I have visited 150+ cruise ports (many of them more than once), some 40 different airports, plus an extensive list of other cities, towns, and villages throughout the world. Here are some details of my cruise, hotel and excursion experiences over the last 20+ years.
September 2022 to December 2022
(California Coast, Hawaii, French Polynesia, Samoa)
I travelled with Tony full-time for his contract on Crown Princess.
We embarked in San Francisco for a partial California Coastal Cruise before heading to Portland, Oregon for a two week drydock. We visited San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Vancouver. During the drydock in October, it was fascinating to watch the ship come out of the water and to see firsthand the numerous jobs be completed.
After drydock, the Crown Princess cruised itineraries that included Honolulu, Kahului (Maui), Hilo, Kona, Nawilliwilli (Kauai), Vancouver, Victoria, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Apia (Samoa), Papeete (Tahiti), and Moorea.
Highlights these months included climbing Diamond Head in Honolulu, climbing Kings Heights Staircase in Portland, Oregon, climbing Coit Tower in San Francisco, getting up close to the Golden Gate Bridge, wine tasting in Santa Barbara, and swimming with Stingrays in Moorea.
Hyatt Regency San Francisco
July 2022 to August 2022
(Paris, Sardinia, Venice, Florence, and Bologna)
Our daughters were able to join us for a month-long trip to Europe during the summer where we visited Paris, Venice, Florence, Bologna, and Sardinia.
We spent a few days in Paris before and after our vacation in Italy. While staying at a hotel close to the Gare de Lyon, we were able to use the metro to check out many areas of Paris. We shopped vintage stores in the 4th and watched the Eiffel Tower’s lights come on at night. We explored the Montmartre and Pigalle neighbourhoods, where we climbed the steps of the Basilica of Sacré Coeur, walked through the red-light district, and saw the Moulin Rouge.
This vacation we also took a train to the Champagne region of France. We had the opportunity to do the Moet and Chandon cellar tour in Épernay. From there, we took a taxi to Hautvillers, France, to do some additional Champagne tasting.
Hotel Mercure Gare de Lyon, Paris
Best Western Plus Hotel Bologna, Mestre (Venice)
Hotel NH Bologna de La Gare, Bologna
May/June 2022 – Alaska
Our daughters and I embarked the Crown Princess mid-May and stayed onboard until mid-June while the ship was in Alaska.
We embarked the cruise ship in Seattle and visited the ports of Skagway, Juneau, and Victoria. Highlights of Skagway on this trip included rock climbing, hiking up to Lower Dewey Lake, hiking to Reid Falls, and multiple lunches at Skagway Brewing Company. In Juneau, we had sunny skies, so taking the Mount Roberts Tram was another perfect day. Visiting Victoria in the evening gave us the opportunity to try many local restaurants.
Hyatt Regency Seattle
January/February 2022 – Sardinia and Rome, Italy
We spent three weeks in Sardinia during the winter and enjoyed the benefits of the off season. This trip we stayed in Limpiddu in an AirBnB and had the opportunity to see a number of nuraghe, including the Su Nuraxi di Barumini near Cagliari. Before flying home, we stayed an extra day in Rome, where we visited many sites, including Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, and the Bocca della Verità.
Hilton Rome Airport Hotel
January 2022 – Paris, France
Prior to our January vacation in Sardinia, Tony and I spent a couple of days in Paris. Highlights of those days including climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe for the sunset, exploring the Catacombs, and watching the Eiffel Tower light up at night.
Hotel Mercure Paris Montparnasse Raspail
January/February 2020 – Orlando, Florida
In between the girls’ school semesters, we travelled to Orlando and spent the weekend in Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Magic Kingdom.
Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas, Lake Buena Vista/Orlando
January 2020 – Sardinia, Italy
We spent another ten days in Sardinia at the beginning of January, visiting family and enjoying the lack of tourists that this island has during the winter. Near Arzachena, we checked out the nuraghe complex of La Prisgiona, which dates back to the Bronze Age of the 17th Century. We also drove to Gli Olivastri Millenari di Luras which are olive trees that are 3,000 to 4,000 years old. One afternoon we took took the ferry to La Maddalena Island to see where Tony went to nautical school when he was a teenager. Also, this is the perfect time to visit Sardinia’s beaches, as they completely empty.
