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Ever used the word cruisetacualar? No? Well then THIS is the blog for you! Come along and join the cruisetastic conversation with Cruise Man 3000. This ain't your traditional cruise blog because it's cruisetacular!

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And the time has come. Wow. I can't believe it's almost here! So I will be leaving for nearly a month of just fun, fun, fun! Next week I leave Baltimore to hang in Los Angeles and Long Beach for a few days before heading up to San Francisco to catch Grand Princess! I still can't believe I'm getting ready to sail on this 16 escape to Hawaii and the Mexican Riviera... AHHH! Sorry y'all, I can't contain my excitement! It's just come full circle for me. This has been a trip a whole year in the making and now... IT'S FINALLY HERE! After the amazing cruise with Princess, I'm planning to rendezvous in Las Vegas for my birthday on January 5th and stay a few nights before returning back to Charm City! Whew! Are you going to follow along and come with me? I would hope so! I'll be posting pictures on my Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr accounts as well as tweeting every moment to ya LIVE from my Twitter Account (@CruiseMan3000). If you're on Twitter, I'll be using the hashtag #CM3KOnGrand for the whole trip with all my pics, so look for the hash to tag along! :) Also, look for some video updates coming to ya from my Youtube Channel! Be sure to like, comment and subscribe! :biggrin:


And yes, I'll be staying aboard the original Queen Mary in Long Beach before I sail on Grand Princess. How cool is that - a pre-cruise stay on a cruise ship before the actual cruise?! Stay tuned for all of the madness I'll be getting into while out west - I've got many surprises to reveal along the way so be sure to follow along! Well, until we talk ship again, keep cruising and grooving!


Hey, y'all! Happy Thanksgiving! You know today is one of the coolest holidays we celebrate here in the United States. I know many traditions have grown over the years on this iconic day. Many watch the Macy's Day Parade, some may slave over a stove for hours while the bargain shoppers may start plotting when they're going to hit up their favorite retail stores to catch some Black Friday deals. But my understanding of this day is to come together with those we love and begin to think on the things we're thankful for...well at least that's what I thought it was?

As many did this morning, I got on my social media networks this morning and saw many people wishing each other "Happy Turkey Day!" Now I'm not trying to get too deep here, but have we as a society reduced a day that is supposed to be a day set aside to give thanks to a day where we honor a bird? Really? Please say it ain't so! This ain't no gobble 'til you wobble holiday (even though y'all know The Wobble is my favorite line dance)... I'm just a little lost here...

There are so many people who would KILL to be in your shoes, have your annoying kids, be with that lazy spouse of yours, drive your trouble-causing car and even sleep in that home of yours with the leaky roof. So many people around the world go without many of the everyday luxuries we're blessed to have. We're in good health, connected to people whom we love and even have access to things like warm homes, shoes and fresh, clean water... but we want to reduce this day-when we could be thankful for the many things I just mentioned-to a elevating a bird above anything else?

That my friends is what I call an American Tragedy. Let's do a heart and mind check friends and really think about how we name this day when wishing well ones to one another because I'm pretty sure the heart of it does not revolve around a turkey. Happy Thanksgiving (a day of thanks, not turkey), cruise friends and may you always count your many blessings and share hope with those who need it most! Until we talk ship again--Shon!


Hey, everyone! Thanksgiving is coming upon us quickly and boy am I excited! Last year I sailed Carnival Breeze's inaugural sailing from the U.S. and she was truly a blast! I did the untraditional approach with dinner for Thanksgiving last year and ordered... wait for it... wait for it... FRIED ALLIGATOR! :blink: Yum-o! Now I know some of y'all just looked at me like I was crazy but hey, when you slab a little hot sauce on it, it tastes just like chicken! :biggrin: It was so in good in fact, I had two orders of it! Any gator eaters in the house? So while everyone was eating turkey on the ship (which I actually am not that big a fan of), I was chowing down on some gator (and I could go for another round this year)!

Typically, the Ford Family does not do things traditionally. Many of our Thanksgivings have included Papa Johns, seafood spreads and even going out to an all you can eat (or at least try to, haha) Chinese buffets! Once we started incorporating cruising into the mix that's when it got super cool! Ever since the high seas have become holiday home-stays for us, it's just been great! No one complaining about going to "that one's house," no clean up and most importantly, no one has to cook! :cool2:

Have you ever spent the high seas with your family and friends for a holiday like Thanksgiving? When planned well in advance, it's honestly the best way - in my cruisetacular opinion of course - to spend special gatherings where family and friends are at the heart. If you've never done it.. DO IT! Doing with your family is honestly the best! And speaking of family...


I want to thank all of those who have served for this country and honor them on this Veteran's Day 2013! A special shout-out to my Grandpa Howard and Uncle Rob (pictured above) for taking to the front lines! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Share the love today, y'all and let the Vets know we love and appreciate them and their families! This country wouldn't be the same without 'em! Y'all have a cruisemazing week and you know what to do... keep cruising and grooving until we talk ship again! Much love--Shon


Hey everyone! I hope you all feel well-rested and a little more relaxed with the extra hour of rest some of us got this past weekend! I wanted to share with you a decision I made that I've wrestled with for sometime now...

Beginning in 2014, I will no longer be writing for this blog, The Cruisetacular Weekly. There's no bad blood or behind-the-scenes drama between CruiseCrazies and I. this is a decision I came to. Honestly, I've been spreading myself too thin and need to narrow my focus - when it comes to travel writing - to a more manageable level; and unfortunately, the Monday updates on The Cruisetacular Weekly will no longer sail into port after December 16th of this year.

I really want to thank everyone who read and interacted with this blog over these past few months! Jason has been great and I am so thankful for the opportunity he extended my way when asking if I'd be a blogger to the site. Even though I will no longer be blogging on this site, I will still contribute to posts and reading the other awesome blogs on CruiseCraizes. I just wanted to give everyone a heads-up this week instead of it being an instant shock at the end of the year. I'll only have 6 more posts this year as the last two Mondays of the year I'll be away sailing the high seas.

Let's end this on a high note...

So what has been your favorite post from the year? I have a few favorites that I've shared, but I'd love to know which ones have been a re-read for ya! Be sure to go through the blog's archives to revisit all the Mondays we've shared together this year More cruisetacular reads are on the horizon and I can't wait to share some more great stories with ya! Until we talk ship again, keep cruising and grooving!


