May 9, 2013
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Update – Mar. 16, 2013:
(Please note: To keep abreast of our ever-evolving
events, some past Updates are included herein or linked below.)
Having fun with a Ferengi aboard the Windsong
in Tahiti, 1997.
Just thought I give you all a shout out. . . especially since we just
returned from a month long Insight Cruises event in South America. Wow
– First time I have ever been there. . . and indeed I would go back
in a heartbeat! ;-)) It was just beautiful and a huge culturally enlightening
experience! And we had on board this cruise a top physicist who works at
CERN. . . hoping he help us with our tour?! We’ll see. . .
Anyway, so we are behind in paperwork. . . but, we’ll get
caught up. . . appreciate the patience. . .
So for this fall, the Seine River cruise is shaping up nicely! And well,
we just wanted to let you know that we can arrange airfares through the
cruise line for you guys if you so choose. . . The fares so far have proved
to be pretty good. So, if you desire this airfare assistance. . . please send
Aaron an email at
with your travel dates in mind and he’ll get back to you.
Besides the fare, CT will add a $50 airfare fee. Sorry about this
– but this day & age, fees for airfare are not atypical. Well,
plus it is a ton of effort. . . though we will leave it up to you to obtain your
seats, apply FF numbers and/or to order any special meals if available. . .
The good thing is that depending upon your schedule requested and other
mitigating factors transfers are sometimes if not mostly included as well.
There is a little back and forth in this process for airfare so again we
appreciate the patience. And the deposit for the airfare is $350. . . which
is non-refundable after confirmation.
Balance is due upon full payment date. In any case, please let us
know if we can help on airfare. . .
The other cool thing is that our dear friend Lolita Fatjo with her lovely
man, Jim, are sailing too! Plus, it looks like Dominic will join us again as
well. AND it appears that we’ll have our very favorite AMA
Waterways Cruise Manager, Peter Whitehead back with us. . . Of course,
both of them are subject to change. . . but, we do have great options if it
does change. . . like another actress who actually lives in France and
another CM that lives in Europe. . . so, all will be as serendipitous as
Oh yeah. . . as most of you know for the Seine River cruise, space
has been very very tight for quite some time. . . but, we may have a Trek
Share or cabin pop open. . . So if someone else wants to go. . . please
get to us with a booking form ASAP. . . Upon receipt of a BIS, we
won’t book you until we know exactly what category is available
and then we will confer with you the details for you to decide yea or nay.
Easy. . .
Oh yes, even more news is that we are working on CT 2014. . . We
have the destination, the date. . . and we just signed contracts with a
cruise line. . . So, info is coming soon! Shhhhh! ;-))) Not South America
though this time. . . but, someplace with popular demand! ;-))
Be well & Travel Safe. . .
Looking forward to seeing you all once again. . .
Announcing: Cruise Trek 2013:
“A Seine River, Normandy Beaches & Magical Paris Tour”
with an optional Geneva / CERN Tour.
And new information for our upcoming event –
the “Hawaiian Expedition II”
October 20 ~ November 4, 2012!!
Cruise Trek’s 20th Anniversary sailing!
Update – Aug. 29, 2012:
Hey there, Cruise Trek Family for Hawaii 2012,
This Update (warning – it is a
large one ;-) ) will cover quite a few things (both New & Old) for our
upcoming cruise, sailing round trip from San Diego, California to Hawaii
October 20 - November 4, 2012. If needed, please see the Cruise Trek
web site for the latest up to date itinerary and a booking information sheet.
Plus, you are the first to know of our announcement
for our cruise event for next year! A snail mailing is also going out today to
the Cruise trek Family of Travelers.
By popular demand from Cruise Trek Family member requests . . . here
it is . . . Cruise Trek 2013: “A Seine River, Normandy Beaches
& Magicall Paris Tour” . . . with an optional Geneva / CERN
Tour. So I ask – how about a Seine River Cruise round trip
from Paris sailing October 25 - November 1, 2013?? And as an option,
we’ll have a post cruise hotel stay in Paris to take in the most beautiful
monuments in the world. OK maybe this is just an opinion . . . but Paris is simply
magnificent!! The cruise will take in France’s fabled Normandy region,
Monet’s house & gardends, the Beaches of Normandy and much
much more! And Pre Cruise how about a side trip to the world’s largest
atom collider??? For this we’ll offer a side trip to Geneva & CERN
to see where they discovered the Higgs Particle. So as not to be too wordy at
the beginning of this Update – please see below
my signature lines for the Booking Information Sheet, itinerary flyer and more
complete CERN tour description information. Important to know . . .
this cruise will certainly sell out and is already very limited in cabin choices . . .
so if you want to join us, please get to us a.s.a.p.! Several actors, Lolita Fatjo
and other CT family friends want to go!!
