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Archive for Past Cruise Trek Updates

Update – December 2, 2008:

(Originally posted at the Cruise Trek Yahoo group.)

Hey everybody!

A belated welcome home to all Danube adventurers!!

Finally made it home Friday evening. It definitely took a few days to recover from the day of flying, time adjustments and well – suffering withdrawals from a wonderful cruise, great hotel breakfast buffets & airline lounges – more commonly know as “grazing.” Anyway, I am sure you are understanding & sympathetic to my problem! :-)))

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Mostly, I just wanted to reiterate how much I really enjoyed the trip this year. When you think about all that we experienced and saw – you can only say – wow! All by itself the post hotel in Budapest and its breakfast buffet was simply a grand experience.

And to quote or actually paraphrase Vaughn’s inferred reflection of not only our last night aboard but of the whole cruise – “think about this, guys. . . here we are on the Danube River in what was Eastern Europe, on a River boat playing poker and enjoying all the truly inspiring nightly vistas Budapest has to offer . . . and at the same time having a PJ party with friends and family!” Very very cool!

Ethan (Johnnie) had a great time as well. . . several times, he expressed a heartfelt statement of reflection “the Cruise Trek passengers were just a fascinating bunch and the nicest group of people I could ever be around.”

Thankfully we had mild weather on both the cruise and pre & post stays. And even more so for our Venice post tour. I am glad to have missed the flooding in Venice that is occurring there now. ;-)

As some of you know a few of us extended our trip to Italy after our cruise. . . as usual, Venice was great and Tuscany was even more so. . . gosh, I saw so much in that area – from Florence, Sienna, Pisa to the Chianti area of Tuscany. . . and what was really fascinating was that we were able to stay in what was once a Roman village and rebuilt after WWII. I was certainly able to garner many building techniques along with design and architectural ideas. And oh, yeah, (can you say “great shopping”?) – I found the city of Deruta where they manufacture much of the famous Italian ceramics – all simply beautiful. . .

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However, I must declare driving in Italy is every bit the adventure folks say it is! Paul: My walking tours & tempo of same are probably safer than driving!! :-))

Maybe in the future, a cruise from Genoa would be in order???

So, I ask does the journey make the life or life make the journey??

Anyway, in reflection I think I could go on and on about how fulfilling the trip was – but, I now must go to play catch up with paperwork. . .

Always looking forward to seeing and hearing from you.

For Cruise trek – the next adventure – “Back to Bermuda” in May 2009. . . And/or if you need any other cruise or hotel help, please feel free to give us a call.

Happy Holidays to all of you.

Best regards,

PS – I need to reiterate one more time the following:

Again a huge thank you to Dee for her tremendous sense of organization & structure, patience and smarts, to Diane for her kindness, understanding, compassion, calligraphy, proofreading and packaging skills, to Margueriteb for the crossword puzzle and actor bios, to Brent for his never-ending help & assistance, Carolyn for her organization and willingness to help where needed, to Aaron for making all of your trip flow as smoothly as possible, and then to all of you and our special guests that make this all possible.

And a special thanks to Dee’s Mom, Sheila – Thank you for being such a gracious pillar of the earth and fun too!

And once again, thank you to AMA Waterways VP Kristin Karst and Cruise Director Peter Whitehead – truly two quite extraordinary people who would always keep me coming back to AMA Waterways.

Update – September 18, 2008:


I did already post some of the below to the Cruise Trek Yahoo group – but, I thought it a good idea say some again here and give you a little more information as well.

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The Las Vegas Creation Convention back in August was just very enjoyable. We were able to visit with some of our CT Friends & Family like Leslie & Gary Bale, Lolita Fatjo, Trenton & Louise McConkey (they booked Bermuda – yeah!), Chuck & Cynthia from Prescott and quite a few more. Then we had dinner with Patricia Flood, Carolyn Peters and Chuck & Beth Riley. I conversed with the latter so much that it was really nice getting to know them even better. And again my sincere thanks to those mentioned above that relieved us from our table duties from time to time.

Excitedly, I was also able to play a little poker – well, on second thought maybe that was not so exciting. Gosh, it seems the more books I read on the subject the worse player I become. . . go figure. . .

But then I was able to meet both Dominic Keating and Connor Trinneer in Vegas. They are both great guys. Just to let you know – Dominic is definitely planning on attending the Bermuda cruise next year. He is surely one that loves the water/sea – and then he says “to combine the cruise to Bermuda with NYC would be a great adventure. . .”

As I mentioned before I was thinking of going by train to NYC for the Bermuda cruise next year on Amtrak – “The Trekkie Express”.

