Category Archives: Cruise

Cruising is more then just Food

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A Cruise is MORE THAN just Food, Food & More Food!

When I mention “cruises” to people who have never cruised,  I often hear people say “I don’t want to cruise, all you do is eat!”  Let me dispel that myth right now.  Cruising is WAAAAYYY more then just food! Just check out the Video above…eating was not high on the list.

I have personally been cruising for 18 years.  I have sailed many different cruise lines, and yes, I do like a cruise line that has really good food, I mean…we all do have to eat meals!  But people are genuinely shocked on their first cruise experience that dining is just a small part of the Cruise Experience.

“Why do most people take a cruise?”  It isn’t to eat… here are the top reasons why I CRUISE!

  1. ADVENTURE – Cruising will take you places that it would normally take you several trips to see.  For example, a typical 7 day Caribbean Cruise will take you to 4 different Islands.  Very hard to see all of that in one”land” trip.  It is great to see which Islands you would love to go back to and spend a week on land…like a scouting mission.  And depending on what Cruise Line you are taking, there are many islands that you can go to that would be way to hard to reach via airplane.  For example, we took a Windstar Cruise to Isle de Saints in by Guadeloupe.   Windstar typically gets into tiny ports that feel “off the grid”.
  2. SO MUCH TO DO – So much to keep you busy while at sea!  There is something for everyone on a Cruise… Wine tastings, Painting Class, Bocce Ball, Basketball, Surfing, Dancing, Comedy shows, Broadway Shows,  Casino Gambling… Geeze, getting tired, but I am not done.  Working out, taking classes to learn how to cook,  sculpt, trivia contests and fabulously fun sing alongs.  (This could be dozens of reasons, but I just grouped them into 1.
  3. TOTAL RELAXATION – I can’t think of anything more relaxing then lounging on your own private deck with a good book (who am I kidding…3 pages in and I fall asleep!), a cappuccino or a glass of wine.  And when I want to be pampered I head to the spa for a bit more relaxation.  There is no doubt about it, fresh sea air does something to your mind and body that makes you go ” ahhhhhhhhhhhh”.
  4. ROMANCE – Sunsets at sea?  A starry sky with no light pollution? Need I say more.

I love land vacations too.  In fact, years of cruising introduced me to Islands that I now return to often.   There are wonderful things about both vacations.  In fact, I have found excellent finding options at resorts I have stayed at… but to me, I never choose a vacation for food…I choose for Adventure, Relaxation, Romance and OPTIONS!

You should try it sometime.

http://www.BookitWithJanet.com

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“Why does it seem unfair to pay double to cruise single?”

Cruising Solo

“Do I really have to pay 200%?” 

I have been a Cruise Specialist for almost 12 years now and approximately 1/4 of  my clients are solo/single travelers.  Cruising is a great way for singles to travel.  Whether it is with a group or a couple of single friends, after a day on a cruise solo travelers are suddenly “not so solo” anymore!  On any given cruise ship there are bound to be quite a few singles…so you won’t be alone!  Cruise lines do cater to the singles by hosting “meet & greet” cocktail parties throughout the cruise.

For singles & solo cruisers, having your own cabin is often the most preferred way to cruise as it is nice to have the privacy of your own cabin. There is however, one question that always comes up when someone traveling solo calls for information…

”Why do I have to pay double to have a have my own room?”  

For those of you unfamiliar with cruising, the cruise fare is usually quoted in a “per person”  rate.  That rate is always based on double occupancy.  However, if you are planning to have your own stateroom as a solo you are required to pay “double” (except on very few occasions where the cruise line is running specials).  For many this seems unfair and sometimes it is a deciding factor in cruising for a single/solo.

Although on the surface, it does seem unfair.  But if you think about the cost of a cruise in terms of booking a hotel rate, it is really not unfair at all.

