With 10 different cruise lines, there is plenty of news to keep track of!  Read up on the destinations, fun and news that our family of cruise lines shares on their blogs.

Latest Blogs

The Balcony Club   May 14, 2014


We have the dome closed here on the Carnival Miracle and it gives guests a chance to use the pool and stay warm as we cruise the Alaskan waters and the guests really appreciate the covered deck for sure. The only problem with this is that you can’t do too much with live music because if I put the live four-piece band, Music Unlimited, there or one of the soloists or even the DJ, the music echoes and makes even the lowest sound levels become amplified and, honestly, it sounds awful. More

Nova Scotia: Canada's Biggest Little Province May 8, 2014
On every cruise to Canada and New England, guests have the opportunity to explore various ports in Nova Scotia.
From Halifax to Sydney, this area offers a treasure-trove of history, culture and cuisine. Nature lovers will appreciate the Cabot Trail, while historians can visit the abundance of maritime museums. Foodies will appreciate the finest seafood, while shutterbugs will marvel at the scenery. 

A Seabourn Moment on the Taj Mahal Journey May 2, 2014



Seabourn Sojourn Destination Services Manager Nicola Kenny reports that during the recent Taj Mahal & Jaipur overland Journey in India, two of our guests, Mr. and Mrs. Bodenstedt booked the Presidential Suite in Delhi. They invited the whole group for a special cocktail party in their suite before dinner on the first evening of the Journey. All guests agreed that it was a special “Seabourn Moment” and a great way to begin an amazing Seabourn Journey through India. More


Wash and Dry April 29, 2014
I am staying in a guest cabin this cruise here on the Carnival Miracle, so I want to start today’s blog with an observation, if I may. In the bathroom the stateroom stewards (or “stewarts” as they are sometimes called – FFS!) place three sizes of towels for us to use. There are the big ones used after a shower and there are the medium-sized ones that we use to dry our hands and faces after a wash or a shave and can also be used to wipe away that stubborn toothpaste mark from around the sink More




Queen Victoria at Pitcairn Island March 11, 2014

By World Cruiser Richard Smith

Queen Victoria left Valparaiso, Chile on 9 February 2014 for the long voyage across the South Pacific en route to Papeete, Tahiti.

After three lovely sea days, we spent a great day circumnavigating Easter Island and two days later we arrived at Pitcairn Island. Few of us had been to Pitcairn before, but the majority of us knew something about its history and the story of the Mutiny on the Bounty. More 


Sweet Strawberries & Romantic Cocktails February 14, 2014
Valentine’s Day is all about love. From roses and chocolates to secret notes and a loving smile, it’s the perfect holiday to make a unique cocktail or serve a romantic dessert to that special someone.
As Holland America Line’s Culinary Consultant Rudi Sodmim likes to say, love and food go hand-in-hand.  More

The Return of The Blog               January 27, 2014


No, it’s not an illusion; this is indeed a new blog. Yep, here I am, back in my underpants, ready once again to give you another average blog. I had paused from writing the blogs while I was home thinking about my book about my life at sea. And then Dad passed away …………. and …………well……..you know. But the blog is as important to me as Facebook, if not more so, because it was the blog that got me on the social media thingy and thus connected with you. More

Derek Hough Joins Jan 12 Champions Cruise December 4, 2013

Derek Hough, the Emmy Award–winning dancing professional best known for his role on the hit ABC television show “Dancing with the Stars,” is scheduled to perform on the Jan. 12, 2014, “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” Champions Cruise on ms Nieuw Amsterdam. More


Seabourn Antarctic Dispatch November 22, 2013



During our first day at sea, navigating aboard the Seabourn Quest across the Argentinian continental shelf and towards the Falklands Islands (Islas Malvinas), we began to feel excited about what we would do when we reached Stanley Harbour. In the meantime many activities had been planned, starting with a sessions by a Naturalist and Photo Coach to help guests identify and photograph the birds what are already easily seen around the ship. On the Seabourn Square Terrace, Dan, one of our professional photographers and Mariano, one of the marine biologists, were waiting. More


Still Sailing After 25 Years November 1, 2013

Each winter, in the depths of February, the Annual Friends & Family Winter Caribbean Cruise is called to order. Note the capital letters. Surely we’ve earned official status, as this February, aboard Emerald Princess, we’ll celebrate the 25th gathering of our ever-expanding group.To think it all started with a randomly assigned table of eight aboard Fair Princess. As we had before, I was taking a winter getaway to the Caribbean with my parents, who were avid cruisers, and my sister, Gail, when we won the lottery on great tablemates. More



Educating Hotels               October 28, 2013


I took my daughter Kye to school for the first time last week. She is only four. The process, though, has started. It was both heartbreaking and sort of exciting to walk Kye up the path to a place where I would leave her behind from 9 am – 3 pm…..but, ultimately, forever as she starts to make her way in the world under the guidance of Miss Newman, Mr. Barton and, indeed, guidance other than that of my wife Heidi and I. But is it all worth it – all this education stuff? More

Port Highlight: Grand Turk October 16, 2013

Grand Turk is a beautiful island that is relatively new to cruise ships. The port facility was completed in 2006 and it is one of the newest and most impressive anywhere in the Caribbean.

A small island in the British West Indies, it is a part of the commonwealth that is known as the Turks and Caicos. Only 7 by 1.5 miles in dimension, it can easily be fully seen during the course of a call. Because of the remoteness, Grand Turk remains very much a natural place. More


Arty and Friends Meet in Seattle September 27, 2013



Arty, Seabourn’s Antarctica ambassador, and a group of his friends paid a special visit to the Seabourn office last week. More


The Joy of Cross-Cultural Friendship August 22, 2013

A lifetime ago, as a young Navy medic, I stood 50 feet away from General Douglas MacArthur and heard him speak.

The year was 1950, and MacArthur had been diverted from his work rebuilding Japan to Inchon, South Korea at the start of the war. I had followed MacArthur’s career very closely. I was greatly impressed by the human respect he gave our former foes, and how he had directed our engineers and technologists to help Japan return to peace-time life. More



An Interview with Mr. Arnold Donald               August 20, 2013


My wife Heidi runs a very tight domestic ship. With me traveling and being away as much as I am, she runs the household completely. Heidi pays the all the bills and makes sure my subscription to “Latvians In Stockings Weekly” is paid, takes care of all things around the house and garden and any DIY.

