Bucket List travel blog locks in on people, experiences

This week, Princess Cruises reached the half-way point of it’s travel blog “50 Essential Experiences: The Travel Bucket List” with a post by Commodore Giuseppe Romano, senior captain of the Princess fleet. Different from others, this travel blog focuses on people, namely people who work for Princess Cruises and their personal, qualified experiences traveling the world.

Over the past 45 years, Princess ships have sailed to all seven continents with many of their employees logging thousands of sea and air miles visiting hundreds of places around the planet.

The 50 Essential Experiences blog asks of them: “You’ve seen it all. What places do I really need to have on my travel bucket list?”

For President and CEO Alan Buckelew it was about his time in Vietnam both as a soldier in 1969 and returning some 40 years later via cruise ship.

In A Soldier Returns…as a Tourist, Buckelew brings his experience right down to ground level, including the emotional, personal side of his travel back in time which could have gone a number of ways.

“I really hadn’t thought about how I would react to my return to Vietnam. However, I had expected a flood of memories to overtake me. But that didn’t happen. Faces did come to mind, but they weren’t of the young men with whom I had fought. Rather, they were their current portraits.”

Rooms Department Manager from the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, Kristen Helgren took us to Santorini, Greece.

In her blog post, The Sounds of Santorini, Helgren adventures through some preconceived notions about Greece and takes us along on a journey to the cliffs of Santorini.

“As our ship maneuvered to drop anchor at Santorini, I got my first glimpse of the island’s iconic steep cliffs. Though I may have glimpsed what towered above me at that point, my attention was actually focused downward, as I contemplated the fact that we had just sailed into a giant, submerged volcanic crater, or caldera.”

Rob Roberts, Manager of Shore Excursions for Europe & Exotics takes us on My Grand Tour of ancient sites and great cities of the Mediterranean.

In a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what goes into the research and planning of shore excursions he notes

“I remember reading Mark Twain’s “The Innocents Abroad” in college, which chronicled his own Grand Tour by steamship in 1867, and became one of his best-selling books of all time. To think that here I was, following in these grand footsteps as I helped to plan a similar experience for thousands of passengers”

In the most recent post, The Gift of the City of Lights, Commodore Romano goes into great detail, revealing a side of someone who lives at sea that is rarely seen. I met then Captain Romano several years ago when he presided over a renewal of wedding vows ceremony we enjoyed on board Star Princess. Knowing him then reading his post this week really drove home the notion that these are all real people, sharing their personal experiences with us. Romano tells of surprising his wife with a trip to Paris, a place she had dreamed of visiting one day.

“We boarded a flight from Miami to Paris under the guise that we were continuing on to Amsterdam. It wasn’t until we went to collect our luggage that I handed her a Fodor’s guide to Paris, her go-to book whenever the family joined me on board, and told her, “Happy Anniversary!” Knowing my sense of humor, she thought I was joking. But once she realized we were finally going to Paris, she was overjoyed”

These are just a few posts from this great blog that comes at us from a different angle than we see elsewhere. Reading about places you may not have been to or those you have visited many times, it is easy to see why they made the 50 Essential Experiences bucket list. If you have not been reading along, it’s not too late to catch up either. Sign up online and Princess will even email you when a new one comes out. With over a million hits so far and thousands of comments, this one is creating a lot of loyal readers and probably adding some destinations to more than a few bucket lists.

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