Choosing the Cruise That's Right for You

Choosing the Cruise That's Right for You

If you’ve ever said that you’re “not a cruiser” it’s time to reconsider. Whether you love adventure, want to travel with the whole family, or want to immerse yourself in new cultures, we’ve rounded up cruises for every traveler.

For the foodie:

Gone are the days of subpar food at sea and instead you can enjoy cuisine from some of the top chefs in the world. Any true foodie knows how challenging it is to get a reservation at Thomas Keller’s award winning restaurant French Laundry. But did you know that you can dine on his gourmet fare aboard SeabournThe Grill by Thomas Keller offers signature dishes – and you don’t have to pay an upcharge to dine there! Crystal is also taking cuisine to new levels. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is bringing his Japanese cuisine onboard at the restaurants Silk Road and The Sushi Bar. And Oceania is known for its exceptional cuisine, which comes as no surprise with famed French chef Jacques Pepin serving as their Executive Culinary Director. Open seating dining venues allow guests to dine whenever you are ready, and there is no additional charge for their six fabulous specialty restaurants.  

For the adventure lover:

A cruise doesn’t mean that you’re stuck sitting around the Lido Deck. Companies like Lindblad Expeditions take travelers to some of the world’s most difficult to reach and interesting destinations. The Galapagos, the South Pacific, and Antarctica are just a few of the spots travelers get to explore alongside National Geographic scientists and photographers.

For the family trip:

Travel strengthens family bonds and creates lasting memories, so why not get the whole family – we’re talking multiple generations – together? And an easy way to do so is on a cruise. There is plenty of space to get together (or spread out) and lots to do. Holland America has great itineraries for families, including their sailings to Alaska.

For a romantic escape:

When you need to get away and spend quality time with your significant other, you don’t want to deal with hassles and stressors that are a part of everyday life. Enter a cruise. You don’t have to worry about where or what you’ll eat for each meal, being interrupted by phones ringing, or even making up your bed.  And without all those distractions, you can spend time reconnecting and enjoying each other just like Haisley Smith and her husband did on Crystal and Katherine Norton and her husband did on Silversea.

For a cultural experience:

If you want to immerse yourself in new cultures, river cruising is the way to go. Intimate vessels take you right into the city centers of some of Europe’s most charming towns. Spend your days biking through vineyards in Germany or shopping in quaint markets in the Netherlands during an AmaWaterways river cruise. If you have a small group, explore France on a private barge with Belmond. And for an exotic experience, you can even explore the rivers of Southeast Asia or South America!

Click here to find an advisor and start planning your next cruise.

Brooke Drinkard
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After several years in the publishing industry, Brooke Drinkard joined the marketing team at Brownell Travel where she combines her two passions, writing and travel. ... Click for full bio

NBA Player Carl Landry Demonstrates the Value of Persistence in Life and Work

NBA Player Carl Landry Demonstrates the Value of Persistence in Life and Work

Written by: Jon Sabes

When you meet Carl Landry, stand-out college basketball player and nine-year NBA player, you imagine that becoming a professional basketball star was a straight forward run for the 6-foot-nine-inch power forward. 

However, when you go deeper into Carl’s background, becoming a NBA professional was less than certain and little came easily to the 33-year-old from Milwaukee:

  • He was cut from his high school team as a freshman and averaged less than ten points a game when he did play as a senior.
  • He started his college career not at Purdue, but a junior college where it was not clear he would play.
  • When he finally got to Purdue, he tore his ACL in his knee his first year and reinjured it the next year.
  • While his family held a party for him the night of the NBA draft, he slept in the Philadelphia airport after missing a flight following a workout for the 76ers.
  • In the NBA playoffs, Carl had a tooth knocked out, but came back in the same game to make a game-winning blocked shot as the Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 94-92.

Landry, who I interviewed on my podcast, Innovating Life with Jon Sabes (, is a remarkable example of the value of “persistence.” In a time where technology creates the image that anything is possible at the touch of a button, persistence is an under-appreciated trait. When I spoke with Carl, I clearly saw someone for whom success has only come through a force of will that made him a NBA player, but it also made him a better player every year he played. That’s the kind of personality that has produced greatness in business as well as sports.

Carl was, in fact, drafted that night he spent in the airport. The Seattle Supersonics chose him as the 31st overall pick and then traded him to the Houston Rockets where he rode the bench for much of the first half of the season. When All-Star teammate Yao Ming was injured, he stepped in and played a key role in the Rockets astonishing 22-game winning streak (the third longest streak in NBA history). And, that season, after sitting on the bench for 33 of the first 36 games, he was named to the All-Rookie second team.

Carl was the first in his family to go to college. “I told myself that this was my ticket out, so I did everything I possibly could to be the best person in school and also on the court,” he said.

His family life in Milwaukee showed him what he didn’t want to do. “Just being honest with you, seeing some my cousins, peers, they went to work for jobs paying six, seven dollars an hour or they didn’t go to work at all and then living off welfare. I didn’t want that.”

When he was first injured, he had to contemplate the end of a career before it even got started. “When you have an ACL tear, it’s over…no more basketball,” he told me. “I said, God, give me health again and I’ll do everything I can to leave it all out on the line and be a successful individual.”

On my podcast, Carl pointed out another interesting lesson he learned in the NBA: Not doing things just to fit in.

“Fitting in was easy,” he said. “Doing everything that everybody else does was easy. If I stood out in some type of way, I’m going to have different results. I’m going to have stand-out results.”

That’s called the “Law of Contrast” and it produces that exact effect of changing the outcomes that everyone else is experiencing.  Carl is smart, he recognized that differences make a difference, and doing whatever it takes is what is required to make real, meaningful differences.

Every off-season for the last 11 years, he has run a camp for kids in Milwaukee where he tells youth his story of hard work and persistence. “I always tell the kids to apply themselves and always be persistent,” he said. “If you dream, apply yourself and be persistent. With hard work, man, the sky’s the limit.”

When Carl says the sky’s the limit he means it.  He is smart to recognize that it’s important to dream big, because if we don’t – we may be selling ourselves short. “You have to dream bigger than your mind could ever imagine,” he said. “I wanted a nice house. I wanted a nice car. I said, and I got all of that. So, what do I do, do I stop now? Maybe I didn’t dream big enough.” That’s a big statement coming from a kid who grew up to be the first in his family to graduate college and go on to be not only a top NBA basketball start, but a good businessman, father and someone who gives back to the community.

I’m convinced that in whatever he takes on as a basketball player or in his post-hoops career, Carl Landry is not going to stop getting better at whatever he does, and in the process of doing so, make the world a better place.

GWG Holdings, Inc.
Investing in Life
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GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:GWGH) the parent company of GWG Life, is a financial services company committed to transforming the life insurance industry through disruptive and i ... Click for full bio