I have been ever so busy lately, but that is now the story of my life. I had to take a few minutes and escape into my dreams back to a trip in 2006 while on the MSC Musica. We stopped at Katakalon in Greece – this place is ever so colorful – it reminds me of Cefalu in Sicily – oh, how I’d like to get my hands on some of the pictures I took there and then scan them onto my computer. Until, then….Katakalon is a nice diversification.
Well, here is Katakalon – just a few pictures – we only had a few hours here.
That’s me in 2006 in Katakalon
Now, would you like to take a trip to Dubrovnik in Croatia? This place is stunning and deserves more than a few hours of your time.
Well, that’s it for today. Just thought I’d escape to Europe for a while and share some of my pictures with you. Hope you are all doing well.
Our cruise on the MSC Musica was magical. Perhaps it was because we traveled in a big group. I will always remember that cruise. Here are more pictures of the MSC Musica. Let’s just say this cruise line is definitely worth your consideration.
In the evening, there’s spectacular entertainment, here are the performers after one show
Did you know MSC Cruise Lines have cruises out of Florida now? One of their new ships is the MSC Divina and the reason I am mentioning this is that I have a picture shown below with that very name on it. I don’t know why I took it at the time (during the MSC Musica cruise, and I believe in Turkey) – perhaps because it has a little resemblance to my own name? Anyway, here’s the picture.
Here’s me on the MSC Musica
Here’s my son (looking out to the swimming pool) and daughter all dressed up for an Indian function on the ship – we were part of a big Indian group on the cruise – we enjoyed Bollywood, Bhangra and more – danced to it, and ate Indian food.
Here’s a picture taken of one of their lounges.
Of course MSC Cruise Lines also depart from many other places throughout the world, including Europe, where we took our cruise from lovely Venice, Italy. I think my next post might have to be on Venice. I hope you all have a fantastic week!
Our visit to Istanbul during the MSC Cruise (on the MSC Musica) was packed with shopping, and savoring Turkish flavors – whether it was Turkish coffee or kebabs. Turkey is delightful, and so colorful.
The first few pictures (below) were actually taken in Izmir, I could only tell since I looked back at my pictures, and saw some pictures of the cruise in the evening. I will include those here, so that you can see the sequence of events. The cruise stopped in Izmir first, and then we had our evening onboard, and the next day we got off at Istanbul.
Here are a few pictures taken back on the cruise ship that night.
Now let’s venture into Istanbul, and to the Grand Bazaar! Many people come to the bazaars of Turkey to get great bargains – you can find tea-sets, glassware, ornaments, clothes, handbags, and many other items. These bazaars also tantalize you with their aromas and Turkish treats. Don’t forget to try the Turkish coffee!
Time for some Turkish Coffee at Red Cafe
We left the Grand Bazaar, and ventured into the streets…..I must have asked this man if I could have a picture taken with him.
I think this is also called the Blue Mosque, but this is of course in Istanbul
Here’s the Mosque from a different angle
Here are the last pictures of Istanbul:
Well, I hope you think Turkey is as delightful as I do. I have only showed you some pictures of Izmir, the Grand Bazaar and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, and some of the surrounding streets. I’m sure Turkey has many other hidden delights.
Turkey delighted me when I visited that mysterious country in 2006. We were on a cruise with MSC Musica from Venice, Italy, and visited several ports in Europe. One of our stops was in Izmir and another one in Istanbul. I had to get out of our taxi which we took from the cruise port to the Mosque to actually venture closer and even go in the Mosque. Nobody else in the car wanted to go into the Mosque, but I could not let such beauty and magnificence pass me by.
Here are some pictures of the Blue Mosque in Izmir, Turkey:
This was taken inside the Mosque
Last look at the Blue Mosque
Then it was time to get back to the MSC Musica
Turkey is an incredibly beautiful country that I have to explore much more on a future visit. The amount of time that you get while on a cruise port of visit is not adequate enough when visiting a land that is full of cultural mystique and glory as Turkey is. My next post will include more pictures taken in Istanbul.
For all of you who like good deals, whether it’s reduced deposits, onboard credits, reduced fares, cash back, upgrades, or onboard savings booklets…..an event is coming up that you really ought to know about! This is an incredible week for booking the best cruise vacation deals ever! When? October 21 – October 27, 2012. Why? It’s CLIA’s National Cruise Vacation Week. CLIA is Cruise Lines International Association, and it is the world’s largest cruise association (of which I am a member).
