Friday, June 21, 2013

Embarking on an Adventure

You’ve been on pins and needles since you made that final payment, and now the day has finally arrived. You’ve made it to the port, handed your luggage to the porter, gone through check-in and security. You’re ready to start your vacation! But wait, you can’t get on the ship yet. There’s still one thing left to do - take the embarkation picture!

I thought it would be fun to share some of our embarkation pictures through the years.

Carnival Fantasy embarkation photo
1991 - our honeymoon and first cruise

Friday, June 7, 2013

What to Include in a Cruise Review

setting sail from the Port of Miami
Setting Sail - one of my favorite parts of a cruise

While I was researching for our recent cruise on the Carnival Paradise, I found an interesting question on the Cruise Critic message boards ( The poster was planning to write a detailed review of her cruise and wanted to know what information we looked for in a review. I was curious about this too so I compiled the responses. Here are the top 5 answers.

1. Pictures, pictures, pictures
Almost everyone agreed that a review can’t have too many pictures. In fact, only one person said she didn’t care about pictures. Karysa, the lone dissenter, said they reminded her of the slide shows she used to endure while visiting relatives as a kid. “I just skip over the pictures mostly and get right to the text.”

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Fun on the Fun Ship Paradise

feet on railing


This wasn’t our first choice for a getaway. OK, it wasn’t even our second or third choice. What I really, REALLY wanted to do this summer was to go to the Outer Banks, but Southwest discontinued their direct flights to Norfolk. Airfare made a long weekend trip to the Caribbean out of the question. Then we thought we would use airline miles to fly to Miami and take a cruise on the Carnival Victory. But American Airlines wouldn’t let us use our miles on the flights we wanted. Foiled by the airlines! We couldn’t fly and Ron didn’t want to drive, so we booked a trip on the Carnival Paradise out of Tampa.

We got to the port around 1 and were on the ship by 1:30. The first thing we did after dropping our bags in the cabin was head to the Elation Dining Room to change our dining assignment. Since we’d booked last minute, we were wait-listed for Your Time Dining. But our room card said we’d been assigned to Early Seating. That was not going to work! The maĆ®tre d’ told us that Your Time Dining was full but at least he was able to switch us to Late Seating.