She also has the traditional duties of cook, cleaner and occasional nurse. Indeed, the title of housewife no longer describes what she does. Yep, Heidi is our domestic chief executive officer. More

Port Spotlight: St. Maarten August 9, 2013

 It’s one of the only places in the world that is spelled two ways and it provides visitors the opportunity to enjoy three distinct cultures. Sixty percent of the island of Saint Martin is French, 40 percent of St. Maarten is Dutch and the whole island enjoys a Caribbean flavor. When we call there on our Caribbean itineraries, guests are treated to a port that offers everything … sun, sand, surf and shopping! More


A Wow! Welcome Home from Ephesus on Seabourn Odyssey August 7, 2013



Seabourn Odyssey pulled out all the stops for a gala welcome home surprise for guests returning from the Evening at Ephesus after-dinner event at Kusadasi, Turkey on July 25. The ship laid on a colorful array of canapés and drinks, and the staff and crew turned out en masse to make it a special ending to a special evening. More


Love at First Sight? August 1, 2013

I had decided to take my all-time favorite cruise to visit the land down under to celebrate the new me. I had reached my goal of losing 150 pounds and gaining my life back. My husband-to-be was celebrating his birthday by fulfilling a life-long dream of seeing two of the most spectacular places on planet earth, Australia and New Zealand. What we found surprised us both – love!  More



A Royal Pain.....And An Updated CD Schedule July 29, 2013

 So as everyone else is still talking about Prince George……so will I. And just in case Prince William reads this blog (why wouldn’t he?), I thought that as George reaches a week old, I would give Will some advice. Yes, he will be surrounded by butlers and nannies and queens and servants but they won’t tell him the most important thing about being a father. And that is Mr. Prince……. now that your wife has had a baby, you can never ever be in pain ever, ever again. You see Willy, my daughter is now four years old and since she came in to our life, no matter what illness I have, it doesn’t matter anymore. More



Seabourn Accepts 2013 Travel + Leisure "World's Best" Award July 24, 2013



On July 18, 2013, Travel + Leisure celebrated the 2013 winners of its prestigious annual World’s Best Awards during a lavish ceremony in New York City. Seabourn President Richard Meadows attended the event to accept the award for the line’s fifth consecutive title as the “World’s Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” – an honor given to us by the magazine’s discerning readers. Pictured here with Mr. Meadows (center) are Travel + Leisure VP/Publisher Jay Meyer (left) and Travel + Leisure Editor-in-Chief Nancy Novogrod (right). Thank you to everyone who voted for us!  More


A Chance Encounter Brings Family Together July 18, 2013

Just as a scoop of gelato enhances a wafer cone, the reuniting of two sides of a family can be very sweet…especially when it’s least expected.

I thought the family of my Italian grandmother, the Marcantonios, was slowly dying out due to the lack of a male child to carry on the name. But a random question from a passenger on Caribbean Princess led to my discovering a lost branch of Marcantonio cousins who were thriving.  More



Cruise Diary: Glacier Bay         July 17, 2013




Patricia Stone, Owner and Founder of Global Adventures, sailed on a 7-day inside Passage Cruise visiting Alaska on Zuiderdam with her family. Enjoy reading about their adventure. This post was written by Jennifer M.

Just returned from an incredible 7-day Inside Passage Cruise, visiting Glacier Bay on the Holland America Zuiderdam Cruise Ship. We had a smooth check-in with Holland America greeters, and waved goodbye to those sending us off on our voyage from Canada Place in Vancouver. More


Happy Birthday, Seabourn Sojourn! July 2,  2013

Seabourn Sojourn turned three last month, and the onboard staff celebrated this wonderful day with a toast and beautiful cake in the Grand Salon. Pictured here are guests Mr. and Mrs. Applebaum, Cruise Director John Barron, Restaurant Manager Bogdan Stefanescu, Executive Martin Kitzing, Cruise Sales Specialist Beate Zaderer, and guests Mr. and Mrs. Young.  More


A Stand Up Blog                  June 26, 2013


I haven’t had much chance to write about my recent trip to Galveston to see the new and shiny Carnival Triumph. The flight from London seemed to go on forever and the 10 hours felt like so much more. And when we landed in Houston, I was tired, cramped and seriously grumpy. Anyway, I had listened to the flight attendant warn us that we must not use our cell phones until we were off the plane and off I ran with the other 300 passengers toward United States Customs and Border Protection. More

Cruising Together Again June 05, 2013

My first cruise was the beginning of a summer European adventure when I was 18.  At the time, it just seemed like a fun way to get to the continent, but little was I to know that the real life-changing part of this trip was to come 35 years later. 

It was 1969, and I was sailing aboard P&O’s Canberra, on a 26-day trip down the coast from Vancouver to Southampton traveling through the Panama Canal and across the Atlantic.  More



Loving the 'Dancing with the Stars: at Sea' Experience June 04, 2013




I loved the Dancing with the Stars: at Sea experience [on Oosterdam's May 12, 2013, cruise]. It is very professional and well done. We were treated wonderfully by the dancers as well as the cruise director and judges. It dramatically enhanced my cruising experience. I found myself looking forward to the next dance class on a daily basis. I would highly recommend this for people of all levels of dance skill and interest. More


Day 12 - Dancing with Sea Legs May 10,  2013

 If you thought dancing the tango was hard, try doing it on board a ship, in four-inch heels. When we first boarded Seabourn Odyssey, we asked Rebecca Maughan, one of the Seabourn dancers, how she maintains her poise even when the ship is rolling. She responded by performing a little dance in which she pretended to stumble down a hallway in a rolling swell, saying that her way of coping was to insert little elegant half steps in her usual walk.


 tango 041 300x199 Day 12 – May 9, Sibenik, Croatia: Dancing With Sea Legs


Minnie The Moocher     April 22, 2013



I am in a foul mood and not just because of Minnie who, as you will see later, has continued where she left off. No, my foul mood is based on the fact that I have lost my credit card. Somewhere between the hotel in Tampa where I stayed before joining Carnival Legend and the guest cabin I stayed in for the cruise before I took over as cruise director, I have lost the sodding thing. I haven’t used it at all but this morning went to reach for it to pay for my wife and daughter’s cabin when they join me in 12 days……………and it has gone. Bugger! More

"Look Me Up, if You're Ever in Town" April 19, 2013



When travelers meet, it’s easy to throw around invitations like “Look me up if you are ever in town.”

