Update – Oct. 9, 2014:
(Please note: To keep abreast of our
ever-evolving events, some past Updates are included herein or linked
Having fun with a Ferengi aboard the Windsong
in Tahiti, 1997. Charlie’s favorite photo of then-CEO of Holland
America Line & Windstar Cruises Kirk Lanterman as the Ferengi
(he had a “ray gun”, too! – that’s what he
called his phaser anyway . . .), along with CT friend, the lovely Lydia
Hey, CT Family!
(Note sent to CT past cruisers 10/6/2014)
Again, very sorry for any duplicate emails. . . I simply gathered these
email addresses from the last 5 years’ events/adventures. . .
and some of you have done more than one!! ;-)))
In any case, I simply had a question for you and i needed as much
feedback as possible. . . Hence my wide reach ;-)) Plus, I so enjoyed
the Q & A on our UK sailing this last July that i seriously wish it
had gone on longer! ;-)) Next time we will endeavor to have more
Q & A.
Anyway, the one thing i failed to ask you all. . .
What would you think of a flight and land tour to Cuba???
Keeping in mind that this destination, group size, costs, time of year
and other restrictions may be a limitation for some . . but, I have always
wanted to explore this country, culture & community by way of an
educationally, federally licensed and structured trip. . . and perhaps
doing it before and if Cuba ever opens up.
That said, we are still working on future events. . . seems we have
2016 pretty close to decided. . . just 2015 has been bounced about. . .
but, we do certainly have some fun and/or fascinating adventures in
Hope you are all very well. And look forward to seeing you again
Oh. . . we just returned from a terrific 2-week road trip with and/or
including some special CT family engagements. . . It was so cool! The
Sierras, Lake Tahoe, Mt Shasta, Crater Lake, Ashland, the coast of
Oregon to the coast of California & the magnificent Redwoods. . .
Luv it when those CT family extras come into play! ;-)
~ Sci-Fest LA ~
Our CT family member Dave Westbay wanted us to
mention a Sci-Fi one-act play Festival he is involved with
called Sci-Fest LA. Interested? Look for more information on
Again Input is always appreciated. . . Tis time especially for Cuba,
though of course on other destinations as well. . . and therein we try to
find the “balance of all or of the whole”.
As always. . . travel safe & sane. . .
My best to you all,
Charles C. Datin, Cruise Trek
Mail to – PO Box 4277 Malibu, CA 90264
Phone – (310) 456-7544
SKYPE – cruisetrek
Update – May 24, 2014:
The actors setting sail with Cruise Trekkers on a journey
around the British Isles . . .
Hey there, CT 14 British Isle cruisers!
Just a few more things to mention & reminders . . .
London – we have actors!
Photos (kinda cool images and a combo never done before) will be
on the web site this weekend. These are also the pix you will receive
along with your travel docs. Of course, and as always, this list can
The Menyuks, Dom Keating, and Max Grodenchik with his lovely
wife and infant child . . . along with his in-laws, who are taking their
first cruise . . . Oh – as mentioned previouosly, Ron Moore
& Lolita are with us, as well . . .
We will have two formal nights on board . . . not sure which nights
just yet. Though remember, you do not have to get too fancy . . . and
and packing light is a good thing . . . But if you prefer or enjoy to get
all gussied . . . please do! ;-)
Remember to purchase travel insurance, if you so desire or
need . . . We sent out MH Ross brochures to everyone, and this
company’s link is on our web site – but you can also
shop others and/or local to you . . . Basically, travel insurance is
available and recommended . . .
Other thing – you know, there are a couple shows that
some of you may be interested in . . . The links below speak for
themselves . . .
La bohéme – at the Royal Opera
Elliott, the Musical
Oh yeah – the
And just an fyi . . . Mersey-Sci Fantom Weekend.
See you soon!
Update – March 25, 2014:
Highlights of Charlie’s recent trip to Asia . . .
Hey, hey, CT family!
I hope this communication greets you all very well . . .
Just wanted to share with you that we are back from our 7-week
Asia adventure. . . Yeah, along with colds, asthma attacks and jet lag. . .