If you are planning a weekend vacation at a hotel, you are quoted a “per night” rate based on the room you choose.  For example, you may choose a hotel accommodation that costs $300 per night.  If you are traveling alone it will cost you $300 per night.  If you are sharing with a friend and splitting the cost, it would then cost you each $150 per night.  The hotel does not charge you half the room price if you are only 1 person in the room.  The hotel bases their operating budget on the cost of the room, whether 1 or 2 guests are in the hotel room.

A cruise ship is very similar.  If a stateroom costs $300 per night, as a solo you would pay $300 per night and if you share the stateroom you would split that.  Sounds fair…but why does it seem so unfair?

It is the way Cruise pricing is quoted…on a “per person basis.” If a client hears that a cruise is $150 per person/per night, it is hard to understand why as a solo you have to pay double ($300 per night).  It somehow sounds wrong for a cruise to charge a 200% cruise fare for a solo traveler.  But the reality is that the Stateroom has to be paid for, exactly like the Hotel room.  The Cruise lines formulate a budget based on each stateroom being filled whether 1 or 2 guests are in the stateroom. IF the cruise was quoted in a “Per Cabin” rate instead of a “per person” rate, no one would think twice about the solo pricing.

Some cite that the difference is that Cruise fares include meals and the solo traveler is only eating for 1, so shouldn’t there be a discount?  Yet if you were staying at a hotel that included daily breakfast, you would not get a discount on the Hotel room rate if you are solo.  Again, it is thought of in terms of a “Room charge per night”.

As a solo cruiser, it might sound unfair to pay double, but when you compare it on equal terms to a hotel vacation, you will still find the Cruise a much better value…even when you are traveling solo!

So don’t let that 200% charge for a Solo Cruise fare scare you away…it is just in the way it is phrased.  And let’s not forget the benefits of having your own room – privacy, space and your own closet!  Plan your solo travel today! 

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Guest Post from Girlfriendology.com

All I ever needed to know … Girlfriend Cruise Edition!

Guest post from Girlfriendology.com – Great source for all things “Friends”! 

"Girls on Horseshoe Beach"

Wish you could have joined us on our Girlfriend Cruise to Bermuda with GirlsonaCruise.com!

It was an amazing seven days with fabulous female friends – new and not so new. We sailed to beautiful Bermuda on board the Celebrity Summit. We met wonderful women from all over the U.S. who ‘get’ them importance of getting away with their girlfriends!

Here’s updates on our Girlfriend Cruise travels –

You know how they say: ‘Everything I needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten?’ Well, after spending a week with the wonderful women on our girlfriend cruise to Bermuda, I think there is much to learn from women in our lives. Like these life lessons from the ‘ladies of leisure’ on the Celebrity Summit:

  • Sometimes you just gotta hang out with your girlfriends! Kids, husbands, relationships, jobs, responsibilities and schedules were all left back in the U.S. when we debarked for Bermuda – and it was a very good thing. Quality time with girlfriends, I personally find, and witnessed other women who agree, was an amazing opportunity to ‘get back to our true selves.’ It’s wonderful how the laughter, conversations, smiles and overall happiness just take over your whole outlook on life. We definitely experienced some great ‘girlfriend therapy’ just by spending a little quality time with other women.
  • Girlfriends NEED each other. Two of the women in our group are cancer survivors (who met on a cancer survivor cruise previously). They expressed deep appreciation and even the medicinal value of spending time with their girlfriends. We women don’t just enjoy time with our friends, we NEED them. We need their friendship, support and guidance. Thankfully we’re there for each other.
  • It’s wonderful to feel totally accepted. I’ll be honest with you. I don’t think I’ve been in public in a bathing suit in a decade (seriously!). It was wonderful to feel so totally accepted and comfortable with a group of girlfriends that it didn’t matter if I held in my stomach or had the cutest suit. We just enjoyed each other’s company – as we are.
  • Laughing together is medicinal. The conversations we had, funny secrets we shared, stores we told – all bonded us through our life experiences and lessons. There is nothing like laughing with female friends with whom you feel so comfortable and happy. Laughing, and friendship, is VERY good.
  • A helpful, fabulous girlfriend-in-charge makes traveling even more fun! We were so lucky to travel with a great cruise director (who arranges cruises for girlfriend trips and other groups) – Janet DeVito of GirlsonaCruise.com. From giving us ‘noodles’ to float on in the Atlantic, to hand-written notes on our door, to making sure our happy hour and dinner conversations were always inclusive and amusing, Janet is a pro in making it a great girlfriend cruise! Check out this video she made:

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Filed under Celebrity Cruises, Cruise, girlfreind getaway, girlfriends, girls getaway, girlsgetaway, girlsonacruise, gno, royal caribbean, susan komen, vacation cuisine, women travel, womens travel

Cruise & Travel Deals of the Week!

April 4, 2011 Last Minute Cruise Deals

Confused by all of the offers and websites on the internet?   Sometimes it can be overwhelming!

Just remember…”The internet is for looking, your Travel Specialist is for booking!”

When you are spending money on a vacation, it is important that it is the right “fit” for you.  Every Cruise ship and Resort has a unique personality and it is my job to match your personality up with the perfect vacation!  As a Travel Specialist, I can clear the confusion and make your life easier (and happier!).

Don’t make planning a vacation become a huge headache…

Check here for Weekly deals and then call me to make your life easier!

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Azamara Club Cruises

“You’ll Love Where They take
You” is the Azamara Motto…. and I say “You’ll Love How They Take
You There”!

Okay, so I was
having way too much fun to write every day for 12 days! I
admit it, I procrastinated! But here I am, 6 days home from
my Azamara Journey cruise and I am still wishing I was back on the
ship! I have already written about my first impressions of
the Journey, now I will write about my “lasting impressions” of the
Journey. And there were plenty! It is so often that you
travel, whether on a ship or at a resort, and something happens
that disappoints you. The sad thing is that often, it can
ruin what would otherwise be a great trip. Of course, at the
end of the vacation you can always put your comments in the box,
and although satisfying, it still leaves a bad taste about the
experience. I must admit, that did happen to us on the
Journey. What is amazing is how my disappointment actually
became the best thing about the Journey! The first 2 mornings, the
breakfast service was not so good. Coffee was consistently
unlabeled (caf – decaf), dirty plates stood in front of guests for
up to half hour (yet plenty of waiters around)…I would basically
say that it seemed as though there was NO service. And that
is not what we expected from such a luxury cruise. It seemed
so unusual since every other point of service was excellent!
But those mornings could definitely spoil everyones
experience. What happened on the 3rd day was truly amazing,
and something I have NEVER seen before! Each guest was given
a comment card and asked to complete it that day. The letter
said that it was the Journey’s way of addressing any issues early
in the 12 day cruise. I thought this was a fabulous idea!
So I wrote down how pleased I was with everything except that
morning breakfast service. What a GREAT opportunity for the
Azamara Journey to say “We care and we want to make this a
fantastic experience”! After handing in my card, breakfast
service was impeccable! Yes, the lax service issue was
addressed and resolved! I was so impressed with the results
that it made those first 2 mornings a past memory! Hey,
everyone makes mistakes, but to make the effort to correct it WHILE
on the vacation is truly great service! SO KUDOS to the
AZAMARA Journey Staff for that! There were many things that we were
truly impressed with on the Azamara Journey. One was the
cleanliness of
the ship. It was cleaner then a Disney Cruise! And that
says alot! Again, I will use the word “impeccable”.
Cabin
service
was “on spot”!
Dany was always there when we needed him
and always with a smile! The Main
dining room
“Discoveries” was wonderful. Food selection and quality was
excellent. Service was wonderful (Chris was a
favorite!
). The
Aqualina” dining
experience was perfection. “Prime
C
” was a disappointment only because the
steak that I had the night before in the main dining was
better…but again, service was excellent. The
Fitness center
was well equipped and had a wide variety
of classes. The pool
deck
was pristine and very clean.
The poolside BBQ
events
were spectacular. Great
atmosphere and food selection. The
entertainment was
awesome. I truly appreciate the effort they put into a
special Christmas play. It had me laughing and left me
tingling with emotion. It was
excellent. Captain Tysse
was actually a Captain that we had on a previous Sea Dream Yacht
Club cruise and I must say, his humor, warmth and connection with
the passengers was inspiring. He runs a tight ship and it
shows. Azamara should be proud to have him on the Journey!
Acupuncturist was super knowledgable. Internet Cafe was
very well run. Little things that stood out…refreshment
table on the jogging deck for morning walkers. Very nice
touch! My final and only disapointment was actually the most
exciting moment for me! I WON THE JACKPOT BINGO! I was
so excited and happy! Everyone was waiting to see how much I won!
I was shaking with anticipation! Would it be $ 2,000 ?
$ 1,000 ? even $ 500 would be thrilling! NOPE. It
was $ 85! YES! $ 85 dollars! Heck, it cost me $ 40 to
play! If I knew that it would be $ 85 I never would have
wasted that precious hour of sunshine!! (Everyone was
complaining to the Bingo staff on the way out that it was actually
tacky to give a Jackpot Bingo prize of $85 dollars!) It was
actually embarrassing for them to do that. In the end…Take an
“Azamara Journey”. You will LOVE HOW they take you
away. (Just don’t bother wasting time playing Bingo!)
Thank You to the Azamara Journey Crew for making us feel so
welcome! The video below is my THANK YOU…so the Crew can
say “Hi” to their families back home!

