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Cruising Article –03/28/2012

Escape to Guam, Micronesia's mini paradise

Guam, Mariana Islands

Guam's Chamorro population has little reason to complain about their beautiful island paradise. For more than 3,000 years, these natives inhabited the Mariana Islands without any western influences, and managed to establish a strong culture that remains intact to this day. As the commercial center of Micronesia, Guam is a perfect destination for passengers on a world cruise with Princess to get a taste of history, tropical wonders and luxury amenities in one place.

The Chamorro people are unique Pacific Islanders because of their relatively ancient traditional practices, ranging from pottery and cave paintings to fishing and elaborate hunting rituals. Women play a prominent role in society, with their dance and song leading to the perpetuation of the culture's folklore. Travelers on world cruises will have the chance to learn more about the Chamorro at their main village, which today is a farmer's market featuring local handcrafts. Stone adzes and coconut-husk fishing nets are fascinating souvenir.

Inarajan Village has remained true to much of its original form, which predates Spanish discovery and features cave paintings and thatched huts where many locals still gather. At the edge of the ocean, a natural saltwater pool beckons those on world cruise vacations to dip their feet before roaming through the streets that were constructed by Spanish missionaries in the 17th century. More ancient relics can be found throughout the island, including the peculiar formations at Latte Stone Park. Although they are now bare, these stone pillars were the foundation for many Chamorro homes dating back almost 2,000 years.

World cruise shore excursions will take Princess passengers to Two Lovers Point, where stunning panoramic views of the Philippine Sea allow visitors to take unforgettable photos. This dramatic cliff line was the location where Guam's own Romeo and Juliet fell to their dramatic ends. Long ago, a young woman ran away from her family when her father forced her to marry a Spanish sea captain. Escaping to a secluded beach on the northern edge of the island, the woman met a Chamorro hunter and immediately fell in love, making this viewing point a poignant romantic destination.