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Travel, Travel, Travel!


There are many shows on a cruise ship that allow passenger participation. These shows can be a lot of fun to watch, but if you really want to get the most out of your cruise ship vacation, you should try participating in some of these activities. Often you can win a little plastic cruise ship trophy. Makes a great souvenir. Sometimes, you can also win a bottle of champagne.

Here is a sampling of the activities that they had on my recent Carnival cruise:

Fun Ship Fear Factor: Not really like the show. It was made up of two teams, each trying to get the best time over several events. One event involved moving the entire team across stage on a couple of mats. Another event was blowing up baloons and popping them by sitting on them. The final event was to drink some concoction made up of ketchup, pepper and who knows what else.

Men’s Hairy Chest contest: Pretty self explainatory.

Towel & Napkin Folding Demo: Kids and adults covered the stage following instructions by expert room stewards and waiters, learning how to make towel animals, and fold towels into decorative designs.

Newlywed Game: Three couples are brought up on stage. One a newlywed couple, usually the most newly married available, another couple that has been married the longest, and a thrid couple that was married someone in between. They are asked questions, and the most matching answers wins.

Love & Romance Game: Anyone can play this. Everyone gets up on stage. They are asked questions and given two answers. Depending on which you think is right, you move to the left or right side of the stage. If you are wrong, you are out. The last person on the stage wins. The questions are all out of a sex book by Dr. Ruth. (hint, I have seen this on my last two cruises, and I think the questions were the exact same).

Guest talent show: They have room for 7 acts. You audition, and then you can perform in the big talent show. Fun to watch, fun to be in.

Legends show: This show as far as I know is only on the Carnival Legend. People audition for parts in the show. They dress as big stars such as Elvis, Britney Spears, Garth Brooks, Frank Sinatra, etc, then get up during the big show perform a song by that star.

Karaoke: Almost daily. Always a chance to get up on a small stage, make a fool of yourself, and have a great time.

This is just a small sampling. There are many more activitys as well. Most of these seem to be standard on Carnival Cruises. Other cruise lines may have other types of activities.

I read about people who once they retire are at a loss for what to do. They sit around waiting to die. I around so looking forward to retirement! I have been shoving money into my 401k retirement account, and into my Roth IRA account! When my retirement comes, I am planning on travelling! There is so much of the world I want to see! I would like visit all seven continents, and sail all the oceans. I want to climb Mt. Rainier! I want to cruise the Amazon, and maybe the Nile! I want to go to Okinawa and see where karate came from. I would to see China, and Japan also. Maybe travel all over Asia! I have never been to Europe. I would love to see Europe…except for France. I will skip over France! I would travel to Germany, Italy, and Spain! How about Russia! Russia could be cool! I want to go on cruises! Lots and lots of cruises! I have read that you can get some great deals on last minute travel as ships try to fill all the cabins. I can’t count on last minute travel deals like that while I have a 8-5 job. But when retirement comes, I will be right there! I want to have enough money and free time that I can look over at my wife and say “Hey, you wanna go on a cruise next week?”
I so much love to travel! So when my retirement comes, the word will be travel! Travel, travel, and more travel!

Do you need travel insurance/trip insurance? How much did you pay for your vacation? If you have only invested in a couple airline tickets, then you probably don’t need the travel insurance. If you have already spent thousands of dollars towards a vacation, then you probably should have travel insurance.
What if something happens to you just before you are supposed to leave? What if you get into a car accident, and are unable to travel? What if a family member gets sick or dies? If one of your parent’s or spouse’s parents becomes ill, or passes away days before your expensive cruise, are you just going to go on the cruise anyway? Probably not. The travel insurance will help you from eating those thousand dollar crise tickets.
What if you have a medical emergency while on your trip? Travel insurance may help pay to get you to medical help. Helicopters aren’t cheap.
What if the cruise ship sinks, cruise line goes out of business, plane crashes, or everybody on the ship gets sick? What if there is a terrorist incident, and you can’t make it to the ship?
What if it is something as simple as your flight is cancelled, and by the time you get to the port, your ship has sailed?
Travel insurance may help you in cases like these and many others. You will need to talk to your travel agent for more details on what a particular plan does and does not cover.

