Archive | September 2012

My Video – Enchantment Of The Seas – Farewell Party

I really enjoy most kinds of music, and disco music is no exception.  Disco music is a lot better than the kind of music they play today.  Tunes such as “Night Fever, Night Fever” , “In The Navy”, “Get Down On It” and “I Will Survive” are just classics (and they’re all in my new video).  If you grew up in the 70’s and/or 80’s, you will surely know what I mean.  The music they played at the “Farewell Party” on the Enchantment Of The Seas, centered around disco music.   Enjoy the video!

Disco Party – Enchantment Of The Seas

Enchantment Of The Seas

Indian Cruises – Cultural Enrichment At Sea

I enjoy Bollywood and Bhangra music and dance.  I just love Indian culture, and there’s nothing wrong with that – after all, I am Indian.   I may have grown up in England, and now live in the USA, but culture is deeper than where we live, it’s the embodiment of who we are – who we interact with, and what makes us bond together, and what we enjoy.   I may be Indian, but I am also British and I’m also American.  I may love Bollywood, and Bhangra, but  additionally….. I love pop music, soul music, reggae music and jazz, and even a bit of rap.  If I didn’t love the other forms of music, I wouldn’t tape them as ardently as I do when I go on cruises, and then show the world…..I only do that – because I love to watch most forms of dance and musical entertainment, and then of course, I love to photograph and video tape it too!

When I had the chance to introduce a bit of culture on a cruise ship, I was all for it.  I hired a group – UCSD Zor –  one of the top Bollywood dance teams in the USA – to perform on my Bindi Cruise to Mexico on the Carnival Splendor in July, 2011.  I didn’t think twice about it.  It took a lot of planning, and was quite a huge undertaking for me – a fairly new travel agent at that time  (I just started in this business in January 2010).  Would I do something like that again?  Who knows?  Maybe, sometime in the future.

I love Bollywood movies, but when it really comes to Indian music – I have to admit that I love Bhangra just a bit more than I do Bollywood.  That’s why I asked Zor – who are really more of a Bollywood team to do a Bhangra routine, and guess what…..they were really good at it.  When you have versatility like that, you are true performers.  I was really happy with the performances of Zor on the cruise.  Here’s a picture of UCSD Zor below, they are fantastic at both Bollywood and Bhangra!

UCSD Zor, performing Bhangra

And here I am with UCSD Zor who are in their Bollywood outfits now, instead of Bhangra outfits (as above)

UCSD Zor – Carnival Splendor

Want to know more about Bhangra? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhangra_(music)

Want to see hear the full-length Bhangra song that was partly shown in my new Enchantment Of The Seas video, and see who the musician is?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJztXj2GPfk

Want to see a fabulous Bhangra dance video that I put together of UCSD Zor – one of the top Bollywood dance teams in the USA, when they were dancing to Bhangra on my Bindi Cruise to Mexico on the Carnival Splendor?  

Want to see a fantastic Bollywood dance video that I put together of UCSD Zor when they performed on my Bindi Cruise to Mexico?  

Thank you for reading!

My Video Of The Enchantment Of The Seas

I just finished uploading my video today, and hope you will like it.  This video shows many areas around the Enchantment Of The Seas, and it shows the Sailing Away Party, in addition to the Farewell Party.  What was interesting was that many people danced during the Sailing Away Party, when there was regular Western music, but as soon as Bhangra music was played, there was just one person dancing.  I had to show this in my video  – because I  love Bhangra, as well as Bollywood, but I also love many types of Western music.  Okay, I will admit that there weren’t as many Indian people on this cruise ship as I’ve seen on other cruise ships, but you would think that Bhangra music should have caught on by now.  Bhangra music has a very catchy beat, and it’s hard to resist moving when you hear this wonderful music.

Other than the Sailing Away Party, I also showed the Captain’s Reception, some of the entertainment in the Centrum, and the common areas, including the main pool, Schooners Bar, and the Solarium.

Anyway, I hope you will watch my video, and remember……cultural enrichment can brig you joy!

Main Swimming Pool – Enchantment Of The Seas

Sunsets in San Diego

Sunsets in San Diego can be pretty spectacular!

This picture is one that I took in Coronado at the Hotel Del

Hotel Del, Coronado

My sunset picture as shown on this page (at the sides):

Sunset at Hotel Del, Coronado

 

But now, I need to add three more pictures to the collection, and these were not taken by me – but by my 11 year old son, Luca.  It looks like I have some competition in the field of photography! Luca took these pictures at Swami’s Beach in Encinitas.

Swami’s Beach, Encinitas

Swami’s Beach, Encinitas

Swami’s Beach, Encinitas

So what do you think?  I think he’s onto something!  Do you know he already won a competition at his school a few years ago with a wonderful photograph taken in London.  I’ll have to show you it sometime.

Bermuda Can’t Just Be A One Time Visit!

