Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    It was 22 years ago when I arrived in Canada and chose Calgary, Alberta to be my home.  Leaving my family and friends behind, it was a new adventure for me to be in a new country without knowing anyone.  That was the time I looked for a Filipino community paper and never found any, [...]

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Page added on November 22, 2009

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CRUISING THE MEDITERRANEAN PART I

CRUISING THE MEDITERRANEAN PART I thumbnail

TRAVEL REVIEW BY CK

On May 31st  when we boarded Norwegian Gem, the 1st impression I got was that it feels like home.  Almost half of the crew on board are Filipinos.  It only shows that the Filipinos excel in the hospitality industry because we are a happy bunch.  From their busboys to their Maitre D to the housekeeping all the way to the staff, you will see a lot of our fellow Pinoys on board.  Overall, the reception boarding the cruiseline is excellent.  We were set to sail for two days before we get to our first destination, VALLETA, MALTA.  You might think that 2 days of sailing is boring, that is not the case.  Cruising is just like all inclusive, you find everything on the cruiseline, from great food, great entertainment and lots more.  You also find casinos on board, art auction, selection of restaurant you can enjoy good food.  So just to give you a taste of what`s on board, here are some choices you can do when you`re sailing for a day or two:

¨ book your tours for your different port of destination

¨ Check out the bowling alley or the rock climbing wall

¨ Start shopping on the Trade Routes Boutique

¨ Get some free gaming lessons from the Gem Club Casino

¨ Watch the shows on board which runs every night from 7-8 or 8-9

¨ Have a look at the bridge in the Viewing Room Deck 11

¨ Join the welcome party at the lounge

¨ Visit the Yin & Yang Spa

These are just some of the things that you can do.  Every night, your housekeeper will leave you the program for the next day so you can plan you day ahead of time.  Isn`t that convenient for the guests to just sit back and enjoy while the cruise director and the hotel director lays out the program day to day while you are on board.

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First stop – VALLETA, MALTA

Europe’s Smallest Capital City in the Heart of the deep Blue Mediterranean Sea, Valletta is a Dynamic City which has never ceased to change and move forward, retaining its original beauty and splendor.

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Valletta and its Harbours have always responded to the dynamics of time and change. From a Maritime SuperCity of the 17th Century Valletta developed into a Cultural and Commercial Hub in the 18th Century, becoming yet again the strongest Naval Base in the Mediterranean during the 19th and mid-20th Century.

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Valletta is considered to be one of the finest harbours in the World and a unique experience to all seafarers and passengers sailing on the luxury yachts and liners.

Valletta is a city rich in cultural tradition. Compared to other older cities in Europe, Valletta is only 440 Years young, yet it has the stature, history and profile similar to its sister Capitals of Europe, proud of being a World Heritage City. Valletta is no fossilized crib, but a dynamic cultural and commercial hub full of activity, and an attraction to all. (for more info visit www.cityofvalleta.com)

The tour we took is called TREASURES OF MALTA,  our first stop was the visit too Mosta, where you’ll see one of the largest domes in Europe. The church was nearly destroyed during World War II when an Axis Bomb pierced the dome but failed to explode. The detonator was removed and the bomb is now on display in a small museum attached to the church. Then we drove to one of the local vineyards where some of Malta’s most delicate wines are produced. A wine tasting session accompanied by local specialties will follow. Afterward, visit a number of local artisans at work producing typical Maltese ware. We had some free time for shopping.  We also visited San Anton Gardens which surround the palace built in 1623, and which today is the residence of the President of the Republic of Malta. The garden as we know today was open to the public in 1882. One thing we were reminded before we go on this tour is to dress respectfully; no shorts or bare shoulders are allowed because a religious site is a part of the tour.









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