A May 2004 trip
to North America by madaunt
Quote: Sailing from San Diego to Vancouver, we had a family reunion with women from Italy, England, and Canada. This Pacific Coastal cruise was five days of fun, sunshine, flowers, laughs, endless activities and entertainment, AND dessert nine times a day!
There are excellent, scenic, challenging courses in both cities and their suburbs. A quick look in the yellow pages or a call to your hotel concierge will provide a long list of places to play. In Vancouver, try booking online with Vancouver Golf Courses . While many are private clubs, there are also public courses and driving ranges and plenty of open tee times with very reasonable costs. Some start as low as US $30 per person. If you have a layover at the Vancouver International Airport, consider a quick trip to Mayfair Lakes golf course. It’s a beautiful large course, only 20 minutes from the airport, and the public green fees are less than US $60.
In Vancouver and Victoria, the only problem is rain. These verdant courses are so beautiful because they are constantly replenished by mists, showers, squalls, and full-on rainstorms. As a longtime resident and avid golfer once told me, "If you put off playing because of rain, you might as well move to Palm Springs. It rains all the time here." So pack or plan to buy a golfing umbrella and some waterproof shoes and go out and play in the rain.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 19, 2004
As four women travelling together, we also spent considerable time and money in the spa. It was fun to do girly things and we all felt refreshed and renewed from these treatments. Check out the spa services on the first day for group rates, bargain packages, combination offers, etc.
One of the best bargains on board is probably buying another cruise. There were really great offers for future vacations at low prices available only to passengers on the cruise. We couldn’t take advantage of these offers because Sis and I both work and we can’t predict our vacation times for next year. However, for retired folks or the "idle rich," these on-board specials can be real bargains with balcony staterooms priced as low as the usual rates for inside cabin guarantees.
The first one is bring whatever medications you usually take for minor problems such as headache, upset stomach, insect bites, etc. The ship’s shop and the ports may not have what works best for you and the ship’s medical clinic might charge a lot more than you expect for simple, non-prescription remedies. Obviously, you will also pack any prescription meds plus a few extra (in case you are delayed in transit) and it is probably wise to take along the prescription printout or the original container. These precautions will help to convince any suspicious customs officials to let you keep your necessary drugs. If misadventure happens and your medicines are lost, stolen, or confiscated, the prescription printout and/or original container will help you to obtain replacements.
Next, keep clean. Although ships’ cleaning staff is very well trained and acutely conscious of Norwalk virus and other evil infections, you still can take extra precautions to protect yourself. Wash your hands thoroughly before eating—this means that if you hold onto a banister or press buttons in an elevator on your way to the dining room, stop and wash your hands just before entering. If you are in the buffet restaurant, eat with your utensils not your hands. Anytime you serve yourself with ladles, tongs or lifters, you are essentially shaking hands with the hundreds of others who also used those serving tools. And everyone knows that a lot of nasty bugs live in washrooms so be especially careful to wash your hands anytime you use the facilities. It might sound funny but if you recite your ABCs while you scrub with soap and hot water you will ensure that you have washed long enough to kill most bacteria and virus particles. In your cabin, you might want to use an antiseptic wipe to go over the TV remote control and the telephone. These things are most likely clean but it only takes another 60 seconds to be sure.
Finally, be moderate with booze, food, and sunshine. This is the really hard part. If you can avoid being woozy from too many cocktails, a lot of rich food, and baking in the sun, you are more likely to stay healthy. And in the words of the great Joe Namath, "If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?"
Vancouver, British Columbia