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TLCOhio

Live, Terry/Ohio, Silver Muse: Alaska, Canada/Rockies, Pix’s

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Here is part two of the more complete reporting as to our activities in and around Skagway.  Winds were blowing here and our plan was a rental car through Avis for exploring north of Skagway and going into Canada and towards the famed Yukon territory.  

 

Had to drive through some serious fog in climbing up, UP the mountain, but the day worked out in a good and interesting manner

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio  

 

Athens & Greece: Many visuals, details from two visits in a city with great history, culture and architecture.  Now at 31,805 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1101008

 

By going into Canada and towards the famed Yukon Territory, we first had to cross the U.S. border and climb up and go through a tall mountain pass area.  There was a large amount of fog that almost made us turn back.  BUT, the fog cleared and we saw a very different sample of almost desert-like, high plains with a very different style of trees, landscape, etc., on the Canada side of the mountains.  Below is a little sampling.  Many nice and interesting lakes and water sights, too.  This included reaching the recently-built Yukon Suspension Bridge that crosses a scenic and dramatic gorge.:

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After crossing back over the Canada border to return to Skagway, we saw this nice welcoming sign.  Yes, you need to have your U.S. Passports in doing this border crossing off of our ship.:

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At the Red Onion tavern, we spent $10 for a fun and interesting tour of their "Gold Rush Brothel".  Not exactly designed for children.  BUT, us adults got "it" and appreciate this unique part of their history in Skagway and these parts of Alaska during this historic period.  Below I am showed with our entertaining and skilled guide.  Many twisted and double-meaning phrases were used by her during this tour that explained the "economics" and practices with this form of frontier "entertainment".  Notice the sign in the second picture saying "Beware Pickpockets and Loose Women"?  As background and to answer the question you did not want to ask but were thinking, the charge/fee was $5 for 15 minutes of action.  The girl only received a quarter of that fee after the madam and the floor bouncer took their cuts.  As we completed the tour and came down the stairway from the second floor to the main level where customers were having lunch, one of the ladies downstairs loudly announced: "Here come some more satisfied customers!":

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After doing our sail-away from Skagway, it was somewhat like a Norway fjord experience as the mountains where close and we saw many dramatic waterfalls such as the one shown below.:

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2 hours ago, worldtraveller99 said:

Thank you very much Terry for answering my timings question! Your Skagway day looked really fun!

 

YES, Skagway was fun and a little different despite some wind and fog challenges.  That made it all added up for creating more "memorable and interesting" experience!!  

 

Just completed doing some scanning for certain key pages from our seven days worth of the Chronicle.  Soon to be posted.  Additional pages can be scanned.  But it is probably too many pages to post it "ALL".  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Lisbon, NWSpain, Bordeaux/Brittany: Live/blog, June 2017 from Portugal to France along scenic Atlantic Coast on the Silver Spirit.  Now at 29,451 views.  Many interesting pictures, details for history, food, culture, etc.:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2511358

 

After our day at Juneau, the ship had a local music group that present a sampling of songs and visuals related to the history of this Gold Rush period, a major ship wreck that happened in this region, American songbook favorites, etc. They are a family group know nby the name of "Alaska String Band".:

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After our day in Juneau, here are a couple visuals for the first course treats available, including one with very tasty prawns.  The other offering was creatively presented on a very unusual plate with a mountain-like plate.:

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On the Atlantide menu, there are always various beef, steak and seafood options.  BUT, I decided to be a little more creative by requesting a "Surf & Turf" combo.   No problem!!  Just ask!!  This combined the excellent prawns with a filet mignon, plus three different sauces.  Love having great and varied sauce options as offered by Silversea!!  Next are visuals for two of the dessert options served to us that evening.:2143458575_SailingNorth1866.jpg.3951e9c3ae46adc2f2c47be88b85c444.jpg

 

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In preparing for our sail-away in Juneau, here was the much larger RCCL Ovation of the Sea with just 4,000+ passengers.  Liked much better our nice-navigated ship with only 593 passengers.:

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Per the good request from worldtraveller99, here is a small sampling for some of the Chronicles that previewed the day's activity options, background for the upcoming port, etc.  

 

This is only a small sampling.  If you need additional pages and/or some other specific information areas, let me know and I can scan and post.  In my view, too much space in the Chronicles was used to promote and hustle "profit center" service such as the casino, sandal sales, watch/jewelry pushing, biotech facial pitches, etc., etc. 

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Panama Canal? Early 2017, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco adventure through Panama Canal.  Our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great Golden Gate City. Now at 27,453 views.

