Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The #Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – Cruising – Reports and Tips -Part One.

Delighted to welcome D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies to the blog as a regular contributor with her new Travel Column. Debby is a non-fiction author who has received wonderful reviews for her inspirational memoirs. She also is a seasoned traveler and her book Have Bags Will Travel is packed with useful information and entertaining stories of her own adventures.

To get the column off to a flying start (or in this case sailing start), Debby has three posts on Cruising holidays which will be posted every two weeks before moving to a regular monthly slot.

Travel Column – Reports and Tips – Part 1

Thank you Sally for inviting me to guest post for your Travel Blog Magazine series. In this series I’ll be sharing some of my favorite places I’ve traveled to, tips about preparing for travel, staying safe when traveling, and how to get the best bang for your dollars.
In today’s post I’ll be talking about cruises. I love cruising. I’ve been on approximately 15 cruises and have the protocol down to a science.

I began cruising with Celebrity cruises because of the many good recommendations I received and after researching various cruise lines while initially trying to decide which cruise line to choose. I had a fabulous first experience cruise with them and never looked any further. I also met many cruisers on the cruises I’ve been on and heard lots of stories about bad experiences with low quality food, tiny cabins, expensive beverages and lack of activities offered. I also met people who traveled on various cruise lines who said their best experience was with Celebrity and I can understand why.

This article is not a plug for any particular cruise line, but rather a sharing about what I’ve gleaned about cruising. Because I travel with Celebrity this is the cruise line I make reference to. Other than the possibility of taking a River Cruise one day, any future cruises I take will remain with Celebrity. I’ve had nothing less than first class service, wonderful amenities, great food, beautiful cabins, and not to mention – their rewards program is fantastic, but I’ll get into that a little later. Therefore, for me, if it aint broken, I aint fixin’. As far as cruisers go, you either love being out on the ocean or you don’t. But for those of us who do, here’s the scoop on what to look for when choosing a cruise.

Which Cruise Line Should I Choose?

This is a matter of preference, pricing and itinerary. For many new cruisers, it can be overwhelming to decide which cruise line to book with. My advice to help you decide is to go to a cruise line site, look at their itineraries, fleet of ships, staterooms (cabins), dining options, reward programs, drink packages, activities, and check what they have offer. Doing your homework is important! You will also take note of which port your cruise leaves from – the further the sailing port is from where you live, the more it will likely cost to fly there. You can also get a good education by checking out sites that passengers leave reviews on such as Tripadvisor, Google, and directly to cruise line sites where travelers often leave honest reviews.

Are you a person who likes to spend a lot of time touring at each port or do you prefer hitting the beaches or shopping? Do too many days at sea in between ports bore you? Personally, I love sea days, they are days to relax at the pool and get my tan on. But some people get a bit antsy with too many sea days, so make sure you check out the ship’s itineraries when looking for one you’d enjoy.

Celebrity Equinox – This was the last ship I sailed with in 2017 – Posted by Mogens Hallas

Which Cabins Are Best For You?

Lodging cabins aboard ship are otherwise known as staterooms. There are various types of staterooms offered, each one with its own price points and perks, depending on your choice of category.

Traditionally, inside cabins are the cheapest, and if you’re anything like me, loving to sit on my balcony to take in the ocean view and enjoy watching the ship dock or sail, you’ll want the freedom of stepping outside your room and perhaps sipping on a cocktail after a lovely day in the sun. But some people are willing to forgo these benefits for a cheaper price and don’t mind an inside cabin.

Inside cabins don’t have windows or balconies, and as you may have seen in movies, the very bottom floors may have a tiny portal window if the cabin is just above sea level. I’m also claustrophobic so that is certainly no option for me.

Oceanview cabins have large floor to ceiling windows facing the ocean, but unless you go up one category, they don’t include balconies. From there, we get into oceanview cabins with balconies and yet another upgrade termed Concierge Class. These cabins are typically a little more generous in size with upgraded room amenities, bigger bathrooms, and come with additional services – your own stateroom attendant on call 24/7 for all your needs including room service orders.

Typically, in this class, you will also find other goodies in your stateroom upon arrival such as: a bottle of wine or champagne, personal tote beach bags, yours to keep, coupons for discounts in select restaurants onboard that aren’t part of your package, wifi usage, priority disembarking privileges, and of course, afternoon hor’s d’heurves of your choice brought to your cabin daily.

