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Crown Cruise Vacations | September 24, 2017

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The Latest Travel News

Oceania Sirena restaurant Red Ginger is surprising and superb

September 20, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

I don’t want to spoil the surprise but I’ve never seen this happen. Maybe I just haven’t eaten in the right restaurants.

Oceania Sirena has two specialty restaurants where reservations must be made. There is no extra charge – in fact, there are few extra charges at all on this cruise ship. Most passengers can expect to dine at least once in Red Ginger and once in Tuscan Steak. If the restaurants are not booked up, passengers may be able to reserve another dining adventure. Read more...

Shore Excursion: Man in Sea Museum showcases history of diving ocean’s depths

September 13, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

More than half a century ago, four Navy divers plunged 193 feet into the Atlantic Ocean for an experiment in living under the ocean’s surface. Named Sealab 1, their “home” submerged off the coast of Bermuda was a long cylinder resembling a gigantic tin can. Read more...

Shore Excursion: Spanish city of Toledo and legend of the pins

September 6, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Once upon a time, two lovers were separated by war. To pray for her soldier’s safe return, the young lady would visit an image of the Virgin Mary and pray every night.

Afraid that she might fall asleep during her long vigil, the lady asked her maid to stick her with a pin if she faltered in her prayers. Then the lady would present the pin to the Virgin Mary as proof of her dedication and sacrifice. Read more...

Oceania Sirena ship general manager worked his way up from deck boy

August 30, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

My cruise had just started when I returned to my stateroom and saw an evaluation form about my journey. Now, I am accustomed to getting evaluation forms at the end of a cruise but not at the beginning.

It does make sense though. If my cruise is over and there is something I could suggest that would have made it more enjoyable for me, it wouldn’t help much to make note of that when my cruise has ended. Read more...

Shore Excursion: Alcatraz now attracts voluntary visitors rather than inmates

August 23, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

SAN FRANCISCO – Even on a sunny California day, the island was shrouded in fog. We were almost dead-on before the sun broke through and we could see it well.

Despite the balmy breezes, the sight gave me shivers. The island is one very scary place.  And that is exactly what it was intended to be. Read more...

Shore Excursion: Visiting historic marae on island of Huahine

August 16, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

The South Polynesian island of Huahine is said to have the best-preserved historic marae on the islands so that was the shore excursion I chose when our ship docked.

So far, the marae I have seen look like piles of rocks or elevated land. If a tour guide and info signs didn’t describe what I was seeing, I probably would not have known the historic significance of the pre-European temples. Read more...

Holland America shares California BLT recipe

August 9, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

I’ve made bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches ever since I was a preschooler. But mine were pretty basic – bacon, lettuce, tomato (from my Dad’s garden), white bread and Miracle Whip.

Delicious with a cold glass of milk.

But Justin Chapple, the senior test kitchen editor at Food & Wine Magazine, shared a different recipe on a Holland America cruise aboard ms Zuiderdam. The ship features cuisine presentations for guests in its Culinary Arts Center. Read more...

Visiting a Polynesian vanilla plantation on Huahine

August 2, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

The sweet smell of vanilla wafted on the air as we walked toward the plantation. Two cruise ship passengers said this shore excursion in Huahine was one they had prepared for with extra money and some space in their suitcases for vanilla purchases. Read more...

Coin for ship protection welded onto new Carnival Horizon

July 26, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

When the Carnival Horizon sails the ocean blue starting in April 2018, the new ship will be carrying on a time-honored tradition.

The 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon recently had a commemorative coin welded to the ship’s mast to mark a significant construction milestone – the successful completion of Carnival Horizon’s exterior outfitting. Read more...

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. Read more...