MCrayton Photo & Travel: Blog https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) MCrayton Photo & Travel (MCrayton Photo & Travel) Fri, 07 May 2021 01:29:00 GMT Fri, 07 May 2021 01:29:00 GMT https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-12/u125164071-o709359385-50.jpg MCrayton Photo & Travel: Blog https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog 120 90 NYC Traveler on a Cruise: Intro to Carnival Cruise Line https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-on-a-cruise-intro-to-carnival-cruise-line

Into to...Carnival Cruise Line

 
Typical stateroom. (Carnival trademark, editorial use only)
 
Carnival is a British-American cruise line owned by Carnival Corporation PLC based in both Miami, Florida and Southampton, England. The corporation owns 9 lines, among them Carnival, Holland, Princess (of "The Love Boat" TV show fame) and Cunard. As part of a corporation that offers different brands, Carnival can retain its party and fun reputation since other more luxurious offerings are on their sister lines.
 
From the start, Carnival provided cruises that were shorter and less expensive, thus taking cruising from the privileged and making it more accessible to the middle class. Many people still look down on Carnival because they think it is a lower class line, even if they have never sailed it. Don't knock it until you have tried it.  
 
5 Reasons to Consider Carnival Cruise Line
 
Carnival Pride (editorial use only)
1.    Entertainment: The shows are provided by Playlist Productions, showcasing Broadway quality musical revues. Stand-up comedy comes in two ratings, family and adult. Throughout the ship, musicians perform various genres. Be assured, this is still the party cruise line, with good DJs and the fun contests on the Lido deck. Be nice, don't forget to Groove for St. Jude (the children's hospital). It's one of the the only times you'll be allowed to use cash on the ship.
 
Theatre on the Pride (editorial use only)
 
2.   Branded eating experiences: such as Guy’s Burger Joint, the RedFrog Rum Pub, the BlueIguana Cantina, EA Sports Bar and the various clubs are on more ships, not just the higher classes. Two very nice features are the longer sailings are the sea day brunch and and tea time.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Tea Time on sea days (editorial use only)
 
3.   Pool side movie screens (Drive-In Movies): many of the ships feature popular movies at certain times . Free popcorn may be available at the poolside bar. 
 
4.   Families activities: such as Seuss at Sea (character appearances) and the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast (additional fee) and the Hasbro Game Show where the popular board games come to life with you as the game piece.
 
Carnival Freedom (editorial use only)

   
5.   There are special live concerts are on selected ships. They have had major acts such as Journey, Gladys Knight and KC and the Sunshine Band. This activity costs extra.
 
Towel art (editorial use only) 
 

So, there you have it: Carnival looks like it is dedicated to still being a lower-priced cruise line with more amenities. 
 
Happy Travels.
 
You might also like:
 
Cruising 101 Series:
 
 
Cruise Reviews:
 
 
How to Travel Series
 

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Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
 
 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). However, I am an Amazon Associate.

 
 

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog Carnival Cruise Line cruise cruise ship cruising first cruise tourism travel travel tip https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-on-a-cruise-intro-to-carnival-cruise-line Wed, 24 Mar 2021 17:31:32 GMT
NYC Traveler on a Cruise: Alaska https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-on-a-cruise-alaska This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). I am an Amazon Associate.
 
 
Cruising to Alaska
 
Latest Info:
 
For a quick introduction to a region, country or state, a great alternative to doing it yourself is an organized tour or cruise. It allows you to literally sit back and enjoy the view while someone else arranges, organizes and worries about the details. You can get information that will make a later trip a whole lot easier to plan (don't forget to take business cards or pamphlets).
 

 

 


 

 
Ruby Princess

How: Taking a cruise can be more economical. Flying is a great option to see Alaska but it can be expensive if you want to see more than one city or region. A road trip would be complicated, if not impossible (for example, Juneau is initially accessible only by ship or ferry).  For the extreme adventurer, there are other ways to explore Alaska because a cruise will only get you to certain areas. Popular cities such as Anchorage may be part of a combo package (cruise and land tour). 


 
 
 
Which cruise line: Options are Princess, Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Other lines that sail (this list is not complete) are Disney, Holland America, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, Crystal, Seabourn, Silversea (some cruise lines are owned by the same parent companies). A travel consultant will help you with all of your options.
 
 
 
How much: As usual, always do a little research or speak to a travel consultant before committing to a cruise line. If you have sailed before, you may want to stick with a familiar line. Make sure you know everything that is included in the price. Alaskan excursions can be expensive, especially to experience the major attractions. You could just tour the downtown areas of each port, but that will not give you the best experience. Saving on the cruise price will enable you to put your funds into the excursions so that you can truly see Alaska.
 
 
 
What to do: Excursions will vary in price and quality. Reading reviews on forums will give you some insight into the value and quality of activities. Always read them from the perspective of the reviewer, however. Some have an axe to grind and will rate a likable tour with a low score for minor issues such as the quality of the snack. A good travel consultant will be very helpful in this area, also.
 
Where: Itineraries may include (but are not limited to) Seattle, Ketchikan, the Inside Passage (which is not a true port, but a main reason for seeing Alaska for its natural beauty), Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. 
 
 
 
What to Know: Alaska is the largest state in the USA with less than one million people. According to the US Bureau of Land Management, the federal government owns about 65% of the land, creating millions of acres of national parks, forests and regions. The remoteness of most of the state limits a lot of the sightseeing. The state is very proud of its Native American heritage as evidenced by the totem poles, decor and souvenirs at each port. Approximately 15% of the population identifies itself as Native American. 
 
 
 
When: Cruises go from approximately April to September. I traveled in late July. If I did not think global warming was real before, I became a bonafide believer after this trip. Not only did we experience almost 80 degree weather in Skagway, we practically had to go up to the glacier's nose to see it. Any precipitation we experienced was rain. If I sailed again, I would choose May or June. Apparently, southern Alaska most definitely has a summer season.
 
 
 
 
 
Clothing: On board, choose casual cruise wear that's appropriate to the weather (it can range from the high of mid-70 degrees to a low of mid 40's Fahrenheit): jeans, layered clothing, outfits for formal night, etc. For excursions you will need waterproof shoes or boots; warm socks, a rain jacket; a hoodie or a vest; gloves; hat. 
 
Happy Travels!
 
 
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) alaska blog cruise cruising tourism travel travel tip https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-on-a-cruise-alaska Wed, 24 Mar 2021 17:28:19 GMT
NYC Traveler on a Cruise: Carnival Pride https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-on-a-cruise-carnival-pride


Review: Carnival Pride

This is one of a series of reviews of mid- to smaller- class ships offered by cruise lines, who tend to advertise the largest ships with the most amenities. But smaller ships may fit your budget, timeline or have the itinerary you want. Don't limit yourself to the only the biggest class of ships, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Check out our review of the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas.

 

Carnival Pride Cruise
Carnival Pride (editorial)


 

Lido Deck, Carnival Pride (editorial use)


1. The decor is reminiscent of the Renaissance. The lounges were spacious and there were plenty of areas to relax. Most of the customer areas are on the Atlantic deck, making life very convenient. Like many of Carnival ships, some of the mid- and lower-class of ships have been upgraded to contain many of the amenities that were introduced on larger ships: the burger grill, the sushi restaurant, the bar and grills and other amenities. 

2. This ship is good for a winter sailing: the Lido deck has a pool area with a retractable roof. This ship frequently sails from Baltimore, Maryland, an easy drive for people from the I-95 corridor. It books quickly in the winter months. 


 

Turn down service (editorial use, newsletter copyright by Carnival)

 

Normandie Restaurant (editorial use)

3. Like many Carnival cruises, the sea day brunch and teatime are offered on sea days on longer sailings. A cruise from North to South USA may have 2 sea days down and 1-2 days back up. 

 

Tea Time

4. The fitness area was spacious and offered many services: cardio, spa, classes, free weights and machines, hot tub, sauna, steam room, beauty parlor, the works. For experienced cruisers, this may be worth the extra cash to pamper yourself on sea days.

 
Fitness Room (editorial)


5. There was plenty of activities for those over 21 and for those who came to shop: casino games, guess the price of the painting, "sales" in the shops, trivia and live music. Don't forget the adults only area on the Lido deck.

6. For the under 18 crowd: Carnival offers the clubs that are closed to parents after the orientation. Check with the latest info: you may have to pay for the young ones in the evenings. The pools are available as is the arcade, and the Dr. Seuss events (like the breakfast and character greetings). 


 
Youth Club Area (editorial use)



 
Carnival Pride Lido Deck (editorial use)
 
The Taj Mahal auditorium (also the holding area to disembark), editorial use
 

All text and photos copyright Marcia Crayton All Rights Reserved 2020

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Disclaimer
 
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 




 

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog Carnival Cruise Carnival Pride cruise cruise ship cruising tourism travel https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-on-a-cruise-carnival-pride Wed, 24 Mar 2021 17:25:41 GMT
NYC Traveler on a Cruise: Jewel of the Seas https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-on-a-cruise-jewel-of-the-seas

Royal Caribbean: Jewel of the Seas

 
 
 
 
Most cruise lines advertise their biggest and most expansive ships. But always check out the other class of ships: they may have the time and/or itinerary you want. Keep in mind that the lower class ships may not offer all of the bells and whistles (bumper cars, roller skating, etc). This is a review of a mid-class ship.
 
 
1. The décor featured blond wood grain interior.  Each landing on the staircases is highlighted with art. Glass elevators say the day of the week with a removable panel on the floor (a Royal feature) and a lit staircase rose from the lobby. 
 
 
 

 

 
2. The corridors were slightly wider than the ships of this class. They were decorated with pop American art, such as portraits or black and white photos of Hollywood stars. The staterooms were well-equipped. Like any other ship, the staterooms with a balcony will be slightly smaller.

 
 
 
3. The main dining room, Tides was divided into 2 levels: assigned dining on one level and the flex time diners on the other. The lunch buffet was sometimes better than dinner because an international theme is featured every day: Caribbean, European, Asian American.
 

 

 
 

 

4. Entertainment is included on all cruises: shows, live entertainment, a movie screen on deck (a recent upgrade) and an indoor cinema. 
 
5. The fitness room was spacious for a ship of this size. There is also a track (6 times around for a mile) and the usual spa.
 

