Our last evening with Tauck was a highlight. The company arranged for all 200 of us to board a private charter ferry for a visit to Ellis Island, the disembarkation point for so many immigrants to the United States.
Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Giant’s Causeway, a natural geologic formation of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns formed 50 to 60 million years ago.
Mediocre food is often an irritation at all-inclusive properties but we found Secrets to take its food choices and preparation very seriously.
Although adults can and do have a fabulous time aboard a Carnival ship, the emphasis for us on this cruise was on the grandchildren. They were never bored.
As expected on a ship of this quality, all our meals were excellent. In Europa 2’s Japanese restaurant, Sakura, we enjoyed Sushi and giant tempura shrimp (who knew a German ship could produce such excellent sushi?).
Sandals LaSource Grenada is laid out in a series of “Villages” along a stretch of Pink Gin Beach. The water is warm, calm and crystal-clear and filled with tropical fish.
It took a lot of planning and co-ordination to find a week and location suitable for our three adult children, their spouses and our five grandchildren aged 5 to 15, but the all-inclusive resort we all agreed on was a gem.
Our visit was just six days but we had a taste of both major cities, plus, to the north, the most intensive whisky producing region in the world.
After enjoying the hotel and the Florida coast for two days (we always try to arrive early for a cruise) we boarded the Royal Princess, the newest, largest and most glamorous in the Princess fleet. Launched in Britain last year by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, the 3500-passenger ship is loaded with innovations designed to keep loyal Princess guests happy while attracting a new generation of cruisers who demand good value along with sophistication and elegance.
The award-winning Grand Velas Riviera Maya, situated just south of Cancun near Playa del Carmen, certainly has a great beach, inviting swimming pools, huge stylish rooms with jacuzzis and a can-do service attitude. What sets the five-year-old resort apart is the high level of its cuisine, not just in the five specialty restaurants but in room service and the three anything-but-ordinary buffet and a la carte eating places.