Passports with Purpose

Saturday November 21, 2009 at 3:03 AM | 4 Comments

Posted by Nancy D. Brown

If you are a member of the travel blogging community, you are probably familiar with Passports with Purpose.  Last year, Passports with Purpose raised over $7000 dollars for Heifer International. In 2009, we've extended our goals and hope you'll join us again for a second round of giving.

This year, fellow travel bloggers are joining together to support American Assistance for Cambodia (AAfC) and independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving opportunities for the youth and rural poor in Cambodia. Our goal for 2009 is to raise $13,000 so we can build a school in rural Cambodia!

Beginning on November 30th, you will be able to see a list of prizes on the Passports With Purpose website, and each one will link back to a full description of the prizes on the blogger's website

Your purchase of a $10 raffle ticket will help support Passports with Purpose and ultimately build a school. For each $10 in donations that you make to AAfC, you will will be entered to win a prize (or prizes) of your choice. The fundraiser begins on November 30th and closes on December 21. All proceeds go directly to AAfC.

Got Prizes? What a Trip!

This year I'm pleased to offer Passports with Purpose two fantastic prizes from Briggs & Riley and OtterBox.

Briggs & Riley 20" BagBriggs & Riley is donating a Baseline 20" Carry-On Expandable Wide-Body Upright

This expandable wheeled carry-on is ideal for those who want one bag for both domestic and international air travel. The shorter and wider configuration offers maximum packing capacity while still fitting in the overhead. Retail value $369.




OtterBox is donating a $100 Gift Certificate

Otterbox iPhone Defender Case ReviewThis Colorado-based company started with something as simple as a box. OtterBox was created in 1996, building cases geared to the klutzy traveler who has broken a device. I prefer to think of my OtterBox as offering stylish and rugged protection for my iPhone and my active lifestyle. (Doesn't that sound better?)

Each OtterBox ranges in price to $50, so you'll be able to select two boxes!



Learn more about American Assistance for Cambodia

Garifuna Dancers of Roatan, Honduras

Monday November 16, 2009 at 7:07 AM | 5 Comments

Garifuna Dancers

Roatan, Honduras Garifuna Dancers

My first visit to Roatan, Honduras and it was during November’s rainy season. I was cruising on the Crown Princess as a guest of Princess Cruises. My dolphin encounter shore excursion was cancelled due to rough waters on the seas. As an alternative, I selected “The Best of Roatan” tour and discovered the Garifuna Dancers.

Go with the flow when on cruise ship

As a person new to cruising, I have learned that you need to be flexible when it comes to ports of call and shore excursions. On this particular Western Caribbean sailing, Hurricane Ida had Commodore Giuseppe Romano changing our itinerary to avoid rough seas. With my Holland America experience, our ship wasn’t able to tender at Sitka, Alaska due to hurricane force winds. Instead Captain Henk Keijer selected the protected and scenic Tracy Arm and it was fabulous! I have learned to adapt the “go with the flow” mentality when it comes to cruising.

Garifuna Culture

As I watched the traditional dances performed by descendents of African slaves, I learned that the men disguised themselves as women to avoid being killed during war time. The males dance the Jur Ca Nu and the women dance the Punta. Watch the feet of the women in the video and enjoy the traditional dances that have been handed down from generations since they settled in Roatan in 1797.

Roatan, Honduras food

Yuka Bread Baker

Roatan, Honduras Yuka Bread Baker

I was fortunate to taste the Yuka bread after watching a local Roatan women prepare the casava bread on a mud stove. From there we journeyed to a local Roatan village to watch as the planteen was mashed to make the native Machuca. A typical dish, Machuca is made of boiled planteen that is mashed, a local white fish and coconut milk. Tasty!

What are your favorite things to see and do in Roatan, Honduras?

All photos and video courtesy of Travel Writer  Nancy D. Brown

Princess Cruises Crown Princess – Day at Sea

Thursday November 12, 2009 at 2:02 PM | 1 Comment

"Crown Princess"

Princess Cruises Crown Princess for a Day – Desiree

Did you ever play dress up as a child or trick-or-treat dressed as a Princess?  Ever fantasized about your ultimate wedding?

After a day cruising at sea as a guest of Princess Cruises Crown Princess, I’ve experienced the pampering of the Lotus Spa, wandered into the adult-only Sanctuary and gazed upon a bride-to-be as she transformed from a fiancee to a newlywed, to half of a honeymooning couple on her wedding day. All of this took place on a cruise ship.

Cruise ship spa tips

As a newbie to cruising, I’ve learned that it’s best to book your spa treatment in advance of your cruise if you’d like your appointment to be during a day at sea. Often times, spa treatments can be less expensive if you schedule them during a day in port. My masseuse on the Crown Princess noted that prices may drop toward the end of a 15 day cruise.

Crown Princess Thermal Suite

Crown Princess Thermal Suite

Crown Princess thermal suite

Have you tried the Aroma Stone Therapy massage? For cruisers allocating dollars to pampering, the cost is $195. As a guest of Princess Cruises I was fortunate to enjoy 75 minutes of bliss at the Lotus Spa. They were running a little behind on my visit, so I was escorted into the Thermal Suite and promptly settled into a heated ceramic lounge chair.

Recycling program on board Crown Princess

After pouring myself a cup of lemon water, I was pleased to see that Crown Princess had a container for recycling the paper cups alongside the water pitcher. For a cruise ship of this size, carrying 3,000 passengers, it is reassuring to know that Princess Cruises cares about their environmental impact.

While cruising Alaska recently, on Holland America Lines Westerdam, I enjoyed hanging out in their Thermal Suite while I watched the ship sail scenic Tracy Arm. If your ship has a thermal suite looking out over the water, the minimal cost of a half day pass might land you the best seat in the house!

"Princess Cruises sanctuary"

Adult-Only Sanctuary on Crown Princess

Princess Cruises adult-only sanctuary

For those of us hoping to escape loud children or loud adults, for that matter, The Sanctuary is an adults-only retreat located on deck 17 of the cruise ship. Guests may purchase a half day pass for $10 or full day pass for $20. Additional amenities such as MP3 players with Bose headphones or an Evian Face Mist, at $3.50 a pop, will further isolate the noises of the outside world and leave you feeling moisturized and toned (according to the brochure.)

Personally, if I had a budget for pampering, I would try the cabana massage for $119, accompanied with a little cabana cuisine. After all, I’d be on vacation.

What are your recommendations for a day cruising at Sea?

You can follow along on my discoveries via the #FollowMeAtSea hashtag I’m using on Twitter.

All photos courtesy of Nancy D. Brown

Related Posts:

Environmental Impact of Cruise Ships

Princess Cruise To Western Caribbean