 

6. The pools were saltwater. When I sailed, the gift shop did not sell goggles but that may have changed. The excursion desk had snorkel masks for sale. 
 
 
 
 
7. The solarium is an adults-only area of the ship but the website mentions that during inclement weather, children are allowed. It was enclosed with a pool, hot tub, a pool bar and a food area that was open when the buffet was closed. Soft music helps to create a relaxing ambience.

 

8. Sports: The water slide and rock climbing may have restricted hours and it may be restricted in age. The basketball court is also used for other events. Featured is miniature golf and a golf simulator.
 
 
 

 

9. The usual kids' and teens' clubs are offered. Royal stated that if no one showed up within 15 minutes of an activity’s start time, the event would be cancelled. Adults are allowed in the video arcade.
 
 

 

10. The Safari Club is a nice place to be if you just want to lounge. This area included the Schooner, the Zanzibar lounge, the Congo bar, the Game Reserves and the Serengeti Card Club.
 
 
Sailing the top-notch ships is fun, but don't discount the smaller ships or a shorter itinerary. Some people like smaller ships because of there is less people. The staff will be professional, the amenities are increasing and you may save money. 
 
Happy Travels!
 
 
 
 
 
All Photos Copyright Marcia Crayton, 2018. All Rights Reserved.
 
 
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
 

 

 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). I am an Amazon Associate.

 
 

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog cruise cruise ship cruise ship review cruising Jewel of the Seas tourism travel travel tip https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-on-a-cruise-jewel-of-the-seas Wed, 24 Mar 2021 17:23:03 GMT
NYC Traveler on a Cruise: Anthem of the Seas https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-on-a-cruise-anthem-of-the-seas

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 
 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). I am an Amazon Associate.
 

CRUISE SHIP REVIEW: 

ROYAL CARIBBEAN'S ANTHEM OF THE SEAS

 
Anthem of the Seas Cruise Ship
Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas
 
The Anthem of the Seas is one of the premier ships of the Royal Caribbean fleet. Currently, it is sailing out of Cape Liberty, NJ, making it very popular with folks from NY, NJ and PA.
 
Cruise ship docked at Cape Liberty
Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas, docked at Cape Liberty, NJ.
 
The ship is loaded with activities to keep you busy but at the same time had plenty of areas to sit back and just relax. Check out the Two70, a massive living room by day with shows and projected events during the evening. There was even a "fireworks" show. Check the app or newsletter for movies, live entertainment and the usual.
 
Cape Liberty Cruise Port
Cape Liberty, New Jersey
 
Since the ship sails from the NYC area, there is an NYC vibe: "We Will Rock You," a Broadway show; fine dining, boutique shopping and Sorrento's Pizza (currently complimentary).

 

Anthem of the Seas entrance at Cape Liberty
 
For those who like a lot of activities, try your hand (or feet) at rock climbing, flow riding, roller skating, bumper cars, rip cording or seeing the world from the North Star, an observation deck that rises above for a 360 degree view of the surroundings (either at sea or when you're docked).
 
Boarding process
 
 
 
Choose your dining: traditional time, flex-time, or a package for the fine dining. Although meals are included in your price, upgrading to one or more of the restaurants is a nice experience. Book early, people are willing to spend the extra money and they fill up fast.
 
Boarding the Anthem of the Seas
Boarding the Anthem of the Seas
 
There are plenty of trivia games to play but playing "Clue" was popular also. You can show up at specific times to get the clue to try to figure out who the culprit is. Another fun time was the character greetings from Dreamworks: grab a selfie with Shrek or Puss-in-Boots or others, movies.
 
Greeted with Champagne
Greeted with champagne
 
Of course, there are plenty of extras (in addition to the usual adult drinks): pastries, premier coffee, gelato, etc. On a longer voyage, these are not always a bad idea. 
 
 
Complimentary bottle of Champagne
Complimentary bottle of champagne
Royal Caribbean has a curfew for those under age 18. However, the clubs and other activities were usually over by 1-2AM, anyway. 
 

Happy Travels!

Disclaimer
 
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
 
This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) anthem of the seas blog cruise review royal caribbean tourism travel travel tip https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-on-a-cruise-anthem-of-the-seas Wed, 24 Mar 2021 17:18:36 GMT
NYC Traveler: Niagara Falls, Canada https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-niagara-falls-canada

Niagara, the Falls and Me (in winter): Part 2


The last entry about Niagara Falls featured the USA side. As promised, here is an entry about the Canadian side.

 
Horseshoe Falls, Canada
 
 
1. Be ready for the cold. As one might expect, January in Niagara Falls (either side) is (very) cold and there seems to be precipitation every day. But the view was breathtaking and worth the trip. I saw cars with Canadian license plates stopping to get out and take pictures like tourists. Apparently, I wasn't the only one impressed.
 
Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
 
2. Be ready to cross the border. As I stated in the previous entry, start from New York, if you are coming from the USA and take the Rainbow Bridge. There will be a cash toll and you will show official ID. Everyone will need a passport (or passport card)  or enhanced driver's license. 
 
Once across the border, just follow the signs towards the Falls. If you walked, that's pretty easy. However, if you drove, there will be plenty of parking garages.  Toward the end of the Horseshoe Falls, there is a parking lot and you can stroll along the sidewalk of the Falls. At the opposite end, near Clifton Hill, there are parking lots and garages near the casinos and other attractions.
 
 
3. Be prepared for limited attractions. In winter, the boat tours of the falls are closed. In fact, there are signs everywhere near the Falls themselves that even the sidewalks are not maintained during winter and you are on your own. The spray carried by the wind and consistent rain and snow make walking treacherous, so dress accordingly. 
 
Near Queen Victoria Park is the Skylon Tower, an observation tower to see the Falls from on high. Along with the ferris wheel on Clifton Hill, and a few other buildings, this makes of the skyline of Niagara Falls, Ontario.
 
 
 
 
The main drag is Clifton Hill, which resembles a wannabe Las Vegas/Times Square at night.
Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
 
4. Why people think this is the nice side: Clifton Hill is full of inexpensive family places to eat, lodgings that escalate in price during warmer weather and every wax museum known to man. There are arcades, souvenir shops, the Guinness Book of World Records and all sorts of interesting variations on theme parks such as MGM Studios Plaza and an upside down house museum (seriously). After seeing the Falls and the Whirlpool, you may need something else to do. All of these attractions take money and if you plan to stay a week (which I would not recommend), you need activities and a good amount of cash. The so-called "nice" area is very small and it is clear that all tourist attractions there exist simply because of the Falls. 
 

For those who brave the winter elements to see the Falls, you can enjoy the indoor water park at Great Wolf Lodge, a drive straight up Victoria Avenue (Clifton intersects with Victoria).  Other than that, look for hotels with indoor pools. Don't forget the fireworks schedule and even if it is winter, go see the Falls lit up at night.

 
The Falls at night
 
 
5. What do you do in nicer weather? In tourist season, the Maid of the Mist, the boat that takes you through the gorge and right up to Horseshoe is worth the money. You can take it from the USA or Canada side. Other Falls attractions can be found on the Niagara Parks website, such as Journey Behind the Falls (open in winter), Niagara's Fury (closed for part of January) and, something new to compete with the Maid of the Mist, Hornblower Niagara Cruises, where you sail aboard a catamaran.
 
Another interesting nature-based attraction is the Whirlpool Aero Car, also part of the Niagara Parks attractions. Located along River Road/Niagara Parkway, not too far off Victoria Avenue, it's about a 10 minute drive from the Falls. The Aero Car will take you over the Whirlpool during tourist season. If you are driving, parking is free and tickets are available there or part of a package sold by Niagara Parks.
 
Whirlpool Aero Car, Niagara Falls, Canada
 
 
 
 
Christmas decorations and Skylon Tower



For more information: Maid of the MistFun at the Falls, Clifton HillTop of Clifton HillNiagara Parks and Skylon Tower.

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Follow our other blog: The NYC Dis Traveler for your theme park updates

 

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ShutterstockImageKind, iStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.

 
 
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
 
 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). However, I am an Amazon Associate.

 

 

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog canada great lakes" niagara falls road trip tourism travel travel tip https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-niagara-falls-canada Wed, 24 Mar 2021 17:12:59 GMT
NYC Traveler: Niagara Falls, USA https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-nyc-niagara-falls-part-1

Intro to...Niagara Falls - Part 1


 
The American Falls, Niagara Falls, NY    



1. A little geography lesson. The Falls are really 3: the American, the Bridal Veil (on the USA side) and the Horseshoe, on the Canada side (although my research indicated that some believe that part of the Horseshoe are in the USA). The Niagara River falls into the Niagara Gorge. The water from the gorge links two of the Great Lakes: Ontario and Erie. From a nature and geographical point of view, this is truly a natural wonder.

2. Start on the USA side. The Falls are within Niagara Falls State Park. There is a fee to park (the Empire Passport is accepted). There is also more parking within a 1/2 to 1 block radius that might be cheaper. Either go to the Visitors Center for info, or if you can't wait, follow the roar of the water and head toward the Falls. Bear to the left and take a look at the rapids of the Niagara River. The rush of the water will give you an idea of the force of the flow. When you get to the Falls, you will be viewing the American Falls from the top. You will be almost at the point where the water goes over (see the photo above).

3. Less folks in winter. But, all the attractions are closed. The Observation Tower might be free (the higher platform via the elevator was closed). In warmer weather: you can go under the Bridal Veil Falls via the Cave of the Winds Tour (on Goat Island). You will wear a poncho (but you will get wet) and special shoes. The other experience is the famous Maid of the Mista boat ride in the gorge (bottom) of the Falls that sails from either country. Once again, you get a poncho as part of the price but you may get wet! I recommend a nice waterproof camera.

 


 

View from the Observation Tower, USA side. American Falls to the left, Horseshoe on the right.
 


4. Niagara Falls State Park is worth exploring in all seasons.  It's the oldest state park in the system. Check out The Great Lakes garden; hike or drive (via 1st Street) to Goat Island and then walk to the Bridal Veil Falls. Keep walking over to the Three Sisters Island. This part of the river is what goes over to form the Horseshoe Falls (the third Falls, on the Canadian side). The force of the water is amazing. Throughout, there will be restaurants, cafes and snacks, usually during warmer weather.

