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Saturday, December 31, 2011

St Thomas is cruise ship territory

St Thomas is cruise ship territory  but the chance to sail  here on New Year’s Eve and swim in the sapphire waters on  sandy beaches like “Magens Bay” one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, is another glorious  day on Princess ! 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Princess Cays

Today on Princess Cays is located about 30 miles from Nassau, at the southern portion of the island of Eleuthera. Two miles wide, this island retreat is a great snorkeling and dive spot. A coral reef surrounds the island. To protect the coral reef that surrounds Princess Cays, Emerald anchored off-shore today and we were tendered to what they call Love Boat Marina.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Happy New Year to you ALLES! | Próspero Año Nuevo! | Feliz Ano Novo! | Glückliches Neues Jahr! | Felice Anno Nuovo! | Bonne Année! | Feliç Any Nou! | Nollaig Shona Dhuit! | Urte Berri On! | Kurisumasu Omedet | Bo Ani Novo! | Selamat Tahun Baru | Pax hominibus bonae voluntatis | Bel

Leave on Emerald Princess

Leave on Emerald Princess
Wed Dec 28, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Embarkation Port 5:00 PM
Th Dec 29, Princess Cays, Bahamas 9:00 AM 4:00 PM
Fri Dec 30, @Sea
Sat Dec 31, St. Thomas, USVI 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
... Sun Jan 1, Antigua, and Barbuda 7:00 AM 4:00 PM
Mon, Jan 2, Barbados 9:00 AM 6:00 PM
Tue Jan 3, St. Lucia 7:00 AM 5:00 PM
Wed, Jan 4, St. Kitts & Nevis 7:00 AM 4:00 PM
Th Jan 5-6, @Sea

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas | Felíz Navidad |Hyvää Joulua | God Jul | Glædelig Jul | Joyeux Noël | Buon Natale | Frohe Weinachten | Prettige Kerstdoagen | Prettige Kerst | Feliz Natal | Bon Nadal | Snovym Godom | Sretab Bo[ ] iae |Priecígus Ziemsvètkus | Merii Kurisumasu | Chuck Song Tan |Ia Maitai te Noera | Bon Pasku | Hanukkah | Eid Saiid, milaad Majid Mele Kalikimaka | To you all!

Besos Bel

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holland America Cruise Lines: Travel Guide Position

Key Job Responsibilities for Travel Guides:
  • Give dynamic PowerPoint presentations about the ports of call and related topics of interest
  • Provide knowledgeable and accurate information about the itinerary in a exciting and educational way
  • Drive revenue to Shore Excursions onboard by promoting tours whenever appropriate
  • Provide entertaining and informative narration from the bridge in specified scenic cruising areas
  • Prepare and develop PowerPoint presentations based on the itinerary
  • Present a minimum of two (2) presentations on sea days and one (1) on partial sea days
  • Manage daily schedule with direction from the Event Manager and Seattle Enrichment Manager
  • Foster a positive working relationship with other departments, particularly Shore Excursions
  • Lead travel-oriented entertainment activities (i.e. “Travel Trivia” and language classes)
  • Share knowledge collected by adding presentations and resource materials to the E-Resource Library
Guest Relations:
  • Greet guests on the gangway/tender dock when in port to answer last-minute questions
  • Interact with guests in a positive and helpful manner
  • Positively represent Holland America Line both on and off the ship
  • Hold adequate desk hours (minimum of two hours per day) to answer guest questions
Policies and Procedures:
  • Read and follow MOM E04 – EXPLORE OUR WORLD.
  • Adhere to uniform policies, appearing professional and well groomed at all times.
  • Comply with Health, Safety and Environmental Practices
  • Provide an accurate and in-depth handover at end of contract.


A view from the Bridge
The World By ResidenSea

2011-2012 Notable Cruise Line Enrichment Lecturer Engagements:
2012 Princess: Emerald Eastern Caribbean Voyager Roundtrip From Ft. Lauderdale
2011 Oceania’s: Regatta Mayan Mystique, Miami to Miami 10-day cruise 
2011 Regent Seven Seas: Mariner Hellenic Treasures, Rome, Italy to Istanbul, Turkey 10-day cruise 
2011 Regent Seven Seas: Navigator Grand Alaska, Vancouver, Canada to Anchorage, Alaska 9-day
2011 Oceania: Nautica Black Sea Serenade, Athens, Greece to Istanbul, Turkey 12-day cruise 

