Archive for the ‘Cruise Ship Travel’ Category

Adventuring in the Amazon: A first-timer’s experience!

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Ambling up the Amazon River – It’s not a Disneyland Experience!

Traveling up the great Amazon River, now touted to be the largest river on the planet, is a slow murky process.  Large chunks of verdant vegetation float leisurely by on water that looks as brown and as opaque as chicken gravy.  Land can be seen in the distance, but these landmasses are islands, not the South American mainland.  (According to our onboard naturalist, Hutch, the Amazon is composed of thousands of islands and we cruise in and around them on our way to Manaus.)


Planning a trip to Brazil? Here’s the lowdown on the drugs you’ll need

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Yes, drugs. And the accompanying side effects.

It’s not possible to travel to many countries today without first getting topped up with a variety of inoculations and prescription drugs. Take Brazil, for instance. Getting the plane ticket or the cruise ship ticket is the easy part. Then it’s time to roll up your sleeve. The sleeve on your needle arm, that is.

Read on . . .


How to Choose the Right Cruise Ship for Your Family!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

Bored kids?  Bored grandparents?  Bored you?  Is there a cruise line that is perfect for the entire family?  Yes.

With the huge number of cuise lines to choose from, and the even bigger number of individual ships in the line, the task of choosing a ship that will be perfect for your family might seem impossible.

There is hope.  And help.  One of the Internet’s most popular social sites for cruisers has come up with it “Editors’ Picks” for 2008.  Among the site’s conclusions includes the BEST family ships and the BEST ships for fitness buffs.

Read on . . .


How to Plan a Trip to the Amazon or to Brazil

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Emerald Boa Tree Snake

Long gone are the days of simply buying a ticket and hopping on a plane; travel today is a much more precise science, especially if you are planning a trip into the Amazon, or other parts of Brazil.

When budgeting for a trip into Brazil, be prepared for all the extra fees you will encounter, fees that have nothing to do with your flight or your accommodations.  Like the cost of getting a Brazilian tourist visa.

You may be living in a country that is exempt from needing a Brazilian visa, but if you are Canadian, Australian, or American, you must apply. (Citizens from countries like Germany, France, and Italy do not require a Brazilian visa.)

In addition, no matter what country you hail from, Brazil (especially the Amazonian area) is disease-carrying mosquito territory, and you must prepare. That means getting vaccinated for Yellow Fever, as well as Hepatitis A and B.

Read on . . .


How to Find the BEST Cruise Deals! Start with Vacations-To-Go!

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Mexican Coastline by Sheree Zielke

Are you yearning for the open seas?  A vista complete with swaying palm trees and exotic lands?  Someplace that isn’t here (where you are at the moment)?

Then grab a cup of coffee and settle down with your computer for at least 45 minutes.  You are about to go on an adventure, a cruise, the first cruise you should take before booking your real cruise.

Your first port of call?  Vacations To Go.

Read on . . .


Rising cost of airline tickets and cruise ship fees shouldn’t mean the end to travel adventures!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Cruise Ship Lights by Sheree Zielke

It’s all over the news.  Increases in airline tickets.  Increases in airline handling fees.

In Europe, Ryanair is charging for everything from booking your ticket with a credit card to simply showing up at the airport.  Cruise lines are upping their prices, too, and all in an attempt to offset the rising price of fuel.

But should the increased fees mean less travel?  Or maybe it’s just time to get really creative when booking or packing for our travel adventures?

Read on . . .


Adventurous Travel or Dangerous Travel? Which would you choose?

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Queen Isabella Causeway Texas Morning by Sheree Zielke

There’s “adventurous” travel and then there is “dangerous” travel.  Since neither my husband nor I are members of the CIA, nor are we navy seals, we have placed limitations on our travel experiences.   Those limitations recently affected one of our travel decisions: an end-of-summer trip to Belize.

Having reviewed a recent Canadian foreign affairs travel report, we have decided that Belize is not the place for us – at least not this year.

Read on . . .


Shoot People While Traveling, But Do So With Respect!

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Boy with Dad by Sheree Zielke


A man ran up to our table at the local farmers market, and boom, he and his camera were in my granddaughter’s face.  No preamble, no “Hi. How are you?”  No nothing.  Just wham, bam . . . you get the picture (pardon the pun).

I was stunned.  It was all I could do not to grab the guy by his camera cord and demand that he erase the picture.  He stupidly bobbed his head, mumbling something about how he “hoped I didn’t mind,” but I knew he wasn’t asking permission.  He was just reacting to the look on my face. 

He scuttled away like the vermin he had proven himself to be.

Do you photograph people this way?  If so, you are WRONG!  And worse, you are a coward.

As a photographer, I am very opposed to this grab-and-run style of thievery.  In my estimation, it is a type of violence, a rape, if you will.   Without some form of permission, be it a slight nod of acceptance or a full model release, modern day shutterbugs should NOT be zooming in on people, and taking their photos.

Here are some suggestions to ensure you remain civilized when shooting photographs of strangers.  Read on . . .


Airport Security: What is allowed and not allowed in your carry-on baggage?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Photo by Sheree Zielke

Guns, knives, hand grenades, alligators, and bottles of water — these things will be confiscated if you try to take them through American airport security. But what currently is allowed in your carry-on luggage?

Since the terrorist attacks of 9-11, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has changed its mind repeatedly on what is and what is not allowed onto a plane. Nail clippers, once taboo, are now okay. But what about foods? Can you take your lunch onto the plane? What about lithium batteries? A camcorder? What about a tube of face moisturizer?

The answer is “Yes,” to some things, and “No,” to others. If you are still unsure, here’s a quick checklist of some of the most common items allowed and those disallowed in airport security.

Read on . . .


Wild decision to leave DSLR camera at home in favor of a Fuji FinePix F50: Crafty or Crazy?

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

Photo by Sheree Zielke

Okay, call me a traitor, call me a fool, call me any name you like but I had to take the chance.  I made a decision, before a recent trip to southern Texas and New Orleans, to leave my heavy Olympus Evolt E-300 DSLR at home.  I replaced it with a sleek little 12-megapixel Fuji FinePix F50 compact digital camera.

My husband looked at me askance as he repeatedly asked me if I still wanted to take my DSLR camera.  I told him, firmly, “No.”  That I would take my chances.  And that I would live with my decision.  Only time would tell if I had made a terrible mistake . . .