Hey, y'all! Thanks for coming back this week to get the full 411 as to why I picked Carnival Breeze and Norwegian Epic as my two favorite cruise ships afloat. I was reading some of your comments from last week's post and saw an overwhelming love and support for ships in the Princess Cruises fleet. So is it safe to assume that 1.) Many of you are happy I'm gonna be sailing Grand Princess for the holidays and 2.) Many of you are experts at "Escaping Completely" and can help a brotha out? I'll definitely be asking for your input as I prepare to sail with Princess in just less than two months... stay tuned, y'all!

Alright, so here's why I picked Carnival Breeze and Norwegian Epic... it boils down to two words: food and entertainment. It seems these two things get the most hype when sailing the high seas now-a-days, right? Let's see... which ship should I start with? I'll keep things in ABC order, so Carnival Breeze is on deck first. Between Breeze and Epic, I'd have to give the food award to Breeze and the entertainment honor to Epic. On Carnival Breeze, you've got so many options to pick from (dare I say this), it has a Norwegian Cruise Line feel (I know, I felt the Earth stop spinning for a second too). There's the Blue Iguana Cantina serving up some great burritos, Guy's Burger Joint dishing out the best burgers I've ever had (which is by far my fave aboard), freshly made sushi, and of course the Carnival staples of 24/7 pizza and ice cream. They've got stations for salads, Asian favorites and even tandoori cuisine on lido; but the reason I love lido on Carnival Breeze so much is because they have a special area just for deserts (perfect for my fellow sweet teeth cruisers). In addition to the two dining rooms aboard -- Sapphire and Blush -- you'll also find palate satisfaction at SeaDogs (hot dogs) and Fat Jimmy's (BBQ)!


When it comes to the entertainment capital of the high seas (which is what many refer to Epic as), The Blue Man Group, Second City Comedy Troupe, Legends Live in Concert, and many other entertainment acts head-line every night on-board keeping passengers of all ages asking for more. Norwegian Epic also sails with Nickelodeon at Sea on-board! This is a great addition allowing kids of all ages to see some of their favorite cartoon characters. Norwegian Epic does require something other ships within the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet do not, and that is reservations in excessive amounts. In order to attend any of the fabulous shows I mentioned above, dine in one of the specialty restaurants, attend the circus, or chill-out in the 17 degree ice bar, reservations are needed.

And that is why I named this blog post as, 'Carnival Epic or Norwegian Breeze' because for me, the perfect cruise ship would be a hybrid of the two. Have any of you sailed on either of these ships? Do you have two ships you like a lot and would love to sail if a hybrid version existed? Which ones are they? Feel free to tweet me or post your thoughts in a comment below! Until we talk ship again, keep cruising and grooving!


And here we are in another week of the year... in fact, this is the 43rd week of the year (but I'm not counting or anything, hehe) and you've let me go all this time without having this conversation. It's really cool getting to meet many readers of my blogs. Many times, some want me to show them some dance moves, many believe I hate Royal Caribbean for some odd reason (still not sure how this one started), and then there's the world's most popular question, "Shon, what's your favorite cruise ship?" I've answered this question in an interview I did back in January of this year with Cruise Line Talk and named 3 ships as my favorites: Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Star and Carnival Breeze. Today, I'd just narrow that to Carnival Breeze and Norwegian Epic. No offense to the Star, but Epic and Breeze are truly my favorites at the moment!

I haven't been on any of the Voyager or Oasis class vessels with Royal Caribbean, so I can't speak from those ships' perspectives (but all my friends who have never shut up about 'em... ever LOL - and that's not a bad thing)! Let's not even begin to talk about the Quantum class ships! Many of you may remember I toured Norwegian Breakaway last month and guess what? I'll be sailing her twin sister, Norwegian Getaway at the top of 2014! And let's not forget my 16 day adventure on Grand Princess approaching in just under 2 months! So with all that said, there are plenty of ships who could captivate the top spot in my heart... but for now, Epic and Breeze will sail at the number one spot.

So what are your favorite cruise ships? Why do you like those particular ships more than any other vessel? I'll share the details as to why I like Carnival Breeze and Norwegian Epic in my next update so stay tuned for that! In the meantime, share with me your favorite high seas' resorts - I'd love to know which ones you may suggest I try, too! :) Until we talk ship again, keep cruising and grooving! Much love always--Shon!


Hey, y'all! How are things going? I pray the weekend was well to all and the week has got off to a great start for ya! To all my Canadian cruise friends and followers, HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY; and to my fellow Americans, Happy Columbus Day! It seems holidays are for the sharing in North America today and so is some heavy news (unfortunately)...

Many of you by now have probably heard the news coming from the cruisesphere about the 6 year old boy who drowned in the mid-ship Lido deck pool aboard Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Victory. I first read the story early this morning and my heart sank. It is with a heavy heart I write today. You see late last week into the weekend, I shut down all things CM3K to cope with news of death I received from a friend of mine that occurred mid last week (please pray for the Bahn family). These types of headlines truly make some days harder to get through. I am sending my prayers and thoughts to the family and hope God brings His peace and love to their hearts!


Carnival Cruise Line did issue a statement sending its sincere apologies from to company to the family:

“Carnival extends its heartfelt sympathy to the family during this very difficult time. The company’s Care Team is providing assistance and support.

Hopefully in the coming days we'll get more details on exactly how this happened. I mean with so many people laying out by the pool, someone had to see something... at least that's what I'm hoping - praying the answers will ease the minds of the family. Tomorrow is not promised and we should not "expect" to even see the next hour, for it's never promised. Laugh more. Smile bigger. Love like you mean it. I hope to be in happier spirits next week and bring another cruisetacular read your way! In the meantime, please join me in prayer for this family and all passengers on the high seas - may safety and peace with them all! Much love--Shon!




Happy October, cruisetacular readers! I cannot believe we are already in another month, but hey... that's good news, right? We're getting closer to the holidays, getting closer to a new year and for many, closer to the next high seas adventure! In addition to nearing the end of 2013, celebrations of Breast Cancer Awareness Month will be happening (I'll be tweeting in pink all month long - just in case the picture didn't give it away, hehe), the leaves will be changing, many pumpkin spice lattees will be had and it's officially National Cruise Vacation Month (NCVM)! Yeah, I promise I didn't make that up; October is indeed NCVM! How are you celebrating? I hope by either booking a cruise or sailing on one... yes? I'm celebrating by beginning to pack for my 16 day voyage coming up in just 2 months (okay, I'ma gonna be honest... the only packing going on will be in my head... at least for now, hehe).


