Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column Rewind with D.G. Kaye – #Cruises Part Two – Ship Tips.


Last time Debby Gies (D. G. Kaye) shared some important information on cruise lines, the various standards of cabins available, and the best place on the ship to be if the weather is a bit choppy.  Here is the link to Part One

You can read that post in the directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye/

Cruises – Part Two – Ship Tips

In my first post in this series I covered what to look for when considering booking a cruise. Today I’m going to cover some of the activities available while on a cruise, and some tips on how to save money when booking those activities.

Packaged Deals

Many cruise lines offer package deals you can purchase pre-cruise or while onboard such as beverage packages. Yes, it’s true that soda pop, tea, coffee, and some juices are free to drink while onboard, but beer and alcohol, bottled water, specialty drinks and coffees, smoothies, etc. are not part of free.

If you’ve re-booked a cruise on a previous sailing or if you luck into a promo offer at the time of your booking, often cruise liners will offer you bonus incentives at bonus pricing. With Celebrity, their promos change often and depending when you book you will be offered to choose 2 or 3 packages to add on to your cruise FREE. The choices can be anywhere from a drink package (including alcohol), your tips paid for the entire cruise, a $200 – $300 onboard credit (my fav!), or free wifi (rare but I managed to catch one). So do make sure to check on the special offers to get the best bang for your bucks while booking. You can always book a drink package of your choice once onboard, but typically, you’ll get a better deal when pre-booking your packages.

Note: I highly recommend if you aren’t offered a free drink package, to buy one at a reasonable price comparatively to paying for each drink you consume on the whole cruise. Without a prepaid all you can drink package the price of alcoholic beverages and any specialty drinks can add up to well over $1000 if you’re taking a 2 week cruise. For example, premium bottled water will run you close to $4 a bottle. On a hot pool day I have no trouble drinking at least 6-8 bottles a day. And that’s not counting a specialty coffee in the afternoon and a cocktail or two before dinner then wine with dinner. I would have no problem spending at least $80 a day just in beverages!

Tipping

When purchasing drinks, sundries or any other service related product while onboard, you just use your ship card to make those purchases. The card is your method of payment for anything purchased onboard without having to carry money around. When purchasing service related products, you can expect to see a service charge added to your bill if your purchase isn’t included in a package.

You will also be expected to leave tips at the end of your cruise to your cabin steward and restaurant staff who have served you nightly in the dining room. These tips are pre- calculated on a daily basis and will vary from ship to ship but will typically run at approximately $12 a day per person. This is where choosing the ‘tipping package’ will save you a few hundred dollars, already paid for. Some passengers get angry over this tipping charge and if you find it a problem, you can always go to the front concierge desk and ask them to remove the charges from your room bill. But I will state that the staffers work hard and many long hours daily, so my take is that it’s relatively cheap to tip those amounts compared to if you were to tip every single time you were served food or ordered a drink. My husband and I always drop an extra $20 or more to our favorite or most helpful staff to show our appreciation but use your discretion.

Wifi

Wifi is available on all ships and unless you were lucky enough to book a free bonus wifi package you will have to purchase separately. You will be able to choose how many days you’d like your wifi for as you may not want to take it for the whole cruise. But if you’re someone who relies on using your mobiles, tablets or laptops daily, I highly suggest you take the package deal offered for the whole cruise, it often works out cheaper.

Alternatively, if you find you’d prefer a technology-free vacation and only wish to check on your emails etc., you can take your device with you off the ship when you’re docked at port and log in at a variety of coffee shops or terminals at ports which offer free wifi. You will also have access to the ship’s internet room where you can use their computer’s free of charge.

There are often lineups to use those computers so use your discretion what is worth more to you.

Excursions

Sightseeing and beach excursion packages are offered both pre-cruise and onboard for each port. Depending on where you’re cruising to will help you determine if you’re better off booking a planned tour or going off on your own to explore. If you’re new to cruising, it may be a good idea to book a tour with the ship. All tours offer a pick-up and drop-off right outside where your ship is docked. But if you’re a seasoned cruiser like me and are returning to ports you are familiar with you may choose to hire a taxi (plenty at the ports) and perhaps invite another couple to share the ride and go wherever you like for a lot less money.

Taking a taxi to your own choice of destination – be it beaches or shopping, allows you the freedom to take your time and not be rushed to meet back at a bus. Just remember to be back at the designated time the cruise ship posts for sailing. You can go to a beach and pay a nominal fee to rent a beach chair and towel from a hotel or take your own towel and pack a few drinks and/or lunch to take with you and stay on a beach.

If you’re cruising to places other than a warm, winter getaway such as Europe, you will undoubtedly be spending much of your time touring. I would suggest once you’ve chosen your itinerary for that cruise to check out the ship’s offered excursion packages to see what tours they’re offering with all fees included – transportation, meals and entrance fees. It’s also a good idea to check out those tourist avenues online to see if it works out cheaper to book directly with them for entrance tickets and what a taxi would cost to get there.

Shopping

Oh yes, one of my favorite events on any vacation, but especially fun when cruising to Caribbean islands. The best part of shopping in many of the Caribbean islands is the duty-free prices!

Besides shopping at the ports, there is plenty of shopping to be had right onboard the ship. All ships have various stores on their promenade levels offering anything from clothing to sundries to designer goods, tobacco and alcohol, and of course . . . jewelry! Many of these items are at duty-free prices. You will also find many ports offering duty-free shops of the same with a variety of jewelry stores with prices unmatched anywhere else. So if you’re interested in bringing home a sparkly souvenir from your vacation and want some good recommendations about which stores to shop, you’re ship will offer a channel on your cabin’s TV where they’ll inform you about best places to shop at each port as well as offer seminars onboard with a host who will educate you on the jewelry available at the upcoming port, what is popular on a particular island, and what to look for when purchasing.

I can tell you flat out that your biggest selection of jewelry with the best prices is in St. Martin. The whole Front St. is lined with one jewelry store after another! This can be overwhelming, causing tough decisions about what to buy when all that glitter flashes upon you (ladies) lol.

And words of advice: Never pay the asking price! Bargain, bargain, bargain! Trust me, shop owners hate to see you walk away empty handed so if you’re not thrilled about a price but feel you ‘must have that ring’, try walking out of a store. Once you’ve shown interest in an item believe me, they’ll chase you down the street trying to make you a happy customer.

Offering cash for an item will often bring down the price further. And don’t forget to get an appraisal receipt with your purchase. I promise you, you will be blown away once you bring that item home and take it for appraisal to your own jeweler. Often the savings can be 100% and more! Then once you’ve found that jewelry store you’re happy with, you’re best off to shop there the next time you cruise because you’re in their system and you will become a preferred customer.

I remember the first time my husband and I vacationed in St. Martin. He bought me a gold watch with a diamond face. Okay. This was almost 22 years ago when we paid a paltry $1400 U.S. for that watch (after a few hours of bargaining, leaving and returning to it) and the watch came in at $3500 value once I got home and got it appraised. The prices are amazing because they are wholesale and duty-free without middlemen and taxes. Most seasoned winter cruisers don’t buy jewelry anywhere else until they reach St. Martin because despite jewelry available at many ports, nobody has the selection or prices as St. Martin does. But I will tell you a close second is in St. Thomas.

Note: If you do purchase jewelry and don’t plan on declaring it at customs (stories for another time), ask the salesperson to mail you the receipt and appraisal. Just sayin’!

Here’s a great little video to give you an idea what it’s like shopping in St. Martin

Dining

Depending on the cruise line you book with, when you book your cruise you’ll be asked which dinner seating you prefer. Because of the large number of passengers, the main dining room offers 2 seatings to choose from – usually 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm, and in the last few years began offering ‘select’ seating where you can go at anytime during the dinner hours but are forewarned the busiest times are between 6:30 and 7:30, so you may have to wait in line for a while. If you’re on top of things and choose select, you can reserve your chosen time earlier in the day.

