North America Journals

Pacific Northwest Cruise: The Swine Flu Switch-a-roo

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A May 2009 trip to North America by MikeInTown

Craigdarroch Castle Photo, Victoria, British Columbia More Photos
Quote: Three weeks before our Mexican Riviera cruise, Royal Caribbean announced it was suspending all its stops in Mexico because of the Swine Flu outbreak. The itinerary was changed to a Pacific Northwest cruise. Although it was no longer the tropical trip we had planned, we still had a fun vacation.

Pre-Cruise Stay in Long Beach

Courtyard by Marriott Long Beach Downtown

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Hotel | "Pre-Cruise Accommodation"

Quote:
Our pre-cruise accommodation was the Courtyard Long Beach Downtown. It is located 8 miles from the San Pedro Cruise Terminal. The hotel is not posh but it served our purpose of being a clean, comfortable place to spend a night before our cruise. The Courtyard was one of the five hotels reserved for the passengers of the Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage cruise. Tom Joyner is a national R&B radio personality that raises scholarship money each year by chartering a Royal Caribbean ship and turning it into a week of R&B concerts, parties, and seminars. My wife and I had enough points for a free stay at two of the reserved hotels. We chose to use our free stay at the Courtyard because it is i...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 8, 2009

Courtyard by Marriott Long Beach Downtown
500 EAST 1ST STREET
Long Beach, California 90802
562-435-8511

Port of Call: San Francisco

Fisherman's Wharf

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Attraction | "The Bushman Lurks"

Fisherman's Wharf Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
San Francisco was our first port of call. It is a great city with many fun things do. Our cruise ship was scheduled to be docked at Pier 39 for two days. Having visited San Francisco in the past, my wife and I had already done many of the attractions that I feel first-time visitors should not miss such as: Alcatraz, Muir Woods, Sausalito, Chinatown, and a city tour. As much as we enjoyed them the first time, we did not want to pay to do these things again. Therefore, during our first day in port, we wandered around Fisherman's Wharf. Fisherman's Wharf has been a part of the city's seafood industry since the Gold Rush days. Today, it also has many souvenir shops, stores, and restaurants. Th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 8, 2009

Fisherman's Wharf
The Embarcadero
San Francisco, California
415/956-3493

Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals and Tours

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Attraction | "Coast the Coasts"

Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals and Tours Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
There are several bicycle rental places at Pier 39 and vicinity that offer the opportunity to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. It is an 8-mile ride on a mainly flat or downhill paved path that takes you along the coast of San Francisco, across the bridge, and into Sausalito. From Sausalito, you can catch the ferry back to San Francisco or you can continue another 8 miles to Tiburon and catch the ferry from there. Those who want more time on the bicycle can always bike their way back across the bridge instead of using the ferry. We knew from our walk the previous day that all the rental places have pretty much the same rates. We chose Blazing Saddles at Pier 39 because it was close to o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 8, 2009

Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals and Tours
2715 Hyde Street
San Francisco, California 94109
(415) 202-8888

Port of Call: Victoria, Canada

Craigdarroch Castle

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Attraction | "A Tidy Tour"

Craigdarroch Castle Photo, Victoria, British Columbia
Quote:
By Day 5, our ship had reach Victoria, Canada. Victoria is situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island across the bay from the U.S. state of Washington. My wife and I had signed up for the 3-hour Victoria Highlights and Craigdarroch Castle excursion offered by Royal Caribbean via Gray Line Tours. The tour took us through the residential neighborhoods, to a scenic overlook, to Craigdarroch Castle, and through downtown Victoria.The residential areas of Victoria are very tidy. The homes contain perfectly manicured lawns with colorful flower beds and neatly trimmed shrubbery. People were out golfing and playing tennis. Seniors dressed in white were lawn bowling. We rode through a park whe...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 8, 2009

Craigdarroch Castle
Victoria
Victoria, British Columbia

Craigdarroch Castle

Attraction | "Woodwork and Stained-Glass"

Craigdarroch Castle Photo, Victoria, British Columbia
Quote:
We toured Craigdarroch Castle as part of the Victoria Highlights and Craigdarroch Castle tour offered by Royal Caribbean via Gray Line Tours. The castle's construction was completed in 1890 and occupied by the Dunsmuir family. Over the years, it has also served as a military hospital and music conservatory.The castle is located in a residential area. We were given an hour to explore its four floors and its tower on our own. Upon entering, each person was required to use the machine at the door to clean the soles of their shoes. Doing this helps keep the castle clean.Those who like woodwork and stained glass windows will probably find touring the castle a treat. There are many p...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 8, 2009

Craigdarroch Castle
Victoria
Victoria, British Columbia