Oh, well . . That kinda stuff does happen ;-))) In any case, what a trip
to expand ones outlook and perspective on the world! ;-))
Especially when it comes to Big History and current global issues . . .
Wow . . . If one (like me) did not totally understand the issues of global
warming or at the very least global pollution . . . One only has to travel
to Asia to learn for oneself. Plus, seeing and touring the “Hanoi
Hilton” (American POWs interned in this jail) is at the very least
sobering if not chilling . . . and heck, this place was also a jail to political
prisoners before the “American War”, as the Vietnamese
What was especially amazing was to have a tour from a local college
student (and a really smart one) to get more of the personal, local and
authentic perspective. To do a “local” tour in any destination
you travel is always highly recommended. We found this lovely young
HanoiFreeTourGuide.com. Oh gosh, and yeah, then to see the
“killing fields” of Pol Pot . . . Yikes!
On the positive side – culturally I have never experienced so
many kind and smiling people! And had a massage on the beach to help
me with spinal issues . . . Kinda different at least! ;-))
Though on a much less cerebral level, a cool thing for me, being kinda
fond of ships and models (think that comes from Dad) – I found ship
models in Vietnam and at a seriously reasonable price. The dozen or so I
bought will make great office & household discussion pieces . . . ;-))
Yup, ocd on ships . . . ;-))
In any case, we are back . . . Getting caught up on paperwork, and we
are almost there! Sure, some things will probably cross in the mail . . .
but, we are pretty much on top of all . . . It is always good that we have
systems in place that give us the ability to “massage”
things . . . though we still have some fine tuning to do in the production of
our upcoming CT 14 adventure . . . Anyway, when we have more info for
the group as a whole . . . it will be sent to you all for sure! ;-))
So, with that . . . a reminder to you all . . . Final payment is due April
1, and for those of you that still need transfers, hotels (higher rate now
for sure), tours, BVP or whatever . . . please get to us asap.
We still have availability for all, but things are getting tight and/or prices
are increasing at this point.
Hey – looking for some feedback – so, a question for
you all – how about a science lecturer on board?? After our
impressive trip to CERN last year, I am thinking we would all enjoy some
additional science. I have some truly wonderful if not even entertaining
presentations/presenters in mind. After all, science has been growing by
leaps and bounds and so much so these last 10 +/- years that it is almost
impossible to keep up . . . even for the scientists!! So, what say you????
How about Big History . . . from the Big Bang till now . . . Or??
This note will be posted to our FB page (and perhaps our web site),
along with a couple fun or poignant photos from Asia . . . if you care to see
some . . . from Siem Reep, Cambodia & Temple pix, then to the
epitome . . . a sleeping tuc tuc driver – these drivers actually sleep
in between runs right on their Tuc Tuc!
LOL – then a couple ships models . . . all pix reduced in size
to send more easily . . .
Looking forward to seeing you all in London this July!
Update – January 22, 2014:
Hey there, Cruise Trek Travelers!
Famous British landmarks, left to right – The Beatles
Story in Liverpool, England; St. Paul’s Cathedral, and St.
Stephen’s Tower and Big Ben.
Images courtesy of Pavel Issac and webmaster
As always, we would love to have more of the CT family join us!
We still have cabins available for the British Isle Intrigue adventure
– our first trip to the British Isles! And information on: pre &
post cruise London Hotels; pre-cruise Bon Voyage Party; London to
pier to London or Heathrow Transfers; and pre-cruise London Tour
options for July 12th & 13th (Saturday & Sunday) are
So, if you are interested. . . the British
Isles Intrigue page, right here on the CruiseTrek web site, has the
Booking Information Sheet. Please download same and return . . . as
always, the sooner the better and via email is best. On this topic, the
good news is that we have extended the discounts through February.
Though if we are slow to get back to you on your requests, please
know that we are off in Asia either doing a little R & D for a future
CT family adventure and/or working another Insightcruises.com event.
