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Crown Cruise Vacations | February 27, 2021

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Crown Cruise Vacations Archives – Crown Cruise Vacations

An Update: Plans on a Healthy Return To Cruising (Letter from Crown Cruise Vacations President Ross Spalding)

September 26, 2020 | crownblog

Dear Friends,

As we head into Fall, we want to take a moment to share with you where things stand in the Cruise World and when we might see some cruises resume in the US. Today, we have good news to share!

Cruise Lines in Europe have started returning to service in Europe on a limited basis, and with success. As a result, Cruise Lines across our country put together new plans of action that take the lessons learned from these first steps to ensure that we have a healthy return to cruising in the very near future. All the major cruise lines have submitted plans with the CDC in the last week to institute new protocols to minimize any risk and help guarantee the safety of guests and crew alike. Read more...

Rotterdam VII Carries on Holland America Tradition

September 7, 2020 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

Holland America Line’s new flagship pays homage to an historic vessel. The new cruise ship will be named the Rotterdam and will be the new flagship for the Holland America fleet.

The Rotterdam is expected to be delivered from Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy on July 30, 2021. The ship will spend the summer exploring Northern Europe and the Baltic on roundtrip cruises from Amsterdam. Read more...

Cruise Trivia: Who is the man in this sculpture & where is it

August 31, 2020 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

This is a toughie. It has two parts. Who is the man in the sculpture and where is the sculpture located?

I might have been able to answer the first question correctly. But I’m pretty sure I would have been stumped at the second one if I hadn’t visited the museum a few months ago. Read more...

Dolly Parton’s Loving Legacy

August 24, 2020 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Growing up in the Great Smoky Mountains, Dolly Parton read a book that helped change her life. Although her father couldn’t read or write, he encouraged his children to embrace education and was proud to see his daughter enjoy “book learning.” Read more...

American Cruise Lines adds personalized coaches for passenger comfort and safety

August 18, 2020 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Here comes the American Cruise Lines coach rolling down the road. The road?

Yep, the popular riverboat line has added personalized private coaches for the convenience and safety of passengers. It certainly is easy for American Cruise Lines passengers to identify their special bus when it pulls up. Read more...

Music lives on at Allman Brothers Big House

August 14, 2020 | Jackie Sheckler Finch


By Jackie Sheckler Finch

As a young musician, Gregg Allman wolfed down collard greens and barbecue to lend “soul” to his voice. The food story may be a tongue-in-cheek tale but Gregg’s earthy tormented growl is not. Read more...

Henry Ford Museum Home of Priceless American Memorabilia

July 23, 2020 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

A glass vial with the dying breath of famed inventor Thomas Edison.

The maroon chair, still blood stained, where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford Theater.

A folding camp bed that General George Washington actually slept in during the Revolutionary War. Read more...

Tequila Museum a Popular Cruise Spot in Costa Maya

July 16, 2020 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

What must the first Aztec Indian been thinking when he or she decided that the abundant agave plant could be used to produce a potent drink. Creative, for sure.

Walking through La Consentida Tequila Museum in Costa Maya, Mexico, we learned the fascinating history of the popular liquor. The museum is within easy walking distance from where ships dock and was part of shore excursions I booked on my Celebrity Equinox cruise. Read more...

County Music Legend George Jones Honored at Museum

July 9, 2020 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

George Glenn Jones almost died before he got a chance to live. The family doctor dropped the baby shortly after delivery. The sturdy newborn survived with only a broken arm.

But what a life the country music legend went on to live in that interval between the day he entered this world on Sept. 12, 1930, and the day he left on April 26, 2013. Read more...

Shore Excursion: Vicksburg doll museum brings back childhood memories for many visitors

November 12, 2018 | Jackie Sheckler Finch





By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Mike Bakarich was happy when his wife Carolyn opened her Yesterday’s Children Antique Doll and Toy Museum in 1986.

“I finally had a place to sit,” he says with a smile. “She had dolls all over the house so I was glad when she got them out of the house and they weren’t taking up my seats.”

After a year, Carolyn moved her museum to a historic 1849 building in downtown Vicksburg, Mississippi, where it is still located. But Mike is now the person who welcomes visitors to the huge toy collection. His wife died in 2014.

“She loved these dolls and loved talking to people about them,” he says. “Women would come in and she would talk to them about the dolls. She knew the histories of the dolls and knew collectors all over the world.”

The four-room museum includes more than 1,000 dolls dating back to 1843, plus pedal cars, rocking horses, doll carriages, teddy bears and much more.

“We’ve got some boys’ toys in here, too, like G.I. Joes and a big car collection,” Mike says. “Something for the men to see while their wives are looking at all the dolls.”

What seems to be the most popular doll? “It’s always the one that women had when they were a little girl” Mike says. “I guess that doll brings back memories for them.”

The path to Vicksburg

Born in Chicago on May 6, 1928, Mike grew up in Arizona near the Mexican border. Although he is “not much of a collector,” there was one childhood toy he really yearned to own.

“I always wanted a bicycle but I was raised during the Great Depression and we didn’t have money for something like that,” he says. “I got a horse instead.”

At first, Mike said he thought he’d grow up to be a cowboy. “But then I found out that cowboys don’t earn much money.”

Instead, Mike joined the Army and advanced through the ranks until he retired in 1980 as a Brigadier General. The way he met his future wife was just a chance encounter, Mike says.

“A friend of mine was in an auto accident so I went to visit him in the hospital. His fiancé came to visit him, too, and Carolyn came with her. That was it.”

The couple had seven children and adopted four others from Korea. When Mike retired from the Army, the family moved to Michigan where Mike worked for Bechtel nuclear power company. They moved to Vicksburg in 1984 when he took a job at the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station.

The number of visitors to the museum varies with the seasons. “We can always tell when one of the riverboats is docked here because we get a lot of those passengers in the museum,” Mike says.

That’s why I was there. When the American Duchess docked in Vicksburg, I caught the hop-on, hop-off Steamcoach to visit a couple of museums, walk through downtown and admire the flood wall. Cruise passengers receive free admission to the museums.

As for the future of the huge doll and toy collection, 89-year-old Mike says, “I just take it one day at a time. This was Carolyn’s love and I keep it going for her. But you never know what tomorrow will bring.”

Photo by Jackie Sheckler Finch

Shirley Temple dolls date from 1934-1938.