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Live: Amazon River, Caribbean, Many Pix’s, Terry/Ohio

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Keith,

 

We were fortunate enough to winter in Paynes Bay for a month or so each year for several years .... but not recently. I know the area well - but Barbados has all built up hence our reasons for not really going back for a while.

 

I mentioned some of that before if you are interested. To me it is the whole package, nut just a hotel and it just struck me that either that hotel or Tamarind Bay and those lovely evening sundown walks from a really quiet hotel to a lovely bar with music etc would be a life complete. Sunsets on Paynes Bay are wonderful.

 

I'm sure you will enjoy whichever you choose.

 

Jeff

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/showpost.php?p=43547352&postcount=1840

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=45401257&postcount=12

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Jeff, thanks for the additional comments and for the links to the other two threads.

 

Very much appreciated.

 

Keith

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From the Daily Mail newspaper website in London/UK today, they have this headline: "The ultimate Robinson Crusoe retreat: Castaway at a Caribbean island hideaway built under a volcanic arch". This media story is about an interesting aspect of what they describe as "stunning Bequia". This island area was a super surprise for us and we enjoyed so much what we saw and did there. It's a really special location that is not over-run with too much commercialism, big crowds, etc.

 

This Daily Mail story focused on what is called "Manhole" that consists of five villas offering spectacular sea views. This unique cluster of stone houses were built by an adventurous couple in the 1960's Five of the original 17 houses are available to stay in and come complete with 12 staff members. Great photos are shared with this newspaper story posting. This story notes: "It could easily pass for a Bond villain lair or a secluded retreat for those who like to castaway and immerse themselves in nature." They note this mini-resort location, which we saw when on a sailing trip around the island, is nestled under a rocky arch surrounded by the turquoise Caribbean waters.

 

For many more pictures and background details about Bequia, check out this posting on the CC Board Caribbean thread. See added info/visuals at:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2263989

 

Full Daily Mail story on this new mini-resort is at:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3307303/The-ultimate-Robinson-Crusoe-retreat-Castaway-Caribbean-island-hideaway-built-volcanic-arch.html

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 188,763 views.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

 

From our sailing adventure around Bequia, here is my photo of this now-opened, small and exclusive resort that has been crafted around this unique stone arch.:

 

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We did some snorkeling while doing this Bequia sailing adventure. Below are a few of my visuals relating to that part of our excursion that had not been posted previously on this live/blog. Plus some other sights seen from our sail boat, including another view of Port Elizabeth where we did our tendering. Their docking facilities are limited here and most cruise ships will need to tender at this island.:

 

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Thank you so much for the recommendations.

 

If you can remember, I would love to hear what your experience is at each of these places.

 

Thank you again.

 

Keith

 

Greetings, Keith reporting back on our Barbados accommodations: Lone Star is very tiny so no services. We fell in love with The Sandpiper. It oozes laid-back charm, sophistication, comfort. Set in glorious gardens, two pools and excellent beach affording great swimming and splashing. We're returning for ten days in April. Breakfast included, lovely buffet and/or a la carte, splendid afternoon tea. Unusually affordable considering such great lodgings, services and setting.

 

http://www.sandpiperbarbados.com

 

Cheers,

Kathryn

Edited by OctoberKat

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LOVED your review. It was interesting to see the perspective of a traveler on a small, luxury ship. When I do land trip, I love going to out-of-the-way places to really experience local life, but on my Carnival cruises I feel I lack that. I try my best to enjoy the local places in every port of call. But one day I will have to try Silversea, I really liked the photos I saw of the ship, and the itineraries. Thank you for taking the time to write the review! :D

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LOVED your review. It was interesting to see the perspective of a traveler on a small, luxury ship. When I do land trip, I love going to out-of-the-way places to really experience local life, but on my Carnival cruises I feel I lack that. I try my best to enjoy the local places in every port of call. But one day I will have to try Silversea, I really liked the photos I saw of the ship, and the itineraries. Thank you for taking the time to write the review! :D

 

Appreciate these many and nice comments. For our Baltimore area friends, YES, you should try a smaller ship. It costs more, but offers many pluses to consider and experience. For us, so much is about the destinations/ports. We like interesting and different!! A nice, upscale ship can be very enjoyable, too!! Each person needs to determine their own priorities and see what sailings/line fits best for your interests and needs.

