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Copyright © December 2003

Table of Contents
  • Ports Of Call—What to Expect
    by Marilyn King
  • Oh...We Sail the Ocean Blue...
    and our Saucy Ship's a Beauty...
  • Snow Easy...
  • How to Travel Light
    by Diana Pemberton-Sikes
  • St. Paddy's Party!...
    Feilte Dhuibh Linne Teoranta
  • Oooo...Ahhh...Spaaa...

Welcome! to Psssss.....t!—Your Flight To Quality webZine—Your One-Stop Information Center. Here is everything you need!—"Click" on most resources mentioned in the following articles...

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Ports of Call—What to Expect
Marilyn King

The Captain inches his vessel alongside the pier. Line handlers grab the ropes and secure them. The gangway appears. You are anxious to go ashore. But first there is a delay—until the announcement "the ship has cleared."

What is that about? Simple! Before anyone can leave the ship, local immigration officials must give their approval—or "clear" the passengers to debark. Procedures vary, depending on the port of call. Generally the identity/nationality of all passengers is verified. This is done by examining the manifest (often the case in non-US Caribbean ports) or checking passports held by the Purser (in Europe, Asia, South America, and South Pacific). When ships enter, or re-enter, US ports (including Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands), passengers are required to report to Immigration with their identity papers. If you don't have a passport—get one. A passport smooths your way and is always acceptable identification.

Ports of call add an allure to cruising. It is unlike any other type of vacation experience. What you do ashore depends entirely on your interests and comfort level—as you experience new environments and cultures.

Cruise lines offer shore excursions that appeal to all tastes—sightseeing, golf, hiking, biking, sailing, swimming, snorkeling, diving, and more. These shore excursions are tried and tested and provide good value for your money. If you wish to tour on your own, you may book a private guide or taxi, rent a car, or use public transportation. You are free to do whatever interests you. But, if you want to explore an area some distance from port, it's often better to take your ship's tour. In case of any delay, your ship will wait for you. On the other hand, if you're on your own, well—you're on your own and your ship will depart without you. Give yourself plenty of time. Be back at your ship at least a half hour before it is scheduled to sail!

To make the most of your hours ashore, research your options ahead of time. Guidebooks are an excellent resource, as are Internet sites—especially official tourism sites developed by the countries you are visiting. Friends and fellow passengers who have "been there and done that" can provide valuable insights into your ports of call.

Or you can remain on-board—Activities on most cruise ships are somewhat curtailed while in port—however, they don't cease entirely. The spa and fitness center remains open. You can participate in exercise classes. Games and movies are sometimes planned. Of course you can enjoy the swimming pool in near solitude. Due to customs regulations, the casino and shops are closed. Check your daily schedule for meal times and locations—they may sometimes vary on port days.


Radisson Diamond

Oh...We Sail the Ocean Blue...
and our Saucy Ship's a Beauty...

High Style Cruises!...You deserve the best...a high style cruise without high expense is just the ticket. Cruises are more affordable than ever. A wonderful vacation with memories that last. Plan a romantic getaway, a fun family adventure, or just enjoy a few days off to relax. Tickle your imagination with these wonderful cruise options. Visit exotic cities, experience excellent shopping, shore excursions, onboard entertainment and dining of the highest quality. It's high time for some high style cruising!

Transatlantic Voyage with Oceania Cruises
Miami to Lisbon—Journey To Iberia—March 15, 2004
2 for 1 Cruise Fare Plus FREE Airfare from $1195 (USD)
— Charting a distinctly different course in luxury cruising, Oceania Cruises takes you on an extraordinary voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Experience the fine art of personal service in a relaxed country club-casual atmosphere. Reserve your choice of suite or stateroom before January 15, 2004 and receive 2 for 1 cruise fares plus FREE airfare.

Caribbean on Radisson Diamond
Eastern Caribbean 2-for-1 Fares
6 nights from $1398 (USD)
— In an era when it is difficult to tell one mega-ship from another, savor an unprecedented level of personal luxury on the six-star Radisson Diamond. Travel with a mere 350 fellow guests rather than thousands. These enticing itineraries are ideal for you who seek a relaxing, casually elegant getaway. Enjoy the exclusive ambiance of a private yacht while exploring hidden jewels the big ships usually must pass by.

