Cruising Observations for Boomers

Mary Ann and I just got back from a 11 day Western Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Equinox, which is about our 24th cruise. Here are some observations from our trip.

We observed and have heard from 3 other frequent cruisers that the cruise lines are now targeting younger people in the 45 to mid 50s age range.  Well after cruising some time with the older people, now we are right in the mainstream being an older boomer of age 67. So the cruise lines want to pass over my age group to target younger people? Doesn’t make sense.  As an example, Equinox presented their Modern Luxury theme with a new stage production which has men wearing only girdles and all cast members looking androgynous. Yuk!Equinox show

Cruise ships do change. Equinox used to be our favorite ship. That is why this was our third cruise on the Equinox. But things have changed. No activity staff at the upper lawn areas or throughout the ship like previous cruises. Cruise staff changes, entertainment changes, ports change, so don’t expect just because you liked the cruise last time you will like the same ship next time.

Equinox3On many cruises, the best part is meeting the people. We met many people we related to on this cruise and it was nice talking with them. Unless the cruise is really port intensive, you will have time to socialize and meeting people is super easy.

Too much of a good thing is bad.  When you first get on a cruise ship, you will love to eat and maybe drink too much. By about day 4, things start to catch up with you and you will have to pace yourself or else a good time turns bad.

Celebrity Equinox
Celebrity Equinox

Taking too many cruises back to back will burn you out on cruises. I think that is where I am now. Taking a 14 day cruise in Sept, then this 11 day cruise in December, I just decided to cancel my California Coast cruise in March because that is just too much cruising.  I will wait until the urge comes back, which won’t be long.

See why baby boomers like cruising. It is the best of boomer travel ideas.

 

Originally posted 2015-12-13 11:10:47.

Retirement Travel: Road Trip

Looking for travel ideas when you retire? Here are some enjoyable road trips for you to consider.

Many Glacier Lodge, Montana
Many Glacier Lodge, Montana

When dreaming about retirement one of the fun things to do is to think about the traveling you will do, once you don’t have to go to work every day.

When you are in retirement, one of the fun things to do is to think of all the neat things you have done over your lifetime.

For today’s post,  I am combining those two ideas and posting about some of the enjoyable road trips that I have done.  This has been fun to remember and maybe will give you an idea for a road trip of your own.  Some here are some memorable scenic road trips I have experienced.

Road Trips

1. Blue Ridge Parkway is absolutely gorgeous!   Described as  America’s favorite drive. I started near Cherokee NC took the parkway all the way up to Blowing Rock.  Also have been on the Blue Ridge Parkway in a drive through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.  The Summer or early Fall is a great time for this trip.

2. Montana Practically the whole state is scenic but we took I-15 to Butte, then I-90 to Missoula then to the scenic drive on Hwy 83 to Kalispell and Whitefish.  Along the way we passed through the Valley of 1,00o haystacks.   From there a ride through Glacier National Park on the Going to the Sun road staying in the wonderful park lodges ending up at the famous Many Glacier Lodge.

3. Nova Scotia Flew to Boston and got a comfortable rental car for the drive up to Portland Maine and took the ferry over to Yarmouth Nova Scotia.  With the help of the Canadian Embassy we have planned out 5 overnight stays on the drive along the northern coast, stopping on our trip at the Bay of Fundy to eat scallops and to visit the scenic Peggy’s Cove, ending up at Halifax.

4. Charlottesville VA area.  Make Charlottesville your base and take in the area with day trips to homes of three presidents, Jefferson, Monroe and Madison.  Not to be missed is a day trip through the Shenandoah National Park.  Allow 3 or 4  nights in Charlottesville but you could continue the trip down to Williamsburg and Jamestown for a longer trip.

Retirement Travel

So these are four of my best road trips.  For your retirement travel planning, maybe this will give you an idea for a trip of your own.  Enjoy!

For more good travel ideas, visit our Boomer Travel page.
For more Retirement Travel ideas.

Originally posted 2012-05-13 12:31:41.

Boomer Travel: Aruba is the Place to Be

Find out why Aruba is being visited by Boomers and what makes in an ideal Boomer vacation destination

I just returned from a seven night stay at the Aruba Radisson resort and thought I was at a Boomer convention.  There were all ages of Boomers and some younger Seniors too enjoying the island lifestyle, if only for a short time.  There were tie die T-shirt classes at the pool, bingo, sunset cruises, but the main draw is the excellent beaches.

The weather is ideal beach weather with highs in the 80’s and lows in the 70’s.  You really can stay on the beach or lounge at the pool all day long.  You know our bodies are not what they used to be, but it doesn’t matter when most of the people at the beach look just like you do.  No one is going to stare at your pot belly and you won’t feel out of place.  We are just there to enjoy ourselves.  Now that I am retired I  have tried to grow my hair longer and I noticed that must be a trend as evidenced by the Boomer crowd in Aruba this week. A few little ponies but most just sporting longer hair.  Anyway why not, we have conformed long enough and it’s our time again.