However, before we get ahead of ourselves for 2013, we should cover
our Hawaii Adventure for this year . . .
To say that I am personally very excited to be sailing this particular itinerary
for the very first time. . . is an understatement. . . even after more than 100
cruises, never before will I have spent so many gloriously relaxing and beautiful
days at sea and all with my favorite people. . . my Cruise Trek Family. And doing
so in the fall from San Diego, California makes it all that much better. . . the
weather is typically just perfect in the fall and this is especially true as there is
so much to do in beautiful San Diego! Then more so, I am even more grateful
to be able to visit my favorite place on the planet. . . that is, gorgeous, relaxing
and inviting Hawaii!
Not to mention, this all takes place on Cruise Trek’s 20th
anniversary and TNG’s 25th anniversary year!
So, at this late date, if you have decided to sail on “The Hawaiian
Expedition II” with us. . . please give us a call or send in a Booking
Information Sheet and we’ll do our best to find a last minute cabin
with applicable discounts in place.
~ Fun in Hawaii! ~
Volcano National Park
Mauna Kea – Visitors Center
Mauna Kea – Observatories
Surf lessons in Honolulu
And special CT shore excursions!
The Attraction of Hawaii & Shore Excursion Ideas:
On the Big Isle, the possibilities are many: like a tour to Volcano National Park.
How about seeing an actual lava flow for cool sights?? Then perhaps how
about a side adventure to Mauna Kea and either its Visitors Center at
9,000’ or the observatories at 14,000’?? This is a must-see
for science enthusiasts! It is simply an amazing place to visit! The summit of
Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawaii hosts the world’s largest
astronomical observatory, with telescopes operated by astronomers from eleven
countries. The combined light-gathering power of the telescopes on Mauna Kea
is fifteen times greater than that of the Palomar telescope in California –
for many years the world’s largest – and sixty times greater
than that of the Hubble Space Telescope. Or how about simply going for a
surf lesson in Honolulu?? Or what about a visit to the North Shore and the
amazing sights of amazingly huge waves and here you also get the true feel of
Old Hawaii. . . Well, imaginations can flow as there is certainly a ton to do in
the beauty of Hawaii. . .
To get to the Visitors Center on Mauna Kea (if you were to go to the
summit a 4x4 would be required) – a rental car is suggested as the
distance and group tour costs are kind of silly. . . And anyway, some of you
may like a little more independence for your time in Hawaii. The following
web site may help you with rental car information:
Big Island – Hilo Courtesy Shuttle Information.
Tickets will be electronic and will be emailed as soon as we get them from
the cruise line. Though. . . and various reasons, a few will be printed out by
the CT office and snail-mailed. You will be able to book your shore excursions
upon receipts of your electronic ticket. As then you will have your booking
number. But, we will also advise of CT specific excursions soon as well. . . and
via email. In any case, if you desire to book your own excursion with Celebrity
Cruise Line at this time. . . we have settled the booking numbers. . . so, please
contact us for same.
Again, we are working on exclusive Cruise Trek Family full day Shore
excursions for both Hilo and Kona. . . we are just trying to squeeze in as much
of the island as we can. . . Hawaii has the largest concentration of telescopes
in the world and therefore the astronomy centers of Hilo & Keck in
Waimea are nothing short of absolutely amazing in their respective studies of
space and stars. . . and we will try to incorporate them into the tours. . . folks
in Hawaii are pretty relaxed in their approach to just about everything. . . so
these efforts are taking more time. . .
Bon Voyage Dinner and Party: To reiterate, our main
hotel location is the 3 star choice, (options reiterated below in the San Diego
info sections); it is within walking distance to Little Italy where we will perhaps
gather informally for an evening dinner and/or drinks the night before our cruise.
So far, we have several couples coming to see us off in San Diego. . . that is
they can’t make the cruise but, they may join us for dinner and/or drinks
in Little Italy the night before we are off on our 20th Anniversary and longest
cruise ever!! Kind of cool!!! So a fun and festive evening is sure to be had on
Friday, October 19th. More information on our informal gathering for the
evening prior to embarkation will be forthcoming.
Additional & Perhaps New Notes of Importance:
Some of you have asked. . . there will be 3 formal nights on board our Hawaii
adventure. Though honestly I am not bringing a suit. . . maybe a just a coat. . .
