Previous month:
February 2012
Next month:
April 2012

Renovations aboard the M/S Paul Gauguin

m/s Paul Gauguin Cruise Ship

As cruise ships go the m/s Paul Gauguin is unique, not just that for the past fourteen years it has cruised the same Tahitian waters, but it was one of the first small luxury cruise ships. I was pleased to read that the ship had just completed a significant renovation. Having cruised on her not long after her original christening my memories were of a sparkling new ship with deep, dark woods and shinny fixtures. Over the years her ownership has changed, as has the paint on her stack, but it is good to hear she is back in all her splendor.

Renovations were completed during a recent 11 day dry dock in Australia. Extensive work was done to both the interior and exterior of the ship. The Gauguin's cabins and public spaces were all enhanced during this $7 million upgrade.  For more details visit the PGCruises website.

With her exotic ports-of-call, this ship is still a favorite for romantics. I suggest a few days in Papeete before boarding to get caught up with the time zone change. Over the years, "arrive early" this been the one suggestion I always hear from ships staffs, especially in far flung locals such as this.

Pamela Ford with Black Pearl necklace.
Memories flood back from that cruise 13 years ago with my girlfriend who would later become my Wife. In one of the little island shops I bought her a Tahitian black pearl. For several years that black pearl graced her neck from around a chain, it then moved to a custom setting on her finger. She enjoyed that pearl for 13 years, but sadly the ring now graces her daughters hand. Last year ovarian cancer took my beautiful wife Pamela Ford at the age of 50.

Seeing the press release on the m/s Paul Gauguin renovation took me back to my photo archives and the memories of what was the perfect start to a fantastic life together.... And the reoccurring question I had for Pamela after every cruise since...."was it as nice at the Paul Gauguin?"... The answer was always "No"....

Pamela Ford, 1960-2011 & m/s Paul Gauguin
All Photos From Archive - Copyright Murray On Travel

Link to Orignal Cruise & Photos

Living it Up in Portland’s Crystal Hotel

If you happen to find yourself in Portland Oregon, whether for business or leisure, you can be sure that The McMenamins Crystal Hotel is one of the coolest locations you can visit. You will definitely enjoy the mild and pleasant climate, as well as the amazing variety of roses that grow so well in this area. In fact, Portland has been recognized as “The City of Roses.” The International Rose Test Garden is also undeniably a must-see if you do visit the city.

Street view of the McMenamins Crystal Hotel.
To make your stay truly enjoyable, you have to make sure that you book a reasonable accommodation. The McMenamins Crystal Hotel, which is right across the famous Crystal Ballroom, will ensure that your stay is not only comfortable and pleasant, but also extremely memorable. From the hotel, you can enjoy easy access to a number of intriguing commercial establishments so that you can truly immerse yourself in the Portland experience.

Crystal Hotel Guestroom
When choosing the best hotel to stay in, cleanliness and comfort are the first two considerations that come to mind. The Crystal Hotel will undoubtedly go well beyond these requirements. Not only does its rooms offer the best in comfort, but they are also well-furnished and stylishly designed. Whether you choose to stay in a queen or king room, you will still be able to enjoy a magnificent view of the city. Hotel Website.

Staying at the Crystal Hotel offers other perks, such as access to their saltwater pool. You can also purchase tickets to Crystal Ballroom shows, making your stay even more entertaining and memorable. Just don’t forget to inform the hotel two days in advance if you wish to book tickets for yourself and your companions.

Saltwater pool inside the Crystal Hotel.
If there aren’t any shows in the Ballroom, your entertainment requirements will surely be met at Al’s Den. This bar features musical performances by a wide range of artists and is a terrific place to relax and have fun.

Of course, staying at a good hotel does not just involve having good sleeping quarters. Your wining and dining experiences must be top notch as well. The Ringlers Annex is one of the places where you can leisurely sip your coffee or get a hearty meal. If you feel like having a glass or two of wine, this is the place to be. You can also visit their cellar and sample their impressive selection. For more dining options, you can check out the menu at Zeus Café where you can dine indoors or al fresco, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Hotels Zeus Cafe.
Staying at the Crystal Hotel is already a pleasure in itself, but they do have some offers to sweeten the deal a bit more. You can choose from the special packages they offer, depending on the occasion or your preference. For instance, the Hammerhead Package adds breakfast and dinner to the regular twin occupancy rate, but offers everything at a more competitive price.

If you are staying at the hotel with your significant other and would like to take things up a notch, you would also do well to avail of the Romance Package. Special treats for couples await you, such as sparkling wine and chocolates. It will certainly make your stay more noteworthy than it already is.

The Crystal Hotel, in all its glamour, is unquestionably a great place to hold events. In fact, it is an ideal wedding reception venue for couples who wish to keep a festive and elegant vibe to the festivities with minimal effort. The Crystal Ballroom can accommodate as much as a thousand guests, so space will be the least of your concerns. Just kick back and enjoy the celebration! The same space can also be booked if you wish to put on a big show, such as a concert.

The Crystal Hotel is truly a gem, whether you are simply searching for great accommodations in Portland or scouting for the ideal venue for your next significant event.  Photos provided by property.