Buffet option is also available for all meals, which is a nice option for those nights you don’t feeling like dressing up for dinner and don’t wish to eat a full 3 course meal. There are also specialty restaurants onboard you can reserve to eat at for an additional nominal fee.

Tip: Because meals are included, I rarely eat off the ship. On port days I’ll have my breakfast before disembarking and usually return by early afternoon and then I’ll grab some lunch at the buffet or at the BBQ grill. Just think! The money you save by eating onboard, you can spend on something else.

Beware: Regardless of whether you have a drink package or not, this will never include taking anything out from the mini bar in your cabin. You will pay dearly even for a bottle of water. What I like to do when I check in my room is have the cabin steward empty the fridge, mark everything down of its contents, and place it in a bag in the cupboard to make space for my own drinks I get at any one of the many bars onboard and then store in the mini bar.

This video will give you an idea about some of the food and dining options on a Celebrity cruise

Activities

Every ship offers daily and nightly activities. Each night an itinerary of the next day’s events is left in your cabin. Events involve games, contests, specials of the day, nightly theater productions, musical entertainment, wine tasting, theme parties, glass blowing, art auctions, movies, casino tournaments, water sport activities, seminars, library events – you name it, something for everyone.

Note: Not all ships are geared to catering to children. I can say that I’ve hardly seen any kids on a Celebrity cruise. But there are other cruise lines that cater to children offering mini classes, activities, babysitting and kid’s menus. From the feedback I’ve gathered, the Disney ships are magnificent for children.

All ships have spas on board. Some of the best masseuses work on ships. You will find a variety of different massages, hair salon, nail salon, yoga classes and a gym for your convenience.

Tip: The massages aren’t cheap but I always manage to sneak 1 or 2 in for a better price. I always use part of my free onboard credit to put towards a massage. And when the ship is in port and most people are off the ship for the day, the ship will offer a discount on massages and that’s when I book in my second massage.

~ ~ ~

I hope you’ve enjoyed my ship tips for today. Please share your experiences of cruise ships with us. Debby

©D.G. Kaye 2018

Another fantastic tutorial on how to best enjoy and get the best value for money during your cruise vacation. I certainly did not know a fraction of this and will take it on board….(sorry).

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Debby has written a book about her travel adventures – Have Bags Will Travel

About the book

D.G. Kaye is back, and as she reflects on some of her more memorable vacations and travel snags, she finds herself constantly struggling to keep one step ahead of the ever-changing guidelines of the airlines–with her overweight luggage in tow. Her stories alert us to some of the pitfalls of being an obsessive shopper, especially when it comes time for D.G. to bring her treasures home, and remind us of the simpler days when traveling was a breeze.

In her quest to keep from tipping the scales, D.G. strives to devise new tricks to fit everything in her suitcases on each trip. Why is she consistently a target for Canada customs on her return journeys?

D.G.’s witty tales take us from airports, to travel escapades with best friends, to reflections on how time can change the places we hold dear in our hearts. Her memories will entertain and have you reminiscing about some of your own most treasured journeys–and perhaps make you contemplate revamping your packing strategies.

A review for Have Bags Will Travel

“Have Bags, Will Travel” is a delightful read on the experiences of travel, fashion, the art of packing suitcases with the emphasis on having a good time. Author, D.G. Kaye details her days on board planes to many popular destinations and her vivacious antics with friends. She also relates her solo travels to exotic destinations with steep cliffs and too much baggage. I particularly enjoyed the details of the by-gone, romantic days aboard Wardair, and the exquisite details of vintage Las Vegas.

A consummate shopper, D.G. Kaye relates her rather humorous run-ins with customs officials. How does it feel to be singled out routinely by airline officials? A read through this humorous pages will give you the insight to these first-hand conflicts.

I would say this might be required reading for shoe connoisseurs and fashion mavens especially if they have a plane ticket in hand. Germ avoidance theory is also discussed, and it may never be possible to look at airplane bathrooms the same.

D.G. Kaye brings back the memories of best friends and blazing trips through the desert. Many readers will identify with the struggles of this stylish lady attempting to blend in to avoid a custom’s mishap. A short and super fun read, “Have Bags, Will Travel” is perfect for your next airplane ride.

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Have-Bags-Will-Travel-Over-Packer-ebook/dp/B015HP1R6S

Other books by D.G. Kaye

51ipqxbodml-_uy250_crop

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Come and visit me at our Literary Diva’s Library group on Facebook

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Thank you for dropping in today and please help spread the news of Debby’s travel column and we look forward to your questions and comments. 

Advertisements

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – Comedian in Residence D.G. Kaye and a joke from Sally’s Archives.


First Debby Gies shares some of the funnies this week that she feels you should not miss.. ..D.G. Kaye Writer Blog is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.

My thanks to Debby for spotting these.. and please give her a round of applause.

D. G. Kaye – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Catch up with Debby’s monthly Travel Column here on Smorgasbord: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye/

Now time for a joke (s) from my archives..

Memory Games – What was its name?

Two elderly couples were enjoying friendly conversation when one of the men asked the other, “Fred, how was the memory clinic you went to last month?”

“Outstanding,” Fred replied. “They taught us all the latest psychological techiniques-visulization, association-it made a huge difference for me.”

“That’s great! What was the name of the clinic?” Fred went blank He thought and thought, but couldn’t remember. Then a smile broke across his face and he asked, “What do you call that flower with the long stem and thorns?”

“You mean a rose?”

“Yes, that’s it!” He turned to his wife. . .”Rose, what was the name of that clinic?”

Passionate

Two police officers saw this old woman staggering down the street, stopping her they can tell she has had far too much to drink and instead of taking her to jail they decide to just drive her home.

They loaded her into the police cruiser one of the officers gets in the back with the drunk woman. As they drove through the streets they kept asking the woman where she lived, all she would say as she stroked the officer’s arm is “You’re Passionate”.

They drove awhile longer and asked again, again the same response as she stroked his arm “You’re passionate”.

The officers were getting a little upset so they stopped the car and said to the woman, “Look we have driven around this City for two hours, and you still haven’t told us where you live.

She replied I keep trying to tell you: “You’re Passin It!”

I hope this has left you with a smile on your face and please feel free to pass it on…thanks Debby and Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column Rewind – with D.G. Kaye – #Cruising – Reports and Tips Part One – D.G. Kaye


D.G. Kaye… Debby Gies is having a break from the travel column this month as she is in the middle of several projects. However, in celebration of her first anniversary, I am going to repeat her first post this week and part two next week, on the subject of cruises. It is always useful to have information and tips from someone who has travelled extensively and I am sure if you missed these next two posts, you will find very helpful.

Cruising – Reports and Tips Part One

In this series I’ll be sharing some of my favorite places I’ve traveled to, tips about preparing for travel, staying safe when traveling, and how to get the best bang for your dollars.
In today’s post I’ll be talking about cruises. I love cruising. I’ve been on approximately 15 cruises and have the protocol down to a science.

I began cruising with Celebrity cruises because of the many good recommendations I received and after researching various cruise lines while initially trying to decide which cruise line to choose. I had a fabulous first experience cruise with them and never looked any further. I also met many cruisers on the cruises I’ve been on and heard lots of stories about bad experiences with low quality food, tiny cabins, expensive beverages and lack of activities offered. I also met people who traveled on various cruise lines who said their best experience was with Celebrity and I can understand why.

This article is not a plug for any particular cruise line, but rather a sharing about what I’ve gleaned about cruising. Because I travel with Celebrity this is the cruise line I make reference to. Other than the possibility of taking a River Cruise one day, any future cruises I take will remain with Celebrity. I’ve had nothing less than first class service, wonderful amenities, great food, beautiful cabins, and not to mention – their rewards program is fantastic, but I’ll get into that a little later. Therefore, for me, if it aint broken, I aint fixin’. As far as cruisers go, you either love being out on the ocean or you don’t. But for those of us who do, here’s the scoop on what to look for when choosing a cruise.

