May 2018 Norwegian Bliss
A wonderful 15-day cruise on a brand-new ship, through the Panama Canal
Ports: Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan
January 2018 MSC Seaside
The least expensive way we've found to do a 7-day cruise with our own Jacuzzi on the balcony
Ports: Miami, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Nassau
October 2017 Norwegian Sky
A four-day cruise in the owner's suite with our own Jacuzzi on the balcony and an open bar
Ports: Miami, Havana
September 2017 Carnival Vista
An 8-day Southern Caribbean cruise in an un-crowded section of the ship for the exclusive use of only 130 passengers
Ports: Miami, La Romana, Aruba, Curacao
April 2017 Harmony Of The Seas
We sailed on the new largest cruise ship in the world, along with 6,700 other passengers. It was crowded.
Ports: Ft Lauderdale, Nassau, St Thomas, St Maarten
January 2017 Norwegian Pearl - Deluxe Owner's Suite
An incredibly luxurious experience in a huge suite with our very own Jacuzzi on the balcony
Ports: Miami, Ocho Rios, Key West
January 2017 Allure Of The Seas
Our second time on one of the largest cruise ships in the world, but one of the worst cruises we've taken!
Ports: Ft Lauderdale, Falmouth, Cozumel
October 2016 Viking Star
A very different kind of Caribbean cruise on this brand new cruise line... and we loved it!
Ports: San Juan, Tortola, Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados, Guadeloupe, St Kitts, St Maarten, St Thomas
July 2016 Liberty Of The Seas
A 7-day Caribbean cruise that was all about a one-of-a-kind water slide.
Ports: Galveston, Roatan, Belize, Cozumel
March 2016 Anthem Of The Seas
A 12-day Caribbean cruise sailing out of Bayonne, New Jersey.
Ports: Bayonne, Labadee, San Juan, St Maarten, Martinique, Barbados, St Kitts
January 2016 Norwegian Escape
A luxurious week in a Haven Spa Suite.
Ports: Miami, St Thomas, Tortola, Nassau
November 2015 Carnival Miracle
A 7-day cruise that included one of the best days of my life!.
Ports: Long Beach, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas
#31 & #32:
September 2015 Carnival Breeze B2B
Perfect weather for a 14-day cruise at the peak of hurricane season.
Ports: Miami, St Maarten, St Kitts, San Juan, Grand Turk, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
#29 & #30:
April 2015 Independence Of The Seas B2B
A cruise that surprised us by being way better than expected!.
Ports: Ft Lauderdale, Labadee, Falmouth, Grand Cayman, San Juan, St Kitts
February 2015 Carnival Freedom
A rare 12-day Carnival cruise to the Southern Caribbean,
as they repositioned the ship from Ft Lauderdale to Galveston.
Ports: Ft Lauderdale, St Maarten, St Lucia, Curacao, Aruba, Cozumel, Galveston
November 2014 Allure Of The Seas
Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean,
and our first time cruising out of Fort Lauderdale.
We learned that the largest cruise ship in the world has a lot going for it!
Ports: Ft Lauderdale, Labadee, Falmouth, Cozumel
September 2014 Norwegian Getaway
Our second cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line,
and definitely the most luxurious of all the cruises we've been on.
We stayed in an amazing VIP area of the ship known as "The Haven".
Ports: Miami, St Maarten, St Thomas, Nassau
June 2014 Coral Princess Alaska cruisetour
Our second cruise with Princess,
and my first time cruising with all my siblings.
Stunning scenery, with one photo-op after another.
There's a separate page just about the land portion of the tour.
Ports: Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Whittier, Talkeetna, Denali, Fairbanks
#23 & 24:
April/May 2014 Carnival Glory aft wrap B2B
In many ways, one of the best cruises we've ever been on...
but also featuring the most annoying Cruise Director!
Ports: Miami, Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Grand Cayman, Grand Turk, San Juan, Half Moon Cay, St Thomas
January 2014 Sapphire Princess 4-day
Our first Princess cruise!
Ports: Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Ensenada
December 2013 Carnival Sunshine Captain's Suite
The best cabin we've ever been in!
