Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cruising Princess Cruise Line With Vickie is 4!

August first is the fourth birthday of my facebook page - Cruising Princess Cruise Line with Vickie.  

I started this page cause, well, I admit I am little addicted to talking about all things cruise related. Originally I thought maybe a hundred or so would be interested, and those would probably be family and friends.

But after four years the page has grown to over 2300 followers!  I know WOW.  I have followers from all over the world.  45 different countries.

I had found that other cruise pages were very helpful but not very respectful and people were belittled for asking simple questions that others thought were silly.  

We have all been there. Remember that first cruise and you had lots of questions. Or when you are on the cruise you learn so much from others.  Tips, ideas, cost savings ideas, insider secrets, you know what I mean.  

So many of my friends have helped me, and my friends are always asking us questions, so I started to think, hey why not create an area that people can go to and  ask questions and I can respond to them. A place to share stories, pictures, links, and talk about all things cruising.

I already had been blogging for a few years and that was going well.  But sharing that information easily was needed. Now if someone asks me about a port I can share a link to the blog that discusses that port.

The photo section on the facebook page has albums for many cruise ships - both inside and outside.  I try to take pictures of cabins and share those.  I have pictures of silly things, and trust me I am sure I look odd taking pictures of things that others would never take a picture off.  Like the bingo banner that shows the prices, menus, cameras on sale, and doors to show secret areas.  

So take a look at the page, add a comment to many of the posts and if you have a question feel free to ask away. Take a look at all the photo albums.  Check out the note section for information that could be of interest. 

But best of all share in your passion of travel, especially cruising.

Happy Birthday Cruising Princess Cruise Line With Vickie

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Back to the Caribbean in January!

For over a decade and a half we have been travelling in the beginning of each year.   For a couple of reasons; Bernie's Birthday falls then, at work it impossible to get Christmas off so going away in January is a good option, and getting away from the rain in Vancouver keeps us sane.

This coming year (Jan 2016) is a little extra special. Bernie turns 60 and for a long time now I have been saying whatever you want to do we will do.  

He has dreamed of going to Peru and seeing Machu Picchu so this is what he said he wanted to do for his 60th.  He started reading, doing research, planning and it seemed like a done deal.

But ever since our experience on the Royal this past year we have been reminiscing about what an amazing trip that was.  We both would say how great it would be to do it again.  Bernie commented recently about how sad he was that we would have to miss it next year.

Then during one of our hikes (where we seem to talk a lot about travelling) Bernie says "I think we should go back to the Royal and the Caribbean in January."  WHAT -- I kept saying are you sure, what about your big trip to Peru.  He keeps saying "I will be just as happy on the Royal, and Peru can wait until later, maybe the Fall or maybe once we retire and we are not limited with scheduling.  We need vacations right now where we can relax and rejuvenate ourselves before heading back to work".  
So we booked three legs starting January 9 till Feb 8.

Jan 9

Jan 19

Jan 29

So this was booked and when Bernie found out that the next sailing was a seven day cruise (actually the two sailing after these are 7 days). He said we should do the first leg and do the Eastern 7 day itinerary that goes to Nassau and St. Maarten.  It has been forever since we were at these two ports and since they usually happen on a 7 day cruise and we tend not to do 7 day voyages in the Caribbean we should do it.  

After some discussion I agreed.  I think I have created a cruise monster.  Seems like the tables have turned and Bernie is the one talking me into cruises.  

We were able to find a great deal on air from Vancouver at around $480 each so that was a good thing.  

Since we have confirmed these voyages, we have informed friends of ours and we have people joining us that we care about on each leg.  Also since booking we both comment that we are happy we made this decision and it was the right one.

To learn more about past trips or ports click on the port labels on the left had side to pull up a list of all blogs where we visited that port.  

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Shopping for Treats at Purdy's Chocolates

As many of you know Bernie loves to treat the crew on board Princess ships with a small treat.  Since we have been fans of Purdy's Chocolates for a very long time because they are made locally by unionized workers we shop there for our treats.

At their warehouse on Kingsway St. in Vancouver they have a factory store where we head to stock up on items as we can then use our discount card.

The other day we stopped in to stock up.  As soon as we entered we were greeted by two woman -- Susan and Sue.  Since were we there early we were the only people in the store and the two were very helpful in helping us pick out some items.

When we explained what we were up to Sue said she thought she remembered us from before.  

We pick up around $50 worth of chocolates.  Some small individually wrapped chocolate with a Maple Leaf, some chocolate bars, and some small boxed chocolates.

It is just a small token of thanks we love to surprise the crew with.  Just a little something to say "hey we appreciate you".  

Now before all the comments come in, yes we leave the tips in place and we often tip more to those who go over and above.  Nothing in my opinion warrants taking the tips off.  But these chocolates are just a small treat to brighten their day.

One time we handed out small chocolates that were wrapped in a foil that had a Santa Claus on it. When we ran into this crew member later in the cruise she commented that she took that foil and flattened it out nicely and put it up on her cabin wall.  Wow... so see this small acknowledgement made a difference to her and this is why we do it.

So we are now stocked for our next adventure..... hardest thing is staying out of the stash before we leave cause their chocolates are amazing.