5. Don't discount the USA side. There have been many attractions and hotels: a major convention center (up Old Falls Street), a casino, the usual gift shops and shopping, museums, wax exhibits and other attractions similar to the Canadian side. Frankly, even though many people prefer the Canadian side because of the Las Vegas-like atmosphere, I like the quiet of the American side. 



 



Part 2, the Canadian side.

Links: Maid of the MistFun at the Falls, Clifton HillTop of Clifton HillNiagara Parks and Skylon Tower.
 

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 
 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). I am an Amazon Associate.

 

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube

Follow our other blog: The NYC Dis Traveler for your theme park updates

 

Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos:

ShutterstockImageKind, iStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.

 

 

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog great lakes New York Niagara Falls NYC tourism travel travel tip upstate New York https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-nyc-niagara-falls-part-1 Wed, 24 Mar 2021 17:10:55 GMT
NYC Traveler in NYS: Leaves, Apples and Wine https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-nys-leaves-apples-and-wine

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). However, I am an Amazon Associate.
 
LEAVES, APPLES AND WINE, OH MY!
A GUIDE TO PLANNING YOUR 
AUTUMN LEAF-PEEPING TRIP


In Northern USA, autumn is a time for some Northerners to close their summer residences to snowbird in warmer climates. As they're leaving town, they pass by others who are headed north to enjoy the magnificent visual feast the leaves offer. Read on to know what to know before you go (and plan).


 

 
 
1. Where to go:  the public and national parks. Out West, Northern California, Washington State, Upper Idaho, Montana and Oregon have the landscapes photographers deam about. Mountainous areas such as Tennessee, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Western North Carolina are all beautiful. In the Northeast, check out New England (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut), upstate New York, the Poconos of Pennsylvania and upper New Jersey. These areas are great for mountains, lakes, waterfalls and small picturesque towns.
 
 


2. When to go: Brilliant fall colors are dependent on various climate factors during the summer. Late August and early September give good indicators when foliage will reach peak colors and how vibrant the leaves will be. Cool summer weather might lead to less than fantastic colors. Hot wet summers, a gradual cooling September and later frosts might yield great color. A rainy windy and cold September might knock the leaves off sooner without them giving their full potential of color. Use a weather website and fall foliage maps to help you plan. Leaves change color and reach peak anytime from mid-September to late October.

 

 
3. What else to do: After sightseeing, enjoy the areas where the leaves are: farms, orchards, wineries, antique shops. Activities at local farms include u-pick-ur own produce, with hay rides, mazes, pumpkin patches, face painting, booths, homemade jam, cider and baked goods, hot corn and baked potatoes (see below).



 

 
In the NYC Metro area: 
 


~Dubois Farms in Highland, NY (Hudson Valley area) offers more than apple picking. Get ready for juicy grapes, sweet pears, other vegetables and a pumpkin or two to fill your wagon (available for rent). Since you weigh out in the barn, there is no checking of cars as you exit. Just show your receipt at the gate to the parking lot and you will be free to go. In between, stock up on the usual orchard fare: apple cider donuts, apple cider, barbecue snacks, even hard cider. When the kids get restless, they can romp in the play area of little houses, take a pony ride or simply run around in the field. Picking grapes, the huge variety of apples and the ample parking make this orchard a favorite.

~Lewin Farms in Calverton, Long Island is a huge operation. With over 1100 acres, it seems to dominate the LI scene but there are other farms. From May to October, you can pick berries, peaches, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins and of course, apples. Because of the variety of produce, they have several locations, with the apple orchard in a different location than the farmstand. For the apples, they charge by the pound (whatever you can carry). You can bring your own bags and they sell the old fashioned wooden baskets.

~Nearby is Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard, a fun filled vineyard (check the website for live music) complete with horse rides. Combine Lewin and Baiting Hollow (with the nearby Tanger Outlets in Riverhead) and you have a day trip guaranteed to please all ages in the family.

 
Baiting Hollow is charitable as well as fun!
 


~Other farms in the area (and they will let you know by the homemade signs along the way) are listed on longisland.com

 



 

Instead of east, with NYC as a center point, one can head north. Tourists are surprised to learn that New York is a top agricultural producer, one of the top five states in the country. Just one hour out of NYC and you'll be in farm country (you see the Catskill Mountains looming ahead of you on I-87). 

 

 

~Masker Orchards, in Warwick, NY, just barely over 100 years old, seems to have perfected the quintessential day in the "country." You can picnic within the orchard. There are "parking lots" but some areas of the orchard are wide enough for cars to park within the rows of the trees themselves. They charge a flat rate of 26.95 per bag picked (they provide the bags). On the bag itself is a map of the orchards (it helps to know your species of apples). 

 

Maskers Orchard: Family Fun Area (Editorial Use Only)


In the Family Fun Area was a full scale "festival:" country store, pony rides, haunted house, apple maze, face painting, pizza, apple pies, pumpkins, ATM machine (they do take credit cards, no Amex), and, hallelujah, rest rooms. By the way, be prepared to have your car checked for bootleg apples. They mean what they say about paying on your way out. No honor system here.

 

Maskers Orchard's Country Store (Editorial Use Only)


~Further up Route 17 or I-87, depending on how fast you want to get there, are several in New Paltz. The benefit of these farms is the proximity to several vineyards, Minnewaska State Park and the charming town of New Paltz itself, with its funky college vibe and historical French Huguenot houses. Apple Hill FarmDressel Farms and Wilklow Orchards are all good all have family fun.

In every region, be prepared for the traffic. Between the outlets, vineyards, farms and every day life on the week-ends (school football games, etc), my suggestion is to be at the farm by 10AM. When you are ready to leave around 12 noon, you will see the crowd heading in and you'll be glad you got there early.

Happy Travels.

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All Photos Copyright Marcia Crayton, 2018. All Rights Reserved.
 

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) apple picking autumn blog day trips from New York fall foliage New York City plan a trip to New York tourism travel wine https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-nys-leaves-apples-and-wine Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:52:45 GMT
NYC Traveler in Europe: Monet's House, Giverny, France, Part 2 https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-europe-monets-house-in-giverny-france

This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I am an Amazon Associate. At no extra cost to you, I will receive commission if you shop through our links.

 

5 TIPS TO KNOW WHEN VISITING GIVERNY, FRANCE: 

The Gardens and House of artist Claude Monet

 
 
 
 
 
View of the house from the Gardens (editorial use)
 
1. Visiting the Gardens is usually tourists' main objective. But try to visit the house. It helps to make the visit to Giverny complete. Buy a combo ticket and plan to stay in Giverny for the day. Finish up with the Musee des Impressionmisme down the street.
 
 
 
2. Visiting the house also makes you feel like you are getting to know Monet personally. Studying the art is one thing (always an insight to an artist's soul). See where he lived makes it intimate.
 
 
 
3. Even if you're not into art, you'll love the architecture and the era of the house. Monet loved Giverny and lived there from 1883 until he died in 1926. It seems as if the past and present are in the house at the same time, even almost 100 years later.
 
 
 
4. You may feel inspired to create. Monet helped to inspire the Giverny Colony of impressionist artists who started living there circa 1887. If you're a beginner, the gift shop will help you get started. You can also take home a little bit of Monet with you in many forms from socks to umbrellas.
 
 
 
5. The house and gardens were declared public in 1980 after extensive renovations and the creation of The Foundation Claude Monet. You can walk around on your own or take a guided tour.
 
 
The Gardens from the House: a view to be envied
 
Part 1: 

Giverny

 
For more information: The Foundation Claude Monet
 
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Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) art blog France gardens Giverny Monet museum Paris travel what to do in Paris what to see in France https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-europe-monets-house-in-giverny-france Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:49:13 GMT
NYC Traveler in Europe: Giverny, France, Part 1 https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-europe-giverny-france-part-1

This review is my personal opinion. I am an Amazon Associate. At no extra cost to you, I will earn commission when you shop with us.

 
5 Things to Know to Visit Monet's Gardens at Giverny, France
 
 
 
 
In 1883, Claude Monet, considered the Father of the Impressionist Movement, "retired" to the still small village of Giverny, near Vernon, in the Upper Normandy region of France, about 80km/50 miles from Paris. He eventually bought a lovely farm style house and designed and planted the gardens he would make famous through his paintings he created until his death in 1926. 

From his time until now, artists journey to Giverny to study, paint, visit or even live, inspired by Monet. The property was inherited by his son, who, in turn, bequeathed it to the Academie des Beaux-Artes in 1966. Restored, it was opened to the public in 1980: house, gardens, the famous water lily pond and, literally down the road, the Musee des Impressionnisme, none of which is covered by the Paris Museum Pass.
 
1. It doesn't matter what you see first, the gardens or his artwork in other museums. If you have seen any of Monet's works, such as the massive room-sized murals at the Musee de l'Orangerie, this will be awesome. If you visit Giverny before you see any of the paintings, you will understand the inspiration. Either order is OK. 
 
 
 
 
 
2. Plan your trip carefully. Take the SCNF train from Gare Saint-Lazare in Paris to Vernon. Planned train strikes are frequent and, in today's world, there are terrorist threats. Buy your round trip tickets on the day of your visit at the station. Don't forget to check the weather. 
 
Once you arrive in Vernon, immediately double check the timetable for the bus from Giverny to Vernon and the train back to Paris. 
 
 
3. It may be crowded. In fact, it's almost a guarantee. If you have really planned your trip, you can purchase tickets online. If not, get there very early (greatly advised), stand on the queue and purchase your tickets. After that, you're on your way. 
 
 
4. If the gardens look familiar, it could be that you are probably looking at the original inspiration for botanical gardens throughout the world. The gardens will vary depending on the season. The famous lily pond may not be in bloom until May or June but it's impressive just the same. Monet planned for the fact that the lilies are not in bloom all the time and has plenty of trees, some benches and other flora for you to admire, including the famous Japanese bridge. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5. You will want to take lots of photos. There are gardens, the house and other museums down the road from the house. 
 
 
 
 
 

More information:  http://fondation-monet.com/en

NYC Traveler in Europe:

Part 2: Monet's house

 
 

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Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
 

 

 
 
 

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) art blog Europe France gardens Giverny how to travel to Paris Monet Paris tourism travel what to see in France where to go in France https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-europe-giverny-france-part-1 Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:44:54 GMT
NYC Traveler in Europe: Andiamo in Italia! https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-europe-andiamo-in-italia

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). However, I am an Amazon Associate.
 