Which Cruise Line Should I Choose?

This is a matter of preference, pricing and itinerary. For many new cruisers, it can be overwhelming to decide which cruise line to book with. My advice to help you decide is to go to a cruise line site, look at their itineraries, fleet of ships, staterooms (cabins), dining options, reward programs, drink packages, activities, and check what they have offer. Doing your homework is important! You will also take note of which port your cruise leaves from – the further the sailing port is from where you live, the more it will likely cost to fly there. You can also get a good education by checking out sites that passengers leave reviews on such as Tripadvisor, Google, and directly to cruise line sites where travelers often leave honest reviews.

Are you a person who likes to spend a lot of time touring at each port or do you prefer hitting the beaches or shopping? Do too many days at sea in between ports bore you? Personally, I love sea days, they are days to relax at the pool and get my tan on. But some people get a bit antsy with too many sea days, so make sure you check out the ship’s itineraries when looking for one you’d enjoy.

Celebrity Equinox – This was the last ship I sailed with in 2017 – Posted by Mogens Hallas

Which Cabins Are Best For You?

Lodging cabins aboard ship are otherwise known as staterooms. There are various types of staterooms offered, each one with its own price points and perks, depending on your choice of category.

Traditionally, inside cabins are the cheapest, and if you’re anything like me, loving to sit on my balcony to take in the ocean view and enjoy watching the ship dock or sail, you’ll want the freedom of stepping outside your room and perhaps sipping on a cocktail after a lovely day in the sun. But some people are willing to forgo these benefits for a cheaper price and don’t mind an inside cabin.

Inside cabins don’t have windows or balconies, and as you may have seen in movies, the very bottom floors may have a tiny portal window if the cabin is just above sea level. I’m also claustrophobic so that is certainly no option for me.

Oceanview cabins have large floor to ceiling windows facing the ocean, but unless you go up one category, they don’t include balconies. From there, we get into oceanview cabins with balconies and yet another upgrade termed Concierge Class. These cabins are typically a little more generous in size with upgraded room amenities, bigger bathrooms, and come with additional services – your own stateroom attendant on call 24/7 for all your needs including room service orders.

Typically, in this class, you will also find other goodies in your stateroom upon arrival such as: a bottle of wine or champagne, personal tote beach bags, yours to keep, coupons for discounts in select restaurants onboard that aren’t part of your package, wifi usage, priority disembarking privileges, and of course, afternoon hor’s d’heurves of your choice brought to your cabin daily.

Next category up is Concierge Class cabins with spa privileges, ie: use of sauna and relaxing aromatherapy rooms for cabin passengers situated on spa floors, plus dining privileges in the ship’s elite restaurant for those who don’t prefer eating in the huge dining room where patrons congregate nightly for dinner at designated times.

Then of course, you have the Penthouse Cabins, which are almost condo-sized, complete with every imaginable perk including large balconies with sunbeds and a personal butler!

Which Part Of The Ship Is The Least Rocky?

The quick answer is ‘midship’. Midship cabins will typically run you a little more money than the same cabin type located at either the front or back ends of the ship. You will feel the least movement of the ship in a midship cabin. Personally, I don’t get seasick, despite encountering a few rough patches on a couple of cruises I took. But there are several aids people use to combat seasickness.

Some recommended aids to help with seasickness are Seabands, worn on the wrists, said to work on accupressure points to hold nausea at bay. Others swear by Bonine and Gravol. These are tablets you can purchase at any drugstore. Just make sure to take the non-drowsy Gravol or you might sleep away half your vacation!

What Do I Need To Know About Boarding The Ship?

Typically, on all cruises I’ve taken out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the cruises depart around 4PM, and protocol is, you can board up to 3 hours early and have lunch aboard and mingle before you’re assigned the okay to go to your cabin as time is needed to clean the rooms from the last sailing’s passengers. Concierge Class and all categories higher can board earlier because they have priority checkin.

The cruise lines state clearly that anyone missing final boarding time should find their way over to the next port that ship will sail to. So not fun! For this reason, many cruisers like myself, are seasoned enough to know that unforeseen circumstances such as flight delays, bad weather, etc., can leave you vulnerable to getting left behind from boarding the ship for same day arrivals. For these reasons, I prefer to fly out at least a day before the ship’s sail and begin my vacation earlier. Besides, I get extra cross border shopping time in!

Boarding a ship is similar to going through airport security where you will pass through similar security checks and scanners for your personal items to ensure safety for all passengers. Similarly, when the ship docks in each port and you return from an off-ship excursion, you will go through the same security procedure to re-board.

Once you’ve checked in on the ship, you’ll be given a ship card which will serve as your room key and cruise credit card where anything you purchase aboard – drinks, upgraded restaurant meals, shopping, booked tours, paid activities, etc., will all be charged to that card. You will pay your onboard cruise bill the evening before returning to your disembarking port at the end of the cruise.

As soon as the ship sails, each passenger will be directed to their section’s muster station for a short crash-course on emergency procedures. This is mandatory on all ships although, meeting times will vary with each cruise line.

Rewards Programs

Most cruise lines offer perks for new cruisers and upgrades for patrons who are repeat cruisers. It’s important to check what your cruise line has to offer you. I know with Celebrity, the more you cruise, the more discounts and perks you receive for every consequent cruise you take with them. These perks can be anything from cabin upgrades to free drink packages, free wifi, invites to the Captain’s party, discounts on spa facilities, and even discounted tour packages (something I’ll get into on the next post).

The points I earn for each cruise bumps up my status to a new category of perks. To stay competitive, many cruise lines offer package deals you can purchase when booking your cruise such as: a choice of different alcohol and non/alcohol packages and an onboard credit. And many offer these perks as part of a ‘take your choice’ bonus package just for booking with them. There may be a drink package, a special offer to have your tips included, or perhaps free or discounted wifi offered as a special bonus at the time of your booking.

Something else I recommend is if you discover you love cruising, you should book another cruise while onboard at the ship’s travel office because you will receive a discounted price and a cabin upgrade plus a choice of at least 2 or 3 packages included free in your booking onboard. I’m also going to add here that Celebrity has an ‘evergreen’ policy where once you’ve booked another future cruise you can change your destination choice to a different cruise anytime before the booked cruise date to pay the balance in full is due and keep every discount and package you were given when put to a different cruise. So, I highly recommend booking another cruise while onboard – any cruise, it doesn’t matter because you can change the destination or dates indefinitely and as many times as you deem. Note: You will also have the option to cancel a booked cruise and get back your full deposit. So, there’s really nothing to lose – it’s a win/win!

~ ~ ~

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post when I’ll be getting into your dining options, when and where to book excursions, shopping and tipping protocol, and things to beware of!

Do you have any cruise stories or info you’d like to share here?

Debby would love your questions and feedback

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Come and visit me at our Literary Diva’s Library group on Facebook

Debby has written a book about her travel adventures – Have Bags Will Travel

About the book

D.G. Kaye is back, and as she reflects on some of her more memorable vacations and travel snags, she finds herself constantly struggling to keep one step ahead of the ever-changing guidelines of the airlines–with her overweight luggage in tow. Her stories alert us to some of the pitfalls of being an obsessive shopper, especially when it comes time for D.G. to bring her treasures home, and remind us of the simpler days when traveling was a breeze.

In her quest to keep from tipping the scales, D.G. strives to devise new tricks to fit everything in her suitcases on each trip. Why is she consistently a target for Canada customs on her return journeys?

D.G.’s witty tales take us from airports, to travel escapades with best friends, to reflections on how time can change the places we hold dear in our hearts. Her memories will entertain and have you reminiscing about some of your own most treasured journeys–and perhaps make you contemplate revamping your packing strategies.