 

On our recent South Africa sailing on the Silver Cloud, plus lots before and after the cruise, a key objective was for "going to out-of-the-way places to really experience local life" as you stated. That elements of our travels were very enlightening and enjoyable.

 

Keep the good questions rolling along. Happy to share more!!

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 138,829 views for this posting.

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St. Barth's is indeed a special place --- really lovely, kept uncrowded by rigid immigration controls - it is a remote slice of France - made even pricier than Paris by its remote location. I am still saving up for a hopefully-early HAL Canada/NE sailing -- which few itineraries seem to carry a far higher per diem charge than any other of HAL's itineraries: a clear demonstration of supply and demand pricing.

 

This above comment on another thread might be of interest for considering this unique Caribbean island. Yes, St. Barts is a very special place that gets lots of media and celebrity interest, publicity and attention. From the Wall Street Journal this morning, they have this headline: "Away We Go to St. Barthélemy" with a large number of fashion photos and views from around on this scenic location.

 

One of their WSJ sub-heads had this summary highlight: "Pack a bag and escape to St. Barthélemy, where commutes happen on the back of a Moke, the only deadline is the sunset and there’s nothing more to worry about than which carefree look to choose." Fun summary and pictures!! Below is one example from their WSJ visual sampling.

 

In the past few weeks, there have been a decent number of various celebrities pictured in the media such as David Letterman (in a beard and balding), football/TV star Michael Strahan, Rupert Murdoch's ex Wendi Deng, Sting, Caroline Kennedy, etc.. They were all super enjoying St. Bart's as we did last year.

 

Also, the London/UK Daily Mail Telegraph in early March, they had this headline: "St Barts: the sexiest island in the Caribbean". Here are some of that story's highlights: "St Barts has always been sexy, but I found myself on the island in the middle of the Victoria’s Secret swimwear shoot. As I lay on St Jean beach I looked up to see men with lighting umbrellas and cameras. I didn’t even have time to find out whether the model was wearing a Flirt Bandeau or a Hottie Halter. It was a fitting scene. St Barts is unquestionably the sexiest island in the Caribbean and has inimitable French style. Pretty young things – men and women – zip by on quad bikes and loiter on the beaches. The streets of the main town are lined with Hermès, Chopard and Bulgari. And the restaurants outstrip those on any other island. St Barts is expensive and feels more metropolitan French than French West Indian Clearly the island is doing something right."

 

Here is a little more from this profile on St. Barts: "It’s this level of sophistication that sets St Barts apart. Importers actually bring wine in young to minimise the damage from sea travel. The prize for the introduction of the most exotic new ingredient for this year must go to L’Isola, still one of the island’s most popular restaurants, which has added Mediterranean blue lobster to its menu."

 

Full stories at:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/away-we-go-to-st-barthelemy-1459350070

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/caribbean/st-barts/articles/st-barts-new-openings-in-the-sexiest-island-in-the-caribbean/

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Wonderful Kotor and nearby Montenegro? Check these postings. Have had over 28,282 views on this posting and appreciate those who have tuned-in and commented.:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1439193

 

 

With this island's famously short and challenged airport runway in the background, here is one of the fashion examples from this Wall Street Journal photo profile this morning.:

 

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Edited by TLCOhio

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Terrific photos. That one of the Barbados sunset is a real stunner! - Diana Greenburg, aka Musing About Cruising

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Terrific photos. That one of the Barbados sunset is a real stunner! - Diana Greenburg, aka Musing About Cruising

 

Appreciate these super nice comments from Diana about my pictures, etc. Really kind and enjoyed your excellent taste and smart judgement.

