Showing posts from July, 2011

First Time Cruiser - What to Expect on Embarkation Day

Here is my next post in my series for first time cruisers and one that well so many just don't know about unless you know someone who has sailed and they will tell you the ins and out of the day you get on (Embarkation) .

Now my experience will be with Princess mainly and I can a little Carnival experience.

Of course this depends on where you are boarding, but if you are boarding in any American port it is pretty standard, and if it is Fort Lauderdale, well they have it down pat!

Time to arrive at the port:  now the cruise line says not to arrive before 1 pm, and well sure you could, but really a lot of people arrive very early, so early that the people haven't gotten off the ship from the previous sailing.  Now one tip is go to the pier, drop off your bags with the porters then head off and do a few of things in the city and return back when things are not so crazy at the pier. 

There are numerous ways to get to the ship, and again this depends on what port you are sailing from,…

Cruising for the New Cruiser - Who to Book With - Where to Sail

I've decided to do a few blogs about cruising for the new cruiser, why?  Because so many people, almost every day ask me a question about cruising.  So I am sure there are more people who have questions, and hopefully this series of blogs will help.

First, I am no expert, I don't work for any cruise line, I don't work for any travel agent.  I just love to cruise.  I have been cruising since 1988 when I started with Carnival Cruise Lines, and sailed four times with Carnival.  But in 1997 I talked my husband into trying his first cruise.  We sailed on the original Star Princess to the Caribbean.  Thankfully he was hooked and we continued to sail Princess to this day.  Currently we have sailed 25 times with Princess with 5 future cruises booked.
I work full time as a transit driver for the city of Vancouver.  I get asked all the time, wow you must get a lot of vacations because you sail so often.  Well with 13.5 years on the job I get 4 weeks vacation, I get 2 more weeks to…

Repositioning the Quick Little Getaway

I mentioned in an earlier blog about how much we like doing the short little repositioning cruises.  Of course we are blessed because we live in Vancouver, but if you live in California or Seattle you too can take advantage of these repos.

We are booked on the upcoming Golden Vancouver to Los Angeles, and we scooped it up for $175 each person for an inside thru an agency we have been using forever (this is a past passenger price - a little more if you have never sailed Princess before).  It should be noted that this price was about two months ago and the price has gone up a bit, but often the price drops closer to sailing date and especially after final payment which I believe is this coming week.
Now think how romantic a short voyage would be.  No distractions, great food, great accommodations, great entertainment and time alone with your honey.  Normally if you book a hotel, you can't get a price lower than $100 to 150 a night (in fact we just booked Seattle f…

Planning for the Caribbean

Like I mentioned in my earlier blog we decided to head back to the Caribbean for another back to back on the Emerald starting November 28.

Flights deals were hard to find, and we soon found out why, The American Thanksgiving weekend was the weekend we wanted to fly down and the day we wanted to fly home was the start of Christmas holidays for a lot of schools.  Fares were noticeable higher, where we usually pay around $300 - $350 we couldn't find anything under $400.  This week we decided to book and got our usual flight (6 am out of Seattle, arrive in Fort Lauderdale around 4:30) and then chose to fly out the day we get off the ship (Sunday) and fly back to Seattle via Chicago, all for $406, which is still about $400 cheaper than flying from Vancouver.

We were able to scoop up at great deal for a 4 star hotel in Fort Lauderdale thru for $85 a night that is right on the beach for three nights prior to the cruise.  Here is a link to the Sheraton Beach Hotel http://www.s…