Hilton Rome Airport
August 2019 – Sardinia, Italy
After spending a week in The Netherlands, we flew to Sardinia, Italy for four days. We relaxed every day at the beach, swimming, snorkeling and enjoying the hot dry climate. Evenings consisted of getting together with Tony’s parents, along with his brother and sisters and their kids for dinners that lasted until 1am. Another highlight of the week included renting a boat and driving it to Tavolara Island for the afternoon.
Hilton Rome Airport
August 2019 – Amsterdam/Almere, Netherlands
From August 4th to August 9th, we stayed in Almere and visited Amsterdam every day, checking out museums, trying numerous restaurants, and discovering plenty of places to take the best photos. Although we made good use of the trains and trams, we still managed to walk over 80km in six days! Our daughters and I stayed with my husband in Almere, Netherlands while Tony was attending maritime training at CSMART. The CSMART training centre is about a 15-minute walk to the Almere train station and then a 25-minute train ride to Amsterdam Centrale station. Highlights of our week included visiting the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, having a picnic in the park, cheese tasting in Zaanse Schans, and walking through practically every neighbourhood and over every bridge in Amsterdam. The restaurants where we ate were also a memorable part of our vacation. Some of the best ones were The Avocado Show, Restaurant Black, Pancake Bakery, and Winkel 43 (for the apple pie).
CSMART Hotel Almere, Netherlands
March 2019 – Sardinia, Italy
In March 2019, we spent a week in Sardinia, Italy. This was a trip planned to surprise my in-laws that were celebrating 50 years of marriage that year. Besides spending time with family, we also checked out some historic architecture such as the Basilica della Santissima Trinità di Saccargia, a 12th century basilica located in the comune of Codrongianos in northern Sardinia. We also visited the Santu Antine, one of the largest nuraghe in Sardinia, parts of it date back to the 17th century BC. Also during this trip, we were able to tour my brother-in-law’s vineyard and Siddura Winery. On our way back home, we spent a day and night in Rome, taking advantage of low season crowds in Vatican City.
Hilton Rome Airport
December 2018 / January 2019 – Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand
Prior to embarking the Sea Princess in Brisbane, Australia for two weeks of New Zealand cruising, we spent time in Hawaii and Sydney, Australia. We began our trip by renting a Mini Cooper and driving to Oahu’s North Shore for surfing lessons. We also surfed at Manly Beach in Sydney and enjoyed Christmas Day on Bondi Beach. In Brisbane we checked out the koalas and pet the kangaroos at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane.
The Sea Princess cruised from Brisbane, Australia to New Zealand including Fiordlands National Park and the ports of Port Chalmers (for Dunedin), Akaroa, Wellington, Napier, Auckland, and Tauranga. We ziplined on Waiheke Island and white-water rafted on the Kaituna River that included a 7-metre drop over a waterfall! In Akaroa we enjoyed an excursion on a sailing ketch where dolphins swam around our boat. On our tour from Port Chalmers, we had free time in Dunedin before and after our drive to the head of the Otago Peninsula where we saw penguins, seals and royal albatross.
Hilton Hawaiian Village, Waikiki Beach
Swissotel, Sydney, Australia
Hilton Brisbane, Australia
Novotel Brisbane, Australia
August 2018 – China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong
We spent four weeks on the Majestic Princess cruising out of the Port of Shanghai. We shopped at an underground market in Shanghai, visited the Atomic Bomb Museum in Nagasaki and stopped by a local Karate Dojo in Okinawa. In Busan, South Korea we ate lunch at the bustling food court in the Lotte Department Store basement. After we disembarked in Hong Kong, we took in the sites including riding the Ngong Ping 360, a gondola on Lantau Island that takes riders to the top to see the Big Buddha. We finished off the evening at the Temple Street Night Market before flying home the following day.
Intercontinental Shanghai Pudong
Hong Kong Sheraton, Kowloon
March 2018 – New York, New York
In March 2018, we spent March Break in New York City seeing the sites. We visited the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island [including the Hard Hat Tour], Top of the Rock, The Met, Times Square, Chinatown, the Brooklyn Bridge [walking it at sunrise and sunset], Wall Street and Little Italy. Prior to driving to NYC, we stopped in Hershey, Pennsylvania and visited Hershey’s Chocolate World.
Hershey Lodge, Hershey, PA
Hilton Garden Inn, Water Street, NYC
Hilton Niagara Falls Fallsview
March / April 2017 – Inaugural Cruises on Majestic Princess (Mediterranean)
In March and April 2017, we cruised on the Majestic Princess during her inaugural sailings. We flew to Rome and took the train to Trieste via Venice. Then, we embarked in the evening, prior to most of the passengers and media getting on the ship. We cruised for 10 days and visited the ports of Civitavecchia (Italy), Kotor (Montenegro), and Corfu (Greece). We disembarked the cruise in Civitavecchia, Italy.
