April 2019 Norwegian Breakaway
A relaxing, luxurious cruise in The Haven
Ports: Harvest Caye, Costa Maya, Cozumel
January 2019 Viking Sea
We visited nine different Caribbean islands during this un-crowded ten-day cruise
Ports: Puerto Rico, Tortola, St Kitts, St Lucia, Barbados, Dominica, Antigua, St Maarten, St Thomas
December 2018 Norwegian Getaway
A fan cruise with 1990s country music stars Bryan White and Collin Raye
Ports: Roatan, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya, Cozumel
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
8 Norwegian cruises
7 Royal Caribbean cruises
2 Princess cruises
2 Viking Ocean cruises
1 MSC Cruise
= 47 total cruises
181 days on Carnival
59 days on Norwegian
54 days on Royal Caribbean
20 days on Viking
11 sea days on Princess
7 days on MSC
= 332 total days at sea
You only see pictures of 40 cruises up above because six of our Carnival cruises and one of our Royal Caribbean cruises we're actually two cruises, back-to-back
2018 Land Vacations
We actually took a little break from cruising in 2018, in favor of trying a few land vacations instead. In October, we spent a week at an all-inclusive land resort in Cancun, Mexico. We liked it a lot, but the food wasn't a total match with our tastes. Here's a video we made about our experience at the all-inclusive resort in Cancun:
In September, we spent a week at the Sheraton Resort in Maui. Here's a video I did about that trip:
In July, we met up with my siblings for our annual reunion. I put together a little video about it:
Need A Travel Agent?
Booking a cruise can be confusing, especially if you haven't been on many cruises before. There are lots of first-time cruiser mistakes that a travel agent can keep you from making.
If you're interested in booking a cruise with any cruise line... please feel free to use the services of my travel agent, Caitlin Gallagher. She's extremely pleasant to deal with, easy to talk to since she lives in the United States and speaks without any kind of an accent, and quite experienced and knowledgeable about different types of cruising. Caitlin is the owner of Ambren Travel. Visit her web site, or contact her using the information below.
Our Future Cruises
Our next cruise is scheduled for this summer, when we'll be cruising on the Carnival Horizon. We really enjoyed our cruise in a Havana Suite on the Carnival Vista last year, so we decided to book a cruise in the Havana area of the Carnival Horizon. However, instead of booking a Havana Suite like we did last time, we're going to try a different type of Havana cabin this time around. The Havana suites are located right next to where the band plays until late at night in the Havana lounge... and that made it difficult to fall asleep. So, we'll be trying out what we think will be a much quieter room this time around.
We're also booked on Carnival for January 2020... but this time we won't have to fly to get to the ship. Carnival is bringing their newest, best ship to the west coast: The Carnival Panorama, a Vista-class ship. I immediately booked a Havana Suite on the Carnival Panorama on the very first day they started accepting bookings!
We've also got a Carnival cruise booked for 2021, on a ship I'm pretty excited about... the Carnival Mardi Gras. I wasn't originally excited about the Mardi Gras when I first saw the deck plans... I think they've fatally screwed up the Havana area on this ship. But what finally won me over about the Mardi Gras was a new kind of suite they're offering called an Excel Aft Suite. There will be twelve of them on the Mardi Gras, and what's going to be amazing about them is that each one will have a private Jacuzzi on the balcony. Here's an artist's concept of what those very cool Excel Aft Suite balconies will look like...
I'm excited to also let you know about an interesting vacation for July 2020 that we're currently planning, but don't have booked yet. This is going to be something very different for us... we're planning to lead a group cruise and landtour in Alaska and Canada, open to anyone that would like to join us. The preliminary plan looks something like this: We'll fly to Fairbanks, Alaska and start the adventure there. From Fairbanks, we'll travel through the interior of Alaska, mostly via the Alaska railroad, and staying overnight at several of the hotels operated by Princess cruise line. We'll visit Denali and Talkeetna and possibly more, as we take the train to the coast to meet up with our cruise ship. Anyone that only wants to join us for the cruise portion and not the inland train portion of the vacation is welcome to just fly in to Anchorage and meet us on the ship.
The cruise portion of the vacation will be a 7-day cruise southbound from Whittier, Alaska to Vancouver on Princess Cruise Line. We don't know the exact itinerary yet, but we hope it will include Glacier Bay National Park, and a day in Skagway so that we can ride the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway.
After the cruise, people are free to fly home from Vancouver... or stick with us and join us for one more leg of the adventure. In Vancouver, we're going to get aboard the Rocky Mountaineer for a railtour through Western Canada. Many more details to come! Join us for all three legs of the trip... the Alaska railtour, the Princess cruise, and the Canada railtour... or join us for only the parts that interest you. It will be totally up to you. Spend as little or as much time with the group as you want... and feel free to head off in your own direction and do your own thing at any point you'd like to.
So, if you have any interest in a Alaska adventure with me and Kellyn, plus our travel agent, Caitlin, and her family... pencil in July 2020 on your calendar. I'll update this information with an exact date and more details as our plans become more clear. I should have those details for you by the end of May 2019.
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