Mexico on Mercury
Mexican Riviera and Baja Cruise
11 nights from $1650 (USD)—Veranda Stateroom
— Leave from San Diego and travel through the Mexican Riviera and Baja. Experience the wildly festive spirit of this corner of the globe with an opportunity to shop, dance or just relax. The beautiful beaches of the Mexican Riviera and the cobblestone streets of Puerto Vallarta await your exploration.

Scandinavia and Russia on Marco Polo
Cruise Copenhagen to Stockholm
11 nights from $2795 (USD)
— Baltic countries present a smorgasbord of cultural riches and historic fascination. In this land where East meets West—you'll find royal St. Petersburg filled with imperial palaces and czarist treasures. See cosmopolitan Helsinki aglow with Scandinavian artistry, and lovely Stockholm spread out over 14 islands. You will find medieval towns with proud legacies from the days of the Hanseatic League, like Estonia's well-preserved Tallinn. This dazzling voyage takes you there, and includes a two-night stay in Copenhagen.

Tahiti on Windstar
7 Day Tahiti Cruise
7 nights from $2631 (USD
— What can we tell you about a Windstar cruise in Tahiti? That it's an experience that will spoil you for other vacations? That it is romantic and luxurious and liberating? It is all that and more. You breeze past fruit vendors and shell sellers down to the picturesque harbor in Papeete, in the middle of which, with tall white masts, is a ship. Not one of the common boats dancing on buoys: she's sleeker, sportive, more yacht-like and fine. It's hard to imagine a more perfect pairing than this place and this ship.

Western Caribbean on Explorer Of The Seas
7-Night Cruise from Miami
7 nights from $1199 (USD)—Balcony Stateroom
— This itinerary is perfect for... Adventurous first-time cruisers! Visit a variety of ports including a private island destination. Enjoy days at sea on this innovative ship. So much to do both on and off the ship. Onboard activities include everything from ice-skating, roller-blading, rock climbing and a 9-hole small scale golf course. On shore, you can do everything from snorkeling to horseback riding.

East Coast Journey on Norwegian Majesty
15 Day Colonial America Cruise
15 nights from $1449 (USD)—Oceanview Stateroom
— Cruise the cultural and historic cradle of the nation. Travel 15 days from Charleston to Boston and visit places that shaped the roots of America. Discover the natural beauty, culture and preserved architecture that has inspired centuries of democracy.

Sail on Prinsendam
Mediterranean Cruise
13 nights from $2743 (USD)
— Who can resist the enduring, enchanting charm of Europe? It doesn't get any better than castles, cathedrals, cafés and golden light. Or maybe—it does. You see, the way you explore Europe has a lot to do with your experience there. So ask yourself—What's my style? Do I like—mammoth ships? "Canned" tours? Packing and unpacking each day? Stop reading! Maybe you prefer a more sophisticated mode. You want to delve into history and culture. Spend time looking for treasures, not hotels. Travel effortlessly at night. Get more for your money than you actually paid. In that case, Holland America is ideal.

Convince your "significant other" to take a cruise with you!—

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Snow Easy...

Imagine yourself in an ideal winter wonderland...floating through thigh-deep snow on a sun-drenched powder day...getting big air in one of the world's top terrain parks...strolling through the shops and galleries of a quaint mountain village...spending an evening under the stars on a horse-drawn sleigh ride.

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  • Vail from $385* per person
  • Beaver Creek from $415* per person
  • Breckenridge from $320* per person
  • Keystone from $310* per Person
  • Heavenly from $206* per person
Pricing valid 01/04/04 * 02/10/04. Based on quad occupancy in a two bedroom condo. Rates do not include taxes and surcharges. Subject to availability. Other restrictions may apply. Other rates, dates and origin cities available. Prices subject to change without notice.

Flight To Quality
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How To Travel Light
© 2003 by
Diana Pemberton-Sikes

Today's article touches on another clothing sore point: how to travel light. I know I've talked about this a bit before, but with the holidays and year-end getaways right around the corner, a quick review is in order. Perhaps it will save you time, stress, back pain, and a snippy exchange with your spouse.....