December 2016 to January 2017 – Italy and Switzerland Vacation
From December 16th to January 14th, my daughters and I stayed in an apartment in Monfalcone, Italy with my husband while he was working at Fincantieri Shipyard as the Staff Captain for the Majestic Princess new build.
During that period we visited Venice, Murano, Milano, Trieste, San Danielle, and Miramare, Italy. Highlights and activities included glass blowing factories in Murano, Prosciuttificio Prolongo in San Daniele del Friuli, and Castello di Miramare. For three days over Christmas we took the train from Monfalcone, Italy to Bern, Switzerland, via Milano, Italy. Highlights and activities included Duomo di Milano, Bern Christmas markets, Bern’s Clock Tower, and Bern Minster Cathedral.
Best Western Hotel Bologna, Venezia Mestre, Italy
Hotel Goldener Schlüssel Bern, Switzerland
Hotel Galles Milano (Best Western Plus), Milan, Italy
Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel, Frankfurt, Germany
November 2016 – Italy Vacation
For ten days, my daughters and I stayed in an apartment in Monfalcone, Italy with my husband while he was working at Fincantieri Shipyard as the Staff Captain for the Majestic Princess new build.
Highlights included a hike in Parco Tematico della Grande Guerra di Monfalcone as well as some time spent in Venice.
Best Western Hotel Bologna, Venezia Mestre, Italy
August 2016 – Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Spain, France, Monaco, Gibraltar
In August 2016, we vacationed in Europe. We stayed with relatives in Sardinia, Italy for five days before embarking on the Royal Princess in Civitavecchia, Italy. We cruised the Mediterranean for 28 days visiting the ports/cities of Livorno (Italy), Florence (Italy), Monte Carlo (Monaco), Toulon (France), Gibraltar, Valencia (Spain), Barcelona (Spain), Cartagena (Spain), Marseille (France), Genoa (Italy), Napoli (Italy), Messina (Italy), Corfu (Greece), Crete (Greece), Mykonos (Greece), Athens (Greece), Santorini (Greece), and Kotor (Montenegro).
Some highlights and activities included Las Arenas Beach (Valencia), Sagrada Familia Church and Gothic Quarter (Barcelona), Roman Theatre (Cartagena), Notre Dame de la Garde (Marseille), Acropolis (Athens), riding donkeys in Santorini (Greece), and climbing the 1,350 stairs to the fortress of San Giovanni (Kotor).
March 2016 – Caribbean Cruises
In March 2016, we cruised the Caribbean. We embarked the Royal Princess in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and cruised 21 days (3 cruises) visiting the islands of Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados, Antigua, St. Thomas, Princess Cays, Bonaire, Grenada, and Aruba.
Doubletree Sawgrass Mills, Fort Lauderdale
Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Fort Lauderdale
January / February 2016 – Caribbean Cruises
We embarked the Royal Princess in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and cruised 17 days (2 cruises) visiting the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Dominica, St. Thomas, Princess Cays, Nassau (Bahamas), and St. Maarten.
Doubletree Sawgrass Mills
Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina
December 2015 – Universal Studios, Florida
During the Christmas week in 2015, we did a road trip from our home in Ontario to Orlando, Florida. We visited Universal Studios, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Islands of Adventure, and Wet ‘n Wild Waterpark.
Cabana Bay at Universal Studios Resort, Florida
Embassy Suites Knoxville, Tennessee
Holiday Inn Valdosta, Georgia
Embassy Suites Atlanta, Georgia
Embassy Suites Lexington, Kentucky
November 2015 – Mexican Riviera Cruising
During November 2015, we cruised the Mexican Riviera on the Crown Princess. We embarked in San Pedro, California and cruised 14 days (2 cruises) visiting Mazatlan (Mexico), Puerto Vallarta (Mexico), and Cabo San Lucas (Mexico). Sights and activities included the Queen Mary’s Ghosts and Legends Tour and a beach resort in Mazatlán’s Golden Zone.
