Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Welcome to Quantum of the Seas!


Welcome to the newest and most innovative ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet!  Quantum of the Seas recently had her float out of the Meyer Werft ship builders in Papenberg, Germany.  Let me tell you - she is a BEAUTY!

Her hull is a lovely light blue, a change for Royal Caribbean.  (RCCL)  She's just stunning but what's amazing is what's inside.  

RCCL is always known for their cutting edge ships with the most innovative range of ships.  They were the first for the Royal Promenade, the FlowRider, Royal Promenade, etc.  With the Quantum you'll enjoy true smart technology. 


Isn't it amazing?  It's certainly different and truly new.  I really, really, REALLY want to sail on her.  I love the Rip Cord by iFly - being able to sky dive on the ship...and safely.  I mean! Don't forget the North Star.  Want to ride high in the sky and over the edge of the ship.  I know what some of you are thinking.  NO WAY.  Not this kid - YES please!  Then there is Two70°. It's a revolutionary space to gather and enjoy with expansive views in the daytime and at night is transformed into greatness.  This new technology will change the background to match the entertainment that is shown.  Really breathtaking.  

I know - this sounds like a commercial for Royal Caribbean.  It does except that I am just so excited for this ship.  I'm a complete cruise addict but there is something about this ship I just love.  I really enjoyed the float out video.
  


In 82 days you can sail on her.  (I wish I was...meh.) Check out the video's and if you are very lucky, you'll experience this grand lady yourself.

Happy cruising,
Mary



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line - All Inclusive?

I received a mailer last week from NCL about an all inclusive deal.  WOW.  I looked at their website and found this:

Sailing with Norwegian is easier than ever. Purchase one of our 2015 all-inclusive packages as an add-on to your next cruise and save up to $600 on a complete vacation experience that includes unlimited dining and beverage packages, shore excursions, gratuities and more. That's over $2400 in value!

Discover What's

INCLUDED

Each All-Inclusive Package add-on comes with:

  • Ultimate Dining Package
  • Ultimate Beverage Package
  • Bottles of water for your vacation
  • Gratuities associates with package and Service Charges
  • Shore excursion credit of $200 per person on 6+ day cruises (or $100 per person on 3-5 day cruises)
  • 250 Minute internet package
  • 10% off cruise fare
  • 1 Bottle of wine
  • Bingo session (3 games)
  • 20 Photos, any size
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
 Now you will pay a little bit more for this package but it's a lot of freebies...er..sort of freebies.  It's worth the money.  Here's an example-a 7 day Caribbean cruise on it's new ship, Lady Getaway.  (I call all ships by their feminine moniker of "Lady".) 

I searched for a third week of March in  2015 on Getaway. It's an eastern itinerary, 7 day cruise in a mid-ship balcony for two.  ALL inclusive as above.  $2389.  Yes it's a little pricey but remember, it's a BRAND NEW ship and you get all of the above freebies.

IF i could, I'd book it in a minute...but as I'm saving for our February 2016 cruise, that is unlikely.  

Happy cruising, Mary

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I have all the money in the world but don't want to take a cruise...said no one EVER!

Hi Fellow Cruisers!  

Do you have the ability to cruise on a moment's notice?  Why am I asking?  Because there are a wide range of deals on many cruises in late August, September and October.  I know because I've been dreaming of a last minute cruise although I don't have the funds to take it.   (Hence my title.)

I've been to sites on Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Carnival and Holland America.  So many great cruises, so little money.  <---- be="" font="" me.="" that="" would="">

Want an example?  If you're not fussy about the room, and want to cruise in a  interior/inside room for 4 nights to the Bahamas, here is what your money will get you in August.  Port charges and taxes are not included in these quotes. This is based on per person, double occupancy:

RCCL: $129
NCL: $229
Princess: $309
Carnival: $309
Disney: $760
Holland: No 3-4 day Bahamas cruise.

So you see there is a wide variety of prices for a 4 day Bahamas cruise.  BUT, if you have the time and could sail next week, you could take advantage and sail for almost nothing.

I'm always looking, I mean ALWAYS looking for deals.  I'm not a travel agent but I hope that will be my career after retirement from my real job.  

I work to cruise!
Mary

Monday, August 4, 2014

The dog days of Summer

As the summer wanes, my thoughts turn to fall, and naturally, cruising.

August sales bring a deep discount to the Alaskan cruise itinerary. Late August and September are the least expensive times to cruise the Alaskan waters.

September/October means repositioning cruises. When the cruise lines move ships from their summer itinerary to its 
winter one, you can get a great deal to ride from the old to the new location. 
A great example would be from Barcelona (summer season Mediterranean cruise) with a couple stops then to Ft. Lauderdale or Miami. Many sea days which is heaven to me!!

Another fun itinerary would be a Halloween cruise. Let your imagination run wild. Love a masquerade? This is the cruise for you ! ( I would love it!)

No matter your cruising wish, talk to those who are knowledgeable about cruising. Knowing what you're looking for and what time of the year is the best, can save you a lot of money. Maybe enough for a Halloween  short cruise!