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Port of the Week – “Nowhere”

Nowhere?

YES…Nowhere!

FAST FACTS:

Location – “Nowhere” could be “Anywhere”

Size of Nowhere – as vast as the Ocean is wide!

Population – Very Exclusive, only other passengers on your Cruise can visit!

Even if you have never been on a “Cruise to Nowhere”…as long as you have been on a cruise, you have experienced “Nowhere”.  Although it is actually  “Somewhere”…it is definitely “Nowhere”.

I am on the plane flying back from my cruise to “Nowhere” onboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas. Yes, the ship went exactly there…NOWHERE!  And it was great!

First let me say, I was on the “Creme de la Creme” of Cruise Ships as far as the facilities, activities & events on a Cruise Ship.  At 220,000 gross tons, the Allure of the Seas is best described as a floating City.  It is great that the Allure takes you to exotic ports of call…but my favorite port of call for the Allure is “Nowhere”.

When a ship sails to “Nowhere”, it means that it is doing exactly that…floating at sea for a determined amount of time.  Now, you might say “WHY WOULD I WANT TO DO THAT?!”  Here is my Top 10 Reasons for  spending a day at Sea:

  1. NO pressure to hop off the ship, “Nowhere” is actually ON the Ship!
  2. Fresh Ocean air…restorative benefits for your health!  Breathe!!!!!
  3. Great chance to hit the Spa and get a 2 hour massage.
  4. Bingo, an Art Auction, Wine Tastings, Salsa Lessons?  Endless options of “to Dos”
  5. If you are on a Family Reunion Cruise or Cruising with a group, it gives you the time to really spend together.
  6. I can actually finish that book I have been reading, in a quiet spot on the ship.
  7. Nap time is acceptable
  8. NO cost for excursions!
  9. Great time for educational enrichment or even Company Seminars!
  10. I can just close my eyes, feel the breeze and feel the moment.

Some on my favorite moments on a Cruise are when we are in between ports and have absolutely no pressure and nothing to do except what YOU want to do!  In fact, one big advantage of a Cruise Vacation over a land vacation is the endless options of activities.  Should you have the dreaded rainy day, on a Cruise you are never bored!

