More than Castles in the Sand

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First blog post of my Adventure At Sea Educational Cruise

What's New at LTTK

Having moved our office at the end of May (see notice), we are well settled in our new space. We are now familiar with our computer network and our sophisticated new telephone system. Larger office space has allowed us to add to existing staff. Ann Marie Wilson, a recent University graduate, a well traveled young miss, and a member of our extended family for the past 23 years, has joined our team. Welcome Ann Marie! And a warm invitation to all to visit us in our new location.

It is now time to deliver on promises made to ourselves and to our clients.

Let's Take the Kids policy has always been to offer to our clientele products and family travel destinations that, whenever possible, our consultants have satisfactorily experienced themselves. We have been busily searching out new and interesting family travel opportunities.

Along came opportunity, knocking on a cabin door, offering a 14 day "Enrichment Voyage of Discovery" to Central America on the MV Explorer.

The MV Explorer is the cruise ship used for the Semester at Sea program offered for the past 40 some years through the Institute for Shipboard Education, more recently sponsored academically by the University of Virginia.

www.semesteratsea.org

The opportunity to travel and learn on this Enrichment Cruise to Central America was too much to resist. Ann Marie and I embarked on our personal Voyage of Discovery on May 11.

Airline Connections

On May 11 we flew with WestJet from Ottawa to Nassau via Toronto.

Connections were great and, having left Ottawa at 7 am, we were on board the Explorer by 4 pm that afternoon. We returned from Nassau to Ottawa on May 25, again using an easy connection with WestJet.

Itinerary Summary

The first day we were "at sea". During the course of the following 3 days we visited

  • Cozumel,
  • Belize, and
  • Honduras spending one day in each of these ports.
  • After another day at sea, cruising the coast of Honduras and Guatamala, we docked at Puerto Limon in Costa Rica.
  • We spent 2 days in Costa Rica and then cruised to Panama where we spent another 2 days.
  • Our return to Nassau was via Jamaica and Grand Cayman with another day at sea and a day in each of these ports.

Wow! Double-wow it was!!

For May 2009, the cruise promises to be even more exciting, with stops in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Roatan (Honduras), both coasts of Costa Rica (with transit through the Panama Canal) and much more. All this for less than $2500 per passenger... remember, that's for two weeks... Contact us for more details...

An Extra Ordinary Cruise Ship

The MV Explorer is unique in design and concept. It is a floating university, cruising at sea for all but approximately 7 weeks out of each year. During the fall and winter semesters more than 700 students are on board for about 15 weeks each term, and in summer for a 10 week term. The students enjoy traveling and pursuing courses which deal with cultural, regional and global issues while earning University credits. The cruise itineraries vary but cover a good part of the world.

During 2 - 4 weeks in May and 3 weeks in December the ship is available and is marketed, at very reasonable rates, to anyone who wants to enjoy a cruise vacation with a difference...

On board, passengers are free to make use of a staffed library or more than 10 thousand books,

a computer room, also staffed, which offers free use of 32 stations plus plug ins for individual laptops,

game rooms, classrooms, an equipped gym and a small swimming pool,

a stage/lounge area which doubles as a lecture and briefing center and an entertaining lounge,

a piano bar lounge,

spacious decks, a gift shop, a spa and a disco. It's all here for your convenience and pleasure.

The cabins, small but quite comfortable, are designed to provide an amazing amount of storage space.

The ship is immaculately clean, the food and service excellent.

There are two main dining facilities ... one of which offers buffet service only for all meals and the other which offers full service for dinner as well as buffet service for breakfast and lunch.

Except for 2 special dinners… welcome and farewell, seating for all meals is open and passengers have the opportunity to share tables and meet one another.

Approximately 600 paying passengers were on the May 11 sailing. Some of the passengers were alumni of Semester at Sea (SAS) sailings, including a few couples on their honeymoon, some were first time sailors, others were confirmed cruisers, having enjoyed more than 40 cruise vacations. Quite a number of passengers were families enjoying some very personal time together.

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