Hawaii and this event are just too relaxing for me to do more. But, by all
means if you desire to get all fancied up for dinner. . . go for it!! Tickets will be
sent electronically by mid to late September. We all have second seating for
dinner. . . but, if you need there are a ton of other dining choices.
Autographed photos, event schedules and commemorative shirts will be given
out at the hotel the night before our embarkation day or at our informal
dinner/cocktail gathering in little Italy. . . more info to follow on that night.
Important to know – To further benefit our CT
Family. . . your electronic ticket will have the agency name of
InsightCruises.com. . . a company that we also do some production work for. . .
Point is. . . please still contact me at the Cruise Trek Office for any and all
questions. If you have trouble reaching us by phone. . . please send an email
as we may be away from our office. Oh. . . in the ticket info will be a ton more
information about what to wear and much much more. . . I am sure the ticket
will answer most if not all your questions.
~ Special Guests ~
Jerry and Diane Hardin
Eric and Laurie Menyuk
Richard and Pat Herd
Ron and Barbara Moore
Special Guests As “Icing on the Cake”:
Of course the “icing on the cake” for this trip are the guests
that are interested in coming along. . . But, as there has been and as is
always seemingly the case, there will probably be more changes. We have
been in communication with several folks. . . but, between plays, other acting
and convention work, house remodels, weddings and young children starting
school for the first time, there is a juggling act to all of this. . . but, as most of
you already declare and comprehend. . . the guests are really just the
“icing on the cake!” More information is sure to follow when
we get closer to the sailing date, we’ll have more concrete news.
However, most of you will recognize the current list of interest of past CT
guests and thus CT Family members as follows: Jerry Hardin,
“Radue”, “Neria”, and “Samuel
Clemens/Mark Twain” and in X-files as “Deep
Throat”; Jerry’s lovely wife, actress and acting teacher Diane
will also join us to help with some participatory workshops on board; the very
kind and ever comedic Eric Menyuk, “The Traveler”, will sail
along with his lovely wife Laurie. Richard Herd, “ Admiral Noyce”,
will also sail with his wife Pat; he appeared in V the Miniseries,
TJ Hooker and many more. Plus, another longtime friend,
CT family favorite, a very lovely man if there ever was one – Emmy
Award Winner Visual Effects Guru/Supervisor Ron Moore will join with his
lovely wife Barbara. Though again. . . things could and will probably change.
All these folks have had quite prolific lives as actors and more. . . you should
really read up on them. . . fascinating!! Very sorry. . . but, even after being
so enthusiastic about the Hawaii cruise, Marina and Connor had other
“life things” pop up.
Beautiful & Waterfront Downtown San Diego: To
give you some perspective. . . our Celebrity Cruises Century
will dock just about in the middle of this photo, the airport is about 5
minutes by car/taxi to the left and the Coronado Bridge is in the
background to the right. Or just to the left of the crane, is a tall building
with a roof of various angles. . . below that tall building are the bell towers
of the Amtrak Train Station. . . a couple blocks toward the water is the
cruise ship passenger terminal.
Now to the Topic of Our Embarkation City – San Diego
– and Enjoying Local Theater With Vaughn Armstrong Performing:
Ok yes, the first part this subject may indeed be slightly off the topic of San
Diego. But, it is completely appropriate to the happenings in San Diego and
additionally appropriate as to the Cruise Trek Family as a whole. . . Therefore,
I am happy to tell you that our beloved Vaughn Armstrong (“Captain
Forrest” and many other ST characters) is performing in a play that he
helped to create in San Diego. AND he is performing in a preview performance
the same evening we disembark our Celebrity Cruises ship in San Diego
November 4th, 2012! Sadly though, this means that one of our favorite actors
and ST guests can’t sail with us. . . and what was really ironic is that
Vaughn’s wife is just now retiring this year and she really had to elbow
Vaughn over not being able to cruise. . . and but. . . again!! Those of you
that appreciate Vaughn and Christine surely understand the humor and
light-hearted if not loveable direction this takes. . . The following below
provides information on the play and how to obtain discount tickets for it as
well. Might I also suggest you touch basis with either Facebook or the Cruise
Trek Yahoo group to see about sharing this evening with other CT family
members?? We all have arranged with the box office for discounted tickets
($10 off) using a code “CTVA” for A Hammer, A Bell, and A Song To
Sing. And this Cruise Trek/Vaughn Armstrong discount code is good
for the entire run of the performance! Tickets will go on sale on or about
June 7th and the code should be set up by then. The link for the website is
anyone can simply call the box office at (619) 544-1000 Tues - Sunday
12 - 6 pm. In any case… below in flyer format is Vaughn’s play
A Hammer, a Bell, and a Song to Sing
World Premiere by Todd Salovey With Vaughn Armstrong, Dave
Crossland and Jim Mooney
Directed by Todd Salovey, – Musical Direction and Arrangements
by Bruno Louchouarn
November 3 - December, 2012 At the Lyceum Theatre in Horton
Back by popular demand is the show that had San Diego singing
in three-part harmony and provoked standing ovations at every one of its
workshop production performances. This fall, we will present an expanded
and fully developed production of last season’s runaway hit. From
the American Revolution to the Occupy movement, music has served as a
powerful agent of change in American history. A Hammer, A Bell, and
A Song to Sing, inspired by the work of Pete Seeger, celebrates this
history in song, story, memorable projections from America’s past
and present, and spoken word. An additional stellar singer/musician will be
added to the original cast of three who together will lead the entire theatre
in song. Combining provocative wisdom from great proponents of change
and joyous songs, this is theatre that reminds us not only that change is
possible – but, that right, here and now there are important things
San Diego Information:
Now back to the subject of San Diego. Yes, all of you that are booked
for the upcoming Hawaii cruise have already received a lot of information
about San Diego. . . so here again is the slightly shorter/condensed version
of it all again.
