Articles written by: Lou Freed

Lou Freed

With dual Masters' degrees in Education and Art, Lou Freed's experience has ranged from teaching English as a foreign language to publishing travel articles in Cruise Critic and various military publications. For several years, she has contributed a regular column to the NATO-Naples community newspaper, Panorama, on Italian cultural events (art, music, food and festivals). With abundant travel opportunities at her doorstep, she travels often with her husband James, a travel photographer and collaborator. Ms. Freed is passionate about sharing the cultural and travel insights she has gleaned from living in Italy for 10+ years, as well as the many other northern European and Mediterranean countries she has visited. Lou Freed resides in Pozzuoli , Italy, just outside of Naples.

Executive Chef David Reihana
Chefs of Distinction / Chronological / Cruises / Food

Culinary Affairs to Remember at Portofino and the Chops Grille Before Navigator of the Seas Goes Under the Knife

“Once the ship has been revitalized from dry dock in 2014, future guests will experience new and varied specialty restaurants on the Navigator of the Seas,” Executive Chef David Reihana commented during our brief encounter with the New Zealand native. “Portofino has been around for a long time, but it […]

Chocolate Easter egg in Barcelona
Africa / Chronological / Cruises / Destinations / Europe / Food

Barcelona Gourmet Walking Tour and MSC Cruise Revive Easter Past

A “blast from the past,” can be a shot of adrenalin. After childhood images of beautifully hand-painted Easter eggs popped into my head last winter, I sprang into action this spring to revive enduring memories. Hubby and I subsequently decided to discover new and beautiful things by joining the Easter […]

An allegorical composition on Costa Magica
Chronological / Cruises / Destinations / Europe / Food / Wines & Spirits

Spellbound by a Costa Magica Cruise

Magic enchants, fascinates and brings pleasure. Costa Magica delivered these emotions in Valencia, Cadiz, Lisbon and Casablanca. On their shores, winter’s dropping mercury vanished while my hubby photographer and I explored the cities’ alluring beauties. Valencia Soaring architectural masterpieces by Santiago Calatrava and Felix Candela invariably electrify in the City […]

Panoramic Tenerife
Africa / Chronological / Cruises / Destinations / Europe / Food / Island Nation / Wines & Spirits

Divine Yuletide Escapes in Spain, Morocco, the Canaries and Madeira

When the Arctic chill blew in, a Christmas cruise to Barcelona, Casablanca, Tenerife, Funchal and Malaga sounded warm, fuzzy and therapeutic. With sunny days, tropical fauna and flora and flamenco music dancing in our heads, my other half and I sailed on the new MSC Divina and looked toward a […]

Celebrity Constellation
Chronological / Cruises / Europe / Food

Cruisers’ Palates Sail to France and Italy on Celebrity Constellation

When it comes to dining, the adage “variety spices life” can easily be experienced at Celebrity ships’ Specialty Restaurants. While on the “Wine Immersive Cruise” aboard the Constellation last October, my DH and I spiced up our autumn holidays at two venues: the Ocean Liners and the Tuscan Grille.   […]

A Celebrity Cruise to “Wine” About
Chronological / Cruises / Destinations / Europe / Wines & Spirits

A Celebrity Cruise to “Wine” About

“Celebrity designs different itineraries to retain clients and attract new cruisers,” Constellation Hotel Director Christophe Belaubre said. A result was the 2012 autumn “Wine Immersive Cruise,” to thrust wine enthusiasts into a galaxy of stellar wine and culture cities in northern Europe. At the helm of the floating resort were […]

A view of the Lawn Club Grill Restaurant (Photo by J. Freed)
Chronological / Cruises / Destinations / Europe / Food

Again, Please? “Make our Dinner on a Cruise?”

As tradition goes, chefs prepare food for restaurant patrons.  However, at the Lawn Club Grill Restaurant on the Celebrity Silhouette’s top deck, guests can be their own cooks. Making pizza and grilling steaks while on a cruise initially sounded off-putting, but hubby and I later discovered the culinary hands-on activities […]

Celebrity Equinox makes port call at breathtaking Santorini (Photo by J. Freed)
Chronological / Cruises / Europe / Food / Island Nation / Wines & Spirits

Cruising to Greek Aegean Gems on Celebrity Equinox

For my hubby, Jim, and me, our Mediterranean summer would not be complete without a visit to Greece. Several ships ply the islands, but Equinox’s Eastern Mediterranean itinerary attracted us the most because it called at many of our favorite Mediterranean ports. Positive reviews on the ship’s interior design, staff […]

Keukenhof Park's Windmill Square
Chronological / Destinations / Europe

On the Tulip Trail with a French Flair

In spring, life bursts everywhere, splashing landscapes with blooms and colors. Keukenhof Tulip Park (between Amsterdam and The Hague, near Lisse) is a prime example of such chromatic spring explosion and a reason to experience CroisiEurope’s Symphonie “Tulip Cruise” between Antwerp and Amsterdam. Keukenhof Park Renowned as the world’s “largest […]

Taking "The Impressionists’ Route" to French River Cruising
Chronological / Cruises / Destinations / Europe

Taking "The Impressionists’ Route" to French River Cruising

For an art lover, Canal & Company’s seven-day autumn riverboat cruise on France’s Oise River may be the perfect getaway for viewing the quaint villages and tranquil landscapes of France.