Dream Destination LogoDream Destinations       Your journey begins here!
Dream Destinations Newsletter # 8
January 2013 
In This Issue
Specialty Dining on Celebrity Solistice Class Ships
Our Pinterest Site
Feature Photo
Hank's Europe Geo Quiz # 5
Why Use Us?
An Update on AMA River Cruising
Answers to Geo Quiz # 5
Hank & Anne Cron Castle Ireland
Dear Travel Friends

We hope you like our new newsletter!  For 16 years Anne & I have been proud to help our friends visit the wonderful DREAM DESTINATIONS of this world.  As you know, we specialize in cruises and European travel. Your journey begins here! 
Don't hesitate to call us for more information at 713-397-0188 (Hank) or 832-244-0215 (Anne).
We are happy to help!

Anne Schrader

 Certified Travel Consultant
 Accredited Cruise Counselor


Hank Schrader, USMA '71

Certified Western European Destination Specialist

Dream Destinations

Your journey begins here!

11911 Fountain Brook Dr
Pearland, Texas 77584


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Both Anne & Hank are  Western Europe Destinations Specialists conferred by The Travel Institute



 Anne Making Pizza   

  Anne making Pizza on the Celebrity Reflection    Photo Hank Schrader

Specialty Dining on Celebrity Solstice Class Ships



To say I love good food is an understatement-I never realized how much I am into great meals until we met the Traveling Director of Specialty Dining on our recent cruise on the new Celebrity Reflection. He called me a "Foodie!" Now, I have written about food in the Hudson River Valley (two publications while I was teaching at West Point) and won the most creative cooking award in a cooking contest for Monterrey Life Magazine, but no one ever called me a "Foodie" before, although it fits! So here is a "Foodie" take on the great dining of the Celebrity Solstice Class Ships-let's savor it together.


I would be remiss if I did not first tell you that the food and service in the main dining room is excellent-it is so good that I often found myself wanting to eat there and at the specialty restaurants on the same night-a feat my advanced age and expanding waistline no longer need-oh for my younger days in the military when I could eat two meals in a night and not gain weight!


There are six Specialty Dining Venues on Solstice class ships available to all guests for a nominal fee.


Two, the Bistro on Five and the Poarch serve breakfast and lunch type menus. The Bistro at Five is an upscale yet casual atmosphere with a menu that features crepes, sandwiches (especially pininis) soups and salads. This may be the best keep secret on the ship-at lunch you will often see off duty ship officers eating here-it's that good. Click on this link to see our photos on Pinterest.  The Poarch is an outdoor version of this concept on the upper deck-al fresco dining. I enjoyed some Belgium waffles and Anne had a breakfast panini-what a way to start the day! To see some awesome pictures, Please click on this link.


Murano is named for the Venetian island where master glassblowers created works of arts of works but on the Solstice class ships, they create delectable, elegant food. We had the chateaubriand for two-a really savory meal. Here is the link to see this elegant dining establishment.


The Tuscan Grill is a steakhouse with an Italian flair. It features rustic and hearty dishes with an awesome wine list. We have eaten 3 times on two different ships-it is awesome. We have had steaks, shellfish, pasta and deserts to die for--when you see some of the foods in our pictures it will make you want to go right now! Here is the link for the Tuscan Grill.


The Lawn Club Grill is an outdoor grill with a killer menu-you make your own pizza, then you grill a steak or seafood-or you can have the grill masters do it for you. What could be better-a real lawn (on a ship), grilled food and great people and you can cook or just sit back and let them cook for you-unique and great food-they even have lobster mac as a side dish-no kidding. Here are some great pictures of the Lawn Club Grill.


The most unique dining venue is Qsine-you start out ordering from an I Pad menu and the food is served in the most unique presentation you will ever see! The portions are served in boxes, mini grills or silver bullets-its wild! The food matches the presentation. Luckily the waiters will help you decide because there are so many choices. Check it out to learn more about this fun dining establishment.


There is one other specialty restaurant, called "Blu" but it is only available to AquaClass guests. It is a more healthy approach to dining. Here are some neat pictures about this great dining room.


Food is an art at Celebrity and everyone is proud to make the best possible meals for your pleasure. We have sailed on 3 ships for close to a month's worth of time and can tell you the food alone makes the journey a great experience.

Why not let us help you experience a Celebrity cruise in the future-just give us a call!


Dream Destinations-your journey begins here!



 We are European & Cruise travel experts--we can make your trip special--call on us to help you find your Dream Destinations!




Santorini Greece 

 Photo Anne Schrader 


Our Pinterest Site

Want to see some really cool pictures about our travels?  Then you need to visit our Pinterest site by clicking here.

We have 311 pictures on 29 different subject boards. 

Do you want to see the most scenic part of the Rhine River with 23 pictures of castles? 

Or maybe you would like to see the Famous Landmarks of Europe. 

Or perhaps you want to see pictures of a river cruise ship or ocean cruise ships. 

And maybe the best feature of all is the unique door pictures of various countries-I promise you these are cool! 

If you are into food, check out our Specialty Dining boards-your mouth will be watering. 

Most of the pictures are taken by Anne-she really is a very good photographer. 

So I invite you to see some awesome pictures, learn about the places we regularly travel to and let your imagination run wild as we show you some Dream Destinations you may want to visit!





Chain Bridge    
  Feature Photo

Schonbuhl Castle, Wachau Valley, on the Danube River 
Photo Hank Schrader


Hank's Europe Geo Quiz #5 

I am a former high school world geography and AP human geography teacher. Ok, class is in session--Good Luck!


