Welcome to the CruiseCompete blog!

Daydreaming about glistening diamond beaches on deserted islands? Exploring ancient cities frozen in time? A little self-indulgent pampering on a cruise ship or resort spa? Your family watching a movie on a big screen under the stars at sea?

Are these experiences on your wish list, or is it time to make them a reality?

Relaxing on BalconyLive vicariously through my travel stories on the best cruise ships, finest resorts, spas and family vacations the planet has to offer.

Having traveled extensively around the world during the past 25 years, I would like to share my secrets and insights with other discerning travelers who want to be both pampered and intrigued while traveling.

My experience includes 50 cruise ship adventures, from Glacier Bay in Alaska on a lovely Princess Cruises ship to Antarctica on the Marco Polo; from the rainforests of Central America to the remote Galapagos Islands on the Celebrity Xpedition; from St. Petersburg, Russia via the small ship Regent Seven Seas Navigator to the mystical lands of the Orient; an Atlantic Crossing on the QM2 and a photo safari in Kenya.

I am NOT easy to please. I prefer ultra luxury travel, yet am very comfortable in family friendly environments with my college age children.

So, lean in and let me share my secrets with you!

A little about my travels.—My career began with the Princess Cruises P&O Line, which led me to Norwegian American Line, representing the old-world elegance of the Sajafjord & Vistafjord, two world class ships. Then I experienced the trials and tribulations of American Hawaii Cruises, with the Independence and Constitution. I led the meetings & incentives team at American Express, before entering the Web world.

I have been so blessed to have experienced more than 50 cruise ships, plus enjoyed vacations at many Ritz Carlton Hotels, including Half Moon Bay, San Francisco, Laguna Niguel, Marina Del Rey and the stunning Ritz Carlton at Bachelor Gulch in Avon, Colorado. The Florida hotels are some of our family favorites, including the fabulous setting at Coconut Grove in Miami; St. Thomas — British VI and its laid back atmosphere and lovely beach; the fantastic spa at Key Biscayne; Naples and the Naples Golf Resort; Orlando; Palm Beach and its unbelievable stone crabs at the bar outside; Sarasota and its beautiful hotel suites; and South Beach’s art deco and extremely beautiful Christmas displays. We also love the Banyan Tree with dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean; the island of Moloka’i and the Pailolo Channel in Kapalua, Maui; Boston and its awesome city hotels; and New York’s Battery Park and Central Park to name a few.

Had the luxury of living at Turnberry Isle Yacht & Racquet Club (now a Fairmont Property)

Love, the Four Seasons Las Vegas & Toronto

As far as all-inclusives go, we love the Sandals / Beaches Turks and Caicos (one of the favorite of my family).

We’ve been guests at Club Med Resorts in so many parts of the world. One of our favorites is in Jupiter, Florida. A favorite memory from there is awakening one morning, donning snorkeling gear, and being taken via pontoon boat with Mombasa in hand to a deserted island with all of the pleasures of life on vacation — food, drinks, comfy hammocks and a barbecue from the sea — and, of course, water skiing.

Intercontinental Hotels we love and visit frequently are /Houston /Miami /New York /Toronto /Yorkville.

Boutique hotels:—My favorites includethe Sans Souci in Jamaica, now a couples resort; the Wentworth by the Sea in Portsmouth, N.H; the Royal Park and Townsend in Michigan; the Sanctuary in Phoenix, featuring the best bathtub in the world — deep-soaking and outside; the Hotel Teatro in Denver, where the maids draw incredible aromatherapy baths for you in the privacy of your room; many W hotels; The St. Regis Hotel in Laguna Nigel; the Ocean Club and Atlantis in the Bahamas.

Hotel D’Angleterre Copenhagen — a beautiful experienceÔǪ..This lovely hotel dates back to the 18th century, the Hotel d’Angleterre is housed in a five-storey traditional Danish building, situated on a pedestrianised shopping street in the centre of Copenhagen. The 123 guestrooms feature light pastel decor and traditional furnishings, and are equipped with satellite television , wireless and high- speed Internet connections, Bathrooms come with robes and slippers.

The spa is wonderful, has an indoor pool, sauna and solarium. The Restaurant d’Angleterre is set in a high- ceilinged dining room with designer lighting, and serves Norwegian and international dishes. The hotel also has its own hair salon comparable to any NYC salon. We really preferred dining outside and have never had such incredible corned beef hash with scrambled eggs. We loved this hotel.

My ship voyages — well over 50 of them — have included crossing the English channel; traversing the eastern, western and southern Caribbean; crossing through the Panama Canal five times, once with the famous author and presidential advisor David McCullough who wrote ÔÇ£The Path Between the SeasÔÇØ about the Panama Canal treaties driven by Jimmy Carter; Mexican Rivera; Alaska; Pacific coasts; Hawaii at least 7 times, plus Atlantic crossings, the Baltic region, and the xxx sea ending up in gorgeous Mombasa, in a city of southeast Kenya on Mombasa Island in the Indian Ocean, north of Zanzibar. My cruises have included the following lines:

  • Princess – several inaugural voyages 5
  • Panama Canal 5
  • Caribbean 15
  • Mexico 5
  • P&O Canberra 1
  • Sitmar Cruise Line 2
  • Carnival 1
  • Holland America 3
  • Saga fjord, Vista Fjord, NE, Europe, Mexico, Caribbean, 5
  • Dolphin 2
  • Royal Caribbean 5
  • Cunard QM2 1
  • Regent Baltic
  • Regent Caribbean 2
  • American Hawaii 7
  • NCL Hawaii and Caribbean 2

I hope you enjoy reading about my travel experiences and selected writings. I’ll leave you with a quote from the venerable Mark Twain:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Wishing you wonderful adventures,

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