OK – then after Las Vegas for a week I had a special houseguest to California. It was so much fun to have long time CT family member and staffer Dr. Bonnie Roach from Ohio here for the first time. It was just wonderful to see her simply stare at the Beautiful Pacific and the numerous kite surfers at Leo Carrillo State Beach. . . picture a little kid in the ocean for the first time just kicking & grinning around in the water. . . precious!

Oh, yes – She was lucky to catch one of the best summers we have had in a long time! Then the next day she was able to go swimming – that was a sight – especially when the poor girl got knocked over by a wave!! Well, as she laughingly tells the story – sand got absolutely “everywhere” – Bonnie, please don’t kill me for telling these parts of the story to the whole world!!! And then to the better part of the day – when she got back home here and flooded the entire garage with the beach shower therein – I could only laugh – she is just wonderfully engaging, entertaining and a great houseguest! Did I mention brilliant too?! OK, OK, maybe you had to be there. . . .

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She even saw loads of dolphins playing in the surf that day as well. And they certainly do put on a show! We get to see them do aerial acrobatics and surf the waves – which is just a beautiful sight in and of itself.

Thinking about her visit again. . . well, the Tahiti scooter episode still ranks pretty high. . . Sorry, B!!!!!!

Now to the subject of the Blue Danube trip coming up this year – Good news!! For us on this side of the world, if you have not noticed already – The US dollar is about 10% stronger and will hopefully gain even more before our Blue Danube trip this year!

Phew – I am working late tonight on our “Blue Danube” event – Wow – I kept saying how relaxed and how wonderful this trip will be – and now that the schedule is coming together it is so cool! Although I think I am getting overwhelmed with all that there is to do & see. And I have done it before and I can’t wait to do it again!

Anyway – that’s it for my late night ramblings for now – see you guys!!

Update – August 14, 2008:


Please keep in mind for next year the thought of joining us on a picturesque Train Trek across the states to Penn Station in New York City – the embarkation port for next year’s Bermuda cruise. We thought it would be quite cool for some of us to gather and/or join on a train ride to further the adventure and fun! More like a “Trekkie Express” – the idea – stopping along the chosen route and having folks join the camaraderie from their respective home states or cities. . . I will work with Amtrak to arrange this for all. That along with the wonderful scenery – I am looking forward to it! Oh and to add more to the thought of a train ride – the train fares are pretty reasonable. . . More info to follow. . . Have a great week!

Update – June 19, 2008:


Dear Cruise Trekker,

. . . and so now we excitedly announce to everyone else (& more info as well) our “Back to Bermuda” for Cruise Trek 2009. Last time we made this wonderful journey was way back in 1995. Only next year, we are sailing on the Norwegian Dawn from New York City! A Cruise Trek first. So, how about a pre- or post- addition to the Big Apple?? I for one am excited to be able to do that. . . after all, a bunch of my relatives live there. And, being able to take in Broadway shows, visit the Metropolitan Museum and more all make our point of embarkation and disembarkation very enticing as well. Have you ever sailed from or into New York harbor? It is a sight to behold in and of itself. So, please check our Itinerary and Booking Information Sheet. We will advise at a later date as to hotels for pre- & post- stays.

Plus, if some of you would like to tour the Statue of Liberty, see a show or a museum together, we’ll informally put together the time and place for same. Of course, as you know you can easily organize this on your own if you so choose. As to Bermuda. . . let’s do a beach party by day and have great ship & CT activities by night! How about Karaoke and a PJ party. . . remember our Hawaii trip where we did both in the same evening??? The reaction of others seeing us carry our Teddy bears and wearing PJs was incredible fun! Also, back in 1995, what I remember as being so much fun was the Pub Crawl we did in town where many of the local townspeople joined us in full ST costume. The Bermuda trip was the most fun I ever had and expect it to be very much the same; especially since long time past passengers Wayne & Rita Applegate are going to renew their vows as a celebration of their 30th wedding anniversary on board. Hope you can join in our family fun party!

At this point we have been working diligently in preparation for our Danube River cruise this fall. Ethan Phillips and Rene Auberjonois are eagerly looking forward to this year’s great river adventure. writer Eric Stillwell, script coordinator Lolita Fatjo and Richard Arnold are all sailing with us as well. Of course, this “small ship” experience is going to be completely different than one of our larger ship events. . . very intimate local tours and entertainers are included this time. Imagine starting your pre-cruise voyage in historic Prague. Celebrate the beauty and history of the Danube, Europe’s second largest river. Cruise from Nuremburg across the Continental Divide and along the way visit charming towns and marvel at the beauty of the vistas. Enter Austria and cruise through the lush Wachau wine region. Then finish your adventure in two truly grand capitals – Vienna & Budapest. What a different world than we have ever visited before.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.

To boldly go – Travel; it expands like nothing else. . .

Wishing you the smooth sailing always,

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