So here’s a question for you. Do you think “a sunset is a sunset is a sunset?” If you don’t, you may find these sunset photos interesting, as we have from a variety of cruises in different parts of the world…
Tag-Archive for » Celebrity Millennium «
While we’re far from experts on river cruising, our trip on AmaWaterways’ new ship (the AmaDara) quickly brought the similarities with — and differences from — ocean cruise ships into focus. Because everything is much smaller, even though river cruises are less modest in price they are more modest in the size of, well, everything — except service, of course, because the crew-to-passenger ratio is so much better. When you spend a week on a river ship, chances are if you don’t know everybody you will at least have a nodding recognition. From our week in Southeast Asia, today’s pictures will give you an idea of what it’s like on board…
Five entertainers who entertain only when the ship is in a port, in an all-purpose room on the ship.
That is THE pool…the only one, so clearly river cruisers don’t expect to get bronzed by the pool.
Yes, there is a gym and what you see of it here is pretty much what you get — yet it’s rarely busy.
While ocean ships devote rooms for Wi-Fi, the AmaDara’s Internet connections come from here.
Every ship has one lifesaver, at least, and fortunately for all it’s almost always just a decoration.
Our stateroom…a little larger and more plush than a comparable category on the ocean.
This comparative photo shows you what a suite — of which there are few — looks like.
Some things don’t change when you’re on any kind of cruise ship: room stewards’ creativity.
In the news…
• P&O's Pacific Eden to be christened, sail maiden voyage, this weekend
• Vancouver, Boston latest ports to report banner years with crusing
Today at portsandbows.com: Australia — very much a cruising hotspot
May 12, 2016
Vancouver, Inside Passage, Ketchikan, Sitka, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway, Hubbard Glacier, Anchorage
Cost per day: $77
Enter the selfie stick.
On some of our recent cruises, we’ve noticed. How can you not? Especially when travelling, because if there’s ever a good reason to use a selfie stick — and we’re not certain there is — it’s when travelling. As an aside, we’re not sure it’s a totally bad idea because we have hundreds of pictures in exotic places where it appears one of us stayed home.
The selfie stick, as surely everyone knows, is that pole with a smartphone (or perhaps camera) on the end. They are growing in both number and degree of annoyance, or so it seems. A cleverly written and fascinating story published online at Travel Weekly last week — here’s the link — is enlightening, entertaining and thoughtful. We had no idea the banning of selfie sticks was growing at close to the same pace as the use of the dreaded “arm extenders”, although probably like you we have seen people rolling their eyes whenever a selfie stick appears.
While it’s all travel that is a selfie target, obviously that includes cruising. You can be trying to watch whales surface from a small boat in the waters of Alaska, and have your view scarred by the stick. You can be trying to cross a dangerously busy street in Asia, and somebody’s trying to catch the unbelievable traffic moment that you’re attempting to survive.
There are too many of them now to think they’ll ever go away but, like so many things in life, we can only hope purveyors will learn to use them more responsibly and with a certain degree of courtesy.
Photo: Courtesy of camera-at-home (Wikimedia Commons)
In the news…
• Royal Caribbean Ltd. applauded for its sexual assault prevention procedures
• Second straight perfect health inspection score for Holland America Noordam
• More luxury for Queens and Princess Grill customers on Cunard's Queen Mary 2
Today at portsandbows.com: Great way to 'wine' on the Koningsdam in 2016
DENALI, Alaska — Of the five lodges that Princess Cruises operates in Alaska, the one on the doorstep of Denali National Park has the size, the reputation and the history that a flagship hotel — or a flagship anything — should have.
At 656 rooms, it is the biggest of the five lodges with which Princess cruise passengers have become familiar.
At 656 rooms, it is the biggest hotel in Alaska.
The lodge at Denali is a destination. From it, you drive only three miles to see the sights of the park. From it, you drive only three miles to board the train for a nine-hour trip to Whittier, the Princess port in Alaska.
It’s a village unto itself, with shops and restaurants and attractions just moments from your room. It’s a busy place — occupancy is over 90 per cent May to September — and, like many Alaska tourist stops, it’s a temporary home to a younger demographic of tourist.
“In 1987 [the year the lodge first opened], the average visitor age was 76 years,” says Bonnie Westlund, the resort’s General Manager. “Now it’s 62. We’re now seeing more and more multi-generational families visit.”
In its early years, the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge was a victim of the Curse of Good Friday. On the anniversary of the great earthquake (1964) and the Exxon Valdez oil spill (1989), a fire broke out Good Friday in 1996. It was a major blaze, burning the core of the property, yet the lodge was virtually re-built, opening in time for the annual spring season just six weeks later.
“I’m told they were literally moving furniture in as guests were arriving,” says Westlund.
Across the highway from what locals call Glitter Gulch — a ragtag collection of shops and hangouts that in other locations might be called a strip mall, the classy Denali Princess stretches almost the entire length of the “gulch.” Sitting high above the Susitna River, its spectacular vistas on the other side do not include Mount McKinley, which is visible from the park, and give it the look and feel of a five-star cabin in the woods.
The signature restaurant is the King Salmon…no imagination necessary to know what that featured menu item is. There’s also a nightly dinner show at the Music of Denali Theater, built to replace (temporarily) the burned-out kitchen from the 1996 fire and now where young performers double as waiters before singing in a musical, Alaska-style. And a third, pub-style eatery called Base Camp Bar & Grill overlooks the river.
The lodge is a “base camp” for atypical wilderness ventures, from aggressive hiking to helicopter rides to nearby (25 minutes) glaciers, but more than anything it is the entree to the national park.
Princess passengers can plan cruisetours so that they stay three or four days in what is — considering that you’re in the middle of the “last frontier” — a glorious contradiction.
When you’re managing a place like this, that contradiction can be explained by the need for WiFi:
“People tend to forget that we’re in the middle of nowhere,” laughs Bonnie Westlund. “They think the Internet grows on trees!”
In the wilderness, almost everything does.
In the news…
• Natalie Cole on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 for jazz club in October
• AIDA ships to offer flat rates to Internet customers
Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news
Food is such a focal point of cruising, for at least two reasons. One is that the quality and/or amount of food consumed justifies the cost of the cruise. The other is that cruise lines traditionally have special events for food lovers — sometimes at an extra cost (specialty restaurants) and sometimes free. The photos today give you a taste (ahem) of a little of both those options from our cruises…
Staff often gets personally involved — as Celebrity Hotel Director Andrew Harris did here on the Millennium,
Kids love all things Seuss, including the most unusual ice sculpture we’ve seen, on Carnival Freedom's Seuss at Sea.
Cookin’ with Chef Kathryn Kelly on Oceania ships is an experience worth the modest cost.
Radishes never looked so appetizing as during this Chef’s Table experience on the Crown Princess.
At Teppanyaki on the Norwegian Epic, Michael from the Philippines was so quick his hands were a blur.
What’s ‘elegant tea at sea?’ This is what it looks like on the Celebrity Eclipse — and it tastes better.
In the news…
• Carnival's 'fathom' designed for cruisers who wish to participate in 'social impact travel'
• Celebrity Infinity returns to Nanaino (Vancouver Island) for first time in four years
• Vietnam's six-day 'cruise of a lifetime' to visit disputed reefs and islands