Hyatt Regency Long Beach
August 2015 – Italy Vacation
In August 2015, we spent a few weeks in Italy as a family. We spent a day in Rome before travelling by train to Genoa where we spent another couple of days. From there, we flew to Sardinia to stay with relatives for a week. We took a ferry back to mainland Italy and during our final vacation week, we stayed in Civitavecchia, Italy. While the girls and I spent time at the beach, shopping and immersing ourselves in Italian culture, Tony attended a training course required for his Captain’s licence.
Best Western Genoa, Italy
Hotel Traghetto (Civitavecchia)
July 2015 – Great Lakes Cruising
In July 2015, we cruised in Ontario on our 40’ Mainship from Lefroy Harbour to Belle River Marina via Lake Simcoe, the Trent-Severn, Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, St. Clair River, and Lake St. Clair.
Places visited included Bridgeport Marina (Orillia), Bayport Yachting Centre (Midland), Lion’s Head Marina, Little Tub Harbour (Tobermory), Port Elgin Marina, and Sarnia Bay Marina.
April 2015 – Mexican Riviera and California Coastal Cruising
In April 2015, we cruised the Mexican Riviera on the Crown Princess. We embarked in San Pedro, California and cruised 15 days, visiting the ports of San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ensenada (Mexico), Mazatlan (Mexico), Puerto Vallarta (Mexico), and Cabo San Lucas (Mexico).
Sights and activities included the Queen Mary Self-Guided Tour (Long Beach), shopping on Hollywood Blvd, visiting the California Science Center (LA), riding the LA Metro Bus and Rail system, spending a day at the Exploratorium (San Francisco), visiting Pier 39 – Sea Lions (San Francisco), and the Swim with Dolphins Tour (Cabo San Lucas).
Queen Mary, Long Beach
December 2014 to January 2015 – Caribbean Cruises
In December 2014, we cruised the Caribbean on the Caribbean Princess. We embarked in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and cruised the Caribbean for 26 days (4 cruises) visiting Cozumel (Mexico), Costa Maya (Mexico), Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos), Princess Cays (Bahamas), and Nassau (Bahamas).
Sights and activities included Playa Mia Grand Beach and Water Park (Cozumel), Blue Fish Spa Pedicure (Cozumel), Kayaking in Princess Cays, and spending Christmas and New Years on board the Caribbean Princess.
Embassy Suites Fort Lauderdale
July / August 2014 – Europe Cruising
In July 2014, we cruised Europe on the Ruby Princess. We flew to Paris and stayed 36 hours before taking the train to Le Havre where we embarked the Ruby Princess. We cruised 14 days, visiting the ports of Southampton, St. Peter Port, Cobh, Dublin, Belfast, Greenock, Kirkwall, and South Queensferry.
Some sights and activities included Notre Dame (Paris), Cobh Heritage Centre (Cobh), Butlers Chocolate Experience (Dublin), Titanic Museum, Pumphouse and Docks (Belfast), and Royal Yacht Britannia (Edinburgh). We disembarked the Ruby Princess in Southampton and flew to Sardinia to stay 10 days with relatives.
Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel, France
Novotel Le Havre, France
March 2014 – Caribbean Cruises
In March 2014, we cruised the Caribbean on the Emerald Princess. We embarked Emerald Princess in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and cruised 20 days (2 cruises), visiting the ports of Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Princess Cays, Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire, and Aruba. Sights and activities included kayaking in Princess Cays, Grand Etang, Cocoa Experience and Rum Sampling in Grenada, and an exclusive Yacht Coastal Cruise and Snorkel excursion in Bonaire.
Embassy Suites Hotel, Fort Lauderdale
February 2014 – Caribbean Cruises
In February 2014, we cruised on the Ruby Princess in the Caribbean. We embarked Ruby Princess in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and cruised 15 days (3 cruises), visiting the ports of Princess Cays, Grand Turk, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel.
Sights and activities included kayaking and paddle-boarding in Princess Cays, snorkelling in Grand Turk, Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman, Tulum Ruins and Beach Break excursion from Cozumel, and Chankanaab Park, Cozumel.
Embassy Suites Hotel, Fort Lauderdale
September 2013 – England, France, Spain, Gibraltar, Monte Carlo, and Italy
In September 2013, we cruised throughout Europe on the Ocean Princess. Prior to our cruise we hired a car to take us from our hotel in London to Cadbury World in Birmingham. We stayed an extra day and night in Dover, UK before embarking on our 11 day cruise, visiting Le Havre, Cadiz, Gibraltar, Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Genova and Civitavecchia.