Next category up is Concierge Class cabins with spa privileges, ie: use of sauna and relaxing aromatherapy rooms for cabin passengers situated on spa floors, plus dining privileges in the ship’s elite restaurant for those who don’t prefer eating in the huge dining room where patrons congregate nightly for dinner at designated times.

Then of course, you have the Penthouse Cabins, which are almost condo-sized, complete with every imaginable perk including large balconies with sunbeds and a personal butler!

Which Part Of The Ship Is The Least Rocky?

The quick answer is ‘midship’. Midship cabins will typically run you a little more money than the same cabin type located at either the front or back ends of the ship. You will feel the least movement of the ship in a midship cabin. Personally, I don’t get seasick, despite encountering a few rough patches on a couple of cruises I took. But there are several aids people use to combat seasickness.

Some recommended aids to help with seasickness are Seabands, worn on the wrists, said to work on accupressure points to hold nausea at bay. Others swear by Bonine and Gravol. These are tablets you can purchase at any drugstore. Just make sure to take the non-drowsy Gravol or you might sleep away half your vacation!

What Do I Need To Know About Boarding The Ship?

Typically, on all cruises I’ve taken out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the cruises depart around 4PM, and protocol is, you can board up to 3 hours early and have lunch aboard and mingle before you’re assigned the okay to go to your cabin as time is needed to clean the rooms from the last sailing’s passengers. Concierge Class and all categories higher can board earlier because they have priority checkin.

The cruise lines state clearly that anyone missing final boarding time should find their way over to the next port that ship will sail to. So not fun! For this reason, many cruisers like myself, are seasoned enough to know that unforeseen circumstances such as flight delays, bad weather, etc., can leave you vulnerable to getting left behind from boarding the ship for same day arrivals. For these reasons, I prefer to fly out at least a day before the ship’s sail and begin my vacation earlier. Besides, I get extra cross border shopping time in!

Boarding a ship is similar to going through airport security where you will pass through similar security checks and scanners for your personal items to ensure safety for all passengers. Similarly, when the ship docks in each port and you return from an off-ship excursion, you will go through the same security procedure to re-board.

Once you’ve checked in on the ship, you’ll be given a ship card which will serve as your room key and cruise credit card where anything you purchase aboard – drinks, upgraded restaurant meals, shopping, booked tours, paid activities, etc., will all be charged to that card. You will pay your onboard cruise bill the evening before returning to your disembarking port at the end of the cruise.

As soon as the ship sails, each passenger will be directed to their section’s muster station for a short crash-course on emergency procedures. This is mandatory on all ships although, meeting times will vary with each cruise line.

Rewards Programs

Most cruise lines offer perks for new cruisers and upgrades for patrons who are repeat cruisers. It’s important to check what your cruise line has to offer you. I know with Celebrity, the more you cruise, the more discounts and perks you receive for every consequent cruise you take with them. These perks can be anything from cabin upgrades to free drink packages, free wifi, invites to the Captain’s party, discounts on spa facilities, and even discounted tour packages (something I’ll get into on the next post).

The points I earn for each cruise bumps up my status to a new category of perks. To stay competitive, many cruise lines offer package deals you can purchase when booking your cruise such as: a choice of different alcohol and non/alcohol packages and an onboard credit. And many offer these perks as part of a ‘take your choice’ bonus package just for booking with them. There may be a drink package, a special offer to have your tips included, or perhaps free or discounted wifi offered as a special bonus at the time of your booking.

Something else I recommend is if you discover you love cruising, you should book another cruise while onboard at the ship’s travel office because you will receive a discounted price and a cabin upgrade plus a choice of at least 2 or 3 packages included free in your booking onboard. I’m also going to add here that Celebrity has an ‘evergreen’ policy where once you’ve booked another future cruise you can change your destination choice to a different cruise anytime before the booked cruise date to pay the balance in full is due and keep every discount and package you were given when put to a different cruise. So, I highly recommend booking another cruise while onboard – any cruise, it doesn’t matter because you can change the destination or dates indefinitely and as many times as you deem. Note: You will also have the option to cancel a booked cruise and get back your full deposit. So, there’s really nothing to lose – it’s a win/win!