How about signing up for my free weekly newsletter which is an eSaver, and then you’ll be one step ahead of being apprised of all the latest deals. To sign up simply send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org , and write Subscribe in the subject line. I’ll be happy to sign you up, or you can sign up at my website at http://www.likecruises.com by inputting your email and zipcode in the green box on the right hand side that is titled “Sign Up for Exclusive Offers and Discounts”, then don’t forget to press Join.
First to clarify what some of the terms above are in plain English:
Reduced deposits – who wants to pay the full deposit, when you could pay half only? You may only have to pay $100 or $200 per cabin. Remember, the ability to pay a deposit instead of paying in full can only occur if you book way before your cruise – at least 60 days before or more. If you book within 60 days of the cruise, you will have to make full payment. It’s better to book early, and to have reserved your cabin with a deposit than it is to book too close to the cruise date (your desired cabin may not be available). Paying reduced deposits is a DEAL!
Onboard credits (OBC) – this is free spending money that you can use to pay for your mandatory gratuities, telephone calls, internet charges, specialty restaurant charges, alcohol and/or other bar purchases, etc. These onboard credits will vary depending on what type of cabin you book. You will get more of a higher OBC for booking a balcony cabin or a suite than you will for booking an interior cabin. You could get an OBC from $50 to $300 per cabin (perhaps less or maybe even more) – this is a DEAL!
Reduced fares – this is your week to get special savings, as fares could be significantly discounted – this is a DEAL!
Cash back – this could be in the form of an OBC or cash back to your credit card, not sure on this, but if you call me – I will find out for you – this is a DEAL!
Upgrades – normally, you only get upgraded within the type of cabin type you book. So booking an interior does not give you an upgrade to an ocean view, but to a better category interior. However, this week is your lucky week where you can get upgraded from interior to ocean view or ocean view to balcony (based upon cruise line availability and cruise line specific offering of this promotion) – this is a DEAL!
Onboard saving booklets – these will come in handy when you wish to save on internet fees, or get a discount in the gift shop (you just might find a coupon in the booklet) or if you are interested in purchasing one of the professional pictures taken by the cruise line photographers – this is a DEAL!
Sorry for using the word “deal” so much, but it really is a great DEAL! So, please visit my website now at http://www.likecruises.com or contact me at email@example.com and let me know where you want to go to, how many people per cabin, what type of cabin (interior, ocean view or balcony), and it would be helpful if you could let me know if you have ever cruised before. Please also tell me if you have a preference for a particular cruise line. I am registered with all the cruise lines, and can book you on any cruise line that you choose.
Which cruise line you choose, and which particular ship within that cruise line’s offerings, will depend on which itinerary appeals to you, and whether you have a particular affinity to one cruise line over another. These are just some of the ones you can choose from (I have personally been on all these ships):
Carnival Cruise Lines
Oceania Cruise Lines
MSC Cruise Lines
Princess Cruise Lines
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
Cunard Cruise Lines
These are some of my ship inspection videos or a video that I made to help you see what it’s like on a cruise ship, this may help you decide which cruise line you wish to pick:
My ship inspection of the Carnival Splendor:
My ship inspection of the Oceania Marina:
My ship inspection of the Golden Princess:
My ship inspection of the Oasis Of The Seas:
My ship inspection of the Carnival Spirit:
My ship inspection of the Queen Victoria:
My cruise video of the Radiance Of The Seas:
My cruise video of the Enchantment Of The Seas:
Unfortunately, I did not make a video of the MSC Musica, I took that cruise way before I became a travel agent in late 2010, early 2011, and really got into video taping my holidays. I’ve always enjoyed photography, but videography is something I really just got into in the last few years.
These links might also help you to make an informed choice on cruising, as this is definitely one of the best ways to travel:
If you have any other questions…….please don’t hesitate to call me. I’d be happy to hear from you!
Don’t forget, it’s better for you to book with a travel agent, because you know who to go back to each time you have questions, and you won’t get a different person answering the phone each time you call. There are various other reasons as to why you should book with a travel agent. So, please pick up the phone and call 858-427-4972 now……..I really want to hear my phone ringing off the hook during the National Cruise Vacation Week, and even before then. Thank you, and I look forward to booking you on your best vacation ever!
Don’t overlook MSC Cruise Lines – they are not as well known as some of the bigger names, but should be. I have cruised with them in 2006 on a 7 day cruise from Venice, Italy on the MSC Musica that included stops in Bari, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Katakolon, Greece; Izmir and Istanbul, Turkey. I would highly recommend the MSC Cruise Lines. Here are some pictures.