Live From The City Of Light: On CroisiEurope’s Botticelli, Discovering Paris


After our evening cruise through the heart of Paris last night, we woke up to another beautiful day in this gorgeous city. On tap, a day “dedicated to the discovery of Paris,” with an optional guided tour, and also optional, late-evening entertainment at Nouvelle Eve, billed as traditional French Cabaret and situated just a block away… [Read More]

Boarding Botticelli: Cruising Through The City Of Light, And A Brush With The Law


Our Air France flight touched down at Charles de Gaulle International Airport shortly after 3 this afternoon. We had come to the City of Light to experience something different: an eight-day cruise along the Seine on the low-price leader in river cruising. CroisiEurope has been operating in Europe for nearly four decades, but with river… [Read More]

Volendam To Get Lanai Staterooms, Mix, In Refurbishment

Volendam boasts a graceful, ocean liner-esque profile. Photo courtesy of Holland America Line.

Holland America Line is sending their popular Volendam into drydock later this year, but they’ll be doing more than simply scraping the hull and performing routine maintenance. When she emerges in December, Volendam will sport 21 brand-new Lanai Staterooms, the new Mix Bar concept, and updated bathrooms in all suites. First introduced aboard the 1996-built… [Read More]

Seabourn Partners With UNESCO

Seabourn Quest anchored in Golfo Aranci (Sardinia), Italy. @ 2013 Ralph Grizzle

There are certain sights in the world that travellers hold up as being particularly prized. They can be iconic, like the Tower of London, or more broad and sweeping like the historic city center of Florence, Italy; Australia’s Great Barrier Reef; or the entire city of Valletta, Malta. Each has one thing in common: they’re… [Read More]

The Key To Good Memories From Your Cruises

On Peter Deilmann's Heidelberg, brass keys were used for staterooms. © 2006 Ralph Grizzle

“What is the one thing you wish you had known before embarking on your first cruise holiday?” That was the question posed to more than a dozen cruise bloggers/experts by Danielle Fear, known on Twitter as @CruiseMiss. Certainly, the question was thought-provoking, and it caused me to think back more than 20 years ago. I started my sea… [Read More]

Cruising From The Heart Of Paris On CroisiEurope

CroisiEurope Botticelli

On June 20, I step aboard CroisiEurope’s Botticelli for a cruise from the heart of Paris to the heart of Honfleur. Not many river cruise vessels can make it into Honfleur. Most stop short in Rouen or they make it to Le Havre and bus guests to the picturesque port of Honfleur. The fact that CroisiEurope’s… [Read More]

My D-Day Story: A Startling Discovery At The American Cemetery


In the summer of 2012, while cruising on Avalon Creativity, I visited the D-Day Landing Beaches and the American Cemetery with my son Alex. Seeing how — and where — the invasions took place was both poignant and fascinating, but it was at the cemetery where we discovered something that took us by surprise: the grave… [Read More]

A Love Letter To Alaska: Wrapping Up A Live Voyage Report Aboard Star Princess


Like many of you who have commented, I’ve enjoyed reading Gail Jessen’s Live Voyage Reports from Alaska. A newly minted travel writer, Gail shared fresh perspectives about what it’s like to explore the Great Land aboard Princess Cruises’ Star Princess. I particularly enjoyed Gail’s report from her next-to-final day on board when she discovered that Alaska had successfully seduced… [Read More]