 
5 Things To Consider Before Visiting Italy


 

Amalfi Coast, Italy



 

DAVID MICHELANGELO TUSCANY ITALY
Punta Carena, Capri, Italy


1. What Region?

If you can stay for at least a month, then by all means, plan to visit the entire country on a non-stop tour. But if you can only stay a few days or a week, then limit your visit to one region. You will be able to actually enjoy it without feeling rushed. Try the Amalfi Coast; Florence and the surrounding Tuscany region or Milan and the nearby Lake Como area. Of course, there's always Rome (with a day trip to Naples) or Venice!

2. How to Get There?

The answer seems like a no brainer until you realize that even if you are coming from overseas, you have a couple of options: you can fly or you can sail on a cruise. If you are already on the continent, fly, take the train or rent a car and drive. Driving internationally should be investigated first but imagine, a road trip in Europe! There are also cruises within Europe.

3. Where to Stay?

There are so many options nowadays: hotels, apartment rentals, vacation rentals through owners or your own vacation ownership (timeshare). Use a map website and figure out how close you will be to public transportation and attractions. Use reviews wisely: some people often will give a negative review for a minor reason. Also, check the date of a review. Our choice: an apartment rental near public transportation.

4. What to Do?

Each region in Italy is known for more than art, wine and food although those good places to start. There are ancient ruins, mansions and castles, gardens, zoos as well as museums, wineries. There are also small, charming towns to explore as well as plazas and tiny streets filled with great people.

5. Traveling with Kids

Italy is very kid friendly. In nice weather, the plazas are full of street fairs, entertainers and all the gelato you can afford. Florence (Firenze, in Italian) has a marvelous Leonardo da Vinci Museum with full sized models of his inventions that you can play with. In Venice, what could be more fun than exploring all of the back streets mixed in with canals? 

 

VENICE GONDOLA ITALY TOUR



 

Trevi Fountain, Rome


All photos copyright Marcia Crayton, All Rights Reserved

 

NYC Traveler in Europe:

 

Travel to Italy

 

Giverny

 

Monet's House

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog plan a trip to Italy tourism travel travel tip https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-europe-andiamo-in-italia Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:42:37 GMT
NYC Traveler Tip: How To Read Travel Reviews https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-tip-how-to-read-travel-reviews How to Read Reviews Objectively

Excursions

A review is a written or personal opinion that a consumer has about a product or service based on the person's experience. A review can be subjective, meaning very emotional or objective, based on facts that the person will add. In addition to a review, there are also ratings, usually using stars from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. Many companies use both reviews and ratings.

A person's review will be based on many aspects: their expectations, their experience with traveling, experience with a particular company and, believe or not, their mood that may have nothing to do with the company. In order to help you to be a more informed traveler and to make productive decisions that will lead to a great vacation, it's important that you know how to read a review effectively.

Many travelers read reviews about airlines, lodging, attractions, vehicle rental agencies, locations and more when they prepare for a trip. But with thousands of reviews and rating online and so little time, how do you know which reviews are objective enough for you to make an informed decision? Here are our 10 top tips that will help:

 

1. Look at the lowest rated reviews first. Then sort them by date. Sometimes, when a rating is negative, the company has taken steps to resolve the problem. So, a review from 2012 might not be valid in 2020.

2. Read the reviews that are the most recent and see if there is anything in common. If a particular issue with a hotel is mentioned several times, it is very possible that the issue really exists.

3. Next, read the mediocre reviews (scores of 3 stars). Many times, these reviews are the most objective. The customers will say something positive and negative and they will justify their opinions with evidence. An example is: "the hotel was crappy because the rug was ripped and the shower had mold in it." That's better than "the shower was filthy." Filthy to one person can be a speck of dust while filthy to another person can be actually dirty. 

 

Hotel lobby

4. Look to see if the reason for a low rating is the staff. Now, that can be justification for giving a low score, especially if it affected the quality of the experience. But, it does not mean that the hotel is physically unacceptable. If the reviewer does not speak of the hotel itself but rants on about attitudes, then read another review. 

5. Read other reviews by the reviewer. If the person seems to be complaining all the time and never has a positive or mediocre review, then you will know that the issue is with the reviewer and not the companies per se.

6. People have different levels of acceptability. One person will believe someone has an attitude if they don't look up right away and another person might be able to see that the person is finishing a computer transaction and be able to respect that. Also, the level of experience in travel can affect a person's perspective. That will be difficult to tell when reading the review, but your level of experience will be able to figure out the actual facts opposed someone's exaggerations to make a point.

 

7. Be able to determine if circumstances are beyond the company's control. For example, some areas are prone to blackouts of electricity. The company should be responsible to their response to the situation: how long did they wait before checking on guests (a reasonable time would be 1/2 hour if the area has them all the time), are there flashlights in the room (to indicate they are prepared), is there information in the room that this happens often, etc. The company should not be responsible for the the blackout itself (unless they don't have a backup generator for their computer system). Again, it's their response.

8. If you know a company fairly well, such as a hotel chain, an airline, or a restaurant group that specializes in fine dining, pay attention to a high number of negative or medium reviews. It could be that particular location has an issue. Again, read the negative and medium reviews.

 

River raft excursion

9. The best reviews will be the ones that describe the experience with details. Then, you can make your own determination. For example, many cruise excursions promise a drink, transportation and a meal. Many people imagine a top shelf cocktail in a glass, a premium bus with WiFi and an endless buffet featuring steak and lobster. The reality is you will get a rum punch, with a lot of ice in a plastic cup, adequate transportation (usually a coach bus or a comfy van, but it depends on how far the destination is) and a one time plate, almost always rice and peas and chicken in the Caribbean. Lately, the excursions have included a bottle of water. Seasoned travelers will say that the excursion was good if the purpose of the trip was fulfilled: they snorkeled, they got their historical tour, they shopped until they dropped, etc. Complainers will say that they got a cheap drink and a bus with no bathroom (which is really a good thing, by the way). It's all about perspective.

 

 

Another example is European travel by those from outside that region. Rooms are smaller, there might not be air conditioning and there might not be an elevator (the lift). The room is also likely to have less furniture, no carpeting and spotty WiFi. Someone who is not experienced will be likely to give a low rating regardless of the hospitality of the staff, the location of the hotel and the cleanliness and security of the property.

10. As your travel become more varied, you will be able decide more effectively which reviews and ratings actually will help to plan your trip better. Good luck and Happy Travels!

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Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
 
 This review is my personal opinion. I have Booking links. I am an Amazon Associate.

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog how to plan your own trips how to read travel reviews plan your trip tourism travel travel tip https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-tip-how-to-read-travel-reviews Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:39:59 GMT
NYC Travel Tip: Plan Your Holiday Travel https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-travel-tip-plan-your-holiday-travel

TOP 5 THINGS TO DO FOR HOLIDAY TRAVEL

 
                         Watch our Holiday playlist
 

Believe it or not, the holidays are upon us. Actually, they are always upon us and it is never too early to plan for holiday travel. Any holiday travel.

 
 
1. Plan early: Good holiday travel takes good planning. Many people plan at least 9 months to a year ahead. Cruises, air fares, lodging reservations; all of these are extremely popular at holiday times. Sometimes, you can get a good rate if you book early. In fact, there may be some package deals, sales or rewards during holiday times.  If you are booking on your own, here are our tips.
 
 
 
2. Plan the itinerary: There is a lot to do during holidays. Holiday time is one of the peak tourist seasons and local businesses depend on these times for their profits. Once you have decided on your location, start looking at activities. With almost everything online, it is easier to plan effectively within your budget and to make a rough timetable for activities. Keep in mind some inside info. For example, some major theme parks will allow you to make restaurant reservations without a ticket. Or, your hotel or resort might offer an activity similar to an outside excursion. Look carefully at packages, such as resorts that may be all-inclusive: sometimes the items are cheaper together, and sometimes not. Check out our tips here.
 
 
 
3. Plan downtime. Holidays are the time to relax. Allow yourself some time to enjoy the lodging or area. A simple drive, lounging at a lodge, hanging out by the pool; these help to make a holiday vacation enjoyable.
 
 
 
 
 
4. Plan your shopping: If you are going to an opposite season, such as a warm climate when you are normally in a cold one, shop for your clothes early. End of season sales are great for that. For example, I needed a white outfit in December, which is hard to find in New York at that time of the year. I bought the clothes in June. Also, shop a little at a time. Buy your personal items throughout the year so that you always have supplies on hand. Last minute shopping can be stressful.
 
 
 
5. Finally, plan for the alternative: Two weeks before you leave, check the weather. Then check it again at least 3-5 days before you leave, so that you have the right gear. If you are going to or leaving from a location that is known to have unpredictable weather, read your travel insurance carefully and your cancellation/postponement fine print for travel and lodging. Don't make a dining reservations for arrival day in case it has to be cancelled. Always be prepared for Plan B so that you are not overly disappointed.
 
Enjoy your holiday and Happy Travels!
 
Related articles: 
 
 
 
 
 

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Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog holiday travel how to plan your trip tourism travel travel tip https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-travel-tip-plan-your-holiday-travel Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:37:43 GMT
NYC Traveler in the USA: Maine-ly Drizzle https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-the-usa-maine-ly-drizzle

Maine-ly Drizzle

Updated September 2020

 This review is my personal opinion. I am an Amazon Associate. At no extra cost to you, I will earn commission if you shop through Amazon links.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Maine-ly Drizzle is a delightful, charming boutique shop, tucked up in Kennebunkport and Perkins Cove, Ogunquit, in the state of Maine, USA. The store focuses mostly on pairing oils with the balsamic vinegars, but you can also stock up on spices, salts, tea, honey, and lovely cruets that showcase the sumptuous offerings of oil and vinegar.
 
 
 
Kennebunkport store, left. Perkins Cove, right
 
Walk the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine
 
Take a Virtual Marginal Way Tour
 
You can safely sample your way through the shop with tongue teasing flavors in oils such as Meyer lemon, blood orange, Persian lime, black truffle, along with many exotic varieties of extra virgin olive oils (EVOO). Chat with the staff and they will pair your oil with fun flavors of balsamic vinegars like grapefruit white, dark chocolate, expresso, jalapeno, fig and honey gingers as well as premium dark and white balsamic.
 
Make your own dressings or dips for a variety of foods, not just salads.
 