is beautiful, especially in the fall. Of course keeping in mind my bias being a
California native beach bum and that spring & fall are my favorite weather
times of the year here in California. . . In any case, there is so much to do and
see in San Diego! And this city is especially easy to navigate.
~ Fun in San Diego! ~
Aircraft carrier USS Midway
San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park
Hotel Del Coronado
San Diego Safari Park
Old Town Trolley Tour
A short list of sights downtown and within walking distance include: Aircraft
Carrier USS Midway, Maritime Museum, Convention Center home
of ComiCon, harbor boardwalk, several theatres, shopping malls, many
restaurants, and so much more. Plus, there is the Hotel Del Coronado featured
in the iconic Marilyn Monroe 1958 movie Some Like it Hot, and the
beach there was rently rated number one in the country by a Floridian
Furthermore, not too far away there is the world famous
San Diego Zoo/Balboa
Park, Sea World,
Legoland, an IMAX
theatre and in Escondido is the
SD Safari Park.
A really great way to see a very large part of San Diego is to take the
Trolley Tour and hop on and off! And through this same company is
advertised the CT Family favorite or a version of the “Duck
Tour”. . . by way of the
and their amphibious vehicle.
There is also the SD
Trolley to take you further afield – even to the California/Mexico
border if you so choose. . . a la Tijuana. As a side note: though we love San
Diego and the laid-back kindness of its citizens, we have one note of
caution. . . as with any large city, there is an element of homelessness for one
reason or another. . . not that different than we experienced in Seattle last year
for our Alaska cruise. Really though, only at night would there be a need for
Getting To and/or Around San Diego, California
You can fly, drive, train, bus or boat into downtown San Diego. . . It is
that easily accessible. Basically, the airport is just a few minutes away
(like 5 to 10 depending upon traffic) from the Cruise Ship Pier and our hotel
choices, as is the Amtrak station being directly in the heart of downtown. So
you can either walk or take a taxi to any of these jump off points. Additionally,
some folks are flying into LAX and then renting a car or taking the train to San
Diego. . . really, many options are very possible. . . it just depends upon you
and the sites you desire to take in. . .
For quick, easy and least expensive transfers from the airport, pier or train
station directly to/from the ship or downtown. . . take a taxi. . . it is an amazingly
quick ride. . . yup, you could arrange for the ship’s transfer service,
but a taxi is way easier and less expensive! This is especially true if you buddy
up on the ride.
And for transfers back to the airport on disembarkation day. . . a taxi is the
easiest and probably the least expensive way to go. Indeed, on this day there
will perhaps be a line for taxis. . . but, it takes time to do the ship’s
transfer as well. So, yes, you can arrange to use the ship’s transfer
service by purchasing it on board for about $20.00 pp. A taxi will be less.
Again, the train station is a very short walk from the pier. . . so much so for
even a taxi ride. If you are arriving by train to downtown SD or the SD airport
and you are staying at the 3 star hotel (the one that provides the complimentary
shuttle) . . . upon arrival you will need to call the hotel for shuttle pick up. . .
please know that there is a rotation of this shuttle that drops off and picks up
many different guests. So, again if you prefer, a taxi is always easier and it will
have less wait time. Obviously then and in general and for any other needs, a
taxi is inexpensive as the distances are short from the train station or airport to
Downtown where all things arranged or mentioned by Cruise Trek will take
place. Though if you want to go further afield, then please use the links above
(if you receive this via email) for further research.