~ ~ ~

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post when I’ll be getting into your dining options, when and where to book excursions, shopping and tipping protocol, and things to beware of!

Do you have any cruise stories or info you’d like to share here?

A wonderful start to the new column and I know I am going to be enjoying finding out more about cruising as it is something on the wish list in the coming years now that we have a little more time. Debby would love your comments and also your questions.

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Debby has written a book about her travel adventures – Have Bags Will Travel

About the book

D.G. Kaye is back, and as she reflects on some of her more memorable vacations and travel snags, she finds herself constantly struggling to keep one step ahead of the ever-changing guidelines of the airlines–with her overweight luggage in tow. Her stories alert us to some of the pitfalls of being an obsessive shopper, especially when it comes time for D.G. to bring her treasures home, and remind us of the simpler days when traveling was a breeze.

In her quest to keep from tipping the scales, D.G. strives to devise new tricks to fit everything in her suitcases on each trip. Why is she consistently a target for Canada customs on her return journeys?

D.G.’s witty tales take us from airports, to travel escapades with best friends, to reflections on how time can change the places we hold dear in our hearts. Her memories will entertain and have you reminiscing about some of your own most treasured journeys–and perhaps make you contemplate revamping your packing strategies.

A recent review for Have Bags Will Travel

Super fun travel reading on April 20, 2018

“Have Bags, Will Travel” is a delightful read on the experiences of travel, fashion, the art of packing suitcases with the emphasis on having a good time. Author, D.G. Kaye details her days on board planes to many popular destinations and her vivacious antics with friends. She also relates her solo travels to exotic destinations with steep cliffs and too much baggage. I particularly enjoyed the details of the by-gone, romantic days aboard Wardair, and the exquisite details of vintage Las Vegas.

A consummate shopper, D.G. Kaye relates her rather humorous run-ins with customs officials. How does it feel to be singled out routinely by airline officials? A read through this humorous pages will give you the insight to these first-hand conflicts.

I would say this might be required reading for shoe connoisseurs and fashion mavens especially if they have a plane ticket in hand. Germ avoidance theory is also discussed, and it may never be possible to look at airplane bathrooms the same.

D.G. Kaye brings back the memories of best friends and blazing trips through the desert. Many readers will identify with the struggles of this stylish lady attempting to blend in to avoid a custom’s mishap. A short and super fun read, “Have Bags, Will Travel” is perfect for your next airplane ride.

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Have-Bags-Will-Travel-Over-Packer-ebook/dp/B015HP1R6S

Other books by D.G. Kaye

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Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Thank you for dropping in today and please help spread the news of Debby’s new travel column.. look forward to your questions and comments. Thanks Sally

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152 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The #Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – Cruising – Reports and Tips -Part One.

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Travel Column with Debby Gies. – The Militant Negro™

  2. Deb, I know I have to take my first cruise with you! By the time this happens, I’ll be old enough not to want to waste any time on mishaps or misadventures. You’ve got the art of traveling down to a science. I love the video and have focused my intention on making it happen. Fabulous post, girlfriend! Thanks to you and Sally for this terrific column ❤️❤️

