Why I Decided to Cruise Norway's Coast With Hurtigruten


The above photo was taken from a scenic view while in Kirkenes, Norway.

In February 2017 I decided to cruise Norway with Hurtigruten.  The ship I was on is named the Finnmarken.  This was a 12 day round trip cruise this started in Bergen and ended back in Bergen after making many stops as far north as Honningsvåg and Kirkenes which is not far from the Russian border.

The first thing I should tell you about going on a cruise with Hurtigruten is that their ships are working ships.  That is why they make so many stops.  It is also more of a ferry.  New passengers get on and off the ship in various locations quite frequently.  People in Norway use these ships to get from one area the country to another.

I have been on 12 cruises in the past five years.  I have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise lines, and Holland America.  Cruising with Hurtigruten was such a different experience.  Many people go on cruises for the entertainment and to party.  I know because I have done so in the past ;)  There was no entertainment such as singers, bands, and speakers and t is also very expensive to party as one glass of wine is 14 USD. 

In spite at the lack of entertainment on the ship, this was definitely one of the most fun adventures I have ever been on.  One of the best things about this cruise was the scenery.  The ship is never far from the shore and it makes frequent stops.  I also got to see the Aurora Borealis also known as the Northern Lights because of the time of year I went. 

I have written three posts about this cruise.  Here they are:

Visiting the Famous Snowhotel in Kirkenes Norway

Visiting the Beautiful City of Trondheim, Norway and the Nidaros Cathedral

Visiting the Top of the World: Honningsvåg, Norway

I will be writing more in the coming weeks.


Continue reading "Why I Decided to Cruise Norway's Coast With Hurtigruten" »

Visiting the Magical Greek Island of Santorini Again With New Eyes


 Going on a Mediterranean cruise was at the top of my bucket list this year.  My choices were to leave from Rome, Venice or Athens.  I chose to leave from Venice as I knew I would want to spend some time there once I got back.  I had only been to Venice for a couple of days a few years ago and it rained the entire time.   

I also wanted an itinerary that visited the Greek island Santorini.  Although I visited there two years ago I was very sad while I was there.  I learned that our Black Lab named Shadow, who was around 16 years old, was extremely sick as my plane was boarding in Athens.  I could not have made it home on time to say goodbye to him.  It would've cost $3500 for a one way ticket to get home. 

I did think about just going home as I felt terrible that my husband was alone.  We knew shadow had been very ill for a long time, but I really didn't think anything (or hoped) nothing bad would happen when I was so far away. 

                                                          Here is the post I wrote about what happened: 

What Do You Do When a Tragedy or Emergency Happens at Home While Traveling?

Continue reading "Visiting the Magical Greek Island of Santorini Again With New Eyes" »

Visiting The Bacab Eco Park in Belize


Our second stop on my Caribbean cruise aboard the Norwegian star was the Belize city port.  In order to get from the ship to shore you must take a smaller boat.  Belize is a fast growing area.  It is still not as commercialized as the Cancun area but according to the locals is growing very quickly.           

Continue reading "Visiting The Bacab Eco Park in Belize" »

Visiting the Gumbalimba Preserve and Animal Sanctuary in Beautiful Roatan Honduras

Untitled (1 of 1)-59Today I returned from a seven day cruise on Norwegian Cruise lines.  The ship I was on board is named the "Star".  Over the course of the seven days we stopped in four places.  Our first stop was on Roatan which is an island in the Caribbean about 40 miles off the coast of Honduras.  I decided to choose a shore excursion for each of the stops on this cruise.  I chose to visit Gumbalimba Park in Roatan at this port. 

Continue reading "Visiting the Gumbalimba Preserve and Animal Sanctuary in Beautiful Roatan Honduras" »

The Spectacular Beaches of Cancun, Mexico

I loved my view in Cancun last week and not sure who wouldn't! 

I haven't posted any while because I was in Cancun with a friend from college and we were very busy visiting the sites and exploring the area.  I have been to Cancun for more than 10 times over the past 20 years or so.  I cannot believe how much it has grown since my first visit.  When I first visited back in college we got on a bus after exiting the airplane because there wasn't even an airport!  We could get a taxi anywhere for $2, bought pineapples for a quarter and a bottle of beer for a quarter as well.  Now it is very similar to visiting Orlando, Florida with similar prices.

 The beaches are still just as beautiful with their white powder air conditioned sand and turquoise water with very large waves to play in.  The weather is fabulous especially in February!   Sometimes it is recommended for people to not go in the water because the waves are so big!  Of all the times I have visited Cancun I have never been in February.  The weather was perfect for doing all the sightseeing I did as it was not terribly hot.  It was great looking out my window and seeing the ocean and listening to it at night even on the night it was really stormy!

You can see (and use for free) a lot more of my photos of Cancun on my Pixabay account here:  Mariamichelle's Pixabay account


 This pelican was so big I didn't think it was real when I saw it floating around in the water!


Untitled (1 of 1)-36

Untitled (1 of 1)-36

  Untitled (1 of 1)-147
Here I am practicing with my new remote control for my camera on my little balcony
Untitled (1 of 1)-147

Untitled (1 of 1)-147Here I am with the windblown look and my friend from college at a public beach where there is a sign saying Cancun.  We had to wait in quite a long line to have it in our photo taken there.  I must say this is a beautiful beach for people staying and the city hotels that don't have their own beach.
Untitled (1 of 1)-147 What beach that you've visited is your favorite?

  Thank you so much for stopping by.  I hope to hear your questions or comments and I'm curious if you have visited Cancun or anywhere else in Mexico.  Have a great week!