If you've ever packed way too much for a trip, struggled with your suitcase, or gotten to your destination only to realize you've left pertinent pieces behind, you may have wondered if there is a better way to go about packing.

The answer is yes, there is.

All you have to do is make a plan, assemble a clothing capsule, and put it in the suitcase. Once you get good at it, you can be packed and ready to go in about ten minutes.

Let's look at these steps in detail:

1. Make a Plan—I've known lots of women who insist on packing just about everything they own because they don't know what they'll "feel" like wearing on any given day of their trip.

Translation: They don't know what they're supposed to wear so they take everything, hoping something will be appropriate.

What's a better plan?

Ask. Find out what you'll be doing, where you'll be going, what the weather's like, and what other people will be wearing. If you'll be visiting friends or relatives, ask them. If you'll be speaking at a conference, ask the meeting planner. If you'll be vacationing at a hotel in the Caribbean, email the concierge before you go.

It's such a simple little thing, but so few people think to do it. If you don't know, ASK! It's the quickest way to find your answer.

Once you have your basic itinerary, you can begin to consider what types of clothing you need to take.

2. Assemble A Clothing Capsule—The next step is to figure out how to take as few pieces as possible yet still cover all of your activities. You want to minimize your losses if your bag goes missing yet maximize the number of possible ensembles for the greatest flexibility.

Sound impossible? Not if you use clothing capsules.

While I've reviewed capsules before and cover them extensively in Wardrobe Magic (complete with tons of pictures)— Wardrobe Magic, I'll touch on it again because the information bears repeating. Once you master how to mix and match your clothes, as my six year old has, you'll be astounded by what you can do with the clothes you already own.

So here we go:

A clothing capsule is approximately 8–12 pieces of clothing that mix and match easily with each other. They can be the same or complimentary colors, and in styles that work well with each other.

Let's say that you're headed to your Mother's or brother's for the long Thanksgiving weekend. You'll be eating, shopping, eating, cooking, eating, going hiking, eating, going to the movies, eating, going to church or temple, and possibly going out to eat. A good capsule might include:

  • White blouse
  • Red sweater
  • Blue long sleeve t-shirt
  • Red, white, blue, and black vest
  • White and black scarf with red cherries
  • Black jacket
  • Black pants
  • Black skirt
  • Blue jeans
Now, for some sample ensembles:

  • Thanksgiving dinner: White blouse, black pants, multi-colored vest
  • Shopping: Blue T-shirt, blue jeans, black jacket
  • Hiking: Red sweater, blue jeans
  • The movies: Red sweater, blue jeans, multi-colored vest
  • Church or temple: White blouse, black skirt, scarf tied at neck, black jacket
  • Eating out: Blue t-shirt, black skirt, scarf tied at neck
See how easy this is? If you stick with a basic color scheme and pieces that mix and match easily, you'll not only have a variety of outfits, you'll be able to come up with something instantly if you find yourself headed somewhere or doing something you hadn't planned.

Another bonus? You can cut way down on the number of shoes and other accessories you need to take because you won't have to accessorize so many different outfits.

3. Put It In The Suitcase—Once you've put together your clothing capsule and determined what accessories you need to take (jewelry, belts, shoes, handbags), stop for a moment to consider your undergarments. Do you need a camisole or slip? Special panties or foundation garments? Pull it out now so you don't forget it.

Put everything in your suitcase. Add nightclothes, slippers, and a robe. Put in your underwear and footwear for however many days you need. If you'll be swimming or working out, pack those clothes as well. Put heavy blow dryers and rollers in the suitcase, not in your carry-on. Your back will thank you for it.

Now go pack your cosmetic case. Use travel size toiletries, and keep them in your cosmetic case from here on out. Pack any prescription medications you need and take along a stash of feminine hygiene products whether you're expecting your cycle or not. For some unknown reason and regardless of what the calendar says, your period always seems to show up just in time for vacation. So plan for it.

Finally, always wear layers when you travel, particularly if you're going to be changing climates. You want to be able to regulate your body temperature easily, so wear cardigans or pullovers that can be added or removed as needed. If you keep them in the same color family as your clothing capsule, you now have one more piece to work with.

