Category Archives: Travel

Razzle Dazzle

Another restaurant on board the Scarlet Lady. Interesting menu and some good looking food.

Pretzel crusted pork schnitzel
Rainbow churros with awesome sweet potato ice cream
Cookies : red velvet, matcha green tea, chocolate fudge pretzel
Mushroom tartare
Popcorn old fashioned. Great concept but really small drink inside

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady

We just got on board. Here’s some early looks. Enjoy!

Laugh and love. Always good advice

That’s a fun seat. You can get in but can you get out?

If you need to work out some aggression

Pool with Miami in background
Tasty treats

Our cabin. Seems a bit austere we’ll know more once we sleep in it.

Have to spend more time here. Hot dogs and popcorn!

Dining on Virgin – Vote Now for your Chance to Win

Virgin Voyages is one of the world’s newest cruise lines

It promises to be different, with pop-up and immersive entertainment, experimental dining, unique parties and no kids!  It has all new ships and it’s own private beach to visit in the Bahamas.  

Now we figure the best way to check it out is to go on board ourselves in November to see which of our clients might appreciate it the most.  The Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady is currently sailing out of Miami.  We have our air tickets, our cabin and our dining reservations all set.  Let’s go have some fun!

Wait! Let’s talk dining 

This can be a travel challenge for us as Sue is gluten-free, grain-free and must also avoid seed oils.  You can envision how this provides certain challenges.  The Scarlet Lady has over 20 eateries.  A select number are reservation only, but all of them are included in your cruise fare.  The dining promises to be immersive and experimental – but will Sue like it?  To be fair, Paul eats everything (except for razor clams) so he can lead the way in adventurous eating onboard – but, will Sue follow?

You can follow 

First off – whenever we travel we post frequently to Facebook.  You can follow along to see and hear first hand about our travel, the ship and the onboard experience.  Please like us – we like you!

You can Vote 

Check out our first ever in the universe, amazing, and one of a kind voting options.  The person that correctly predicts how many stars Sue will give for our reserved dining meals will be deemed Grand Champion!  If you know Sue well you may have an advantage…or will you?  Really it’s up to the Scarlet Lady to deliver. 

The quiz will give you details on the dining options, a sample of what’s on the menu and then you just vote on how you think Sue will score it from 1 to 5 stars.  We won’t spam you – we don’t like spam…or razor clams.

Here’s the link to the quiz. Easy-peasey and lots of fun.

https://forms.office.com/r/GvxuJaYfXa

Our cruise is in Mid-November.  The winner will be announced just as soon as Paul tallies the scores, Sue scores her own and we find time to make Thanksgiving dinner for family after we get back.  Cheers!

St. Petersburg: Russia’s culture capital has much to offer

It seems like you can’t watch a movie or television show which mentions Russia without seeing the iconic onion-shaped colorful domes of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. The history of Russia is steeped in drama, color and culture and you can experience it first hand on the GetAway Travel July 2022 Baltics and Beyond cruise. We’ll be spending three days in fabulous St. Petersburg.  

 Architecture, antiques and aristocracy 

 The port city of St. Petersburg was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great and it has some of the best preserved architecture from the extravagant era of the Russian aristocracy. There’s opulent baroque-style palaces, classic sculptures, royal gardens and grand cathedrals throughout the city.  

Many of the most famous art collections call the city home and there are world-renowned ballet and opera performances throughout the year. 

Visitors benefit from the fact that Russian rulers vied for years to create the most spectacular monuments to honor themselves and their families or mark crucial events in their lives. 

Steeped in history, the city is also home to some of the most romantic water backdrops. There are more than 90 waterways including miles of man-made canals throughout the city.  

Depending on the season, boat tours also include watching the opening and closing of some of the city’s drawbridges. The Palace Drawbridge opening and closing features music and a light show! 

St. Petersburg is very pedestrian friendly with much of the signage in Russian as well as English. Ask your travel advisor at GetAway about walking tours, boat tours and even Segway tours. And, of course, there is shopping and fine cuisine. You can hunt for bargains at the Udelnaya Flea Market on the city’s northern edge. There are more than 700 restaurants, cafes and tea rooms in St. Petersburg where you can enjoy the local fare. 

Don’t miss the Hermitage and Faberge Museums 

 The State Hermitage Museum is one of the largest museums in the world housing 3 million works of art including paintings and sculptures from nearly every European country as well as Asian, Greek and Egyptian pieces. It was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great to showcase her private collection and it is actually five interconnected buildings. There’s the Winter Palace which was the official home of the Romanovs, the Little Hermitage, the Great Hermitage, the New Hermitage and the Hermitage Theatre. 

Winter Palace St Petersburg

The Winter Place is the largest building and it was commissioned by Catherine to be a reproduction of the Papal Palace in Vatican City. There are themed motifs in various rooms including Gothic and Renaissance, fabulous chandeliers, sweeping staircases and, of course, artwork by Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt and DaVinci. 