Debbie, one of the owners of Maine-ly Drizzle
 
The owners are Nick and Debbie , two delightful and friendly people willing to share their expertise on pairing your oils and vinegars with suggested foods. They are bright, vivacious, bubbly and quite knowledgeable. 
 
 
 
 
Maine-ly Drizzle might make it your list for must-visits every time you're in Kennebunkport, Maine or Ogunquit: nicely decorated stores, charming ambiance, great owners/hosts and lovely products. But, if you can't get there in person, they have an extensive on-line store. Click below on the store name.
 
Maine-ly Drizzle:  2 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport, ME -- (207) 204-0025. 
                                100 Perkins Cove Road, 2nd floor, Ogunquit, ME -- (207) 216-9643
 
 
 
 
 

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Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog cooking culinary Kennebunkport Maine New England Ogunquit oil and vinegar Perkins Cove Shopping tourism travel https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-the-usa-maine-ly-drizzle Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:34:53 GMT
NYC Traveler in the USA: Assateague Park, Ocean City, MD https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-the-usa-assateague-park-ocean-city-md

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 
 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). I am an Amazon Associate.
 
Assateague Park and Ocean City, Maryland 
 
 
1. Although this is a national seashore, there is a fee to enter per vehicle but you can purchase an annual pass.
 
2. If you're biking, beware of horses, deer and other animals and the droppings they leave behind. It can be an obstacle course. Be careful about the beach. The horses were in the parking lot and near the concession stand. If you want to sit on the beach, the animals have free rein (including leaving their droppings).

 
The wild horses are just that.
 
 
 
3. There are warnings every where about approaching the animals and feeding them. They are wild, descendants of domesticated horses probably from the 1700's. Take the warnings seriously. In addition to your medical bill, you'll also get fined! 
 
A shy resident deer in Assateague Park
4. Horses can been seen by entering from either Maryland or Virginia (Chincoteague, a privately owned fenced in area). Assateague in Maryland fills up quickly during summer weekends. 
 
 
Despite the crowds, you can find an isolated spot in the area

 

Assateague Island

 
Ocean City...

is a colorful, noisy and crowded conglomeration of food one should never have regularly (but can't be resisted) and amusements from a bygone era. 

 


1. There are amusement park rides that only exist now in state fairs rather than theme parks and old-school game rooms (play lands). This is a boardwalk on steroids. It's a step back in time and if you haven't been for a while, you'll feel immediately transported to a bygone era. 


 
 
2. The amusement park areas are not all owned by the same people, so tickets are not transferable. You'll have to pay to park your car if you are not staying on the boardwalk. Make sure you have some money (some businesses are cash only), get an ice cream cone and stroll along the boardwalk. Enjoy!

3. Stop by the Bayside Skillet on the way out.
 
 
 
Happy Travels!
 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) assateague park blog horses Maryland Ocean City road trip seashore tourism travel https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-the-usa-assateague-park-ocean-city-md Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:32:21 GMT
NYC Traveler in the USA: Bayside Skillet, Ocean City https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-the-usa-bayside-skillet-ocean-city

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 
 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).  I am an Amazon Associate.
 
Visit to the Bayside Skillet, 
Ocean City, Maryland

1. During the busy season, this popular place gets very crowded. The website saying that reservations are not taken for breakfast, just dinner, meaning that during high season it probably gets very crowded. 
 
 
 
(Editorial Use only)
 
Bayside Skillet, Ocean City, Maryland (Editorial Use only)
2. The sign outside says "The Crepe and Omelette Place" and they mean it. No pancakes, waffles or french toast. They also serve frittatas, known to some of us as a Spanish tortilla: an omelette that's stays open faced with a choice of toppings, with or without marinara sauce. 
 
3. The bar opens at 9AM, it's the law, even though the restaurant opens at 7AM. It closes at 2PM during the off season. You can perk up your breakfast with a cocktail, which is not designed to get you falling off the chair. 
 
 
4. Portions are generous (which accounts for the higher end prices). Some plates can be shared.
 
Seafood Crepe
 
 
5. Although it seems a bit touristy, with the pink (with strawberries) decor, the staff is very friendly and efficient. Like many breakfast places, you can purchase a souvenir on the way out. 
 
 
Berries and the homemade Chantilly Cream
 
 
 
Bayside Skillet, 7701 Coastal Highway (US Rte. 1), Ocean City, MD; tel:410.524.7950www.baysideskillet.com.


Visit Assateague Park
 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) bayside skillet blog breakfast brunch diner Maryland oceanside city tourism travel where to eat https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-the-usa-bayside-skillet-ocean-city Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:29:26 GMT
NYC Traveler in the USA: Intro to Philadelphia https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-the-usa-intro-to-philadelphia

This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). I am an Amazon Associate.

 
PHILADELPHIA, IN A DAY
 
If you're only in the Philly area for a day, here are some of the highlights to get you introduced to the historic City of Brotherly Love.
 
1. Do the fun thing: visit the Rocky statue at the foot of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps (2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway). It's no longer at the top of the steps to prevent you from re-enacting the movie. Also, in that area are some the USA's greatest museums including the biggest collection of Rodin's works outside of Paris and the famous children's Please Touch museum. It's a great bike riding area also. By the way, Rocky is also at the Visitor Center
 
 
2. Test your knowledge at the National Constitutional Center (525 Arch St.) Cool inside in every way: interactive exhibits and great for the hot summer Philly days. The U.S. Mint is across the street, another great tour. 
 
3. Walk down Arch Street. Along the way you'll see the Christ Church Burial Ground where you can glimpse Ben Franklin's grave right on the corner (or you can pay a couple of bucks to go in). You'll also pass the Arch Street Meeting House (remember, you're in the land of Quakers). Near there is Congregation Mikveh Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation, seemingly a contradiction in terms in a beautiful, modern building. 
 
4. At Betsy Ross' house (where you can decide for yourself whether she sewed the first American flag or not), you'll take a self-guided tour, with or without audio, of an extremely tiny house. The items are either authentic of the era or good replicas. 239 Arch St.
 
5. Head down N. 4th Street to Market Street toward Franklin Court (part of Independence National Park), an interesting group of buildings and remains of buildings. The Post Office is real, the Printing Shop will give you a demo of house items were printed back then and you can see where Ben's house was. A surprisingly interesting aspect: one building is actually gutted out to show the architectural and archeological aspects of the building, a good site for architects and historians. These attractions are free but the must see Benjamin Franklin Museum has a small fee.
 
 
6. Come out the other side to Chestnut Street to the National Liberty Museum. The message of freedom is strong with some powerful exhibits. Or go back out the Market Street side to the National Museum of American Jewish History
 
 
7. Walk across the street to see Carpenters Hall and then head back to the Independence Mall area. 
 
8. The Liberty Bell Center may have a long line. Go early or toward closing time. You will have to pass through security. There is a series of exhibits before you see the bell itself. It's the real bell, the one in the belfry of Independence Hall is a replica. 
 
9. You have to get tickets at the Independence Visitor Center for Independence Hall. You will see the real room of the Continental Congress (Carpenters Hall, location of the First Continental Congress is down the street). You'll have to go through security. In the evening, you don't need tickets but the line is L-O-N-G. Plan this if you really want to see it. 
 
10. From Independence Hall, walk down to 419 S. 6th to see Mother Bethel AME Church, the oldest African American congregation. 
 
11. Have lunch at the Reading Terminal Market (note that some booths may be closed on Sundays). Then, see some of the outdoor sculptures: the L-O-V-E sculpture at JFK Plaza, near City Hall. and the famous sculptures of board game pieces, across the street.
 
 
12. Snack on Philly's famous cheesesteaks from Dalessandro's, (600 Wendover St.) a local eatery but not a well kept secret. Grab the menu first, they don't seem to be too patient for first timers. 
 
13. If you're driving, you'll want to pass by Penn's Landing and other areas. 

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Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


 
 

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog Philadelphia philly in a day tourism travel what to see in Philadelphia where to go in Philly https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-the-usa-intro-to-philadelphia Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:26:15 GMT
NYC Traveler in the USA: World of Coca-Cola https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-the-usa-world-of-coca-cola

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 
 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).  I am an Amazon Associate.
 
 
 
World of Coca-Cola
World of Coca Cola, Atlanta, Georgia
 
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: WORLD OF COCA-COLA
 
After you have seen what Atlanta has to offer culturally and historically; after you have had your fill of either the Civil Rights Movement, the Civil War and perhaps even Gone With The Wind, you will invariably find your way near Centennial Park and across to the exhibit/museum/greatest advertisement in the "person" of the World of Coca-Cola. 
 
John Pemberton statue
John Pemberton, the pharmacist who invented Coca-Cola
 
1. If you have not been to Atlanta since 2006, you will learn that the museum is no longer near Underground Atlanta (a shopping and entertainment district that has seen better days). Obviously, moving the World of Coca-Cola has affected the economy of the Underground, with more tourists now staying in the Centennial Park area. For some reason, the old building is still there, overgrown with trees, seemingly decaying.
 
Former World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta Underground
Former location, near the Atlanta Underground
 
2. The relocated museum is a tribute to Coca-Cola and its products of course, but it can also be seen as an extreme example of American capitalism, the power of advertising and it's influence throughout the world. 
 
Coca-Cola artifacts
All things Coca-Cola (registered trademark by The Coca-Cola Company)

 

3. But this is a fun place. The amount of memorabilia and artifacts is a history lesson in itself. Indeed, Coca-Cola is credited with our modern visual of Santa Claus. The popular artwork of the rotund, rosy-cheeked jolly fellow was immortalized largely based on Clement C. Moore's description in his poem " "Twas the Night Before Christmas," forever cementing the American personification of St. Nick (along with other previous illustrations). 
 
Illustration of the Coca-Cola Santa
Santa Claus, as imagined by Coca-Cola (registered trademark of The Coca-Cola Company)
 
3. Coca-Cola presents a fair account of its history, it's influences, and even acknowledges its mistakes such as trying to change to formula of classic Coca-Cola. The company can be credited, along with Hallmark, McDonald's and Kodak, with changing the 1960's in-your-face style of television ads to the more artsy approach, (movie style cinematography, messages of peace, world love and family life). All of this is part of the museum, along with toys, clothing, and interactive exhibits.
 