Last week I shared with y'all a little taste of my day on Norwegian Breakaway and I have some new content to share! You can check out my picture album from the ship by clicking here and see all the footage I shot onboard by clicking one of the links below. You'll find pics of me pretending to be one of the Rockettes, getting "read my rights" for putting ketchup on a hot dog by a native New Yorker and even a few casual pics of me hanging with the cast of Spongebob Squarepants including Patrick, Squidward, Sandy and the yellow-boxed man himself!

I hope you guys enjoy all the cruise coverage from Norwegian Breakaway above! I've got many more great things on the horizon for The Cruisetacular Weekly, so keep it locked here every Monday for some great updates! Until we talk ship again, keep cruising and grooving! I've got nothing but love for you all--Shon!




Hey, y'all! If you read The Ocean Escape (my other blog) on Friday, then you would have seen I had a "big reveal" to make this past weekend of a cruise ship I would be on. If you followed me on the numerous social media sites I have over this past weekend, you may have noticed I broke away from Baltimore to visit, tour and have a blast on Norwegian Breakaway! It was so much and yes, she is truly all that and then some! I got to sample food from five of the specialty dining facilities onboard, as well as from the Garden Cafe (Norwegian's version of Lido). The coolest thing was walking around Ocean Blue on the Waterfront (an area of the vessel) and running right into a hot dog cart - how cool is that? I have a super funny video of some New Yorkers "shunning" me for putting ketchup on my hot dog which apparently is crime in the Empire State (they thought I was from Florida because apparently that's what people from Florida do...)? I may have even tried getting Norwegian Breakaway's Godmothers, the Rockettes, to let me do the can-can with them? Okay, that was all in my head.

I also got to check out the spa, gym, water park (which is Spongebob themed for the Nick lovers), ropes course and even the ice bar! There's so much to share, and I don't have all my pictures and videos edited at this time, but they will be forthcoming - I promise! Norwegian Breakway was truly everything I thought she would be and then some. Innovative. Revolutionary. Gorgeous. Any word you can dish out to describe a ship, she's that, the bag of chips on the side and free drink to compliment the combo!


Be sure to keep it locked to my Twitter Feed, Youtube Channel as well as Facebook and Instagram sites for so many pictures, videos and a cruisetacular insight about this fantastic vessel! Also, while in New York, I was able to see Aida Cruises' AIDAluna in port and got some video and pics with and of her as well! Lots of great content is on the way, so don't change the cruise channel just yet! Until we talk ship again, keep cruising and grooving!


It's sad looking at this picture. Knowing that this time next year, Carnival Pride will be on her way leaving us in MD. Such a cruise industry tragedy, you know? Okay enough of that... now for today's post! :biggrin: You know all this blogging about my cruising bffs got me thinking of other things I like bringing with me when on the high seas. I am as extrovert as they come on the high seas and could careless about what someone thinks about me, my noise or the way I party. If my Youtube videos don't convince you, join me on the high seas for a few days... but be careful, my inner cruisetacular party animal may catch ya and have you leading the way (I promise to follow)! :cool2:

When I was in the dollar store before a cruise a few months back, it was during graduation season and so there were a lot of yard signs in stock. You know, the signs that say "The Party Is Here" and "Party's This Way." Then I had this humungo cruise ah-ha moment in the store and said, "I could use these on the ship in the club, at sailaway and for the welcome aboard picture." Oh, but I didn't stop there - I added whistles, glowsticks and leis to the mix! Oh yes, we were decked out and I think you should go all out too!


But let me just warn you now. Everyone on the cruise is gonna want to be with your group (so bring extras to share with others). I was tossing glow sticks faster than hot cakes on a Sunday morning in the night club. I told my fam on the next cruise, I'm gonna open up shop in my cabin (CASH ONLY - lol). So for your next cruise be sure to pack a whistle and add a little glow to your evening wear - it'll take your cruise to cruisetacular heights! Don't forget that optimistic attitude and a few clothes too! Until we talk ship again next week, keep cruising and grooving! Oh, before I go, let me give my sis Heather Forrester (@itsme_Heather) a special shout-out as she gets ready to sail Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda this weekend! Shout-out to everyone on a cruise right now, too! I hope you're living it up, eating my share and hitting the wrong... I mean right notes in karaoke! Peace and much love--Shon!


Many of you may remember a post I wrote earlier in the year talking about one of my cruising, elastic best friends. Yeah, those swimming trunks are still around as a high seas sure thing for me, but I almost forgot to tell you all about another one I have. If you follow me on Twitter or watched a few of my YouTube videos, you may already be hip to which BFF this post is about.

I am a HUGE hot sauce LOVER! If you didn't know, hot sauce and I have a thing going on (let's just keep this between us, okay?)! I douse it on just about everything - popcorn, spaghetti, and even fried alligator (yes, I do eat fried alligator)! It also adds a nice kick to a sandwich I have from time to time. I'll never forget when my family and friends sailed Carnival Glory at the peak of summer this year; I showed up a little late to the dinner table one night BUT for very good reason - I turned back to my cabin to get my bottle of hot sauce (I don't play)! And I'm glad I did because that bottle of hot sauce got passed around more than the salt and pepper! LOL


You can even see my bottle of hot sauce likes to photo-bomb photo shoots onboard, too! One of the main reasons I LOVE sailing from ports closer to my home - Baltimore, New York and Norfolk - is the very reason that I don't have to fly. Meaning I can bring my bottle of hot sauce without extra drama, ya know? Now don't get me wrong, I love flying , but I'm not a fan of the liquid ounce restrictions. When I fly, I pack light so I never have to check my bags (which means everything I bring has to get through security... including the liquids) Many may find it inconvenient not being able to bring an expensive bottle of cologne, that "special" bottle of shampoo or even a bottle of hot sauce... oh wait, did someone say hot sauce? LOL

Yeah, I always shed a tear when I have to part with my bottle of hot sauce for a few days... but the FIRST thing I start doing once I'm on "the other side" of security is the hot sauce collection raid! When I went on my last cruise, a coworker of mine knew I was gonna need/want my hot sauce while away, so she went to a fast food joint and grabbed a few extra packets of the addictive stuff for me. Then it hit me: that's how I'll get around this! So now I literally hit every fast food restaurant inairport concourses collecting hot sauce with NO SHAME to ensure I don't have to go without it when sailing the high seas... ever! I know... it's odd... it's strange... but it's me! Stay tuned for an introduction to another cruising BFF of mine soon! Keep cruising and grooving until we talk ship again! Much love always--Shon.