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

 

Here are just two examples/samples for the covers/front pages of the Chronicles.  Lots of color, looks nice and attractive, offers some basics on the dress standards for that day, etc.:

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Here are the details for three of the day schedules during our cruise, plus one day's opening times for the various dining locations, etc.:

 

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Here is the front of the final day's cover.  It offers some of the details about the distances between ports, where the other Silversea ships are located, etc.:

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This is so useful to me and my wife, we just shared time looking it over.  And certainly for this first time cruiser, this is certainly sufficient.  It can't be fun scanning these in, so we doubly appreciate the time it took. 

Your photos continue to delight us.  It was good to see some serious chocolate in your last posted Atlantide pix!

 

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I totally agree with QueSeraSera, thank you very much Terry. Also as a first time cruiser it is helpful to know what to expect. And no, I don't need advert pages either! Thank you again.

 

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13 hours ago, QueSeraSera said:

This is so useful to me and my wife, we just shared time looking it over.  And certainly for this first time cruiser, this is certainly sufficient.  It can't be fun scanning these in, so we doubly appreciate the time it took. Your photos continue to delight us.  It was good to see some serious chocolate in your last posted Atlantide pix!

 

Appreciate these nice comments and follow-ups from worldtraveller99 and QueSeraSera.  Actually, it is fairly simple and easy for me to scan and post such pages.  If you and/or others need more details, postings, etc., just let me know.  Happy to share more from our fun sailing on the Silver Muse.  As to chocolate, that's not my personal favorite.  BUT, my wife super loves chocolate.  Still have more "food porn" visuals to post.  

 

Speaking of added visuals, I have some "BONUS" coverage to share from doing our Wings Airways five-glacier flight-seeing experience out to Taku Lodge near Juneau.  Today, I am having lunch with a former KC-135 Air Force pilot who loves aviation.  He ask whether our De Havilland plane was a "Beaver" or an "Otter".  It is an Otter that held ten passengers plus the important pilot.  The Beaver is smaller and considered as a half-ton truck, while the larger Otter could haul a full ton of "stuff" in doing its duties in these wild areas of Canada and Alaska.  I have a video of our take-off in the waters of Juneau and am sure he will be interested in the pilot and how he handled that part of our flight.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

From late 2018, you can see “Holy Lands, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, Greece, etc.”, with many visuals, details and ideas for the historic and scenic Middle East.  Connect at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2607054-livenautica-greece-holy-lands-egypt-dubai-terrypix’s/

 

Here are more visuals related to our amazing flight with Wings Airways in Juneau.  First is their logo that features the De Havilland Otter plane.  Second is a picture showing three of their planes at the docking area in the heart of downtown Juneau.  Third is Wings President Holly, who grew up near us in Central Ohio, talking with my wife and Chris before our flight.  Fourth is Wings Chief Pilot Wayne in the cockpit before getting ready to fly us over these five scenic glaciers.  Seeing these natural wonders from a high angle is so very important in order to appreciate their size and wonder!!:

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Here is a view of the historic Taku Glacier Lodge with its bear warning sign.  Second is one of the Wings planes taking off from this location with the very, very large glacier in the background.  Third and fourth are a couple more samples of the wonderful sights we enjoyed in doing our rainforest walk in the areas nearby to Taku Lodge.  See the big roots on the walking trails?:

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Sitting next to the pilot, here was my view of the pilot as we took off and flew over these dramatic and super scenic areas of Alaska.:

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On 8/13/2019 at 3:18 AM, worldtraveller99 said:

I totally agree with QueSeraSera, thank you very much Terry. Also as a first time cruiser it is helpful to know what to expect. And no, I don't need advert pages either! Thank you again.

 

Great to know that all of these details and posts are helpful, also, for London-resident worldtraveller99.  Still have more visuals to share.  As we traveled, especially during our three key port days in Alaska, there was not always time to review fully and/or share with slow ship Internet all of the various pictures.  

