Every day, we have a chance to meet and work with many interesting people who have a zest for life and a passion for travel. In many cases, these valued clients become dear
friends of ours, along with our Voyage Hosts and their fellow guests. One such couple is Bill and Mary Ann Barry, who have been taking World Cruises for many years. We asked if they would share some highlights of their travel experiences and also provide insight on how they make the most out of their extended voyages. A first question often asked of World Cruisers is, “How did you first decide to go on a World Cruise?”
For the Barrys, it was friends who first suggested they join them on a World Cruise.“We’ve kept coming back because it was a perfect fit for traveling the world for us,” said Bill and Mary Ann.“Where else can you unpack once, and not worry about planes, trains, or buses? Going year after year, it has become like going to ‘summer camp,’ joining old friends, appreciating the friendly crew members, and meeting new and interesting people.”
One of the major benefits of World Cruises, due to the length and the far-flung destinations they reach, is the opportunity to take overland tours. In the hands of experienced guides and drivers, guests leave the ship for a number of days and tour (either with a small group or privately) some of the most coveted destinations on the planet. After the tour, they are transferred seamlessly back to the ship to continue the cruise.
The Barrys have taken advantage of this opportunity numerous times.“The number one reason to do a ‘trip within a trip’ is the fact that you do not have to fly halfway around the globe to get there,” said Mary Ann and Bill. “You’re already close with a short flight or drive in most cases. We’ve been lucky enough to go on several safaris in Africa and India, where we have viewed the Big Five, and chased Bengal tigers in India (with sightings every day for five days). In 2016, while on the world cruise, we plan to ‘hunt’ leopards with cameras in Sri Lanka on a seven day overland…just the two of us [with guide].”They cite two favorite overland destinations: one in Kruger National Park, specifically the Sabi Sands Reserve, and second, the tiger safari in Bandhavgarh Park out of Jabalpur, India. “We enjoyed every aspect of the trips from the flights, transfers, accommodations, safari vehicles, and the pampering of our African and Indian hosts. All of the excursions were beyond our expectations.”
The Barrys’ list of favorite destinations includes Singapore, “mainly because it is so civilized and safe, easy to get around on your own, and has fabulous sites, shopping, and dining.” Runners up include the South Pacific for its tropical setting and palm trees, along with Australia and New Zealand for the friendly people.They also have been known to search out the perfect pizza in destinations one might not expect to find it. Their first date was to a pizza place in San Francisco called Toto’s. Years later, they discovered another Toto’s, but it was in Naples, Italy. Some of their most memorable pizzas have been in Papeete (Tahiti), Nukualofa (Tonga), Sydney, Singapore, and Civitavecchia, the port city for Rome.
Yet to achieve on their bucket list? The Galapagos Islands, the Yangtze River and Three Gorges Dam in China, South Georgia Island on an Antarctic expedition ship, and a polar bear safari in the Arctic. With time, and help from Cruise Specialists, we’re confident they have many more enriching travel experiences in their future.
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