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16
T
hey explored
the Cu Chi tunnels
used by the Viet Cong during
the VietnamWar. They sipped
Singapore Slings at Raffles Hotel in
Singapore. They laughed at the antics
of the Barbary macaque monkeys in
Gibraltar and rode the elephants in Koh
Samui, Thailand. It’s all part of having an
adventure; of going somewhere in the
world that you might never otherwise
visit. It’s being able to see a new city
every day and to explore the diverse
cultures of far-off places. For Jim and
Sherryn Anderson, the yearly cruise to
an exciting new destination adds the
perfect balance to their more tranquil
snowbird lifestyle in Treasure Island,
Florida.
Jim and Sherryn aren’t snowbirds in the
usual sense of the term. That is, they
don’t go south for the winter and return
in the spring. Rather, they go south for
three or four non-consecutive months
in the winter, coming home for a week
or two at a time. They also travel south
during the hot summer months. And,
they enjoy driving south in October
to admire the changing leaf colours.
Then they are back home again for the
months of November and December.
“Our winter/spring months in Florida
are broken up with trips back to Toronto
for birthdays, grandbaby visits and
various other commitments,” explains
Sherryn. “We also enjoy a few weeks
down south in the summer and in the
fall. Our Florida life is now as social as
our Toronto life, so we like going back
throughout the year to catch up with
friends, play on our boat and eat in our
favourite restaurants.”The time spent
in Treasure Island is mostly low-key,
filled with golfing, boating, exploring
little beach towns, shopping and relax-
ing. “Our home is on the Intracoastal
Waterway,” says Sherryn. “So sitting on
our deck with a beverage watching the
boats go by is a great pastime!”
Their cruising escapades shake things
up a bit, adding that special “zing” to an
already enjoyable – yet peaceful – snow-
bird existence. “I wanted
to go on a cruise for years,”
recalls Sherryn. “But Jim
was skeptical. He didn’t like
the idea of being stuck on
a ship for days at a time. He
thought it would be too
slow-paced.”As it turned
out, their first cruise was
anything but slow-paced.
“We got off the boat every
day,” says Sherryn. That
first cruise…in August of
2009…took them through
the Mediterranean – from
Venice to Barcelona – with
day trips to Dubrovnik (Croatia), Corfu
(Greece), the Amalfi Coast, Rome and
Florence (Italy), Provence (France),
Monte Carlo (Monaco) and Palma de
Mallorca (Spain). Four years later, Jim
and Sherryn have partially travelled
the globe, with cruises from Lisbon to
Rome, Rome to Venice, Miami to Los
Angeles through the Panama Canal,
Singapore to Hong Kong, and the Baltic
Sea, starting in Stockholm and ending
in Dover with three days spent in St.
Petersburg (and a day trip to Moscow).
This year’s upcoming trip will take them
from Istanbul to Rome, with day stops
through the Greek Islands. “We always
use the same cruise line,” says Sherryn.
“Oceania Cruises caters to the 50+
crowd, with most people being between
50 and 70 years old.”Oceania operates
four ships: two 30,277-ton, 684-pas-
senger ships (Regatta and Nautica) and
two 66,084-ton, 1,258 passenger ships
(Marina and Riviera). The cruises sail to
more than 330 ports around the world,
offering unique guided tours that com-
bine the “must-see” attractions with the
off-the-beaten path locales. The cruise
line offers multiple overnight excursions
and late-night departures, allowing pas-
sengers to experience each destination
to its fullest. All ships share an open-
seating dining policy, with a variety of
restaurants and lounges on board. “The
food is really good,” says Sherryn. “You
can choose to sit alone or to sit with
other people. We normally choose to
sit with other people, because we enjoy
socializing.”The majority of passengers
are American, followed by Canadians,
Australians and Britons.
“One of the things we like best about
cruising is that it provides us with an
easy way to see the world,” says Sherryn.
“We get to see places that we wouldn’t
normally visit. If we aren’t particularly
keen on a certain destination, we don’t
feel badly because we’ve only been
there for a short time. It’s not as though
we’ve spent thousands of dollars and
two or three weeks in a place that we
don’t like.”On the flip side, they enjoy
having a “taste” of each destination
because, if there’s a place that they like,
they can plan a later, perhaps more ex-
tensive visit. One of their stops brought
them to Berlin. “It’s such an interesting
city,” says Sherryn. “The history is fascin-
ating. It’s definitely a place that we’d like
to see again.”
Jim and Sherryn are lucky; they get
the best of both worlds – travelling the
globe and relaxing in the Florida sun.
“We really enjoy our lifestyle right now,”
says Sherryn. “There’s the excitement
of cruising and the familiarity of going
“home” to Florida. Anticipation is half
the fun of any trip-planning, whether it
be figuring out our next cruise or count-
ing down the days to sitting on our deck
in Treasure Island, watching the
palm trees sway!”
Snowbird
profile
Sherryn and Jim Anderson