Happy Monday, cruisetacular peeps! I hope you all have been enjoying the cruising stories I've shared over the past few weeks. I'm gonna take a break from them today, but know I'll have many more in the weeks and months ahead. In fact, I just finished my blog-writing schedule last night for the duration of 2013 and it's hard to believe another year is getting ready to close on us. Whew! Time is flying, wouldn't you say?

I noticed a trend on my side of town and was wondering if you all have the same thing happening where you live? I was going through my closet the other day and realized I have an overabundance of cruise ship t-shirts. Many I wear to the gym, some I use as clothing changes when doing videos for my Youtube Channel and others are archived in plastic because they're so vintage. I have Carnival Cruise Line's m/s Celebration's inaugural cruise tee, Celebrity Cruises' m/v Horizon graphic tee and even Norwegian Caribbean Line's (now Norwegian Cruise Line) s/s Norway on a tee (you can view here). Many of you may have seen these shirts in a few videos I've done, but if you do the math something doesn't quite add up...


Many of you may wonder how do I own shirts of cruise ships that are older than me? How did I find them? Where did I find them? Well, the answer lies in a hidden gem in my neighborhood - my local thrift store. Seriously, I find so many cool cruise momentous in there! It came as a suggestion from a friend of mine one day and ever since, I've been going there looking for cruise tees and sporting them like no tomorrow.

Do you shop at thrift stores? I know many people "look down" on 'em, but they are truly loaded with treasures many others have trashed (you know how the saying goes). Feel free to share what you've found that's cruise related, in your local thrift store below. And if you've never been to one, you now have some motivation to not just look for tees, but also mugs, pins and host of other cruise collectibles (you never know what you'll find)! Keep cruising and grooving and be sure to rock your new 'thrifty cruise finds' along the way! See ya next Monday with more cruisetacular coverage!


Happy Labor day, cruisetacular peeps! Ready for another story from this summer's highs seas adventures? Alrighty, here we go. This one comes from when I sailed Carnival Glory from Norfolk with my family and friends. If you watched The Post-Cruise Show: Carnival Glory on my YouTube Channel, you may remember me briefly talking about this story. But just in case you missed it, this is what went down...

So there we are. Night one of our cruise having a blast and we decided as one big group we would perform "We Are Family" to break in the family and friends reunion cruise. After putting in our song number and fighting over who was gonna sing lead, we were ready... well kinda. So this was "Karaoke Live" meaning you did karaoke with a live band and not a track (which all of us thought was cool). We got there about 20 minutes after it started and saw the clock ticking closer to the end time of the karaoke. Then they called a group who didn't show up. They called them again and THEN they called my family!

We were so excited! This was it, we thought. I ran right on the stage after seeing my friend Metria by the door, grabbed the mic, signaled for my crew to come on up and then... then I ALMOST popped someone with a backhand! Remember that group that was called and never showed? Well guess who came on the stage out of nowhere? Yeah... and guess what the karaoke hostess told us? That they're gonna let that group go; they would be the last ones for the night, and she was sorry... Excuse me? There are few things you don't tell me on a cruise and not being able to perform karaoke with my family is one of them! The hostess and I had a brief one-on-one conversation (where I was very calm) and she explained to me there was nothing she could do because the comedy show was about to begin approximately 15 mins later.


I was persistent. I pretty much said, "So you won't allow one more 4 minute song? I don't mean to be inconsiderate, but that still leaves roughly 10 minutes for transition for the comedy show." She wouldn't budge. We were so upset. We all wrote about it in our post-cruise surveys, and we truly thought how all that went down was all the way wrong and ALMOST deserving of a backhand, LOL! What do y'all think? Well perhaps no backhand, but I thought Carnival could have made that up to us some kind of way. Despite helping other groups (we didn't know) with their songs that evening at karaoke, it wasn't the same performing karaoke without my fam (which rarely happens since we only cruise once a year all together).

Anyway, we got over it. We're in better spirits and as many of you know, I don't dwell on the bad for too long (but I did dance on my soapbox for a few hours, hehe). Nonetheless, life has taught me a lesson I share with my friends a lot. You know it's never the problem that's the issue, but it's the perspective you have and take towards the problem. Even when the DJ stops the music, keep grooving because life is one big party that never stops... that is if you want to join in!

Note: The title of this article and use of the term "backhand" as used above are used for humorous purposes and not meant to be interpreted as a threat or any related actions to Carnival Cruise Line or any of its affiliates.


Happy Monday, everyone! How are ya cruising this week? I hope with smooth seas and cruisetacular weather! So let's get back to the story telling. I saw a few comments asking when I would get back to sharing some funny stories from the high seas and your wish is my command! This story comes from the 4th of July sailing I did on Norwegian Sky from Miami to the Bahamas last month.

Okay, I just woke up. Had breakfast (I didn't have to fight anyone for a cinnamon roll... this time - haha), got my tender number and was off the ship in record time. The water was a little choppy, but we made it into Great Stirrup Cay's (Norwegian Cruise Line's Private Island) harbor just fine. Like everyone else, I wanted to get a beach chair (and a really good one at that). I walked around for a while, surveyed the land and finally saw this spot that was full of trees, had decent shade, was close to the dance floor and I decided to POUNCE!

I begin walking over and that was when I was stopped by a random guy. He asked me, "Are you actor?" He had an accent I couldn't pick up on at that moment, but I just responded with a laugh and said I wasn't an actor. Well, then I set up shop at my beach chair, grab my sister Mia and we began doing some filming for my YouTube Channel. Things were going great until this guy came back over and said, "Well if you're not an actor, why do you have a camera and doing a video?" That was when I shared with him I was a travel writer and cruise blogger and video taping is an added thing with my gig.