On a Cruise ship the size of the Allure, if you can’t find something to entertain you (or relax you) then we seriously need to call the “I CAN’T HAVE FUN POLICE”! Or maybe even the “PERSONALITY POLICE!”  Even the most miserable of people will find something to smile about!  No matter what type of person you are, there is something for you…..

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Sun worshipers?.. the deck is your spot!

Gamblers? …the Casino is open!

Shoppers?…Jewelry, clothing, art, Coach Pocketbooks!, Fine Wines

Active?…Golf, Rock Climbing, Bball, Spin Class, Ice Skating & even a Zip Line!

Crafty?…Try one of the many creative workshops offered.

Movie or Theater Buff?…Cinema Movies, Broadway Plays & even in room viewing

Food & Wine Connesieur?…Wine tasting seminars & Cooking lessons

Music Buffs?…Orchestras, bands & DJs ready to “Rock your Socks” off!

Self Indugent?…let Vitality Spa pamper you to “wet noodle” status!

I could go on and On!!!

Of course even on a small Cruise ship like the Windstar, Sea Dream that doesn’t have all the bells & whistles of a mega ship…a day at Sea is what a Cruise is all about ….relaxation.  The gentle breeze, the mesmerizing swaying of the ocean…it is thought provoking, stimulating & pampering.

Yes, I love “Nowhere”.  It is exactly the “somewhere”  I love to be!

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Port of the Week – Grand Cayman

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Grand Cayman is known around the world for Diving & Banking.  Personally, I don’t Dive & I don’t have millions to bank, but I still love Grand Cayman!  The island is beautiful & rich in so many other ways.  It is definitely a favorite Western Caribbean port.

I don’t really care to spend time in the town of George Town (I could shop at expensive stores in NJ!).  I just feel that with such beautiful beaches & crystal clear waters I would have to be nuts to just shop!

Beach lovers will think they died & went to heaven on 7 Mile Beach!  The sand is so white & soft you might think it is actually baby powder and the ocean is a shade of aqua that only exists in dreams.  Clear waters that just say “JUMP IN!”  It is breathtaking.  Great resorts line the beach & can be the perfect landing spot to grab lunch & rent beach chairs.  But don’t get too comfortable, because that amazing water is a playground in the sun!

7 Mile Beach is a perfect beach for water sports – Windsurfing, kayaking, jet skiing, Waterskiing, Hobie Cat sailing, Parasailing, Banana Boat rides and more!  I highly recommend Red Sail Sports for all of your water activities (diving, sailing etc).  They are very reputable, friendly and dependable.  Taxis are readily available at the cruise ship pier. The approximate cost to Red Sail watersports centers on Seven Mile Beach is $20.00 one-way. It’s about a 10 minute drive.  A great idea is to just spend your whole day there!  But if you did, you would be missing out on the most amazing experience Grand Cayman has to offer…Swimming with the Stingrays!

We have done this a few times, but never as a Cruise Ship excursion, we have always booked separately through Red Sail Sports for the simple reason that the Cruise Ships excursions all go to the same general area and it is crowded!  For me, that takes away some of the natural beauty of the experience.  Red Sail will take you to another location where it feels more intimate.  Cost is about the same.  Red Sail even does a Stingray & Rum Point Catamaran trip that is awesome!  Or you may opt for a Stingray visit and then spend the rest of the day on 7 Mile beach.  (by the way, that is why it is so important to use a travel agent when planning your trip, we know these little secrets!)

Swimming with the Stingrays is just plain awesome! The first time I did this, I was truly amazed at these beautiful creatures gliding through the water.  I couldn’t believe how friendly they were.  My kids became like mermaids (or should I say “mermans”), swimming around them like they were fish themselves!  Definitely one of the most memorable things we have done.  It should be on everyones Bucket List.

I might not be a Diver and I might not have a need for international banking, but when I drift on a float in that heavenly water, I feel like a gazillionaire!!!

