02 Feb 2016

Fanning Is., Kiribati


Today we visited the Republic of Kiribati. Don’t worry. I had never heard of it either. It became independent from the UK in 1979. It lies at both the Equator and the International Date Line. About 100,000 people live here.


The island we visited is quite spartan with no running water, sanitation, or electricity.




Some interesting factoids:


Due to climate change it will probably be uninhabitable in 60 years and under water shortly after that. (It is only a few feet above sea level).


The International Date Line was moved so that their little country wouldn’t have to accommodate 22 hours difference between the East and West.


They were the first country to welcome in the new millennium.


Their cruise ship economy has been booming because of the Jones Act. That forbids foreign ships from traveling between American ports without stopping at a foreign country. Therefore many trips around the Hawaiian Islands stop here because it is the closest foreign country, although it is still a couple days away.

01 Feb 2016

Honolulu, 2016 WC


We are off to a good start on this year’s cruise. After a week of cruising in the Pacific Ocean, it was nice to visit our first port, Honolulu, yesterday.



We get to travel all the way to Sydney with my sister and brother-in-law, Frankie and Dick.










We have been very busy with all kinds of activities – educational, physical, competetive, mental.




Yet there is still time for some relaxation.

26 Jan 2016

World Cruise Sail Away




Yesterday afternoon it was good-bye San Francisco. In four days it will be good morning Honolulu.


Allyn wrote a couple friends who wanted to know what we do for so long on a ship. Here is the email she sent:


So today is a "Sea Day” and world travelers LOVE sea days.


At 9Am on sea days I am signed up for Pilates, meaning I wake up at 8AM!!  Yippee!!


Today I am missing a 10:30 lecture on the Middle East, cuz I am writing you and organizing.  But no worries, the lecture can be seen on the TV this afternoon.


Next, when Apple upgraded, it changed from iPhoto to Photo, a program I do NOT like.  There is a 3 week class specifically to discuss the difference between the two programs that I will sign up for at 1:30.


Then at 2:15, there is a needlepoint class.  You might think that is weird, however..long story coming..Janet loves her Rhodesian Ridgeback, a big beautiful dog.  I love him too.  SO last year, I took a pic of the dog, edited it and sent it to a company in order to have a silk screen made of the pic.  Then I got a needlepoint company to send me the colored threads for the silk screen.  I brought the project on the ship because my goal is to complete the present in 3 months.


Next, at 3:30, I am taking a memoir class, but the real reason I am taking the class is because I am writing a book about being a woman in a man’s world.  I have the outline but I need help and I’m friends with the teacher so that will give me the added umph to get a writing schedule going!


Tonight is Formal Night, meaning everyone gets all dressed up  Dinner is at 8:30 and then there is a singing troupe that is onboard with some fabulous singers and dancers.  They are putting on a show at 10:30PM all about the Life and Times of Billy Joel so you can see, I’m pretty busy!


Gotta run!!



25 Jan 2016

Crystal Serenity 2016 World Cruise Gala



For months we had debated cancelling our cruise this year because we are building our new home, but our flooded condo forced us to look for a new home for several months. So off we went.


Crystal brought the ship to San Francisco a day early and invited the full World Cruise passengers to a private day on board and a gala party in the evening.


They did it right and it was a blast seeing old friends and making new ones.




They actually had a one-off performance by San Francisco Opera headliners for the entertainment.




Allyn sported her new Valentino’s.





They seem ready to welcome the 700 other arriving passengers tomorrow.

16 Jan 2016



Cuba is the hot location. I haven’t been there yet, but feel a travel blog is lacking something with no mention of it.

My good friend Randi Simenhoff is not only an ultimate Cuba guru, but now she regularly is escorting people and groups there with customized itineraries.

Most readers of this blog know that often I cover Jewish sights. I was so naïve about Cuba that I didn’t even know they have a Jewish community there. It turns out they have been there for centuries, but most left during the Revolution. There still are about 1,500 Jewish Cuban residents, mostly in Havana.  Randi is very close to many of them, as she started going there on missions to help those folks.

Check out this great article covering their major attractions. If you are interested in going there, give her a call.  Mention my name please. I’m not sure what it will get you, but it can’t hurt.