 

On the South America board, there has been interest in the pink dolphins. I went back to my photo files and checked to see if there were any other visuals that might be of interest to share more. See below. Plus, I included three other of my pictures not posted previously that be interest/value for those considering an Amazon River "adventure".

 

Also, here is more on these unique pink dolphins. Got a good, interesting question from LuAnn of San Diego regarding being able to "swim" and be in the water with these creatures. Yes, the pink dolphins are very cute. As I recall, there are portions of the Amazon River where swimming in those waters is not considered to be the best and/or ideal for various health/safety reasons. BUT, there might be some locations or setting where the waters are better and maybe there is a tour/vendor option that would provide such "pink dolphin experiences".

 

In reading this in-depth article,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_river_dolphin

it gives the idea that these creatures do not do as well in captivity. Not sure that there are options in the Amazon. Wikipedia says: "The Amazon river dolphin has historically been kept in dolphinariums. Today, only three exist in captivity: one in Acuario de Valencia in Venezuela, one in Zoologico de Guistochoca in Peru, and one in Duisburg Zoo in Germany."

 

This website:

http://www.rainforestcruises.com/jungle-blog/swimming-with-wild-dolphins-during-an-amazon-cruise

hints that maybe it might be possible, but offers many cautions, including a strong reminder that these are "WILD ANIMALS". This includes: "Under no circumstances should you attempt to grab, touch, pull, poke, or otherwise bother Amazon River dolphins."

 

BUT, from TripAdvisor, this tour at Manaus seems to indicate that they do such interaction tours. Check this link out more in greater details:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g303235-d2166383-r149020345-Amazon_Brasil_Jungle_Tours_Day_Tours-Manaus_Amazon_River_State_of_Amazonas.html

Or, their website at:

http://www.amazonbraziljungletours.com/#_=_

 

From

http://www.dolphins-world.com/pink-amazon-river-dolphin/

They note: "Among the five species of river dolphins, Amazon pink dolphins are considered the most intelligent of them, with a brain capacity 40% larger than that of humans. Pink dolphins inhabit the Amazon River, but they can also be found in the Orinoco basins and the upper Madeira River as well. While they are mostly pink, these dolphins have various colored skins, which can be light gray, pink, or brown. The Amazon River pink dolphins conform the largest population of river dolphins in existence as the other four species are functionally extinct or close to extinction. The river dolphins are among the most endangered species of all the world’s cetaceans. The Amazon River dolphin is between six and eight feet long, and weighs between 185 and 355 pounds when it is fully grown."

 

Hope this added info and visuals are of value.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Dozens of nice visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc. We are now at 215,929 views for this live/blog re-cap, including much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

 

 

First, here are three added views of the pink dolphins that we observed from the fish market area in Santarem. These creatures moved fast! They would be up quickly to get air and then go back down under the water. Quickly!! It was not as easy to catch these images as it would seem from these results.:

 

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Here are three more visuals from in and around at Santarem on the Amazon. First is the view from our docked ship showing some boats used to transport people around on the Amazon River, plus you can see part of the large Cargill terminal facilities operating to process soy beans from this region. Second is a closer look at one of the boats transporting folks around these areas with the hammocks shown on the decks where people would sleep during the journeys. Third is our excellent guide Gil shown with some of the fish in the riverside market for this town.:

 

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With the Rio Olympics 2016 wrapping up today, I wanted to share an amazing video that done by the American NBC-TV network as a part of their coverage. It was done by their long-time and now retired anchor Tom Brokaw. He profiles in this segment the Amazon River's standing in both the world ecosystem and for Brazilian culture. It is titled: "The Amazon: Lungs of the earth, heart of Brazilian culture" There is some great video, background and insights within this five-minute-plus segment. It is well worth watching if you are consider visiting the Amazon and/or to bring back nice memories from an earlier trip there. We loved both the Amazon and this video segment by NBC and Brokaw.

