Wanderlust Wednesday ~ Cruising

It's no secret around here how much I love cruising! It's my favorite way to travel with all meals included, exceptional service, and waking up at a new island/country each morning without having to pack and re-pack.
My cruising list:

Western Caribbean Cruise on the Carnival Liberty leaving from Miami stopping in Cozumel Mexico, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios, Jamaica - August 2008
Southern Caribbean Cruise on Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas leaving from San Juan stopping in Aruba, Curacao, Dominica, and St. Thomas - November 2009 (my favorite!)
Exotic Western Caribbean Cruise on Carnival Dream leaving from Port Canaveral stopping in Cozumel, Roatan Honduras, Belize City Belize, and Costa Maya Mexico - August 2011
Bahamas Cruise on Norwegian Sky leaving from Miami stopping in Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay - November 2013
Western Mediterranean Cruise on Norwegian Epic leaving from Barcelona stopping in Marseille, France and Palma de Mallorca, Spain - May 2014
Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Carnival Liberty leaving from Port Canaveral stopping in Nassau Bahamas, St. Thomas USVI, San Juan Puerto Rico, and Grand Turk - March 2015

Next up on my cruising list is another Mediterranean cruise, an Alaskan cruise, or a Hawaiian cruise. Any votes?

Why I love cruising

1. The excitement of seeing several new islands/countries on just one vacation. There's nothing like boarding a floating resort knowing that you'll be making several fabulous stops, and experiencing new countries and cultures.
2. Watching the sunset or the ship pulling into port in a new country from your private balcony.
3. The food... oh goodness the food! Cruises get a bad rep for buffet style food. Yes, they have buffets available all the time, but there is also fine dining included for free. The main dining rooms don't just serve dinner, but breakfast and lunch as well, and room service is available 24 hours in your stateroom for free. We love to order room service breakfast and enjoy it out on our balcony.
4. The on-board entertainment, there's no such thing as being bored on a cruise. From the contests by the pool and the waterslides the day time is filled with fun activities. Night time calls for a fancy dinner, a Vegas style show, and endless options to have fun. The casino, karaoke, theaters by the sea, comedy shows, jazz lounges, several themed bars, dance parties under the stars, etc..
*Norwegian Epic - recap found here*
*Carnival Liberty - recap found here*
*Carnival Dream - Recaps found here*
5. The impeccable service. The staff on-board are amazing no matter what cruise line I've been on, they are always going above and beyond. They even put on a show around dessert time at dinner where they sing and dance. Get to know them and learn their names, so you can make sure to give them a special shout out in your post-vacation surveys. That's how they get their raises and promotions which go a long way!
Cruising Tips
1. Don't forget your passport! Anything else you may forget at home can be re-purchased (bathing suits, toiletries, even formal wear) on board. But you'll need your passport to get on board (some cruises only require a birth certificate, but it's always best to bring your passport).

2. Spring for the balcony stateroom, it is worth every penny! Once you go balcony you can't go back, and it's so true. You get a lot more room in the stateroom, plus a sitting area, and your own private veranda which is great for enjoying room service breakfast in the mornings (always free) and a night cap in the evenings.

*Our stateroom on the Norwegian Epic*
3. Don't over pack, especially if you're on a Caribbean cruise or any cruise going somewhere warm and tropical. You'll live in bathing suits and cover-ups by day and sundresses (cocktail dresses on formal nights) by night. They also provide bath towels in your room (replenished daily) along with beach towels for the pool and on the islands which you can change out for fresh ones as much as you need.

4. Order as much food as you want! When at dinner, if you want 3 appetizers, 2 entrees, and 3 desserts... go for it! Sometimes it's hard to choose just one thing, and you're able to order as much as you want and the servers love it!
5. Cruise with friends! We've been on several cruises just the two of us, and we've also cruised on a 7 night cruise with another couple, and a 3 night cruise with a group of 10 of us which was so much fun!

*Bahamas Cruise recap found here*
6. If you're on a short cruise like a 3 night itinerary to the Bahamas, purchase the beverage package especially if you're traveling with a group. When 10 of us sailed to the Bahamas for a friend's birthday it was nice to just order drinks or a round of champagne for everyone at dinner without worrying about it all adding up. It also worked out great on the private island in the Bahamas that all of our food and drinks were included there as well since it was owned by the cruise line.
7. Practice safe sun! Don't forget to pack sunscreen, aloe (in case of sunburns), and a beach hat to further protect your face. Of course you're going to come back beautifully bronzed, but you don't need to burn or cause skin damage by not protecting yourself on the trip.
8. HAVE FUN! I have the best time, when I get up and dance with the entertainment crew during deck parties and at the night club. You'll hear the same line dance songs over and over, but you'll be a champ by the end of your cruise.
9. Enjoy all the fruity umbrella drinks, this is the time to indulge!
10. Enjoy the fun amenities on board like the Broadway style shows, ice bars, karaoke, jazz lounges, comedy clubs, themed deck parties, and specialty shows such as The Blue Man Group.

