Jan 2019 – Back to Back Cruising

bd11csh0tmc9e6p3z1w9za

Paradise Island – Overnight Nassau

 

bbxa0u50ti69kjpjwuir0g

Carnival Victory docked at Key West, FL

 

My family and I just came returned from a “Back to Back” or B2B cruise. You might ask, what’s that? Well, it’s where you take at least two cruises back to back. For example, we cruised 4-7 Jan 2019 on the Carnival Victory out of Miami to Overnight Nassau. Then we stayed on the same ship, same cabins (you have to ask for this!), and cruised 7-11 Jan 2019 on the Carnival Victory to Key West and Cozumel. Because we had the same room, there was no need to pack our suitcases. In between cruises, we had a leisurely day eating breakfast, waiting for all to exit ship, and then we got priority “boarding” for our second cruise. We only had to exit to show our passports to customs, re-board and receive our new sign and sail cards. The process was easy.  Note: Each cruise is separate so you do need to settle each cruise account separately.

So, we talked about B2B cruises and if we would do this again. Let me share the pros and cons with you while it’s fresh in my mind:

Pros:

  • The transition between cruises was nice. Knowing in advance what is going to happen will help facilitate the transfer. Carnival sent us a letter on the last night of the first cruise explaining the process in detail.
  • We were treated like special guests because we did the B2B cruises. On the 2nd cruise, we found a bottle of champagne in our rooms with a note from the Maitre D.
  • The staff also left us a nice basket of fruit in each room with a $50 off spa certificate.
  • We were offered complimentary drinks in between the cruises, to include alcoholic drinks!
  • The photographer took a group photo of all the B2B cruisers. That photo was free to each cabin.
  • Our cruise price was an early saver so not only did we got a great price, we got a $50 credit for our cabin for each cruise. Then we got a discount on port fees as well for both cruises (this discount was provided to all cruisers).  My Mom got casino room rates and $50 casino cash for each cruise! The casino cash does not need to be used in the casino. If we did one 7 night cruise, we would only get the on board credit and casino cash once! So it’s double the fun if you do B2B!
  • The Fun Times cruise planner provided different entertainment options which was nice. That’s may be because we chose two different cruise locations.

Cons:

  • Be prepared to entertain yourselves while the cruise line gets all those required to exit the ship, off the ship. The letter from Carnival did not give us a feel for how long the exit process would take. We were told to meet at 9:30 am in the dinning room, and everyone that is required to exit is normally off the ship by 10 am. While the exiting process was ongoing, since we were in Miami, we were able to use our cellular service, but some of our group ran out of charge on their devices. Not many thought to bring an additional charger. Also, the 4G cellular service was unable to download new Netflix shows. Be prepared to entertain yourselves with conversation, mobile phone, a good book, or drafting blog posts!
  • B2B cruising for us felt like we went on 2 cruises. The mix of the people were totally different between the 2 cruises. The first cruise had a great balance for our age group, but the 2nd cruise had a higher mix of college aged people looking to “let go” on their vacation.
  • The first cruise was 3 nights and the second cruise 4 nights. The menu in the main dinning room was exactly the same for at least 2 of the nights making you feel like, “…didn’t we already have this?
  • We added one additional person to the second cruise which was great, but we ended up with different waiters that were not as attentive making our experience not as good as the first cruise.

So are B2B cruises a great alternative?  Yes, they can be!  B2B cruises provide twice the fun and twice the credits!  Yes, we plan to do it again!

 

Between The Dashes!

Happy New Year – Happy Better You!

Happy-New-Year-GIF-2016

Happy New Year, and a big welcome to 2019!  The past is behind us.  It’s time to learn from the past and look forward to the future!  Don’t forget to consider establishing your vision for the next 5 years.  Check out Happy New Year!  for details.

One more thing.  This morning, I read a post about the habits of the rich vs. those of the poor.  This post was very motivating, so I wanted to share it with you, Your Miraculous Future is Going to Be Amazing

I pray that 2019 brings you clarity, good health, a closer relationship with God, and blessings beyond your imagination!

 

Between The Dashes!

How To Get The Best Price On Your Cruise!

209387

Have you ever wondered how to get the best price for your cruise vacation?  Well, let me count the ways!  My family and I love cruising, and we have been to the “school of hard knocks” when trying to get a great cruise deal!  So, I’m sharing what I’ve learned so far.  I want your cruise vacation to be memorable and at a great price!  Before we get into how to get the best price for your cruise, there are some simple steps I recommend you take to become a cruise insider. Cruise insiders stay on top of the deals and promotions as they become available so you know a great price when you see it, and you have lots of great choices before you decide.

To become a cruise insider:

  • Establish an online account with the cruise line(s) you are interested in.  This will enable you to compare cruises and save the ones of interest for later research.  Once you cruise, this online account establishes a rewards member number that can be used to get freebies as you become a loyal customer.

 

  • Use social media to get the latest on deals, promotions, etc. for the cruise lines.  Actually follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.  If you have your notifications turned on, you will get a lot of traffic so be prepared.  If you enjoy this type of thing, you will have loads of fun with this tip!

 

  • Sign up for the cruise line newsletter.  Deals and special promotions are also advertised in the newsletter.  Also, most cruise lines have a blog.  Lots of good info here as well.

 

  • Don’t forget to sign up for the promotions that are sent out by email.  You don’t want to miss anything!

Continue reading

Happy New Year!

Happy-New-Year-2016-GIF-Images-And-Share-Download-Free-2

 

Happy New Year!  I hope this post finds you in good spirits and looking forward to another year!

As 2019 approaches, most of us think about what we will do different this year.  We may decide that this is the year we will lose weight, eliminate our debt, or travel more.  Perhaps we will pursue that promotion we always wanted.  Each year brings on new possibilities.  We have so much to consider, and so much to do.

Instead of New Years resolutions, why not establish a 5 year plan?  This approach will allow you to be strategic, focus on your priorities, understand what takes you away from your priorities and help you to truly work towards achieving your goals.  To get started, I recommend you take a look at the website Organize My House, and the post, How To Create A 5 Year Plan which can be found here:  https://organisemyhouse.com/how-to-create-a-5-year-plan/

Make your goals for 2019 fit into your overall vision for the future.  Happy New Year, and I wish the best for you and your family!

 

Between The Dashes