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Archive for February, 2014

Snowing & Dreaming of Warmer Weather Feb 04

It’s winter & it’s snowing, again.  I’m growing rather impatient for Spring.  It’s been a while since I blogged so what better way to pass the day than to daydream of cruising & warmer weather.

For those that follow certain cruise message boards, you may have caught the amazing deal posted on New Years Day for Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas this summer.  I happened to be checking prices for a friend at work and noticed the amazing deal.  I of course couldn’t pass it up.  I tried to no avail to get others onboard as well but they missed out.  We paid $481 per person in  a balcony cabin for a week long cruise to the Caribbean & I can’t wait!  There was only one week posted at about 50% the normal rate. That’s not the best deal we’ve ever gotten but still pretty amazing. The best deal we ever got was on the Serenade of the Seas in 2010 for a week long Southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan for $214 per person in a balcony cabin. Yup we pretty much freaked out at the price and booked it without hesitation. Were these prices a mistake of some kind? Maybe but I kept waiting for a phone call regarding the mistake and one never came.  At checkin for the cruise, no one said a word.  I jumped up and down with glee once they donged our sea pass cards.  It was an awesome cruise.  I have no doubt this one will be as well.  Our Roll-Call awaked with life when people caught this amazing deal.  So you may be wondering how to catch such a deal for your self.  Well first watch the message boards a couple times a day. People will book their deal and spread the news for others.  Or check prices a couple times a day yourself because you never know.

I realize I haven’t blogged since our last cruise.  In September of 2013 we cruised on the Carnival Magic out of Galveston, Texas to Belize, Roatan & Cozumel.  It was a good cruise & a good ship but overall not great.  Carnival just isn’t what it used to be.  There wasn’t as much entertainment as there used to be – no big shows in main theater every night, there were some but just not every night.  The comedy club is too small for their very popular comedy acts.  We really enjoyed the comedy shows but you had to get there at least 30 minutes early to get a seat and then we had a hard time seeing around all the poles in this venue.  They should just move these to the theater.  Our biggest complaint for this cruise was our cabin temperature.  We complained on day 1 and they came try to fix it a couple times & brought us a box fan.  It was tolerable for me (I’m always cold) but my DH was uncomfortable the entire time.  We came back to our cabin on Roatan day at lunch and our cabin & hallway reeked of paint fumes.  At this point DH was very grumpy so we complained to guest services.  They gave us 4 drink vouchers and a temporary cabin on deck 2 which was a Cove Balcony.  We had a balcony cabin on deck 8 and I was excited to see a Cove Balcony first hand myself.  I must say we wished we would have gotten a Cove Balcony.  These cabins are located on deck 2 under the life boats.  They are higher from the water line than you’d think.  Because they are under the life boats they are more shaded and less warm.  Plus you have a direct line of sight down to the water.  If you’re on any other deck in a Balcony Cabin you will have a view of the public deck called the Lanai and the life boats.  We didn’t find it to be a huge deal however it was pretty cool to have an unobstructed view of the water.  Next time we cruise on Carnival we will for sure book a Cove Balcony.  The other big disappointment was the Main Diningroom.  The food and menu weren’t as good.  Only 1 other couple showed at our 10 person table.  It would have been more fun if we had a full table.  The advantage of fewer people however was quicker service.  We don’t particularly care for long 2 hour meals.  The food on the Lido deck was pretty good though.  We really enjoyed the pizza, the burrito bar & Cucina Del Capitano.  We prefered Cucina Del Capitano for lunch but found the atmosphere odd and the food mediocre at dinner.  I really had hopes to try the Ropes Course however it was never opened any of the times I went to check it out.  I tried out the slides one day and they were fun but not many kids on our sailing to liven up that area.  The best part of the entire cruise for me was definitely the Cloud 9 Spa.  I got the week long Spa pass to enjoy all the different therapy rooms and I so wish I had a place like this at home to enjoy.  All in all we left that cruise disappointed and missing Royal Caribbean.  See below for some videos on the Carnival Magic & Cove Balconies.

Cove Balcony & Carnival Magic

The Navigator of the Seas just came out of dry dock this week and sets sail for the first time post dry dock tomorrow.  I’m very much looking forward to seeing all the changes.  A few things she received in dry dock are a Flower Rider, virtual balcony inside cabins, Royal Babies & Tots Nursery, big screen on the Lido and a new Modern Mexican restaurant a first for Royal Caribbean called Sabor.  When more first hand experience and details are posted regarding this ship & its new amenities I’ll come back here and update you on everything.

Other Recent News – Norovirus/Mysterious Stomach Bug

In recent news you may have seen that the Explorer of the Seas and the Caribbean Princess both to cut short their sailings for a stomach bug that spread quickly.  I received flack from family & friends about it and the media hyped it up of course.  Since the Splendor, Concordia & Triumph mishaps the media latches on to every little thing they can.  That’s ok, the more cruising makes the news the better.  Let me say though that Norovirus or something like it is in no way fun and I can’t imagine the atmosphere onboard a ship with over 600 ill passengers.  I have had Norovirus before.  I caught it from my son who caught it from daycare.  It’s quite common to catch and not just on a cruise.  I try to avoid illness as best I can when we cruise.  I’ve caught a cold and had migraines in past cruises.  I take meds for colds & stomach upset with me just incase.  We also sanitize our cabin when we board, use the hand sanitizer offered onboard, bring our own & wash our hands often.  Take precautions as best you can but don’t let fear of illness keep you from cruising or traveling.

New Ships

Quantum of the Seas: I’ve talked about this ship before and I must say I’m still not excited about it.  Not much else has been released about it but I’ll talk more about her when she goes into service.

Check out the Quantum of the Seas Here

The other new ship that recently went into service is the Norwegian Getaway.  It will be sailing from Miami to the Caribbean.  I’d love to go on this ship someday.

Check ou the NCL Getaway Here

That’s all for today. If you have any questions about traveling or cruising please ask away.