 

Below are a few more visuals for what we saw in Ketchikan.  This port had shopping, but that does not interest me that much.  My wife and Chris rated the shopping "opportunities" in Ketchikan as somewhat average.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

 

Super loved so different many parts of the Caribbean in 2015!!!  See more details and lots of great visual samples/examples at the link of "Barbados: Our Pix's, Experiences!":

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2262999

 

In the Ketchikan port, here are a couple of other potentially interesting visuals including the historic sculpture in front of where the Silver Muse was docked in their main downtown.  Second is small sampling of the Disney ship in port that day with its cute design and styling, plus other small boat action.  Ports can be very stimulating areas with much activity.:

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As we took a ship excursion out to Misty Fjord, here is the view for the Captain of our boat taking us out to this location.  It was, as advertised and named . . . MISTY!!  Would have preferred sunny and dry weather.  But, it is Alaska in these areas with rain forests, etc.  Also below are more of of the typical scenes, including dramatic, big waterfalls.  Finally is a view of a local boat seen as we sailed out to Misty Fjord.  With our experience, most of the time on this ship tour was spend sailing out there, having only a short time in this location and then a long ride back.  Would a flightseeing trip have been better?  Maybe??  But, earlier this year, Ketchikan had some tragic tourist flying fatal accidents. Trade-offs??  Plus, flightseeing is much more costly.:

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Enroute out to Misty Fjord, we saw this totem pole site near the water.  Sorry about the utility lines shown in this visuals.  Our time in Ketchikan was short and we could not do both totem poles AND Misty Fjord.:

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From dining in the evening at La Terrazza, here are a few added visuals for certain of the dining treats.  All very tasty and fun.  Plus, lots of wine!!:

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Terry, omg...……...these photos are just awesome:classic_biggrin:

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2 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

Still have more visuals to share.

That's good news.  We'll be watching for them!

 

 

We're in agreement with Lois R: 

23 minutes ago, Lois R said:

these photos are just awesome:classic_biggrin:

 

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14 hours ago, Lois R said:

Terry, omg...……...these photos are just awesome:classic_biggrin:

 

Be careful as to what you wish for and encourage.  Yes, I have many more good and interesting visuals to share.  In doing my "catch-up", I have additional pictures and details to post from our wonderful experiences in cosmopolitan Vancouver.

 

From National Geographic in February, they had this headline: “See Vancouver like a Nat Geo Explorer” with this sub-head: "This city is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, seafaring foodies, and cultural connoisseurs."

 

Here are some more of their story highlights: “Nestled amid mountains cascading into Pacific waters and sea lines crashing into cedar forests, Vancouver is a  bustling seaport. Established on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Tsawwassen, and Katzie First Nations, Vancouver is home to a diverse and energetic populace. Whether you come for the straight-out-of-the-ocean sushi, the effortlessly creative craft beer, a hardy sea kayak through the harbor, or to learn more about the many cultures and histories that interweave to create modern Vancouver, you’re certain to leave satiated.  Check out Granville Island Public Market for rotating local artists.”

 

Whether your cruise starts or ends in Vancouver, our experience makes the point that you want to allow adequate time to explore this interesting and diverse city that is situated in such a special setting.  Yes, lots of water, dramatic buildings, charming history, mountains, great food, nice people, etc.  We fortunately planned to stay three nights in Vancouver before commencing our Silver Muse sailing.  Don't short-change the opportunities in Vancouver!!!

 

After arriving in Vancouver after our two-day Rocky Mountaineer rail trip, we stayed at the at Georgian Court Hotel, 773 Beatty Street.  It is a boutique hotel with a great staff that is close to Yaletown district’s restaurants (where we dined during our first evening there).  This hotel is also close to their stadium, arena, waterfront, Gastown, Chinatown, shopping, etc.

 

For our first day in Vancouver, we hooked up with Frances who was our early 2018 adventure in Southeast Asia, including sailing up the Mekong River.  It was great to see her again and catch up!!  She had just completed a spring exploring of Africa and Europe on a cruise that started in Cape Town.  She went on a Safari out of Durban, took a cruise up the Indian Ocean to Reunion, Mauritius, Seychelles, Petra, Suez Canal, Greece, Montenegro, Croatia and ended up in Venice.  That was a big, BIG adventure.  As shown below, we were a fun shuttle boat from the dock near our hotel and Yaletown.  Then we explored and had lunch at Vancouver's super star attraction of Granville Island.  Always nice to be with a "local" who can share so much about Vancouver, their people and the history/development here, etc.

 

Full National Geographic story at:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/north-america/canada/british-columbia/vancouver/explorers-guide/

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Barcelona/Med: June 2011, with stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Great visuals with key highlights, tips, etc. Live/blog now at 248,316 views.

