Cruising To Your Next Adventure

Cruising is like going on the ultimate, worry-free adventure – aside from the mishaps that have made the news recently. A floating resort – As soon as you embark the ship your adventure begins – exploring the ship and learning the layout of your home away from home, trying new cuisines, and meeting new people. By the time you’ve boarded the cruise everything has been taken care of with the exception of alcohol (some cruise lines offer drink packages) and excursions (if you’ve chosen to wait).I just booked my 6th cruise adventure to celebrate my besties b-day, and this time we’re exploring Jamaica, Haiti, Grand Cayman, and Mexico by way of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas.

The Freedom of the Seas – 1,112 feet in length, is a whole lot of ship and I am so excited that we have 7 nights to explore it all! Ice skating, a movie theater, rock climbing, and 4-pools (including an adults only retreat).

How to Choose Your Cruise Adventure:

Where do you want your cruise to depart from? – I don’t get sea sick, but after the roller coaster ride I had on the Atlantic a couple of years ago leaving out of the Port of Baltimore I typically fly South and cruise out of Florida. NYC is a large cruise port though, with 3 cruise ship terminals (Manhattan, New Jersey, and Brooklyn).

Where do you want to go? Alaska, Caribbean, Europe, Canada, Australia?

How long do you want cruise? 3night, 5nights, 7night, 14nights?

What cruise line do you want to use? Does it matter? – So far I’ve cruised with Royal Caribbean and Carnival and Royal Caribbean is by far my favorite. I have heard good things from friends that have cruised with Celebrity and Princess Cruise Lines though.

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Now you’re ready to book! How do you find great cruise deals?

Cruise Line Websites (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, Norwegian, etc…)

Vacations To Go

Priceline

Expedia

Travelocity

SATO Vacations

USAA (for military members)

 Tip: Additional discounts are given based on state residency, age, and military service – always inquire

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Short Vs. Long Cruises – My only advice here is always check the amenities available on your cruise ship – you don’t want to choose a long cruise that has a number of “At Sea” days and not enough to keep you entertained. I’ve gone on 3-night, 5-night, and 7-night cruises before and I enjoy the 5-7 nighters the best. I’m not sure if I’m ready to embark on a 14-night cruise adventure just yet, but there’s an Australia, New Zealand, Fiji cruise that is calling my name.

To Go for the Balcony or Not? – Now,I have gotten a balcony room before – at the urging of my Mother who wanted to have more space, and it was nice to relax on the balcony while pulling in and out of port, but I wouldn’t say that it’s absolutely necessary. I actually enjoy relaxing on the deck, watching the sunset as we pull away, and napping. I typically just go with an inside room since I don’t spend much time in my room. Plus it’s cheaper, so that means more money to explore with.

A Cruise…..To Nowhere?  –  Still on my list of things to do – I think it would be awesome for both the seasoned cruiser that wants to get underway and have a good time and the cruisin newbie who wants to test the waters. Ships leave port, cruise offshore for 1-2 nights, then pull back into port. You get all the luxuries of being on a cruise vaca – music, food, bars, shows, comedy, casino, and other ship amenities minus the port calls and excursions.

Cruise Myth Busters:

The Cruise Ship 15 5- Either make your way to the well-equipment gym each day, dance your butt off at the club each night, or choose not to over indulge at dinner. Trust me they know how to feed you on a cruise ship, so over-indulging is very easy to do. It seems like there is ALWAYS food around and at dinner they will let you try anything you want on the menu.

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Booking Your Excursions through the Cruise Line is Best – Not always the case. Often times local guides will give you a better rate for your money than the cruise line. That $90 paddleboarding adventure, may only cost you $40 and is equally safe and fun.

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Tip: Want to read reviews about your ship, meet people who will be cruising with you, read reviews on excursions to help narrow down your choices? Visit Cruise Critic.

Happy Cruising!

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Until Next Time! -xo AGT

Ending and Beginning the Year on a High Note

Hey Guys! Happy New Year! I took some time off from the blog last month to study for some promotion exams at work (I passed!), get ready for my vaca, and to learn how to use my new macbook pro. You weren’t far from my thoughts though :) I can’t believe how quickly 2012 went by, and that we are already 9 days into the new year! A year of new adventures, setting new goals and maintaining old ones, and new opportunities.

I think the best way to end and begin the year by far is on vacation…a relaxing, stress-free environment with friends and family. No worries, no cares….just relaxation, sunshine, adventures, and good times. This is the first year we’ve decided to end and begin the year on vacation…we tried out a New Year’s Eve cruise via Carnival Cruise Lines out of Port Canaveral, FL. It was so nice not to have to worry about anything other than having a good time. This is definitely trip I am pretty sure will become a tradition for years to come.

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I went down a few days early to spend time with friends of mine that I was previously stationed with here in NYC. We hung out in Cocoa Beach, went to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure (the Harry Potter ride and butter beer were AMAZING!), and danced to Dance Central on the Xbox (loads of fun and an awesome workout too).

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We sailed away from Port Canaveral around 5:30pm and rang in the New Year at Sea!

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Ventured down Duval Street in Key West

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enjoyed beautiful sunsets, soaked up the sun, and made new friends at sea

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Stopped in Nassau, Bahamas for Stand-up Paddle Boarding…I’ll admit, I sat down for some of it…my excuse “I’m on vacation”

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and laid of the beach in Freeport, Bahamas sipping daiquiris and eating run cake before returning back to Port Canaveral.

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I still feel relaxed and at ease 9 days into the New Year, and I’m looking forward to new adventures in NYC, the US, and abroad. How did you ring in the New Year?

Check out more pictures on my Facebook page an hit the like button while you’re there :)

Love AGT :)