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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wow! What a long time it has been since my last posting. In my head my last posting was merely a couple months ago, but to see over a year has passed is quite disheartening. I created this page for a class I took in college, but I enjoyed the weekly posting, and hoped to keep the blog going. There are quite a few websites dedicated to cruising, and there are forums for cruisers to use (I know as I am active on one or two!), but I feel a blog is a more personal experience, and definitely more in depth.

 So I hereby declare the reactivation of My Cruise My Way! Stay tuned for cruise updates, tips, random posts, and some memories of my past cruising. I appreciate any and all of you who have come across my blog in your searches, and I do not want to take that for granted. If you have any questions or comments on cruising you wish to share, post below!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cruise Cheap!

First, I want to apologize for this late posting! Working full time at my internship and researching grad schools has left me with no time to blog! But I have returned, so sit tight and read my tips for cruising cheaply.

All my tips are things I do BEFORE my cruise sets sail!

1- Social Media
Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr have taken over our lives. So many companies try to find ways to market themselves through social medias to reach a broader audience (I should know! I'm currently updating Foursquare for my company!). So go sign up for all these free accounts and follow/friend your favorite cruise lines and cruise websites.

Cruise lines & websites always show off their current sales, they have contests, and you'll be getting up to the minute information just be logging onto your phone while you're waiting for the bus! Sometimes spending hours comparing websites is just too much of hassle, so why not just, click and favorite that Carnival tweet about the $300 on board credit deal?

2-Email
This can work with social media or can be your alternative. Choose two to three of your favorite sites, sign up for their newsletters, and wait for the deals to come to you. Skimming an email quickly will let you know if you're interested and many sites use this to bring their clientele in. If you don't want to look at it, simply delete the email or place it in a special folder so you can view them all later.

3-GTY
Give to you? Gimme time yes?
GUARANTEE! These cabins are for my risk takers but sometimes they work out well in the end. Booking a GTY cabin in a certain category gives you the chance of receiving any cabin in that category, or higher! They run cheaper, and sometimes you end up in a stateroom much nicer than what you paid for.

4-Discounts
Sorry coupon kings and queens, you can't just check your Sunday paper for cruise deals, but you should check yourself! AAA member? Senior Citizen? Resident of a cruise port state? In the military? There are special prices for  all of these and more. Take advantage of what you can and ask your travel agent what you're qualified for. Doesn't hurt to try.


These are some quick tips for you! Now for me? I'm going to check my e-mail and see what cruise deals await me! Happy cruising!

Questions? Comments? Post below!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Being Green at Sea


At my current internship, I’ve been researching many different green initiatives going on in my city, country and around the world. This entry is dedicated to being a bit more earth friendly while at sea.

1-Towels!
Cruise lines provide towels in all their rooms, ranging from small face towels to large towels for your body. They have signs up indicating if you want a new towel:  simply place the old one on the floor. Instead of getting a new towel every night, hang yours up on the door and let it air dry. I don’t think anyone goes through a towel a day at home, so why should you on vacation? Reusing towels save time and energy, less work for our lovely room attendants, and less water is used since towels aren’t being used every day.  
If you want to be even Earth-friendlier, bring your own towel from home! Towels can be easily rolled up in a carry on, or placed in between folded clothes. A little towel goes a long way.

2-Forks, knives & spoons oh my!
When we’re out to eat on the ship, we are gifted with utensils to use throughout your meal. Sometimes you may forget to take your fork back and your server will gladly hand you a new one. Yet, every small fork can add up to a lot once you think about it. Just remember to reuse your utensils at dinner so the server won’t have to bring another one if you forgot your knife on your bread plate.

3- BYOB
No, not beer! Bring your own bottle! I’ve seen across cruise boards how many people complain at the small cups you’re given on board for your water. A better way to ensure happiness for yourself and for the Earth is to bring your own Eco-friendly bottle to fill up as you please. You’ll get more gulps of water, and so will the dish washing machine.

4-Save the waves!
Save The Waves Coalition is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the coastal environment, with an emphasis on the surf zone, and educating the public about its value.  Royal Caribbean supports this cause and you can too! How? Don’t throw things overboard! If you have a napkin that keeps flying out of your hand, put it in your pocket. Don’t let garbage get disposed on board. We sail these seas to enjoy their beauty, and I hope to enjoy it for many years to come!

5- Before you’re on board
Make sure you’re trying to be as Eco-friendly as possible. There are companies that sell Eco-friendly luggage.  Take a bus to the cruise terminal with other passengers instead of taking separate taxis. Keep all your cruise information on a PDF on your phone, instead of printing out countless pieces of paper.

These are just some tips I’ve come across and thought of over time. Being good to the place we live doesn’t stop on vacation! The Earth is connected through land and sea, and every little bit of Earth saving tips helps.

Questions? Comments? Post below!




Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Reviews

How often do you find yourself wanting to check out a new restaurant, but unsure if you're willing to spend the money on something you may not like? I know many people who check reviews on Yelp and Google, looking to see what specials are worth the money, and whether or not that $15 cocktail is worth it.

