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Crown Cruise Vacations | December 12, 2017

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Shore Excursion: 1950s American cars still cruising in Cuba

December 6, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

Eisenhower was president. The New York Yankees won their fifth world series in a row. Frank Sinatra was drawing movie goers with his film “From Here to Eternity.”

A 26-year-old Fidel Castro launched his failed attempt to overthrow Cuban dictator Batista on July 26. The first Corvette went on sale. Read more...

Carnival Horizon Dreamscape to feature work by St. Jude Children’s Hospital patients

November 29, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

When the new Carnival Horizon debuts in Europe in April 2018, the atrium sculpture will feature artwork created by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital patients.

The massive LED “Dreamscape” atrium sculpture will offer 33 different artistic creations from St. Jude patients, one of Carnival’s largest charitable partners. Read more...

Shore Excursion: Skimpy costumes, beautiful showgirls & guys at Tropicana in Cuba

November 22, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

I don’t know where they sat. Probably not where I did. But such rich and famous folks as Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando, Rita Hayworth, JFK, Ernest Hemingway and Lucky Luciano once attended the famous Tropicana show in Havana.

Now I have, too, on a late-night excursion from my Celestyal Crystal cruise. The optional four-hour activity cost $149 for adults. Children under 18 not allowed. Read more...

Viking looks to the stars for godmother of new ship Orion

November 15, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

The godmother of Viking’s fifth ocean ship – the Orion – is appropriately a retired NASA astronaut. Dr. Anna Fisher will be honored as godmother for the Orion which will debut in July 2018.

“Vikings were the original long-distance explorers and the first to use the stars and constellations as a way to navigate uncharted territory,” Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking, said in a news release. Read more...

Shore excursion: Visiting Patmos cave where St. John wrote Book of Revelation

November 8, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

The dreaded Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The terrifying Beast with Seven Heads. The scary opening of the Seven Seals. The Final Judgement with its brimstone vision of hell.

How could all these horrific things detailed in the Book of Revelation have been written in such a beautiful place? Read more...

Shore excursion: Saying hello to Dolly at National Museum of Scotland

November 1, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

Her frozen face seems to have a permanent perplexed look.

At the National Museum of Scotland, I saw the famous animal that captured my imagination. The museum itself – all Scottish museums have free admission – could well take a day to tour. It is huge and well organized. Read more...

Shore excursion: Visiting historic Footdee fishing village

October 25, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

In olden days “fisherfolk” would live in these teeny houses in this tiny two-square village named Footdee, called “Fittee” by locals.

Today, it is mostly inhabited by people who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
“Footdee is a little hidden gem in Aberdeen,” said local tour guide Darryl. Read more...

Shore Excursion: Learning about black pearls and rare flower that grows only on Raiatea

October 18, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

The island of Raiatea is home to a five-petal flower so rare that it grows nowhere else on earth except here. Named Tiare Apetahi, the blossom rising out of a bed of dagger-shaped leaves has an equally lovely legend.

The story goes that a beautiful Tahitian woman named Apetahi fell in love with the son of a king. Devastated that as a commoner she could not marry him, Apetahi fled to Mount Temehani on Raiatea where she died of a broken heart. Read more...

Shore Excursion: How Bora Bora got its name, having a cold drink at Bloody Mary’s

October 11, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

If Captain Cook hadn’t misunderstood what the French Polynesians were calling their home, the island of Bora Bora might have a different name today.

That’s a tidbit I learned from tour guide Sandra as we bounced around the popular island in our open-air “Le Truck” vehicle. Read more...

Shore Excursion: How ‘Holy Toledo’ got its nickname

October 4, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

TOLEDO, Spain – About the closest my Aunt Minnie ever came to cursing was to mutter “Holy Toledo” whenever she had reached her “wit’s end,” another favorite Aunt Minnie saying.

I never knew what either of those meant when I was a kid. It took a trip to Toledo, Spain, to learn the origin of Aunt Minnie’s favorite exclamation. Read more...