Happy Cruising, 
Mary

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bad Reviews? What's a cruiser to do?

I've been tracking the reviews on Adventure of the Seas.  We are set to cruise her in February 2016.  I wanted to try the Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's largest ship in the fleet.  (Until Quantum of the Seas rolls out in November.)  I've cruised Adventure's sister ship, Explorer of the Seas, in 2004 and 2005 and loved her. So what's the problem?  

Adventure was second behind Voyager when the premiered.  She is a steel hulled ship with no glass balconies.  That's one issue for me.  My biggest complaint from what I read?  She's looking dated.  When I pay good, hard-earned money to cruise, I expect certain luxuries.  I don't expect to find grayed, fringed towels and sheets.  I expect the furniture to look crisp and clean and not worn and outdated.  The carpet should be clean and not worn in places.  The summation - Adventure needs a true dry-dock overhaul.

Royal Caribbean took her out of service for a quick retrofit this winter.  She hasn't had a real dry-dock overhaul in years.  It's showing. They did put on a new pool deck, updated touch screen technology, and put in a specialty restaurant, Giovanni's Table.  (Italian...a plus!)  That's all good and well, but she needs a total facelift.  

At what point does Royal Caribbean listen to their cruisers?  There are many complaints, MANY complaints.  I am really concerned about cruising this ship.  My friends picked the itinerary and so picked this ship for the southern Caribbean.  I'm excited to see the ports of call on this trip, just wish I could be excited for the ship.  

You have to understand me for a moment.  I cruise by the SHIP, not the ports of call.  The ship is the destination and I could care less if I got off in port.  Seriously.  So what's a cruiser to do?  I will continue to monitor the reviews and keep an ear out for dry-dock talk.  I don't want to disappoint our friends, but if Adventure of the Seas doesn't improve, I may have to cancel this cruise and book on another ship.

Happy (or is it?) Cruising,
Mary


Monday, July 14, 2014

So you want to cruise?

As an avid cruiser....(cough...cruise addict) I enjoy helping the cruise world newbies.  There's nothing better than sharing my love (cough...cough...addiction) of cruising with someone.  I can get quite animated (cough...obnoxiously excited) talking about different cruise lines, cruise ships and ports.

It all depends on what you're looking for.  Do you want to get your feet wet by taking a short cruise?  Are you looking for a certain destination or do you want to go all out on a luxury cruise line?

Getting the best results is all about knowing what you want, and just as important, having realistic expectations.  Don't expect perfection, although I have had perfect cruises; and don't expect doom and gloom either.  

One of the most amazing questions that I hear is the worry of getting a)sick, b) stranded in the ocean, or c) gaining weight.  Let's address those issues.

There is the possibility of getting sick anywhere you go.  The Novovirus is not exclusive to cruise ships.  It can happen wherever people gather in large numbers, however, a ship IS a closely-contained unit.  That's why you will find hand-sanitizing stations all over the ship, especially in the dining room.

Getting stranded...I dream of getting stranded as long as there is water, food and air conditioning.  Not the kind of Carnival Cruise Line fame with people being stranded with no toilets, not enough food, etc.  That wouldn't be fun.  The chances of getting stranded are so minimal it's laughable.  Any time you travel you have the chance of getting stranded, but really, what are the odds?  Not very high in my estimation.

Gaining weight.  Now this is has a higher probability of happening.  The food...oh the food!  Not to mention the empty calories in alcoholic drinks.  I recommend losing 5 pounds prior to the cruise.  Then is you gain ten, it's not really that bad.

If you don't cruise for fear that "something" could happen, you will not experience the sheer joy of it.  Cruising isn't for everyone but count me in.  The best times in my life, I've had on the sea.

Happy cruising,
Mary
 


Monday Dreaming...Christmas Cruises

It's Monday, and I'm working.  Ok, apparently I'm writing this and not really working but I'm caught up.

One of my cruise dreams, of which are many, is to take a Christmas cruise. I have many reasons why this would be ideal.

  • The cruise itself would be the gift, therefore, I wouldn't have to go through the hassle of Christmas shopping for our immediate family at least. (And...you could buy them someone on the ship or give money.)
  • Taking the whole family, 3 adult kids, 2 spouses and 3 grands plus hubby and I would really be a dream come true for me.
  • There is something magical about a Christmas decorated ship.  I have seen many pictures and it's just stunning.  
  • I hear the Captain says that something has been sighted and Santa and his sleigh comes by boat to visit all the children and children-at-heart.  (SQUEEE!)
  • Not having to put up a Christmas tree, etc. would be heavenly.
  • Leaving the snow and cold behind is wonderful any time of the year, but at Christmas it would be so magical!
 
 I could go on and on.  I want this so bad.  I just pray someday we can afford it!!  Santa, did you hear that?  My most important Christmas wish is to see you, in the Caribbean, on a cruise ship.  

Happy cruising...er...dreaming,
Mary

From www.cruisemates.com