What do you love about cruising?
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Link-up Rules:
1. Follow KerriEmily, and myself on Bloglovin
2. Link up your favorite travel recaps or travel related posts
3. Grab our Wanderlust Wednesdays button and link back to our blogs
4. Be sure to visit other blogs and build your travel bucket list!
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**Did you check out my Wanderlust Wednesday post about a friend's destination wedding in Punta Cana last month? If you're interested in planning a destination wedding or are planning your honeymoon, don't forget to check out Destination Weddings & Honeymoons**

52 comments:

  1. I LOVE cruises! They make vacationing so easy! Although my cruise has never had an ice bar haha! I need to go on that one! You're definitely making me want to cruise next year! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  2. We talked many a time about our mutual love of cursing. You hit allll the fun high points, it is sooo much fun to just relax once you're on the boat. And dress up night is super fun too!

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  3. This makes me wanna go on a cruise now! We have never been, but we actually talked about planning one for next year!

    Alexis @ www.chemistrycachet.com

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  4. I haven't been on a cruise since college (& it was such a blast!) you're making me want to book another asap!

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  5. Cruising is definitely a win! I haven't done it in SO long, but we're looking into a trip for this summer right now and I'm super excited about it!

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  6. So Awesome!! Hey, I have it, you should be a cruise spokesmodel and do commercials and go on them for free, Like Kathie Lee Gifford years ago for Carnival!! How FUN!! I vote Mediterranean!! Happy Wednesday beauty!!

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  7. You are a cruise expert!! The next one on my list is a Mediterranean cruise - well at least that's the one I want to do next! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  8. Beautiful photos! :) Looks like a great time!

    Florals&Smiles

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  9. Loved reading this! We're thinking about going on a cruise for our honeymoon so I LOVE hearing tips and reviews!

    www.rosyoutlookblog.com

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  10. you are the cruise queen!! love all of the tips. bookmarking!!

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  11. I hear Alaska is the way to go. My grandparents cruised from Hawaii to Austrailia, but I think that might be a little long. ;) I love how dapper you guys look on dress up nights!! We need more of that today!

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  12. great recap of cruising girly! so many options is right. and who doesn't love a cruise with all your friends!? so fun!

    xoxo cheshire kat

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  13. Cruises are so fun! I would love to go on another one! Great tips and roundup of cruise info!
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

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  14. I love being on the open sea and seeing nothing around but water. I also love the sunrise over open water. Sunsets too.

    I'd totally do an Alaskan cruise...MFD says we're not old enough yet. LOLOL Our cruising buddies are going on a Panama Canal cruise in May. I'm sad we're not going with them!

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  15. If I ever decide to take a cruise (I'm sort of afraid of big boats, I'm totally going to you for advice. My Mom really wants to do the Alaskan Cruise but I'm like ugh, icebergs!! No thank you. haha. My friends did a European Cruise this summer and loved it.

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  16. Cruising is SO much fun! We are way overdo for one - loving your pictures! That water slide is amazing!

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  17. Now that I'd rather be at the beach or something.. haha. Love these photos, they're great!!! I have never been on a cruise but my hubs has and his parents go on them all of the time. Some day!! :-)

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  18. Ahh now I want to go on another cruise! Not sure my bank account will go for that though haha.

    www.maggiealamode.com

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  19. This is such a great post! I've been on a number of cruises myself and you hit it right on the money why cruising is an awesome vacation! The pictures are amazing. I just came back from one last month and I am dieing to go back! ♥

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  20. I've never been on a cruise before, but it's definitely on my vacation wish list!

    Fizz and Frosting

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  21. We went on our first last year (the Disney cruise) and it was the best experience ever. We can't wait to go on another one...there was so much for all of us to do and it was absolutely awesome. I love all your recaps!

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  22. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ... I need a tropical vacation so badly. I really just need to move to Florida. Your access to all these cruises is amazing!!! I've been on one cruise and loved it for all the reasons you outlined. Time to go again!

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  23. Ekkkk you just made me a million times more excited for my cruise on Friday! After this week it is much needed too! You've been on so many amazing ones!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

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  24. Looks like an amazing trips! LOVE the photos!
    ~Sam
    http://goldcoastgirlblog.com

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  25. I've never been on a cruise but I want to go so badly!!! Loving these pics.

    xo,
    Sara Kate Styling

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  26. Dang girl, you've been on a TON of cruises!! And I agree, I would definitely want a room with a balcony- if I was on the inside I'd probably get claustrophobic lol. Love the recaps :)

    xo, Kristina
    Medicine & Manicures

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  27. You've been to so many amazing places! I've only been to the Bahamas and Alaska. Truthfully I would choose Hawaii or anywhere tropical over Alaska...lol I love all the photos with friends.