Coca-Cola Polar Bear
Polar Bear, for your photo op (registered trademark of The Coca-Cola Company)
 
4. There are what can be considered a few major highlights: the promise that you will see the vault where the original formula is kept, (that's all you see, the vault, not the formula, which is supposedly inside), a photo op with the Polar Bear character and, the room with all of the flavors and products of the world. At the end, before you exit through the obligatory gift shop where you can get your fill of all items Coca-Cola, you are given a small bottle of the famous classic formula. Drink the soda and save the bottle, since the bottling location is considered important, sort of like where your money is minted.
 
Photo of the Vault
The Vault
 
5. If you read every line, examine every artifact, and pass through every gallery, including the room where decades of television ads are screened, you will get your $16 worth and you can conceivably be there for hours. You can imagine on a rainy day the crowds that must be there. 
 
World of Coca Cola, 121 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia. 1-800-676-COKE.
 
 
BONUS FACT: There is a store in Disney Springs, Walt Disney World Resort, Florida
 
 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) Atlanta blog Georgia theme park tourism travel what to see in Atlanta where to go in Atlanta world of coca-cola https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-the-usa-world-of-coca-cola Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:23:34 GMT
NYC Traveler in the USA: Hilton Head, SC https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-the-usa-hilton-head-sc

 

 

This article is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). I am an Amazon Associate.

INTRO TO... 

HILTON HEAD, SOUTH CAROLINA

 

Hilton Head beach
Hilton Head, South Carolina
 

Hilton Head, South Carolina, can be considered one of the premier East Coast beach areas to visit. It's full of luxurious resorts, noted golf courses and fine dining. In high season, you won't find many lodging specials. But, it may be time to finally visit.

 

Foundation of Baynard Plantaton
Baynard Plantation Ruins, Harbour Town, Hilton Head, South Carolina

1. Check out the offerings on the major search engines and read the reviews carefully. You'll be able to find something in your price range but be prepared to use your car or other wheels (bicycle?) to get around in case you're headquartered near Bluffton.

 


2. Make sure the hotel has a pool in case the beach experience gets crowded, a guarantee. Also, after the ocean area has closed, a nighttime dip can be refreshing. 

 

Red Roof Inn, Hilton Head, So. Carolina
Red Roof Inn, Hilton Head, South Carolina


3. Get used to William Hilton Parkway, a major thoroughfare for the island. A car is definitely required if one wants to take advantage of the sights. For those who would be flying in, I would recommend staying at a beach front resort if you don't rent a car. 

4. Bicycling around the island is also a great option. The flat terrain, bike lanes and bike racks almost command you to park the car for your entire stay. You can bring your own or rent one. 


 

Cycling in Hilton Head, So. Carolina
Bicycling around Harbour Town, Hilton Head, South Carolina


5. If you're a golfer, you're in absolute heaven. If you just want to sit on the beach, you could do that, too, until it rains. If you want to eat, there are all types of options from fine dining to Dunkin' Donuts. If you want to get in shape, you can jog or bike ride around US 278 for miles. 

6. The relaxing ambience of the island is due to the low-key physical appearance. Town ordinances specify how construction is done resulting in the entire island looking like it was decorated by the same interior designer in varying shades of sage and taupe. Also, some buildings are behind trees to preserve the forest look of the island. 


 

Lighthouse, Hilton Head, So. Carolina
Harbour Town Lighthouse
 

7. There are plenty of beaches. Coligny Beach Park, is a public beach. It's clean, yes, popular, but accessible. Parking is not the best and you need to read every single sign. There are paid parking lots, it's better to pay to park rather than to risk a ticket and tow.
 

Always plan for inclement weather when staying near the shore. Hilton Head, South Carolina, Coligny Beach Park.


8. As ritzy as the place is, one might be surprised to learn it is actually the home to descendants of slaves and those of Gullah background who stayed after the Civil War. The island celebrates its place in U.S. history and you can visit relics of a plantation on the Sea Pines Resort (Stoney-Baynard Plantation). You can pay for a day pass to explore Sea Pines.


 

Plantation Ruins, Hilton Head So. Carolina
Stoney-Baynard Plantation, Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head, So. Carolina.


9. If you want Vegas-y style nightlife or a noisy, lit up Time Square-like boardwalk, this is not for you. Hilton Head is a place to relax, retreat, get in some recreation and to refresh. Go on down, it just might do you some good. 

10. No vacation area would be incomplete without shopping. There are the charming boutiques, an actual Piggly-Wiggly and outlets in Bluffton.

Happy Travels.


 

 

For more information

 

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Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


 

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog Hilton Head South Carolina tourism travel what to do in hilton head what to see in hilton head where to go in hilton head https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-the-usa-hilton-head-sc Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:19:35 GMT
NYC Traveler tip: On the Road with Your Bikes https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-tip-on-the-road-with-your-bikes This article is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I am an Amazon Associate. at no extra cost to you, if you shop through our links, I will earn commission.
 

On the Road With Your Bicycles

Bike or Hike in NYC and NYS
 

Copyright Marcia Crayton
 
 

(Note: this blog entry is about traveling with your bicycles. Some people go from city to city or state to state by bicycle. We haven't done that...yet!)

You've probably seen travelers hauling anything and everything to enhance their vacation. What I see most often are bicycles. There's nothing like having your own bicycle with you, if possible. I've brought mine from Maine to Florida, literally up and down I-95. 

So, if you're new to cycling or if you're new to traveling with your bicycles, here's what you may need to know:


 

Traveling with your bicycles. Copyright Marcia Crayton
 

 

Shop on Amazon here for bike stuff (commission earned, no extra cost)
 

1. Consider your travel lifestyle when you purchase a bike. Also, consider where you go the most: off-road (gravel), road, mountain and even on sand. Be mindful of the weight of your bicycle, you may have to haul it up stairs. Know how to maintain and make minor repairs: the chain, rust-proofing, changing a tire. 

 
Hitch Bike Rack
2. Protect your vehicle. Get the bike rack that's best for your car that you can afford. The bike racks that attach to car trunks can be complicated and may damage your paint if you're not careful. If it goes into a hitch, you should be able to lock your rack to your car. Consider racks that swing down (to access the trunk area) or swing away (the entire assembly, bikes and all, can swing like a door) so that you can load and unload the car without taking the bikes off.  Make sure you lock your bikes to each other and to the rack.

 
Sightseeing with your bicycle. Copyright Marcia Crayton

3. Remember that it rains on the road. Your bikes will get wet. Covers are hard to find and hard to attach. They don't always stay on.

 
Remember to lock your bicycles. Copyright Marcia Crayton
 
4. Logistics: Consider your lodging and if you can bring your bikes in or if they will stay on your vehicle the entire trip. This means you're hauling them everywhere: to eat, shop and sightsee. Investigate parking. Some parking garages are tight. (If you have cargo on top, you have to be able to have clearance or be able to remove the cargo, not always easy or practical).
 
 
 
Map out your trip. Copyright Marcia Crayton

5. Stop at the visitors center and get information for bike routes and trails. Also, there are apps that will give directions by bicycle. Cycling on vacation is sightseeing on wheels.  Don't forget your clothing, helmets, gloves, lightsbells and any bags or gear, backpack beach chairs, saddlebags, etc.

Booking.com
 
So, mount up, and enjoy!
 

Click the social media icons to share this article. Happy Travels!

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Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) bikes" blog cycling on the road with your bike road trip' tourism travel https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-tip-on-the-road-with-your-bikes Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:15:20 GMT
The NYC Traveler in India: See the Taj Mahal https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/the-nyc-traveler-in-india-see-the-taj-mahal
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
 
 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).  I am an Amazon Associate.
 
ALWAYS CHECK CDC ADVISORIES FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
 
 CHECK THE US DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
 
Visit the Taj Mahal
 
Prior to visiting India from the USA, you will need a visa. See our article.
For a general idea of what to do in India, see this article.
 
If you do a search of "top places to visit in India," the city of Agra, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, almost always comes to the top of official lists and personal opinion blogs. The reason: the Taj Mahal. Here's what you need to know:
 
The Taj Mahal and gardens

1. It's a mausoleum. It was commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1631 in memory of his wife Mumtaz Majal, who died in childbirth of her 14th child. The entire complex was completed around 1648. Mumtaz was allegedly the love of the Shah's life, beautiful, adored and respected.
 
If you go early or are there before closing, there will be fewer people for your dream photo
 
2. The mausoleum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, designated in 1983, most notably for its beauty in Muslim art. The site was also listed on the New7Wonders of the World.
 
Get creative with still photography; video cameras are not permitted
 
 
3. Inside the actual area with the tombs, photos are not permitted.
 
Also, shoes are not permitted but there are shoe covers available
 
4. The grounds include a magnificent gateway (the great gate), which is so impressive that you may have a slight traffic jam as people first stop to admire the gateway and then are starstruck as they pass through and see their first view of the Taj Mahal.
 
 
The Great Gate
 
5. Also on the grounds are two almost twin outlying buildings (a mosque and guesthouse) and the famous pool.
 
 

 

Outlying Building
 
6. Many people visit with tours, which is strongly advised. Your tour guide will give you all the historic and fun facts. You guide will also get you through the line to the bag check a little quicker.
 
 
 
 
7. Plan to go special times: sunrise, sunset or a nice moon make for a memorable visit. Don't discount the rain, which may be accompanied by a mysterious fog.
 
Early morning
 
8. You can hire an approved photographer, which is highly advised. They are outside of the site and have ID to show they are official.
 
 
Don't forget to tour the gardens
 
9. See this page for what is not permitted. It's the usual, such as video cameras, tripods, big bags, etc. For some reason, the web site says no mobile phones for night time viewing but it also says they should be switched off. 
 
Use your phone for photos only
 
 
10. Speaking of night viewing, they have a special schedule during the month when the moon is full and the two days prior and after.
 
For more information, including current admission information, visit the official website at https://tajmahal.gov.in.
 
 
 
Travel to India:
 
 
 
 

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All photos and text copyright Marcia Crayton, All Rights Reserved 2020


 

 


 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog India Taj Mahal tourism travel https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/the-nyc-traveler-in-india-see-the-taj-mahal Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:12:38 GMT
NyC Traveler in India: Part 2-Where to Go https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-india-part-2-where-to-go

This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). I am an Amazon Associate.