Isn’t there’s an unwritten rule behind invitations like that? They are polite to offer to a new acquaintance but no one takes them seriously. It’s akin to saying “Have a great day.” More



Commemorating 20 Years of Service! March 28, 2013


Statendam‘s Foreman Engine Robert Feber Gosal recently celebrated 20 years with HAL! A service award ceremony was held to commemorate this special occasion and present him with his award. Below is a fun Q & A with Robert. Congratulations! More


Introducing Robin West, Expedition Leader  March 1, 2013



We would like to introduce you to Robin West, the expedition leader for Seabourn’s Antarctica & Patagonia voyages.

West’s venture into exploring the Antarctic and the South Pacific began in the world of elite expedition cruising aboard a luxury private super yacht.  More


Is that Simon Cowell? February 27, 2013



I’m not a teenager, but I do have a crush. Ever since I saw Simon Cowell on “American Idol,” I’ve adored everything about him—his looks, his wit, his brains, the British accent, how he says it like it is, like I do. More



Captain's Log:   Pitcon         February 12, 2013



Yesterday, we docked in the small harbour at Picton on schedule. Our voyage from Wellington was a short one, it is only 44 miles from the pilot station off Wellington to the pilot station for Picton, consequently we steamed at a very slow speed of 8 knots to make Picton pilot for 0600. Picton lies on the tip of the South Island of New Zealand. It is nestled away inside one of the many fjords on the northern coast and we transit 20 miles down Queen Charlotte Sound to get there. More


18-20 Year Olds And A Duel Over Some Pianos February 8, 2013


John Heald


Just a quick blog today because I have loads on Facebook to catch up on and this weekend I have to drive to Liverpool to film this TV show thing for the beards at Carnival UK. Now many of you from North America drive for days to get somewhere and have no problem doing so. Britain is a small country and it takes around seven hours to drive the length of the country from Lands End in England to John O Groates in Scotland. More




It's time to book-so which voyage should I choose? January 31, 2013


By Peter Shanks


Hello All


Rounding off my holiday suggestions for the year ahead – this time I am going to try and persuade you to visit the Fjord and Waterfalls on board Queen Mary 2. Let me start by showing you just what you would experience in this stunning photo:


Of course one of the special things about being on Queen Mary 2 is that wherever you go you feel special – and to be on the ship amongst such incredible scenery is quite something. The voyage I have picked departs Southampton on 13 July for 7 nights. More 


Touched by Dominic January 30, 2013



You think you meet a lot of people–a hotel general manager aboard a Princess Cruises’ vessel meets thousands upon thousands of new people every year. Multiply that by my 17 years at sea, and you get the picture. I meet a lot of people!  


I’ve met some amazing, accomplished people, some witty folk who always made me laugh and so many others whose kindness made my job a pleasure. More



A Seabourn Journey to Angkor Wat January 22,  2013


Seabourn Pride Destinations Services Manager Riëtte Botes sent in this report from a recent two-night Seabourn Journey to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with some of the most magnificent religious architecture in the world. 


We have just completed our first Angkor Wat Overland trip this season!  More


Cruise Diary: Suva, Fiji January 17, 2013


 Guest Sharon Johnson and her husband were on Volendam for the trans-Pacific voyage to Sydney and the circumnavigation of Australia for 55 days.


On our visit to Suva, Fiji, we had a tour out of town to see “Fantastic Fijian Fire Walkers”. We drove for an hour along the Queens Highway to Pacific Harbor. Al and I had driven this same highway from Nadi to Suva about 26 years ago. We were going to a small island off the coast of Suva for a week’s vacation. The trip took six hours and we didn’t want to be late as we would have missed the boat to the island. More


"Do You Know Danny Reznich?" January 16, 2013


As a sommelier on Emerald Princess, I stop at dozens of tables on a nightly basis and talk to literally hundreds of people every day.

The majority of my passenger interactions are related to wine, but it’s not uncommon that conversation will evolve to other topics. Sometimes, travelers ask me what to do at the next port of call.  More



Lance, Peter and Charlie         January 16, 2013



Occasionally, I get to use this blog to write my own personal opinions, not just about cruising but about what’s happening in the world. Last night I had quite a heated discussion with some guests who are bloggers and have booked a back-to-back cruise here. It wasn’t about food or Faster to the Fun or the Cheers bar program or my underpants, but rather about Lance Armstrong who, as you know, will appear on Her Royal Highness Oprah Winfrey’s show. More

My Yearly Retreat to "Escape Completely" December 27, 2012


For 358 days a year, my life is devoted to reality. Since I’m the kind of person who takes my work home with me, the heart patients I care for throughout the day are really with me all the time. Sometimes they even wake me up at night, as I toss and turn, worrying if a new medication will help or a surgery will be successful. 


But for the other seven, glorious days a year, I “Escape Completely,” to quote Princess Cruises’ company slogan. More



40 Years Young:  Zuiderdam Joins Fleet         December 14, 2012



Dec. 14, 2002: HAL’s first Vista-class ship Zuiderdam, departs from Fort Lauderdale on its maiden voyage. The 1,848-guest, 81,769-ton ship is the first of five Vista-class vessels. At the heart of Zuiderdam, suspended in a three-story atrium, is a Waterford Crystal Seahorse which sets the mood for exquisite pieces of art to be seen throughout the elegant ship. More


Great Jumpin' Jerusalem! December 11,  2012

Seabourn Quest’s Guest Services Operator Nicoli Nery reports that Destination Services Manager Chad Briggs and Crew Purser Lisa Lewis organized a series of tours for crew members in several ports recently. One that made a great impression on the crew was a visit to Jerusalem. Nicoli reports that “it was a truly incredible experience for all the crewmembers that attended. More



Memorable HAL Cruise with Artist Stephen Card December 3, 2012


After several first, last and important HAL voyages, including the first leg of Rotterdam V’s last around-the-world trip and Rotterdam VI’s first eastbound trans-Atlantic crossing, the greatest was the 40th anniversary cruise commemorating the change from regularly scheduled trans-Atlantic service to cruise-only operations.  Rotterdam VI departed Rotterdam, Netherlands for New York with the great artist Captain Stephen Card on board. More


From a Shipboard Romance to an Anniversary at Sea November 27, 2012




Our three children have never tired of hearing about how I met their mother so many years ago. I would delight in telling them about how something as happenstance as a fluttering kerchief on a deck of the SS United States could bring their parents together.

