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Crown Cruise Vacations | July 24, 2017

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Cruise Vacations

Holland America shares tips for cake decorating

July 19, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

I’ve long admired the beautiful cakes served aboard Holland America cruise ships. Of course, I didn’t admire them too long because I ate them.

Not only were they gorgeous to look at, they also tasted divine.

So I was interested when Holland America shared some tips for cake decorating in an onboard cooking show. Through a partnership with America’s Test Kitchen, Holland America also offers hands-on workshops in onboard culinary facilities where guests can learn techniques and recipes for creating the cruise line’s culinary delights.


Visiting new Amber Cove cruise port

July 5, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

It wasn’t the rhythmic Caribbean music or the tumbling waterfall or the devilish looking masks that caught 6-year-old Angela Thompson’s attention. It was the replica of a prehistoric lizard trapped in amber thousands of years ago.


Goal of Oceania Sirena ship concierge is to visit every country in the world

June 28, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

When Matteo Ribecco was a little boy – “maybe three or four years old,” he says, the youngster told his parents he was going to be a world traveler when he grew up.

“I have wanted to do that for as long as I can remember,” Ribecco said.

However, his parents were not sure how their son could fulfill such big goals. Born and raised in Reggio Emilia, a small city in Northern Italy, Ribecco did leave his hometown to study contemporary history at the University of Bologna.


Dr. Seuss WaterWorks Park to be featured on new Carnival Horizon cruise ship

June 21, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Imagine zooming down a massive Cat in the Hat water slide. Or slipping through an enclosed body slide with polka dots and special lighting honoring mischievous duo Thing 1 and Thing 2.

And doing all this on a cruise ship.

Legendary children’s author Dr. Seuss is the inspiration for Dr. Seuss WaterWorks, a thrilling water park featured on Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, the 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon. The 3,934-passenger vessel is set to debut on April 2, 2018.


Shore Excursion: Island of Moorea said to be inspiration for Bali Hai

June 14, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

To discover the Polynesian paradise of Moorea, I rode around the whole island. Of course, that isn’t very difficult. Moorea has only one major road and it takes about one and a half hours to drive the whole thing.

But, oh, what beauty that drive revealed.


Seeing a revival of traditional Tahitian tattoos

June 12, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

Tour guide Teiva moved over, thinking he was blocking my picture. But he was my picture.

The tattoos on his arm and neck were fascinating. When I told Teiva I would like to photograph them and learn more about the art, Teiva was happy to oblige.

“These are in honor of my family and my heritage,” he said, gesturing to the designs on his left arm, hand and fingers.  A shark tattooed on his arm and an eel on his neck are “the protectors for my family.”


Spanish shore stops a chance to enjoy traditional migas

June 7, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

Roaming from place to place to tend their flock, Spanish shepherds created a tasty inexpensive dish prepared over an open fire in a single pan. The basic ingredient was easy to find – stale bread.

Nothing went to waste in the humble life of a shepherd and the dish known as “migas” was comforting, filling and simple to prepare. Today, migas – which literally means “bread crumbs” –  is still popular in the Extremadura region of Spain, served in homes, bars, hotels and fancy restaurants.


Oceania Sirena’s Tuscan Steak specialty restaurant serves great steak – and lobster

May 31, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

I dined at Sirena’s specialty restaurant Tuscan Steak and ordered lobster. Why not? I know that Tuscan specializes in steak but I was Just in the mood for a great lobster dinner. I was not disappointed.

Nearby diners said their steaks were great but I also noticed that some looked at my lobster with envy. Plus, I got a wonderful window seat in Tuscan Steak to watch the ocean as I dined.


New ‘Beauty and the Beast’ takes to the sea aboard Disney Dream

May 24, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

A tale as old as time will take to the stage of the Disney Dream beginning Nov. 6 when the ship sails three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral, Florida.

The brand-new musical production was inspired, of course, by Disney’s new live-action adaptation of the animated classic that is now thrilling theater audiences.


Oceania Sirena library is outstanding and serene

May 17, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Most ships have a library of some sort but the Oceania Sirena library is outstanding. It is one of the largest libraries I have ever seen on a ship of any size.

Some might have a small section or a room set aside for books to borrow. One ship even had a part-time librarian who would be in the library room to check out books from the locked bookcases. Of course, you had to make sure to visit that library when the part-time librarian was there or you were out of luck.