How To Get The Best Price On Your Cruise!

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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!

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May 2018 – Southern Caribbean Cruise on Carnival Cruise Line

This was the first time Al and I went on a cruise, just the two of us, leaving from Port Canaveral going to Aruba, Curacao, and Grand Turk on the Carnival Sunshine.  During this cruise, we experienced a lot of firsts which I’m excited to share!

  • Cruise Director:  Al and I weren’t aware how important the cruise director is on a cruise.  Ours was awesome!  Our Cruise director was Mikey, and he made you feel like you wanted to be wherever he was on the ship because you knew you were going to have fun!  Now I know what it means to say Carnival’s “Fun Ships”!  Mikey selected Al to participate in a dance contest and Al actually won!  Mikey started our day with fun and had events all day long if you were up to it!  Here’s a pic of Mikey with Al and I.

 

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27 Oct 2016 – Miami Auto Museum At The Dezer collection

This auto museum was the bomb!!  There are so many one of a kind cars, motorcycles, bicycles and so much more!  I’m finally getting the time to share.  Feel free to comment and let me know if you enjoyed this post!

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Flintstones Movie, 1994

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Flintstones Movie, 1994

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Jun 2016 Western Caribbean Cruise – Oasis of the Seas

The girls (Mom, Daughter and I) cruised 4-11 Jun 2016 to Haiti, Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico.   This was our first cruise.   Lessons learned:

1.  Don’t start your cruise on your travel day.  We discovered that even with insurance, if your flight is delayed or anything happens that makes you miss your ship, the best the insurance can do is fly you to the next port.  This will shorten your cruise, and in our case by 2 days.  I don’t know what other compensations are available, but the cruise ship waits for no one!  So this time we flew a day early, spent the night in a hotel that provided travel to the port as well as pick you up when you return.   You have a choice of going directly to the airport or do more excursions before boarding your plane.

2.  Remember to pack sundries because they cost lots of money while on the cruise.  Examples of things to bring are:

  • Sea bands or motion sickness meds
  • Over the counter meds for tummy issues, colds, pain, etc
  • Your favorite snacks unless you know you can get them on the cruise.  Examples includes nuts, chips or your favorite treat.
  • Sunscreen, insect repellant

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21 May 2016 – Shenandoah, VA

My husband and I haven’t done a weekend getaway in a while so we decided to go someplace we’ve been talking about for at least 10 years – Luray Caverns!  Following are just a few treasures.  If you love nature, the caverns should definitely be on your bucket list!

Some history:  Cold air rushing out of a limestone sinkhole atop a big hill west of Luray, Virginia, blew out a candle held by Andrew Campbell, the town tinsmith, on the morning of August 13, 1878. So began the discovery of Luray Caverns.

Campbell, three other men, and his 13-year-old nephew, Quint, were exploring the area, looking for a cave. With the help of local photographer Benton Stebbins, the men dug away loose rocks for four hours before, candle in hand, Campbell and Quint slid down a rope into the cave. They could scarcely believe what they saw. The party had discovered the largest series of caverns in the East, an eerie world of stalactites and stalagmites seen by the light of a candle.

Luray Caverns, Luray, VA – in this section of the caverns, the water collected provides a mirror image of the structure above!

 

 


 


 

Debra & Al Saletta Luray Caverns 13 May 2016

 

Not only did we visit the caverns but we checked out some local attractions.  Following are pics from our visit to the Meems Bottom Covered Bridge in Mount Jackson, VA.  First, a little history:

One of the best-known covered bridges is the 204-foot single-span Burr arch truss known as Meem’s Bottom Covered Bridge in Mount Jackson. The Meem’s Bottom Bridge was constructed in 1892-93 from materials cut and quarried nearby for the massive arch supports and stone abutments, which extended 10 feet below the riverbed.  It was deeded to the Highway Department in the 1930’s in return for assuming its maintenance.  This long span over the North Fork of the river carried traffic for more than 80 years before being burned by vandals on Halloween 1976.  After salvaging the original timbers, the bridge was reconstructed and eventually undergirded with steel beams and concrete piers. The bridge was reopened to traffic in 1979 and is still in operation to date.  One of the many stops along the Wilderness Trail in Shenandoah County! (Source:  http://www.virginia.org/listings/OutdoorsAndSports/HistoricMeemsBottomCoveredBridge/)

 

 

 

 

We also toured the Route 11 Kettle Chip factory.   If you like potato chips, you’ve got to try these!