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Debbie, I was lucky enough to do my first cruise years ago and I really enjoyed the experience. Your post brought back many wonderful memories of that. I love travelling and reading your post reminded me that it’s an art, too. Many thanks for sharing this with us. All the best.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve only gone on a very short cruise on the Nile, nothing compared to this. I’m not sure I’m a cruise person but I know for some places cruising is the best option. Thanks for the wonderful information, Debby!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The #Travel Column with Debby Gies – Cruising – Reports and Tips -Part One. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  6. We sailed on the very same ship last year. It was a lovely ship and we have no complaints about the actual ship itself. However, after the ride of death on the tender at the Cayman Islands we both agree that we’ve no great need to go on another cruise any time soon!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Reblogged this on Stevie Turner and commented:
    Yes, the Celebrity Equinox is a wonderful ship. However, after last year and the ride back to the ship on a tender from Grand Cayman in a terrible storm, I’ll be spending the next few years at my holiday home on the Isle of Wight!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you Debby and Sally for a great informative post. I have cruise on the Med on my wish list. I have taken a Nile cruise – my first solo holiday and I have never looked back! Looking forward to reading more posts on this new column. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I have only been on a 3-day cruise which was very enjoyable but have heard the horror stories from a friend so not have had any urge to try a longer cruise…Yet…Great post 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. oh wow, Debby, I would love to go on a cruise. I love the sea and can think of no better holiday than being on the sea 24 7 and also the onshore excursions. Thank you so much this was a lovely post and I watched the video all the way through. I already want the best cabin with a personal butler, of course. lol ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  11. What a fabulous Travel Column Sally and Deb, I love it! I am especially keen on reading about your cruise tips and advice Deb. I had never been on a cruise until hubby and I decided to go all out for our honeymoon. I definitely didn’t want an inside cabin, claustrophic like you, and also wanted the balcony for sure. We did a two week Caribbean Taster. We flew out to Barbados and our trip from the airport to the dock by bus on a Friday night through Georgetown was itself an amazing adventure, with all the barbeques and beer stands out in the streets. Friday nights are party nights no matter where you are! We learnt a few lessons, the main one not to book a full day excursion the very first day after you arrive. By the time we got to our cabin the first night, got our luggage and had dinner, it was midnight, and we had to be up and off the ship by 9am the following morning and we were exhausted after our 9 hour flight the day before. But what was wonderful was cracking open the champagne left in our room the first night and drinking it on our balcony as we sailed to the first island of Grenada, basking in the divine warm air off the ocean 🙂 Also like you, I loved the days at sea on the way back, giving us time to relax and explore the ship, but as we got closer to England from the wonderful sunshine and heat of the Caribbean, it got colder and rougher (it was late March!) and we had to cross the Bay of Biscay, one of the roughest waters around – which we hadn’t realised! So many people got ill, and I felt distinctly quesy, but we found a cure for seasickness: a pint of Stellar and a hamburger. No kidding! We’ve decided to take another cruise in September to Norway, this time it goes Southampton to Southampton, so just a shortish drive for us there and back and no flying at all. It won’t be hot, but we will stop in a different port every day. Really excited about it. Can’t wait for your next post Deb, I’ll wait until then to share stories with you about the food and drinks packages and our other lessons learned. And of course, I want all the tips I can get from you lol! Hugs both lovelies 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sounds like an amazing cruise Sherri and been through the Bay a couple of times and it can be rough.. I actually quite like it (masochist!) It is a long time since I took a cruise so will be making notes from Debby’s posts too. Look forward to your take on the food too.. Your own archive post all set up for 10.30 tomorrow.. hugs ♥

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh Sally, you are braver than I! I heard that ship creaking and groaning and all I could think of was the Titanic!! It as an amazing cruise though, loved the Caribbean and want to go back so much! Yes, we will both be making lots of notes from Debby’s posts, wonderful column. Thanks so much Sally, looking forward to it, and big hugs back! 🙂 ❤ xxx

        Liked by 1 person

    • Wow Sher, thanks so much for sharing your experience here. It sounds like you not only had a blast but learned a lot about the dos and don’ts.
      I can imagine the choppy waters back to England in March. I’ve experienced a few ‘rocky’ nights on the Caribbean, but not enough to ever stop me from wanting to go on another cruise. Now I look forward to hearing more chiming in from you on my next post! Thanks for visiting my lovely friend. ❤ ❤ xxx

      Liked by 2 people

      • You inspired me Deb! Love chimining in when I can, and then I can’t stop lol! I meant to also say thank you for your great tips about keeping to the middle of the ship to minimise the motion, and also for the great deals when booking the next cruise while still onboard. I remember the call out to do that before we disembarked, and we were so tempted, but didn’t. The cruise in September is the first one since then, 12 years ago. Bring on your next post! 🙂 >3 xxx

        Liked by 2 people

      • Fabulous! Glad to be helpful. Well, like I said, book another cruise while you’re aboard. It’s only $100 deposit that you can move many times and keep your perks! Also, book something within the first few days. Many seasoned travelers know this trick and if there’s a popular cruise you want to book, the good cabins go first. Just sayin’ 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 2 people