One of the reviews for Have Bags Will Travel

Super fun travel reading on April 20, 2018

“Have Bags, Will Travel” is a delightful read on the experiences of travel, fashion, the art of packing suitcases with the emphasis on having a good time. Author, D.G. Kaye details her days on board planes to many popular destinations and her vivacious antics with friends. She also relates her solo travels to exotic destinations with steep cliffs and too much baggage. I particularly enjoyed the details of the by-gone, romantic days aboard Wardair, and the exquisite details of vintage Las Vegas.

A consummate shopper, D.G. Kaye relates her rather humorous run-ins with customs officials. How does it feel to be singled out routinely by airline officials? A read through this humorous pages will give you the insight to these first-hand conflicts.

I would say this might be required reading for shoe connoisseurs and fashion mavens especially if they have a plane ticket in hand. Germ avoidance theory is also discussed, and it may never be possible to look at airplane bathrooms the same.

D.G. Kaye brings back the memories of best friends and blazing trips through the desert. Many readers will identify with the struggles of this stylish lady attempting to blend in to avoid a custom’s mishap. A short and super fun read, “Have Bags, Will Travel” is perfect for your next airplane ride.

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Have-Bags-Will-Travel-Over-Packer-ebook/dp/B015HP1R6S

Other books by D.G. Kaye

51ipqxbodml-_uy250_crop

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Part two of the series next Monday…

Thanks for dropping by and would love to hear from you about your cruise experiences.

Smorgasbord Afternoon Video – D.G. Kaye finds another Gem… This Parrot swallowed a dictionary


Debby Gies has been scanning the airwaves for videos to share… here are some more that she has come across.. ..D.G. Kaye Writer Blog is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.

D. G. Kaye – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Catch up with Debby’s Travel Column here every month: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye/

Thanks to Debby for finding another gem.. I hope you have enjoyed… thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The #Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – The Island of #Cuba #Caribbean


Welcome to this month’s edition of the Travel Column at the Smorgasbord. Today we’re going to learn more about the island of Cuba.

Officially named, the Republic of Cuba, Cuba is located in the northern part of the Caribbean where the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea meet, just south of Florida and the Bahamas. Havana is the capital of Cuba and the largest city of the Republic. Cuba also reigns over another island, Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) as well as a quite a few other minor archipelagos, covering a land mass of over 42,800 square miles. The exact name of Cuba and where it was derived from are unknown. It is believed that Christopher Columbus named the island for a town named Cuba from his native Portugal. The native language is Cuban Spanish, their own dialect from original Spanish.

Similar to many other Caribbean islands, Cuba was inhabited by the Taino people since 4000 – 3000 BC until the 15th century when it became a colony of Spain, again, until the Spanish American War of 1898 when it became occupied by the United States. After signing the Treaty of Paris in 1898 and more politics, Cuba became formally independent from the U.S. May 20, 1902, going through several leaderships and several political takeovers leading to the eventual takeover by a dictatorship in 1952 by Fulgencio Batista until he was ousted for his corruption and taken over by Fidel Castro under communist rule. Cuba is culturally considered part of Latin America and exports sugar, coffee and tobacco and nickel. As of 2016, Cuba was still declared an authoritarian government ruled country.

Before Castro took over in 1959, Cuba was considered one of the most advanced countries in Latin America. Cuba relied heavily on aid from the USSR. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, their economy went into a sliding depression, allowing some the opportunity for self-employment and the legalization of using the U.S. dollar for business, encouraging tourism.

For many decades, Cubans were not allowed to leave this island, yet many tried to flee communism in unsafe methods to get across the waters. Prior to January 2013, Cuban citizens weren’t allowed to travel abroad without obtaining official permission and applying for a government issued passport, which was usually denied and cost 5 month’s salary. Back on September 9, 1994, the U.S. had agreed to grant Cuba 20,000 visas annually if Cuba kept a promise to prevent further dangerous attempts to enter the U.S. by unsafe methods across the water.

Also, with the intervention of the U.S. government, in 2010, Cubans were granted permission to build their own houses. Approximately 85% of people own their homes paying no property taxes or mortgage interest. It is said there is no homelessness in Cuba. But in May of this year, because of increased U.S. trade embargo and a large decline of aid from Venezuela, and oil and fuel costs, Cuba has begun rationing staples, as almost two thirds of their country’s food is imported. Cuba’s natural resources include tobacco, fish, citrus and tropical fruits, coffee, beans, rice, chicken, potatoes and their most important export mineral – nickel. Cuba is currently drilling for oil as a geological survey has shown their capability to produce approximately 4 – 9 billion barrels.

Currency

Cuba has what is known as a dual currency system. The Cuban peso (CUP) is used to set wages and prices, while Convertible pesos (CUC) is used for the tourist economy, set at par with the U.S. dollar.

Tourism

Tourism in Cuba was originally restricted to segregated areas designed for tourism, and away from Cuban society. But it was marked that in 2003 over 1.9 million tourists visited Cuba mainly from Canada and Europe, helping to generate revenue for the country. In 2011 that number jumped to just over 2 ½ million tourists, making it the 3rd highest tourist destination in the Caribbean, coming in just behind Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

But with the introduction to more sanctions put on them by the Trump government in 2017, and the Cuban people not able to be innovative with their own business enterprising, tourism is currently down in Cuba. Many Canadians travel to Cuba for their winter vacations, as it’s one of the cheapest winter vacations for us despite the political clime.

Note: The rules for travel to Cuba by Americans have stipulations. Americans may not travel to Cuba with the impending embargo solely for the purpose of tourism. The Obama government was working on measures to change this policy, but the current administration has made more changes. Americans have 12 viable authorized travel categories to enable them to visit there. You can learn about these avenues in this Guide to Americans traveling to Cuba. You can also learn more about Legal Documentation required and what is and isn’t permissible when traveling to Cuba.

Climate

Climate in Cuba is tropical with light trade winds blowing throughout the year. Dry season is typically November through April with the rainy season May to October. Average temps run from 70 to 80 degrees. And of course, like most islands vulnerable to hurricanes, because Cuba sits close to the Gulf of Mexico, it is prone to frequent hurricanes. Cuba was hit by Irma in 2017, leaving enough damage, but incomparable to the damage after it hit Puerto Rico.

Beaches

Cuba is known to have some of the most pristine and beautiful white sand beaches. Couple that with turquoise waters, quiet and palm trees, it presents a serene and warm getaway. Some of the most beautiful and popular vacation spots in Cuba are Varadero (currently rated 2nd best beach in the world for 2019 by Tripadvisor), Santa Maria, and Los Cayos Coco, just to name a few. All tourist beaches offer the usual watersport activities and guided boat tours. You can read more details about the various beaches HERE

Shopping

Cuba isn’t typically known as the best shopping destination in the Caribbean, but there are still a few great finds to be had there. Cuba’s number one claim to fame are ‘the Cuban cigars’, which are treasured widely by cigar afficionados around the world. You can also find local chain stores, and a few boutiques in hotel shops where you may find some international brands of clothing and toiletries. Cuba also has some well-known rums. And as on most Caribbean islands, you can always find local markets selling hand-crafted goods from leather and wood, as well as handmade textile articles.

Gastronomy

A typical national Cuban dish is rice with black beans, a salad, roast pork (or fish or chicken, occasionally, beef), and fried plantains. This traditional dish is known as ‘comida criolla’. But in hotels and what’s classified as ‘the tourist network’, you can find various restaurants, specializing in Spanish, Italian and Chinese cuisine. I think there’s tons of room to grow in the sector of gastronomy for Cuba.
Notable Facts

• The music of Cuba is world famous for its Salsa, Bolero, and Rumba dancing.
• Don’t talk about politics while there as Cuba is still a communist country and their government doesn’t tolerate criticism lightly
• Crime levels are minimal. And you can usually find police on every block
• Least commercialized island in the Caribbean
• Make sure if you are going to stay in a bed and breakfast that it is one with a blue sign, not an orange sign on the front of the house. The orange sign is for Cubans only and both tourist and house owner can get in trouble by not abiding
• Never be working there on a tourist visa
• It is considered illegal to take photos of police and/or soldiers
• It is considered rude by Cubans to blow your nose or spit in public.
• Make sure to pack everything you may need for the trip to Cuba as there are many shortages of consumer goods – especially toiletries.
• Most of the cars driven in Cuba are old American cars dating back to prior of 1959 when America once played a big part of the central stage in Cuba. Once Castro came to power, he banned all imports of foreign cars and parts. But in the last couple of years a growing number of new Asian automobiles have been brought into the country. These newer vehicles are very expensive for the typical Cuban local and mostly unattainable
• Don’t forget to tip for every service you receive. The locals earn very little in Cuba, and those working in service industry desperately rely on tips
• The average salary for a Cuban is $20 per month!