Oceania: Regatta
Mayan Mystique Miami to Miami 10-day  Mar 09, 2011
Embarkation Port: Miami
Day Port  Arrive Depart
Mar 10 Cruising the Straits of Florida
 Mar 11 George Town, Cayman Islands 9:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m.
Mar 12  Cozumel, Mexico 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.
Mar 13  Belize City, Belize 8:00 a.m. 7:00 p.m.
Mar 14 Santo Tomas, Guatemala 8:00 a.m. 8:00 p.m.
Mar 15 Roatan, Honduras 8:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Mar 16 Costa Maya, Mexico 8:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Mar 17 Cruising the Straits of Florida
Mar 18 Key West, United States  8:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Mar 19 Miami, United States 7:00 a.m. 
Disembarkation Port: Miami
Regent: Navigator
Date Day Port Arrive Depart
Jun 8 Wed Vancouver, Canada 5:00 pm
Jun 9 Thu Cruise the Inside Passage, International Waters
Jun 10 Fri Ketchikan, Alaska 7:00 am 4:00 pm
Jun 11 Sat Cruise Tracy Arm, International Waters
Jun 12 Sat Juneau, Alaska 1:00 pm 11:00 pm
Jun 13 Sun Skagway, Alaska 7:00 am 5:00 pm
Jun 14 Mon Sitka, Alaska 8:00 am 4:00 pm
Jun 15 Tue Cruising Hubbard Glacier
Jun 16 Wed Anchorage (Seward), Alaska 6:00 am Disembarkation Port
Regent: Mariner
Date Day Port Arrive Depart
Apr 17 Sun Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 7:00 pm
Apr 18 Mon Monte Carlo, Monaco 9:00 am 11:00 pm
Apr 19 Tue Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy 8:00 am 8:00 pm
Apr 20 Wed Olbia (Sardinia), Italy 8:00 am 4:00 pm
Apr 21 Thu Tunis (La Goulette), Tunisia 9:00 am 6:00 pm
Apr 22 Fri Valletta, Malta 9:00 am 6:00 pm
Apr 23 Sat Cruise the Ionian Sea, International Waters
Apr 24 Sun Santorini, Greece 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Apr 25 Mon Athens (Piraeus), Greece 6:00 am 6:00 pm
Apr 26 Tue Dikili, Turkey 8:00 am 2:00 pm
Apr 27 Wed Istanbul, Turkey 6:00 am 
Oceania: Nautica
Black Sea Serenade Embarkation Port: Athens (Piraeus)
Day Port Arrive Depart
Jun 27 Athens (Piraeus), Greece 8:00 p.m.
Jun 28 Mykonos, Greece 8:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Jun 29 Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey 8:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Jun 30
Cruising the Dardanelles & Bosphorus Straits
Jul 01 Sinop, Turkey 8:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m.
Jul 02 Trabzon, Turkey 8:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Jul 03 Sochi, Russia 8:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m.
Jul 04 Yalta, Ukraine 8:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Jul 05 Sevastopol, Ukraine 8:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Jul 06 Odessa, Ukraine 8:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Jul 07 Constanta, Romania 8:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Jul 08 Nessebur, Bulgaria 8:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Jul 09 Istanbul, Turkey 5:00 a.m. Disembarkation Port
Emerald Princess Jan 7, 2012
Wed Dec 28, 2011 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida          Embarkation Port 5:00 PM
Th Dec 29,        Princess Cays, Bahamas          9:00 AM            4:00 PM
Fri Dec 30,        @Sea                                                              
Sat Dec 31,       St. Thomas, USVI                    8:00 AM            5:00 PM
Sun Jan 1,         Antigua, and Barbuda             7:00 AM            4:00 PM
Mon, Jan 2,       Barbados                                 9:00 AM            6:00 PM
Tue Jan 3,         St. Lucia                                  7:00 AM            5:00 PM         
Wed, Jan 4,       St. Kitts & Nevis                      7:00 AM            4:00 PM        
TH, Jan 5,         @Sea                                      
Fri Jan 6           @Sea

2012 coming soon!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cruise Ship Lecturer Wanted. Have you ever wanted to lecture on a cruise ship?

