Friday, November 30, 2007

Buttermilk Falls - Ithaca, NY

Buttermilk Falls State park is located on the outskirts of Ithaca along Highway 13. A series of 10 waterfalls drops the Buttermilk Creek more than 600 feet with the water eventually finding its way to Cayuga Lake. Between the waterfalls, pools are formed. At the entrance to the park, swimming is allowed in the pool at the bottom of the falls.

There are several trails to hike. We took most of the Gorge Trail, which is a ½-mile trail with some steep climbing. It stays alongside the river past several falls and pools - very nice and peaceful.

This a great place to stop for 3-4 hours to enjoy a picnic and some hiking.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hawaii cruise

Client report following seven-day cruise on NCL's Pride of America

Cruising is the way to do Hawaii. You get to see all of the islands, and we spent about as much time off of the ship as on the ship.

I would compare sailing on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America with our best cruise ever, the Golden Princess. It’s just a notch below. The ship was a bit smaller, but had about the same number of passengers, so it seemed a bit busier. It also seemed to be much more of an adult cruise – fewer kids, fewer pools, lots of drinking.

The other thing I noticed, since it was an American-registered ship and had more Americans as staff, they didn’t seem to hustle as much as the staffs of other ships we’ve been on before.

We applied for five shore excursions before we left and got three. Two of them were sold out. I think on our next cruise we won’t pre-book the excursions. It’s kind of hard to know exactly what they are and exactly what you want to do so far in advance. Also, some of the excursions seem to be overpriced. The excursion to Pearl Harbor was $70 per person, yet admission to that area is free. We did that one on our own.

We rented a car on our own one day, spent a lot of time shopping, eating at restaurants and seeing a lot of sites. It was a great trip.