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Crown Cruise Vacations | January 20, 2017

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Iceland ProCruises expedition leader gives a musical welcome Ocean Diamond

November 9, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

It felt like one of those episodes of “American Idol” where someone is standing on stage, then starts singing. And you can hardly believe your ears.

Well, that’s what happened on our first night aboard the Iceland ProCruises Ocean Diamond. It was an evening gathering to meet the ship’s expedition team and learn about life onboard and our interesting itinerary.


Carnival LIVE announces 2017 lineup with music, comedy

November 2, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Concerts and cruises seem like a winning combination. Add another “C” into that mix – Carnival Cruise Line – and you’ve got a fun lineup, especially when it features Tim McGraw, Little Big Town, Jay Leno and Jeff Foxworthy.


Shore Excursion: Paranoid dictator builds thousands of concrete bunkers around Albania

October 26, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Sprouting out of the Albanian hillside like a poisonous mushroom, the concrete bunker is one of the weirdest things I have ever seen. But, unbelievably, the story behind it is even more strange.

“A crazy dictator built the bunkers,” said M/V Athena cruise program director Antun Matičević. “He built almost 800,000 bunkers to protect Albania. They were never used and now they are protecting rocks.”


Tight squeeze going through Corinth Canal

October 18, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

The historic Corinth Canal is not a passage that all cruisers get to see. An unusual scenic ride through high limestone walls, the canal is not passable for larger ships so passengers who want to experience the canal will have to book passage on a smaller ship.


Browsing through Amadeus Silver II gift shop

October 12, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

How many passengers on a river cruise talk or write about a ship’s gift shop? I’m going to because I think the Amadeus Silver II gift shop is quite nice and is rather unusual. Many river ships don’t have a gift shop at all or it is tucked away in a closet-size room.


M/V Athena chef credits grandmother for inspiring his culinary career

October 5, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

As a child, Jan Markech looked forward to summer and holidays with his grandmother. He loved her and her cooking.

“I used to follow behind her in the kitchen to see what she was doing,” he recalled. “She would say ‘Go away, you might get burned.’ But I still followed her around.”


Holland America partners with Seattle Mariners for exciting programs

September 28, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

Fans cheer when a Seattle Mariners pitcher throws a strikeout during a home game. But now folks will have even more reasons to rejoice. For the third season in a row, the Seattle Mariners and Seattle’s hometown cruise line of Holland America will join forces to help the Seattle Children’s Hospital.


ms Veendam cruise ship honored for daring sea rescue of downed pilot

September 21, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

A pilot who ditched his aircraft in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii was lucky to be in the same area as the Holland America cruise ship ms Veendam. Now the ship’s captain and crew have been honored as “Seafarer of the Year” for the rescue of the pilot who ejected from his aircraft in the Pacific Ocean.