Cruising

IMPORTANT – Travel, Testing and Health Requirement information is provided by your Travel Advisor as guidance only and can change without notice. Always reconfirm information by checking government & airline websites before booking and traveling.

I just returned from a 7 nights cruise to Bermuda on the SS. Viking Orion. It was a double experience for me since it was my first time on a Viking Ocean ship and my first time to Bermuda. Both turned out to be a wonderful experience.

As we all know, travel these days is not what it used to be. The preparation can be stressful due to the ever-changing requirements, but I can attest, once you reach your destination, you realize it was worth the trouble.

Four days before my arrival on the island I had to do a PCR test. Upon arrival at the airport in Bermuda I had to do another PCR test and once on board I did one more saliva test. Believe me after all these tests I felt very safe being on a cruise. During the cruise mask was always mandatory everywhere. You had to do a saliva test every morning and have your temperature checked once a day.

The SS. Viking Orion is my kind of ship, sober and elegant. There are many open spaces, lots of light and lots of very inviting sitting areas. It is quite easy to find a lovely intimate, quiet alcove to read a book or even meditate. Cabins are well designed. The bathrooms are really great with heated floors, fog free mirror and glass door to a good size shower. The staff is always eager to help and make sure you are comfortable and happy. Viking Ocean exceeded my expectations.

I typically try to go on two big trips and as many little trips as possible every year as I have a major addiction to traveling and new experiences. Needless to say the Pandemic put a damper on everyone’s life to say the least and being a travel advisor and my love of travel was a challenge to sit home for many reasons, my job setback and industry setback being the big one after health and safety.

I jumped at the opportunity to go on the Norwegian Encore Alaska Cruise as soon as the cruise lines figured out how to salvage the Alaska Season after Canada had kept it’s borders tightly closed. I was already vaccinated as it was pretty clear early on that to travel anywhere would be requiring proof of vaccinations and I mainly got vaccinated for health and my families safety.

I also had never been on Norwegian Cruise Lines, nor had I experienced Alaska’s beauty in person. I do have experience on creating great vacations for my clients with NCL and to Alaska, but now it was time to see it for myself!

As everyone is, I was very apprehensive about traveling during COVID and also with all the testing requirements – what would happen if I tested positive? What if the cruise cancelled? What if I flew there and had issues and couldn’t board the ship? I can be a nervous Nelly even at small things, so this was going to have me use all my calming techniques I have learned over the years. Besides, the opportunity to travel is too great to resist (answer to all those questions is through your travel professional of course! Know before you go).

In October we went on A Canada New England Cruise on Royals Serenade of the Seas. We Flew into Boston a couple days before so we could see some sites in Boston before the cruise. We had a late flight after the cruise so thought that would be plenty of time in Boston. There was so much to see and do in Boston that we wished we had chosen a longer pre- or post-Cruise stay in Boston.

Boston really is a place to learn the history of this great country. We saw Plymouth Rock which commemorates the location where Europeans first set foot onto what's now U.S. soil. The Plymouth Plantation and Grist Mill were very educational and interesting. We were also able to spend a little time at each of the following. The Salem Witch museum, The Wax museum, the New England aquarium and the Boston tea party. We rode the city view hop on hop off Boston Trolley Sightseeing tour but did not have time to visit everything we wanted to.

I had the opportunity to experience my very first cruise onboard Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. I had a fantastic experience on the newly amplified ship.

This ship is a medium sized ship with large activities. There was so much to do you couldn’t do it all. There are activities for every age and personality. There is the sanctuary for those that want to just relax and waterslides, flow rider and rock climbing wall for the more adventurous.

The entertainment aboard the ship was great! There were always so many things going on. We saw comedians, an ice skating show, participated in game shows, watched live bands, and went to a 70’s and 80’s dance parties. For the more laid back entertainment there was a movie every night under the stars. There was even a guy who put a piano in the elevator and rode it playing and singing requests.

I had an amazing adventure with the specialty dining options. The food and the menu options are very diverse. You definitely feel as if you are dining at a five star restaurant. There are so many different options of places to eat that I never ate at the same place twice with 12 different places to choose from.

We ported for a day in Nassau and a day at Royal Caribbean’s private island Coco Cay. They advertise it as the perfect day and that it is. Whatever you want your day to be it can be relaxing or adventure filled. From water slides, zip lining, hanging out in the pool or relaxing on the beach you get to paint your perfect day. I also was amazed by how much area there was on the island. There were two mid-sized ships there and you could still walk up to any area and find a place to hang out. Again the food options on the island out did themselves.

I had an amazing adventure and would recommend that you go and experience an adventure like this!

Welcome on board!

All the best,
Kari Cellan
Morris Murdock Travel - Billings

(406) 655-3500
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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