When we reached the magnificent milestone of our 50th wedding anniversary, they presented us with their gift …More


Just Another Day in the Office November 12, 2012


Some people take a car to work, some the subway. Not a lot of people can say they’re taking a ship from A to B. Imagine that you would have to have a meeting every time you get in your car. Imagine you would have to take wind speed, weather and numerous other factors into consideration before you turn your keys in the ignition. Imagine you would have to pick up a pilot before parking your car… More


Steak Stories Mixed with Some Sunshine         November 9, 2012



So far, touch wood, things are going well here on Carnival Breeze. Today we are in Malaga, Spain and the weather is a bit cloudy and there have been a passing shower or two but overall the cruise is going well. However, as I have said before here on the blog, trans-Atlantic cruises tend to include a few guests who by tradition will be a bit grumpy and who will find things wrong because for them, finding things that are wrong is their favourite activity on board. It is important to note that they are the minority and 98 percent of the guests will have a brilliant time. More

Good Evening Mr Bond... November 8, 2012

By Peter Shanks


Hello all,

So many wonderful things happen on board Queen Mary 2. On her last crossing from New York to Southampton, which was lively enough escaping Hurricane Sandy – a bit more of that later – we had the pleasure of a very special gentleman travelling with us on the ship.  His name is Monty Norman.  Now of course I would imagine that none of our bloggers had heard of Monty Norman, but I would guarantee that almost every single one of our bloggers have listened to his creative genius many, many times.  More 


Falling Back in Love October 16, 2012




Can a cruise save a marriage? When I boarded Crown Princess, I didn’t see how it could possibly unravel the ball of knots our marriage had become. But my husband, Chip, wanted to take one more shot at reviving our marriage. He booked a New England/Canada cruise in October 2007 to see if sailing away from our day-to-day problems could bring us back together. More


Bruce, Stella and Ryan October 10, 2012

John Heald


I don’t get up to the Sports Deck here on Carnival Breeze much, mostly because I simply don’t have time and because it has the word “sports” in the title. However, I did get up there yesterday to check out the new foosball and pool tables we have had installed and to look at some work that the Fincantieri workers were doing while we were in Venice yesterday. More



Cruise Diary : Cellar Master's Dinner October 3, 2012



Yvon and Cees Kloppenburg are currently on a back-to-back western Mediterranean cruise on board Ryndam. They will be chronicling their cruising experience for us on the blog.


If you think you’ve experienced it all when it comes to food served on Holland America ships, book the Cellar Master’s Dinner.  The cellar master serves extraordinary dishes and gives explanations on the dishes and wines served throughout the seven-course dinner. More


Fjords and Waterfalls - Christian Reay October 1, 2012




My passion for cruises became a reality when myself and my mum travelled on the much loved Queen Elizabeth 2 on her Westbound transatlantic crossing to New York in January 2007 – the voyage being a gift for my 18th birthday that year. Then in 2009, I travelled for the first time on board Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 on her Iberian Odyssey voyage during her 5th Anniversary Year. More


Seabourn Named "Best Luxury Cruise Line"  September 19, 2012



Seabourn has been named the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by the readers of Cruise International, a consumer cruise publication centered in the United Kingdom. We’re very honored to receive this distinction! Many thanks to all our guests who voted for us, and a big thank you and congratulations to our entire staff who gave our guests the “Seabourn Moments” they voted for!  More


Fighting Talk September 19, 2012

John Heald


Now and then I get some posts that are very personal and attack me with such venom that it leaves me quite shaken up. There was one particular post I won’t grace with publishing but let me say it was so personal and full of such hate that it pushed my thick-skinned soul to the limit.  More



Postcards From Sea: Seabourn Pride in Faaborg, Denmark September 12, 2012



On August 26, 2012, on the second to last day of the cruise, Seabourn Pride made its maiden call to Faaborg, Denmark. The good people of Faaborg gave the ship a very warm welcome, greeting them with a gun salute, followed by a parade with famous characters such as Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. More


Home Sweet Home at Sea September 11, 2012


When you travel for work 80 percent of the year, where exactly is home? My wife, Alanna, and I are on the move so much of the time that it makes no sense to buy a house or rent a condo. Who would cut the grass and feed the proverbial cat?

As work puts us on the horizonless road for months at time, we have decided to set up house at sea. Princess Cruises is our domicile of choice, our home sweet home. More



This Blog Is Going Down Under         September 7, 2012



So here I am back in the cruise director chair again which up until this morning was brilliantly occupied by Butch Begovitch who will return to be the permanent CD here after the crossing. He has left the ship in good order and really has left me with no major headaches…… except one.   You see we have a new staff member who is going to require some “counseling,” as tofu eaters would call it.  More

Seabourn Celebrates Hublot Partnership September 6,  2012

Seabourn celebrated the announcement of the luxury Swiss watchmaker Hublot as its official timekeeper with a special visit aboard Seabourn Quest on Sunday, September 2, 2012. Seabourn Quest Captain Geir-Arne Thue Nilsen welcomed Carnival Corporation and plc Chairman and CEO Micky Arison and Hublot’s Chairman of the Board Jean-Claude Biver aboard the line’s newest ship during a port call at Cannes, France. More


Volendam Celebrates 500th Voyage         August 31, 2012



This cruise (8-22-2012) marks a special occasion for ms Volendam as she celebrates her 500th Voyage. To mark this special occasion all crew members on board received a commemorative T-shirt, organized a crew party and had a photo taken on the bow of the ship.  More


2014 World Voyages Announced August 23, 2012


We are offering three World Voyages in the early months of 2014, calling at a total of 78 destinations on six continents, with durations of 8– 119-nights. 

