We, Renaissance/Journeys Travel that is, are members of a travel consortium called Ensemble.

Each year they take the owners of the Top 25 agencies in both Canada and the United States and their spouses on a special trip to honour their achievement of reaching that tier in each country.

We have been in that Top 25 in each of the last three years, and as such are now being entertained royally aboard Holland America’s newest cruise ship, the Nieuw Amsterdam.

It is our fourth cruise on Holland America and this is a worthy addition to their fleet. While only on our second day everything has been absolutely perfect, and Ensemble has arranged a exceptional series of private functions on this Western Caribbean experience.

Today we were at Half Moon Cay, their private island, and over the next few days we will make three other port stops which I will report on as we spend time there.

For Rae and I it is a fortunate itinerary since other than today’s stop we have not been to Costa Maya, Mexico, the Grand Cayman’s or Grand Turk.

I will be happy to talk about the Holland American experience or other trip you may be planning.

I certainly will do a report on this new vessel for the Winnipeg Free Press in the future, and if you would like to see other destination stories go to and clik to destination stories on the bottom.

Likewise look over the site for great travel related products, with free ship close or far.

Time to go drink and dine again. Tough life!