My perspective

I have never been to Cuba, but I have quite a few friends and family members who travel there every winter to escape the cold and get a good bang for their bucks. Because I can’t speak from actual experience, I will share a few more things I have learned first-hand from those I know who have been there:

• It’s the beautiful weather and unspoiled beaches keeping them going back
• The food is less than spectacular
• Be sure to pack some old clothes – especially sneakers you no longer wish to keep and give them to the maids or any other service person in your resort. They will be more than thrilled to have anything wearable, especially American items they have no access to
• Don’t stray far from your resort without a guide
• If you’re looking for sun and sea and a more quiet and lazy vacation and aren’t a big foodie, you’ll enjoy it there

Me, personally, I have zero interest in going to Cuba despite the beautiful weather and beaches. I am not a big foodie to say the least, but I have several dietary restrictions that wouldn’t be met there for me – so I’ve been told. Also, if I’m going to travel to an island, I’d surely be going to one offering shopping – especially, international duty-free shopping! Plus, as a justice seeker with a difficult time keeping my opinions to myself, it may prove difficult for me to be somewhere where I couldn’t use the freedom of speech.

Has anyone here ever been to Cuba and would like to share their experience? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

© D.G. Kaye 2019

My thanks to Debby for sharing the guide to Cuba’s history and tourism. We usually select our holidays from glossy magazines or flash online websites that give you the showstopping information but not necessarily the possible downside to a location..Important to have all the facts before spending a great deal of money.

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the reviews for Have Bags Will Travel

Have Bags, Will Travel” is a delightful read on the experiences of travel, fashion, the art of packing suitcases with the emphasis on having a good time. Author, D.G. Kaye details her days on board planes to many popular destinations and her vivacious antics with friends. She also relates her solo travels to exotic destinations with steep cliffs and too much baggage. I particularly enjoyed the details of the by-gone, romantic days aboard Wardair, and the exquisite details of vintage Las Vegas.

A consummate shopper, D.G. Kaye relates her rather humorous run-ins with customs officials. How does it feel to be singled out routinely by airline officials? A read through this humorous pages will give you the insight to these first-hand conflicts.

I would say this might be required reading for shoe connoisseurs and fashion mavens especially if they have a plane ticket in hand. Germ avoidance theory is also discussed, and it may never be possible to look at airplane bathrooms the same.

D.G. Kaye brings back the memories of best friends and blazing trips through the desert. Many readers will identify with the struggles of this stylish lady attempting to blend in to avoid a custom’s mishap. A short and super fun read, “Have Bags, Will Travel” is perfect for your next airplane ride.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
MeWe: mewe.com/i/debbygies
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Thank you for joining us today and we would love to hear if you have been to Cuba and your feedback.. thanks Debby and Sally.

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines -Guest Comedian D.G. Kaye and some Jokes from Sally’s Archives.


First Debby Gies shares some of the funnies this week that she feels you should not miss.. ..D.G. Kaye Writer Blog is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.

My thanks to Debby for spotting these.. and please give her a round of applause.

D. G. Kaye – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

And now something from my archives..

A wise veterinarian

The only cow in a small town in Northern Italy stopped giving milk. So the town folk found they could buy a cow in Sicily quite cheaply. So, they brought the cow over from Sicily. It was absolutely wonderful. It produced lots of milk every day and everyone was happy.

They bought a bull to mate with the cow to get more cows, so they’d never have to worry about their milk supply again. They put the bull in the pasture with the cow but whenever the bull tried to mount the cow, the cow would move away.

No matter what approach the bull tried, the cow would move away from the bull, and he was never able to do the deed.

The people were very upset and decided to go to the local veterinarian, Dr. Santucchi, who was very wise, to tell him what was happening and to ask his advice.

“Whenever the bull tries to mount our cow, she moves away. If he approaches from the back, she moves forward. When he approaches her from the front, she backs off. If he attempts it from the one side, she walks away to the other side.”

The veterinarian rubbed his chin thoughtfully and pondered this before asking, “Did you by chance, buy this cow in Sicily?”

The people were dumbfounded, since no one had ever mentioned that they had brought the cow over from Sicily.

“You are truly a wise veterinarian,” they said. “How did you know that we got the cow from Sicily?”

The Vet replied with a distant look in his eyes and says, “My wife is from Sicily.”

Thanks for joining us today and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face.. Debby and Sally.

Smorgasbord Afternoon Video – D.G. Kaye finds another gem – Rescue cockatoo loves to dance


Debby Gies has been scanning the airwaves for videos to share… here are some more that she has come across.. ..D.G. Kaye Writer Blog is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.

This bird was abused and plucked himself bald but loves to dance

D. G. Kaye – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Thanks to Debby for finding another gem.. I hope you have enjoyed… thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – San Juan, Puerto Rico


Welcome to this month’s edition of the Travel Column. Today I’m going to talk about San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico (Spanish for ‘rich port’), is an unincorporated territory of the United States, although it currently resembles a country that stands alone.

The island is also affectionately dubbed, ‘La isla del encanto’ – the island of enchantment. Founded by Spanish colonists, Puerto Rico is also considered a Caribbean island located approximately 1000 miles southeast of Miami, Florida and just east of the Dominican Republic. It is also one of the smallest islands in the Greater Antilles being only 100 miles long and 35 miles wide. Puerto Rico is home to almost three and a half million people. The language spoken is predominantly Spanish and the capital city is San Juan.

Puerto Ricans have been considered American since 1917, although it is not recognized as a state, nor do Puerto Ricans have a voice in congress or get to vote in American elections. Puerto Rico’s political status has always been a bone of contention and an ongoing matter of significant debate.

The island was named ‘Porto Rico’ by the U.S. after the Treaty of Paris, signed by Spain and the U.S., ending the Spanish/American war. And its name was changed back to Puerto Rico in 1931 giving it the official name – the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

One of the many remaining fortress walls still standing.

A bit of History

Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain after the arrival of Christopher Columbus circa 1493 and became populated by the Taino people, an indigenous people who became the main inhabitants of the island as they did in various other Caribbean islands. This island endured several other takeovers and wars through the years until 1898 when poet, journalist, and politician – Luis Munoz Rivera among others, tried to persuade the Spanish government to grant Puerto Rico as a self-governing island, ultimately organized as an overseas province of Spain as of July 17, 1898. This turned out to be short-lived as the United States was determined to take over the island and finally did so by invading on July 25, a mere week after Puerto Rico acquired autonomy, during the Spanish/American war.

In 1914 the Puerto Rican House of Delegates voted unanimously to separate from the U.S., but this was never to be. In 1917 the U.S. passed the Jones Act, which deemed all Puerto Ricans born on or after April 25th 1898, a U.S. citizen. This prompted the natives to believe citizenship was granted in order to enlist more soldiers for their war.

Since 2009, Puerto Rico and U.S. have had many sorted issues and referendums with Puerto Rico wanting to become a fully recognized state of the U.S. Ultimately, in June of 2016 the Supreme court ruled that Puerto Rico is a territory and lacks sovereignty, and although on Obama’s watch and him promising to deliver a clear decision on them becoming a state, it never happened.