Another thing bringing Boomers to Aruba is their excellent restaurants, many within walking distance from the hi-rise hotels along Palm and Eagle beaches.  They are expensive but are uncommonly good for the Caribbean Islands I have visited.  After dinner, there are casinos in many hotels and even some Las Vegas type shows for your entertainment.  Most of the hi-rise hotels have a bar with live entertainment every night.  Not even to mention the two and one half hour long cocktail hour starting at 4 pm where you can try the Pina Colada or some exotic drink of the day.

Everything happens on island time which is just fine with us Boomers after we get used to it.  The favorite saying on the “happy island” is relax, you’re on vacation. It can be a little disturbing when you order food or a drink and it takes forever to get to you, but that is the exception.  What is not the exception is getting your bill at the end and getting it paid.  That can take some time so you might as well not let it bother you.

We talked with one dear lady in her 70’s who moved to Aruba from Boston over 25 years ago and has made it her home quiet well.  She filled me in that there are no retirement communities on the island and not that many people retire there either.  Aruba is just a fine place for a Boomer to travel to and enjoy for a week or a season. TripAdvisor.com is a great place to research Aruba or any other travel destination for that matter.

For more on Boomer Vacations

Originally posted 2010-12-20 16:08:59.

Boomers: What To Do While Visiting The Villages in Florida

Thousands of people visit The Villages in Florida each year, some staying with relatives, some visiting on the Lifestyle Preview Plan like we just did and many others renting a home in The Villages.

There is something to do everyday that every baby boomer will find fun.

Here are some 16 tips and places to visit during your stay at The Villages Florida.

1. Pick up a copy of The Villages Daily Sun newspaper, especially the Thursday edition with the Recreation News and schedule for the week.

Sumter Square The Villages
Sumter Square

2. Visit and walk around all three town squares,  Lake Sumter Landing which borders Lake Sumter and has a Florida seaport theme and is located centrally.  There is the original town square of Spanish Springs on the South side. The newest town square of Brownwood with a wild west theme is on the North side.  All three town squares are very walkable and have restaurants, shops and a movie theater. Also there is live entertainment in each square every night of the year!

town square
town square

Continue reading “Boomers: What To Do While Visiting The Villages in Florida”

Originally posted 2018-09-29 20:54:03.

Boomers Should Check Out Veterans Cruise Discount

I am taking a cruise in three weeks and I just got a $250 on board ship credit for veterans. This is nice since I didn’t know about this veterans discount when I booked my cruise with Princess a couple of months ago.

I am taking a cruise in three weeks and I just got a $250 on board ship credit for veterans.  This is nice since I didn’t know about this veterans discount when I booked my cruise with Princess a couple of months ago.  I was drafted into the US Army in 1971 and spent two years in service.

I bet a lot of other boomers who are veterans do not know about this.  My wife just told one of her facebook friends about it since they were taking a cruise the week after us with three other couples.  Now three out of the four guys turned out to be veterans and have been approved for the veteran cruise credit also.  Many of us older Baby Boomers are veterans.

Several cruise lines offer veterans a cruise credit.

The information from Princess Cruises is as follows but just ask the cruise line you are considering whether they have a military discount.

From the Princess site:
In recognition of Veterans Day, Princess Cruises is promoting the line’s military onboard credit program for active and retired military personnel. The credit, which ranges from $50 to $250 per stateroom depending on the length of the cruise, is available to members of the United States and Canadian armed forces with appropriate service identification.

“As I discovered when I recently wrote about my own military experience on our company blog, we have a large number of veterans among our passengers,” said Alan Buckelew, Princess Cruises president and CEO. “We want to honor all military personnel this Veterans Day and thank them for their service.”

The line’s military personnel onboard credit program is available to active military personnel plus retired and disabled military veterans with proper verification as follows:

–Active personnel currently serving in the following service divisions: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, Reserves, Canadian National Defense (military verification certificate)

–Retired personnel defined as: Enlisted personnel or officers with a minimum of 20 years of service, medically retired or 100% disabled (blue or tan uniformed ID card/Canadian white N.D. 21 ID card)

–Veterans with an Honorable Discharge serving a minimum of 2 years or 6 months in an active war zone in any of the United States service divisions listed above or Canadian National Defense (DD 214 plus current photo ID)

The onboard credit amount is $50 for cruises 6 days or less, $100 for cruises of 7-13 days, or $250 for cruises of 14 days or longer, offered on a per stateroom basis.

To request the military personnel onboard credit, eligible persons should apply no later than one week prior to the cruise departure date. Passenger and sailing information should be accompanied by proof of eligibility and provided to either the passenger’s travel agent or to Princess Cruises. For more information about how to submit information, contact 1-800-PRINCESS.