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  28. Cruises are the best! Definitely agree with all of your tips too! I've been on a few, but never one with an ice bar- that's so cool! Pinning for the next time I'm planning a cruise vacation!

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  29. I've never been on a cruise but these all look incredible! I'm getting married in the Bahamas in Febuary, but we are flying and stayi at a resort. I need to take a cruise one day!

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  30. You have been on so many amazing cruises! I have never been on one! It definitely seems like the best way to travel if you want to visit several different countries/islands!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde's Moment

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  31. I've actually never been on a cruise. We went to an all-inclusive resort for our honeymoon, and I think it was similar in entertainment and food factors. We loved it! What's your favorite cruise line so far?

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  32. I travel every year but have never been on a cruise. You have been on fabulous cruises! After reading your post and looking at your photos, I'm ready to start cruising.

    Danielle
    www.spring2spring.com

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  33. You definitely have sold me on wanting to go on a cruise! We've never been, but an Alaska cruise is on my radar for sometime in the near future. :)

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  34. I'm going to stow away on your next cruise! And I vote Alaska because I've heard it's such a life-changing experience!

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  35. You look amazing! & thanks for all the great tips and information. I've never been on a cruise, but I definitely want to plan one soon!

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  36. We are twins again! I ADORE cruising...it is the only way to travel, IMHO!

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  37. So I've never been on a cruise but you certainly make me want to go!! Especially if I get to go with you and your friends since you all clearly know how to have the best time no matter what you're doing!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

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  38. Things I want to do right now after reading this post: go on a cruise!

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  39. Ohhhh I would love to do an Alaskan cruise if I could get over my fear of boats!!! You make it look so fun and exciting and the food looks amazing. I think I would gain 10 lbs haha.

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  40. I see all this fun but all I can focus on how smoking hot you look in all of these. Girl you definitely have such a killer bod! Also, now I want a big cocktail and sunshine :)

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  41. God every time you post about your cruises I seriously just want to book a cruise and go!!! A and I were trying to shoot for a cruise in Feb, but unfortunately it doesn't look like it'll be possible. With all the time off he'll need next year, we just can't squeeze in a cruise and want to do it right. The great thing is, once I move to Houston we can cruise right out of Galveston, so that will be done!

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  42. I love cruising so much! Y'all should definitely do an Alaskan cruise-I have done two and would go back in a heartbeat! :)

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  43. Ahh you were so blonde in some of the photos! I haven't ever been on a cruise. We were thinking of doing one for our honeymoon but the dates didn't work. Maybe in the next few vacation plans we will fit one in!

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  44. The food!!!! Sold! I remember the one I went on, one night I ordered 3 entrees for dinner and no one batted an eye, ha! You guys have been on so many amazing cruises! A Hawaiian one would be amazing, I didn't know they did those!

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  45. Alright, lets go!!!! Thanks for joining in on the link up! xo

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  46. Cruising sounds amazing! You have gone to so many fabulous destinations! Love seeing this photo recap, now I want to book one!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  47. Cruises are always so much fun, especially the food and the great service! We've only been on cruises with family, but it would be so much fun to go with friends! We've never had a balcony on a cruise, but ordering room service and eating it on the balcony sounds perfect!

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  48. wow great pics
    http://carrieslifestyle.com
    Posts online about Dubai, Rio, Amsterdam...

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  49. I've never been on a cruise before, and am hesitant now with all the bad press they've received in the past few years. However, these trips look amazing, especially because it's basically zero effort on your part to have to plan anything! I really want to do one of those river cruises in Europe one day...I feel like those are geared towards old people, but I think I would love it!

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  50. I've never been on a cruise but I hear ya on the balcony front. I've heard the regular rooms are SO SMALL. And although you probably don't spend a ton of time in the room, it's still nice not to feel like you're in a shoebox at the back of a closet! lol

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  51. i've never been on a cruise but it seems awesome, love the photos!

    avec danielle | holiday giveaway!

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  52. so i am super behind on my blog reading, and i saved this for last so i could soak it all in! haha.
    i would LOVE to do an alaskan cruise. i vote you do that, and tell me all about it.
    first off, thank you for answering all my millions of questions when we were deciding. i am so excited for our cruise! we got the balcony, i totally trust you on that! i am SO worried about packing though, especially for 'formal' night because there is no way in hell KC will wear a suit. I mean, you met him lol. the most he will wear is black pants with a button down shirt... i hope that's okay :( and i don't know what i should wear. so stressed!

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