Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Hi All:

We are planning for our next cruising adventure in 2021 as cruise deals are at rock bottom prices while being enhanced by many perks.  Cruise companies are flexible and quite generous at this time.

Merrilynne and I are hosting a cruise on the Regent Seven Seas Splendor, on behalf of  Cruise Connections, for a 24 day back to back agenda, departing Miami on March 25, 2021.  Included is a 14 day cruise to Barcelona with an overnight  in Barcelona, then we continue on a 10 day cruise to Tangier, Morocco, via the Canary Islands, more stops in Spain and finally disembarking back in Barcelona on April 18, 2021.

Many perks apply, including free air, free trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance with no medical precondition exclusions (For Canadians only),  prepaid gratuities, free excursions in every port as well as several special excursions hosted by us, six hosted dinners on board, several hosted cocktail parties, our personal attention to your travel itineraries with the ability to customize your pre and post travel for a nominal fee, $600.00 US onboard credits,  complimentary internet, payment refunded in full if the cruise line cancels the cruise, free unlimited beverages, including fine wines and premium spirits. 

Fares start at $10,299.00 CAN ( Under $8,000.00 US) for a Deluxe Veranda Suite. Amazing!

If you are considering cruising in five star style, at a significant cost reduction, please contact me for a referral or more information.

Howard Brown

Tuesday, December 24, 2019


January 28-29 Sea Days & Long Beach. Notice of Google+ Shutdown 

January 30. Long Beach, CA.

Interesting to learn that the Long Beach / Los Angeles port system is the largest one in the USA and ninth largest in the world, behind 6 Chinese, one Korean and Singapore ports with 156 post Panamá cranes servicing the complex.

Merrilynne and I walked a few miles around the harbour. with its extensive cycling paths and numerous dining spots. Looks like a great place to hang out.

Picture below shows the large volume of liquor, berries and food being loaded for the 5 day trip to Hawaii,

Twice in previous years, Gary and Candy Gaudreau organized a three day cycling event, where 6 couples met Merrilynne and I at Newport Beach on our return journey to Arizona. This beach lis located about 15 miles South of Long Beach. Amazing beaches and recreation facilities stretching for miles in Southern California. Visiting here brought back great memories!

Pictured below are Sanjay Goel and Criz Punsalin of Cruise Connections, who flew in from Vancouver to meet with their 28 Around the World cruise customers. Interesting discussing their business over lunch.

We toured the Battleship Iowa which is moored next to the cruise terminal. Note the 12 inch thick cast 

iron vaults for the helm and the 9 massive 16” guns. Living conditions were reasonable on the ship.  

There were four ships of this class completed around 1943. They were refurbished two times with the last upgrade being completed at Reagan’s request. Retired in 1990. You will recall that a sister ship, the Missouri, was the venue for the surrender ceremony between MacArthur and the Japanese.

Pictured below is the Queen Mary, which my Dad sailed on to England, in 1947!

DARN, I just received a notification from Google that they are shutting down their blog system by April 2.

Iowa Museum

Criz and Sanjay, President and VP, Cruise Connections

January 27. Cabo San Lucas

Located at Land’s End on the Baja Peninsula, this area is very similar to California, with strip malls and marinas populated by luxury yachts. We walked 8 miles along bustling streets, massive resort hotels and numerous restaurants today.

Surprisingly, the El Arco arch at Lands End collapsed during a hurricane in 2015, so that iconic landmark is gone forever! Check out the photo below.

A local sea lion has developed a reputation as a beggar. He meets returning fishing boats, scurries onto the rear walking deck while pleading for a fish, then he goes to the next boat. I wonder who taught whom this pandering trick….seal or man?

Looking back in time, it is unfortunate that the surveyors laying out the Southern border between USA and Mexico may have been a little too familiar with fire water. Why you ask? Well, looking at the line, if the surveyors haven’t deviated North and just missed the Sea of Cortex, the Baja would be part of California and snow birds would have houses along the lower Baja, under fantastic weather!

Lovena Fox, ( Canadian entertainer from Vancouver ) put on a terrific show last night, culminating in Houston's " I Will Always Love You". Luckily for us, we spent time with her later and leaned that she is a wise investor, due to her multiple real estate holding is Las Vegas. She is pictured with Merrilynne, below.

El Arco Arch after collapse

anuary 26. Puerto Vallarta

This is our favourite Mexican destination. We plan to spend time here each January in future years. A modern clean city, friendly people with great climate. No one panhandling anywhere.

Five - 500 ml Pacifico or Corona for $7.00, rums, whiskeys and tequilas are $6 to $7.00 per bottle but of course, we like gin, at triple the pesos. Mexicans say - Senior, no drink that stuff, no good!! We did buy some specialty flavoured tequilas and gin to take on board. Waaahooo!

Interesting acrobats on the pole, busking along the Malacon, which is the beach, dining and shopping area in “Old Town”

January 25. Manzanillo, Mexico

Famous for marlin fishing, Manzanillo is the largest port on the Mexican West coast. Tourism plays a minor role in the economics of this modern, bustling metropolis, as the residents appear intent on leading a sophisticated life as in any normal North American centre. NO one pestered us to buy junk, taxi rides not tours!

Huge, 120’ sea-going tugs are stationed here to service national and international navigation. Oil is exported by numerous tankers and dozens of ship loading container cranes dominate the extensive dock system.

January 22, 23 & 24, 2019 Nicaragua and Sea Days

Another nondescript Central American country with limited economic resources, but the people are friendly, well dressed and apparently happy. Their lifestyle is very simple with rudimentary accommodations and infrastructure. I am sure life is different in larger centres.

Weather was excellent with clear skies and temperatures in the mid 80s.

Our day on shore included walking 4 miles while fending off dozens of locals promoting their wares or bugging us to hire them for a bicycle propelled ride around town. Pictures below paint the story.

Greeting by local people at the ship!

January 20, 21,     Sea day and Puntarena, Costa Rica

Homes are fortified with iron gates and security screens.  Poor, unappealing town in an idyllic setting.