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Archive for Past Cruise Trek Updates

Update – August 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.

~ Want to Take a Regular / Non-Event Cruise? ~

Cruise Trek can help!
We’ve been on more than 100 cruises, and we can help you find the perfect cruise you’re looking for.

Contact Us!

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 Updateplease 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, “SamuelClemens / Mark Twain”; 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 will sail along with his lovely wife Laurie. Richard Herd 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.

San Diego skyline

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 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 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 bases 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 www.sdrep.org or 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 information:


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 Plaza

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 to do!


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.

San Diego 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
Maritime Museum
San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park
Sea World
Legoland
Hotel Del Coronado
San Diego Safari Park
Old Town Trolley Tour
Seal 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 University Professor.

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 Old Town 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 Seal Tour 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 more caution.

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 and/or circumstances.

~ Travel Tips & More Information ~

About our Guests for this Adventure
Where No Travel Writer Has Gone Before
Essence & Perspective of the Cruise Trek Family
More Links and Information to follow
Must be booked through the CT office to attend events.

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 same ASAP.

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 Facebook.

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 Updated information.

For wherever your journeys take you. . . safe travels always. . . looking forward to Hawaii!!
Charlie

Charles C. Datin
Cruise Trek
Mail to:
PO Box 4277
Malibu, CA 90264
phone/fax 310-456-7544
SKYPE: cruisetrek
Email: CruiseTrek@AOL.com




Update – May 19, 2012:

Hey there, Cruise Trek Family!

Just a few words as to our upcoming Hawaii cruise this fall.

Even though space is limited, we have extended all the Booking Discounts until final and full payment date.

~ Do You Need Travel Insurance? ~

Cruise Trek offers MH Ross as an example. Click the image below to be taken to the MH Ross website:

MH Ross

To those of you that already booked – Many of you have been asking about coming into San Diego early and where to stay & what to do. We have made three trips in as many months down to San Diego to do Hotel & Ship inspections and we now have the following information for you.

San Diego is beautiful, especially in the fall. Of course keeping in mind my bias being a California Native 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. 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.

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.

Furthermore, not too far away there is the world famous San Diego Zoo/Balboa Park, Sea World, Legoland, Hotel Del Coronado, 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 Old Town 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 Seal Tour 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 more caution.

For Hotels, we have a couple options we came up with:

Number 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 that this 5-star hotel choice would be better for their individual needs and/or circumstances.

Our second choice is a 3 star hotel, one that is definitely more budget conscious. . . it is simple, relatively newly redecorated, very very clean, offering complimentary airport & pier shuttle service, continental breakfast and free internet service. Please note; the shuttle service here has capacity and time of service limitations. That is, for a shuttle ride to the pier there will be a sign-up list. And the hours of operation have limits. So, for those of you on a very early or very late arrival/departure, you’ll have to take a taxi instead. No worries though. . . taxi rides are very short. Though you may need to reserve a taxi in advance for these more extreme arrival/departure times. More information will follow on timing of hotel shuttle service. Also, this hotel location is very close and within walking distance to Little Italy where we will perhaps gather for an evening dinner and/or drinks the night before our cruise. The train station is about 3 blocks away and the pier is maybe 8 blocks depending on the route you take. The rate here is $119.00 to +/- per room night depending upon when and what type of room you reserve. This rate is really very good for SD. 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. As on the ship (we booked almost all the PC rooms), hotel Physically Challenged Rooms are available but, very limited. Please reserve same ASAP.

Additional to the transfer information already provided above. . . getting around within downtown, walking to the pier, train station, Little Italy, shopping and restaurants is really very simple and easy. We saw many cruise ship passengers with rolling suitcases walking from the downtown area to the pier. Parking at the pier has increased lately to $18 per day. But,it also is just one to two blocks from the pier. The 3-star hotel listed above has slightly better rates for parking. . . only they may not have room for larger vehicles.

All hotels offers are subject to change and availability. Taxes of 12.5% are additional. As most of you know, we investigate fairly thoroughly for hotels. . . so, if something better comes up. . . we will advise. 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 can not assist you further with same.

We will let you know the names, locations and addresses of the hotels upon making a reservation for you. Thing is, we worked pretty hard to obtain a very limited supply of blocked rooms at very well-discounted rates. And the reality is that if others outside our cruise passenger base book these same hotels other than through Cruise Trek, the inventory will be affected for us, and we will thus have a diminished capacity to reserve discounted rooms for our list of passengers. So, I kindly ask that all hotel information be kept close to the vest until a week or so prior to sailing.

More information on our informal gathering for the evening prior to embarkation will be forthcoming.

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 to 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 Malibu can be 2.5 to 3.5 hours. That is, of course depending upon traffic. And as such – it is best to drive not during rush hours. . . the travel time could double!! Anyway, that is what we plan.

Next Update will have more actor/guest information. As is always seemingly the case, there will probably be changes and/or additions. We are currently in communications with several folks. . . but, between plays, other acting gigs, house remodels 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!” But, more will follow when we get closer to the sailing date and have more concrete news.

As always, keep an eye on our web site for all modifications, changes and etc. IE Itinerary, guests, travel Insurance, hotels, dinner the night before and FAQ’s.

Ultimately, the choice is yours to go at warp speed all the way or to just simply sit back and relax as the world goes by. . .

Any questions or thoughts?? Please give us a shout out. . . or simply email us with a credit card number, the number of hotel nights requested and we’ll get back to you with a hotel reservation confirmation. Oh, please forward your arrival air schedule via email or snail mail when you have the opportunity.

For wherever your journeys take you. . . safe travels always,
Charlie
Cruise Trek

PS
If any of the links above don’t work for you. . . I am sure you can find what you are looking for via Google.

