In search of happiness with a vacation state of mind

10:39 AM, Dec 19, 2011   |    comments
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BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS - In my opinion Minneapolis explorer, author and adventurer Dan Buettner has the best job around. He goes around the world in search of happy people.

Buettner's latest book, "Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way" promises to reveal secrets from the worlds happiest people.

You can find out for yourself what they have to say. But one theme is crystal clear: happy people take time off. Optimally six weeks of vacation annually pretty much fills the happiness bucket.

Whew, so I was on the right track when I headed down to the Caribbean with Buettner's book in tow for a week of sun and fun. Since it never hurts to sit back and do nothing, we chose to allow the seasoned folks from Sea Dream Yacht Club do the pampering.

Trust me, when it comes to cruising, bigger isn't always better. And in fact, Sea Dream avoids the comparison with its motto: "It's yachting not cruising."

Both of its small ships have a capacity of just 108 passengers. But with a staff that almost equals that number, service is what makes this an unparalleled delight for the guest.

It's not just the amazing food, booze and service that made me so happy. I loved stopping at ports where the big ships don't go. Chic St. Bart's and the unspoiled Jost van Dyke are both fine examples of that. I got to see for myself why these idyllic island paradises are favored by the rich and famous. While I'm neither, it was pure bliss walking the streets or lying on the beach without thousands of other cruisers.

Now, you're probably wondering if this kind of exclusivity costs more than a big box cruise. And the answer is yes. But sometimes, it's worth paying more to get more.

What makes you happy?  I'd love to hear about your perfect vacation.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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