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

 

Here is a small sampling of the interesting and dramatic architecture in Vancouver.  Second shows Frances and my wife as we were walking to where we would catch the shuttle boat to travel to Granville Island.  Yes, the public market there is total fun with the people, music, food, unique shops, etc.:

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Here are some more samplings of the fun and sights inside and around Granville Island and their busy Public Market.  At lunch with a great view of the Vancouver skyline, we sat next to a family from Central Ohio. Small world??  As you can see in the second picture, I asked them to pose for an O-H-I-O action shot.  Fun encounter a couple thousand miles from home??!!  A couple of other visuals give more of a sampling for the great sights and experiences at this local and popular attraction.:

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In this Granville Island area, here is one of the unique floating homes that exists along their waterfront.  Like the flags?  Also shown are a few other sights during our sailing back along these water areas.  This includes a picture that show their circular "Outlook" observation tower in their main downtown.  We visited that tower later and it offers a nice range of views for this big and impressive central city.  Finally, here is a picture of my wife and Frances after enjoying such an exciting exploring for these parts of Vancouver.:

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Sailing North 1896.jpg

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14 hours ago, QueSeraSera said:

That's good news.  We'll be watching for them!  We're in agreement with Lois R.

 

Yes, much more to share as "proof" as to exactly why and how we enjoyed Vancouver so much before starting our Silver Muse sailing.  For those who have been to Vancouver, hope these visuals bring back some nice memories. Don't be shy!!  Please share your tips and experiences from and for this great city.  Plus, be very happy to answer any questions, hear your reactions, etc., etc.  

 

For our second full day in Vancouver, we hooked up with Lauren and Clayton.  Both really know this town and area so very well.  We connected with them through these Cruise Critic boards and they were so kind to drive us all around this fascinating city, including visiting Stanley Park, seeing its amazing rain forest, going over the Lions Gate Bridge and sampling some of the North Shore Mountains area, etc., etc.  Another great experience.  Clayton had long career experience working with the local newspapers and it was fun to gain his insights given my media background and interests.  They are preparing for an upcoming cruise with Oceania.  We shared some background from our sailing with that line and for our experiences in Africa and the Middle East.  More pictures next as to our exploring with these superstar hosts!!

 

As added background from a recent Travel+Leisure magazine profile, they had this headline: “Vancouver Travel Guide” with these highlights: “Vancouver is a classic Pacific Northwest city: diverse, cultured, and surrounded by spectacular natural beauty. Its numerous public parks, mountains, and waters in and around the city make it an excellent playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Meanwhile, its forward-thinking hotels, restaurants, and galleries have transformed this Northwest boomtown into an outdoorsy capital of cool. As the largest metropolitan area in Western Canada, is a bustling urban center and widely considered to be Canada’s culinary and cultural capital. With four-star seafood restaurants, a lively Asian dining scene, and farm-to-table establishments, your Vancouver trip will give you the chance to sample the world of delicious eating options.  Downtown is  full of Asian restaurants, big-name shops, and shimmering skyscrapers. Gastown is the city’s oldest neighborhood, and it’s home to grand historic buildings and fashion boutiques.  The city’s best galleries and design stories, along with great sidewalk cafes, are in South Granville, which borders downtown. And Yaletown, a formerly run-down warehouse district, now has a thriving nightlife scene.  While Vancouver has the mildest climate of any city in Canada, it's best to visit Vancouver in the summer, when the days are long and the weather is beautiful.  Summers here are not muggy and humid. They are crisp and clear, with temperatures typically hovering in the high 70s to low 80s, making it a magical time of year to visit the city.”

 

Full story at:
https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/vancouver

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Wonderful scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 237,003 views.

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

 

From our sailing around False Creek, here is a view of the many bridges in this city and the silver dome from when this town hosted their 1986 World Exposition.  With Frances, we then rode the subway in Vancouver in order to go their old main train station and continue seeing other sights and attractions here.  This included seeing their combination convention center and cruise ship port.  Like their unique sail-shaped roof??  The ship in port that day was the Crystal Symphony that we had used in 2008 to explore the Baltics and go to Russia.:

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In their convention center, here was a example of totem pole art/history.  At this location, we did the "Fly over Canada" attraction.  It is an amazing combination of wide-screen film and action ride that was so totally wonderful and exciting.  It gave a sample as if you were flying many key parts of Canada.  You would get misted as you flew over Niagra Falls or smell a sampling of scenic areas, etc.   Liked this attraction very much!!  Rate it as a must-do, fun experience.:

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From the 360-degree "Outlook" observation tower, here are a couple of quick views for portions of Vancouver.  This includes the main downtown with its Catholic Cathedral in the middle.  You can see many construction cranes up in this growing and busy central downtown that has a huge number of expensive and small number of apartments and condos.  Second is a view of their stadium with its unique roofing set-up.:

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For dinner on our second full day in Vancouver, we dined at the highly-rate West Oak in nearby Yaletown.  This area is the old warehouse area and has such great charm, character and an exciting mix of people and activity.  I had a great meal that took advantage of their early evening specials/samplers.  Second is their skilled kitchen crew that created our super dining treats.  Sorry, I did not get pictures for these food delights.  Take my word that we enjoyed ourselves at this location.:

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Now here are some visuals from getting our great "locals" tour with Laureen and Clayton.  Look interesting?  Appreciate so much their help and interest.   Plus, the wide variety of sights and style in Vancouver.