Yeah … it is work! ;-)) As always, thank you for the patience &
Please also know if we already have your requests for any of the
information below, we will process accordingly and send an invoice
reflecting that same initial request.
As previously mentioned in both emails and on our web site, it looks
like we found a very good option at a great price for pre-cruise London
hotel needs. . . though truthfully, the rates have apparently increased at
this point for new reservations. . . though you never know. . .
What we had described and offered back in October was “up
to 3 nights (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) prior, we have rates starting
at 165 GBP including VAT. For longer stays, the rate will increase. Because
the rate is very, very good and so we do not want to draw too much
attention, less the price go up. . . we would like to offer only the following
description: This Hotel is a traditional deluxe four-star hotel in central
London. Moments from Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament,
the London Eye and Victoria Station, the hotel could not be better
positioned for your business and leisure needs. . . basically, a great
spot for a great price!”
In any case, please get to us ASAP and we will research for the same
~ Fun Tours in London! ~
Option 1 – Salisbury Cathedral, Bath
Option 2 – Hampton Court, Windsor
Castle, and Oxford
Tours are subject to minimum and maximum attendances. Meals
are not included. Payment for tours is due upon cruise final payment
Saturday, July 12 – Salisbury Cathedral,
Bath and Stonehenge
A very full day tour, journeying through the English countryside to
take in Salisbury Cathedral, the ancient Roman town of Bath, and the
twilight beauty of Stonehenge.
An example of Early English architecture, Salisbury Cathedral is
also home to the best-preserved Magna Carta, Europe’s oldest
working clock, and the largest and earliest complete choir stalls.
Founded by the Romans, Bath is also the most complete and
best-preserved Georgian city in Britain. Our visit includes a guided
walking tour of the city center, as well as a tour of the Roman
We return to our motor coach and continue to Stonehenge for an
evening viewing of these ancient monoliths. We’ll learn about
the site’s geography, archaeological and astronomical
background – and the names of the key stones.
Cost is $199pp.
Sunday, July 13 – Hampton Court,
Windsor Castle, and Oxford
A very full day tour takes you to three of Britain’s most iconic
The thousand-year-old Windsor Castle, home of the current Queen
of England, is our first stop, with a guided tour of the famous collection
of fine art at the “House of Windsor”.
We leave Queen Elisabeth’s palace to journey back in time
to the summer palace of King Henry VIII – Hampton Court. Our
guided tour includes the Chapel Royal and the palace’s
Our final stop is Oxford and a guided walking tour of this beautiful
city. We’ll have free time and lunch here.
Cost is $199pp.
Pre-Cruise Bon Voyage Party:
Celebrating Halloween in Paris on the 2013 Seine cruise
– now imagine this crew in London at a traditional pub with
pub grub and grog!
Sunday, July 13th – The evening before
embarkation, our traditional and typically very fun meet & greet
(or “breaking of bread” occasion) will be in a very
traditional local Pub and will include great typical and unlimited pub
grub & grog and within a short walk of our pre-cruise London
hotel above. Please be aware that the private & exclusive
upstairs area we will use in the pub may not have a WC nor an
elevator. . . of which will be downstairs. . . though previous events
here have been fine for all. Start time will be approximately 7pm
– exact address: TBA. We may even have this venue
completely to ourselves!! ;-)
Cost of BVP – If you book the above CT pre-cruise hotel and
the CT transfer to the pier as the cost is $129 pp, otherwise cost is $159 pp.
Sorry, no tickets available for non-cruise event attendees.
Please be aware that there are a very limited number of tickets for
This may be the only spot where things may sound a little complicated
as there are different needs involved. However, we will endeavor to
explain all as thoroughly as possible below.
For London Heathrow arrival transfers, check out the below links –
Super Shuttle – London International Airports
Monday, July 14th – Embarkation day
transfer and exclusive CT Family motor coach will depart (only) from
our CT Family Hotel in London. We will depart at 10am. Cost, to be
pre-paid at cruise final payment date, is $99.00 per person. If you are
staying elsewhere, you can certainly join us for this transfer, if you desire.
