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Answering The Big Question About Sunset is a Sunset is a Sunset — or is it?

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…

1-Hawaii MakahaYou never quite know what you’ll see when the sun’s setting in the South Pacific, and the contrast of the clouds off the coast of Hawaii can be typical.

2-SFAny cruise ship leaving San Francisco late in the day can deliver this view (if it’s not raining) as you prepare to slip under the Golden Gate Bridge.

3-SunsetThis was the result of repeated attempts (no motor drive here) to catch the sun as it dipped below the ocean’s horizon…did we make it?

4-SunsetThe reflection of the setting sun is always speelbinding, as it was for us, off the coast of South America from the appropriately named Norwegian Sun.

5-Puntarenas-MillThis could be any ocean scene at sundown, so you’ll just have to take our word that it was near Puntarenas, Costa Rica, from, the Celebrity Millennium.

6-Sunset-GuatThis photo from the port of Puerto Quetzal, Guatamela, made it into our archives even though we hadn’t even begun writing about cruising!

7-HawaiiMany cruises visit Hawaii long enough to disembark and enjoy the sun from the shore, enabling the ever-present palm trees to help frame the shot.

Signs of the Times…from Cruise Ports

One of the interesting things about visiting foreign countries — and there’s no better way to see many of them than from a cruise ship — is the number of photo ops. Signs quickly became a subject we kept an eye open for, and below are some we found “interesting” for a variety of reasons…

NassauNot sure that this one requires any explanation, other than to say it was on the side of a building in downtown Nassau, close to Norwegian Sky’s 2,000 passengers.

Hell-2That’s where you go in Grand Cayman…at least many first-time visitors do, and locals turn Hell into business opportunities — better than having a business go to Hell.

Alaska-3In Alaska, there are many things of which you cannot be certain — mosquitoes, wildlife, weather…and whether there will be enough water on the waterfall trail.

Guy Fieri'sOn the Carnival ships (this one the Freedom), Guy Fieri’s presence goes beyond his food — serving counters and tables are decorated with interesting signage.

Costa Rica-2Is it possible that Costa Ricans think visitors have to be told of danger lurking in its waters? Or maybe that just says something about the tourists!

Coquimbo-2The people of Coquimbo, Chile have seen enough walls of water to know that this sign means they’re on high enough ground to be safe from tsunamis.

GuatemalaOne Central American country that thrives on its coffee industry is Guatemala, even in remotae plantations where sign makers know their market.

What Would You Have Missed If…?

This week, the U.S. government issued a travel warning for Americans who planned to be in Europe. As you have undoubtedly heard, it’s pretty vague. However, given the number of cruise ships in European waters and given that Americans have to fly to get there, it’s worth noting.

On the other hand…

If we were afraid to visit a country known for its drug lords, we’d have stayed on the ship in Cartagena, Colombia, and never met the nice man who showed us the sights of his city, Sandy Cuadrado (right).

If we feared muggers, we’d never have walked in Central Park.

If we had refused to fly after 9/11, we’d have missed the Burgess family in England, the McConnells and Jean-Marie Berge (left) in France, Mona Lisa in the Louvre, a wonderful winery called House of Morande in Chile.

If we wanted to make sure we could never be caught in a hurricane, we’d know less about the joie-de-vivre of the French Quarter, the origin of Who Dat?, the fascinating swamplands near New Orleans.

If we never went where earthquakes have been, we wouldn’t have golfed in the Coachella Valley, visited a coffee plantation in Guatemala, flown into or out of LAX.

If we never went to a country with political upheaval, we wouldn’t have heard the sweet songs of an indigenous woman (right) on a bus in Ecuador.

If we didn’t want to risk a chance — however small — of contracting the norovirus, we would never board the gangway of a cruise ship…and we wouldn’t be writing this blog.

The point is, do we want to live our lives in fear? The government isn’t recommending that we do, only that we be diligent, and use common sense.

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