Disaster

We’d have to have been sleeping under a rock if we aren’t aware that the island of Puerto Rico was ravaged by two hurricanes, Irma and Maria on September 6th of 2017. Irma hit first as a category 5 hurricane, recorded as the most powerful hurricane to ever hit the island, devastating much of the north east of the island where San Juan is situated, causing catastrophic damage. The island’s electrical grid was mostly destroyed causing the biggest power outage in the history of the U.S. Maria hit shortly afterward, completely knocking out what was left of the power grid and killing approximately 3000 citizens, mostly from the aftermath of having no power for food preservation and medical attention.

Recovery efforts were and still are slow and had some 200,000 residents moving to the mainland state of Florida. As of January 2018, 40% of Puerto Rico was still without power. Total damage estimated to the island was 95 billion dollars. A November 2017 report by the Sierra Club stated: “It will take years to rebuild Puerto Rico, not just from the worst hurricane to make landfall since 1932, but to sustainably overcome environmental injustices which made Maria’s devastation even more catastrophic.” In May 2017 the defensive council of natural resources claimed Puerto Rico’s water system is the worst as measured by the Clean Water Act, leaving 70% of the population who drank/drink water that violates U.S. law.

Climate

The climate of Puerto Rico is considered – tropical rain forest. Temperatures range from mid to high 80s all year long with a rainy season which stretches from April through November, and a total of approximately 196 rainy days per year.

Culture

Puerto Rico is rich in culture. Their art scene is packed with history with their Museum of Art hosting classical pieces dating back as far at the 17th century as well as galleries and street murals which timelessly represent the island’s culture and history.

Music and dancing are part of the island’s culture with traditional salsa to its traditional African roots music – bomba y plena, their music will have you dancing the nights away.
Festivals are a weekly thing with Puerto Ricans offering live bands, parades and amusement park rides. Every festival relates to one of their many traditions. Most festivals are held in San Juan, but many other smaller towns participate and are said to be worthy of traveling to, to experience their culture.

Some notable festivals: Third week of January in Old San Juan celebrates Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian where locals celebrate the end of the holiday season by throwing parties with live music, artists and circus performances.

Visit art fairs, workshops, theatrical performances and more between May 3rd to 5th as La Campechada festival brings together these performers and musicians with intent to educate the public about their Puerto Rican culture.

June 23rd in San Juan, take part in the Noche de San Juan where locals celebrate the nativity of Saint John the Baptist. Take part in the annual tradition where hundreds of people line the beaches partying till midnight and then jumping backwards into the ocean 7 times to ensure good luck.

There are many more traditions held on this island where you will find celebrations at least once a month, and many more at Christmas time.

Recommended Places to Go

Old San Juan is a must see with its cobblestone streets and unique architecture, spanning 500 years of history. Trolleys are free and you can also book guided tours to learn more about local cuisine and historical background. Besides being noted for being one of the best preserved Spanish colonial cities, San Juan has many historic landmarks, museums, galleries, many are free of charge to enter. It also hosts two famous forts built during the 16th century.

Visit El Yungue Rainforest – the only rainforest part of the U.S. National Forest System where you will find waterfalls, rivers and over 200 species of birds. As this rainforest is approximately an hour drive from San Juan, you can choose to get there by car, horseback or ziplining!

Pinones, Loiza is minutes away from San Juan where you’ll encounter an Afro-Caribbean neighborhood complete with authentic street food and a nearby beach to take a dip in between exploring.

How about spelunking, rock climbing and rafting? Discover the caves of Puerto Rico and discover indigenous hieroglyphs. Cueva Ventana (Window Cave), located in Arecibo, approximately an hour away from San Juan, is one of the most notable caves in Puerto Rico, which isn’t an underground cave but overlooks the Rio Grande de Arecibo valley, creating a window frame-like opening on a mountain overlooking the river below.

San Juan also offers, golf at various hotels, and casinos. And Puerto Rico is very welcoming and embraces their LGBTQ community.

Shopping

San Juan offers lots of duty-free shopping close-by to the cruise ship port as well as many other quaint boutiques worth visiting scattered around Old San Juan. Besides current trends in clothing and jewelry also offered at the ports there is a huge outlet mall for some of the big designer names we’ve all come to know. They also have a massive Marshall’s store, similar to the brand Winners and TJ Max. And along strolling around you will find various souvenirs, local arts and crafts, panama hats, local hot sauces, spices, handmade jewelry and more!

Beaches

Puerto Rico boasts almost 300 beaches! The island attracts many avid water sport lovers. El Escambron in San Juan is one of the most picturesque beaches in San Juan where you can stroll the beach, snorkel and swim. A few more notable beaches around Puerto Rico you can read more about HERE

You can find an extensive list of where to stay when visiting Puerto Rico HERE

Fun Fact! The famous Pina Colada was born in Puerto Rico!

On a personal note, I have always been fascinated with Puerto Rico but have yet to get there. This past winter we had previously booked a cruise which had a stop in San Juan that we sadly had to cancel. But I fully intend on visiting that island one day.

Here is a video of some of the recommended places to visit courtesy of K-nep Images

Have any of you ever been to Puerto Rico?

©D.G. Kaye 2019

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Debby has written a book about her travel adventures – Have Bags Will Travel

About the book

D.G. Kaye reflects on some of her more memorable vacations and travel snags, she finds herself constantly struggling to keep one step ahead of the ever-changing guidelines of the airlines–with her overweight luggage in tow. Her stories alert us to some of the pitfalls of being an obsessive shopper, especially when it comes time for D.G. to bring her treasures home, and remind us of the simpler days when traveling was a breeze.

In her quest to keep from tipping the scales, D.G. strives to devise new tricks to fit everything in her suitcases on each trip. Why is she consistently a target for Canada customs on her return journeys?

D.G.’s witty tales take us from airports, to travel escapades with best friends, to reflections on how time can change the places we hold dear in our hearts. Her memories will entertain and have you reminiscing about some of your own most treasured journeys–and perhaps make you contemplate revamping your packing strategies.

One of the recent reviews for Have Bags Will Travel

This might have been one of the shortest books I’ve read in a while, with some of the chapters being only two pages long, in fact I was really disappointed when I saw how thin it was, but as they say – size isn’t everything, and it was way better than I expected.

If you’re team ‘never travel light’ you’ll find a lot of comfort in this book.

This shopaholic author chats away about her travel traumas, random experiences and funny thoughts; it’s as though she’s sitting with you in your living room having cosy natter. I found myself nodding along to much of what she shared about her travel experiences, though I think she sounds a lot worse than me when it comes to shopping and excess luggage.

Thankfully I haven’t been ruthlessly interrogated by customs or witnessed my suitcase coming round the baggage carousel broken and wide open “like an open sandwich”, what a nightmare!!

Turning into a contortionist when using plane toilets – oh yes, every time, and also when I’m trying to turn around in the plane aisle without knocking a few people out in the process!

The joys of travel!!!

‘Have Bags, Will Travel’ is a quick, easy and fun read that’s sure to put a smile on your face!

Also by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
MeWe: mewe.com/i/debbygies
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Catch up with all the travel columns and some exotic destinations: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye/

My thanks to Debby for introducing us to Puerto Rico.. it appears to have something for all the family. Please let us know if you have been to Puerto Rico..your feedback is always welcome.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column Recap – Take a look before you book your Summer holiday… with D. G. Kaye.


Debby Gies – D.G. Kaye is currently enjoying her annual vacation to Mexico where she will be sunning herself on the beach and sampling the local cuisine… We can expect a full report on her return in March. She has left us a travel column for February, in another of her favourite overwintering spots in Arizona.

In the meantime, since this is the time of year when our thoughts turn to summer vacations, here is a recap of the travel column posts so far.