INDEPENDENCE-ROYAL CARIBBEAN May 19-Jun 2, 2012 Round Trip Southampton *British Special
VISION-ROYAL CARIBBEAN May 12-May 21, 2012 RT Oslo Norway
EXPLORER- ROYAL CARIBBEAN May 5- May 10, 2012 RT Cape Liberty Cruise Port, NJ
EXPLORER- ROYAL CARIBBEAN May 10-May 19, 2012 RT Cape Liberty Cruise Port, NJ
EXPLORER- ROYAL CARIBBEAN May 19-May 24, 2012 RT Cape Liberty Cruise Port, NJ
EXPLORER- ROYAL CARIBBEAN May 24-Jun 2, 2012 RT Cape Liberty Cruise Port, NJ
INDEPENDENCE- ROYAL CARIBBEAN May 9-May 19, 2012 RT Southampton
BRILLIANCE June 21-Jul 3, 2012 Roundtrip Amsterdam
INDEPENDENCE- ROYAL CARIBBEAN Jun 16-Jun 30, 2012 RT Southampton
EXPLORER- ROYAL CARIBBEAN Jun 2-Jun 7, 2012 RT Cape Liberty Cruise Port, NJ
EXPLORER- ROYAL CARIBBEAN Jun 7-Jun16, 2012 RT Cape Liberty Cruise Port, NJ
EXPLORER- ROYAL CARIBBEAN Jun16- Jun 21, 2012 RT Cape Liberty Cruise Port, NJ
EXPLORER- ROYAL CARIBBEAN Jun 21 -Jun 30, 2012 RT Cape Liberty Cruise Port, NJ
EXPLORER- ROYAL CARIBBEAN Jun 30-Jul 5, 2012 RT Cape Liberty Cruise Port, NJ
EXPLORER- ROYAL CARIBBEAN Jul 14- Jul 19, 2012 RT Cape Liberty Cruise Port, NJ
EXPLORER- ROYAL CARIBBEAN Jul 19- Jul 28, 2012 RT Cape Liberty Cruise Port, NJ
EXPLORER- ROYAL CARIBBEAN Jul 28- Aug 2, 2012 RT Cape Liberty Cruise Port, NJ
EXPLORER- ROYAL CARIBBEAN Aug 2-Aug 11, 2012 RT Cape Liberty Cruise Port, NJ
VISION-ROYAL CARIBBEAN Aug 9 Aug 21, 2012 RT Copenhagen, Denmark
INDEPENDENCE- ROYAL CARIBBEAN Aug 11-Aug 25, 2012 RT Southampton
EXPLORER- ROYAL CARIBBEAN Aug 11-Aug 16, 2012 RT Cape Liberty Cruise Port, NJ

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Arctic Adventure Begins In Lapland

Beyond the Arctic Circle exists a hidden winter wonderland where aurora borealis dance across the still night's sky, swirling bands of colored lights through the heavens. Sampo cracks in a sea covered thickly with ice. Thousands and thousands of graceful reindeer prance over the frozen terrain, while wolves, bears and other arctic creatures roam the wilderness. Howls in the night raise a cry that beckons to daring adventurers willing to risk awe, inspiration and isolation second to none.  Here is truly Europe’s  last great wilderness frontier. 

Only 6,600 Km. from NYC lies the seventh largest country in Europe. Most of Europe's final unspoiled wilderness is contained within its 128,495 square miles. A bit larger than New Mexico, and one of the uppermost places in Europe accessible by car. Sandwiched between Sweden and Russia, Finland is the only country that lies almost entirely north of the 60th parallel of latitude, and after Iceland, it is the northernmost country in the world.
Lapland is the vast area that lies largely above the Arctic Circle and covers 30 percent of the country's total area.  Much of its vast expanse of wilderness has barely been brushed by the hand of man. The countless crystalline lakes, tumbling rivers and forests of birch and pine remain much as they have for untold generations. Half of the year, everything is buried under snow, and it is not only those studying weather charts who know that this country receives ridiculous amounts of snow that visit Lapland. With no doubt Europe looks cozier when viewed from Lapland.
This is an area of unique and breathtaking beauty, rich in flora and fauna that thrive only in arctic areas. From it's austere northern coast to its great sweeping plains and forests, Lapland is an extraordinary destination for the traveler with an adventurous soul. There are five seasons in northern Finland, all of them great for a visit, but midwinter is probably the most exotic. Although Finland is famous for its countless pristine lakes and long summer days under the Midnight Sun, the unique snow-reflected light of the winter carries its own magical charm.

Flight over Provo, Turks & Caicos

Monday, November 28, 2011

TOP PORTS: Turks & Caicos

Such moments as these are what make travel so grand and gratifying. And what is more thought provoking than imagining what it is like not to be human while sharing the waters for a brief encounter with these ancient sea creatures?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

How to survive it all?

You will instantly learn how to touch them, always avoiding the tail, and you may be lucky enough to actually get a playful kiss from a friendly, curious ray.  This means seven years of good luck according to the locals, this means I’m all set with good luck till 2018.  Thousands of travelers have visited this site in the past decade without being ripped to shreds by "killer, man-eating rays."

You'll probably survive it as well. If you get in the water, remember stingrays cannot see what they are feeding; they eat by sucking the food into their mouths between two hard dental plates. The ray hunts by sense of smell, so you can lead a ray around for quite a while with just one piece of bait - actually just long enough to get another ray coming in from another angle. Stingrays are not aggressive and will flee from danger whenever possible. When swimming, stingrays are not capable of directing their tail and are therefore rather defenseless.