PS #2
Just a thought to you all – if the local ST club in Oahu wants to do a Meet & Greet and or tour in Honolulu. . . would you be interested???? This may be the best way, most inexpensive, if not the friendliest way to see this port of call!

PS #3
There are Hostels in SD. . . please search on line for same. However, maybe if fellow CT family wanted to share a hotel room at our more budget one listed above. . . the shared rate may come in close to the same. . . So, 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 FaceBook page.




Update – August 25, 2011:

Hello!

New and exciting news for our 2012 Hawaii sailing is in this Update!!

We have jumped ships for 2012!!! lol We are now sailing with Celebrity Cruises instead of HAL and so the itinerary has changed slightly as well as the cruise has lengthened by one day. The reason for the change is that basically HAL changed deployment on their ships. And in order to keep fairly similar dates, we opted for Celebrity Cruises. Some of you may remember our cruise in 1998 on the celebrity’s Mercury. Well, we are now sailing on the Century . . . her sister ship. . . a very cool ship for a relaxing and great Expedition Hawaii cruise!

The other good part of the change is that we have much more port time and extra time at sea!!

A new 2012 Hawaii Booking Information Sheet and new itinerary has been uploaded as well.

As I have said before, both Connor Trinneer and Marina Sirtis have jumped at the chance to sail with us to Hawaii. In fact so much so that I have for the first time in 20 years of producing Cruise Trek been able to announce actors way ahead of the departure. . . pretty sure they will make it. . . but, as you know, changes can happen even for the rest of us. This is sounding terrific for Cruise Trek’s 20th Anniversary sailing!!

For those of you who have already sent in deposits, invoices will be sent out in the next week or so. Plus, since the ship and length of the cruise has changed there have been some changes to the Booking Information Sheet. Please know that if this change has interfered with your travel plans, we will provide a full refund of your deposit until November 1, 2011. After that date, cancel fees will apply.

Please also remember it is a good idea to book as early as possible for best pricing and the best cabin choices. Prices are indeed subject to increase as the ship fills. These days, cruise lines have implemented inventory management a lot like the airlines and when certain cabin categories start to fill, they do raise the rates.

In closing, I hope you like the change and that you can join us! Remember, we set sail from San Diego, California. Many of you have asked already about parking there. . . Yes, it is easy, plentiful and almost directly across the street from the pier. As we gather more information on parking, hotels and more, it will all be added to the web site and/or be sent via email directly to you.

For some of you – we’ll see you in September and/or December!!! Looking forward to both cruises this year and Hawaii next year!

Happy sailing!!

Best regards,
Charlie




Update – August 1, 2011:

Hey everybody!

Here is just a quick note of announcements.

After many ups and downs, we are excited to announce the guests for our next three cruises.

For our fast-approaching Alaska Adventure, we are happy to announce that Vaughn Armstrong and Dominic Keating are sailing with us. So, barring any more changes, they are for sure coming, as we have indeed ticketed their respective airfares!

For Hawaii in the fall of 2012, Marina Sirtis and Connor Trinneer are both expected and very excited to join us.

And as a reminder of a previous announcement, even though the Rhine Christmas Markets cruise this year is a much more informal event and perhaps more of a “family event” . . . Dominic Keating will also be joining us on board in Basel Switzerland for this extraordinary Rhine river cruise. He will also have appearances in Basel and Amsterdam before and after our cruise.

Oh – be sure to check out www.imdb.com for any actor information.

To reiterate – For our Alaska Adventure in September, we have now sent out almost all the travel e-documents.

However, our traditional Cruise Trek Document Letter, information on the time/location for our Bon Voyage dinner, and our Cruise Trek Schedule will be sent out over the next few days and weeks via email.

Then either at the Bon Voyage dinner in Seattle or on board the ship at our Cruise Trek Welcome Aboard Cocktail Party, you will be handed shirts, autographed photos, event badges (which must be worn to enter any and all Cruise Trek events) and any updated or Cruise Trek game materials.

Within the email containing your e-documents will be your booking number at Holland America. With this number, you must check in online prior to the cruise and can book shore excursions if you so choose to do so at this time.

If you are a Trek Share, please remember that your cabin and booking number can change up until sailing time. And as a Trek Share, please do not interfere with your cabin mates’ check-in or shore excursions.

Two cruises in one year – wow – finding our Cruise Trek family evolving to a very diverse group and thus two cruises made sense this year. . . hence, our groups are smaller – but way more intimate. . . think it will be enjoyable for all our extended family!! See you all soon!

Charlie

PS We’ll be at the Las Vegas Creation Convention August 11-14, 2011 – please stop by the dealer’s room and say hi!!




Update – April 19, 2011:

Just wanted to let you know a few new things.

(Booked Passengers will also be directly emailed many of these details.)

We have new information for our “Alaska Adventure IV” which includes a “green” Seattle Hotel, a Bon Voyage Dinner, Forks/La Push and transfer information. Please see all of the information in the below Travel Tips and More Information Section. . . that is, please click on the link within this paragraph or the link below to view this newly-added information and the additional links therein.

For those Cruise Trek Past Passengers that have not booked yet, we have extended the Past Passenger discount to June 1, 2011.

Regarding our guests for Alaska, I thought we had a couple “newbies” to go – but scheduling just did not work out. . . so, we are working on a couple others. . . we’ll let you know ASAP. You know how it goes – we just don’t want to announce too early and disappoint if things change. . . but, as most of you recognize. . . they are really only the icing on the cake of an already wonderful experience. . .

However, the great news for the Rhine Winter & Christmas Markets cruise – is that the ever energetic and very humorous Dominic Keating with his lovely fianceé Tam are planning on joining us for this very special all be informal Cruise Trek private event. . .

Keep sailing and discovering,
Charlie





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