The following are some of the more interesting places I have visited in the past:
(Navigation: The below links will “pop open” a new gallery window… close that new window to return to this page.)
From Florida to California via the Panama Canal… With great ports of call along the way and the transit of the Canal, for many, this is a “bucket list” trip that hits all the high points of cruising. Come join me on one of my trips and I will tell you some stories not in the history books.
Aruba… spells fun in the sun! From water sports, to horseback riding, to cows on top of the local refreshment stops, the island has it all. And did I mention duty-free shopping? And, of course, free WiFi at any of the Starbucks. (February 2015 on the Queen Victoria)
Bonaire… is a wonderful destination and one of the Dutch ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao) in the Eastern Caribbean. From Flamingos to the salt flats at the south end of the island, there are plenty of sights to see. Cafes and markets dots the waterfront, with the colorful Dutch architecture. And a surprise to many visitors is the lack of humidity of other islands of Caribbean.
Curacao… Is the “C” of the the Dutch ABC Islands (Aruba and Bonaire are the other two) with the vividly colored buildings typical of the Dutch in the New World. Willemstad is the main port and capital complete with a pedestrian only shopping area and the all the wonders of a Caribbean city. You really can’t go wrong with any of the ABCs for a fun adventure in the Caribbean.
Havana, Cuba… Was just as great as the week before, and yes, we liked it that much… Two cruises in two weeks. What not to like? Historic buildings, friendly locals, and plenty of music and wonderful food. And did I mention the rum? And the classic cars… American on the outside and Cuban on the inside, through the genius of the local mechanics and 21st century parts from Japan, Korea, and other distant lands.
Vancouver… A beautiful city with great transportation and plenty of friendly locals to help you out. The parks are an extra plus and lots to see and do… we loved it.
Tangiers, Morocco… Just a short hop across the Straits of Gibraltar from Spain via ferry and you are in a whole different culture. Winding streets filled with shops and markets, beautiful beaches, and wonderful food were just a start to the adventure. And worth a second look (again in 2017).
Malaga, Spain… Day 1 and Day 2 was time well spent in a beautiful seaport city of old and new charm. From the Roman ruins and Moorish castles, to the modern seaport with fine dining and gardens, the city is a joy to wander through or search for treasures (ice cool beer, bread, and olives… my idea of treasures).
Toledo, Spain…With dozens of churches it was easy to understand the phrase “Holy Toledo” popular with North Americans. Walking through the walled city was like walking through history. Dining was wonderful (three types of potatoes!) and the views were each postcard perfect. The city was a wonderful day trip from Madrid.
Mazatlan… The port is back on the route of many cruise lines and as beautiful as ever. The shrimp are as big as your hand and the restaurants know how to prepare them. There are wonderful beaches in the north and on the “island” across from the cruise port… enjoy!
Catalina… 23 miles across the sea from the California coast and you are transported into a different time and place. For a quick trip or relaxing detour, Catalina comes highly recommended.
Colon, Panama… Is all about commercial trade. Colon is a good jumping off place for tours of the Gatun locks, and any number of nature tours.
Puerto Limon, Costa Rica… is on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica and is similar to the west coast, but lower tides. We chose to go on a ship tour of the local canals and hundred year old railway. The canal tour was during the cool of the morning so lots of animals were down at the water’s end from Howler monkeys to sloths to the “Jesus” lizard who can apparently walk on water (thus the name). The return trip on the ancient train brought back memories of four by four off-roading in the California Desert and travel from another time in history. The market at the port was full of local items and even offered pedicures and other beautifying procedures.
Puerto Queztal, Guatemala… There is a nice market for local goods a few feet from the ship, but most travelers take tours of Maya sites, climb a volcano, or just have a spa day.
North Bound Transit of the Panama Canal… A exciting day of squeezing through the locks (2′ on each side) to spotting crocs along the banks. The transit is the high point of the 15 day cruise.
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua… A new port of call for many cruise lines, but one that you will return to many times. Beaches in easy walking distance, friendly locals, and plenty of sights to see.
San Francisco, CA… An excellent stop on a West Coast cruise. The docking pier is next to Pier 39 with plenty of shopping and local attractions.
Catalina Island, CA… Also a nice stop on a West Coast cruise. Just walk around town or take one of many tours of the island.
Miami… A great jumping off place for a cruise, but I would recommend you spend a day or two and explore the city. Great beaches and shopping are only a start. From art deco to swamps and airboats, Miami has a lot to offer.
Lake Arrowhead, California… One of my favorite winter destinations with great skiing, food, and boutique bed and breakfast inns, Lake Arrowhead is hard to beat for a quick vacation trip.
Quepos, Costa Rica… is a small port on the western coast of Costa Rica that is a great starting point for many of the national parks. Last visit was to Manuel Antonio National Park, and although we saw more people than other animals, we still saw much of the wildlife of Costa Rica… especially the White Faced monkeys in the beach area. Note: The monkeys will steal food and other items from visitors. As in most airports of the world, do not leave bags unattended. (Visit Dec 2015)
Golfito… is both a fishing village and part of the Costa Rican free trade zone, where locals can buy tax free goods. Tourists, though, are generally more interesting in seeing animals and birds in the wild at several parks and refuges. Smaller ships can dock at a pier left behind (1984) by the United Fruit Company.