You simply have to make your own way to our hotel and obviously on
time. We will meet in the lobby, and then as is typical, each of us will
personally check that our individual luggage gets on the bus… and
~ 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:
Transfer time from London to the pier in Harwich is approximately 2
to 2.5 hours, depending upon traffic. This will be a relaxed morning
departure with a late morning arrival at the pier. . . Exact timing and other
info will be sent with your E-document package or via email. Cabins may
not be available upon arrival but a buffet lunch will be. Remember our
cruise departure is 5pm and we need to be on board at least a couple
Though it is not recommended to arrive on the day of sailing, transfer
from Heathrow airport can be arranged through the cruise line (on this day
only), but we need to have your air schedule to do so. Cost is $119pp with
fees and needs to be pre-paid on cruise final payment date. Transfer time
is approximately 2 hours. Last transfer departure to the pier is at 11am.
But, oh boy, we do not recommend this option. . . It is just way too tight,
and you could miss the boat!
Thursday, July 24th – Disembarkation day
transfer has options according to your needs. It is important to know
and understand that the cruise line has a 1pm flight departure requirement,
meaning you should not book a flight before that time. Transfer to
Heathrow is 2 to 2.5 hours.
Option 1 — A Cruise Trek Family
exclusive motor coach will depart the Harwich pier at approximately 9 to
9:30am for transfer to Heathrow airport only. And/or when after all
passengers reserved have boarded the coach. Arrival is expected to be
at approximately 11:30am. Cost is $99 pp. I will be aboard this transfer
and flying out this day as well.
Option 2 — If you desire a post-cruise
hotel stay in London, we can reserve this through the cruise line. And
this stay includes your room, taxes, breakfast and transfer from the pier
to the hotel used by the cruise line. No transfer is included after check
out. Hotel costs are explained below.
Option 3 — If you have a flight after
3:30pm this day, you can book a transfer that includes a London
panoramic city tour. You can book this option or another online after
receipt of e-tickets or onboard.
We will personally be departing Heathrow on July 24 (disembarkation
day), but we indeed understand that some of you may wish to stay longer
in London. However, perhaps some of you may only need a hotel near
Heathrow airport, due to flight schedule restraints. Either way, we can
help you reserve these options.
~ 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
Option 1 — The Heathrow Airport Hotel
option will be the least expensive and booked independent of the cruise
line. But you will need to add the cost (as listed above) of a transfer to
the airport area on disembarkation day as it is not included.
Option 2 — The London Center Hotel
Option, while seemingly expensive (as London can be) is more than
likely best booked through the cruise line, as it will include taxes,
breakfast and transfer from the pier to the hotel. But please be advised,
it will not include any transfer to the airport or other, which will then be
on your own to arrange when once at the hotel. Hotel costs for one,
two or three night stays respectively are as follows: single; $439, $789,
$1,139 — double; $538, $898, and $1258. This option is to be
paid by cruise final payment date.
So, if you are interested in any of these London hotel options, please
contact us ASAP with your request, and we will delve further into the
subject with you.
Confirmations of independent hotel reservations will be sent to you
via email or smail. Any hotel reservations or transfers booked through
the cruise line will be included on your CT invoice and subsequently
included in your travel document package/email.
As described in the sections above, the Pre-Cruise Tours, the
Pre-Cruise Bon Voyage Party and any CT exclusive transfers will simply
be added to your invoice.
At this time, it is expected that our special guests will also join us
for the BVP, CT family pier transfer and perhaps even the pre-cruise
It is possible for the CT office to arrange your airfare through
Celebrity Cruises, though full payment is due for same upon booking,
and it is not refundable. Good thing is that the fares are often less
than what is generally available independent of the cruise line, even
after the $75 fee that will be applied to each CT invoice for this
additional service. For seating, meals, medical needs and/or application
of Frequent Flyer numbers, passengers need to contact the airline
directly. If interested and at time of your request, please provide us your
name as printed on your passport, date of birth, air gateway and exact
dates of travel required.
All costs above are subject to change and availability.
Always Safe Travels,
First page of past CruiseTrek Updates