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 223,835 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

 

From the Stanley Park area, here is a view of the Vancouver cruise port and their large and impressive skyline as did our nice tour with Clayton and Lauren.:

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In addition to the very large and popular Stanley Park, we visited Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver.  This  130-acre municipal park has an elevation 500 feet above sea level and is at one of the highest levels in this city.  Nice views from here.   Its location was used at the turn of the twentieth century for quarried rock to build Vancouver's first roadways.  The second picture shows a Henry Moore outdoor sculpture.  We also toured around and saw numerous residential areas in Vancouver, beach areas, etc.  Housing prices are very high in Vancouver!!:

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This visual shows Clayton driving us across the Lions Gate Bridge.  Somewhat to my surprise, this local landmark has only three lanes.  Not too wide!!  It is "reversible" depending on the traffic flow and time of day.  It was opened in 1938 and is 5,981 feet in length.  Second shows a fishery and natural wilderness areas in this North Shore area of Vancouver.  The natural and scenic areas are very close and accessible in this metro region.  Third shows Clayton and Lauren with my wife after we had a very good lunch inside the Waterfront station for their rail and Skytrain system.  Wonderful hosts allowing us to learn and know much about Vancouver.:

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Nearby to the train station, this visual gives a sampling for the interesting mix of new and old architecture and styles in the Vancouver downtown.:

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Don't forget that Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. This city has used their 1986 Expo and other such world-class events to build their infrastructure to create an impressive urban "superstar" that is very attractive for visitors and new residents.  Their SkyTrain system that we rode is the oldest and longest fully automated driverless rapid transit system in the world.  

 

Below wraps up some more of our wide range of visuals to reflect the excitement and sights in and around Vancouver. 

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Venice: Loving It & Why??!!  Is one of your future desires or past favorites? See these many visual samples for its great history and architecture.  This posting is now at 84,835 views.

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

 

Below is the unique architecture for downtown main library.   Second shows, the night before our cruise started, my wife with Mark and Chris from Philadelphia who were sailing with us on the Silver Muse.  We sailed together on the Silversea Silver Cloud in doing a great Amazon River cruise in 2015.  This is after we had a great dinner at Glowbal at 590 W. Georgia St. in Vancouver.  Per TripAdvisor, Glowbal, based on 1,354 reviews, was ranked as #9 of 2,949 Restaurants in Vancouver.  They had reasonable pricing, especially given its high quality and top rating.  This dining place is not at the $$$$ higher cost level.  Fortunately!!  They had a very varied menu range with many American and Seafood options, plus great service, etc., etc.  The smiles in this picture were for real given that the food, setting and fellowship was so wonderful.  Great way to prepare for the next day's boarding of the ship.:

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Here are a couple of additional views from the Vancouver docking location before our Silver Muse sail-away.  Across from our ship location is North Vancouver which has a wide range of high-rise buildings, etc. This is a busy port with a good variety of ships and shipping activities.:

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How do cruise ships "gas up"?  Outside of our starboard balcony, here is the view in Vancouver before our sail-away as they are fueling up our ship for its north-bound travel to Alaska.  Interesting process that needs to happen for a successful trip.:

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13 hours ago, nowornever said:

Thank you Terry, you (and your photos) are awesome !  Keep them coming.

 

Appreciate this encouragement.  You get what you wish!! 

 

When we boarded mid-day on the Silver Muse, we headed to La Terrazza for lunch on the back and scenic open deck area.  Very enjoyable. Nice food, great service, wine, excellent views, etc.  What more could you seek and be able to love?? 

 

Compared to the Silver Cloud and Silver Spirit, we were very impressed with La Terrazza's more open lay-out in the food service area.  The acoustics are a little hard and loud, but this added room and two optional live stations made service there easier for breakfast and lunch.  Below are some added ship visuals.  More to come from the Rocky Mountaineer rail experience, plus Banff, Jasper and Calgary. 

