What do American cruisers like? a. Good service b. Comfortable surroundings & space c. Good food d. Price vs. value My wife and I recently sailed on the MSC Divina out of Miami to answer this question: Can this Italian cruise line known for its Mediterranean lifestyle relate to the American market? Historically, MSC has been on the waters of the world for more than five decades, mostly as the second-largest container shipping company. It started in the cruising market in the 1960s by buying older ships and providing “low cost” cruising for the European market. The next 30 years saw growth and disaster as it lost some of these earlier ships. Several name changes brought us to MSC Cruises in 1997 along with newer ships. In 2010 they began to build new large ships of 139,000 tons to carry about 3,500 passengers. The MSC Divina is one of those ships and let me say right up front, it is a beautiful ship. BUT, that 139,000-ton ship (built for 3,500) can sail with as many as 4,300 passengers. We sailed with more than 4,000 passengers. Might this be a space issue? The décor is delightful and the color scheme is, in most cases, perfect. BUT, they have the worst pillows
4 Culinary Adventures was founded on the proposition that travelers should immerse themselves in the culture & native food of their destinations. That begins with your lodging. On a recent trip to Southern California, my wife and I found lodging that fit the bill in a quiet neighborhood in West Hollywood. The Le Parc Hotel is a renovated four-story apartment building, which meant we had a large room that was once efficiency. It came with a fireplace, a kitchenette, and a large living area with a step-up bedroom. The icing on the cake, for my wife, was a separate dressing table and a walk-in closet. This was ultimate comfort for less than $220/night. PLUS free valet parking—you must have a car in California!
By Patrick Barney
At the age of 6, I made my first Foodie decision and unknowingly began my Travel, Eat, & Learn journey. It seemed innocuous at the time. I took a stand as I stood at the movie concession counter, said no to popcorn, and began my obsession with RAISINETS®. I chose sugar over salt. Never would I have popcorn stuck in my throat, nor would I spend my evenings trying to get corn shells out of my teeth. Rather my tongue would forever be clothed in chocolate and the enamel on my teeth would begin their lifelong struggle to survive. My fondest childhood memories are punctuated with food. My first date with Irene featured a milkshake and burger at the great Greenway Drive-in in Delaware in 1957.
Join Patrick Barney as he explores his love of travel & food around the world & in his home town of Las Vegas.