Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Off on a cruise...

On the Irrawaddy river in Myanmar

This month, Marsha of Splenderosa is really in need of some sunshine and suggested to the members of "By Invitation Only" to share their thoughts on vacationing on a cruise: when to go, where to go, what to wear etc...

I have to admit that the thought of going on a cruise has no appeal to me....sorry... Every year I would treat my parents to a cruise in different parts of the world. When the time comes that I can no longer go on far-away exotic trips, I will only then likely be seduced by the idea of traveling in luxury and being catered to.

My idea of a cruise is to travel quietly with no one on the boat but the required personnel, being able to relax completely without having to think on what to wear, what to eat. Years ago I found myself in an embarrassing situation while booking a short cruise on Ha-long Bay in Vietnam for 5 days . As always, I required total privacy and requested a private cruise. To our horror, the beautiful cruise ship, reminiscent of the traditional Vietnamese teak boats, came to pick my husband , children, our guide an I  and... no one else...only our 2 cabins were occupied. It was a dream as we had full freedom, no schedule, swam in the sea and went to visit an amazing island and traditional vietnamese floating boat-villages by small motorboat.

My favorite cruise was on the Irrawaddy river in Burma. The boat was rather small, perhaps 20 cabins, a beautiful traditional wheel boat that slowly passed through the most magnificent landscapes.  Only an other Canadian gentleman was on the cruise. For hours on end we would watch the local life, get fish from the fishermen, eat on deck... time had stopped ... I felt as one of the characters in George Orwell Burmese Days, a favorite novel which inspired me to take my family to Burma.  Not much had changed since...

I would suggest to anyone to once in their life, visit Burma, an extraordinary beautiful country. 

On deck at sunrise, with my sons

I pack VERY light! Washable items only, sunglasses, a hat, walking shoes, flipflops and my invaluable Prada flats in black, and silver. For this type of fairly exotic traveling, I tend to wear khaki pants or shorts with a white shirt and great belt.

In the evening I love to wear long printed cotton dresses. I tend to collect them from various countries, djellabahs from Marrakesh, Indian Saris, great dresses from Callypso.

A Bientot,


My Interieurs Design Studio website will be soon launching.... are you looking for a designer? Check out our website...www.interieurs.com

Please check out "By Invitation Only" members' posts....always inspiring


  1. I'm so much with you, Francine!
    I could not be on the kind of large cruise ships amongst hundred of people, not in hundred years, no matter the comfort, the so called luxury, or...
    Love small sailing boats, love old fashion boats, love traveling with maximum 2 more like minded friends. To have the freedom to stop where ever we feel like, to discover places, to stay as long as we want, to meet the local people - that is what I call luxury.
    Long time ago had the dream to visit Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. But nothing wrong with Burma.
    You always come up with something so interesting, full of heart and soul.
    Thank you for this wonderful post!
    Warmest greetings from the Périgord,

  2. Your cruise to Burma looks outstanding!! Such gorgeous photos. I prefer small cruise ships as well, but haven't had the pleasure of cruising on a ship, quite that small. It sounds wonderful. Enjoy your day.

  3. Ah ha! Our posts have so much in common, Francine that I was smiling throughout reading yours. Actually, your Burma trip reminds me very much of the one that Remi and I took up the Mekong on a colonial style boat that was inspired by Pierre Loti. It too was small and we never felt too in contact with the other passengers, which was great as we also prefer alone-time, especially when traveling for work.
    I will look forward to the launch of your new website...
    With all of my Best from Provence,

  4. Wow....what a trip of a lifetime. Burma huh? Sounds incredible and looks AMAZING. I love all the stylish clothes too..right up my alley!

  5. What an extraordinary experience that voyage must have been, and your photos are beautiful. As for your packed items, clearly, both practical and pretty.

    I marvel at the adventurous spirit it takes to make a trip of this sort. Absolutely inspiring.

  6. Bonjour Francine! I love the water, but I don't think I could be on a cruise for too long. I love to WALK and explore on the shore and in villages and cities! But the thought is quite romantic and if one was offered to me, I would take it! But I prefer PROVENCE.....

  7. I need to go read about YOU!Something tells me your European!Enjoy those TWO BOYS……..they will be gone in a FLASH!I too have two boys!24 and 26.
    Your photos are just beautiful!

  8. So lovely that you have highlighted Asia as the destination for your cruises….so much beauty, so much history and so many fabulous visual details to ingest…a wonderful destination for those who seek beauty in all of its guises.

  9. Ahhhh, my beautiful Francine, I do so love your style and spirit. You are awesome, my lady.
    Now. I've just got to get some kaiki's and white shirts just like yours, they look lovely on you, Well, actually, you always look lovely. And, the idea of this type of sailing makes me happy. Doing what others do is the only way to truly learn. xx's

  10. Hi Francine, I love your approach to taking a cruise. My husband and I share your philosophy that some day, when we can no longer manage to travel on our own to the places we want to explore, perhaps then it will be time to give cruise ships (although small ones) a try. Until then, the way you sailed in Burma or Vietnam is what I would prefer. What amazing adventures, and I love that what you picked to pack is perfectly chic, but so laid back!

    Thanks so much for popping by to say hello yesterday. I'm thrilled to be part of this wonderful group!

  11. Hi Francine. I just adore the photo of you and your sons on deck at sunrise...how special is that?

    Sending hugs and good wishes



  12. well I have to say I do not like cruises, but we had our own cruiser and I did like going to the Islands, Big Difference. Best to just rent one, the expense to maintain it was wicked.
    Happy Day when we sold it. I would love your trip.

  13. Have you see the news, all those people became ill on the Cruise ship.
    I think the best way is the way you did it. How have you been Francine?
    Hope you are enjoying the Spring. yvonne


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