More Moorea Please!

After a two-day sail from the Cook Islands, the Paul Gauguin arrived in Opunohu Bay at the ruggedly beautiful island of Moorea in French Polynesia.  The iconic peak, Bali Hai, dominates the mountainous landscape of the island’s interior and inviting, crystal clear waters in the lagoon provide splendid swimming and snorkeling opportunities. Actually no Polynesian ever named this mountain Bali Hai.  James Mitchener made it up when he wrote Tales of the South Pacific after he was stationed in the New Hebrides Islands during World War II.  The song, Bali Hai, from the Rogers and Hammerstein 1949 musical South Pacific was a…

Cook Islands

About 300 miles south of Bora Bora lies Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands.  The Paul Gauguin spent a day and a night at sea getting here.  Kongo loved it. A day at sea with rocking and rolling and endless horizons brought back many fond memories of the monkey’s seagoing days in the Navy.  This time he didn’t have to worry about contact reports, engineering status, how much fresh water was available, or fuel states.  He just had to worry about whether or not to have a Pina Colada or a vodka martini.  There were storm clouds on the…

Life at Flip Flop Speed

‘La ora na from Papeete, French Polynesia.  The monkey is now moving at the speed of a flip flop.  In other words; slowly.  Kongo landed in Tahiti late last night and is rapidly getting used to doing nothing at all but deciding whether or not to sleep or see local sights.  Maybe something to eat.  Something to drink.  He opted for all of it. His two day stay in Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, is a short prelude to boarding the Paul Gaugin cruise ship for an 11-day cruise around the Cook and Society Islands. Kongo is at the Intercontinental…

European River Cruise Basics

If you’re of a certain age and watch TV you have seen plenty of commercials about river cruising.  Long boats ply navigable rivers all over Europe.  Some companies are planning cruise itineraries on U.S. rivers too.  Like all travel options there are pros and cons.  This post examines Kongo’s take on river cruising in Europe.

AMA Waterways Rhine River Cruise Review

Kongo recently took a river cruise — The Enchanting Rhine — aboard AMAWaterways™ AMASonata from Amsterdam to Zurich.  This trip included a 7-night water cruise with two day land excursions to both Lucerne and Zurich.  If you’re thinking about a river cruise in the near future Kongo hopes you read on.

Monkey Aboard

After two days in Budapest, Kongo checks aboard the AMA DOLCE for the seven day cruise up the Danube River to Nuremberg, Germany with many stops along the way. This little monkey quickly made friends with the ship staff and other passengers. He is now the “world famous” Kongo. The following pictures give an overview of the great accommodations aboard the Dolce. In another hour or so he will arrive in Bratislava, Slovakia.