ALWAYS CHECK CDC ADVISORIES FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
 
 CHECK THE US DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

 
An Intro to...India: Part 2 - Where to Go
 
Our "limo" from Delhi to Agra


Note: this article is solely for the first time traveler to India from the perspective of a first-timer (me!). Also, take precautions when you are traveling to another country. Check with the state department for any travel warnings and be very much aware of international news. Use common sense and be flexible. You might actually have to change your destination.

 
The Taj Mahal, in the haze


1. If you normally wing it on your own, you may decide to go with a guide: arranged transportation throughout the trip, guided tours in all cities and luxury hotels. For certain trips or portions of a trip, being chauffeured and guided can actually be a preferred way to go. 

 


2. To get a good view of the country, fly into Delhi and travel by van or train to other cities. If you've flown straight from the USA, east coast, you may want to stay over in Delhi and get a fresh start the next day.

Fort Agra
 


3. In Agra, the top sights are: the Taj Mahal, of course; the Tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah, also known as the Baby Taj; Fort Agra; various artisan shops and one of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. 

 

Jaipur

4. A journey by train to Jaipur, in the recommended first class, is almost 150 miles further east. The top sights were Amer (Amber) Fort; Jaigarh (Victory) Fort, home to Jaivan Cannon; Jantar Mantar, a fascinating collection of astronomical instruments completed in 1734 that is still accurate in telling time within 2 seconds; City Palace, residence of the current Maharaja of Jaipur, and more local artisans.

5. A van is recommended for the 166 mile trip from Jaipur to Delhi. Other options could have been a domestic flight (inexpensive, but one must be careful about the baggage restrictions) or another train ride.

 

A chance to make it big in Delhi

 

 

Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos on ShutterstockImageKind, mcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.
 
 
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
 

 

 

 

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog India tourism travel travel tip what to do in India where to go in India https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-india-part-2-where-to-go Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:10:30 GMT
NYC Traveler in India: Part 1-The Visa https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-intro-to-india-part-1

 This review is my personal opinion. I am an Amazon Associate.

At no extra cost to you, we will earn commission if you shop through Amazon links.

 

ALWAYS CHECK CDC ADVISORIES FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
 
 CHECK THE US DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
 
 
An Intro to…India: Part 1 – Getting Your Visa 
(in 6 not so easy steps)
 
 
 
 
mcraytontravel
Arriving at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, India
 
 
1. Before you begin your visa process, you will need someplace to stay. This is because you will have to enter information for a reference in India, usually the name of the manager of your hotel and you have to give estimated dates. (I strongly recommend booking your flight, then apply immediately for the 10 year visa. Get trip insurance and check to see if you can file a claim in case you are not approved for your visa.) 

2. Get two passport type photos. It cannot be the photo you have currently on your passport, it must be different. Scan that photo to your laptop or desktop. If you don’t have access to a scanner, then you will have to take a very good photo of the picture with your phone and email it yourself or download it to a computer. If you do this, make sure it is a clean shot, without reflections, in good color, and cropped correctly. In addition to the cropping, the photo has to be a certain file size and must be JPEG. If this is beyond your capabilities, you will need someone to do this for you. Have them save the file on a flash drive or email it to you. You must be able to access it (browse to find it) and upload it.
 
 
3. Get the visa. The entire process is complicated and you must be computer savvy. You will have two choices: the traditional visa, good for 10 years with multiple entries, and an electronic version, where you are approved online and then your passport is stamped upon arrival. The e-visa is good for a month and valid for one entry. This means you plan to enter and leave once rather than coming in, perhaps jumping to another country and then coming back.
 
mcraytontravel
Artwork in Indira Ghandi International Airport

 
4. You should not complete this application on a phone or a tablet. You have to apply online with a persnickety website guaranteed to freeze up or crash at any time. You go through a series of fields on many pages. Take the site’s advice and write down all temporary reference numbers. You’ll need it for the inevitable crash when you have to log in again.

5. At the end, choose between whether you want to complete the process at the embassy or have it mailed to you. You cannot start the process in person. Either make an appointment or do the complicated process of mailing in your passport for the visa. Obviously, you need to begin this process at least two months before your departure. Whichever you choose (appointment or mailing), you will have to print out the application and you should also save a PDF version and email it to yourself just in case. 
 
6. You might choose the e-Visa, . The application is basically the same but this visa is cheaper, can be completed closer to your departure date (I would recommend no closer than 2 weeks, although you are allowed to do this 4 days out) and you receive an approval rather than the actual visa. The photo requirement is the same. Once you are approved, you have to print it out. When you land, you will go to the e-Visa line, rather than the tradition line to be processed. You will put your fingerprint in the machine, they take your picture, stamp your process and then, voila!, welcome to India.
 
 
When leaving Indira Ghandi Airport, pay attention to the time!
 
Happy Travels
 
 
 
Happy Travels!
 

 

Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos on ShutterstockImageKind, mcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.
 
 
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog e-visa how to apply for visa to India India tourism travel travel tip https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-intro-to-india-part-1 Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:08:13 GMT
NYC Traveler in the USA: Fall Foliage Trips https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-the-usa-fall-foliage-trips

 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). I am an Amazon Associate. At no extra cost to you, we will earn commission if you purchase through our links.

Fall Foliage: 

Locations Outside of the Northeast USA

 
 

We folks in the Northeastern region of the USA might think that our neck of the woods is the only place to see fall foliage but we understand that other parts of the USA can share in the glory, also. If you can't get to Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and of course, my home state, New York, here are some other alternatives. Included are links to purchase travel guides.
 
I am an Amazon Associate. At no extra charge to you, I hope to make commission off your sale.
 
Sedona, Arizona
 
Sedona has been a hot destination for quite some time. The Oak Creek Canyon would be a good locale to hike and view at the same time. Try mid-October. Click here to purchase a travel guide.
 
 
The Grand Canyon
 
While you're in Arizona, make your way to the iconic Grand Canyon. Autumn is still popular, but the crowds may not be as tremendous as the summer. The backdrop of the gorgeous canyon to the vibrant colors of autumn promises a feast for the eyes. 
 
 
Zion National Park, Utah
 
Always a popular destination with landscape photographers, Zion is a natural choice for fall leaf-peeping. The canyons' natural hues only serve to highlight the foliage.
 
 
Yosemite National Park, California
 
Known for its waterfalls, picture those flowing waters of Yosemite with the saturated colors of trees through your viewfinder. Add to that the fantastic wildlife and you have a postcard in the making.
 
 
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
 
Trail Ridge Road seems to be a hotspot to get your exercise on while taking in the breathtaking views of autumn. Watch the wildlife as you take in the atmosphere.
 

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Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) autumn blog fall foliage road trip tourism travel https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-the-usa-fall-foliage-trips Wed, 24 Mar 2021 15:50:57 GMT
NYC Traveler Tip: Beat the Winter Blues https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-tip-beat-the-winter-blues BEAT THE WINTER BLUES
 
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT INTENDED AS MEDICAL ADVICE.  
FOR SERIOUS ISSUES,  PLEASE CONSULT WITH A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. 
THIS ARTICLE IS INTENDED AS IDEAS FOR WINTER ACTIVITIES.
 
 


January blues is documented as a real condition, and experts say it's different than Seasonal Affective Disorder (which is caused by a lack of sunlight). Some say it is the let down after the hype of the holiday season. However, no matter the reason or the cause (the blues or lack of sunlight): you just might feel blah. This is why many people plan for a trip in January. But what if you are not able to travel? Read on.

 



It is this writer's opinion that you can plan for the January and get through the month to focus on the rest of the year. If your depression is serious, please seek a medical professional.

 



1. You can make resolutions, just make a few and phase them in. Make your goals realistic. Better yet, celebrate your new year at different times: maybe the beginning of spring, the start of summer or in September. Don't forget several religions and ethnicities have their own days of renewal. Take up a Staycation Project.

 



2. Take a day trip: If you live in a cold weather region, you have two choices: embrace it or escape it. Winter sports are in full peak season. There may be some reservations still available for overnight stays but many resorts have day passes to enjoy skiing, ice skating, snow tubing, riding a snowmobile, etc. The Northeast of the USA is extremely popular (the Berkshires in Massachusetts, upstate New York, the Poconos in Pennsylvania and all over Vermont, just for starters).

 



3. Did you save money during the holidays? Then, become a snowbird. Escape to warmer regions. Winter cruises or Caribbean weekend getaways are popular. But for the Northern Hemisphere, the real challenge is to totally escape winter and head where it is truly summer: Australia, Chile, South Africa. Anything below the equator reverses the seasons. 

 



4. Become a tourist in your area: now is the time to see concerts, shows (the ice skating shows are popular this time of year), movies and museum exhibits. Brunch on weekends, join a gym or stream workouts in your home. 


 




5. Get your house in order. Literally. Plan a project you need to do, roll up your sleeves, put on some music and clean out that closet, sort through old clothes, paint the bathroom, do all of those chores that you have been putting off. Or, start a new hobby: learn a language, play an instrument, take up an art. 
 

Plan for next January


 

How do you pay for these adventures to get you through the winter? You plan for it now for next year.


1. Watch your spending this year (even as you travel). Being thrifty through the year will feel great when you are on a mid-winter vacation. 

2. Use an app to help you save (but ignore the temptation to buy the debit card that may be offered). Acorns will round off your purchases up to the next dollar and put it into a small savings. You set the boundaries about how much you want to save by also scheduling small automatic deposits. 


 



3. Many banks and credit unions still have vacation clubs. Try not to link it to your checking (to avoid the temptation of dipping into it during the year). You will be surprised at home much $5 a week will look like at the end of the year.

 



4. In the middle of the year, think about a membership to your favorite local museum or botanical garden (after you have recovered from holiday expenses). You'll have someplace to go for the whole year.

 



5. Use a travel consultant to plan big trips. You may be able to pay in installments. Cruises allow payments in installments, also. Planning a trip sets a goal and can help you look forward to something.

The key is to try to keep busy and to realize that January doesn't last forever. Only 31 days. Happy Travels!

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Follow our other blog: The NYC Dis Traveler for your theme park updates

Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos:

ShutterstockImageKind, iStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.

 
 
 
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
 
This article is my personal opinion based on my personal travel. I currently do not receive any compensation from the travel industry. However, I am an Amazon Associate.