He laughed it off, in disbelief it seemed, and then walked away. By this time I was a little hungry so I headed over to the pavilion for just a small snack (you know how it is when you cruise... you eat every 20 minutes). But while I was away, my sister told me that this same guy (pictured above with me and his girlfriend) came BACK and told my her, "It's okay to tell me if he's really an actor. I promise not to tell anyone - I know that's Eddie Murphy!" So I came back and he screams, "EDDIE!" I then laughed and told him I've been told I favor Eddie Murphy since I was in college but I'm promise I am not him! Honestly, I think it's just the mustache I rock that makes people have that "inkling" to assume I'm him in younger form.

Then the guy asked for a picture with me, pulled out HIS video camera and would not stop filming me when I joined in with the group line dances on the beach and he wouldn't let it go. He was truly a character and when he saw me roam around the ship he just began waving and laughing. I just laughed and shook my head. Now I get it. I favor the guy some (at least some people think so), but honestly, do you think I REALLY look like him? I mean to the point where you would do all this guy did? Anyway, this was another time in my life I was mistaken for Eddie. I'm gonna start wearing a donkey outfit and setting up a booth if this keeps up! LOL Keep cruising and grooving, y'all! Catch ya on the next update!


Over the past few months, many of you have asked, "Shon, when can I sail with you?" I'm no genie, but your wish is my command? Here's your chance to sail with me in 2014 right from my backyard on Grandeur of the Seas! We'll be sailing to one of my favorite destinations: Bermuda! I hand-picked this special 7 day/6 night cruise that's been dubbed as the "Bermuda's Grandeur with Shon" cruise! The cruise departs on Friday, September 12, 2014 and returns on Thursday, September 18, 2014! I know the weather will be great, seas will be smooth and this cruise will go down as one you'll always remember!

I'm teaming up with Daley's Destinations based here in Maryland on this sailing; helping to give you a great price, on-board credit and even a reduced deposit*. If you book between now and Thursday, September 05, 2013, all you have to do is place a $100.00 deposit down per person to secure your spot (that's it). The other portion of the deposit - which is $150.00 per person - would not be due until Sunday, February 02, 2014 and the final payment of the cruise would not be due until Sunday, June 29, 2014. What a deal on that deposit break-down, right? And on top of that, we're throwing in free on-board credit per cabin! I promise you, this is one sailing you won't want to miss! The videos are cool, the pictures may tell the tale, but seeing it live and in person is something you'll be glad you did!


So what are you waiting for? Get your cabin booked today so we can sail to the pink sand shores of Bermuda in 2014! Bring your friends, family and even brotha man from the 5th floor! Interior cabins are currently $716.12 per person and Ocean views are running at $818.12 per person. If you save $25.00 per week every month, you'll have $100.00 per month to pay on the cruise and going this way, it'll be paid off before the June 29th deadline.

Now remember, you can only take advantage of this special promotion and pricing by booking via Daley's Destinations. For more information on this sailing, check out the e-flyer, call Daley's Destinations direct at 1-888-803-6189 and stay tuned for more updates from me. Be sure to mention you saw this cruise advertised on The Ocean Escape and they'll be sure to make sure you get to take advantage of all the good stuff mentioned above. Act fast because cabins are limited! As always, you're cruisetacular for reading! Hoping to cruise and groove with you in 2014--Shon!

*The reduced deposit of $100.00 per person is only valid until Thursday, September 05, 2013 so act fast!


When it comes to cruising, many of you know I have no issues just letting it all hang out. Well, I do put my belt on to suck some of it in, but when it comes to deck parties and night-life on the high seas you can bet your bottom dollar that yours truly, his whistle and party crew will be in the house ready to BAA-RING DA NOISE! A conversation I had with a fan inspired this post and I hope the words I shared with her would also encourage you to jump out of your comfort zone and live life to the fullest! YOLO!

So there I was a few months ago sitting in the karaoke lounge sailing on Carnival Glory. A fan of the blog approached and struck up a conversation with me. She was saying how she couldn't understand how I could get up in front of so many people and not seem to care what they thought of me; if they were laughing at me and even wanted to know how I "showed my face" around the ship the next morning. I simply told her this, "I stopped caring what people had to say about me when I realized no matter if I pleased 1 or 1 million, everyone was not going to like everything I did - which is fine by me. I also realize that I will never see most of the people on this cruise ever again in my life... so why not give them a show?"

She began to nod and laugh. I said, "You only get one shot to live this life here on earth, so why not spend your days laughing hard, cuttin' a rug and showing others they too don't have to just sit there but can join in!" She soon grabbed her teenage daughter, brought her to the karaoke lounge and together they took the stage singing Coldplay's smash hit, "Viva la Viva!" I gave them both a standing ovation and the mother told me, "I did it because I took what you said to heart!"


I have walked into many nightclubs on cruises where people aren't dancing and the mood needs to be that of a club and not a community music sitting center. So with all the dance floor space I see, I round up my crew, we jet for the floor and GET IT INNNN! Then before I know it, others are joining us asking if they can hang with us while we're in the club. That's when I realized that when cruising people can get so caught up into what everyone else is thinking of them, they allow strangers to hinder themselves from having a great time. Is that you? Stop that right now if it is!

Yes, now I do know that not everyone is an extrovert and/or is comfortable with displaying goofy moments in poolside games, vocal abilities at karaoke or even their gaming skills in the casino, but I do know that we all have a chance to use a cruise to help us step outside of our comfort zone, wouldn't you agree? I mean come on, you eat all that food when everyone is looking (you may not even know it sometimes, but people are watching), so why not put on a show for 'em?! Next time you hit the high seas, don't let your shy and bashful side get the best of you - shine like the brightest star in galaxies and let the ship know YOU know how to bring the noise! As always, you're cruisetacular for reading and I have nothing but love for ya! Keep cruising and grooving--Shon!


Heeeeeeey, everyone! How have y'all been? Wow, okay, so I haven't blogged here in nearly a month and many of you probably want to know why, right? I promise I haven't been on hiatus again. I have been a little busy this summer... more so than I was planning. I've been on 4 cruises doing a little to much twancing and I think I hit a burn out fuse and am trying to replug it in.

If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, then you've had a front row seat to the back, to back, to back, to back cruise madness. Don't get me wrong, I've had a blast meeting some of y'all, partying like it was 3012 and sailing to some cool ports, but just know that it has taken its toll and I think everything came crashing at once. I got sick a few times along the way, lost my voice twice and was barely sleeping which I believe is the culprit for the burn out of all things cruise from CM3K.