1)      One famous square in London commemorates a famous naval battle in which the English defeated the combined French & Spanish Fleets in 1805. The hero of that battle was an admiral named Lord Nelson and he stands tall above the square on a column. What is the name of the square (it is also the name of the cape in southwest Spain where the naval battle took place)?

2)      What two European Countries claim to be the originator of French Fries? What are French Fries known as in the United Kingdom and Ireland?

3)      Europe is a continent of peninsulas (a peninsula has water on 3 sides)-it has 5 major peninsulas. Only one of these 5 is occupied by one country. Can you name the country that occupies this peninsula? (Hint-the name of the country is also the name of the peninsula)

4)      One of the really scenic places of Europe is Lake Bled in Slovenia. Part of this beauty is the rugged mountain range near the lake. What is the name of this mountain range (hint-the answer is two words)

5)      One of the most renowned train rides of the world starts in Paris and ends in Istanbul. What is this train ride most commonly known as? (Hint-Agatha Christie wrote a famous story about this train ride for her Belgium detective, Herucle Poirot and it has been made into several movies.)

Each question is worth 20 points.  For Question 2, each correct country is worth 10 points. 


90-100    You are a smart Europe Geo genius!

70-85      You know a lot!

60 or less  You spent too much time in the     Pub with Hank, but this quiz will boost your Geo IQ!


Answers are at the bottom of this newsletter!

Why Use Us?
Anne & Hank on the Celebrity Silhouette 2011
The value we add to our customers:
1. It costs you nothing for us to plan your travel.
2. We have 16 years experience--we help you get the best value for your dollar --saves you time & money!
3.  Book it yourself & you are on your own--we can help you avoid problems & help resolve disputes.
4.  We are small enough to give you personalized service, yet big & experienced enough to get you the right trip.
5.  We are honest, hard working with one goal--to serve you--we will do what is best for you not us.


 An Update on AMA River Cruising 


Swans in our Room  on the AMACerto

Photo Anne Schrader

In our December 2011 Newsletter, I wrote about all the wonderful things you get on a river cruise from AMA Waterways. Anne & I were fortunate enough to take a river cruise on the Danube to see the start of the Christmas markets in Europe in late November 2012. If you remember back to my last article about river cruising, our first trip embarked from Nuremburg Germany to Budapest Hungary-this time we started in Budapest and sailed west to Nuremburg. So why would we take basically the same trip twice?

Even though many of the ports were the same, it was even a better trip a second time-which is saying a lot since the first trip was off the charts in my opinion. So why was it better? First, there were a couple of new destinations-Durnstein Austria and Bratislava, Slovakia. Both destinations were very interesting-Durnstein is a small wine village with the castle ruins where Richard the Lionhearted was held prisoner for a ransom during one of his crusades. Bratislava is the capitol of Slovakia. Second, we went on the new AMACerto, the latest of the excellent luxury river boats, with its added specialty dining room. The specialty dining is quite an experience-hard to believe but it ups the already awesome food we had on the cruise. Last but not least, the added new shore trips (at no extra charge) have a new twist called "Culinary Delights--Bites and Sights"-a shorten guided tour of the port combined with a food tasting or even a chance to participate in making the food you later will get to eat. For me, the best way to learn about the culture of a country, region or town is through their special food. Bites and Sights are complimentary although they are usually limited to only 20 people and offered on a first come, first served basis. The great thing about this new shore excursion is that it is available on all 10 ships of the AMA fleet.

An AMA river cruise  has many advantages-it is a floating luxury hotel; the staff is awesome (they become your friends); the food is great; and you walk off the ship right in the middle of town or so close you get max time in port. To make this even better, there are special themed cruises in 2013-21 wine cruises in Europe-including the Rhone, Seine, Danube Rhine and Douro Rivers; Jewish Heritage Tours; a special Gourmet Cruise (Oct 22, 2013); and a Jazz Cruise (Apr 22 2013).

Please check out our website for some power point slide shows at www.dreamdestinations.com and visit us at www.pinterest.com/visitdd to see pictures and learn more.

If you are a veteran European traveler (40 years +) or a novice-a river cruise on AMA is one of the best ways to really see Europe!

I think this is our message here-we know the rivers well, we know this product and we know how to match your needs on a vacation to make it the best possible value.

Give us a call to help you see Europe in a way you will never forget.

Dream Destinations-your journey begins here!

Answers to Hank's Geo Quiz # 5
  1. Trafalgar Square
  2. Belgium and France. French fries are called chips in the British Isles.
  3. Italy occupies all the land mass of the Italian Peninsula.
  4. The Julian Alps.
  5. The Orient Express. The official name of this luxury train ride is the Venice-Simplon-Orient Express. If you want to go bring your tux and formal wear and a lot of cash-it costs $19,900 for a suite cabin shared by two!


90-100        You are a smart Europe genius!

70-85          You know a lot!

60 or less   You spent too much time in the Pub with Hank, but this quiz will boost your Geo IQ!


A Travel


Anyone who books a trip  with us before January 31 2013, has their choice of one of 2 great gifts.  One gift is the Richard Solo Smart Back up Battery for iPhones or iPods (certain models).  The second gift is the WineHug, a protective travel case for a wine bottle.  These gifts will be provided to our clients upon final  non-refundable payment for their trip.  This is just one way Dream Destinations goes the extra mile just for you!
Offer Expires: January 31, 2013 while supplies last