 

Brokaw notes the massive size of the Amazon and how it would fit over the size of the entire continental United States. That's large!! He noted that nearly one-fifth of all fresh water in the world is here in the Amazon basis and that its total water volume is ten-times the size of the Mississippi River. Big, BIG, again!!

 

Their "production values" for this segment were excellent. This included a number of helicopter shots over the Opera House, the waterways, etc. This is not just a voice-over with some still pictures. It is well-done, edited and prepared. Lots of on-site video that we experienced, including walking through the Manaus Municipal Market that is show extensively in this video.

 

Check NBC-TV Amazon River/Manaus link at:

http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/amazon-lungs-earth-heart-brazilian-culture

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Lots of interesting and dramatic pictures can be seen from my latest live/blog at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

Now at 18,778 views for this reporting and visual sharing that includes Cape Town, all along the South Africa coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta area.

 

 

From the NBC-TV video, here are some photo samples that reflect much of what both Tom Brokaw saw, plus that we experienced for exploring in and around Manaus, in the rainforest, at the Municipal Market, etc. Great visuals were shared in this network segment that aired during their national Olympic coverage.:

 

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Because the NBC-TV Olympics segment that featured and was narrated by their former anchor Tom Brokaw had so much in great, wonderful visuals, I thought I would share a few more samples here. Like this added "eye-candy"?? This segment was really excellent with its details and visuals, plus the wonderful "production values" for how it was shot and put together.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 202,301 views.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

 

Here are more visual samples from this NBC-TV Olympics program. This includes for showing scenic sunrise/sunset views, Tom Brokaw in more remote backwater areas such as what we explored, the unique mixing of black and brown waters on the Amazon from a great air angle, in Manaus with the boats docked and Brokaw at the Municipal Market and finally an example of the waterside cliffs like we observed during our sailing. :

 

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Hi Terry, thank you so much for your informative and interesting blog! Mike and I are on the Regent Mariner next month going to the Amazon (you posted on our roll call), and we had a question regarding Boca da Valeria. Based on what you posted, it sounds as if it is a remote village where the locals make their money off of the tourists and can tend to be a bit...demanding. Mike and I are both very private people and don't like it when we go to a port where the kids are hanging onto you for money or gifts, or where you feel like you have to pay for every little thing (ie...pictures). We hated parts of Egypt because of that (just makes us extremely uncomfortable). In your opinion, is there enough for us to see and do in Boca da Valeria to make that hassle worthwhile? Or are we better off staying on the ship (which is definitely where we're leaning)? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

 

Tami

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Hi Terry, thank you so much for your informative and interesting blog! Mike and I are on the Regent Mariner next month going to the Amazon (you posted on our roll call), and we had a question regarding Boca da Valeria. Based on what you posted, it sounds as if it is a remote village where the locals make their money off of the tourists and can tend to be a bit...demanding. Mike and I are both very private people and don't like it when we go to a port where the kids are hanging onto you for money or gifts, or where you feel like you have to pay for every little thing (ie...pictures). In your opinion, is there enough for us to see and do in Boca da Valeria to make that hassle worthwhile? Or are we better off staying on the ship (which is definitely where we're leaning)? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Tami

 

Appreciate, Tami, this great follow-up and very good questions/interest. Good luck to you and Mike for enjoying this unique journey next month. Look forward to hearing more after your "adventure" as to what you most enjoyed and loved.

 

Regarding Boca da Valeria, I did not believe that I was either too pushed and/or "hustled" to any major extent. Yes, there folks "looking for some business", but things were not that intense, pressured and/or bothersome. Clearly, as I noted earlier, I was aware from my advance research and a helpful earlier post on these Cruise Critic boards of the "opportunity" to share. I brought a range of pencils, pens, rec items for the kids, etc. I dropped those off at the school and it was a very good feeling to share and be a little helpful. I also brought along some one dollar bills in order to be able to tip some of the local people after they were kind enough to pose for my pictures. A number of people there had certain local crafts available and that was interesting to see, chat with people, etc.