The programme goes on sale 5 September 2012.  More


Seabourn Pride Donates Fire Extinguishers August 21,  2012



This summer Seabourn Pride has been making calls to Ronne on the lovely little Danish island of Bornholm. Bornholm is famous throughout Scandinavia for its succulent smoked herring. So a place with a lot of smokehouses seemed like a place that might have an occasional need of fire extinguishers. More


Returning a Waterman to His Surf August 21, 2012




My husband, Brian, was one of the lucky few who found out what he loved to do at a young age. Part prodigy, part rebel, Brian graduated from high school at 16 then headed straight from his family home in Los Angeles to the shores of Hawaii, where he became an early player in the surfing movement that would shape popular culture for decades to come. More


Our Wonderful British Olympics August 8, 2012



By Peter Shanks



Wow it’s great to be in London at the moment and my wife and I were fortunate enough to be in the Olympic Stadium on Sunday evening to see the Athletics.  I just wanted to share with you some of the excitement we encountered and what a fabulous job the whole British Olympics are doing.  In the lead up to the Olympics we had the normal scepticism from the press as to whether it would work or not.  More


Bears, Where Are You?         August 8, 2012


 By Henry Bin Uyu Hidayat, Statendam's Human Resouces Clerk


I did this drive with Yono the controller, but the stories are from a different view.

“Bears, where are you?” three of us screamed wildly, after a very long time searching. We found nothing but then …

The road trip by rental car drove slowly, from the pier to the state national park, we keep on eye on each side to hopefully find a bear.

Scrambling to find the bear in a beautiful oceanside setting along the way couldn’t stop us from taking hundreds of pictures.  More


26.2 Miles Upon the Waves August 7, 2012


I may not be able to walk on water, but I do hold the distinction of being the world’s first person to run a marathon at sea.


Last September, I ran 80 times around the Promenade Deck of Grand Princess, just over the required 26.2 miles, as the ship itself sailed around the coast of Portugal.  It was my 33rd marathon, and like most of my races, I ran it for charity. More



Three, Two and a Very Special One... August 1, 2012


By Peter Shanks


Hello All

I am often so enthused by our ships and the magic that happens when they come together. Looking back over the last couple of weeks, I have witnessed three very special events – each different in nature but all three very special in their own. More


Queens and Cruise Directors July 31, 2012

John Heald


There has been lots of debate on my Facebook page and, indeed, here on the Carnival Breeze amongst the guests about the opening ceremony of London’s Olympic Games. For the most part I thought it was a piece of typical Britishness. Eccentric and slightly bonkers. A few bits were far to PC for me though and none more so than when the helicopter (we will speak more of that in a moment) flew over the statue of Winston Churchill. More


Sisters Unite in St. Petersburg July 31, 2012



Seabourn Pride and Seabourn Sojourn shared some quality time together in St. Petersburg, Russia recently. The two ships were both advantageously docked at the English Embankment, bringing their guests in close proximity to the city’s main attractions. More


Cooking WIth Chef Sonia Hunt July 26, 2012



Guest Chef Sonia Hunt is currently sailing aboard Oosterdam. She is the creator and host of “Stirring It Up!” — a lifestyle entertainment show. She has been a healthy living expert on the “Art of Living” celebrity radio show and continues to host and perform cooking demos in celebrity food and wine events around the country. More



A Big 3-0 & 6-0 Birthday Bash July 24, 2012


On my birthday 30 years ago, birthdays changed forever. I lay in the hospital cradling a true gift, my daughter Jana, who had arrived unexpectedly while I was supposed to be attending my surprise birthday dinner.

Jana came quickly without contractions. Just a strange feeling to stop by the emergency room and check on my pregnancy. Six minutes later my husband at the time was calling the restaurant to tell our guests to stop hiding behind the furniture and celebrate without us. More



Qu'est-ce, Was, Wat, Que,.... July 23, 2012

John Heald

 I would like to blame the guest who demanded that we pay for his cold medicine last cruise for the fact that I now have a stinker of a cold myself but, unfortunately, I had it before I had a close encounter with this Petri dish of a chap. In between his shouting session about how Carnival would “live to regret not giving him free medical care for the cold we gave him,” he sneezed and gave leviathan coughs and both the guest services manager and I both wished we were wearing Hazmat suits. More


Seabourn Collects Travel + Leisure's Award July 23,  2012



Last Thursday night, Seabourn collected a fourth consecutive title as the World’s Best Small-Ship Cruise Line from the readers of Travel + Leisure at a party in New York City celebrating the 2012 edition of the magazine’s prestigious annual poll. More


From Cruise Curmudgeon to Obsessed Cruiser July 10, 2012


“Why don’t we go on a cruise?” Thanh asked, as she had many times before.

“Because we are not Bill and Melinda Gates,” I replied.

I am man of modest means. And men of modest means—men who have memorized the Dollar Menu at McDonald’s (or the “tasting menu,” as I call it)—do not go on cruises.  I’d seen enough old movies to know that cruising was a pursuit reserved for the select few—aristocrats and oil barons, not special education teachers. More



Seabourn Still the Favorite of Travel + Leisure Readers July 6,  2012



Travel + Leisure magazine has announced the results of its 17th Annual World’s Best survey, and you have again rated Seabourn higher than all other lines, regardless of size, earning us a fourth consecutive title as the World’s Best Small-Ship Cruise Line and securing us a place on the magazine’s newly created Hall of Fame, comprised of companies that have made the list for a decade or more. More


Oysters, Turndown and Heidi's Right to Reply July 5, 2012

John Heald

Good morning from a typical rainy summer day in Essex, England. Yes, it’s me, Heidi, here and Kye, too, of course. It is not often that I get to write to you these days so thank you for all your kind words and thoughts for Kye and me. We had a great time on the ship and Kye was of course spoiled by everyone. She is a Daddy’s girl for sure and we have had some tears recently as she “wants Dadda and Mama to be with Kye.”  More


