"CaptainLarry's Voyages" CaptainLarry's Profile


As was occassionally heard over the 1MC (public address system) on my US Navy ship, "This is the Captain speaking." I've long since retired from the Navy and wouldn't exercise authority even if I had any, but I have enough "ego" to enjoy being called Captain even today.

My "cruises" with the Navy were not necessarily pleasure cruises, although I did enjoy some parts of each cruise. I got to visit a number of countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean while I was "driving the ship." But the real "tourist" travel, accompanied by my First Mate, began after my retirement.

So anything I write here will be about post-retirement travel. I will likely make some comments about my Navy travels, but the tours will be the main thrust. I write for my own amusement and to keep memories fresh. If you gain any pleasure or information from my writing, you're welcome.

Best Tour (To Date)

A 2006 river cruise in Europe is number one on my list right now. We took Grand Circle Travel's Great Rivers of Europe tour from Amsterdam to Vienna, with a three-day extension in Vienna at the end. Everything about the trip was supurb, once we got there. Being delayed 24 hours by weather-related airline delays was not much fun. I have posted a lengthy review of the cruise, with pictures, at the following link: (Sorry. The link doesn't work anymore. I've removed the link and I will try to reproduce the review somewhere on this forum.)

If the river cruise was number 1 on my list, a 1999 tour of the USA Rocky Mountains National Parks is number 1A. That tour was offered by Saga Holidays, back when they operated in the USA. It was so delightful that we booked another tour of "America's Majestic National Parks" in June 2008. That tour was offered by Grand Circle Travel. It was our fourth tour with GCT and we have been quite satisfied with what they offer. The 2008 tour was the equal of 1999, perhaps better. It was amazing how much difference one month made in the weather. In 1999 it was hot and dry. In 2008 it was cool, even cold at times, and damp part of the time.

Best Cruise (To Date)

My "pleasure" cruise experience is not extensive, but picking a best to date is easy. In 2002 we took a Panama Canal Cruise aboard Holland America Lines' M/S Amsterdam. It was actually a repositioning cruise from Fort Lauderdale, through the Canal, to Seattle. We stopped at Half Moon Cay, HAL's private island in the Bahamas, Cartagena, Columbia, Puerto Quetzal, Guatamala, and three ports on the Pacific side of Mexico, Santa Cruz, Huatalco, Acapulco, and Cabo San Lucas.

In 2009 we took another cruise, two cruises, actually, kind of back-to-back, and again with HAL. We went from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to Skagway, Alaska, on M/S Volendam. We then went overland through Yukon Territory and the State of Alaska for a little over a week. In Seward, Alaska, we boarded M/S Ryndam to cruise back to Vancouver. The whole trip took nearly three weeks and was totally spectacular.

Tours of a Different Color

In 2007 we took a tour supplied by Grand Circle Travel. It was called "Amalfi Coast and Tuscany" and we included a pre-tour extension in Rome. We spent nearly a week in Rome, a week in Sorrento, and a week in Monticantini in Tuscany. It was a thoroughly delightful tour and reaffirmed my belief that Italy is a fabulous country and the Itallian people are great. If picking pockets were an Olympic sport, the Italians would have a leg up on the gold medal. But exercising due caution prevented any disruption of the tour.

Then in January 2009 we took an extended stay (three weeks) in an appartment hotel in Toremolinos, Spain. That is on the Costa del Sol, and it was delightful, as well. We took a ferry ride and spent a night in Tangiers, Morocco, and we also visited Gibraltar. It was generally an unstructured three weeks in which we could take advantage of day trips offered by the tour company, or we could skip the trips and just "hang out".

  • Intro Updated Jul 9, 2010
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Comments (2)

  • toemayn's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Hope your birthday is filled with all the fun you can handle!

  • gugi66's Profile Photo
    Sep 12, 2008 at 12:59 AM

    Hello. When you come to Stockholm send my a note, we can go out and take a cup of coffeey or a beer and I can give you some "tourist" tips.

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