 

This live/blog is now over 7,000 views.  Keep it coming.  Happy to share more and answer any questions.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Amazon River-Caribbean 2015 adventure live/blog starting in Barbados. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, San Juan, etc.).  Now at 64,343 views:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

 

At lunch in La Terrazza, they had a live station doing made-to-order pasta and Asian dishes. Fun and good, including the excellent, friendly staff!!  Below also shows how certain options are spread out to lessen lines and waiting.  There are a wide range of options and potentials, including for shrimp, one of my personal favorites.  Plus, desserts!!:

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In the Silver Muse suites, plus in the many public areas, there are a range of orchids.  Here is an example of this tasteful and classy decorating touch in one of the hallways.:

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This visual updating will provide more "evidence" as to why we super loved the Rocky Mountaineer rail adventure and experience.  This website gives much background about the routes and many options that connect from Vancouver to either Jasper and/or Banff National parks.  Generally, it takes two or four days to do this scenic travel.  BUT, if your budget (and wallet) are bigger, you do more.  One of the key choices is as to whether to do either GOLD LEAF or SILVER LEAF service.  Gold costs more than silver, as you might have guessed.  Both provide scenic views and great service.   Gold offers, however, a two-level train car with your dining  for breakfast and lunch being served in a different, lower level.  For me, a key factor was that the Gold Leaf cars included an open, observation area that was better for photography and getting an "upclose" feel for viewing the wonderful sights, wind and spirit of these amazing regions of the Canadian Rockies, etc.  Also, during two long days of travel, having that variety of locations was a nice plus.  Is it worth it?  For us, it was.  BUT, each person needs to decide their personal choice and value trade-offs.   

Their website: 

www.rockymountaineer.com

 

From my earlier pictures and posting about Vancouver, I had forgotten to share summary I had research and written before our cruise about this superstar city in Western Canada.  Below is that background.  Hope it is helpful for those considering visiting this area. 

 

 

VANCOUVER: Canada’s third largest city is billed as a juxtaposition and panorama of sophistication, skyscrapers, snow-capped mountains and ocean, scattered with hip breweries, galleries and opportunities for outdoor pursuits.  Consistently ranked as one of the world's most livable cities, there's a laidback West Coast vibe.  Vancouver started in a humble as the settlement on Burrard Inlet. It also rose out of the old growth forests and the sawdust of the old Hastings Mill.  Pioneer “Gassy Jack” Deighton saw a chance to make money from the miners on their way to the Yukon and the saloon he built became the focus of the shanty town known as Gas Town.  In 1886, the Canadian Pacific Railway reached Vancouver, completing Canada’s “National Dream” of a connection between the east and west, plus for opening up new trade routes between Asia and Europe. The city was named for British captain and explorer George Vancouver, who sailed these waters in 1792. 

 

Located between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountains, it creates one of the most dramatic settings for any city in the world. The cuisine scenes are equally diverse, reflecting the makeup of Vancouver's ethnic (mostly Asian) mosaic and farm-to-table establishments. You are urged to take a stroll in this highly-walkable city, both to burn off calories and find your next location to explore.  More than eight million visitors come each year to Vancouver with its peninsula location.  That can make traffic flow a contentious issue.  Its mild climate, great natural scenery and relaxed outdoor lifestyle keeps attracting visitors.

 

A must-see is exploring Stanley Park, a 1.5 mile square of rainforests, rolling lawns and pebbly beaches almost entirely surrounded by water.  There are twenty miles of uninterrupted waterfront trails along Vancouver’s seawall.  Yaletown, a formerly run-down warehouse district, has a thriving nightlife scene.  At Brockton Point are nine colorful totem poles hailing from some of British Columbia’s remote indigenous communities. There are tram rides to the top of Grouse Mountain, the Ming Dynasty Gardens or doing a First Nation tour for forest bathing, foraging and tree-sap tasting. While Vancouver has the mildest climate of any city in Canada, it is rated best to visit Vancouver in the summer, when the days are long and the weather is beautiful.  Yes, that nice Vancouver weather was our experience and this added to our enjoyment.  Summers are not muggy and humid. They are crisp and clear, with temperatures typically in the high 70’s. 

 

Called the “Hollywood of the North”, many movies and TV shows are filmed here. If the weather turns bad, some suggest a retreat to the Museum of Anthropology that has First Nation artist Bill Reid’s enormous The Raven and the First Men sculpture.