 

Overall, it was a very enlightening experience to see some other aspects for how life impacts those not as fortunate as we are. I was sure glad to have made this stop and learned more about how life in these isolated area can be. This includes why and how they have satellite cable service in this isolated village, etc. Can share added details, if it is of interest.

 

Happy to answer any added questions or info needs.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 156,921 views for this posting.

 

 

From Boca da Valeria, here are six additional visuals that I had not posted earlier on page five of this live/blog. First, you can see a local offering a tour in the nearby, backwater areas with our cruise ship shown in the background. The cost was $5 per person for a 30 minute tour. Second is one of the small boats with the motor that they used for such tours. Third shows the teacher and some students in their school with the bag of items that I had brought and some balls, etc. Fourth are a Long Island couple that we got to know from our ship chatting with some of the local kids. Fifth is a colorful rooster and chicken walking around in this village. Finally, are some of the local boats shown with the ship’s tender in the background.:

 

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Thanks very much Terry. Yes, any additional information would be greatly appreciated...especially details on specific items the villagers can use. We do like to participate in helping out the less fortunate when we can (have been part of Lions eyeglass exchanges in Panama as well as Guatemala while on cruises), so definitely do not have an issue with visiting these areas. We just don't want to feel "forced" (and you seem to have read my thoughts very well regarding that). It sounds like it could be a very interesting and informative few hours there for us.

 

I hope to keep a running blog while on the cruise, much as you did, but I seriously doubt I'll be nearly as dedicated as you were!

 

Thanks again!

 

Tami

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Agree with Terry,go on the tender to the village,take gifts such as children's reading books,colouring books,crayons and coloured pencils.You will be surrounded by children when you disembark the tender.Ask them to take you to their school and on arrival hand over your bag of goodies to the teacher and then feel free to wander round the school.It was a faboulous experience to know that small gifts meant so much to the school and Terry's wonderful photos were a nice reminder of our2012 Amazon cruise.Enjoy your cruise Tahoe traveler.

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Agree with Terry,go on the tender to the village,take gifts such as children's reading books,colouring books,crayons and coloured pencils.You will be surrounded by children when you disembark the tender.Ask them to take you to their school and on arrival hand over your bag of goodies to the teacher and then feel free to wander round the school.It was a faboulous experience to know that small gifts meant so much to the school and Terry's wonderful photos were a nice reminder of our2012 Amazon cruise.Enjoy your cruise Tahoe traveler.

Thank you so much. Those sound like perfect gifts to take to the village, and won't take up much room in the suitcase either. I really appreciate the information!

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Agree with Terry, go on the tender to the village, take gifts such as children's reading books, colouring books, crayons and coloured pencils.You will be surrounded by children when you disembark the tender. Ask them to take you to their school and on arrival hand over your bag of goodies to the teacher and then feel free to wander round the school. It was a faboulous experience to know that small gifts meant so much to the school and Terry's wonderful photos were a nice reminder of our 2012 Amazon cruise. Enjoy your cruise Tahoe traveler.

 

TahoeTraveler: Thanks very much Terry. Yes' date=' any additional information would be greatly appreciated...especially details on specific items the villagers can use. We do like to participate in helping out the less fortunate when we can, so definitely do not have an issue with visiting these areas. [b']We just don't want to feel "forced"[/b] (and you seem to have read my thoughts very well regarding that). It sounds like it could be a very interesting and informative few hours there for us. I hope to keep a running blog while on the cruise, much as you did, but I seriously doubt I'll be nearly as dedicated as you were! Thanks again! Tami

 

Appreciate this great follow-up from our UK friend, brimary. Maybe, as I recall, you might have been the one who had tipped me off originally to the potential for bringing certain key items from home for when we visited this Amazon River village. Am I remembering correctly? That you deserve the good credit?