But no worries! Next Monday, I'll be back in action to update you ALL on everything that's been happening - cruise by cruise - so stay tuned! :) I promise I'm okay and I'm on the better side of mountain! Look for me next Monday with regularly scheduled blog posts! As always, you're cruisetacular for reading and I've got nothing but love for ya!

Cruising and Grooving,



There are many relationships we have in life that help us become the greatest individuals we can be. Sometimes it's a close friend that pushes us to go after a job we're on the fence about, a personal trainer who believes you can when you're ready to throw in the towel or even a sibling giving that "mark the calender because you'll never hear me say these words about you ever again" speech that shocks us all. But there is one relationship that is better than anything - the bond between a father and son! I know first-hand with the relationship I have with my father God and I've also seen it through those I know. I want to introduce you to my cruise industry/Twitter friend Michael and his son, Colton.

It was in 2004 when Colton took his first cruise with his dad at only 10 months young! He sailed aboard Carnival Miracle from the Port of Baltimore and since, Colton has 13 cruises under his belt (which is pretty impressive)! He and his dad use the high seas for bonding and fun father-son time... even though "Mom" tags along, too! They admitted to me in our interview that they don't get too rowdy on ships with random pillow fights or impromptu handstand contest in cabin hallways (but that doesn't mean they haven't thought of doing it - haha). They say it doesn't take much for them to enjoy each other as a family. Mike mentions getting breakfast together and having alone time are special, cherished times that never get rushed (they make certain of it). Colton's mom and Mike wife even chimes in with words about cruising as a family Steph says, "Having that time together allows us to focus on being together as a family without distractions." And as I always say, a cruising family is a happy family!


When I asked Mike if he had any advice for father-son relationships who also share a love for cruising, he responded by saying, "It sounds simple, but just getting alone time is special. Family time is great when we’re all together, but I really value the time he and I get to spend on our own on a cruise. We’ve carved out a routine of getting that time together each morning, but you could do it any time really." Hear that, y'all? Mike ain't say nothing about dropping off your kid with the youth counselors for the whole cruise! LOL I don't have a close relationship with my father, but I do have the best of relationships with my mother and cruising was the common ground that rooted and grew us into the amazing life we know now. So I truly get how the high seas is a special place for any parent and child.

Seeing families like Mike and Colton on the high seas gives me hope for our young people. We've got men like Mike raising their kids as a father should - with love, care and global awareness! It's truly great to expose children to the wonders of the world and cruising is the best way, in my opinion, to do just that! These amazing guys don't foresee they'll out-grow cruising with each other and I can agree with that! Why else would they break the bond they've loved since '04? Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter (@spridlewv) and check out his blog with many cruise updates! Keep cruising and grooving, y'all and don't stop enjoying each other! What an awesome family, right? Be sure to give yours the best you've got - show them love and always spend crazy times with them on a cruise!


So have y'all been keeping tabs on what's been going down here at the Port of Baltimore between Carnival Cruise Line and the EPA? Well let me bring you up to speed: D-R-A-M-A! Before I give y'all the 411, let me just plug a personal anecdote in. Is that okay? Alright, so a few weeks ago I began looking at cruises to Bermuda from Baltimore (since it's only 15 minutes from my driveway). I was hopeful that Carnival would send Carnival Pride back to Bermuda... but when I pulled up her sailing schedule, it's only posted until April 2014 which had me raising an eyebrow (especially since Royal Caribbean has Grandeur of the Seas' sailings posted until next fall).

So I tweeted the Carnival Public Relations team and they told me they would get back to me on if they'll be going to Bermuda next summer. THEN I see something interesting in the Baltimore Sun about a week and a half later that pretty much stated Carnival Cruise Line has threatened to leave the Port of Baltimore all together! Say what? I KNOW! So now I'm just really at a loss for words.


Okay so here's what happened that's causing this "possible threat", three letters: E-P-A. Yeah, so the EPA told Carnival they had to get Carnival Pride burning some cleaner fuel in order for her to continue to moor here in Charm City (which I get and am okay with). But Carnival instead of agreeing with this new mandate has threatened (again, I say threatened and not confirms) to leave the Port of Baltimore. As a resident and tax payer to the state, I am all about having cleaner air to breath here in Maryland. And the inner cruise ship lover in me wants to see Carnival Pride stay in Baltimore, but if Carnival wants to leave... let them!

So our Governor, Martin O'Malley (D), has intervened on Carnival's behalf. He wants to see Carnival to stay, but from what I'm reading in reports from the Baltimore Sun, he is trying to get the EPA to lessen the regulation so Carnival will stay (which has many Mary;and residents upset). Carnival's argument is that if they make the enhancements needed to see that Carnival Pride burns cleaner fuel while in Maryland, they would then front the money to passengers who sail from Baltimore; stating an increase of around $5.00 per person. This is a story that is continuing to unfold so check back for an update from yours truly on this shocking news. In the mean time, check out the posted article in the Baltimore Sun and watch this video giving you my 2 cents on this. Until we talk ship again, keep cruising and grooving!


So have you heard the cruisemazing news? I am super excited for this week because on Thursday I'm gonna be chatting it up with all about one of my favorite destinations of all time: BERMUDA! Last Tuesday, the secret was no longer and just in case you missed it you can read the official announcement (see it here). Want some inside information on what I plan to talk about? Want to see the questions? Well... I'm not going to give any spoilers, but if want a preview... NAAAAAAAAW, I can't do that!

BUT I can say I can basically call Bermuda my third home, after any cruise ship of course! I've cruised there twice and have a third planned cruise there in 2014. Honestly, it's like THE premiere summer cruise destination for folks who aren't feeling Canadian, want to fly to Europe or Alaska or are worn out by what's in the Caribbean Sea!


I'll be sharing links to some of my pictures, videos and so much more coverage I have from the island which is conveniently located east of the Carolinas in the Atlantic Ocean. Want to know what you can do for free? Want to know WHY a ship has to dock there for three whole days? Wonder if the Bermuda triangle rumor is just hype? Want to see the pink sand beaches there in Bermuda?

Well be sure to sign up for the Cruise Chat session happening this Thursday, June 20, 2013 beginning at 8:00pm. I hope to see all of you there! Let me get my thoughts organized so I'll be ready when we talk Bermuda all night on Thursday! Who's ready? I know I sure am! Join me and the cruisetacular, Bermudian fun! See ya in a few days!

