December 28, 2018

That Time I Tried Traditional Cruise Dining...

Guest column: Carnival's Assigned Dining

Assigned dining is how cruises and resorts have been serving meals for decades. The idea is that you have a set time, and you sit at the same table, and have the same service staff every day. Large tables are used to fit in all the guests, which means that unless you are with a group, you will be eating with strangers.

Many cruise lines now offer Anytime Dining which is more like going to a land-based restaurant. There is an early and late Assigned dining time for each cruise. The early time at 6pm often fills up quickly, so for my first few cruises, I've opted for Anytime Dining over the late dining at 8pm.

On my cruise on the Carnival Inspiration, I finally got the chance to try out the traditional Assigned Dining which you can read all about on Cruise Radio.

December 22, 2018

That Time I Played Trivia on NCL...

Until last month, I had only been on one Norwegian cruise and the rest were all Carnival. When I went on the Gem last month, and we played our first round of trivia, I discovered we never played when we ween on the Breakaway last year (unless they changed their system...seems unlikely).

 So, Carnival gives out a trophy. Aptly named: Ship on a Stick.
This is my friend, not someone form google.
She was very proud to be cruise-famous on our cruise.
I assumed Norwegian also gives out one prize per trivia and never thought about what the prize might be...

December 21, 2018

That Time I Ate Thanksgiving Dinner On A Cruise...

Guest column: NCL's Thanksgiving Dinner

When I booked a cruise that took place over the Thanksgiving holiday, the only concern I had was getting a crappy Thanksgiving dinner. That would be worse than NO Thanksgiving dinner.

But I did it and it was actually pretty decent! Find out all about it on Cruise Radio.

December 20, 2018

That Time Thanksgiving Was on The Norwegian Gem...

After thoroughly enjoying my cruise on the NCL Breakaway and especially being able to drive to a cruise instead of flying, I decided it was time for another Norwegian cruise.

I found an 11-day cruise on the Norwegian Gem that took place over the week of Thanksgiving which meant that I'd only have to use 5 vacation days in exchange for me and Husband ditching both of our families...

December 15, 2018

That Time I Became a Travel Agent...

Basically. I love talking about and booking cruises so much that I decided to see if I could make money doing it!
Seriously - I start so many days asking Husband "can we book a cruise today?..."

December 12, 2018

That Time I Ate at The Chef's Table...

Guest column: Carnival's Chef's Table

Carnival's most upscale specialty dining option is the Chef's Table dinner. For the newer ships, you're going to want to book in advance to make sure it doesn't sell out. You also won't know the date of your Chef's Table dinner until the day you board and they call your cabin with the date and time.

All the food is delicious.

The cost is $75 + 18% tip on older ships; $95 + tip on the newer ships.  You get a very exclusive dining experience, but you will be eating with other diners unless you bring a large group. Once you get your assigned date, assume you'll be spending the whole evening at dinner.

Check out my experience on the Carnival Inspiration on Cruise Radio.

December 11, 2018

That Time My Childhood Was Ruined by Celeste Pizza...

You wouldn't think that a $.99 pizza would be able to ruin my childhood, but it's true.

I was at the grocery store, late at night trying to find a snack for Husband that wasn't expensive and used minimal plastic. I spotted the Celeste Pizzas and told Husband to get one.

HE HAD NEVER HAD ONE. I was shocked. Maybe it was not that common of a food, but I had a ton of these when I was growing up because they're cheap and, frankly, delicious...

December 10, 2018

That Time I Was Faster to The Fun...

Guest column: Carnival's Faster to The Fun

"Faster to The Fun" is an option that cruisers can purchase for their cruise that allows them priority access for boarding, luggage delivery, guest services, tendering to ports, and disembarking. It is available in limited quantities, based on the amount of Platinum & Diamond VIFP guests that are booked on each sailing, as they get said priority for free with their status.

The cost varies by ship and itinerary so when I was on a 3-day sailing, on an old ship, I decided to give it a try. When people ask "is it worth it," well, it really depends on the people, their cruise, and their travel plans. What was it like for me? I'll let you read all about it on Cruise Radio.

December 09, 2018

That Time I Freestyled on the NCL Gem...

Here are all the Freestyle Dailies for the NCL Gem's 11-day NYC to Southern Caribbean itinerary (San Juan; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Castries, St. Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; St. Johns, Antigua; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands), 11/15-11/25/18...

December 08, 2018

That Time I Went to St. Lucia...

I recently visited St. Lucia on an NCL Gem cruise. St. Lucia was the third port stop and we actually went on an excursion!

As a promo when booking the cruise, I had $50 credit for excursions which made me more inclined to go on one. I still didn't want to spend a lot of money as it's $50 total for me and Husband, not each, so I looked at the least expensive options in each port...

December 05, 2018

That Time I Tried The Drink Package...

Guest column: Cheers! Drink Package

I'm not a big drinker. But I am a big cruiser. And I love giving advice about all things cruises, so I decided that I needed to try out Carnival's Cheers! drink package for myself.

Let me tell you, it was quite an adventure. In short, no I don't think I'll become a drink-package-person, based on how much I don't drink. I'm going to stick with the soda package. But I can definitely see the appeal and whether or not you should get it depends both on the quantity of drinks you consume and the cost of those drinks. I'll let you read all about it on Cruise Radio.