 

Yes, for Tami from Tahoe, glad that you will be doing a running blog. Look forward to hearing your reactions, impressions, likes, etc. Don't be shy!! Let us know any added questions, info needs, etc. Keep up your great researching and planning. Below is another picture from this village to help in building the excitement.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Lots of interesting and dramatic pictures can be seen from my latest live/blog at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

Now at 20,887 views for this reporting and visual sharing that includes Cape Town, all along the South Africa coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta area.

 

 

Here is an added picture that I had not posted previously that shows me with one of the local residents who "dresses up" to welcome the visitors. He did not ask for money for posing with me, but I tipped him for his willingness to be seen next to me. That's a real burden!! This picture and his association with me could ruin his image??!!:

 

TravelSept168_zpswb0aqmqr.jpg

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Terry,Think you are correct and I recall following your posts and photos with great interest for the happy memories it brought back for us.

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Terry, Think you are correct and I recall following your posts and photos with great interest for the happy memories it brought back for us.

 

Appreciate this follow-up from our UK friend that confirms that my memory is still working well. PLUS, it is very good that you get the credit deserved for giving us the "heads-up" on this opportunity for sharing as we sailed along the Amazon River. In 2001 when doing a visit to a school in Cuba, I had gathered up before leaving some "goodies" to share during that trip. We also did similar prep for visit to a school earlier this year when in the Zulu area of eastern South Africa. This type of sharing worked out in a very special and meaningful way for us and hopefully they benefitted, too!

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 157,130 views for this posting.

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Terry, as you know, I've very much enjoyed following your review so far, but these wonderful pics of St Barts have just topped it off perfectly.

I'm so pleased that you too see the beauty of the island. It's just about my favourite Caribbean island, although Bonaire comes close second. I've spoken to many people who don't care for it, but they usually haven't seen past the area around the harbour in Gustavia.

It's changed very much in the last 10-15 years, but I still think it has lots of charm.

Thanks again for taking us with you on this cruise.

 

The pix you took are Amazing!

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The pix you took are Amazing!

 

Appreciate the above nice comment from Queen Bubble Girl. Welcome to Cruise Critic and keep reading/posting.

 

From the Huffington Post last week, they have this headline: "Lonely Planet Reveals 10 Best Countries To Visit In 2017" with these highlights: "Lonely Planet has revealed its top 10 countries to visit in 2017 - and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Canada has been named as number one. The country was closely followed by Colombia, Finland, Dominica and Nepal. "

 

Congratulations to Dominica for being on this top five list. Super enjoyed this wonderful and scenic island early last year. Looking forward to visiting Colombia early next year for the first time.

 

The other article cited below quotes these key points and highlights from Lonely Planet: "Locals joke that if Christopher Columbus rose from the grave and returned to the Caribbean, Dominica is the only island he would still recognize. One glimpse of its prehistoric ferns and deserted shores, and you’ll see what they mean. For decades, an absence of shiny white beaches has helped keep at bay the resort development that has swept through other parts of the Caribbean. Coconut palms are the only skyscrapers you’ll see here. Visit before Dominica gets its first large-scale chain resorts in 2018, which will pave the way for a new era of tourism.”

 

More from Lonely Planet about Dominica at:

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/dominica

 

Full stories at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/best-countries-to-travel-to-in-2017-lonely-planet_uk_580f5ee5e4b0f479c0d8008f

http://www.caribbean360.com/travel/youve-got-visit-two-islands-2017

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

If Venice is one of your future desires or past favorites, look at this earlier posting for many options and visual samples this city that is so great for "walking around", personally seeing its great history and architecture. This posting is now at 63,557 views.

Venice: Loving It & Why??!!

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1278226

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From the New York Times Travel Section this past week, they have this headline: Deep in the Amazon, a Remarkable Beach Experience.

 

Here are some of their story highlights: Alter do Chão must rank among the world’s most alluring beach towns. White-sand beaches along the Tapajós River beckon visitors. The clear, warm waters lure snorkelers and practitioners of standup paddle boarding. Just want to chill? Sit in a cafe, sip an ice-cold bottle of Tijuca beer and gaze at the sun setting over forest-shrouded ridges teeming with wildlife like sloths and howler monkeys.