The Bermudian, Bermuda

Here are some last pictures of when we sailed away from Kings Wharf in Bermuda on August 7th, 2012.

Kings Wharf, Bermuda

Let’s catch the Dockyards one last time through the port-hole window of the cruise ship!  You will see the reflection of Clock Tower Mall.

And here is the Clock Tower Mall in all it’s glory!

Kings Wharf, Bermuda

Kings Wharf, Bermuda

We also saw the Norwegian Dawn yet again, and I just had to take pictures.

Norwegian Dawn in Bermuda

Norwegian Dawn in Bermuda

Well goodbye Bermuda, I will try to make it back to you so that I can take more pictures of your beautiful country next time.  You certainly can’t be just a one time visit!

It Pays To Have Travel Insurance

It can be quite costly if you travel without purchasing travel insurance, and something happens to you during your travels.

Count  your small investment in travel insurance as a blessing and not a cost (it’s also peace of mind).

Spa – Enchantment Of The Seas

I am happy to report that I made the right choice when I purchased my trip insurance back in May.  As you know, I suffered an injury in Bermuda (wrote about it in a previous post), and not only did I suffer an injury, but my camcorder got smashed up too around the lens.  Accidents can happen anywhere, but imagine if I had gone to the hospital and had to pay out of pocket for the ambulance, guess who would have reimbursed me?  My travel protection company!  Luckily, I did not go to the hospital, so I did not have that expense.  However, my camcorder which cost about $469 or so, was fairly new, and therefore, I put in a claim upon my return.  I made a quick phone call, filled out a few forms, and supplied a copy of my receipt to Travel Guard.  Imagine, to my delight, when I received a check in full.  I thought I would have to get a repair estimate, but Travel Guard didn’t ask me for any of that, they just cut the check and I got it within two or three weeks or so of filing the claim.

Additionally, I want to tell you about a client who booked a cruise, and had an emergency come up one week before her scheduled cruise – her aunt had died of cancer.  Understandably, she could not go on the cruise, and had to attend the funeral (which was scheduled to take place during the same time as the cruise).  Luckily, she had purchased travel protection from me and she was refunded in full (since she had a reason that was covered, and could be fully documented).  Remember, certain covered reasons allow a full refund when you have trip insurance, even when you would not get a refund from the cruise line because you are after full payment date (penalty phase).

So, please next time you travel…..whether on a cruise or on a flight, remember to purchase travel protection, and you will be protected.

Beautiful San Diego – Some Places You’ll Want To Escape To

It has been way too hot in San Diego this year.  In fact, just today, it got up to 101°F on the coast in Del Mar.  This weather is definitely unusual for us.  We always have a nice breeze here by the coast.  Where has the breeze gone to, and when is it coming back?  Powerhouse Beach in Del Mar, and the Hotel Del in Coronado are just a few perfect places to escape to.

First, a glimpse of beautiful San Diego as seen from Coronado:

San Diego Skyline

San Diego Skyline

San Diego Skyline from Coronado

Powerhouse Beach in Del Mar – this is an absolutely beautiful beach complete with children’s playground, palm trees, restaurants on the beach and much more.

Powerhouse Beach, Del Mar, San Diego

Powerhouse Beach, Del Mar

What better playground than this for kids?  Play in paradise, swing overlooking the ocean….it just doesn’t get any better!

Playground At Powerhouse Park, Del Mar

Even dogs want to get in on the action at the playground.

Powerhouse Beach, Del Mar

Powerhouse Beach, Del Mar

Some people escape the heat to this place, and the words on the flag are so appropriate!

Wine Styles, Coronado

Some people still want to be active, and what better place than the beach?

Hotel Del, Coronado

You might know that the Hotel Del is my favorite place in San Diego (see my previous post on San Diego).  Today, the sky was so beautiful and blue, there’s just no place like the Hotel Del.

Hotel Del, Coronado

Hotel Del, Coronado

People escape the heat, and go to the Hotel Del.  Weddings take place here as well as on the beach all the time.

Hotel Del, Coronado

Hotel Del, Coronado

This beach is right in front of the Hotel Del in Coronado, and on this particular day in July – I saw two weddings on the beach and one occurring in the grounds of the Hotel Del.  That place sure is popular for many!

Hotel Del Coronado Beach

Even though this picture was not taken at Powerhouse Beach in Del Mar or in Coronado, I just felt it was fitting to show it here – along with the other picture of the dog in this post.  Dogs sure get pampered in San Diego!

Ruby’s Diner, Carlsbad

So whether you have a dog that appreciates the finer things in life, or whether it’s yourself, take a visit to America’s finest city, and you will find a place that will become your piece of paradise.

Please note, this is an addition:  I just had to add La Jolla Cove as a place you’d want to escape to as well, here is the link: https://luchanik.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/incredible-san-diego-la-jolla/ .  Also, please take a look at one of my other posts on Beautiful San Diego: https://luchanik.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/beautiful-san-diego/