I am actually heading to Grand Cayman on one of my GirlsonaCruise.com Girls Getaways January 22 – 27, 2011 onboard the Celebrity Century. I am so excited to show the girls this island.  And YES, we will be arranging activities through Red Sail Sports!  (There is still space if you would like to join us!).

Okay..one thing I have to warn you about is that if Grand Cayman is on your Itinerary, there is always a chance you might not make it there!  I have heard rumor that 50% of the time, ships cant make the stop due to weather…not sure if that is true, but it has been for us!  In Grand Cayman, ships are required to tender passengers to the island and often the currents change making that process dangerously rough, so ships opt out for safety reasons.  It sucks..but Safety always comes first!

PS…if you do pre-book an activity with Red Sail Sports, they are aware of this issue & are very understanding should your ship not stop.

Make your dream trip to Grand Cayman come true!

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Filed under adult cruise, Celebrity Century, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise, family cruise, girlfreind getaway, girls getaways, girlsonacruise, royal caribbean, travel

Does the TSA really want to “Touch His Junk”?!

 

Fly Safe...

POP QUIZ…

Question :

Where was John Tyner when he said “If you touch my junk, I will have you arrested”!

A. – At the Collingswood Flea Market

B. – At the Jones’ yard sale in my neighborhood.

C. – At the Airports’ TSA security line.

If you guessed “C” then you guessed right (and that means you aren’t living under a rock!).

OMG!  This is all I have heard about today!  Like this is something new?  Just last month my husband got the “Pat Down”  at the Airport & I have seen hundreds of other people experience this…yet today, this is the hottest news to talk about?!  I thought this was old news!

So here is what happened:

This John Tyner was at the Airport, going through TSA security checkpoints and he refused to go through the new body scanner that they are using.  As protocol has it, if you refuse to go through the scanner, your option is to get a “pat down” (as seen on cop shows since the Dragnet days!).  Well, this John Tyner wasn’t happy about that! So as the TSA agent was giving an explanation of how he would be “Patting him down” he said “If you touch my junk I will have you arrested”.  The TSA Agent informed him that he needed to call a supervisor since he made that statement (OF COURSE!  that statements says “I am going to sue you and have your job”, so he had to protect himself!).

Long story short…John Tyner never went on his trip. TSA is pretty straight forward – If you don’t go through security, you don’t get on the plane!  I personally like that rule.  But apparently there are many people who disagree with me.  Here is my case…

I fly often and have been very inconvenienced at the TSA security.  I too have bitched & moaned about the time delay (it’s just human nature to complain). And through it all…I am so happy that they are there doing their jobs.  I gladly take my shoes, belt, sweater &  bracelets off.  I gladly pull out my laptop, ziploc filled with liquid items & electronics.  I gladly step aside to be searched more thoroughly when it is requested of me.  I actually get excited, because to me it means that they are doing their jobs!

They are not there to get their “Jollys”.  TSA is there to protect the people, the planes & America from another tragedy.  I say “Thank You” and I gladly oblige.  The day I stop believing this, is the day I stop flying.

John Tyners’ first problem is that he didnt want to go through the Body Scanner.  Me?  I kinda agree with that.  Not because I am worried about someone seeing an image of my body…but because I am not convinced that the radiation is safe.  (Although, I think people wearing burkas or other large garments that could hide so much should HAVE TO be scanned.  That is just common sense!  Cut the “I don’t want to profile and hurt anyones feelings” crap, because this is about safety, and safety supersedes political correctness!)

So I would agree to be patted down.  I have nothing to hide.  I sacrifice a little inconvenience for the safety of all.  I am getting on a plane with many other people, and that is a privilege, not a right.  And everyone else on that plane deserves to have the comfort that I am not hiding anything.  I personally don’t want to get on a plane & worry about someone having circumvented TSA!

John Tyner needs to get over himself and start thinking about the collective good for Airline travel and that is preventing terrorists from attacking us again!  Does he really think that TSA agent wanted to touch his junk?!