Bert's Beauty Shots: Bears in Alaska June 26, 2012



This season we have seen more bears in Alaska than in previous years. The local people have been experiencing the same and according to them it is because of the fact that spring is so late this year. The bears are hungry and are looking for food. More


New Hot Chocolate Introduced on Seabourn Sojourn June 19, 2012



The Hot Chocolate on a Stick that we showed you last month is making its way aboard the Seabourn fleet. Culinary and Beverage Operations Manager Bjoern Wassmuth introduced it on Seabourn Sojourn in May, holding a formal tasting event in Seabourn Square for sweet-toothed staff members. More


Celebrating Family Milestones on a Multi-Gen Cruise June 19, 2012


My family and I don’t vacation often—it’s not that we don’t want to go to exotic countries and stay in fancy hotels, we absolutely do—but life has a funny way of flying by, especially with kids, and then we realized we hadn’t treated ourselves to a true getaway. 

In 2010, as three generations of our family assembled at my parents’ annual Christmas Eve dinner, we noted we had three major family milestones coming up: My parents’ 50th, anniversary; our 25th and my oldest son, J.R.’s college graduation. More



140 Years Young: Kids & Teen Join in Culinary Arts June 13, 2012


HAL launches a kids and teen Culinary Arts Center activity program to bring the joys of cooking to the younger set. Kids are taught basic cooking techniques, kitchen safety, new ingredients and how to follow recipe instructions. Aside from the fun involved, cooking encourages kids to think about numbers and measuring, cleanliness, safety and time management. More


All Washed Up June 11, 2012

John Heald

Yesterday, on Facebook, I spoke about how the chief engineers on our ships are unsung and rarely acknowledged. This comment made me think about what other positions on the ships never get mentioned. In the past I have spoken about the medical team, the waiters, the stateroom stewards — or “cabin boys” as they will be called later in the blog. More


Black Sea Navy Ensemble Premieres on Seabourn Quest June 11, 2012



Performances by local artists are an integral part of the entertainment program on Seabourn, with hundreds of local shows presented yearly across the fleet in destinations from Bali to Barcelona to Brisbane. On a sunny afternoon in the Black Sea resort of Yalta, guests on board Seabourn Quest enjoyed a stellar performance by the Black Sea Navy Ensemble. More


Jubilee Celebrations On Board Queen Mary 2 June 8, 2012



It’s been a busy week here with the jubilee celebrations and our Three Queens event in Southampton. Despite the British weather, it was a truly magnificent day and hundreds of people were out on the Solent early on Tuesday to welcome Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth home for the first time together!  More



A Harmonious Family Life June 5, 2012


It’s customary in the military to throw a big party when you retire. Commanding officers, shipmates, family and civilian friends come together to toast the new retiree on his years of honorable service.

When my husband, Sean, retired as a lieutenant after serving for 20 years in the U.S. Navy, we talked about throwing one of those big retirement bashes. More



Three Queens Jubilee Celebrations in Southampton May 31, 2012



The countdown is on and it’s just 5 days until our Three Queens meet in Southampton for the first time ever, in celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Whether you are sailing into Southampton on 5 June, departing in the evening, visiting Southampton for the day or following us online, we’ve got all of the information you will need to make the most of the special day! More



Noordam Crew Gets Out 'On Deck for the Cure' May 31 2012


As anyone who has ever sailed on a Holland America Line ship knows, every cruise features ‘On Deck for the Cure.’ On Deck is a walk around the promenade deck to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation. After six days at sea, we thought the Noordam crew could use a little fresh air and what better way to get that then by walking with a purpose. More


A Cruise in Honor of My Dad May 22, 2012


I am writing this blog in the middle of the night…since my mother got sick, I don’t always sleep so well. Her illness brings to mind my father and the life we shared as a family. So many things cross my mind: A memory that always makes me smile is when I think about the time I took my children to a bon-voyage party off the pier of Manhattan. More



140 Years Young: HAL Launches Culinary Program May 21, 2012


Holland America Line partners with Food & Wine magazine to launch an ambitious on-board culinary program. The multi-year partnership provides HAL guests with an opportunity to experience demonstrations and seminars conducted by top chefs, wine experts and leading cookbook authors provided by Food & Wine. More


Captain Hamish Elliott Goes Home! May 21, 2012



Captain Hamish Elliott went home this morning … and he brought 450 guests with him! Seabourn Sojourn made her maiden call to Tyne port, near Newcastle in northeastern England. Tyne port is also near Sunderland where the captain calls home when he is not at sea. The ship held a plaque exchange ceremony with port officials to commemorate the ship’s visit to the port. More


Queen Victoria's 14 Night Shopping List May 18, 2012


Whilst eating Eggs Benedict at breakfast or enjoying a cup of English Breakfast during Afternoon Tea, have you ever pondered over the ingredients? How did they get on the ship? Is there enough food for all of the guests and crew? More


40 Years Young: Honored for Green Initiatives May 14, 2012


In recognition of its measurable efforts to reduce its environmental footprint both at sea and in port, HAL is selected as the 2010 Marine Environmental Business of the Year by the Port of Seattle and the Seattle Propeller Club. More


Thank You Mr. President... May 8, 2012

By Peter Shanks


On Friday 27 April I awoke with an extra spring in my step. It was a normal English Friday in many senses. It was raining – despite the fact that we are officially in a ‘drought’. It was an early start as I jumped into the car at 0545 – and I managed to escape the house without waking our Labrador up which was a promising start to the day. The early morning radio news was still banging on about how tough the economy is. More


Joanne Postcards from St. Johns May 4, 2012


We took the St. John's on Your own shore excursion to get the ferry from the ship straight to St. John’s. We decided to take the mature trail to get to Caneel Bay beach so we got our exercise. It was a lovely day to snorkel and relax without the crowds of St. Thomas. More


Ashes In The Barbecue May 4, 2012

John Heald

There are many ways in which you can tell you are getting old. The forest of hair in your nose and ears for example or those weird noises I make now as I get out of a chair or off a sofa ………. aggghoooo. However, these past few days I have experienced two situations that make me think that 47 is the new 73. Firstly, while at home last week a friend called me at 9:30pm and asked: “I didn’t wake you, did I?”  More


