Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pack For a Purpose


Our final port of call during our 2015 National Conference cruise on Norwegian Escape was at Nassau, Bahamas.  We were among the more than 75 Independent Cruise and Vacation Specialists who partnered with the Sandals Foundation, the non-profit arm of Sandals Resorts International, to donate school supplies to Bahamian children as part of Pack for a Purpose®

Conference attendees that participated in this fundraiser donated almost 600 pounds of school supplies to underprivileged children in the Bahamas. What a great way to bring  the "Connect" conference theme to life.

The mission of Pack for a Purpose is to positively impact communities around the world by assisting travelers who want to take meaningful contributions to the destinations they visit through five different initiatives including education, health, child welfare, animal welfare and socioeconomic development. The education initiative supports more than 520 education projects around the world including schools, after-school programs and libraries. 

Since 2011, The Sandals Foundation has been a partner with Pack for a Purpose in the Caribbean to positively impact local communities by assisting visitors who want to take much needed school supplies to support educational initiatives in the region.  Visitors are encouraged to pack up to five pounds of needed supplies in their suitcases, such as school supplies, medical supplies, sports equipment, etc., to meet the needs of people in nearby underdeveloped regions.

Please consider participating in Pack for a Purpose as you travel to areas with PfaP partnerships.  The website is

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving 2015


Norwegian Escape in St. Thomas USVI

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is here already. Where did 2015 go? As has become my tradition, I'd like to share with you some of the things that I'm thankful for and highlight some of my adventures this year.

I hope that you, your family, and friends have plenty to be thankful for this holiday season. I know that I have plenty of things to be thankful for, including my health, family, and friends and the ability to share my love of cruising with all of you. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to explore new worlds with family and friends again this year.

While this has been another tough economic year, it appears that the cruise industry has weathered the storm once again.
The value of cruising has never been stronger. Even in these tough times, more and more families have taken to the seas.  Indications are that the record discounts offered the past two years will be coming to an end.  In the meantime those discounts have made cruising an even better value, and consequently we have seen a surge in first-time cruisers.

Thankful for ... 
Sailing on Brand New Ships

Cruises Inc. and Cruise One held the 2015 National Conference on Norwegian Escape which just started its inaugural season sailing to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami. This state of the art ship is conservation minded including the amazing hull art work of Guy Harvey.

Once again our conference was held in November and we had the opportunity to thank our veteran members.  Thank you to all who have served in our armed forces.

We wonder what the Pilgrims, who came to the New World in Tall Ships, would think about the Norwegian Escape.Their ships measured 110 feet, held 150 passengers at most, and took months to cross the Atlantic.  The Escape is more than 10 times that length (1098 feet), holds almost 4248 passengers and 1731 crew, and took just a couple weeks to cross the Atlantic.

Thank you for making our blog column a part of your lives in 2015.   I hope that the information we share helps you to dream about future cruises of your own. I'd be honored to help you plan those trips. I have the best job in the world - helping make dreams come true. For that, I'm truly thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to All

Saturday, November 21, 2015

National Conference 2015

Cruises Inc. & CruiseOne National Conference was held onboard the brand new Norwegian Escape, which is based in Miami starting this month.  Here was our view from our 31st story hotel room at Marriott Key Biscayne Miami.  We had a welcome cocktail party at the hotel on Friday November 13th.  The rain waited until we were done with our party

Port Miami welcomed the Norwegian Escape into its new home port early Saturday morning.  One of our fellow agents captured these images early in the morning.

Norwegian Escape looks beautiful all lit up in Miami, but she looks even more amazing in full sunlight.  The hull art was designed by Guy Harvey, who sailed with us on our cruise.  He hopes that his art will bring awareness to conservation efforts so that generations to come can enjoy the sea.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cruise Lines Salute Veterans


We could never thank our military men and women enough for their courageous service and sacrifice to our country and its people. Yet today we lift up our voices to express gratefulness and honor to these military troops both from the past and present.



Many cruise lines recognize our troops with special rates.  We've listed a couple offers which you might not be aware of.   Be sure to mention your military service when contacting us so that we can see if there are any rates that you qualify for.  We would be honored to help you plan some R & R.

Cruise Line Veterans Day Offer
Carnival Cruise Line
Saluting our soldiers with exclusive rates on select sailings through 2016! Plus, share your deal with two additional rooms.
Destinations include: Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, Alaska
Royal Caribbean
Ongoing promotion allows Military, Police  & Fire personnel special discounts on select sailings

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

USMC 240th Birthday

Happy 240th Birthday
United States Marine Corps

On November 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia passed a resolution stating that "two Battalions of Marines be raised" for service as landing forces with the fleet. This resolution established the Continental Marines and marked the birth date of the United States Marine Corps.

Semper Fidelis

Since then, Marines have participated in all the wars of the United States, and in most cases were the first service members to fight. To date, Marines have executed more than 300 landings on foreign shores.
Today, there are more than 200,000 active-duty and reserve Marines, organized into three divisions stationed at Camp Lejeune, Camp Pendleton and Okinawa, Japan.

The images above were captured in Washington D.C. during our Regional Conference held in Virginia.   We booked the "Monuments at Night" trolley bus tour which included a stop at this memorial.

Thank you to all Marines, living and deceased, for your contributions to our safety.   Be sure to ask about military benefits when planning a vacation.  For example, many cruise lines offer special pricing or onboard credits to past and present active military personnel.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Dinner in Koblenz

Koblenz Dinner

Shortly after arriving in Koblenz, it was time for the Port Talk and then dinner in the main dining room.

Soup & Salad

The Green Salad with carrots, cucumbers, red onion, and tomatoes was the featured salad.  The two soup choices were Beef Consomme and Cream of Potato.

Main Entree

We selected the Turkey Breast Stuffed with Bread on Cranberry Sauce, with Vegetables and Potato Lasagne.  This wasn't your typical turkey dinner, but it was great.

Leave Room For Dessert
click images to enlarge

The ice cream flavor was Pistachio with Raspberry Sauce and Whipped Cream.

The other main dessert selection was Walnut Parfait with Mixed Berry Sauce.   Both of these selections were good.   When it doubt, have both.

As usual, the meal was accompanied by a selection of local wines and beers.

Another option for the evening was the Avalon Panorama Bistro Dinner which we had done earlier in the cruise.


Additional photos can be found on our Rhine & Moselle Shutterfly page:

Koblenz Dinner

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Cochem to Koblenz

click images to enlarge
Afternoon Sailing 
from Cochem

All aboard Avalon Artistry II was at 12:45 PM as the ship sailed by 1 PM along the meandering scenic Moselle River.   Following our German Lunch Buffet we headed up to the Sky Deck for the narrated scenic viewing .

Docked Overnight Koblenz

We arrived in Koblenz around 6:30 PM just in time for our evening Port Talk and dinner.   Following dinner, we were treated to a spectacular sunset which illuminated the nearby buildings, sky, and river.

Tomorrow we would have time to explore Koblenz, so for tonight, we just took a short stroll along the pier before returning to the ship for som rest. 

Local entertainment was provided by a string trio, La Strada, in the lounge at 9 PM.

Additional photos can be found on our Rhine & Moselle Shutterfly page: 

Click on the image to the left for more Blog posts about this trip.

Follow us on Twitter: @ChrisPappinMCC  Pinterest: CruiseWithChris Pappin and Facebook: CruiseWithChris Pappin Cruises Inc