I remember when everyone was freaking out that their pocketbooks and carry-ons were being scanned.  I remember when everyone was freaking out about having to take off their shoes!  I remember when people were freaking out about not bringing liquid or sharp instruments through security…and now this is the new thing.  TSA security keeps evolving & changing due to threats and concerns that we (the general public are not even aware of.  As Americans, we need to kinda “go with the flow” as it is a learning process for all of us, and totally for our own good!

Sure, could the process be improved?  Yes.  Is it flawless? No. Are there always a few bad eggs in ANY job place, that abuse authority and should be fired? YES. But I believe that the TSA is doing the best they can to keep America & Americans safe.

So if the TSA agent accidentally touched this guys junk, I say “Who freaking cares!”

It is simple to me…If you want to fly, you have to follow the rules…or don’t get on my plane!

Just my opinion…..What’s yours?

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Filed under American Airlines, Continental Airlines, couples cruise, Cruise, cruiseOne, jet blue, luxury travel, singles travel, travel, vacation, vacations

“Single” Traveler Heaven on the NCL Epic!

 

 

 

 

Studio Updates from your friendly bartender!

Part of the Studio Lounge

Corridor for The Studios

I just came home from a Cruise onboard the NCL Epic.  It was so much fun. The entertainment was great!  Blue Man Group, Cirque Dreams, Second City Comedy Group, Fat Cats Jazz Club and Legends in Concert were all fantastic!  I usually never do “shows” (which always put me to sleep) when I am cruising, but these were definitely not “sleepers”!  I was impressed.

And then of course, there was the nightlife.  I am almost embarrassed to say how late I was up every night!  Let’s just say that the night started with a Pub Crawl and ended with me singing Karaoke at Bliss Ultra Lounge!  (Which I might not have remembered until I saw the video!!)  The Pub Crawl was a great event that NCL does, because it is a great way to get to know other people on the cruise.  (I recommend doing the Pub Crawl early in the cruise).  I have cruised alot and it was evident that The Epic really goes out of it’s way to make this a friendly ship for Singles to travel on.  But it can be daunting as a single to just walk into any of the awesome bars & lounges that are on the Epic –

Bliss Ultra Lounge – O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill – Sake Bar – Shakers Martini Bar – Svedka Ice Bar (YES!  An ICE BAR AT SEA!) – Spice H2O – Fat Cats Jazz Bar – Cascades – Maltings Beer & Whiskey Bar – Waves Pool Bar – Humidor Cigar Lounge – Headliners – and most importantly for Singles “The Studio Lounge”!

I have so many friends and family that are single (I was there twice myself!) and going on a cruise alone is not just daunting, it is expensive (on a cruise, there is a higher charge to travel alone)! The really cool thing about The Epic is that NCL has solved both of those problems for Singles who want to travel by creating an exclusive Staterooms and a 2 story Lounge that make traveling as a Single both Affordable and Friendly!

The Studios –  This is a private Key Card Access complex of staterooms designed and priced for the solo traveler.  The staterooms feature a full sized bed, bathroom and one way window into the corridor.  I have been in them and they are so nice!  They did not feel small at all!  It is the perfect room for a single.  But the best is…..

The Studio Lounge – Only accessible by the Studio Guests, this is a lounge where you can feel comfortable meeting other Singles. Have morning coffee, watch a movie or Sports Game, have cocktails or just hang out!  This was a great idea.  Kudos to NCL!

As a single on my first cruise many years ago, all cruises have that infamous “singles cocktail party”…but it is not enough.  It is actually very awkward.  This Studio complex is not just an hour of pressure, it is a 24 hour long comfortable situation.  The perfect way to mingle and meet others who want to enjoy all the entertainment the Epic has to offer.  Make new friends and see the Blue Man Group or visit the Jazz club then stay out till the wee hours at Ultra Bliss!  Remember, everyone in the Studio complex is a single…so there is no awkwardness!