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Route 11 Potato Chips, 11 Edwards Way, Mount Jackson, VA  22842 540-477-9664

17-20 Mar 2016 – Miami, FL

 

Welcome to Miami!

 

Trump National Doral, Miami, FL

My oldest daughter invited me to the 2015 AT&T Awards Summit in Miami, FL. She was one of the top VIPs recognized by AT&T for her sales record in 2015.  Imagine spending 4 days and 3 nights at the Trump National Doral and being treated like royalty with an all expense paid trip (flights, hotel, food, activities, and free gifts!).  The gifts consisted of iPads, designer Michael Kohrs purses with matching wallets, kitchen items (dinnerware setting for 4), pots and pans, expresso machines), camping gear, mountain bikes, tablets, cameras, wine storage coolers, jewelry, designer watches and sunglasses.  I could go on and on.  The gifts were just awesome!  I need to be clear that we only got one gift each but my awesome daughter gave me her ticket so I was able to get TWO gifts!

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23 Aug 2015 – Cairo, Egypt

While working for the Army, I had the opportunity to travel to Cairo, Egypt for business!  How often does that happen?  For a civilian, not often!  It was a memorable experience for me.  It’s like it was a few years ago.

During our free time, we visited the pyramids, toured the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and did a dinner cruise up the Nile River.  I would love to visit Cairo again!

Debra Saletta in front of Great Sphinx of Giza with the Giza Necropolis in the background

Debra with Great Sphinx of Giza and the Giza Necropolis in the background

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9 Aug 2015 – Caribbean Cruise – May 2015

We enjoyed our December 2014 cruise so much we decided to go on another one!  But this time, we cruised on the Carnival Pride (see the ship below – ship capacity for 2,124 passengers).  The Carnival Pride is an older ship and is smaller than the Quantum of the Seas which has a capacity of 4180 passengers.

Carnival Pride

Carnival Pride

Our itinerary:

Day 1 – Depart Baltimore, MD

Day 2 – At Sea

Day 3 – At Sea

Day 4 – Grand Turk

Day 5 – Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

Day 6 – Freeport, Bahamas

Day 7 – At Sea

Day 8 – Arrive Baltimore, MD

Cruise Map

Cruise Map

 

This cruise was so different from our first.  We did not have to travel for 6 hours by bus to get to our departure port – only 90 min with traffic!  We were able to board as soon as we arrived which was a lot earlier than our boarding passes indicated – nice! Continue reading

8 Aug 2015 – Bahamas Cruise, Dec 2014

This was our first cruise!  It was also about six months after my husband (2nd time) and I (first time) retired.  Our travel agent recommended a cruise because we had family members of various ages traveling – from 10 years to 79 years old!  A cruise has something for all ages, besides all the variety of food!

The cruise ship left from Cape Liberty, NY which is driving distance from our home.  The travel agent mentioned this as another benefit – no need to fly.  Unfortunately, it was a 6 hour one-way bus ride drive with numerous stops.  We are not doing the bus ride thing again.  Flying is definitely the way to go!

We cruised on Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas (guest capacity at 4180).  We had balcony staterooms which really adds to the cruise experience!  It’s one of their newer ships (now traveling the Asian route) with the North Star, Seaplex (roller skating, bumper cars, basketball, table tennis), rock climbing, Flowrider, Dreamworks, and Ripcord (simulated ski diving).  This particular ship set the standard for all of our future cruises.  Entertainment (Momma Mia, night clubs, movies, etc.), food, cleanliness, etc – everything was of the highest quality!  Our itinerary is listed below:

Day 1 – Depart Cape Liberty, NY

Day 2 – At Sea

Day 3 – At Sea

Day 4 – Port Canaveral, FL

Day 5 – Nassau, Bahamas

Day 6 – CocoCay, Bahamas (private island)

Day 7 – At Sea

Day 8 – At Sea

Day 9 – Arrive Cape Liberty, NY

Some photos from our trip are below.   One thing I need to mention.  The voyage was so smooth.  You did not even realize the ship was moving.  We didn’t realize how important this was until we did our cruise in May 2015 on the Carnival Pride.  Regardless, we all had a fantastic time!

Royal Carribean Cruise, 9 Days and 8 Nights - 12-20 Dec 2014

Royal Caribbean Cruise, 9 Days and 8 Nights – 12-20 Dec 2014

CocoCay, Bahamas

CocoCay, Bahamas

Oldest Daughter Swimming with the Stingrays!

Our Daughter Swimming with the Stingrays!