Traveling is stressful enough without struggling with a heavy suitcase, keeping track of too many pieces, and wondering what you'll be doing once you get where you're going. So make it easy on yourself.

Make a plan, put together a clothing capsule, and put it in your suitcase. You'll look good, feel great, and save yourself an aching back. You may even raise some eyebrows by how few pieces of luggage you bring—especially when you look great every day of your trip.

Need some more help putting clothing capsules, with tons of pictures for easy understanding? Then grab a copy of Wardrobe Magic— Wardrobe Magic to see how easy looking great ... and traveling light can be.

Find out more from Diana Pemberton-Sikes:


Global Investing Global Investing—is a newsletter for investors seeking to build an International portfolio of stocks and bonds from around the world without leaving Wall Street or their regular brokers. Find out more— click logo...


St. Paddy's Party!
Feilte Dhuibh Linne Teoranta

Anytime around St. Patrick's Day is a wonderful time to visit Dublin. Celebrations start the day before with the night-time spectacular—Meet Me By The River. Performers carry lights from the corners of the city to the river Liffey. Upon arrival at the firework-emblazoned river, the drum roll from a hundred drums announces the official arrival of St. Patrick's Day.

St. Patrick's Day itself is a bank holiday throughout Ireland. Celebrations in Dublin get off to an early start with the St. Patrick's Festival Parade. Join crowds of spectators along the roadside. Watch as colourful theatrical pageants, marching bands and dazzling entertainers go by. After the parade bring your dancing shoes along to St. Stephen's Green—join over 50,000 in the gigantic Ceilidh.

St. Patrick's Day Irish tourism minister John O'Donoghue named Mary Davis—CEO of the Special Olympics summer games in Ireland—this year's chairperson of the 2004 St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin—Feilte Dhuibh Linne Teoranta. The festival—one of Ireland's top draws—attracts more than 1.2 million people. This year it takes place March 12–19. Events include fireworks, musical performances, street fairs, dance and of course—the parade itself through Dublin.

Get in on the act! Come to Paddy's Party in Dublin. Spend a few days—or a week. Enjoy Dublin!

Compared to many places in Western Europe, Dublin accommodation is not cheap. Compared to everywhere else in Ireland, it is positively exorbitant! However, like anywhere, you get what you pay for...and the quality is excellent. Like most tourist and visitor-oriented sites in Dublin, the city hotels are split into those to the north of the river Liffey, and those to the south. The majority of accommodation is located either in the Temple Bar area or around Merrion Square and St. Stephen's Green. The Temple Bar area remains busy until extremely late—especially on weekends. If you value your sleep, stay somewhere less central. Dublin is small enough so any hotel in the city is within walking distance to all the central attractions. The best-located hotels are south of the river.

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day and the year 2004 festivities in Ireland on a scenic and historical tour. Enjoy traditional entertainment and visits to heritage sites.

Our 7-night St. Patrick's Week—Ireland program is priced from $889 per person, double-occupancy, land-only. Air Fare is based upon availability at time of purchase. The program runs March 13–20, and includes—

  • First-Class hotels in Limerick, Athlone, Dublin and Killarney
  • Irish Breakfast daily
  • Five dinners
  • Deluxe Motorcoach transport and touring
  • Driver/guide
  • Visits to Kilmainham Jail, Galway Bay, the Cliffs of Moher and of course the St. Paddy's Parade
Find out more about St. Patrick's Week—March 13–20, 2004
But...First see below...
Note—you will need your FREE Acrobat Reader—Get it here

Now—Reserve Your Emerald Holiday
I gotta be in Dublin, Celebrat'n St. Paddy's Day—2004!

Shamrock Club
Marilyn King is an Ireland Specialist certified by Tourism Ireland. Their Shamrock Club is the official organization for preferred agents promoting Ireland. Marilyn has been an official member of The Shamrock Club since May 2003.



