All posts by dgolinsky-admin

The Travel Plans

As we approach the start of our 2 year traveling expedition, I thought I should jot down the current plan. 2 trips before we actually retire and then a bunch of days after that. Subject to change of course.

  • August 2022 – White Rock, BC
  • September 2022 – Philadelphia
  • October 2022 – Washington DC
  • November 2022 – Key West
  • November 2022 – Holland America Caribbean Cruise
  • December 2022 – May 2023 The World Cruise
  • July 2023 – October 2023 Northern Cruise and Europe
  • April 2024 – Holland America 28 days around Japan
  • May 2024 to June 2024 Cape Town to Paris

A total of 50 countries and 348 days of traveling if I count it right

1) August 10th to 16th 2022

Trip to White Rock British Columbia.

The first trip is out to the west coast to spend some time with Susan’s Aunt and Uncle. BC should be beautiful in August.

2) September 2nd to 5th 2022

Trip to Philadelphia

A dear friend is having a baby shower and Susan wanted to go. So we will spend a few days up in PA with some dear friends. It will be our first visit to Philly.

3) October 5th to 12th 2022

Trip to Washington DC

Having never been to DC it was decided that our first trip after retirement should be a trip with several friends up to DC. Two of our very best friends are DC experts and are excited to show us the sites. We are very much looking forward to this trip.

4) November 13th to 16th

Trip to Key West

Two very old and dear friends are coming to visit from Calgary and wanted to see the Keys, it is a nice time of year down there and should be a great time.

5) November 26th to December 3rd

Eastern Caribbean Cruise

We decided to take a short Holiday/Christmas cruise with my brother to spend some time as a family before we embark in many months away from home.

Should be a nice 7 day break.

6) December 21 2022 to May 15th 2023

The Trip Around the World

Around the world on the Viking Neptune. You can read all about it here www.viking23.com.

7) July 16th 2023 to October 24th 2023

Iceland to Fort Lauderdale

This will be another great trip. We will start be spending 4 nights in Iceland where we will rent a car and tour the southern coast for a few days and then spend a couple nights in Reykjavik.

Then we board the Oceania Riviera and spend 43 days cruising Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Scotland, Ireland and England.

We then plan to travel the UK by train until September 29th. The train details are yet to be finalized but we hope to see Scotland and the Lake District.

After the European travels we are meeting some friends and getting on a 25 day Princess cruise to cruise England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal and then across the Atlantic to Florida.

8) March 30th to April 27th 2024

Japan Round trip

This is a 4 week round trip around Africa with Holland America.

28-Day Japan Explorer & Discovery Collector

We will then have 8 days to get to Cape Town and explore there a bit.

9) May 5th 2024 to June 26th 2024

Cape Town to Paris

We will start this trip with a 4 day safari near Cape Town at the Botlierskop Private Game Reserve.

Then we Board the Oceania Nautica for 46 days, traveling to Several South African ports, Namibia, São Tomé, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Senegal, Cape Verde, Spain, Morocco, Portugal, More Spain, France, Ireland and Paris (Le Havre).

From there we need to make our way home, but we do not have the planned yet. Perhaps we stay in Europe and take a transatlantic across later in the summer.


Enchanted Princess
Day 8 – Curacao

Curacao is Great!

We did an excursion to an aloe farm and the Curacao distillery. Both were very good. Of course there was the required stop at a Carribean fort. When you are on a tour in Europe they say an ABC (Another Bloody Church) there are just so many. I am going to start saying ABF, Another bloody fort.

We also spent the afternoon wandering around Willemstad, a very nice old town. Also a world heritage site.

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

Aloe Farm

The Distillery, very old and the liquor is kosher

https://www.curacaoliqueur.com/brand/the-history-of-senior-co

Had a very nice walk around town. There is a lot of art and these colorful dolls called Chichi’s.

The floating bridge here is super cool, built in the late 1800’s and still going strong. Found place to relax and have a bite and beer as well.

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

They have a word for lovely, nice, happy, good. Dushi. It is everywhere and kinda funny.

The required fort

Next is 2 sea days then home.


Enchanted Princess
Day 6 – Grenada

Today was a visit to an island we have long wanted to see. Grenada “The Spice Island” and it did not disappoint.

It was an early excursion and we had to be on the pier by 7:20, at least we got a nice sunrise

We then got into our mini bus for the day with Quinton guide and Foxy our red head driver. I would not want Foxy’s job, he managed to get that bus up hills, around hairpin corners, up hills that would make San Franciscans shy and squeezing by head on traffic at speed. He was an amazing driver.

We started by driving through the capital city of St. Georges, a very compact and busy city.

Next we went out to Anadale Falls.

Next was a long drive along the coast to the Spice Estate. We past Halifax Bay where pirates used to hide from the British navy. At the spice estate we saw Nutmeg, Mangos, Banana, Cocoa, Cloves, Soursop, French cashew (like a pear or an apple, not the nut) and a lot of mangos and other flowers. The blue bags around the bananas are to protect them from bugs, apparently bugs hate the color blue, who knew… Also, they put down nutmeg shells instead of gravel on paths.

Next we drove up the mountains to the rain forest, very dense and beautiful. The temperature must have dropped 10-15 degrees.

We ended up near the summit at Grand Etang Lake. The lake is in an extinct volcano crater. Guppies are native here. Supposed to be monkeys as well, but we did not see any.

Then back down the mountain to the required Caribbean fort view point. We must have been to most of them by now, but the view was nice. From here we could see the destroyed military base that was bombed by the Americans in 1983.

On the way back to the ship Quinton treated us to his rendition of “My Way” a fun and unexpected way to end the tour.