      • Haha! You’re ‘just sayin’ gives great tips, you know the score Deb! 😀 Explains why all those best cabins disappear so fast! It’s a great perk that you can put down such a small deposit, and then make any changes afterwards as and when. There’s a lot more to cruising than meets the eye – and we get to hear all about it from you, my friend, wonderful seasoned traveller. Thanks again my friend! 🙂 ❤ 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  12. Lots of good info here. We’ve been on one cruise–the Inside Passage segment of an Alaska/Yukon land/sea package. It really was great, but we’re not likely to be on many more–just not our thing. My wife’s sister goes on one nearly every year with a usual female friend. We do expect some river cruises in Europe, maybe one in Norway and possibly the Caribbean some day. Still, useful insights. I don’t recall now which line, but my wife’s cousin used to perform on one (she’s a singer).

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Pingback: The new Travel Column at Smorgasbord Invitation featuring D.G. Kaye

  14. I can highly recommend a cruise through the Norwegian fjords, especially in a small ship. We had fabulous weather and an upgrade to the Owner’s cabin so it will be difficult to better that cruise. I’ve had 2 cruises through the Bay of Biscay in bad storms bur wearing sea bands and lying down I was fine.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. We love cruising and have been on a number of cruises with a variety of cruise lines. They have all been good but I must admit, Celebrity was the best. I also have a friend who works on the Celebrity ships and they treat their staff so well which is reflected in the customer service. We have done a river cruise as well which was amazing! Great tips my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. You certainly are the queen of cruising, Debby! Thank you for all the Info.

    John & I have gone on several cruises and are thinking about going to the Greek isles next year for our 20th anniversary. Right now we are still not feeling well from the recent trip – jet lag and also went out a few days after we returned to a new restaurant to celebrate our anniversary. Something we both ate make us sick and three days later we are still feeling punky. Sigh! No travel until the fall. Hate to think of flying anywhere in this state.

    We’ve never been on Celebrity but have traveled with Princess, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean. We tried the relaxed cruising but didn’t like it as much as the regular dress up cruises. I found that people dress sloppily on the relaxed cruises. It’s nice to dress up at night to eat out.

    Look forward to more posts about cruising. Thank you, Sally and Debby, for adding this interesting and valuable segment to your blog. Hugs xx ❤️ to both of you, my friends!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for sharing Janice, and sorry to hear about your upset travel tummies. Take some activated charcoal tablets, they help absorb the bad stuff in the gut :). And I’m with you, I like to dress at night too. And for those nights you feel like being casual, you can go to the buffet. Incidentally, Celebrity is the one step up sister cruise line to Royal Caribbean. ❤ xxx

      Liked by 2 people

      • That is good to know about the tablets. We’ve been eating chicken soup all day today. Plenty of tea and some toast, dry cereal. Feeling a little better but my hubbie is taking longer to bounce back. He is a little older. I didn’t know that Celebrity is part of Royal Caribbean. Will check it out for next year for the Greek Isles if it goes there. Hugs xx

        Liked by 2 people

      • Sorry to hear about your hubby still unwell Janice. Trust me I know this. I’ve watched my husband suffer many times from illness and am aware how much longer it takes him to bounce back. Hopefully. the worst is almost over. 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hope so. He has lost some weight and I am trying to feed him but he isn’t interested in much. I only lost one pound since being home and now my appetite is coming back. Sigh! I think I may have gained a few on the trip so maybe I did lost about 5 lbs. It’s a battle. Thanks for the kind words. He is only 6 years older than me. Hugs xx

        Liked by 2 people

      • Strange things happen to my body when I travel. It swells up and my legs get thicker than they already are! Yikes! I don’t know what is happening to me. I think it is the flying, elevation, food, etc. that affects me. Once I got home I went back to normal in a day or so. Too much salt in the food too. Sigh! Sorry for going on about it. But it puts a damper on my travel plans. It could be because I ate too much! LOL! Ugh! Hugs xx

        Liked by 2 people

      • Lol, you’re funny. But seriously, a lot of people swell on the plane. You should buy compression socks and wear them when flying. Also, I never drink alcohol on a plane because it swells my feet too. And do watch your salt intake. Make sure to drink lots of water on the plane too. 🙂 xx Just sayin’ 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 2 people