2 for 1–Offer ends April 29,2004

"Unique. Charming. Tranquil. Nourishing. Restorative. Invigorating. Uplifting. Inspiring. Adventurous. All these words define the nature of 'living well.' That is what the New Age Health Spa in Neversink, NY is all about."—Northern Valley Suburbanite, February 2003
New Age Health Spa is located on 280 acres of woodland adjacent to the New York Catskill Forest Preserve—only two hours from Manhattan. This all-inclusive spa resort offers health-enhancing services for women and men in a nurturing environment. Included in rates are three healthful meals daily, complete use of spa facilities, and unlimited participation in scheduled activities. And since a spa stay is incomplete unless you can melt the stress away with a massage, complement your stay with over 20 therapeutic spa treatments conducted in a contemporary spa facility.

Reserve your New Age Health Spa vacation at the single-occupancy rate and bring a friend for FREE to share a double-occupancy accommodation.

Package includes: A 2-night minimum and 4-night maximum stay are required Valid through April 29th, 2004–Sunday through Thursday nights. Note: For this special offer Holidays are excluded.

New Age Spa Treatment New Age prides itself on state-of-the-art facilities, a highly trained staff, and a wide range of programs dedicated to integration of body, mind, and spirit. A great destination for solo travelers, it also caters to couples-with some spa rooms equipped with two beds to accommodate tandem treatments. Whether alone or with loved ones, the opportunity to view life from a new perspective is yours when you visit the New Age Health Spa.

New Age Health Spa offers spa treatments and private consultations to help you look and feel your best. Body therapies, inspired by healing traditions found throughout the world, create a sense of enhanced wellness. Muscle soothing massage, skin conditioning body wraps, and anti-aging facials rejuvenate your body. Consultations addressing health issues such as weight and stress management provide you with a recipe for a more balanced way of life.

Intimate and charming lodges at New Age accommodate guests year round. Attractively appointed country-inn style guest rooms are housed in five separate cottages. Each guestroom has a private bath, an individual thermostat for heat control, and air conditioning.

New Age Spa Cuisine The dining experience at New Age offers great tasting, highly nutritious meals that are low in fat, sugar, sodium, and cholesterol. Creative chefs work closely with nutrition staff to prepare nourishing and well-balanced meals. Only the freshest and highest quality ingredients are used- many grown right on-site in the three greenhouses and extensive gardens. If you are concerned with reducing caloric intake, the nutritional value and coordinating portion sizes are listed next to each food choice.

Fitness facilities at New Age include a fully equipped gym, heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a sunshine-filled exercise studio hosting innovative cardiovascular, muscle-conditioning, and stretch classes each day. The "Cayuga Yoga & Meditation Center" is home to the New Age Spiritual program. Classes in yoga, tai chi, meditation, and qi gong, suitable for both beginners and advanced students, take place daily in this sanctuary featuring a field stone fireplace and indoor waterfall.

For the outdoor enthusiast, New Age offers one of the best hiking programs in the Catskills. Additionally, over five miles of groomed trails encompass the spa property accommodating a variety of seasonal activities-it's a true nature-lover's retreat.

Every spa destination has a specialty " something that makes you say, "Wow! That was worth the trip." Here, highlighted are some truly exceptional, memorable features.

Greenthumbs—Open daily, three greenhouses provide the spa chefs with many of the herbs, sprouts, and salad greens used in New Age recipes. In season, a large outdoor vegetable garden and orchard are also maintained. Visit independently or participate in weekly greenhouse tours.

Private Dancer—Join Ray Smith, a professional dancer, and learn the fundamentals of dance to rhythms of cabaret-style music: Broadway, Latin, jazz, and modern. You will learn to perform shimmies and various Fosse-style movements, as well as steps to the Samba, Promenade, and Two-Step.

Climbing New Heights—The Alpine Tower is a free standing, 50' high climbing structure, with over 25 different ways to get to the top. Approaches include rope ladders, swinging logs, a seesaw, and more than 130 handholds. You wear a harness tethered to a rope controlled by two teammates on the ground. Work to overcome limiting thought patterns and attitudes. Redefine your own strengths and abilities.

Serenity Now—To enhance the serenity of the Spa environment, televisions and telephones are found only in common areas. Televisions with VCR's are located in two lounges, accessible 24 hours a day. Three payphones are available for outgoing calls, while incoming callers can leave messages for you with the staff. It's a true escape from the everyday.

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