Back on the ship we headed up to the Sanctuary again to relax and head off to Bonaire.

Dinner tonight was in the Crown Grill, Susan had the lobster and I had sea bass, both very good.


Enchanted Princess Day 5
– Dominica

Today we had our first excursion, a tour of the capital city Roseau and a trip up into the mountains to see the twin Trafalgar falls.

We woke up up to a beautiful rainbow that was also an omen of the wet day to come. Some of the pictures are through a wet window as we drove to the falls. We got on the tour and drove up to a view point. The picture below is NOT our vehicle.

Hurricane Maria made a mess of the island in 2017. There was a lot lost and they are still recovering. We had a drive through the Capital Roseau.

After a fun drive up the mountain, wondering if the van would make it at times and wondering if the road was wide enough at times we reached the falls. Turns out the weather was with us and we only got a bit wet.

After a 10-15 minute walk up and down a lot of steps and through a very lush and green forest to the falls we were treated to amazing views.

After we got back we were up in the Sanctuary again, getting to be a very nice habit.

We really enjoy the daily tea time

Sunset tonight

Tomorrow is Grenada


Enchanted Princess
Day 4 – St. Thomas

Formal night was really fun, we met a couple, Dana and Russ that were a blast to talk to. Susan had duck l’orange and I had lamb. A very nice dinner.

Today we decided to walk into the capital city of Charlotte Amalie. From the port are there is a very nice path along the harbor, about 5 miles there and back. We saw an iguana, a turtle and a sting ray while we walked. The yachts were amazing.

After our walk we were back in the sanctuary for some more pampering.

We decided on French food tonight, it was was outstanding. We both had the Lobster and seafood bisque then Susan had the filet and I had sea bass.

Tomorrow is Dominica


Enchanted Princess
Day 3 – Sea Day

Today was very nice, we managed to secure a cabana in the Sanctuary for the morning. Talk about being spoiled. Breakfast delivered with mimosas, fruit and snacks provided. 

A bottle of rose’

And even lunch was delivered

We liked it so much we managed to get a couple more afternoons reserved.

After lunch we strolled around a bit and ended up in the room to relax before formal night.

Our room is very nice, somewhat small but seems to have more then enough storage.

I have started bringing magnets for both utility and some fun.

Everything on the ship works based on our medallions, like key cards but somehow better. The medallions were shipped a couple weeks ago and as you can see they can be customized, Susan’s is her birthstone, mine is my zodiac. You simply walk up to your room and the door unlocks, the servers walkup to you and know your name, drinks at the bar are so very easy, no signing, no paper, everything touch-less rfid.

The companion app is another matter, it has trouble connecting to anything, does not know the correct date and time and is very poorly designed. Yet another first world problem, but they would have a homerun if the app worked.

The other issue is they don’t seem to have any fall back for people without smart phones All menus are QR codes and if you don’t have a phone you are out of luck. Seems like they have forgotten about a good chunk of their demographic.

Tonight is formal night, I actually brought a suit. Will be fun to dress up and enjoy the evening.


Enchanted Princess
Day 2 – Princess Cay

We decided to stay on the ship today, too many people doing the 10 to 15 minute tender ride over rough waves for us today, We figured the northerners needed the beach more than us, after all, we are from Florida.

We did discover that there was still some availability in the Sanctuary for the afternoon, so we got a couple reserved loungers and after a quick buffet bite to eat, spent the next 4 1/2 hours lounging and being pampered. They even do high tea at 3:00, the scones were amazing.

After the very lazy afternoon we got cleaned up and went out in search of a cocktail, which we found.

We also found a fantastic trio of young Ukrainian ladies playing classical favorites. It was nice the the crowd was so supportive of them.

The very late for us 7:50 dinner was at the Italian speciality restaurant Sabatinis, the food was very good but as usual way to much food. Food service was once again spectacular. Drink service on the ship has been a bit hit and miss, sometimes it takes 20 minutes to get a glass of wine. First world problem for sure.

Tomorrow is a sea day and we have a cabana booked in the Sanctuary for the morning, will write more then.


Enchanted Princess
Day 1 – Boarding

The night before the cruise we received an email saying the ship was being delaying into port and not to get to the port earlier than 1:00PM. Susan was happy as she would get to sleep in.

The later than planned, drive down to Fort Lauderdale was uneventful, dropped off our bags with the super nice porter Big Mike, parked and walked up to the terminal.

There was a fair line waiting to get in and people were still getting off the ship, but it really kept moving and was not too bad.

The Princess Medallion ship check in is super easy. After security you simply walkup, scan your medallion, have your passport/Vaccination/Covid test checked and you are done. Walked straight onto the ship by about 1:45.

Walked up to our room, R304 and dropped off our carry on bags. Then we had to do the safety/muster. This consists of watching a video in our room and then going to our muster station, Station B in the casino, and scanning our medallion. Could not be easier.

We then tried to get a reservation in the Sanctuary which is a paid section of the deck with reserved loungers and some other amenities, but we were too late. Next time perhaps.

Then we were off for lunch, turns out we missed the main dinning rooms lunch hours and the pizza place had a 35 minute wait. Buffet it was. Not too bad at all.

Next was to find a place for a drink and to decompress from the drive. We went to Bellinis and had a couple cocktails and a beer and watch the sail away that had been moved inside due to some rain.

Turns out there are a little over 2,500 passengers and total capacity is about 3,600. Should be low crowds.

Back to the room and luggage was here so some unpacking and getting ready for sail away and an early dinner.

Dinner was good, Susan had a Crawfish stew that she really liked and I had a pork loin that was excellent.