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Pacific Paradise A Windstar Specialty

If there is one lasting introduction to the paradise that exits in the warmth of the Pacific Ocean, at least for those of us who were around in the ‘50s, that image is the movie-musical-TV film called South Pacific.

The story was based on a 1947 book by James Michener, and it spawned a Broadway musical two years later and a big-screen movie nine years after that. Almost seven decades later, the musical still comes and goes on stages around the world.

South PacificWhat never goes away is the image from a poster or an album cover of a world with which we were not familiar at that time.

The South Pacific.

Fast forward to today. Windstar Cruises announced this week it will be making continuous, year-round voyages to the South Pacific. Not content to whet customers’ appetites with its Dreams of Tahiti trips, Windstar will be extending itineraries to include the Tuamotu Islands. Who knows what or where the Tuamotu Islands are, but it doesn’t really matter because they’re in the South Pacific?

Lots of cruises ships criss-cross through that part of the ocean, going to and coming from Australia. Only the Wind Spirit will be there, week after week, starting next May 26. The cruises are from Papeete, return, and the cost starts at $3,000 so it’s not for the faint of wallet. All the cruises stop at Moorea, DCIM101GOPROTahaa, Raiatea, Huahine and Bora Bora — again, it doesn’t matter — and four times a year that’s extended to include the Tuamotus.

Apparently the Wind Spirit, which will have its 73 staterooms renovated before setting sail in May, is the perfect ship for touring around French Polynesia and not just because it was built in France. With six sails, it’s ideal for the warm breezes that power its billowing sails.

In reality, for some of us, the perfect ship is one that sails in the South Pacific. Period. That’s the magnet that draws us to paradise…just like the picture on the album cover.

Today at portsandbows.com: Think summer with Holland America

Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas
7 nights
January 3, 2015
New Orleans (return): FalmouthGrand CaymanCozumel
Oceanview: $464
Cost per day: $66
www.royalcaribbean.com

Hawaii-Disney Relationship On Again

Photos: Disney Cruise Line

As courtships go, "paradise" and the "happiest place on earth" have had an on-and-off relationship.

Next year, it's on again, albeit for little more than a one-night stand.

The lovers are Hawaii and Disney, respectively, but you already knew that didn't you?

The Disney Wonder will take the cruise line for kids back to "paradise" in September of 2015, for the first time in three years. This will be an itinerary change for the Wonder, which this summer is on the Vancouver-to-Alaska run. When that itinerary runs its King Kamehamehacourse in September, the Wonder will sail down the Pacific Coast, heading for the Panama Canal and, eventually, Florida.

Next year, the Wonder will delay its Panama Canal cruise by about three weeks. On September 7, it will head west to Hawaii for a 10-day cruise, then leave Honolulu for the return trip on September 17. After that, down the coast…through the Canal…back to its Florida home.

And if you don't think going from Vancouver to the land of King Kamehameha's Hawaii and back is a good idea (does Disney ever have a bad one?), consider this:

According to the Disney website, these two cruises (September 2015) are already sold out!

Maybe now, these two "lovers" will make their relationship long-term.

Today at Phil Reimer's portsandbows.com: A novel way to see Hawaii

Carnival Valor
7 nights
August 31, 2014
San Juan (return): St. ThomasBarbadosSt. LuciaSt. KittsSt. Maarten
Inside: $469
Cost per day: $67
www.carnival.com

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