The Museum Faberge is in the Shuvalov Palace along the Fontanka River. As an added bonus, you can view the stunning statues of the four horses and their horsemen. Each statue is set at a corner of the Anichkov Bridge and the marble statues depict horses and their tamers in various stages of getting the horses under control. 

There are 44 fabulous Faberge eggs and at any given time, at least a dozen are on display in Russia. Some are lost and some are in other museums, but the Museum Faberge has the most significant collection. There are more than 4,000 art exhibits in two restored room in the palace. They give visitors a feel for the grandeur of the time when the eggs were created as well as the craftsmanship it took to make them. 

 But wait, there’s so much more! 

 St. Petersburg is home to St. Isaac’s which is the largest orthodox cathedral in the world. The Peter and Paul Fortress actually was one of the original fortresses built in the city and is houses the Museum of the History of St. Petersburg as well as the Museum of Cosmonautics and Rocket Technology. The Peter and Paul Cathedral is considered one of the finest examples of baroque architecture. It’s tall golden spire topped with a golden cross and angel is a main symbol of the city. 

There is, of course, a Museum of Russian Vodka and for a small extra fee you can sample three kinds of vodka at the end of the tour. You can experience the fully immersive tour of the Freud Museum of Dreams or go to the Street Art Museum which is set up in a sprawling factory and industrial site. 

Baltic & Beyond Cruise Itinerary

 At GetAway Travel we can help plan your tours so you are sure to experience exactly what you want as soon as the ship comes into port in St. Petersburg. Or, perhaps you’d like us to set up a visit to several Russian cities? We’re here to help with all of your travel needs. We can be reached at:  (262) 538-2140, e-mail: sue@getaway.travel or paul@getaway.travel 

I’m not a food blogger, but I do eat food

As you’ve already seen – this week we are travelling onboard the Viking Orion in Bermuda.  There is a lot to like about this ship and the overall Viking Ocean experience, and we’re happy to report that certainly includes the food.  There are several dining options to choose from –

  • The Chefs table – a fixed menu with varying themes and wine pairings
  • Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant – a crowd favorite (you need to book early when you get onboard).  It’s a traditional restaurant recalling Italy’s beloved trattorias.
  • The main restaurant, simple called The Restaurant.  Daily changing menu with a focus on local cuisine
  • World Cafe – Casual atmosphere with inside and outside dining.  Buffet but elevated.  Chilled King Crab legs are part of the routine every night!
  • Wintergarden – Go here for High Tea in the late afternoon
  • The Pool Grill – very popular – excellent burgers

There is no extra charge for any specialty restaurants on board

They say you can eat with your eyes – so be prepared to be quite full!

Beef Carpaccio – The Restaurant

Beef Wellington – The Restaurant

Boar sausage Ragu pasta – The Restaurant

Prosciutto and Melon – The Restaurant

 

Calamari – Manfredi’s

 

Veal Saltimbocca – Manfredi’s

Grilled lambchops with Mushrooms – One of my breakfast (yes breakfast) choices in The Restaurant

 

Nordic Hotdog – The Pool Grill (has shrimp in mayo and pickled onions) – could be an acquired taste!

Grilled Prawns with a make your own cocktail sauce option – The Restaurant

Salmon Benedict

Poached Salmon

Hangar Steak – The Restaurant

 

Indian Samosa appetizer – The Restaurant

 

Grand Marnier Crepes – The Restaurant

What to do on a sea day on board the Viking Orion

Here’s couple of ideas.

  • Swim in the on board infinity pool
  • Spend an hour in the spa

We elected to head to the spa. We had a 2pm reservation as the spa area is limited to 10 persons at a time. No problem, the reservation was easy to make and it’s free – included with your cruise fare. Once you enter the sanctuary you choose from the thelassotherapy pool, sauna, whirl pool, experience shower, cold bucket shower or the snow room. Go from hot to cold to back again and then lay back on the heated beds before your time expires. It was amazing!

Bermuda – home of shorts and rare cruises

We made it!

Travel in the age of Covid-19 is still possible.  For some destinations – there a just a few hurdles you need to jump through.  Bermuda is a small and proud nation (officially a British Overseas Territory) that consists of 181 islands making up its 20 some square miles of land.  The largest is Main Island, also called Bermuda.  The 8 largest islands are connected by bridges.

Bermuda is in the Atlantic Ocean – not the Caribbean Sea – the closest land to it is about 650 miles west, the outer banks of North Carolina.

It has a rich history, and when originally settled by the British in 1612 was called Virgineola.  St. Georges town (which we will visit later this week) is the oldest continuously inhabited English town in the New World.

To get here in the age of Covid you need to first be vaccinated – then no greater than 4 days before travel you need to test negative, and upload all your proof to a Bermuda travel web site for verification.  Only after you receive verification can you actually get on a plane and come here.  Once here you will will go through immigration and customs like any other international destination.  After gathering your bags you will be tested again and given a bracelet that must be worn until the test results come back to you via email.   Until the email shows up you must quarantine at your hotel.  This was not a big deal – we ordered dinner last night from a local restaurant, had it delivered and sat out at the front garden of our hotel with great food and of course access to the hotel bar!

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