In writing about our personal experiences, we sometimes mention products or services that we use or recommend. This page may contain affiliate links for which we receive a commission.
I’m in need of a vacation.
I mean more than just a day or two off from work. I mean a GETAWAY… a TRIP… an ADVENTURE where I have to travel more than 30 minutes to get there.
Ahhhh… but until Jim finds the time to whisk me away to some beachy paradise location, I’m left to reminisce about 2of my all-time favorite vacations:
- A Caribbean Cruise; and
- An All-Expense Paid Trip to New York City!
Listen to Bud Light’s Real Men of Genius ”Mr. Cruise Ship Entertainer”:
It just so happens that both of these trips were spent in the company of my good friend, Suzie.
First, I got this letter.
You can read all about our trip of a lifetime in New York City — it took place June 14-16, 1996.
Then, November 28, 1998 Suz and I set sail for our first-ever cruise.
We did it right, too. We went with Royal Caribbean!
Carnival vs Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
Most people choose Carnival for their first cruise — after all, it IS the least costly way to go. However, having cruised with both Carnival and Royal Caribbean, I can’t help but feel that Carnival seems to cuts corners more, while Royal Caribbean pays attention to every last detail and treats you like ROYALTY 24/7!
If you haven’t been on a cruise before, and you’re thinking of booking one in the future… do yourself a favor and DON’T choose Carnival for your first cruise. You’ll thank yourself later. Trust me.
Don’t get me wrong, you’re sure to have a fine time on virtually any cruise line… but you don’t need a Carnival to have a GREAT time.
(Our wedding cruise was on Carnival, and a good time was had by all, but I can’t wait to take Jim on another cruise — and on another cruise line — just so he can experience the difference for himself. Suzie was there — she went on both cruises with me, and I believe she feels the same.)
Royal Caribbean Cruise Highlights
Here are some highlights and photos from our trip:
- Our 8-day, 7-night cruise took place November 29 through December 6, 1998.
- We set sail from Miami and cruised to the Virgina Islands (St. Maarten, then St. Thomas, then St. John), followed by the Bahamas (Nassau).
- We actually caught the tail end of Hurricane Nicole on nights 2 and 3. (Despite the dramamine, I tossed my cookies in public one night walking from the restaurant to our room.) For the record, Hurricane Season is June 1 – November 30 each year.)
- Of all the great, fun things we did on this trip, one of the most memorable was our SNUBA diving trip in St. John, Virgin Islands.
- The 2nd-best things we did: Went swimming with dolphins in the Bahamas!
- What made our time on-board the ship especially fun was the over-friendly staff… all very professional, yet tons of FUN! And we’re talkin EVERYone… from the bartenders to the housekeepers… the Cruise Director (and all of his little worker-bee’s)… and even the ship’s captain himself — we had a great time with each and every one of them!
- Oh, and then there was the “food crew” — Royal Caribbean’s professionally trained chefs and wait-staff were INCREDIBLY FUN! (…as were our tablemates at each of the “formal dinners” we attended.)
What I Learned Today…
Every time Jim goes out of town I manage to find some way to transport myself to a luxurious destination.
He was out of town again this weekend, but instead of just going to the Caribbean, this time I went to New York City AND on a Caribbean cruise! I traveled by way of memories.
As a lifelong traveler, I like to help people find unique ways to do things that will save time & money — so I write about "outside the box" Travel Hacks that most wouldn't think of. I'm SUPER organized and I love to pack! I've lived in 6 different states (Florida, Indiana, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas) and have visited every other state in the U.S. — except Hawaii. (Can you say bucket list?) I've been on several different cruises, airplanes, and boats in my life and I currently enjoy the outdoors by bicycling, motorcycling, Jeeping, RVing, camping, or just walking my dogs. My favorite "hobby" is riding on the back of our Harley-Davidson Road Glide traveling cross country — which we usually do at least once each year. We even rode from Tennessee to Alaska once! When I'm not on the road, you will find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).