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Living the Adventuress Life: An Hawaiian cowgirl adventures, cruising, skirts, and more
July 27, 2015
Dear VIA (Very Important Adventuress)

In this issue, we want to share with you Barbara’s Hawaiian cowgirl experience, our own recent cruise ship experience, and why we prefer skirts for flying.

Paniola (Cowgirl) for the Day in Waipi’o Valley

In True Tales, Barbara writes about how in the big Island of Hawaii's Waipi'o Valley she indulged her love of horse-back-riding. CLICK HERE to read Barbara's story.

Cruise kvetches

A few months ago your editor and chief adventuress cruised with the ex-husband (don’t even ask, that’s another story) on Holland America from Buenos Aires, Argentina, down to the Falkland Islands, through the Strait of Magellan, around Cape Horn and up the west coast of South America to Valparaiso, Chile.

(I must say I have a new respect for Magellan and his guys who sailed through those foggy islands at the tip of South America in a little wooden boat, with no heat, and no stars, sun or normal shoreline to navigate with.)

We came home mentally exhausted and vowed we will never do another cruise.

Here are 7 reasons why we came to this decision:

1. Never before have we felt so “nickle-and-dimed.”

For $80 per person we purchased a half-day tour of the city of Puenta Arenas. At the gangway, where we exited the ship to board the tender, HA had set up a table—complete with white tablecloth—where they sold bottled water for about $2 a bottle. It occurred to me that we had just spent $160 and the tour did not even include a bottle of water.

2. Everywhere we turned on the ship was a kiosk, salesgirl, or shop. It felt like everyone was trying to sell us something.

We were amused to see a special “one-day sale” on the pool deck. “All items $10.” The products were from Bijoux-Terner. Doesn’t everybody know that most big airports today have a Bijoux-Terner kiosk where everything is always $10.?

3. Besides the dining room, there are now at least a dozen “specialty restaurants” in which, of course, you pay extra to dine.

We don’t understand the mentality of people who would do that. Isn’t part of the reason to cruise the fabulous food in the main dining rooms? So many wonderful choices, and you can have more than one serving of a dish, if you like.

So, why would we pay to eat in a specialty restaurant? We can do that any day of the week at home.

4. There are just too many people—and children. On a different cruise, we saw, near a buffet line, a child run into an elderly man, who stumbled and fell to the floor. People moved quickly to help him, but no one came to grab the kid. He kept running and disappeared from sight.

5. These big cruise companies are too “corporate.” When we had issues with our stateroom and later, a bad tour, no one could make a decision that would solve our problems without consulting the HA home office in Seattle.

This means waiting while e-mails sail across the continents.

While the staff couldn’t be nicer, and the service for little things is exemplary, they have no power to resolve a major issue on the spot.

6. We’re cruised and jaded, We remember “the good old days.” The ex worked as a comedy entertainer on Royal Caribbean ships for nine years. My first cruise was 27 years ago.

Those were the days of the midnight buffet, cocktail party with the captain, the lively and colorful international theme nights, the interesting lectures and workshops.

7. On this cruise we noticed that more of the workshops were led by HA employees, connected to some extra service on the ship that cost money.

And a lot of these services are horribly-overpriced. On the last day I thought about getting a manicure. When I inquired about the price, the salon girl said, “We have several different options, beginning with the very basic manicure for $45.”

Like we said, nickled-and-dimed from every direction.

(Thanks for letting us kvetch.)

Now that we've had some time to think about it, we admit we still love the idea of cruising. No cooking or housekeeping responsibilities. People to wait on you hand and foot.

And, months later, we are no longer using the word “never.”

We love the small river cruise ships. Grand Circle Tours (GCT), our favorite tour company, does some beautiful European river cruises. Barging in France was an amazing experience as well. We’d cruise like that again.

And someday, when we “win the lottery” we’d cruise with the most expensive line in the world, where we can only assume there is more elegance, more style, fewer children and fewer people who put their shoed feet up on the upholstery.

Check it out!

This cool travel accessory is for the photographer in you. Now you can walk around all day (or run or cycle) with a camera on and there’s no strain on your neck or back like there is with stock camera straps.

This black Rapid RS-Sport Strap has a built-in underarm defense for maximum safety for your camera equipment and comes in a wide version and a slim version (most women prefer the latter). Since we’re always considering weight factors, we like that this camera strap only weighs 5.6 ounces.

Here’s one woman’s review: “NO MORE NECK PAIN! I'm a tall female that's a bit on the fluffy side and it fits really well.” CLICK HERE to check out more features of the Rapid RS-Sport Strap.

Why we like skirts instead of pants for traveling

Our friend Mary only wears cotton when she flies because she thinks that if she’s in a plane crash she'll have less serious burns than if she wore some kind of flammable polyester material.

Our concern is more with comfort during the flight.

That’s why we prefer to wear a skirt rather than jeans or leggings. Frankly, we don’t like all that material bunched up in the crotch for hours at a time.

Skirts are much easier to move around in, and here’s an added bonus: if it’s a peasant-type skirt, you can use it to hide stuff that won’t fit under the seat.

Just put your stuff behind your knees and let the skirt flow over it. From the aisle, the attendant checking that “all stowaway luggage fits under the seat in front of you” can’t see it.

Which is most important to you?

We want to create a new free offer to subscribers (of course, you would get it as well).

On the adventuress-travel-magazine Facebook page we asked the question, Would you prefer a free report on “Stress-free Travel in Today’s World?” Or “Traveling Safely in Today’s World?”

So far, the results seem to indicate almost equal interests in both subjects.

How about you? Which subject do you feel is most important for women travelers today?

What do you think?

We’d love your feedback! Let us know your thoughts on this issue. Also let us know if you have any ideas for types of travel information you’d like to see.

Happy travels!

Carolyn

—Carolyn V. Hamilton, Editor and Chief Adventuress

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