While on vacation, I brought along my Palm IIIc to log my trip, write articles for my web sites, and also to have my address book stuff. The Palm IIIc is nice, has color, but it has some problems. It has a plastic body, and the back cracked. This is the second back I had had on it. Apparently this was a common problem with the IIIc. To recharge it, I have to bring along a base. And since the back is cracked, it doesn’t make good contact with the base contacts. I end up moving it around until the little light comes on.
I was looking around, I found that the Palm V had a metal body. I also saw that they make a thumbboard for the Palm V as well. I was looking at buying a Palm V, and noticed it only had 2meg of memory, opposed to my Palm IIIc which has 8meg. I saw that the Palm Vx seemed to be the same as the Palm V, but had 8meg of memory. So then I started trying to buy a Palm Vx. It took me a few days an lots of bidding on eBay, but I think I got a decent deal. I bought a Palm Vx that is supposedly a demo model, a thumboard, and metal case, modem, and charging cradle for $23.50 plus $18 shipping. It is not color like my Palm IIIc, but I really don’t need color to type in my logs. The metal body I think will be tougher for travel. I can also get a travel charger that is a transformer that has a wire that plugs into the Palm Vx, with no need for a base. Much more compact for travel. I will try the thumboard and see if I like it for typing. I am not sure if the keyboard I have for my Palm IIIc will work on the Palm Vx or not. But I can pick up a portable keyboard for cheap on eBay.

Shopping Throughout Asia: Find Hidden Treasures Among the World’s Finest Clothing and Jewelry by John Riggin

In between climbing pagodas and snapping pictures of golden goddesses, most travelers to Asia take time to visit the shopping districts. The quality and selection of designer clothing and extravagant items found in shops across Asia will not disappoint those with a penchant for luxury goods. From China to India, great buys are available for those who know what to look for.

Mainland China is a fantastic place to find extravagant jewelry at discount prices. Jewelry markets are filled with glittering gems and beautiful jade pieces abound.

Exquisite strands of high quality, lustrous pearls are easy to find in China. When purchasing jewelry in mainland China, feel free to bargain. It’s the way business is done in China, and most owners of small shops expect it.

There have been cases of shopkeepers taking advantage of tourists, and the best defense is knowledge. If buying pearls, test them against your teeth for roughness. You might want to test both a real pearl and faux pearl in advance to make sure you can recognize the difference. For gems, consider purchasing a jeweler’s loupe and learning to use it. Be especially careful when buying jade, since it can be difficult to tell true jade from false.

Silk is also a good buy in China. Stores that sell lengths of fabric and silk garments are abundant, and some shops will make a shirt or dress from the silk fabric of your choosing.

Because there is no sales tax in Hong Kong and imported goods are not taxed, designer clothing can be purchased there for excellent prices. Bargains can be found on cameras and electronics, but make sure you know the going prices for these items so you’ll be able to spot a good deal. Hong Kong is also an excellent place to buy watches and jewelry.

Thailand is another great source for jewelry. Unfortunately, dishonest jewelry dealers are plentiful. Never follow any “helpful” individual who offers to lead you to a jewelry store with incredible bargains – it’s probably a scam. To avoid being cheated it’s best to deal with a respectable jewelry firm, preferably one that is a member of the Jewel Fest Club. The Tourism Authority of Thailand founded this reputable organization, and member stores are listed in a booklet and display the Jewel Fest Club logo.

In India you can find many items made from the amazing textiles created in the country. Clothing, tablecloths, towels and other household goods are good buys here.

Jewelry is also a good buy in India, but again, beware of fakes and frauds.

About The Author

John Riggin is Executive Editor for the largest and most comprehensive US to Asia travel website. Where you’ll discover the best deals on flights, tours, hotels, cruises and more.

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