Thursday, December 13, 2012


Island of Mallorca

Avenue in Mallorca

I was booked to lecture on the Seabourn Quest late November.  Rather than fly overseas (which we avoid whenever possible), we were lucky to find a Holland America ship departing Fort Lauderdale   Oct. 19 for Rome.  I say lucky because this time of year, cruise ships are coming the other way.  We spent 22 days aboard with stops in Morocco and Spain.  It was our first time visiting the island of Mallorca and we loved it.  It reminded us of Aix en Provence.  

Alanya, Turkey
Alexandria, Egypt
I had learned that NCL Jade was arriving Civitavecchia the same day we did and would be returning 11 days later, so we took our bags and moved across the harbor. That evening we sailed for Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt.   The weather was good and since we had been in Israel and Egypt last year, we didn't need to do any extensive touring.  I spent most of the time on both ships preparing my lectures and Powerpoint programs for the Seabourn cruise.

Haifa, Israel
The Jade returned to  Civitavecchia the day we were booked on a Grimaldi Ferry for a 20 hour voyage to Barcelona. We boarded that night and to our surprise, it was more like a cruise ship: spotlessly clean with a huge showroom, lovely restaurant, snack bar and cafeteria. The state rooms were small but comfortable.  The best part of the journey was meeting a fabulous family from Australia.  I thought we were adventurous until we met Jeff and Jen and their 12 year old son and 8 year old daughter.  They spent the year traveling all over Europe in a small RV.  
With Frank & Julia in Barcelona

The morning after we arrived in Barcelona, we walked from our hotel to Hotel Arts to meet our friends Frank and Julia from Colorado.  They had flown in the day before to join us on the Seabourn cruise.  It happened to be Julia's 65th birthday and the hotel treated us like royalty inviting us to enjoy champagne and hors d’oeuvres in one of their luxurious suites overlooking the city. 
Martin & Trudy on Seabourn

On Nov. 24 we boarded the Seabourn Quest for a transatlantic crossing during which I gave 8 lectures. Trudy and Martin (friends from last year's World Cruise on Regent) also flew over to join us for the crossing.  The lectures went well and we made many new friends.

We are back in Boca Raton for the week getting ready to fly to Punta Cana for Christmas and New Year's.  Ron and I send you our best wishes for a joyous holiday season.