Friday, September 13, 2013

Just Cruising Along

I know that on Monday I posted about the fall…..and yes I’m totally stoked about it.  But in light of that discussion, this post may seem a little ironic, or even backwards.  Don’t hate that I’m all over the place lol

The Mr and I are celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary at the end of this year.  For our honeymoon we spent a week on Montreal, Canada and it was nothing short of spectacular.  However, that was our last vacation.  SIX YEARS AGO!  It is waaaaaayyy past time to go on a trip with my hubby, and we have decided that this year we are going to skip the holidays and take a cruise.  Neither one of us has taken a cruise before but we’ve always wanted to experience a cruise, so we’re giving it a shot.  b7ed38480b08e3409c9170d6f6c71b2a
This is where YOU come in :-)  What do I need to do to prepare for a cruise? What do I need to pack? What are the best cruise lines? How long is just long enough to be on a cruise? Do I schedule excursions via the ship or book them ahead of time on my own? How much extra cash should I bring with me? Will I get tired of being on a ship? How do I deal with the water and motion sickness?

I admit I have a bazillion cruise questions, but here are some of the things I have been longing for in a vacation for the past six years:
a good book in the sun,Summer Book Reading
new swim suits and summer fashion in December,Cruise Fashion
sunsets over the water,8519dedde41fedda54c90c1ef8b88116

cold tropical drinks with chunks of fruit in them (preferably with an umbrella as well)107f73d0faaf01da03f64a1eec572d3f

and lots of naps in the sun :-)Cruise  Sun Bathing
b99b0b41796ec89908e314cd29bd0747
I think these cruise thoughts are going to propel me through the semester :-)
What else do I need to do to prepare for our trip?
What else should I be looking forward to?
xoxo Darby

10 comments :

Ashley Barnhill said...

I've been on a handful of cruises so feel free to ask me any questions you would like! The two main ones I've been on are Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Carnival is the cheapest and is considered more of a party boat. Royal Caribbean is a nicer cruise and the one I would recommend. I've heard incredible things about Celebrity cruises as well (that will probably be the next cruise we take). If you can, book all excursions outside of the ship. Ship sponsored excursions are expensive and have very large groups. Use cruisecritic.com - I just discovered it before our last cruise and it saved us so much money. We paired up with 3 other couples (who we had never met) and did private excursions. It was definitely the way to go. I found these couples on a forum on cruisecritics.com for our specific ship and sail date. There are lots of tips on that website. Let me know if you have any specific questions - I'd be glad to help! Oh and if you can afford it, get a room with a balcony. Cruise ship rooms are SMALL, but the balcony ones are a little bigger, plus you have a place to sit outside by yourself.

Jessica said...

i have been on 3 cruises, all with carnival. it was fun, but i would not go with carnival again. i would do princess or royal caribbean, or something just a little more sophisticated. the carnival ones are just a little bit wild for me now in my old age haha. but if you like that, they are fine.

we booked our excursions ahead of time because the first time, we didn't book until we got on the ship, then some stuff was all filled up. plus it was nice not to have to worry about anything, just getting on the ship and having fun and not having to take the time to look at, talk about, and book excursions right away. some people say they don't book any and just do activities once they get off the ship because it's cheaper that way, but i don't really trust that as much. i like the safety and peace of mind knowing the ship has sponsored it.

if you have a choice, choose a big ship. little ones rock more, so we noticed a definite difference in motion with a small ship. we barely knew we were on a ship on the bigger ones.

i have been on a 7 day and 5 day. both were extremely fun, but i liked the length of the 7 day better. it felt more relaxing and there wasn't as much pressure to fit tons of fun into a few days. plus, it added another stop to our cruise and still gave us a couple relaxing "at sea" days.

i would recommend the southern caribbean if you're doing a tropical cruise. to be honest, i haven't done one yet, but those islands seem to be the more beautiful and sophisticated ones. i wasn't too impressed with mexico or the bahamas. i have also been to jamaica, grand cayman, and the dominican. none of them were really incredible places. we did go on catamarans in a couple places, and those turned out to be my favorite excursions. but i have heard nothing but amazing things about turks and caicos and those southern islands.

anyway, i have written too much so i will stop now haha. but if you have any other questions i can answer, just ask! i would be happy to give any info i can!

Amy @ Pumpkin and Pi said...

Cruising is great! My husband & I have been on a cruise almost every year of our relationship, on everything from Carnival to Oceania. I'd agree with everything Ashley said above except maybe the need for a balcony. It all depends on your budget and what you want though. I think we need another happy hour to chat about cruising tips :)

Joy said...

I've been on two cruises, and all were Carnival. As far as advice... HAVE FUN. Pack for the weather, and remember that night dinners are sometimes kinda fancy so you'll need some dressy dresses. The Mr will need a suit and tie for one night, I do believe. But you can check with your travel agent or the website to see what all to expect. We went on adventures and booked them when we got on the boat. However, if you can book them in advance I would probably do that. I can't wait for December so I can relive this trip through your blog! =)

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I am a cruising fool. Been on two, just booked my third yesterday.

Disney Cruise Lines is amazing - and we are two adults with no kids. You can carry booze on without sneaking it, there are a lot of adult areas of the ship, the service is exceptional, and the food is good too.

I would book all dinners (if you need to) and port adventures in advance - the last thing you want to do on a ship is wait in line.

I spent a zillion years on cruise critic and disney cruise boards - I have an exhaustive packing list if you want it.

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

As far as places, loved St. Maarten and St. Thomas/St. John. I could never set foot in Nassau again and be okay with that, but a lot of cruises go there and in fact the one I'm doing next year goes there. I plan to get off to do a spot of shopping then get right back on the ship and enjoy it in port.

Jessica K said...

I've only been on the Disney Cruise before. The boat was large, and I never had an issue with motion sickness. Y'all are going to have so much fun! We went in January (for our honeymoon) and of course we picked the year where the Bahamas had an actual cold front. Nothing like laying on the beach shivering with a towel blanket!
There are so many cool places to visit! Might save yourself some headaches, and get a travel agent!

Ashley R said...

I love cruising! I've written a few posts on this very subject.

Best tips...
*Pick a cruise with lots of stops (less days at sea)
*Splurge on a balcony (if you can!)
*Excursions outside of the ship will be cheaper, smaller, and more fun (you won't feel like you're in a herd!)
*Try the cruise forums, they ARE helpful... as is Trip Adviser for excursion companies
*If you're a Costco member they offer a HUGE discount on cruises

I am probably forgetting a lot, but like I said.. more on the blog too. Yay! :)

Ashley R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachelle @ Inner Loop Adventures said...

We went on a cruise for our honeymoon, and it was the BEST vacation we've ever taken! We went for a week on Royal Caribbean. I highly recommend them! Don't cruise for less than a week, it won't feel like enough time if it's less than 7 days. Schedule excursions BEFORE to make sure they don't fill up. I'm not sure about cash, we just happened to have a lot because we had just gotten married :) But the boat should be cash-less and you only need a room key thing (which is kind of dangerous cause you just swipe away!) You will not get tired of being on the ship, I promise! Just know that the boarding process is long, so is the process to get off! Oh, and be prepared to gain weight. The food is so good, and they totally enable to you be a glutton :) I hope you have fun! Let us know where you decide to go!

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