 

We enjoyed seeing Alter do Chão during our 2015 Amazon River cruise. It was a fun and interesting stop as I detailed and offered visuals earlier on this live/blog. In the NY Times piece, they have many photos and others details/options for visiting this location.

 

Full story at:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/20/world/americas/alter-do-chao-brazil-amazon-beach-town.html?_r=0

 

As linked below, we just got back from doing a Panama Canal cruise. This includes stops in Aruba, Cartagena/Colombia, Costa Rica and Cabo San Lucas. Great finish and sights in San Francisco. Now shifting gears to finish planning for our June 2017 on the Silversea Silver Spirit. We will be doing Lisbon/Portugal to Rouen/France, including our first experiences for key parts of Spain, Bordeaux, Brittany, etc. Then, for late January 2018 to be doing our first visit to Southeast Asia, including Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Angkor Wat, Laos and Bangkok.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Panama Canal? Just completed Feb. 28-Mar. 15, 2017, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco adventure through the Panama Canal with our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great Golden Gate City. Lots of fun pictures!! See more at:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2465580

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Thank you, Terry, for sharing your Amazon cruise experience. My husband and I are going there on Crystal Serenity this October, stopping at mostly the same ports, and it was a great preview and orientation for us. I am looking forward to reading your other cruise blogs, as we are also planning future trips to Australia, New Zealand, etc.

 

Our past cruising experience is through the Panama Canal on Crystal and Alaska with Holland America. I had been wondering how Silver Seas would compare with Crystal, and your stories helped give me a better idea of that. We are really enjoying Crystal, but it sounds like we might like to try Silver Seas sometime also.

 

Karen

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Thank you, Terry, for sharing your Amazon cruise experience. My husband and I are going there on Crystal Serenity this October, stopping at mostly the same ports, and it was a great preview and orientation for us. I am looking forward to reading your other cruise blogs, as we are also planning future trips to Australia, New Zealand, etc. Our past cruising experience is through the Panama Canal on Crystal and Alaska with Holland America. I had been wondering how Silver Seas would compare with Crystal, and your stories helped give me a better idea of that. We are really enjoying Crystal, but it sounds like we might like to try Silver Seas sometime also. Karen

 

Appreciate, Karen, your nice follow-up and good questions. From our July/August 2008 sailing on the Crystal Symphony for the Baltics/Russia, it was a super excellent experience. BUT, yes, there are some important differences between Silversea and Crystal. Nothing bad and/or that dire. Crystal mostly for now has two larger ships with more on-board options, including better speaker/destination experts, etc. BUT, larger means things are not quite as "personal" compared to what Silversea can offer with most of their ship. After June, I can offer more insights after being on their larger Silver Spirit ship.

 

On the two main Crystal ships, their basic guest suites/rooms are not quite as large and their fixed evening seating times (which is being fine-tuned) can be less than ideal. The butler program with Silversea can be excellent in some cases, especially as we did once for a World Cup party in our suite as we sailing along the Norway coast. That worked super!!

 

Overall, Silversea with more ships of a smaller size that can offer a much wider range of more interesting itineraries, unique ports to visit, etc. I can go on and on!! BOTH cruise lines are very good. BOTH will at times have little slips and staff who are not as experienced and/or skilled. BUT, overall, we are not going to "suffer" on either cruise line. For us, personally, we look at where we want to go, what we would like to experience, the "value" being offered, etc. Being family owned has its advantages for Silversea and its management style. Crystal has a new owner who is investing hundreds of millions of dollars now. But, it is not totally clear how for the long-run all of "that" aggressive expansion will work. Give Silversea a check to see what fits and works best for your personal interest. As an experience Crystal traveler, Keith, notes, it is good to have so many options from which to choose.

 

Let me know any and all questions on the Amazon and the many options as you sail along this amazing part of the world.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 177,794 views for this posting.

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