Monte Carlo

Last year I wrote about the Casino of Monte Carlo and the Changing of The Guard at the Castle of Monaco. However as I review my pictures of last October’s trip, I realized I have shared little about Monte Carlo itself.

Monte Carlo is officially an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco. It is a beautiful natural harbor filled with exquisite yachts. The streets are the course for the world famous Grad Prix and one can only imagine the thrill of watching the race from a hotel or apartment balcony over the streets. Walking through the town takes you from one park to another with stops along the way to look at the race cars that people drive around town. You can smell the money. It has the highest per capita income by far of any place on earth.

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Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

We had never taken an ocean cruise before but after taking a river cruise we decided to try it. We selected the Mediterranean because we figured it would be calmer than the Atlantic or Pacific. Research was discouraging because either the ships were too big or if smaller than real expensive. We selected Azamara because they seemed to offer the same sort of luxury that Regent,Viking and the other small ships but at a better price point. The Azamara Pursuit was their newest ship and completely refurbished.

Azamara is a brand of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines aimed to compete in the small ship luxury market. The ship had 770 passengers and 450 crew. We were upgraded to a small suite and the service was exceptional. The ship had everything you could want want and because of the small size able to go to smaller ports like Elba and Port Vendre in France. We were always one of the smaller ships in the harbor. One of our guides pointed to an MSC Cruise Ship and told us it had 7000 plus passengers. We I sw that ship I knew we had chosen wisely and now we are thinking about our next adventure.

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

The Casino of Monte-Carlo

Few things meet expectations as much as Monte-Carlo and Monaco. We cruised there after two days of rainy and windy weather and it was sunny and beautiful. We have all seen many movies including two featuring James Bond that featured the exquisite Casino. It did not disappoint. A beautiful temple of bankruptcy, we did opt play but appreciated the venue.

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Casino of Montecarlo

Casino of Monte-Carlo

Casino of Montecarlo

Casino of Monte-Carlo

Lady Luck

Hallelujah by Maryfer Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

We traveled for a week aboard the Azamara Pursuit cruising from Barcelona to Rome. It was an awesome experience and I am sure I will write more about it over the next few weeks. There was a lot of good entertainment onboard but our favorite was the captivating Maryfer. Playing a grand piano and singing in a beautiful clear voice with great range.

The video is her singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. It doesn’t do justice to the power of her voice but you get the idea.We also got to know her and her boyfriend a little. He accompanies her on guitar and also is a vocalist. A lovely young couple.

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Cruising at Sunset

Next time w visit Mexico I have to figure out how to be this guy for a day. This is MY boat. I want this boat and I want to be at sea at sunset and sunrise for that matter. I am planning an ocean cruise but this is different. This boat is a personal yacht to only share with very close friends.

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Cruising at Sunset

Cruising at Sunset

Mexican Sunset

I have spent about 21 days in Cancún. It has rained about three days. So I have seen 18 fantastic sunsets. The sun sets quicker the closer you are to the tropics but you still have plenty of time to take good pictures and burn your eyes out if your not careful. We will be traveling there again next year and hope to see more unique scenes from mother nature.

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Mexican Sunset

Viking Hiln

Last October we toured Europe for four weeks and I have been posting a selection of images from the trip for months. For eight days our floating hotel was the Viking Hiln. OK all the Viking ships have weird Nordic names. I am sorry I didn’t capture more pictures on the ship. It was truly a luxury vessel with beautiful facilities. The service and meals were 5 star and the service by the crew was even better.

Our sail was along the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Basel Switzerland. Day long excursions to castles and towns were rewarded with nighttime shipboard entertainment. Here are a few shots I captured, I guess I will have to take another cruise to really photograph the ship.

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The Viking Hiln

The Sun Deck
Evening Entertainment

Personal Housekeeping

Cruising the Rhine Gorge