Also, the best Cruise Director: Jaime Deitsch.
Unfortunately, not one of the best cruises we've been on, overall.
Ports: New Orleans, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
September 2013 Carnival Conquest aft-wrap
Our first time cruising out of New Orleans.
Ports: New Orleans, Key West, Freeport, Nassau
#18 & 19:
April 2013 Carnival Breeze B2B
The best ship in the Carnival fleet
and one of the best cruises we've ever been on!
Also, my introduction to those extremely delicious Guy Fieri burgers.
Ports: Miami, Grand Turk, Ocho Rios, Nassau, La Romana, Curacao, Aruba
October 2012 Carnival Inspiration
One of the oldest ships in the fleet, but still full of fun.
Ports: Long Beach, Catalina, Ensenada
#15 & 16:
August 2012 Carnival Magic B2B
Our first introduction to Carnival's Dream-class ships.
Ports: Galveston, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Roatan, Belize
March 2012 Carnival Spirit
Featuring the awesome Green Thunder waterslide
Ports: San Diego, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada
#12 & 13:
September 2011 Carnival Valor B2B
It was a great cruise, but I did not write a review.
Ports: Miami, Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, Cozumel, Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, St Thomas, San Juan
#10 & 11:
March/April 2011 Carnival Glory B2B
Our first Caribbean cruise and our first back-to-back!
Ports: Miami, Nassau, St Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk, Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Grand Cayman
January 2011 Carnival Spirit
One of our favorite cruise destinations: Acapulco.
Ports: San Diego, Cabo San Lucas
November 2010 Carnival Spirit
The second of two group cruises we did with friends from our Cocker Spaniel forum.
Kellyn and I renewed our wedding vows on this cruise.
Ports: San Diego, Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, Manzanillo
February 2010 Carnival Splendor
The first time we ever stayed in a suite!
Ports: Long Beach, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas
August 2009 Carnival Elation
A fun group cruise with some friends from our Cocker Spaniel forum
(I did not post a review of this cruise)
Ports: San Diego, Cabo San Lucas
April 2009 Carnival Paradise
3-day weekend getaway to celebrate our wedding anniversary
Ports: Long Beach, Ensenada
January 2009 Carnival Spirit
Our first introduction to Carnival's Spirit-class ships
Ports: San Diego, Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, Manzanillo
April 2008 Norwegian Star
We liked the idea of Freestyle cruising
but in reality, the NCL experience was sub-par back in those days.
Ports: Los Angeles, Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo
Jan 2008 Carnival Elation
Our return to cruising, after a 12-year break!
Ports: San Diego, Cabo San Lucas
June 1996 MS Holiday
Our first cruise!
Ports: Los Angeles, Ensenada
27 Carnival cruises
7 Royal Caribbean cruises
6 Norwegian cruises
2 Princess cruises
1 Viking Ocean cruise
1 MSC Cruise
= 44 total cruises
181 days on Carnival
54 days on Royal Caribbean
45 days on Norwegian
11 sea days on Princess
10 days on Viking
7 days on MSC
= 308 total days at sea
You only see pictures of 28 cruises up above because six of our Carnival cruises and one of our Royal Caribbean cruises we're actually two cruises, back-to-back
Our Future Cruises
We're in a long break between cruises right now. Our next cruise is scheduled for Christmas 2018.
We've got two land-based vacations coming up in the mean time. This summer, we'll be joining my siblings for our annual reunion. This year, it will be on the Oregon coast. Our second land-based vacation will be this Fall, and we're going to try something we've never done before: we're going to vacation at an all-inclusive land resort in Cancun. We'll have a room with a Jacuzzi on the patio and a swimming pool right out the back door. It will be interesting to see if we get bored in a setting where there isn't much more to do than eat, drink, lounge around in the sun or the Jacuzzi or the swimming pool, or sleep. I think it will be a much slower-paced vacation than we're used to, but I'm looking forward to trying it.