Sights and activities included Dover Castle (Dover), the Louvre (Paris), Barbary Apes and Cable Car (Gibraltar), La Sagrada Família (Barcelona), and Acquario di Genova.
We disembarked in Civitavecchia, Italy the same day that Tony had finished his contract. We traveled seven days by train throughout Italy visiting Rome, Venice, Pisa, Porto Santo Stefano, Giglio Island, Napoli and Pompeii.
Sights and activities visited included Trevi Fountain (Rome), a gondola ride (Venice), the Leaning Tower (Pisa), the Ruins of Pompeii, and a ferry from Porto Santo Stefano to Giglio Island to see the Costa Concordia in the waters off Giglio Island.
Double Tree by Hilton, London Heathrow
Maison Dieu Guest House, Dover UK
Best Western Hotel Porto Antico, Genoa, Italy
Best Western Hotel Bologna, Venezia Mestre, Italy
Holiday Inn Rome Eur Parco dei Medici
July 2013 – Denmark, Norway, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Italy
In July 2013, we cruised the Baltic on the Emerald Princess. Prior to embarking our cruise in Copenhagen, we visited Tivoli Gardens. We cruised 20 days visiting the ports of Oslo (Norway), Aarhus (Denmark), Warnemunde (Germany), Tallinn (Estonia), St. Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland), Stockholm (Sweden), and Rostock (Germany).
Sights and activities included the Viking Ship Museum (Oslo), Vigeland Sculpture Park (Oslo), National Gallery with “Scream” painting (Oslo), Aarhus Cathedral (Aarhus), Town Hall (Tallinn), Peter and Paul Fortress (St. Petersburg), Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood (St. Petersburg), Suomenlinna Fortress (Helsinki), lunch with a Finnish family (Helsinki), Vasa Museum (Stockholm), and Rostock Zoo (Rostock).
We disembarked in Stockholm, Sweden and flew to Sardinia to stay with relatives for a week. Prior to flying home, we stayed in Rome for another day to experience the Colosseum and Vatican City.
Tivoli Hotel and Congress Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
Hilton Rome Airport, Rome, Italy
September / October 2012 – Alaska / Asia Cruises
In September 2012, we travelled to Alaska and cruised to Asia on the Diamond Princess. We took a bus from Vancouver to Seattle and stayed in Seattle for 24 hours, visiting Pike Market, the Space Needle and the Pacific Science Centre of Seattle (including the King Tut exhibit). We flew from Seattle to Anchorage, visited the Anchorage Zoo, rented a car to drive from Anchorage to Whittier, and stayed overnight in Whittier.
We embarked the Diamond Princess in Whittier, Alaska and cruised 26 days from Whittier to Hong Kong, visiting the ports of Muroran (Japan), Nagasaki (Japan), Vladivostok (Russia), Dalian (China), Shanghai (China), Tianjin (China), and Pusan (South Korea). Our cruise ended in Hong Kong.
Sights and activities included Hachimangu Shrine (Muroran), Atomic Bomb Museum (Nagasaki), Glover Garden (Nagasaki), Lunch with a Russian family (Vladivostock), kite flying (Dalian), a school/kindergarten visit (Dalian), a home visit (Dalian), shopping (Shanghai), Shanghai World Financial Centre, Bund Sightseeing Tunnel (Shanghai), Great Wall of China (Tianjin), and Hong Kong Disney. We disembarked in Hong Kong.
Westin Wall Centre YVR Airport, Vancouver, Canada
Hilton Seattle Airport, Seattle, Washington
Inn at Whittier, Whittier, Alaska
Marriott Hong Kong Sky City, Hong Kong
August 2012 – Alaska Cruises
In August 2012 we cruised in Alaska on the Diamond Princess. Prior to the cruise we visited Vancouver Science World, Granville Island, and Stanley Park. We embarked Diamond Princess in Vancouver and cruised from Vancouver to Whittier, Alaska for seven days northbound and then cruised from Whittier, Alaska to Vancouver for seven days southbound. Cruise ports included Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, and Whittier. Excursions and sights included rock climbing (Skagway), ziplining (Skagway), and the Wildlife Conservation Center (Whittier).
Fairmont Vancouver Airport
March 2012 – Southeast Asia Cruises
In March 2012, we cruised in Southeast Asia. We flew from Vancouver to Hong Kong, arriving in the evening with time to shop at Hong Kong’s Temple Street Market. We embarked the Diamond Princess the following day.