      • I did all that but this continues all through my trip. I continue to swell. Maybe I should wear compression socks all the time when I travel. The only place I don’t get like this is in Aruba. I usually lose 5-6 lbs and trim down and feel great! But of course we swim every day, walk miles and eat healthy – fish, fish and more fish. Ahh – can’t wait until Aruba vacation in October! You should check it out! You would love it there! Hugs xx

        Liked by 2 people

    • Sorry that you are not doing so well. as Debby said Charcoal tablets and keep hydrated.. Just goes to show, you travel around the world and eat food you wouldn’t normally, come home and get food poisoning… you should really inform them and see if others were affected. Just in case they have a contaminant in the kitchens.. hugs ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I have to add that I took a cruise to Alaska – roughest cruise I have ever been on. The majority of the travelers were sick. It was awful – bathrooms were backed up, halls were a mess from all the sick people! Yuck! I was one of several out of 1000 who did not get sick! I did wear bands on my wrists. I guess they worked!? Wonderful trip though! Beautiful state with so much to see and do. It’s a must for everyone.

    Another cruise I took was to Panama Canal. That was also incredible going through the locks and seeing how they negotiate large ships through. Amazing! Another must trip!

    Hugs Debby and Sally! Xx 💕

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sounds like you’re a true cruiser my friend! I’ve heard from many who loved the Alaska cruises, sorry to hear about your experience. I also remember meeting this hilarious gay couple last year on the cruise and they were telling me they’d been on a Panama cruise. They said it was beautiful but they would never get off the ship again there because they said they almost died from extreme heat exhaustion on bus tours with no air con LOL 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Having never been on a cruise before, a lot of this is new to me. For example, being able to board 3 hours early would be great, I would think – I could settle in and get on vacation a few hours early 😉 Great first post here, Debby! And wonderful choice of writer, Sally ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  19. This is great advice from Debby. Well organized and full of useful information. I’ve been on two ocean cruises that were lots of fun, and my parents have done river cruises. It’s a fun easy way to travel. 🙂 Love the new feature, Sally, especially as I gear up for some travel!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Debby, great advice here and a new to me cruise line. I’ve never heard of Celebrity and must check them out. I have gone on a very special cruise in the Hebridean in a small exclusive ship with only 50 passengers. The Queen often uses it and it was a most amazing break. Good idea about the reward programmes and booking whilst still out there! Happy Travelling … you’ve got me eager to try out cruising again.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Music, Food, Travel, Legends, Books, Special Guests and Stories | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  22. Fascinating post. I’ve never been on a cruise but have often thought I’d like to. I’d really love to do a scenic river cruise in Europe. How wonderful to do one together one day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Hi Debby! Great post! My first cruise was on Carnival Cruise line, because a family member worked for them. My family and I went on many cruises with them. At first, I thought it was okay. The food was good and the shows were good too, but with time things began to decline and they began to cater more to children than anything else. The last cruise we went on Carnival was awful, so we never cruised on it again. My husband and I decided to try Royal Caribbean and we loved it. They had great food and shows with Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group and other Las Vegas style shows. We began to cruise with them. The ships were huge and beautiful. One of the ships even had a replica of New York’s Central Park on one of the decks. My sister-in-law works for NCL now, so we’ve taken a few cruises with them, but my favorite is still Royal Caribbean. I haven’t been on Celebrity Cruises, so we’ll have to try it for sure now. Thanks for the report. 😀 xx

    Liked by 2 people

  24. I’ve never been on a cruise before, so I’m enjoying this feature, learning all there is to know about this kind of vacation. I love the water and I love relaxation. My initial thinking that cruise ships are full of people crowding me appears to be wrong. How about bringing alcohol on board? Is that allowed or detected by the security checks?

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I’ve never been on a cruise. I am terribly claustrophobic and everyone I talk to about cruises tells me how cramped and tiny the rooms are. I mean I actually stop breathing and then sob hysterically when caught in tight places. However, if I ever do go on one, I will definitely book a cruise with you, Debby. Your sense of humor would keep me laughing so I’d forget where I was. Love and hugs, Sally and Debby.

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I would be delighted to receive your feedback (by commenting, you agree to Wordpress collecting your name, email address and URL) Thanks Sally

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