Cruising the High Seas – Part One – What Cruise Line, Cabin and where is the least choppy!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-debby-gies-cruising-reports-and-tips-part-one/

Cruising the High Seas – Part Two – Dining, Tips and Shopping.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-cruises-part-two-ship-tips/

Preparing for a Safe Trip – money, valuables, insurance

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-part-three-preparing-for-a-safe-trip/

Traveling to Mexico – Safe places to visit, currency, eating and drinking, health.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kayetraveling-to-mexico/

St. Marten, Two Countries, one island.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-welcome-to-st-martin-two-countries-one-island/

Welcome to St. Kitts – Caribbean.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-welcome-to-saint-kitts-caribbean/

St. Thomas – Virgin Islands.

Courtesy of Paradise-Islands.org

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-st-thomas-virginislands-by-d-g-kaye/

Welcome to Curacao – Lesser Antilles

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-welcome-to-curacao-lesser-antilles/

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Debby has written a book about her travel adventures – Have Bags Will Travel

About the book

D.G. Kaye is back, and as she reflects on some of her more memorable vacations and travel snags, she finds herself constantly struggling to keep one step ahead of the ever-changing guidelines of the airlines–with her overweight luggage in tow. Her stories alert us to some of the pitfalls of being an obsessive shopper, especially when it comes time for D.G. to bring her treasures home, and remind us of the simpler days when traveling was a breeze.

In her quest to keep from tipping the scales, D.G. strives to devise new tricks to fit everything in her suitcases on each trip. Why is she consistently a target for Canada customs on her return journeys?

D.G.’s witty tales take us from airports, to travel escapades with best friends, to reflections on how time can change the places we hold dear in our hearts. Her memories will entertain and have you reminiscing about some of your own most treasured journeys–and perhaps make you contemplate revamping your packing strategies.

A recent review for Have Bags Will Travel

Super fun travel reading on April 20, 2018

“Have Bags, Will Travel” is a delightful read on the experiences of travel, fashion, the art of packing suitcases with the emphasis on having a good time. Author, D.G. Kaye details her days on board planes to many popular destinations and her vivacious antics with friends. She also relates her solo travels to exotic destinations with steep cliffs and too much baggage. I particularly enjoyed the details of the by-gone, romantic days aboard Wardair, and the exquisite details of vintage Las Vegas.

A consummate shopper, D.G. Kaye relates her rather humorous run-ins with customs officials. How does it feel to be singled out routinely by airline officials? A read through this humorous pages will give you the insight to these first-hand conflicts.

I would say this might be required reading for shoe connoisseurs and fashion mavens especially if they have a plane ticket in hand. Germ avoidance theory is also discussed, and it may never be possible to look at airplane bathrooms the same.

D.G. Kaye brings back the memories of best friends and blazing trips through the desert. Many readers will identify with the struggles of this stylish lady attempting to blend in to avoid a custom’s mishap. A short and super fun read, “Have Bags, Will Travel” is perfect for your next airplane ride.

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Have-Bags-Will-Travel-Over-Packer-ebook/dp/B015HP1R6S

Other books by D.G. Kaye

51ipqxbodml-_uy250_crop

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Debby will be back in February with her article on the wonderful wintering hot spot in Arizona.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The #Travel Column with D. G. Kaye – #Cruises – Part Two – Ship Tips


Delighted that D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies is now a regular contributor to the blog with her new Travel Column. Debby is a non-fiction author who has received wonderful reviews for her inspirational memoirs. She also is a seasoned traveler and her book Have Bags Will Travel is packed with useful information and entertaining stories of her own adventures.

Last time Debby shared some important information on cruise lines, the various standards of cabins available, and the best place on the ship to be if the weather is a bit choppy.

You can read that post in the directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye/

 

Cruises – Part Two – Ship Tips

In my first post in this series I covered what to look for when considering booking a cruise. Today I’m going to cover some of the activities available while on a cruise, and some tips on how to save money when booking those activities.

Packaged Deals

Many cruise lines offer package deals you can purchase pre-cruise or while onboard such as beverage packages. Yes, it’s true that soda pop, tea, coffee, and some juices are free to drink while onboard, but beer and alcohol, bottled water, specialty drinks and coffees, smoothies, etc. are not part of free.

If you’ve re-booked a cruise on a previous sailing or if you luck into a promo offer at the time of your booking, often cruise liners will offer you bonus incentives at bonus pricing. With Celebrity, their promos change often and depending when you book you will be offered to choose 2 or 3 packages to add on to your cruise FREE. The choices can be anywhere from a drink package (including alcohol), your tips paid for the entire cruise, a $200 – $300 onboard credit (my fav!), or free wifi (rare but I managed to catch one). So do make sure to check on the special offers to get the best bang for your bucks while booking. You can always book a drink package of your choice once onboard, but typically, you’ll get a better deal when pre-booking your packages.

Note: I highly recommend if you aren’t offered a free drink package, to buy one at a reasonable price comparatively to paying for each drink you consume on the whole cruise. Without a prepaid all you can drink package the price of alcoholic beverages and any specialty drinks can add up to well over $1000 if you’re taking a 2 week cruise. For example, premium bottled water will run you close to $4 a bottle. On a hot pool day I have no trouble drinking at least 6-8 bottles a day. And that’s not counting a specialty coffee in the afternoon and a cocktail or two before dinner then wine with dinner. I would have no problem spending at least $80 a day just in beverages!

Tipping

When purchasing drinks, sundries or any other service related product while onboard, you just use your ship card to make those purchases. The card is your method of payment for anything purchased onboard without having to carry money around. When purchasing service related products, you can expect to see a service charge added to your bill if your purchase isn’t included in a package.

You will also be expected to leave tips at the end of your cruise to your cabin steward and restaurant staff who have served you nightly in the dining room. These tips are pre- calculated on a daily basis and will vary from ship to ship but will typically run at approximately $12 a day per person. This is where choosing the ‘tipping package’ will save you a few hundred dollars, already paid for. Some passengers get angry over this tipping charge and if you find it a problem, you can always go to the front concierge desk and ask them to remove the charges from your room bill. But I will state that the staffers work hard and many long hours daily, so my take is that it’s relatively cheap to tip those amounts compared to if you were to tip every single time you were served food or ordered a drink. My husband and I always drop an extra $20 or more to our favorite or most helpful staff to show our appreciation but use your discretion.

Wifi

Wifi is available on all ships and unless you were lucky enough to book a free bonus wifi package you will have to purchase separately. You will be able to choose how many days you’d like your wifi for as you may not want to take it for the whole cruise. But if you’re someone who relies on using your mobiles, tablets or laptops daily, I highly suggest you take the package deal offered for the whole cruise, it often works out cheaper.

Alternatively, if you find you’d prefer a technology-free vacation and only wish to check on your emails etc., you can take your device with you off the ship when you’re docked at port and log in at a variety of coffee shops or terminals at ports which offer free wifi. You will also have access to the ship’s internet room where you can use their computer’s free of charge.

There are often lineups to use those computers so use your discretion what is worth more to you.

Excursions

Sightseeing and beach excursion packages are offered both pre-cruise and onboard for each port. Depending on where you’re cruising to will help you determine if you’re better off booking a planned tour or going off on your own to explore. If you’re new to cruising, it may be a good idea to book a tour with the ship. All tours offer a pick-up and drop-off right outside where your ship is docked. But if you’re a seasoned cruiser like me and are returning to ports you are familiar with you may choose to hire a taxi (plenty at the ports) and perhaps invite another couple to share the ride and go wherever you like for a lot less money.

Taking a taxi to your own choice of destination – be it beaches or shopping, allows you the freedom to take your time and not be rushed to meet back at a bus. Just remember to be back at the designated time the cruise ship posts for sailing. You can go to a beach and pay a nominal fee to rent a beach chair and towel from a hotel or take your own towel and pack a few drinks and/or lunch to take with you and stay on a beach.