We cruised 17 days through Southeast Asia visiting Phu My (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam), Nha Trang (Vietnam), Laem Chabang (Thailand), and Singapore. Sights and activities included Beaches of Nha Trang (Vietnam), Exploring Nong Nooch Park and riding elephants (Thailand), and shopping in Singapore. We disembarked in Hong Kong and flew home via Vancouver.
Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers, Hong Kong
Fairmont Vancouver Airport, Vancouver, Canada
August 2011 – Alaska Cruises
In August 2011, we cruised 14 days on the Diamond Princess in Alaska. We embarked in Vancouver and cruised to Whittier, Alaska for seven days northbound and then cruised from Whittier, Alaska to Vancouver for seven days southbound. Cruise ports included Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, and Whittier.
Excursions and sights included rock climbing (Skagway), zip-lining (Skagway), dog sledding (Skagway), and gold panning (Juneau). We disembarked in Vancouver, Canada.
Fairmont Vancouver Airport
Pan Pacific Vancouver
March 2011 – Hawaii / French Polynesia Cruises
In March 2011, we cruised the French Polynesia as well as spent time in Los Angeles and Honolulu. We stayed in Los Angeles for 24 hours, catching a matinee at El Capitan Theatre (Hollywood) and shopping on Hollywood Blvd. Then we stayed in Honolulu for 24 hours. This was also the day that Hawaii and the South Pacific were under a Tsunami warning.
We flew from Honolulu, Hawaii to Papeete, Tahiti where we embarked Royal Princess. We cruised a 13-day French Polynesia and Hawaii cruise visiting Moorea, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Hilo, Maui, Kauai and ending in Honolulu. In Honolulu we visited the Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium.
Embassy Suites Los Angeles Airport, California
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii
Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort, Hawaii
December 2010 to January 2011 – French Polynesia Cruises
From December 2010 to January 2011 we cruised in the French Polynesia. We enjoyed a day in Papeete before embarking the Royal Princess in the late evening. We cruised 23 days in the French Polynesia visiting the islands of Huahine, Rangiroa, Raiatea, Bora Bora, and Moorea.
Activities and excursions included Motu Islet Beach Excursion (Moorea), Pearl Farm Reef House and Snorkel (Raiatea), Raiatea Motu Snorkelling Adventure, Tahiti Island Drive Highlights, and a Private Boat Tour in Bora Bora. We also enjoyed Christmas and New Years onboard. We disembarked in Papeete, Tahiti and stayed overnight before our flight home.
Sofitel Tahiti Beach Resort
Le Meridien Tahiti
November 2010 – Hawaii Cruise
In November 2010, we cruised in Hawaii on the Royal Princess. We flew to Honolulu via Los Angeles, then the following day we flew to Hilo, Hawaii. In Hilo, we rented a car to drive to Kona and back. We embarked the Royal Princess in Hilo, Hawaii and cruised 10 days from Hilo to Honolulu visiting the ports of Kona, Lahaina, and Nawiliwili. Activities and excursions included a Luau at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, learning to surf with a surf school in Lahaina, and visiting a Seahorse Farm of Kona. We disembarked in Honolulu.
Hilton Hawaiian Village, Waikiki Beach
Hilton Waikoloa Village, Kona
July 2010 – Land of the Midnight Sun (Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland)
In July 2010 we cruised from Iceland to New York City. We flew from Toronto to Reykjavik, Iceland and stayed overnight near the Blue Lagoon before embarking on the Ocean Princess. We cruised 10 days from Reykjavik to New York City visiting Qaqortoq (Greenland), St. John’s (Newfoundland), St. Pierre et Miquelon and ending in New York City.
Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel, Reykjavik, Iceland
Hilton Newark (New Jersey)
May / June 2010 – Europe Cruising
During May and June 2010, we cruised on the Ocean Princess in Europe. We flew from Toronto to London (UK), visiting Legoland and Windsor Castle including the Queen’s Dollhouse. Next, we flew from London to Tenerife, Canary Islands and stayed the day in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where we embarked the Ocean Princess the following day.
We cruised 10 days visiting the ports of Funchal (Madeira Islands), Casablanca (Morocco), Ceuta (Spain), Cadiz (Spain), Lisbon (Portugal), Le Havre (France), and ending in Dover (UK). Sights and activities included the Madeira Island cable car, and shopping in Casablanca. In Paris we went to the top of the Eiffel Tower and rode the Batobus on the Siene River.