A Slice of Heaven May 4, 2012



One busy evening in Seattle, our manager of Culinary Operations, Bjoern Wassmuth, was stuck in a major traffic jam on his way home. He and his carpooling colleagues were not moving at all, so instead of sitting idly in the car, they went to a local pizza restaurant to wait for the traffic to ease. It was a charming mom-and-pop restaurant and according to Bjoern, it served some of the best pizza he’s ever had! More


Crossing Wishes Off Bob's Bucket List May 1, 2012


How do you react to catastrophic news? We were reeling when my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Our thoughts galloped…in his 60s, Bob was too young for this! Then, after the operation, the doctor delivered the knockout blow:  A few cancer cells had settled in the lymph nodes leaving Bob with only one to five years left to live. More



Maritime Mastermind on board Queen Elizabeth April 24, 2012

By Keith Maynard: Entertainment Director - Queen Elizabeth


It was day four of our passage though the internationally recommended transit corridor into the Red Sea and whilst the crew and guests of Queen Elizabeth began to prepare for an exciting day visiting the Valley of the Kings and Luxor  all minds in the Royal Court Theatre were focussed on one result – who would win the Maritime Mastermind Final.  More


Postcards from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico April 19, 2012


It is again one of those nice sunny days in Puerto Vallarta. However the winter highseason has come to an end. Most “snowbirds” are returning home or are home again. It was busy today with much security since the World Forum 2012 started with visits by some head of states. Today also was the last call this season of Statendam in port. Nice to see they lowered the tenders and were sailing briefly with them in the port. Looking forward to next winter and seeing Statendam again. More


Concert Under the Stars April 18, 2012


Seabourn Legend guests enjoy a private, classical concert at the beautiful Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey. Gorgeous, isn’t it? Destinations Services Manager Francisco Parró sent us this stunning photo and described the evening as “amazing, truly unique, and simply extraordinary!”  More


What's For Brunch? April 13, 2012

John Heald

I remember when the mail used to be fun. Not email, not the offer of a larger thingy which, by the way, I decided to apply for and for my $45 I received a magnifying glass…..no, I mean real mail, the stuff the mailman brings. You know, back before e-mail, when I would receive a birthday card and check. Or even better, a birthday card with a check. There was nothing better than opening that white square envelope knowing that inside there would be money. More


Guided by a greater hand... April 5, 2012

By Peter Shanks


Hello All

As we approach 15 April, we will all read and hear much about the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  It was a sad and terrible tragedy and I hope that in all the excitement to remember the story people apply a sense of dignity and respect for those who lost their lives.  More


From Icy Cold to Balmy Caribbean April 3, 2012


It began, innocently enough, as a light snow, transforming the landscape around our rural Kentucky home into a transcendent holiday card. Then came eight days of intermittent freezing rain, more snow and finally, a brutal pummeling of skin-searing, sub-zero, 20-mile-per-hour wind gusts hurling around more snow and freezing rain. More


More Seabourn Moments on Seabourn Quest March 28, 2012


 Our staff strives to deliver as many special “Seabourn moments” as possible to guests on board. They take pride in delighting our guests and putting a smile on their faces. Recently on board Seabourn Quest, the team organized two special events for our World Cruise guests to create even more exceptional memories for them.  More


Discovering My Family Tree at Sea March 27, 2012


Have you ever said to yourself that you wished you had asked your parents or grandparents more about what it was like for them growing up? Several years ago, my husband and I asked my parents to go on a trip with us. We thought that going on a cruise would be a perfect opportunity to get away for a few days, spend some quality time together and learn about our family ancestry. More


Seabourn is Granted Six Star Diamond Status March 22, 2012


The intimate, all-suite ships of Seabourn deliver accommodations, service, cuisine and attention to detail that place it among the elite in the global hospitality industry, according to the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. For 2012, the prestigious organization has invited the small-ship cruise specialist into the rarified ranks of its Six Star Diamond honorees, comprising a roster of the world’s finest hotels, resorts, spas, luxury transportation providers and others who cater to the most discerning clientele around the world.  More


Eurodam Attends 50th Anniversary of Space Flight March 22, 2012


On Monday, March 19, Captain Darin Bowland, Chief Engineer Frank de Vries and myself attended the 50th anniversary of the splashdown by John Glenn in the waters off Grand Turk at the Grand Turk Cruise Center. The cruise center pays tribute to The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) space program Project Mercury and the historic 1962 splashdown of the Friendship 7 capsule off the island’s coast. More


My Mother's Gift of Healing March 20, 2012


Shortly before my mother died, she asked me if I could take a cruise anywhere in the world, where would I go. I could not answer her immediately. Her question had uncorked a train of thought, an internal debate that I had avoided confronting for years.

I am a veteran of the Vietnam War. Over our 17 years of marriage, my wife Christle had asked me about my time there, often suggesting we visit Vietnam together. How could we? Vietnam was a place I left in 1966 praying I would never have to go back. But Christle sensed the deeper truth…I was curious about the place; I wanted and needed to see for myself what life was like today for the people of a country that I left so torn apart by war. More


Postcards from Sea:  Vietnam March 20, 2012


Seabourn Pride is currently sailing in Southeast Asia, where the landscapes are stunning and the cultures are rich and colorful.  Here is a report from Cruise Sales Specialist Beate Zaderer from Vietnam:

In Ho Chi Minh City, guests experienced a “Cultural Evening in Saigon” at the beautiful and legendary Majestic Hotel, where they enjoyed pre-dinner drinks on the rooftop terrace while watching a Vietnamese cultural show. The performance reflected traditional music and dances from the Northern and Southern parts of Vietnam.  More


Cruise Diary: A Taste of Italy On Board the Amsterdam March 13, 2012


We have not reached the Italian ports on our World Cruise itinerary, yet, but Italy has been with us during the entire voyage.  All we need to do is head for Canaletto, a no-fee alternative restaurant for casual dinners that serves Italian fare.  Humberto and I have patronized it three times already, as they have all our favorites on the menu.  Waiters bring a basket of fresh breads including garlic bread, bread sticks and tomato bread and a large tray of antipasti including mozzarella balls, olives, asparagus and more.  Bottles of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar are already waiting on the tables. More


Bridging the Generation Gap March 6, 2012


For anyone who has ever known a teenage girl, getting one to do something she doesn’t want to do is nearly impossible. And should you succeed, a hefty price will be paid in long sulks and lengthy complaints. This was the scenario last year as I told Miranda we’d be taking a Thanksgiving cruise to Mexico with my parents.

