Monday, December 26, 2011


What a year!!  We closed on the sale of our condo on 1/11/11.  In the year that followed, we spent a total of 7 months at sea.  Aside from the World Cruise, there were lecture engagements on the Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Celebrity plus the transatlantic crossing.   We sailed out of Malaga to Fort Lauderdale aboard Seabourn Spirit on November 25. There were only 159 passengers onboard, far less than the number of crew.  The food was fabulous, the service fantastic.  Lots of glorious, sunny days and many pleasant, interesting people to meet.  In our 14 day crossing, we only had one stop: Funchal, the capital of the Portuguese province of Madeira, 600 miles from Portugal.  We have been there a number of times so we were content to spend our time walking and cleaning up some emails at an internet cafĂ©. 

View from our 39th floor room
Our corner room at Beaux Arts
We arrived in Fort Lauderdale December 9, picked up our car and headed to Boca Raton for a couple of days – just long enough to visit our storage area and repack suitcases.  Then we headed to South Palm Beach where I had booked (through Skyauction) 5 nights at the Omphoy Hotel, a beautiful hotel right on the beach.  The weather was mostly windy and cloudy but it afforded time to catch up on emails and 3 months of land mail.  Plus we got to have dinner with someone we met in Italy in 1993 on Ron and my first trip overseas together.  We had lost touch for years but Julie found me on Facebook.  It was wonderful to see her again.  I am not a big social network fan but it does have its benefits.  

Then it was 6 days in Miami at 2 beautiful hotels.  First we went to Beaux Arts then Tempo. 
These two packages were bought from ( see below).  They included 3 nights at each, breakfast, a 3 course dinner for two, massages and taxes.  Beaux Arts is a new, ultra luxurious hotel atop JW Marriott.  From our 39th floor windows, we looked down upon Steven Spielberg's two hundred million dollar yacht.  

On Dec. 22 we boarded Celebrity Millenium where I lectured over Christmas and New Year’s.   Cruise ships are a fun, festive place to spend the holidays while enjoying lovely weather and the beautiful waters of the Caribbean.  

              Wishing you joy, peace and love in the New Year.    

Christmas 2011 on Celebrity
TRAVEL TIP: is another site where you bid for travel but it is unlike skyauction in several ways.  They sell packages at upscale hotels and resorts that include 2 or more nights of lodging and are likely to include breakfasts, one 3 course dinner for 2, massages etc.  They offer a buy now price higher than the bid price.  If you are bidding, check with the hotel first to make sure the dates you want are available.  And, of course, check out reviews on or and always read the small print.