Alaska August 12, 2011

Another beautiful sunny day in Seward, Alaska and we begin by exploring the Seward Sea Life Center, Alaska’s only public aquarium. It’s a fascinating place with great live exhibits and an amazing group of puffins, including a few “educational puffins”. These puffins are not afraid of visitors and allow the handlers to hold them while educating visitors about their habitats, breeding, food supply, and predators. After a little walk around the piers in Seward we were off to our inside passage cruise with Silverseas on the all-inclusive “Silver Shadow”. We were delighted with our spacious stateroom, plush robes and a “pillow menu” from which we could choose from nine different types of pillows: goose down, feather, memory foam, buckwheat… whatever kind of pillows you want, you got ‘em! Our butler, Gideon, asked what he could stock the bar with, and that evening we had large bottles of Amaretto and Bailey’s magically appear! Following a wonderful dinner we spent the next 8 or 9 hours testing our pillow choices. Blissful!

U.S. Passports?

Driving to Canada?  Not sure of your next vacation? Just going to the Caribbean next year by cruise ship?

The US Govt issues a US Passport Card, which looks like a driver’s license.    Ideal for people who travel between the US and Canada, Mexico,Caribbean and Bermuda via ground or via a vessel.   Hence, cruise passengers may find this beneficial.    It cannot be used if one is flying to/from an International Airport.  

The cost is $55, and it lasts 10 years, too.    The processing time is similar to a regular passport.     

 More innformation may be obtained at: 


Travel & Tourism Industry Supports Haitian Relief

Here are some companies who are providing aid for earthquake victims in Haiti. Continental OnePass members can donate to the American Red Cross directly, and CEO Jeff Smisek is reported to be matching co-worker donations up to $50,000.00. Miles are donated to The American Red Cross and AmeriCares.  OnePass members can visit and click "Donate your miles" to participate.

Royal Caribbean Cruises plans to provide at least $1 million in humanitarian relief, partnering with Food for the Poor, Pan American Development Foundation and other charitable organizations as well as the Solano Foundation, the company's foundation in  Haiti.  They'll also deliever goods & supplies to Haiti via their cruise ships.  To contribute and for more information, visit

American Airlines will give you 250 miles if you donate $50.00 to the American Red Cross or 500 miles for a $100.00 donation.

Hyatt Gold Passport members can donate increments of 5,000 points by calling 1-800-228-3360. Hilton members can convert 10,000 points to a $25.00 donation on their website.   Starwood Hotel members are matching all donations, where 4,000 points will equal a $50.00 donation.

Sources: and