“They are old and uncool, and I’ll die of boredom,” Miranda said. But it was very important to me that Miranda know her grandparents. Unlike her older brother, who grew up near them, we moved when Miranda was two. She rarely saw my parents. A cruise on Sapphire Princess seemed just the thing to make a genuine connection and bridge a 50-year generation gap. More


We Lost 12 Goals to Nil - How Did That Happen... March 5, 2012

By Peter Shanks

Hello All

Saturday afternoon, a London Veterans Field Hockey match against Maidenhead, in the pouring rain – and we lost 12-0. And given that I am the goalkeeper, you can imagine that this was not my finest hour. How on earth did that happen – well let’s rewind a week to last Saturday morning.  I checked in at Heathrow for the rather long journey to Australia. I go ‘down under’ each year at this time – an opportunity to see our ships on their World Voyages and to promote Cunard in the growing Australian market. I always find the outward journey not too much of a problem as I have a lot to look forward to. I travelled on a Qantas A380 – very good service, comfortable seat and happily none of the cracks in the wings that I was reading about in the press prior to boarding.  More


Seabourn President Hosts World Cruise Event March 2, 2012


While Seabourn Quest was alongside at Cape Town, South Africa during its maiden World Cruise, Seabourn President Richard Meadows joined the full world cruise guests for an exclusive afternoon event at the Cape Coast winery owned by champion golfer Ernie Els. Departing the ship in the afternoon, the guests were driven from busy Cape Town through the suburban townships and into the bucolic countryside. More


Amsterdam's Grand Mardi Gras Afloat February 23, 2012


Here are photos from Amsterdam’s grand “Mardi Gras Afloat!” The Lido’s magradome pool became a paddle boat restaurant area with Mardi Gras decorations and Jazz music just like on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. We set up Bourbon street light’s and market stalls and colorful tables with gold, green and purple all over the place. The ceiling panel was decorated with balcony banners and the ship’s officers, crew and guests wore festive outfits and masks like the clowns, jesters and musical entertainment during the parade. More


Surprising my Dad with His Dream Trip February 21, 2012


My dad is a retired plumber, and one of his favorite things to do is to hang out at the local coffee shop, talking with his buddies. They discuss just about everything including greatest trips, past and present. Dad has many vacations to share because when I was growing up, my family took car trips to see much of the United States and he and mom also traveled to Europe. But I knew he still had one special place on his travel bucket list. He wanted to go to Alaska and the nation’s “last frontier” brought out the wanderlust in him. More


Seabourn Quest World Cruise Gala January 31, 2012

Excellent company, delicious cuisine, and a special performance by award-winning music composer Marvin Hamlisch — these are just a few special moments that world cruise guests experienced during the Gala Bon Voyage Dinner in Ft. Lauderdale before they embarked on their 109-day journey aboard Seabourn Quest the next day. On Jan. 4, 2012, Seabourn President Richard Meadows, along with other company executives and shipboard staff, welcomed guests to The Ritz-Carlton, Ft. Lauderdale for a spectacular event before bidding them bon voyage!


One of the evening’s highlights included a piano performance by Mr. Hamlisch, who delighted the crowd with a special song he had written specifically just for the World Cruise. Below are a few pictures from the gala; you can view more photos on our Facebook page.  More

The Ultimate Cruise – Around The World In 112-days January 13, 2012

Travel writer Georgina Cruz and her husband Humberto are currently sailing on Amsterdam’s 112-day Grand World Voyage and will be sending in cruise diaries throughout their time on board. Here is the first entry. Enjoy!

Imagine for a moment that you have the opportunity to experience the world – all seven continents – in one neat package. It is the ultimate voyage, a true circumnavigation of the planet, in our case, onboard Holland America’s flagship, the ms Amsterdam, 112-days circling the globe to and from Fort Lauderdale. My husband, Humberto, and I had dreamed, planned and saved for a World Cruise for years, but had been unable to do so until he retired last year... More

What's your reason to cruise? January 4, 2012

Perhaps to celebrate a milestone occasion, to re-connect with friends and family, or to mark a special accomplishment?  Princess Cruises recently launched a new blog called "Inspired to Cruise", where each week throughout 2012 Princess will post inspiring stories from passengers sharing the reasons why they've cruised.  Hope their reasons will inspire your own!

A Year to Look Forward to… December 30, 2011

By Peter Shanks

Hello all

I hope you enjoyed your Christmas – now it’s time to look forward to 2012. We have an exciting year ahead at Cunard Line and I thought I would share with you some of the highlights coming up next year. Of course we all hope that you will be sailing with us in 2012 and if you have not yet made up your mind – then perhaps this will trigger some ideas for you. More

Seabourn Quest’s Maiden Caviar in the Surf Barbecue December 13, 2011

Seabourn Quest arrived at Mayreau in the Grenadines November 29 during her Maiden Caribbean voyage and mounted her first Caviar in the Surf beach barbecue. Everything went “swimmingly” and the guests had a great day enjoying fresh local lobsters bought on site and grilled for them by executive chef Andreas Schiffer. More

A window on to the world December 9, 2011

by Tim Corthorn

A day at sea or a day in port...? I can never choose which I prefer because whenever you look out of the window there is always something different to see. I start my day the same way a lot of people on board do - by looking out of the window to see exactly where we are. As a ship’s navigation officer it is always good to know where you are! As you look out at the world around the ship you might spot familiar sights, and although you have seen them before they are always as amazing as the first time. The sight of the Rock of Gibraltar appearing over the horizon and getting bigger and bigger as the ship gets closer and closer is one such example. I have seen it so many times but this sight is by far one of my favourites. More