If you’re cruising to places other than a warm, winter getaway such as Europe, you will undoubtedly be spending much of your time touring. I would suggest once you’ve chosen your itinerary for that cruise to check out the ship’s offered excursion packages to see what tours they’re offering with all fees included – transportation, meals and entrance fees. It’s also a good idea to check out those tourist avenues online to see if it works out cheaper to book directly with them for entrance tickets and what a taxi would cost to get there.

Shopping

Oh yes, one of my favorite events on any vacation, but especially fun when cruising to Caribbean islands. The best part of shopping in many of the Caribbean islands is the duty-free prices!

Besides shopping at the ports, there is plenty of shopping to be had right onboard the ship. All ships have various stores on their promenade levels offering anything from clothing to sundries to designer goods, tobacco and alcohol, and of course . . . jewelry! Many of these items are at duty-free prices. You will also find many ports offering duty-free shops of the same with a variety of jewelry stores with prices unmatched anywhere else. So if you’re interested in bringing home a sparkly souvenir from your vacation and want some good recommendations about which stores to shop, you’re ship will offer a channel on your cabin’s TV where they’ll inform you about best places to shop at each port as well as offer seminars onboard with a host who will educate you on the jewelry available at the upcoming port, what is popular on a particular island, and what to look for when purchasing.

I can tell you flat out that your biggest selection of jewelry with the best prices is in St. Martin. The whole Front St. is lined with one jewelry store after another! This can be overwhelming, causing tough decisions about what to buy when all that glitter flashes upon you (ladies) lol.

And words of advice: Never pay the asking price! Bargain, bargain, bargain! Trust me, shop owners hate to see you walk away empty handed so if you’re not thrilled about a price but feel you ‘must have that ring’, try walking out of a store. Once you’ve shown interest in an item believe me, they’ll chase you down the street trying to make you a happy customer.

Offering cash for an item will often bring down the price further. And don’t forget to get an appraisal receipt with your purchase. I promise you, you will be blown away once you bring that item home and take it for appraisal to your own jeweler. Often the savings can be 100% and more! Then once you’ve found that jewelry store you’re happy with, you’re best off to shop there the next time you cruise because you’re in their system and you will become a preferred customer.

I remember the first time my husband and I vacationed in St. Martin. He bought me a gold watch with a diamond face. Okay. This was almost 22 years ago when we paid a paltry $1400 U.S. for that watch (after a few hours of bargaining, leaving and returning to it) and the watch came in at $3500 value once I got home and got it appraised. The prices are amazing because they are wholesale and duty-free without middlemen and taxes. Most seasoned winter cruisers don’t buy jewelry anywhere else until they reach St. Martin because despite jewelry available at many ports, nobody has the selection or prices as St. Martin does. But I will tell you a close second is in St. Thomas.

Note: If you do purchase jewelry and don’t plan on declaring it at customs (stories for another time), ask the salesperson to mail you the receipt and appraisal. Just sayin’!

Here’s a great little video to give you an idea what it’s like shopping in St. Martin

Dining

Depending on the cruise line you book with, when you book your cruise you’ll be asked which dinner seating you prefer. Because of the large number of passengers, the main dining room offers 2 seatings to choose from – usually 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm, and in the last few years began offering ‘select’ seating where you can go at anytime during the dinner hours but are forewarned the busiest times are between 6:30 and 7:30, so you may have to wait in line for a while. If you’re on top of things and choose select, you can reserve your chosen time earlier in the day.

Buffet option is also available for all meals, which is a nice option for those nights you don’t feeling like dressing up for dinner and don’t wish to eat a full 3 course meal. There are also specialty restaurants onboard you can reserve to eat at for an additional nominal fee.

Tip: Because meals are included, I rarely eat off the ship. On port days I’ll have my breakfast before disembarking and usually return by early afternoon and then I’ll grab some lunch at the buffet or at the BBQ grill. Just think! The money you save by eating onboard, you can spend on something else.

Beware: Regardless of whether you have a drink package or not, this will never include taking anything out from the mini bar in your cabin. You will pay dearly even for a bottle of water. What I like to do when I check in my room is have the cabin steward empty the fridge, mark everything down of its contents, and place it in a bag in the cupboard to make space for my own drinks I get at any one of the many bars onboard and then store in the mini bar.

This video will give you an idea about some of the food and dining options on a Celebrity cruise

Activities

Every ship offers daily and nightly activities. Each night an itinerary of the next day’s events is left in your cabin. Events involve games, contests, specials of the day, nightly theater productions, musical entertainment, wine tasting, theme parties, glass blowing, art auctions, movies, casino tournaments, water sport activities, seminars, library events – you name it, something for everyone.

Note: Not all ships are geared to catering to children. I can say that I’ve hardly seen any kids on a Celebrity cruise. But there are other cruise lines that cater to children offering mini classes, activities, babysitting and kid’s menus. From the feedback I’ve gathered, the Disney ships are magnificent for children.

All ships have spas on board. Some of the best masseuses work on ships. You will find a variety of different massages, hair salon, nail salon, yoga classes and a gym for your convenience.

Tip: The massages aren’t cheap but I always manage to sneak 1 or 2 in for a better price. I always use part of my free onboard credit to put towards a massage. And when the ship is in port and most people are off the ship for the day, the ship will offer a discount on massages and that’s when I book in my second massage.

~ ~ ~

I hope you’ve enjoyed my ship tips for today. Next time in Part 3, the conclusion of my cruise series, I’m going to make sure you travel safe with my handy ‘to do’ checklist before traveling. Happy Sailing!

©D.G. Kaye 2018

Another fantastic tutorial on how to best enjoy and get the best value for money during your cruise vacation. I certainly did not know a fraction of this and will take it on board….(sorry).

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Debby has written a book about her travel adventures – Have Bags Will Travel

About the book

D.G. Kaye is back, and as she reflects on some of her more memorable vacations and travel snags, she finds herself constantly struggling to keep one step ahead of the ever-changing guidelines of the airlines–with her overweight luggage in tow. Her stories alert us to some of the pitfalls of being an obsessive shopper, especially when it comes time for D.G. to bring her treasures home, and remind us of the simpler days when traveling was a breeze.

In her quest to keep from tipping the scales, D.G. strives to devise new tricks to fit everything in her suitcases on each trip. Why is she consistently a target for Canada customs on her return journeys?

D.G.’s witty tales take us from airports, to travel escapades with best friends, to reflections on how time can change the places we hold dear in our hearts. Her memories will entertain and have you reminiscing about some of your own most treasured journeys–and perhaps make you contemplate revamping your packing strategies.

A recent review for Have Bags Will Travel

Super fun travel reading on April 20, 2018

“Have Bags, Will Travel” is a delightful read on the experiences of travel, fashion, the art of packing suitcases with the emphasis on having a good time. Author, D.G. Kaye details her days on board planes to many popular destinations and her vivacious antics with friends. She also relates her solo travels to exotic destinations with steep cliffs and too much baggage. I particularly enjoyed the details of the by-gone, romantic days aboard Wardair, and the exquisite details of vintage Las Vegas.

A consummate shopper, D.G. Kaye relates her rather humorous run-ins with customs officials. How does it feel to be singled out routinely by airline officials? A read through this humorous pages will give you the insight to these first-hand conflicts.

I would say this might be required reading for shoe connoisseurs and fashion mavens especially if they have a plane ticket in hand. Germ avoidance theory is also discussed, and it may never be possible to look at airplane bathrooms the same.

D.G. Kaye brings back the memories of best friends and blazing trips through the desert. Many readers will identify with the struggles of this stylish lady attempting to blend in to avoid a custom’s mishap. A short and super fun read, “Have Bags, Will Travel” is perfect for your next airplane ride.

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Have-Bags-Will-Travel-Over-Packer-ebook/dp/B015HP1R6S

Other books by D.G. Kaye

51ipqxbodml-_uy250_crop

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Come and visit me at our Literary Diva’s Library group on Facebook

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Thank you for dropping in today and please help spread the news of Debby’s travel column and we look forward to your questions and comments. Thanks Sally and Debby