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

SE Asia/Mekong River, Etc.!  Live/blog from early 2018, first adventure through SE Asia, stops in Hong Kong and Bangkok, before exploring all over Vietnam and Cambodia, seven days sailing on the Mekong River. Now at 48,972 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2591474

 

In doing the Rocky Mountain rail, here is a map showing our route from Jasper to Vancouver with the overnight stay in Kamloops.  Why stop at this town?  Two good reasons.  Why travel at night and miss many key sights?  Second, with this stop in the middle of the journey, you do not need the extra cost, service and train set-up to have sleeper cars as a part of this train arrangement.  Kamloops is nothing special, but serves a function during this journey.:

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From our hotel in Jasper, here was one of the many dramatic mountain views, plus the train cars showing at ground level.  The second picture shows this view during the evening sunset.:

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As we were getting ready to board the Rocky Mountaineer in the morning, here is the cute train station in Jasper with the distances marked in their signage.  Loved this town with its size and charm.  Not too commercial and/or over-developed.  Had nice dining here.  As we waited to board the train, below is one of their First Nation native performers giving cultural background and a drum performance.:

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This visual shows how much light and visibility was afforded with the innovative design of these custom-produced Gold Leaf rail cars.  Next was the challenge of breakfast!!  What do we order?  Tough choices.  I went with the eggs Benedict.  Great and tasty selection!!  The fellow passengers on this trip represented a wonderful international mix.  Below is my wife talking at lunch with Ineta and Dariusz from Denmark.  Sorry, he got trimmed out a little too much.  Plus, Ineta was better looking??!!  At breakfast on this first day, we sat with and learned much from a couple from New Zealand.  On the second day, we dined with two different, fun and interesting couples from Australia.  Great socializing experiences during this rail travel with the set-ups for these train cars.  Finally, yes, the wine and beverages were flowing during lunch and in the afternoon.  Plenty of great food, drinks, service and snacks were included as a part of this travel package.  No extra charges or fees!:

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Thank you so much Terry for your wonderful information about Vancouver. I guess you all drove to Queen Elizabeth Park - or is there a good way there on public transport? We have 5 days in Vancouver before our cruise - not been there before. 

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6 hours ago, worldtraveller99 said:

Thank you so much Terry for your wonderful information about Vancouver. I guess you all drove to Queen Elizabeth Park - or is there a good way there on public transport? We have 5 days in Vancouver before our cruise - not been there before. 

 

Great above follow-up and question from our London friend.  YES, we were fortunate to have a "personal, local guiding couple" who did drive us to Queen Elizabeth Park.  As to public transport options, I would think that would and should be possible.  BUT, the challenge and question with bus options is as to whether such access is that handy and time-efficient. Don't know that answer.  Sorry!  Given your five days in Vancouver, I would suggest continuing to research and consider your many options.  My sense from our three days in this large city is that there are many, many potentials there.  BUT, it depends on your personal interests and travel likes, desires, etc.  As an example, Vancouver has an art museum, but it is not considered that great or significant.  It's not the Hermitage, Louvre or Met in New York City.  Keep preparing!!  Clearly Vancouver has many great nature, shopping, dining, etc., potentials.  Tell me and us more as to what you most want to do and see in Vancouver.  

 

Now back to more from our experiences with the Rocky Mountaineer rail adventure.  Among the various sights and sites we experienced included these locations as described from their website:

 

Hell's Gate:  Every minute 750-million litres of water crashes through a narrow 33-metre (108-foot) wide gorge - double that of Niagara Falls. No wonder Hell's Gate put the "fear of God" into early explorers. 

 

Cisco Crossing: Find yourself where the CP and CN rail tracks overlap. The orange truss arch bridge, one of two bridges, is the largest single span bridge on the CN line at 247 metres (812 feet) long.

 

Pyramid Falls: This spectacular 91-metre (300-foot) waterfall tumbles glacier-fed water from a hanging valley into the Thompson River. Feel mist on your face and enjoy this spectacular view!

 

Mount Robson: Look up, waaaaay up. Also known as "The Great White Fright", Mount Robson claims the title of the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies at a staggering 3,954 metres (12,972 feet).

 

Moose Lake:  Keep your eyes peeled for one of Canada's favourite animals! As the name of this lake suggests, there is a good chance you may spot a moose on the lake's shore.

 

Sorry!  We did not see any moose at Moose Lake.  But, we enjoyed many other great views.  Along this "Journey through the Clouds" route from Jasper, we  followed the route of the Fraser River, home of British Columbia’s largest salmon run and passed by the Albreda Glacier.  More later. 