Originally posted 2011-12-23 14:32:21.

Bucket List Travel


Bucket List Travel Can Improve Your Health, Broaden your Perspective, Even Lead You Into New Careers

If travel is something you long for, I encourage you to do it. Don’t let fears or worries stop you.

Study after study reveals that travel is good for us. It’s good for the body and good for the mind. It lowers stress, strengthens relationships and gives you memories for a lifetime.

Whether you like natural beauty (think rivers, mountains, beaches, waterfalls), cultural experiences (think museums, concert halls, art galleries), or historical sites (think battle grounds or presidential libraries), traveling to these places can enrich and enlarge your life in numerous ways.

Want to be amazed? Fascinated? Awed? Travel somewhere you’ve dreamed about but never actually been. Or, return to someplace wonderful you visited decades back and feel the wonder anew.

My husband, Al, and I began to travel in earnest after we were involved in a serious automobile accident in 2012. That wreck brought home to us how fragile life is. How it can be snatched away in a moment, in the blink of an eye. We decided to stop putting off our travel dreams.

Since then we’ve cruised through the Panama Canal, visited the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, ridden on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, cruised the Mediterranean, driven the Blue Ridge Parkway, and cruised the Mississippi River on an honest-to-goodness steam-powered paddle-wheeler.  Next spring, we’ll cruise the fjords of Norway.

We’ve been pleased to learn that travel is associated with lower rates of heart disease, reduced risk of depression, as well as increased brain development. Yes, our brains can develop even at our “seasoned” ages.

Activities such as touring a museum, finding your way through an unfamiliar town,  walking along the beach have positive mental, physical and social benefits.

Traveling develops new skills. And that increases confidence.

When we travel and meet people from unfamiliar cultures, we may find new ways of looking at life. And that can give us a different perspective on things. We may find ourselves growing intellectually and emotionally.

Because travel often includes walking, we may find ourselves actually getting in better shape. We may even lose weight and gain muscle as we hike, stroll, walk or amble about.

Escaping the every-day, if only for a weekend, can energize and renew us.

Travel is fun.

And you never know where your travels will take you. Al and I have made friends we never would have met otherwise. And we found our travels so amazing, that we began to write about them.

So travel has turned us into authors. We write travel memoirs, filling them with all the wit, wisdom, discoveries and surprises we experience on our journeys.            This year, we’re publishing three books about a trip we took in 2014.

Color_Cover_Promo_72dpi copy

 

Cruising the Mediterranean, describes our adventures in  Amsterdam, Venice, Athens, Istanbul and other places. It was named an Amazon #1 best seller in the senior travel category.

Indie Book Reviewers say that the book is “…full of adventure and life and great advice on traveling.”

 

 

FindingOur second book, Finding Ourselves in Venice, Florence, Rome & Barcelona,  was also named a #1 best seller in the senior travel category. In addition, Amazon named it the #1 Hot New Release in Venice travel guides.

In this book, we visit local markets, famous sites, and quiet out-of-the way neighborhoods, staying in Airbnb apartments and using Barcelona’s hop-on hop-off bus to show us around.

Rick Bava, author of In Search of the Baby Boom Generation, said this  about the book: “The beauty of these wonderful places shines through every page.  I recommend it for Baby Boomers and others whose hearts long to travel. You’ll feel like you’re right there…”

And we have a third book, coming out soon: Cruising the Atlantic, Our Epic Journey from Barcelona to Miami.

          I tell you this to underscore how travel can take you places you never dreamed of. Who would have imagined that a wreck caused by a texting driver slamming full speed into us would result in our becoming travel memoir authors sharing our trips with readers around the world?

But there you have it. We’re either writing about a trip, planning a trip, or we’re on a trip, enjoying all the benefits of travel.

At our age, we have the time for travel and we have more money for travel than we had as young adults. Still, we are careful with our travel funds, and try to get the most value for our dollars.

If you have a travel dream, I encourage you to take it.  Travel now, while you can. The Internet can make the trip easier than ever. Nearly every city, state or national park has a website where you can check out tours, lodging, points of interest, even maps of the area.

Do some online exploring, plan with care, fuel your sense of adventure, trigger your imagination, then make your dreams come true.

Al and Sunny Lockwood have traveled by foot, car, rail, air and cruise ship. Everywhere they go, they capture unforgettable moments — Al with his camera and Sunny with her reporter’s notebook.  Their work has been published in magazines and newspapers. This photograph was taken in an Athens coffee shop, when Al and Sunny ducked inside to escape a sudden downpour.  You can contact the Lockwoods at  sunnyandallockwood@gmail.com

 

 

 

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Originally posted 2016-09-09 08:55:48.