Snorkeling with the undulating inhabitants of Gibbs Cay

Want to snorkel with prehistoric-looking creatures? And actually feed the giant but graceful fish with morsels of squid?  Consider a visit to a special sandbar on Turks & Caicos famous Gibb’s Cay.
Gibb’s Cay is known to snorkelers throughout the Caribbean. The rays have become accustomed to and perhaps dependent upon the tourists, who bring with them morsels of fish and squid to encourage their encounters. These active, free-swimming rays love cruising along these cristal clear waters, traveling singly and in pairs. They are both graceful and powerful as they swim towards us. But mostly, they seem to love to just glide along in a seemingly endless reverie.

A private yacht club atmosphere with a punch

When compared to the 82  ships I’ve been on, the one thing to strike me most about this 43,188 tones ship was how calm life on board is, very relaxing and quite a change of pace from so many ships. Upon boarding the World, time will literally be nonexistent here. It sails in the most leisurely fashion.  I could go up to my apartment, relax, read a book and not see a soul.  The World offer passengers and prospective buyers a unique experience, far removed from the average holiday on a cruise ship.  Here, passengers can join or leave the ship when they please. They can relax in the sunshine, visit the casino, go to the cinema or play yet more golf.

The World's First Floating Condo  has a private yacht club atmosphere with a punch.  In comparison to other cruise lines, they seem to be quite focused on a slower, yet relaxed lifestyle together with the ultimate luxuries your heart could desire.  A ship of its kind, combining the privacy and indulgence of conventional top luxury resorts around the world, with the perfect experience of travelling by sea.

I think what I liked most was the fact that is low-key, deliberately so, understated quality.  Whereas more traditional cruise liners can be a social whirl of dinners and dances, cabaret and cocktails, life on The World is not ruled by any fixed itinerary or timescale. I sure didn’t miss the obligatory cocktail parties, the long lines to board launches/buses, the organized shuffleboard tournaments, the obligatory rushing from port to port before they left you behind and I was also able to say no to the regimented dining schedule. "Here you can be private or you can participate”. Up to you?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

“East” and Chef Jon Po from Singapore

Without doubt my absolute favorite is “East” I was daily pampered by Chef Jon Po from Singapore. Chef John Po serves great sushi, sashimi and tempura as well as a wide variety of Pan-Asian cuisine. I was one of those that stopped often at the ship's "Fredy’s Deli" their delicatessen or food market onboard offers few of the basics required by any new homeowner in a street café environment. On display were vintage champagne, foie gras, smoked salmon, beluga caviar and selections range from specialty coffee and tea to gourmet sandwiches and pastries, fresh pasta and bread were  must haves.  
Marina offers a more traditional experience with options ranging from seafood, steaks to rotisserie.  I enjoyed Tides because of its mesmerizing ocean views and great Mediterranean fare.  Their Poolside Grill offers casual outdoor-grill favorites plus salads and panini.  Portraits, is open only a few times per month for dinner and due being so limited,  is was not available for guests only residents.  For some reason I loved East and kept gravitating to the same restaurant, can’t say one could regret it.

Thank you Paul Berg ! (Ireland)

Thank you Paul Berg (Ireland) for my brand new, very own BelExplores COMPASS!!! I am in looooooove with it! Best Tak-Day gift ever! LOVE your Dutch Map & furniture designs!!!

Seven eateries, a deli and four bars

My first morning, breakfast was served by Mark Green my darling waiter a lovely chap from the UK.  Mark asked to try his supper concoction juice, while I honestly feared its presentation as it came in a Tequila Caballito glass first thing in the morning. Just in front of my table I looked at this beautiful older woman, she was stunning in her younger years I imagine sipping a mimosa, a diamond ring sparkling resplendently in the sunshine and as a proud resident she smiled at me. The ship's owners, uber-wealthy men and women who live in luxurious condos aboard this ship continuously circumnavigate the globe. 

Breakfast being the most important meal of the day is also an the ideal opt to watch the wealthy at play and relaxing. From the balcony they can eat breakfast with a view of Tortola today.  Virtually every one of the 165 apartments has a veranda. This has the unfortunate side-effect of making the ship look, in a certain light. You did miss watching penguins in Antarctica at lunch Mark just said to me, I wanted to scream NOOOOOOOOOO! But you can always sip drinks as the 43,000-ton vessel sits in the middle of the Caribbean as the sun sets over and at this time of the year I was more than certain to see humpback whales and dolphins on their way to the Samana Bay Peninsula of my island during breading season.

There is a total of four seven restaurants, along with those guests can also enjoy 24-hour room service. If you happen to be staying in an apartment on board the ship, you can also benefit from the call-a-chef option. This option provides you with the ability to request a chef to come to your apartment and prepare a meal on site for you as well as any guests who may be visiting you.