But vacation reviews? How do you feel about that?

For me, I highly suggest it. Yes every traveler is different: from the 5 am runner to the man who wakes up when the sun goes down (yikes!), but reading about an experience can essentially help you choose your future vacation. Reading cruise reviews are different than hotel or resort reviews, majorly different. You can leave your room for the beach down the street, and head up to the nightclub in the center of town, but a cruise, that's an experience in itself.

I've been researching Alaskan cruises for a while, hoping one day the high lord of lottery will place his good fortune in my bank account. I've looked at ports, excursions, but most of all, reviews. I've learned so much reading the tales of different cruisers, what they liked and disliked, their recommendations. \

I understand many people may think that I, a 22 year old, and the cruise reviewer, a 74 year old, have nothing in common, but I read their words, because I too enjoy my balcony cabins and would like notes on staying warm while cruising through the glaciers. You can pick up tips between what day to arrive in port, to which side of the ship is a better view of the sunrise.

While a hotel is a nice play to stay on a vacation, that's all it is: a place to lay your head down and clean up. A cruise is an experience: your sleeping, eating, entertaining experience. Wouldn't you like to know what people thought of theirs before you boarded your ship?

Questions? Comments? Post below!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cruising is so...this year?

My first cruise was on Norwegian when I was 8 years old. Even though I was young, I still have a pretty good memory of the trip. Yet, even then I remember that cruising wasn't a big way of vacationing. Even now as I read message boards, cruising has drastically changed to fit into the common man's wallet.

My first cruise we had the formal evenings: dresses, suits, the works. Now? Yes cruises still have it, but if you're on one of the mainstream cruises, its probably not enforced and many people could care less about it.

The price has gone way down since way back when. With lower prices, lower quality. Now I enjoyed all the cruises I've been on, and with lower pricing, I can see myself being able to afford these trips more and more, but does quantity really out-do quality? Many people are more willing to try a cruise with a lower price, and thats great and all but cruising loses its...magic...almost.

The food? I remember it being better. Yes I could go on a more quality line like Cunard, but what happened to just picking a line and just getting good food PERIOD? Sad tales....especially when some lines don't have their special midnight buffets. Those are the nights I dream of.

While this may seem like a rant (and it may be :P), I just like to point out some things I've seen and learned along my years of cruising, meeting cruisers, and reading. Change is good, but sometimes I miss the little things, like receiving my luggage tag in the mail. :)

Questions? Comments? Post Below!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Hurricane Cruising

Hurricane season has officially begun! This season runs between June 1st and November 30th, and can provide good and bad news for cruisers. Knowing these facts can help in your cruise vacation, especially since a large portion of cruisers during this time are with their kids.

-Two words: motion sickness. Your cruise ship can definitely avoid storms, no worries about that, but unfortunately we can't control the rough seas the ship sails on. Whether you're a fun of the pills, the bracelet, etc, make sure you have it on hand just in case. While cruise ships do sell motion sickness aids in their gift stores, they tend to be more expensive than your neighborhood pharmacy.

-Oh that port you were excited for? You may not see it. If your cruise ship sees itself in the direction of a hurricane, it may avoid a certain port, or all ports for safety reasons. Your itinerary may change and the cruise you go on could be entirely different. Cruise lines try to make it the best experience for their guests, but unfortunately they can not control the weather. Sometimes you may even be on the ship longer to avoid the storm! Not that I would mind being trapped on vacation.

-More storms tend to happen right around the kiddies are back in school with their fresh notebooks and inked pens. The good thing about this? You can get a great deal on Caribbean cruises at this time. Peak day? September 10th.

-See that little box on your booking? The one labeled insurance? Check it off. Sometimes its better to be safe than sorry, and spending that couple extra dollars now can save you more in your future hurricane cruise.

-Cancelled? While very rare, it CAN happen, especially if your cruise is leaving from a major port such as Fort Lauderdale. Insurance can help you out here.

A lot of these facts are all based on if's and's and maybe's, but with  Mother Nature you never know what can happen, and knowing these little tidbits can aid you in your search for your perfect vacation.

Questions? Comments? Post below!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Handicapable Cruising!

Everyone should be given a chance to sail the seas aboard a cruise ship, and many don't know that they too are given the opportunity to do so. Almost all of the popular lines are accessible for wheelchairs. New laws were put out a couple years ago commanding that all public liners including ferries and cruise ships were to become more accessible for all those who had a disability. Their travel should not be denied because they can not fit their chair through the door, or they can not move around their room.

Handicapped rooms are available at usually all levels: inside, oceanview, balcony & suite. The rooms are bigger, the showers have flat floors so wheelchairs can be easily rolled in, tables are lowered, there are rails to hold on to, etc.

And this is just not in the rooms. Some tables at the casino are altered so wheelchairs can fit under easily, and some pools have whirlpool lifts.

If you or someone you know has a disability and are looking for a way to vacation without it being a hassle, check out cruising! You're not handicapped, you're handicapable :)

Questions? Comments? Post Below!