The cruise we've got coming up at the end of the year is a return to one of our favorite cruise ships: The Norwegian Getaway. I found out that a country music artist we like is going to be doing a concert onboard, and when I only half-seriously suggested to Kellyn that we should do the cruise and attend the concert, she actually really liked the idea. So, we booked it. We'll be staying in a Haven Spa Suite, which is a very unique stateroom with a Jacuzzi inside the room, and full access to both The Haven and the Thermal Suite within the ship's spa. To get the full picture of what's so very interesting about this type of cabin, take a look at this video from the last time we stayed in Haven Spa Suite on Norwegian Getaway. Another interesting thing about this cruise is that we'll be going to two ports that I've never been to: Norwegian's private island in Belize, known as Harvest Caye... and Costa Maya, Mexico. After 44 cruises, it's rare for me to experience a port in the Caribbean that I've never been to... so I'm really looking forward to it. I'm especially excited about Harvest Caye, which I've heard a lot of good things about.
We also have a second NCL cruise booked! The Norwegian Breakaway has been based in New York City for the last several years, but she'll be moving to New Orleans... and that's a really fun town to cruise from, especially if you can get there a few days before the cruise and let loose. So, that's our plan for celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary, next Spring. I've never sailed on the Norwegian Breakaway, although I've loved all the other cruises we've done with NCL in recent years, so I like the idea of sailing on a NCL ship that we've never been on before.
I have also already booked a cruise for the year 2020! That sounds a long way off, but I guess it's not really. Carnival is bringing their newest, best ship to the west coast: The Carnival Panorama, a Vista-class ship. We really enjoyed our cruise in a Havana Suite in the Carnival Vista, and immediately booked a Havana Suite on the Carnival Panorama on the very first day they started accepting bookings! We gave some serious thought to booking an aft-wrap Havana balcony cabin for $1000 less than the Havana Suite, but after much discussion, Kellyn and I both agreed that we really liked the big shower in the Havana Suite, the swing on the balcony, and the convenient location on deck 5 just steps away from the Havana pool. We decided that those three factors outweighed a few gripes we had about the Havana Suite during our cruise on Carnival Vista.
There are some other cruises we're looking at, but I haven't booked any of them yet. Multiple people have suggested to me that, based on what they've read in my reviews, they think I'd enjoy Celebrity Cruise Line. Celebrity has a new ship coming soon called the Celebrity Edge, and it looks really interesting. I just worry that Celebrity would be a bad match for me, especially in regards to food. I like a casual meal, and I loathe the kind of restaurants that you would read about in a "foody" magazine. I'm happy in a super casual restaurant, likeone of Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville" restaurants. My impression of dining on Celebrity is that it's sophisticated, fine dining. Here's a photo from Celebrity's web site:
That's the kind of dining I loathe. So, that's why I haven't been on Celebrity yet, and maybe never will. I just wonder if it's possible to have a more casual dinner with more mainstream food items at their buffet. If you have any experience with the buffets on Celebrity, let me know.
A more likely possibility is a return to Alaska. I've been thinking about how much I enjoyed our Alaska cruise several years ago, and how much I'd like another ride on that White Pass & Yukon Route Railway in Skagway. There are several interesting ships I could cruise to Alaska on... such as the Norwegian Bliss, or Royal Caribbean's "Ovation Of The Seas"... a sister ship to my favorite cruise ship of all time, Anthem Of The Seas. Or maybe it would be fun to cruise to Alaska from San Francisco, where two of my siblings live. The Grand Princess is permanently stationed in San Francisco and does 10-day Alaska cruises. It would be cool to cruise out the Golden Gate!
Another possibility is the Carnival Horizon. My favorite way to cruise is in The Haven on Norwegian Cruise Line, but it's become super expensive to do that lately. They've been steadily raising prices in The Haven for the last couple of years. Booking a cabin in Carnival's "Havana" area on one of their Vista-class ships is an excellent way to get some of the benefits of The Haven, at about half the price. I really enjoyed my cruise in a Havana Suite on Carnival Vista last year, so I could be easily convinced to cruise on her sister ship, the Carnival Horizon.
So, there are lots of possibilities for future cruises... and I'll update this information as our plans become more clear.
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