Cruising

Last week I had the opportunity to go on a Danube River Cruise with Uniworld, an All-Inclusive Cruise Line. I did this trip by myself, however I shared the trip with 9 other travel advisors from Colorado, and Arizona. I was the only one from Utah. I felt so fortunate and privileged to have traveled with this cruise line. I was very impressed by the service and the all-inclusive this cruise has to offer. By the end of my cruise last week, I did not owe a single penny, even though I signed up for many shore excursions on the port of calls!

Here are the FREE excursions that were available on this particular itinerary.

In Nuremburg, Germany:

  1. Nuremburg City Tour ***
  2. Do as The Locals Do Nuremburg Walking Tour
  3. Jewish Heritage – Nuremburg and WWII ***

In Regensburg, Germany:

  1. 2000 Years in One Hour Regensburg Walking discovery tour ***
  2. BMW Factory Visit
  3. Jewish Heritage – Jewish Regensburg. ***

In Straubing, Germany:

  1. Orientation Walk into Straubing ***
  2. “Let’s Go Bike the Danube Trail
  3. Bavarian Forest village, Nature Walk and Theresienthal glass factory ***

In Passau, Germany:

  1. Passau Walking Discovery Tour
  2. Passau Geocaching Scavenger Hunt – fun game with lots of walking ***

In Engelhartzhell, Austria:

  • "Let’s Go" Bavarian River Bicycle Ride

I recently had the opportunity to sail on the beautiful Crystal Symphony, one of the two Crystal Cruise Line vessels. Crystal Cruise Lines has consistently won readers choice award with Condé Nast for the past 25 years and Worlds Best by Travel and Leisure for 23 years. With all these accolades I was eager to experience Crystal for myself.

First, we noticed the check in process was incredibly easy and painless. No lines, just a seat on a couch in the reception area where they looked at your documents and took your luggage while offering you something to drink.

From there were pampered by incredible service, wonderful food, relaxing cabin and a ship with endless possibility of entertainment, enrichment classes and relaxing areas.

From the moment we arrived on the ship the staff was dedicated to anticipating our every needs. Staff from cabin stewards, waiters and pool attendants went out their way to learn our names, favorite beverages, allergies and more.

I recently had the opportunity of doing a river cruise on the Danube River with AMAWaterways. I traveled with my sister, who is a recent Amputee with a prosthetic leg. This was her first trip to Europe, and in her words she was "a little hesitant to go" because of her disability. She was so impressed by the staff at how accommodating and willing to do anything to help her enjoy her trip of a lifetime.

We flew into Munich 2 days prior and stayed at the Airport Hilton. I chose the Airport Hilton, because of the convenience of being connected to the airport. Normally I would recommend staying in the city of Munich. It was easy to hop on the train from the airport to Munich, to spend the day exploring the city. There are plenty of things to do while in Munich, such as Dachau concentration camp, or Neuschwanstein Castle. We choose to stay in the Marienplatz seeing the Glockenspiel and the Hofbrauhaus *a traditional German biker beer hall, with a dark past). Upstairs in the Hofbrauhause is where Hitler first started the Nazi party. Downstairs we enjoyed a Weisswurst sausage with sweet mustard and a pretzel. Oh and did I mention the bakeries in Europe? Yum!

I had a fantastic experience recently to sail on Royal Caribbean’s beautiful Mega Ship – The Allure of the Seas. After spending years selling these Oasis class ships, I finally had the opportunity to experience it for myself. I can highly recommend the vacation.

This class of ship is a destination in itself. Everything that you would want at a land resort is offered onboard this vessel. For those that are active you have two rock climbing walls and two flowriders (surfing simulators) where you can use boogie boards or surf boards.

One quick recommendation, women wear a T shirt over your swimsuit, the current is very strong and many have lost a top with lots of people watching. There is also miniature golf, a sports deck, ice skating and even a zipline. All of these activities are complimentary. You might have a short wait, but no cost.

One of the first cruises I ever took was to Alaska and for the 22 years since that departure, I have thought of Alaska as my favorite cruise destination and going a second time did not disappoint. There is something about the scenery and atmosphere that soothes the soul and makes your spirit soar!

There were several reasons I decided to go on Holland America this time. The first is that it was on a smaller ship. There are 2100 passengers compared to the 2500+ on the other cruise lines, so I never felt crowded on this ship. And the crew was very helpful and always willing to go out of their way to help you; I never felt like "just another passenger."

Of note, America’s Test Kitchen has a program on board. I love this show and was excited to see these presentations and Laurie did not disappoint. She was totally entertaining while teaching some new ideas about cooking. I definitely was looking forward to trying the salmon recipes once I got home.