Holiday Inn Maidenhead Windsor
Hotel Colon Rambla, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Sheraton Skyline Hotel London Heathrow
February 2010 – Caribbean Cruise
In February 2010, we cruised on P&O Ventura in the Caribbean. This was a media trip through P&O Cruises. They flew our family from Toronto to Barbados where we embarked P&O Ventura in Bridgetown, Barbados. We cruised 14 days in the Caribbean visiting the islands of St. Lucia, Grenada, Curacao, Aruba, Tortola, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Kitts, and St. Vincent. Sights and activities included on board cooking classes with Marco Pierre White, the Taste of Grenada Spice Tour, and an exclusive dinner with the Captain and Marco Pierre White.
December 2009 to January 2010 – Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera Cruise
From December 2009 to January 2010 we cruised through the Panama Canal. We embarked the Coral Princess in Fort Lauderdale for a 15-day Panama Canal cruise. We visited Aruba, Cartagena (Columbia), Fuerte Amador (Panama City, Panama), Puntarenas (Costa Rica), Huatulco (Mexico), Acapulco (Mexico), and Cabo San Lucas, (Mexico) before disembarking in Los Angeles, California.
Sights and activities included shopping in Panama and ziplining in Costa Rica. We spent Christmas and the New Year on the Coral Princess. Another highlight was reserving a deck chair in the Sanctuary for the Panama Canal transit as well as the duration of the cruise.
Embassy Suites Fort Lauderdale
November 2009 – Panama Canal Cruise
In November 2009, we cruised the Panama Canal on the Coral Princess. We embarked the Coral Princess in Los Angeles for a 15-day Panama Canal cruise. We visited Aruba, Cartagena (Columbia), Fuerte Amador (Panama City, Panama), Puntarenas (Costa Rica), Huatulco (Mexico), Acapulco (Mexico), Cabo San Lucas, (Mexico), and disembarked in Fort Lauderdale.
Embassy Suites Los Angeles Airport
June / July 2009 – Alaska Cruises
During June and July 2009 we cruised in Alaska. We flew from Toronto to Vancouver and while in Vancouver we visited the Vancouver Aquarium, Stanley Park, Granville Island Kids Market, and Science World. We embarked the Coral Princess and cruised from Vancouver to Whittier, Alaska for seven days northbound and then cruised from Whittier, Alaska to Vancouver for seven days southbound. Cruise ports included Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, and Whittier, Alaska. Activities and excursions included rock climbing in Skagway, zip-lining in Skagway, and snorkelling in Ketchikan.
Westin Bayshore Vancouver
Fairmont Vancouver Airport
April / May 2009 – California Coast
During April and May 2009 we cruised the California Coast on the Sapphire Princess. We flew from Detroit to Los Angeles and embarked the Sapphire Princess for what we thought would be 14 days of Mexican Riviera cruising. Instead, due to the outbreak of H1N1 (Swine Flu), the ship cruised the California Coast. Ports of call included San Diego, Catalina Island, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco, California. Sights and activities included the San Diego Zoo, the San Francisco Aquarium, and Alcatraz.
Crown Plaza San Pedro
March 2009 – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
In March 2009, we spent a week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Although the main purpose of this trip was to attend the Miami Seatrade Cruise Convention, we also visited the Miami Seaquarium (including the Dolphin Encounter), we took a water taxi tour of Fort Lauderdale, and spent time on Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort
December 2008 to January 2009 – South America Cruises
During December 2008 and January 2009 we cruised in South America on the Star Princess. We flew from Toronto to Buenos Aires, Argentina via Sao Paulo, Brazil. We embarked the Star Princess in Buenos Aires, Argentina and cruised for 30 days around South America visiting Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Montevideo (Uruguay), Ushuaia (Argentina), Stanley (Falkland Islands), Puerto Montt (Chile), Punta Arenas (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile) and Cape Horn.
Sights and activities included Shopping on Florida Street (Buenos Aires), Corcovado and Christ Redeemer Statue (Rio de Janeiro), Bluff Cove Penguin Tour (Falkland Islands), and Sparrow Cove Penguin Tour (Falkland Islands). We disembarked in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Sao Paulo Airport Marriott Hotel, Brazil
Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel and Convention Center, Argentina
August / September 2008 – Alaska
In summer of 2008, we cruised Alaska for 21 days. We embarked the Star Princess in Seattle, Washington and cruised three back-to-back seven-day cruises to Alaska (21 days) visiting the ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria. Activities and sights in Seattle included the Pacific Science Center, the Seattle Aquarium, Pike Market and a harbor cruise.