Cruise Trek Event Hotels in San Diego
One choice is a 5-star hotel. For those of you wishing
to stay and spoil yourself at one of the best locations with finer service
and amenities, we have a lovely location at about $200.00 per room night for
a two-night stay. . . though costs can be higher and/or at around $300 for a
one-night stay. Price for this 5-star hotel will be confirmed upon reservation.
The lower rate though is mostly for seniors and goes higher if you are not a
senior. Transfers, meals, and internet will be at extra cost for this finer hotel.
Again, this option is for those wishing an upscale experience if not a more
typical CT experience. Again, it is a very lovely hotel in downtown SD on
West Broadway. . . only about 12 blocks from the Cruise Ship Pier and about
9 blocks from the Amtrak train station. For this hotel option, being a senior or
having a AAA or AARP membership helps. . . really a great spot especially if
you would like much more personal service. We may even recommend to
certain CT Family members as it would be better for their individual needs
Our second choice is a 3 star hotel, one that is
definitely more budget conscious. . . it is simple, relatively newly redecorated,
very clean, offering complimentary airport & pier shuttle service,
continental breakfast and free internet service. Please note; the shuttle service
has capacity and time of service limitations from 7am to 10:45pm. So then, for
those of you on very early or very late arrival/departure, you’ll
have to RESERVE and take a taxi instead. There is also a shuttle ride to the pier
that operates from approximately 11am to 1 pm on embarkation days only. But,
important to know and to sign up for upon check-in is the sign-up list for the pier
shuttle service. Again, no worries though. . . taxi rides and/or the walking
distances are very short. The train station is about 3 blocks away, and the pier
is maybe 8 blocks depending on the route you take. Our CT negotiated hotel
rate here is terrific at $119.00 +/- per room night depending upon when and
what type of room you reserve. . . and subject to availability. Dare I venture
to guess that I believe the majority of the CT family will be staying at this hotel. . .
we like this choice most as it is very close to Little Italy which all by itself has a
wonderful small quaint community feel. . . perfect for the CT Family of travelers!
Beware though we may have some train traffic noise. Please also be aware that
as on the ship where we booked almost all the PC rooms, the hotel’s
Physically Challenged Rooms are available but very limited. Please reserve
All hotels offers are subject to additional taxes, parking fees, change and
availability. Reservations can be held with a credit card, and you will not be
charged until check out. Once reserved, rates are locked in unless we find a
better rate. Please know the second hotel choice above has a cancel fee that
starts at 30 days prior to your stay. Cancel fee is subject to a minimum one-night
stay rate. Other thing is that if you book something on your own. . . we cannot
assist you further with same.
If you wish to share a hotel room please join the CT Yahoo Groups
site to discuss this possibility with others. Or even go to our CT
Parking in San Diego
There are a lot of options for parking. Some with discount coupons you
can find on line. . . and some closer to the airport. We would advise a little
research online to gather what will work for you in your particular situation,
though the closest parking lot (like one block away) to the pier recently was
$18 per day. A couple online places to look:
What day/time to arrive??
As the large majority of you are Cruise Trek past passengers/CT family
members and thus are very experienced travelers, you already understand
why I stress the importance of planning to arrive at least one day before the
cruise. This helps not only to reduce the stress of travel but almost ensures
that you will not miss the ship due to airline or other delays. . . this is especially
and obviously important as if you miss the ship, there is not a “next
port” for 5 days to board!! ;-))) We’ve got quite a few
gloriously relaxing days at sea before we arrive in Hawaii.
As to your arrival in California in general (more important to international
travelers). . . LAX is the main international air gateway closest to San Diego
and probably the most common for international travelers. But, if not directly
so, you can connect to San Diego by air, train, car & bus. Most of this
information can be found online. . . but, if you need a sense of direction and/or
of time of travel. . . please contact us for same. For instance the drive from
Los Angeles International or even from Malibu to San Diego can be 2.5 to 3.5
hours. That is, of course depending upon traffic and how you drive. And as
such – it is best to drive not during rush hours. . . the travel time could
very easily double!!
In any case, please remember to keep an eye out for more emails, posts
to the Yahoo Cruise Trek board, Facebook and/or our web site for further
For wherever your journeys take you. . . safe travels always. . . looking
forward to Hawaii!!
Charles C. Datin
PO Box 4277
Malibu, CA 90264
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