Mary & Bill Cross the Atlantic on the Royal Clipper
Working in the travel business I meet people with 2 divergent opinions of cruising –
Opinion 1: I want to enjoy the port experience. Cruising is a convenient way to get from port to port. Yes, the cruise ship and its amenities are important but the immersive port experience is what drives the choice of cruises.
Opinion 2: I want to enjoy the ship. In fact, I don’t care if I ever get off the ship. I love the casinos, the onboard entertainment, lectures, and the food and drink. I love hanging out in the lounges, restaurants, library, and coffee shop – hanging out with new friends I meet onboard.
Bill and I were joined by 4 other Half Moon Bay couples on a life-transforming journey to the Galapagos Islands this month. As a travel advisor, I looked at many options and ways to experience the Galapagos – and was completely swept away by Silversea’s expedition itinerary aboard the lovely Silver Galapagos.
What Silversea offered:
• A fully inclusive experience from our US based flights to Ecuador, hotels on the mainland for 2 night in Quito and 1 day in Guayaquil, flights to the islands, and 7 nights aboard an elegant yet low-key ship
Top 3 Reasons to Come With Us on This Once-in-a-Lifetime Expedition
Home to Charles Darwin’s famous observations, the Galápagos islands are home to rare animal species found nowhere else on Earth. Each of the group’s many islands hosts a unique ecosystem of tortoise, finch, and countless species of sky, land, and sea.
With so many ways to see these amazing islands, we always opt for staying and traveling aboard a cruise ship. SilverSea Expeditions® offers a number of seven-day Galápagos cruises, with the perfect balance of luxury and adventure. With the best expert field guides-per-visitor ratio, SilverSea is our cruise line of choice for the Galápagos. These are the things we love about this experience!
I’m just back from a glorious 7-night cruise aboard Holland America’s MS Westerdam – joined by my sister and 2 friends to celebrate a milestone birthday. We embarked in San Diego – bound for the lovely Mexican Riviera ports of Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta – but honestly many of the highlights were enjoyed right on board. Here are the top 5 reasons I love this itinerary and cruise line –
1. Mexico culture immersion. I’m not just talking about Margaritas though they were certainly featured along with a daily taco bar poolside – but the gracious Mexican ambassadors who sang, danced, and taught us about this beautiful country and culture. My sister and I even braved a salsa and merengue dance lesson – technically not Mexican but the Latin vibe is irresistible under the warm Mexican sun.
2. Spa day! 3 leisurely sea days provided the inspiration for complete relaxation. The hot stone massage was heaven as were the heated tile beds and steam room looking out over the gentle Pacific waves. This Holland America ship was the most stable I’ve ever sailed on …. no rolling sensation on shore, just a gentle rocking to sleep every night.
3. Champagne Dreaming. I fell in love with the Champagne Dream –one of Holland America’s signature cocktails. This drink is light and refreshing but packs a punch too! This was our go-to cocktail for the sunset. We visited several of the bars but our favorite bartender, David, worked at the Pinnacle Bar and was the super fun mixology class instructor. Yes, my sister and I both got our degrees in mixology!
4. America’s Test Kitchen. What an awesome partnership Holland America has with ATK. Our America’s Test Kitchen host Abbie was just delightful and I came home with lots of practical tips and great easy fast recipes. My husband thinks I’m an obnoxious kitchen know-it-all now!
5. Coffee break. Smiling and gracious staff greeted us everywhere but we have a special fondness for the barista at the coffee bar – and we’d sit for minutes on port days or linger for hours overlooking the Pacific on sea days. Great staff, good food, leisure time to enjoy the company of friends and family, and the beautiful sea sum up the Holland America cruise experience.
Interested in exploring Holland America itineraries and destinations? It’s as easy as giving us a call to get you onboard.
55 intrepid sailors, many of them members of the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club, traveled with Bay World Travel on board the Royal Clipper, the world’s largest sailing ship, in September.
Our itinerary took us from Venice, then across the Adriatic, to the beautiful Dalmatian coast, where we anchored off the picturesque landscapes of Montenegro, Croatia, and Slovenia. The perfectly preserved or restored medieval towns of Kotor, Dubrovnik (thanks to UNESCO and humanitarian aid its immaculate walled city is completely restored since the devastating 1990’s Serbo-Croatian wars), Hvar, Rovinj, and Piran charmed us all.