Westin Seattle Downtown
June 2008 – Orlando, Florida
In June 2008 we visited Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Highlights of the Magic Kingdom including Breakfast with Princesses, an evening Pirate and Princess Party, and Chef Mickey’s Character Dinner.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
July / August 2007 – Alaska Cruises
In summer 2007, we cruised in Alaska on the Golden Princess. We embarked the Golden Princess in Seattle, Washington and cruised three back-to-back seven-day cruises to Alaska (21 days) visiting the ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria.
January to April 2007 – Caribbean / East Coast USA
From January to April 2007 we cruised the Caribbean on the Star Princess out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We cruised in the Caribbean visiting Georgetown (Cayman Islands), Ocho Rios (Jamaica), Princess Cays (Bahamas), and Cozumel (Mexico). In April we drove home to Ontario from Fort Lauderdale, taking the scenic route home including the cities of St. Augustine (FL), Jacksonville (FL), Norfolk (VA), and Baltimore (MD).
Embassy Suites Fort Lauderdale
September / October 2006 – Europe
During September and October 2006 we cruised throughout Europe on the Golden Princess. We embarked the Golden Princess in Southampton, UK and cruised for 26 days visiting the ports of Zeebrugge (Belgium), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Le Havre (France), Vigo (Spain), Lisbon (Portugal), Cadiz (Spain), Casablanca (Morocco), Gibraltar, Barcelona (Spain), Livorno (Italy), Civitavecchia (Italy), Monte Carlo, Napoli (Italy), Santorini (Greece), Kusadasi (Turkey), Mykonos (Greece), Athens (Greece), Katakolon (Greece), Corfu (Greece), and disembarking in Venice (Italy).
Jurys Inn Southampton
Summer 2006 – Ontario to East Coast Road Trip
During the summer of 2006, we drove through Ontario to the East Coast of Canada, visiting the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence Seaway, and various cities and towns in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI.
December 2005 to March 2006 – Caribbean
From December 2005 to March 2006, we cruised on the Golden Princess in the Caribbean. We embarked the Golden Princess in San Juan, Puerto Rico and cruised throughout the Caribbean, visiting the ports of St. Thomas (Virgin Islands), Philipsburg (St. Maarten), Castries (St. Lucia), Oranjestad (Aruba), St. John’s (Antigua), Roseau (Dominica), St. George’s (Grenada), and Basseterre (St. Kitts). During this time we also spent Christmas and the New Year onboard.
Embassy Suites Fort Lauderdale
Embassy Suites San Juan Puerto Rico
September 2005 – Canada / New England
In September 2005, we cruised Canada/New England on the Golden Princess. We embarked in New York City and visited the ports of Newport (RI), Boston (MA), Bar Harbor (ME), Saint John (NB), and Halifax (NS). After we disembarked in New York City we drove home via Niagara Falls, Ontario.
July / August 2005 – Europe
During July and August 2005, we cruised in Europe on the Golden Princess. We embarked the Golden Princess in Southampton, UK and cruised 20 days visiting the ports of Dublin, Glasgow, Bergen, Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, Le Havre, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Hamburg.
February 2005 – Caribbean
During the month of February 2005, we cruised on the Caribbean Princess in the Caribbean. We embarked the Caribbean Princess in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and cruised for 21 days.
March 2004 – Caribbean Cruises on Grand Princess
In March 2004, Maria and Gabriella took their first cruise. They were only six months old! We embarked the Grand Princess in Fort Lauderdale and cruised throughout the Caribbean. Unfortunately, kids younger than six months old were not allowed to cruise (as per the cruise line’s policy), so that’s why we had to wait so long. Instead, we would visit Tony on the ship every turnaround day when the Grand Princess was in Fort Lauderdale, until the girls were old enough.
Travel History Before Kids
My travel history prior to 1999 and cruising includes living and working in Whistler, British Columbia for 10 years with vacations in Hawaii, Mexico, the Bahamas, and Caribbean.
I started working for Princess Cruises in June 1999 and in 2000, while Tony and I were on leave, we backpacked around the world for three months visiting the countries of New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Israel, Hong Kong, the UK, and ending in Italy.
We also worked onboard a luxury yacht that was based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Nassau, Bahamas before going back on ships in 2001. I continued working onboard cruise ships until we were married in 2002, at which time I travelled fulltime with Tony before having our twin daughters in 2003.