Cruising

First there is the dream of sailing on the magnificent Danube that you have heard about all of your life. Then comes the excitement of planning your personal vacation loaded with the anticipation of experiencing something you have never done before. The day finally arrives and after a trip across the Atlantic Ocean you get a first glance at your sleek AMA Waterways river cruise ship. You are greeted warmly and very quickly made to feel at home. The cabins are nicely appointed and the crew is searching for ways they can serve you.

The ship sets sail smoothly and quietly on this beautiful river that is surrounded by the hills and forests of Bavaria. It is now time for a marvelous dinner with excellent choices and served with care. On many of the nights there was entertainment after dinner on a small scale but high quality.

The inside passage cruises round-trip from Seattle which is convenient because you don’t have to do a pre/post night and you don’t have to have a passport. The inside passage makes stops in Skagway, Ketchikan, Juneau, and usually a night stop in Victoria. It also includes one day seeing a glacier from the ship either Glacier bay, or Tracy Arm my favorite being Glacier Bay where you feel like you are right in the middle of the glacier.

In my opinion none of the main cruise lines do a better job of cruising the inside passage than Princess does. They add extra touches that are special just for Alaska. Which includes having naturalists on board, seminars about Alaska,and special tours because they partner with Animal planet and Discovery, Alaskan food, and a new favorite of mine: puppies!

In the piazza where they bring Alaska sled dog puppies on to the ship and yes you can hold them.

Also, if you have anybody in your family/party who loves crab the restaurant at the top of Mount Roberts Tram offers an all you eat crab plate for $62.00 that includes sides, Crab bib and bucket. Delicious!

I would be happy to help you with any of your Alaska cruise requests either email or give me a call.

Amber Lee Johanson

Phone: 801.483.6314

Salzburg Germany vacationI recently enjoyed the opportunity of sailing on the Romantic Danube Cruise with AMA Waterways. This was my second River Cruise with AMA and won’t be my last.

We started our adventure with a few days in Munich, Germany. What a vibrant city full of culture & history. We stayed at the Le Meridien Hotel which is perfectly located adjacent to the train station and walking distance to the Marienplatz which is where you can see the New Town Hall, Old Town Hall, the Column of St. Mary, and the Glockenspiel Clock Tower. While in Munich we took a hop on & off city tour which is always a great way to get oriented to a new city. We also enjoyed a day trip to the beautiful city of Salzburg and another day on the Romantic Road stopping at Harburg Castle and Rothenburg, one of the best preserved medieval towns in Germany.

After our stay in Munich we took the train to Vilshofen where we boarded the AmaCerto for our 7 day cruise on the Danube River. We had a lovely stateroom including plenty of space and a French balcony which we were able to open and enjoy the striking views and fresh air. Our first evening we enjoyed a welcome dinner onboard and then we were treated to a traditional Okotberfest Celebration on shore with live music & dancing. Back on board the ship we found our sign-up sheet waiting in our room so we could choose our included tour choices for the entire cruise.

When we have gone on cruises before we have gone with Family. It is nice traveling with others you know but it is also nice traveling with just the two of us because we get to meet more people. I think cruising is a great way to travel and is actually about the least expensive way to travel when you think of everything you get. There is something for everyone, Great Food, Movies, Music and dancing, Karaoke Fun, amazing Production Shows, other entertainment and many other fun activities, depending on your interest. This is the first time we have gone to all the shows in the evening. My personal favorites were Magic to Do and Colors of the World.

We traveled in October, which was a perfect time not too hot or too rainy and cold for the different places we went.

Our Cruise started and ended in Los Angeles, and the Itinerary included San Francisco, Monterey, San Diego, Ensenada and two days at sea.

For some, getting in touch with nature can be a spiritual experience. The beauty and wonders of the world can definitely be therapeutic to all of us.

I have often heard that a cruise is a perfect vacation because you can do as little or as much as you please. We have always tended to be on the busy side. We have gone to trivia games, karaoke, shows and more. Our most recent cruise on the Ruby Princess to the Mexican Riviera was different. We spent a lot of time relaxing. I learned a few tips to make this an enjoyable vacation also.

First, splurge on a balcony cabin. On Princess, the Caribe deck has balconies that are larger with a partial covering. They are especially nice when there is a bit of weather. We had breakfast on the balcony every morning. We sat out as we arrived and left ports. We were able to see the stars at night as well as sunrise and sunset. The balcony provides a unique view to your cruise.