Participation limited to members only (it's free to join). To access the chat room click the following link:


Helloooooo, party people! Happy Monday and early Travel Tuesday! How is everyone doing? Whew! So I see I missed a post last week and I'm so sorry for that. I was having some internet issues and then tonight Baltimore turned into Niagara Falls and got poured on with rain, rain and tornadoes! Yeah... it got real here in Charm City. I almost lost To-To, but I'm glad to say I'm I'm safe and all is cruisetacular in my bachelor pad!

So last we spoke, I told y'all I was getting ready for my next cruise aboard Carnival Glory. Well, I went, I'm back and had a blast! I don't even know where to begin. From losing my voice, to staying up with my fam 'til 4:30am eating pizza, to breaking my shoe because I danced too hard in the club one night, my most recent cruise was truly one of my better and more memorable voyages! Gosh, it's a blast cruising with family and friends, wouldn't you agree? I could tell you so much more BUT I think the following videos will give you a better first-hand recap than a few paragraphs in this post can.


Check out these funny videos from my cruise! You'll REALLY see what a cruise with me is like, how my family cuts-up on a cruise AND why cruising with the Fords is more fun! :) Click here to see my entire album from the cruise on my Facebook Fan Page!

The Pre-Cruise Show: Carnival Glory

LIVE from Carnival Glory: The Party is Here!

LIVE from Carnival Glory: I've Got Burnt Feet!

LIVE from Carnival Glory: I Broke My Shoe

LIVE from Carnival Glory: Let's Do Laundry

Night Club Groovin' w/ CM3K

Carnival Glory Sailaway, May 31, 2013

Karaoke Fun on Carnival Glory

The Post-Cruise: Carnival Glory

Atrium Party Aboard Carnival Glory

And I have a BIG announcement to make! Next Thursday night, June 20, 2013, I will be hosting a cruise chat session ALL ABOUT BERMUDA here at CruiseCrazies! The details will be forth coming on the site this week, so stay tuned for all the details! As Always, you're cruisetacular for reading! Until we talk ship again next Monday, keep cruising and grooving, y'all! Much Love--Shon!


Hey, everyone! Happy Monday and Memorial Day! To all the service men and women THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! You have helped keep this amazing nation safe and my freedom a humbling privilege. Again, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!

Okay, so I was initially planning on talking about my cruise on Carnival Glory this week... but I saw the news just like y'all did this morning. Now you may remember just a few short weeks ago, I was on Grandeur of the Seas. I posted pics and videos from my time aboard and had a BLAST! And I was saddened to see that nearly 3.5 weeks later after I disembarked her, she was now sporting a blackened aft and damages. Just in case you haven't heard, at approximately 2:00am on Monday, May 27, 2013, Grandeur of the Seas had a fire occur in the mooring area of the ship. No one was injured. No one died. You know, these incidents are isolated and has anyone else notice that no one has died in any of the cruise ship headlining stories? Seriously, this is amazing and nothing less than a miracle from God! AND they are all getting flown home, a full refund and a free future cruise!

So I want to just say I will be praying for the passengers and crew of Grandeur of the Seas as well as making sure to lift ALL cruise ships in my prayers! Whew! We've been having a pretty interesting 2 years, wouldn't you say? You know 2012 was Titanic's 100th year anniversary... I guess she's coming back for ALL the ships? LOL jk jk I'll be keeping tabs with what's what on this particular story and know y'all will too! Maybe we'll have even more insight as the week progresses? Do y'all think the media will soften the blow on RCI versus the TKO they gave Carnival earlier this year?

Well, in other cruise news, I am on Carnival Glory this week, so be sure to follow along on Twitter for live updates from me. AND I won't be blogging on The Cruisetacular Weekly while sailing, BUT I will blog from The Ocean Escape! So be sure to stay connected with your boy - you know I Iove interacting with y'all! Thanks for always reading along! Until we talk ship again, keep cruising and grooving!

Come sailing with me on Carnival Glory this week, vicariously! I wanna hear from ya! Send me a tweet, I'll reply back... promise! :biggrin:


I may be all smiles in this pic, but there is a side of me that comes out from time to time that includes arms-folded, inverted eyebrows and an attitude ready to usher you into the ocean :angry:. I wear a smile with every out-fit I put on - especially when a cruise ship is involved (who wouldn't?)! But there is a point when not even a cruise ship can keep a smile on my face and it has to do with people. After 30 cruises, I still am amazed that I am blessed to enjoy a traveling luxury - such as a cruise ship - as often as I do. You know I thank God every time I board a ship because I could have easily been the unfortunate man on the sidewalk asking for money or a meal. I just stand amazed! I went from not having a lot to now being able to be spoiled like a prince. I remembered my first cruise like it was yesterday. I just about couldn't hold myself together. The food, the cool people and most importantly the beautiful, sacred connection I was able to find with The Lord.

I soon hit this weird phase in my cruising history. You start talking about the paint job the ship needs, the color of the carpet and even how slow the cabin stewards are at getting you a fresh towel. You begin reaching a point where you become a ship snob and boy did I used to be one! You complain out this... and that. Then you start comparing this ship to another ship and wish it was bigger, or not as many people or pray for more activities to do. Well if you were like me, a few years ago, I have two words for you: SHUT UP! Your negative attitude is poisoning the fun that's supposed to be experienced onboard! Take it from a guy who used to RUN HIS TRAP about everything wrong... it doesn't help anything.


Honestly, you're traveling in style complaining about some food when there's a kid in Haiti who is wondering the streets right now trying to find food, shelter and protection from predators. Like really? But that hamburger could be less burnt though? Right... If it could, go get another one. Gosh, you act like you haven't paid for the food. You have world class crew members working for YOUR amusement. They leave their family and friends behind for months at a time to hear you complain because they didn't turn down your bed twice in a day? They do not get paid enough to feel both a Caribbean breeze and your hot breath. One is enough and it ain't the latter. Do you even turn down your own bed down at home twice a day? Oh and you must use like a million towels at home too right, because the cabin stewards needs to change them everyday? Put yourself in the shoes of those who are less fortunate than you. The people work non-stop around the clock, for YOU. It would be nice to give them a break every now and then you know?