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Fun, interesting visuals, plus travel details from this early 2016 live/blog. At 46,629 views. Featuring Cape Town, South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta.

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

 

Here are more samples of the various sights as our train rolled through the Canada Rockies and coastal mountains nearer to Vancouver.  The fourth visual shows a CN freight engine on the other track coming from the opposite direction.  Lots of freight rail traffic along this route.:

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In addition to great breakfasts and lunches on the Rocky Mountaineer, there would be "snacks" such as these scones served mid-morning with great, home-made jam, etc.:

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As we traveled along during these two days on the Rocky Mountaineer, the amount of wildlife seen was limited.  Below is one picture showing the unique horns on this animal.  Sorry for the poor technical quality.  When shooting through these rail car windows as we are moving along quickly, the lighting and technical results are sometimes less than desired.  Things do work better with a little luck and shooting from the open, observation car.  Finally, below is another interesting bridge view along this scenic route.:

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Need more proof and evidence as to prove exactly why and how we super loved our Rocky Mountaineer experience?  See below and in the next post.  We had two perfect weather days during this trip that made this trip so spectacular. Let me know any questions for this potential option to experience before doing an Alaska cruise. Happy to share more and answer any questions.

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

 

Dubrovnik!  Nice visual samples, tips, details, etc., for this super scenic location. Over 46,341 views.    

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1439227

 

We enjoyed great personal service by the staff during this rail trip.  Plus great sights.  More examples below to verify those claims. As the second picture shows, part of the areas between Kamloops and Vancouver was very dry and almost desert-like.:

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Here is more of a sample for the views along this dramatic route.  The second picture shows my second-day breakfast choice.  It was an egg treat including salmon.  wonderful food!!:

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This visual shows the small kitchen in the two-level rail car that produced such excellent breakfasts and lunches.  Yes, it was a happy crew in the kitchen.  Great to salute them for these tasty results.  Second is another examples of the fascinating sights along this train route.:

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Below is the final part of our top pictures from our Rocky Mountaineer rail trip. 

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Kotor/Montenegro:  Exciting visual samples, tips, details, etc., for this scenic, historic location. Over 46,290 views.

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

 

These visuals give a better sampling of the right valleys and scenic river views as we progressed towards Vancouver.  Yes, as the third visual shows, the beverages flowed frequent upon request as and as needed.  So much food and drinks on these rail trip.  Had to pace myself to leave room for excess during our Silver Muse sailing.  The fourth visual is of my wife enjoying the fresh air and great view from the open observation area of our two-level rain car.:

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First is the view of my great second-day lunch.  I picked a winner with this delightful salmon dish.  Second is a picture of the Albreda Glacier mentioned earlier.:

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This visual shows the different colors from two different rivers merging along our rail route.  Second is one of the happy couples from Australia prove that these travelers were very pleased with the food, views and service.  Third is is a large mountain as we moved closer to Vancouver.  Fourth is one of the large bridges was we neared our final destination.:

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Glad you enjoyed Canada so Much!  Although I think the mountainnear Vancouver is Mount Baker from Washington state.   Another volcanic mountain.   

I wanted to mention re your camera discussion, my DH has the big Nikon with all the lenses that he usually doesn’t want to carry. So we use the cell phone a lot.   He just purchased a Nikon Coolpix 900 that is lightweight and has an amazing built in zoom.   So we will try this.   

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As added "proof" for the food service quality and variety with the Rocky Mountaineer, below are our menus for the second day's breakfast and lunch.  Hard, challenging choices!!  But, the results were excellent, plus the great views, company and service.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Athens & Greece: Many visuals, details from two visits in a city with great history, culture and architecture.  Now at 31,826 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1101008

 

Here are scans of the second day menu for our Gold Leaf cars on this travel between Kamloops and Vancouver.:

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Thank you Terry for all photos, plus menus. Going back to Vancouver we aim to go to Stanley Park, Gastown, Chinatown, a floatplane day to Victoria to see Butchart Gardens and downtown / museum there - may book this autumn, whale watching from Vancouver - may book this autumn, Grouse mountain, UBC Museum of Anthropology, Granville Island, Vancouver Tower, Christchurch Cathedral, Vancouver Art Gallery + shops! Just to say for anyone doing FlyOver Canada - I think this is what I did in the Epcot Centre some years ago, which led to a very unwell experience with a flower bed! If you are planning to take Dramamine or whatever for the cruise, as I am, you may want to take it for that too. I won't try and do it again!

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