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Wish You Were Here: Aruba, Japan and more

CARIBBEAN: Lafayette residents Cindy and Bruce Lincoln just returned from a Panama Canal Princess cruise that included a stop in Aruba.

Our globetrotting readers have been traveling around the world, visiting Aruba, Japan, Ireland and Baja. Now they’re sharing images and travel tips in one of our most beloved reader features, Wish You Were Here.

CARIBBEAN: Lafayette residents Cindy and Bruce Lincoln just returned from a Panama Canal Princess cruise that departed from Fort Lauderdale.

Travel tips: “Check out the Cruise Critic website (www.cruisecritic.com),” Cindy says. “Lots of information on cruising, questions answered and you can even join a roll call to meet fellow passengers before you even get on the ship. I use Cruise Critic or TripAdvisor to find excursion companies. Most companies just take our names and we pay (on) the date of the excursion. One excursion we did, which we found on TripAdvisor, was Trikes Aruba (pictured above). They were very good at responding to emails, very helpful once we got there and there were no hidden costs, like additional money for taxi rides or photos.”

IRELAND: Walnut Creek residents Miriam Schaffer and Jeff Idelson visited Ireland recently on a trip that included a falconry lesson at Dromoland Castle.

Walnut Creek residents Miriam Schaffer and Jeff Idelson visited Ireland recently on a trip that included a falconry lesson at Dromoland Castle in Newmarket-on-Fergus in County Clare.

Travel tips: “Practice driving in a right-hand drive car in the left lane of incredibly narrow roads,” Idelson says. Other not-to-be-missed experiences include an evening of Irish music in a pub and the Long Room at Trinity College in Dublin.

JAPAN: Morgan Hill resident Gary Masuoka visited the Grand Hirafu resort in Niseko last winter.

Morgan Hill resident Gary Masuoka visited the Grand Hirafu resort in Niseko last winter. “There are four independent ski areas radiating off the summit of Mt. Niseko,” he says. “A multi-area pass is available and recommended, since it is hard to discern one area from the other. The areas are defined by ropes and topography.”

Travel tips: “The food on mountain and in town is generally very good to excellent, including an excellent French restaurant — Asperges, $$$$ — at the base of the Hanazono area. Since the area was developed by Australians, the language barrier is pretty minimal in most situations. If you happen to be there on a sunny day, take advantage of it. Clear skies seem to be a rarity in this area.”

BAJA CALIFORNIA: Felton Residents Ron and Joan Raymond and the entire Raymond clan of 24 — from Las Vegas, Denver, Felton, Ben Lomond and Scotts Valley — took a three-day cruise to Baja last August.

Felton Residents Ron and Joan Raymond and the entire Raymond clan of 24 — from Las Vegas, Denver, Felton, Ben Lomond, Scotts Valley — had “a great reunion” on a three-day cruise to Baja last August. “This was a Christmas gift to the family from Ron and I,” Joan says. “We love to spend time with our family and this seemed like a good way to do it. All of our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren had a wonderful time together.”

The Raymond gathering included, from left, starting at the top row, Brandon, Andrew, Robert; Noelle, Michael Mendez, Tyler; Kimie, Bethanne, Ron Raymond II; Ronnie III, Alejandra Mendez, Micah Mendez, Jerry; Kyle, Taylor, Yovette, Alesso Mendez; Bryce, Guy; Kaylee, Caitlyn, Gemma; and Joan and Ron Raymond.

Travel tips: “Plan way ahead for any large group cruise or gathering. I used a travel agent — Cruises, Etc. in San Jose — and it was a lifesaver.”

Share your travels with us! Send your vacation selfies to jburrell@bayareanewsgroup.com. Be sure to tell us who’s who, where they’re from and where you are — and include a couple of travel tips to help fellow readers globetrot, too. Find more Wish You Were Here features at www.mercurynews.com/tag/wish-you-were-here/.