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog tourism travel travel tip winter blues https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-tip-beat-the-winter-blues Wed, 24 Mar 2021 15:45:23 GMT
NYC Traveler in the USA: Make Mine Hersheypark Chocolate https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-the-usa-make-mine-hersheypark-chocolate TOP REASONS TO VISIT HERSHEYPARK 
(Besides a chance to buy all the candy you want)
 
 
 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone in the travel industry.
I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).  I am an Amazon Associate.
 
Booking.com

 

 
 
Get the latest information about visiting Hershey Park 
 
 
1. The one-price admission: ride the rides, get wet, see the zoo, all for one price. And, if you choose not to get wet, come after sunset (or during the off season). The price is cheaper when the water park closes. (But, on those heat wave days that can hit Pennsylvania, you're gonna wanna get wet.)
 
 
 
2. The Boardwalk at Hersheypark: hands down, for the price, the most convenient water park fun ever! Smack dab in the middle of the park, there's no way you're not going to want to go there. If you're not into slides, just stand under the giant bucket and wait for it. The factory whistle blast will alert you to either get out of the way or make haste for a waterfall of instant coolness. Chill at the wave pool or take a slow, lazy ride on the Intercoastal Waterway. The Boardwalk is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
 
 
 
3. It's a park for roller coaster fans. And, as per its website, you will want to ride the two water "roller" coasters: Breakers Edge, the first HydroMagnetic Coaster with Flying Saucer turns (Hershey's 14th coaster) and and Whitecap Racer, the longest mat coaster.
 
 
 
 
4. Despite the amount of roller coasters, it's a family park. Milton Hershey created its predecessor as leisure park for his employees. This theme is retained in the amount of rides families can do together. Measure the kiddies at the entrance, you'll see which candy they measure up to, amusingly named for Hershey's brand of candies, like Kisses and Jolly Ranchers. Look for these icons throughout the park so that you know who can ride what.
 
5. ZooAmerica is open year round. Normally included as part of admission to the theme park, you can also pay a reduced price when the theme park is closed for the season, or if you just want to go to the zoo.
 
6. The off-season funSpringtime in the Park (weekends in April and May), In the Dark (Halloween fun weekends in October and early November) and Christmas Candylane and Sweet Lights (weekends in November and all through December). 
 


Check out all of the information on their website
 

For Disney and Universal news, follow our other blog: The NYC Dis Traveler for your theme park updates

Happy Travels.

 

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Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos:

ShutterstockImageKind, iStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.

 
 
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 

 

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog chocolate Hersheypark Pennsylvania road trip theme park tourism travel USA https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-in-the-usa-make-mine-hersheypark-chocolate Wed, 24 Mar 2021 15:43:07 GMT
NYC Traveler Tip: Intro to Cuba, Part 2 https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-tip-intro-to-cuba-part-2 Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


Disclaimer:  This article is written as a personal narrative based on personal experiences from the perspective of a US citizen. It is not intended as legal, official or professional information. MC Photo and Travel, dba MC Enterprises does not assume responsibility for any persons using this information as the sole source for planning a trip to Cuba.
 

NYC Traveler on a Cruise to Cuba, Part 2
 
 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). I am an Amazon Associate.
 

Part 1: Intro to Cuba

ALWAYS CHECK CDC ADVISORIES FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

 

CHECK THE US DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL


 
Currently, there are no cruises sailing from USA ports to Cuba.
It is our hope this policy is changed soon. It's an amazing experience.
 

This information is intended for readers who are US citizens and is solely based on the author's personal experience.
 

Norwegian Sky, docked in Havana, Cuba
 
There are 15 municipalities in Havana, Cuba. Cruise ships, currently not sailing from the United States, normally dock in Old Havana (Havana Vieja). The area is a curiosity because it seems as if it was abandoned and left to decay after the Revolution of 1959. The numerous old cars from that era add to the mystery. Some buildings are being preserved and the area is a World UNESCO Heritage Site. 
 
1. When I sailed in 2017, 3 cruise companies were sailing to Cuba: NorwegianCarnival and Royal Caribbean. They departed from Miami, Tampa and Port Canaveral. The port for Cuba will be Havana, which docks in Old Havana. Check the US Department of State website for the latest information regarding cruises to Cuba.

 


2. You can travel by airplane unless there is a restriction for safety and/or health concerns. Consult with a knowledgeable and reputable travel consultant who will give you truthful advice in your best interest regarding lodging. (When and if cruising resumes, choose an itinerary that has an overnight in Havana, if your main purpose is to visit Cuba. There are also sailings that have Havana as a one day stop, just like any other port).
 
 

 

3. Travel to Cuba for tourist reasons is not permitted. You must be there for a purpose as per your visa. You must travel under one of the 12 permitted licenses.

 

4.  Technically, you must have an itinerary to visit Cuba. Plan to visit places of interest for the entire time you are in port. Normally, cruise excursions would make this easy. I booked an evening walking tour through the cruise line. Tours are also for sale as you disembark, after you clear customs and exchange money. It is possible you can plan your own activities and be engaged the entire time. Keep a record of everything: receipts and photos.

 
Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro
 

5. Activities that I did in order to engage in people-to-people activities included a horse-drawn city tour, visiting a cigar shop, speaking with the locals at the flea market, enjoying the Coche Mambi (the 1910 presidential rail car), a gallery and other spots around Old Havana, including the famous Havana Club.

 
Coche Mambi rail car

6. Running joke: Ernest Hemingway, who did live in Cuba for about 7 years in the 1930's, apparently ate, slept and visited every location in and around the old Havana area. Every tourist attraction has a plaque that proclaims that ol' Ernie was there. 
 
 

Hotel Ambos Mundos, where Ernest Hemingway lived for 7 years

 

Do your research. If you use a travel consultant, ask if he or she knows the latest information about visas, some of them do not arrange visas. When cruising resumes, make sure you will be able to communicate directly with the cruise line about traveling to Cuba. Buen viaje!

Happy Travels
 
 

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube

Follow our other blog: The NYC Dis Traveler for your theme park updates

 

Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos:

ShutterstockImageKind, iStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.

 
 
All photos and text copyright Marcia Crayton, All Rights Reserved, 2020

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog cuba tourism travel travel tip https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-tip-intro-to-cuba-part-2 Wed, 24 Mar 2021 15:38:36 GMT
NYC Traveler Tip: Intro to Cuba, Part 1 https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-intro-to-cuba-part-1 Disclaimer:  This article is written as a personal narrative based on personal experiences from the perspective of a US citizen. It is not intended as legal, official or professional information. MC Photo and Travel, dba MC Enterprises does not assume responsibility for any persons using this information as the sole source for planning a trip to Cuba.
 
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
 
 This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted). I am an Amazon Associate.
 
What to Consider to Visit Cuba:
Part 1

This information is intended for travelers who are US citizens.
Currently, cruises are suspended from sailing to Cuba from USA ports.

ALWAYS CHECK CDC ADVISORIES FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

CHECK THE US DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

 
 
 

For the absolute latest information, always visit the US State Department website.

Currently, citizens of the United States are able to travel to Cuba directly from the USA. Most citizens who travel by airplane are traveling with organized groups or excursions. If you are a Cuban born USA citizen, you must read the information on the US State Department website before planning a trip to Cuba.

You must travel under one of 12 license categories: see these categories under the Entry Requirements paragraph: https://cu.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/traveling-to-cuba/


 

1. Technically, an American citizen cannot travel to Cuba for vacation purposes. Current policies say that you should have a full itinerary that you can document. However, this itinerary can be created on your own. You do not have to use a professional company, you just have to book experiences that are considered valid and hold onto the proof for a certain amount of years. Certain tour packages are considered illegal, so be aware of purchasing packages from agencies and tour companies.

2. Your credit and debit cards will not work. Bring cash with you. If you travel on a cruise, you will be able to exchange as soon as you disembark, right there in the terminal. Use the same cautions you use in any travel situation: carry only what you need, carry your passport, keep everything on your person and do not allow anyone to carry your bag.


 

3. Traveling by cruise is one of the easiest ways to see Cuba, but are unavailable currently from the United States. Check the US Department of State website for current regulations.


4.  The people were awesome and friendly. Of course, tourists spending money are always welcome and of course vendors want your business, but chatting with the locals was one of the best aspects of visiting.


 

5. Don't take photos of military or police personnel and locations. Period.

 
 
6. Beware of travel agents who do not know the most accurate information. This is one trip that you should research about yourself in addition to using a travel consultant.
 
 
Happy Travels!
 
 

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube

Follow our other blog: The NYC Dis Traveler for your theme park updates

 

Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos:

ShutterstockImageKind, iStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.

 


All photos and text copyright Marcia Crayton, All Rights Reserved, 2020
 

 

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(MCrayton Photo & Travel) blog cuba tourism travel travel tip https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-intro-to-cuba-part-1 Wed, 24 Mar 2021 15:38:11 GMT
NYC Traveler Tips: Get TSA-PreChecked https://mcraytonphoto.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/nyc-traveler-tips-get-tsa-prechecked Disclaimer: This information is not intended to provide legal consultation. All links were accurate at the time of publication and will be monitored accordingly. MC Enterprises takes no responsibility for the reader's application. Readers should go to either a TSA Enrollment Center or check with the TSA's website for current regulations and procedures. This article is an introduction to current information only.

 
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
 
 This review is my personal opinion, based on my experiences and research. 
I am an Amazon Associate.
 
 
Get TSA-Prechecked

 

ALWAYS CHECK CDC ADVISORIES FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

CHECK THE US DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

 


Security checks, part of our lives even before 9/11/2001, is now considered an expected precursor to entering almost public location. Getting through airport security is especially frustrating because of all of the steps involved: have your boarding pass and ID in hand and at the same time take off your shoes, take out your laptop, no items in your pockets, no more than 3 ounces of liquids, creams or oils in bottles that fit into a 1 quart bag while perhaps juggling kids in tow. Whew!

 




TSA-Prechecked means you can keep your shoes and a light jacket on, your electronics and your clear bag of liquids can stay in your bag and you walk through...all for a fee of course.

The best way to be pre-checked for USA domestic flights is to pay the current fee (check website) that will be good for a number of years. If you fly often or if you don't like the long lines or inconvenience, this may be worth it. 


 



1. Pre-register online: https://www.tsa.gov/precheck or https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/programs/precheck
2. Make an appointment at a center: https://www.tsa.gov/precheck/map