I started meeting with my cabin steward the day I get on and tell them straight up - I don't need turn down service, in fact, I don't need day time service. Just give me the daily activities agenda and and high-five every time I see ya! I am tired of hearing about the things YOU hate about a ship. What is there to hate? You have literally 5 star everything compared to the girl who was just captured and forced into female prostitution. The mouths of complaining and nit-picky cruisers is THE thing I hate about cruising! Please, if you're going to complain, just run back to your cabin and tell someone who will actually care (they'll be looking at you in the mirror). Now I'm not saying you should not rightfully speak up when something like theft of your belongings or something fatal happens and the cruise line is at fault. By all means, please speak up when necessary, but know that you not getting chocolate on your pillow at night is no excuse to just hear yourself bark. Save your breath for all the screaming you'll do at the sailaway deck party! :biggrin:

Give it a go. Be a global citizen who understands and tries to help those who've been working for 14 hours straight feeling exhausted and still wears that smile like nothing's even wrong. Stop complaining. Shut up because nobody gives a cup... of coffee! :laugh: Until we talk ship again, keep cruising and grooving. You know you're cruisetacular for reading and I have nothing but love for ya!


So I'm at that stage in the cruising game where I am in between cruises. You know that point where you remember the last and get pumped for the next? Yeah, that feeling... that's what I'm loving right now! So many of you may remember the cruise I took back in February aboard Norwegian Jewel. I took one of my BFFs - TMT - with me for her first high seas adventure. In fact, that's her in this pic as well as another friend we met onboard, our girl Pat Montano!

Back in February we did a cruise to nowhere (CTN) and guess what I'm doing in just about 2 weeks from Norfolk, VA? Yup! You've guessed it! A cruise to nowhere... but aboard Carnival Glory. This time around TMT won't be with me, unfortunately, BUT my crazy, loud and hot mess of a family and friends WILL (pray for me... no seriously pray for me now)! I love these types of cruises and some people ask me what a CTN is. The convo tends to go a little like this...

My Neighbor: "So Shon, you're going on another cruise?"

Me: "Yup! And I'm so excited!"

My Neighbor: "Where ya headed this time?"

Shon: "Oh just out to sea for the weekend - nowhere basically!"

My Neighbor: "Um what? What kind of cruise is that?"


Well let a brotha school ya... It's the kind of cruise where you cram everything in, eat whatever you want, get a good workout in at the gym and sleep as little as possible (at least if you're sailing with me - as TMT is testament to). You just have a great time for a few days at sea. Seriously, I walk on THESE cruises in particular not knowing a soul and within the first 20 hours, new friends are joining me at karaoke, in the nightclub and even for a late night bite aboard. What are YOU waiting for? Try a cruise to nowhere today! PLUS you'll have the BEST bragging rights at the office on Monday. Everyone will ask how your weekend was and guess what you can tell them? YOU WENT ON A CRUISE! Bam! In their faces... I mean, oops, forgot to invite ya? And they're very inexpensive! :biggrin:

You know, I HIGHLY recommend these special and rare voyages for individuals who want to try cruising, but may still have some reservations (yes, pun is intended). Go sail for 3 days and 2 nights, come back and then book a world cruise! Okay, maybe not a world cruise but these sailings will help you enjoy longer cruises if you're a newbie trying to get into the cruising game! Try a CT today and maybe our paths will even cross on the high seas! Have you ever sailed a CTN? If so, what was you're favorite part about it? If not, what's your excuse? Keep cruisin' and groovin' until we talk ship again next Monday--Shon!


And it's a great day to be cruising from the Port of Baltimore! Hello, everyone! It feels great being back after a nearly 2 month hiatus. I missed you all and hope everyone has been in nothing but cruisetacular spirits! Never have I been more proud to be a resident of the great state of Maryland! We're home to the Superbowl Champions, the best crabs in the world and the recently refurbished Grandeur of the Seas!

This past Friday - May 03, 2013 - MD's Governor Martin O'Malley (D) proclaimed the day to be state-wide Royal Caribbean Cruise Day! How cool is that? It was with great enthusiasm I accepted an invitation from Royal Caribbean International to join in for the festivities that would be taking place at the Port of Baltimore (which is conveniently only 15 minutes from my driveway)! Here in Baltimore, we have seen tremendous growth in our annual cruise passenger numbers! We began with seasonal service back in 2004 with about 30 cruises a year that took 60,000 passengers on high seas adventures.

Today, the Port of Baltimore sees approximately 100 cruises a year (96 slated for 2013) with 240,000 passengers sailing through the number one cruise port in the Mid-Atlantic. The Port of Baltimore is the 11th biggest cruise port in the United States and 20th in the world! In addition to that, the Port generates about 90 million dollars in revenue for the State of Maryland and 200 direct jobs. And if any of you have been here, you know the port literally sits right on I-95 - making it the best free advertisement around! Now that's what I call cruisetacular!


In her 48 million dollar face-lift, Grandeur of the Seas was given new dining options to bring her food offering to eight - something unheard of for a ship her size (which is great)! She also was given a new pool-side big screen for your viewing pleasure as well as upgraded areas for toddlers, kids and teens! The Solarium onboard, which is adult only and also saw an enhancement, truly helps the mature cruisers find the perfect escape while on the ship.The highlight of the improved Grandeur of the Seas is the Centrum Wow show which takes place in the ships centrum (some of you may call it the atrium). Oh, and did I mention RCI have her all new carpet and furniture? She's truly a new ship with enhancements that'll truly fit everyone who sails aboard - including YOU!

Grandeur of the Seas sailed from the Port of Baltimore seasonally from 2004-2009 prior to her return in 2013. Friday, May 03 marked her first cruise from Baltimore in about four years - the voyage was a seven night cruise to Bermuda; featuring 3 days and 2 nights docked at Kings Wharf. Today, she currently offers the most diverse list of sailings from the Mid-Atlantic with a port of call line-up to include Bermuda, the Bahamas, Florida, the Eastern Caribbean, Canada and New England. With new features, amazing voyages and plenty of room for you and your family, this ship has enough splendor and charm to share with all those who walk up her gangway.

For more information on Grandeur of the Seas or the itineraries she will sail, cruise on over to her very own webpage on Royal Caribbean's website. And if you want to see more pictures I captured from RCI Day here in MD, I've posted them all to Cruise Man 3000's Facebook Fan Page! I've also added exclusive behind the scenes videos on my YouTube Channel, too! Until we talk ship again next Monday, keep cruisin' and groovin'! You're cruisetacular for reading!