July 2017 – Western Caribbean Cruise On Carnival Cruiseline

In July 2017, we decided to go on a cruise with our daughter who lives in Chicago. When other family members heard about it, the number of attendees grew.  As the cruise drew near, some dropped out, but in the end, there were a total of 8 of us across 4 cabins.

We picked a 4 day Western Caribbean cruise going to Key West and Cozumel, roundtrip from Miami, FL on the Carnival Victory.  The cruise was amazing! The ship was renovated in 2015, and the ship and cabins were roomy and well decorated.  There were lots of activities on board starting with the Sail away party.  I never noticed this activity on previous Carnival cruises, but it’s so worth going!  On the top deck, the combination of the cruise director, cruise staff, a DJ, cruisers, line dancing, and lots of food and drink make for an awesome start to any cruise!

Some of the other activities included Karaoke which is a must for any cruiser that loves music!  Carnival went all out for this activity!  I have a video of my sister singing “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugar Hill Gang.  This was the song in the day!  She had the entire audience clapping, shouting, dancing and singing with her!  Now, when I look for cruises, my husband always asks, “Is there karaoke?”  He doesn’t want to go if it’s not on the itinerary.

The other question he asks, “Is there a Guy’s Burger Joint?”  These burgers need to be on your bucket list!  The first time we learned of these burgers, we had them daily for lunch!  They are amazing!!  Make sure to check the dining options before you book because this burger joint is not on all Carnival ships yet.

We did one excursion in Key West.  We needed an activity for all ages so we did the trolley tour.  Of course, we had to try the conch fritters!  Oh la la!!

Now I must mention the casino.  It doesn’t really matter if you are going to win or not, you have to go through the casino to get to the restaurants, pools, etc.  As you walk thru the casino, the slot machines and the table games are calling your name.  The casino is saying, “You can win big money with me!”  The waitresses are offering free drinks (especially if you are a “repeat offender”), and there is an oldies but goodies band playing your favorite melodies.  So, you gotta stop and spend some time!  There is even a dance floor in the casino!

The food on the ship is very good.  My daughter doesn’t think it’s as good as Princess Cruises, but it’s hard to beat fresh seafood on an Alaskan Cruise.  There are so many onboard activities, and Carnival is all about having fun!

Cruises are really a value, especially if you can take advantage of the off season.  We had so much fun, and there’s hardly any planning involved.  Another plus for booking cruises.  We plan to do an annual family cruise.

I’m interested in your family traditions for vacations.  Feel free to leave a comment!

Between The Dashes

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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