-degree temperatures, still wet from the dressing room shower to that glorious warm lagoon outside. Chilling for sure. But well worth it.

Since opening in 2004, Myvatn Nature Baths has proven to be a comforting experience for travelers and residents. When I saw the shore excursion listed on the Ocean Diamond’s itinerary, I knew this would be my choice.


Viking River Cruises: A Recipe for Apply Cranberry Tart

January 28, 2016 | Heidi

Viking River Cruises is one of our very favorite cruise lines, and they post some delicious recipes they discover while exploring Europe.  This one sounds especially delicious; a perfect match with a nice espresso, perhaps?

Apple Cranberry Tart

Here is one of the recipes we have collected while traveling through France; the almond paste, an ingredient often used in French baking, gives this delicious dessert a Continental flavor. Serve alone or top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Shore Excursion: Visiting birthplace of Iceland’s independence hero

January 7, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

HRAFNSEYRI, Iceland – rafnseyrirafne Iceland gained its independence from Danish rule on June 17, 1944. No shots were fired. No one was killed.

Who was the man Icelanders say was mainly responsible for this bloodless revolution? Iceland’s independence was obtained by the hard work of many but it is attributed mostly to the tireless efforts of a man named Jón Sigurðsson.


Amber Cove set to become a favorite Carnival Cruise Lines destination

January 2, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

The new Carnival Cruise Lines destination is as lovely as its name. Located in the heart of the Dominican Republic’s beautiful North Coast – known as the Amber Coast – Amber Cove will welcome its first cruise ship when the Carnival Victory arrives on Oct. 6 for a day-long call.


Amras Silver II Cruise: Spending Christmas on a new ship

December 21, 2015 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

     Amras Silver II. Image courtesy of Amras.

When my sister Elaine and I were kids, we would sing in the choir on Christmas Eve at our small Ohio church. A landmark in town, the Bethel Church of Christ was founded in 1866 and was where my family had gone for generations.

This Christmas, however, I will be attending Christmas Eve services at Speyer Cathedral in Germany. This amazing place of worship was founded in 1030 and was the burial place of German emperors for almost 300 years.