Single and traveling with a Single friend?  There are many Studio Staterooms that do connect, so you can have your doors open and privacy when you want.  It is really a great situation for Singles!

To see more on the NCL Epic Studios click here!

To find other Singles interested in travel- Meetup with Single Cruisers!

For great pricing and other information on the NCL Epic: I recommend ME! I’ve been there and experienced the Studios! Visit CruiseOne!

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Filed under Cruise, NCL EPic, Singles cruise, singles travel, travel

A Wedding to Remember

I have spent hours watching  “Say Yes to the Dress” “Four Weddings” and other reality Bridal & Wedding shows.  I understand tradition, but I am amazed how Wedding traditions have made weddings so repetitive.

To me, weddings have become very “generic”.  Sure, Wedding Dresses can be different, Cakes unique, venues styled differently…dress it up in different ways, it still follows the same plan.. Blah Blah Blah!  And the worst is – Poof! Thousands of dollars gone in 5 hours!  Seriously…it all comes down to those 5 hours!  In a perfect world, the amount spent would last at least 5 days!

My kids are getting to the age where soon be getting married and I really hope that they do something to step out of the box.  Make that special day of celebrating love & life an intimate memory.  So many weddings I have been to have a guest list that includes some people that the Bride & Groom don’t even know!  How many times have you been to a wedding and didn’t have more then a few minutes to spend with the cousins you haven’t seen in 2 years?  Back to that ridiculous 5 hours…. barely enough tie to talk to the wedding party.

The solution – For the same amount of money (within ANY budget) you can break outside that “generic” wedding box.

Make it an event where people truly spend time with “the Couple”. I Love the idea of Destination Weddings!  What ever your budget, there is an exotic, exciting Destination for you.

An Island destination oozes romance. Sunset catamaran for 50 followed by a beach BBQ for a rehearsal dinner.  Vows shared with a gentle breeze. Dancing under the stars with your feet in the sand.  And best of all, Time to enjoy this moment in time…the Happiest day of your life with Family and Friends.  Not just 5 hours, but days to celebrate and reconnect.

Do you have to spend a fortune for a Destination Wedding? NO! There are Island resorts to suite any budget. From Iberostar all-inclusives to Caneel Bay Rosewood Resort (above photos)…the pricing includes “Celebration, Time & Romance”.

But don’t let you’re “out of the Box” thinking stop there….Ever consider a “Wedding at Sea?”  A wedding on a Cruise Ship is true romance.  What could be more Romantic, Intimate & fun for the Bride, Groom and Guests?  While at the same time offering so much for such a great value.  Choose to say your vows on the Ship or at port…whether it’s a stunning cliff-top ceremony in Greece or an elegant affair onboard a luxurious ship, love is best served with a perfect experience.

Variety of Cruise Lines for every budget:

Luxury – Sea Dream Yacht, Paul Gauguin, Windstar – charter the WIndstar with 130 guests!

Large Ships – Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity – Accommodations  to fit every budget on one ship.

Now, some of you might say  “But what if some guests can’t afford to travel?”

If you plan ahead, it will give everyone plenty of time to save. Easy payment plans are available with CruiseOne.  And for those guests that choose not to travel, plan a small celebration or cocktail party upon return.

Why cram the beginning of your life into those 5 short hours of stress and anxiety!  What better fun then to have quality time with close family & friends, relaxing, reconnecting, creating long lasting memories and celebrating your love!  A Destination Wedding and a Wedding at Sea will take you right “out of the Box” and start your new life together in a Unique, Memorable Celebration.

At CruiseOne, we even offer Bridal Registry for guests to give the gift of a Honeymoon! Visit my website for details!

Best Cruises for a Wedding

Bon Voyage!

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Filed under Celebrity Century, Cruise, cruiseOne, honeymoon, luxury cruise, marriage, resort, travel, Weddings, Windstar Cruises