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About this blog

A Personal Cruise & Travel Journal

All posts and photos © Janice Neves/Seven Sea Journeys, CruiseCrazies Authorized Agent

Entries in this blog

Regal Princess: A Stormy Start and First impressions

Regal Princess: A Stormy Start and First impressions

In attempt to keep the costs down for this cruise, we initially booked an inside cabin. However, the price dropped and we were able to upgrade to a standard balcony at no extra cost. I wondered, would a balcony even be usable on a cruise like this, one in which driving rain and wind kept everyone inside? First things first ... get the balcony door open. We pulled and yanked to no avail, but finally the door slid open so that we could barely see the skyline and Statue of Liberty through the mist.

Jan115

Jan115

Cruising Regal Princess to Canada:  The Journey Begins

Cruising Regal Princess to Canada: The Journey Begins

I remember my husband and I being aboard the Ocean Princess back in 2012 and watching a preview of the soon to premier Royal Princess. The new design looked so beautiful, with her large open atrium and understated elegance, and I knew it wouldn’t be long until we would sail this new class of Princess ship. However, it wasn’t until sister ship Regal Princess entered the picture a few years later that we were finally able to consider a cruise aboard the biggest ship in the Princess fleet. When I s

Jan115

Jan115

Vacation Regrets and What I've Learned

Vacation Regrets and What I've Learned

I was cleaning out some old clothes the other day and came across a box of T-shirts, purchased from various past cruises and land trips at a time in my life when I liked wearing T-shirts. Most in the pile were too small and never (or hardly) worn, and should have gone out to the donation collection a long time ago. This re-discovery got me to thinking about small regrets about my vacations past. By regrets, I don’t mean missed flights, excursions gone wrong or hotels from hell, but those me

Jan115

Jan115

Friday's Food for Thought: Start your trip with a Blank Canvas

Friday's Food for Thought: Start your trip with a Blank Canvas

How I love this quote:  "Travel is like a giant blank canvas, and the painting on the canvas is only limited by one’s imagination." – Ross Morley When I was in the planning stages of my first cruise back in 2001, I combed through every book, magazine, website, review, video and photo I could find in order to choose the perfect cruise. Through others' eyes, I learned of the best ships, the best cabins, the best food, and the best destinations. I listened while others touted their advice

Jan115

Jan115

Fort Lauderdale - Beyond the Beach

Fort Lauderdale - Beyond the Beach

I had the good fortune to visit some great places and experience new activities while on a recent visit to Fort Lauderdale for an event hosted by the Florida Convention and Visitors Bureau. Many of us who live in colder climates come to Fort Lauderdale for its pristine beaches and charming intercostal waterways. In fact, we had the opportunity to view several beachfront hotel properties in town including Sonesta, the W, Westin and the B Ocean - all of which have their own identity, style and bud

Jan115

Jan115

Packing Procrastination

Packing Procrastination

It's Friday - my day off, meaning that I have three full days before the hubby and I fly to Ft. Lauderdale for a CruiseCrazies group cruise leaving for Panama on Tuesday. My packing/to-do list is printed, waiting for items to check off. However, in typical fashion, I am suffering from packing paralysis. I have a lot of loose ends to tie up, laundry to do, and bags to pack, and instead of starting this process, here I sit at the computer writing about it. My middle name begins with "P" - really.

Jan115

Jan115

New Year - New Un-Resolutions

New Year - New Un-Resolutions

It's a new year - March, already - and a belated Happy New Year! I hope everyone here at CruiseCrazies is in good health and has at least one cruise on the 2018 horizon!  I'd like to say I made resolutions for the new year, but that would be a lie because I never keep them. However, if I could put together a personal plan - an UN-resulotion, so to speak - it would involve three components: (1) cruise more, (2) cruise more and (3) cruise more ... oh, wait, that's the cruiser in me coming out

Jan115

Jan115

The 12 Days of Christmas - for Cruisers

The 12 Days of Christmas - for Cruisers

One of the great benefits of my husband’s recent retirement is his enthusiasm about making me a homemade lunch each day, lovingly packed into my L.L. Bean lunch bag and accompanied by a yellow note containing a game, puzzle, quiz or some other “assignment” to pass away the lunch hour. Today’s note contained blank lines numbered 1 through 12, headed by the title, “Name the 12 Days of Christmas.” I am nobody’s poet and not the most creative girl in the world, but I decided to give it a shot with m

Jan115

Jan115

How to Score Onboard Credit for Your Next Cruise

How to Score Onboard Credit for Your Next Cruise

Do you ever wonder how some cruisers seem to get loads of shipboard credit to use for onboard purchases? For the benefit of you folks new to cruising, any added value in the form of cash for you to use on board your cruise - for things like beverages, shopping, drinks, shore excursions, the spa, and other for-fee extras - is known as on-board or shipboard credit. Some people get a lot of it, while others seem to get none. If you're looking to score maximum onboard credits for your next cruise, y

Jan115

Jan115

Friday's Food for Thought ~ 5.29.15

Friday's Food for Thought ~ 5.29.15

"Traveling is the ruin of all happiness! There’s no looking at a building after seeing Italy." ~ Fanny Burney I felt the same way when I visited Europe - not just Rome, but Lisbon, Athens and Istanbul. Every other building pales in comparison. Photo © J. Neves

Jan115

Jan115

Friday's Food for Thought

Friday's Food for Thought

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelo

Jan115

Jan115

My Top 10 Travel Moments of 2014

My Top 10 Travel Moments of 2014

Another year has gone and it's time, once again, to lay out my annual Top 10 travel experiences of the year. Since the big summer trip for my husband and I this year was a Mediterranean cruise, many of the following favorites are destinations resulting from that 11-night sailing. Here are my top 10 favorites for 2014: #10) Flying First Class. On a selfish whim, I decided to splurge and upgrade our usual economy seats on Aer Lingus between Boston and Rome. Aer Lingus has a bidding system for

Jan115

Jan115

09.11.2001 ~ A Remembrance

09.11.2001 ~ A Remembrance

Thirteen years ago, today, our country - and the world - witnessed a horrific attack on our nation. In April 2014, my husband and I visited the 9/11 National Memorial & Museum in New York City. The Museum itself was not yet open to the public, but we were able to experience the Memorial, the Pools, the inscriptions of the names of all those who died on that horrible day, and the new Freedom Tower rising above the city as a tribute to that tragic day, as well as a symbol of hope for the futur

Jan115

Jan115

A Pre-Cruise Roman Holiday

A Pre-Cruise Roman Holiday

On August 4, 2014, my husband and I embarked on a Mediterranean cruise from Rome aboard the Celebrity Reflection, but not before spending three nights in this great city. In that short amount of time, we experienced the Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, the Pantheon, great food, more great churches, the best hotel ever, and more. My narrative (including many photos) of those days begins here and continues in my personal blog

Jan115

Jan115

My Top 10 Most Memorable Travel Moments of 2013

My Top 10 Most Memorable Travel Moments of 2013

In 2013, David and I were blessed with another year of amazing travel firsts - first time to Alaska, first time to San Francisco, first time to the Grand Canyon, first time in a tiny 6-seater plane, and other notable moments of first glimpses. New and different sights and opportunities always produce an abundance of fresh stories and photos to share. Here, in no particular order, are our top 10 most memorable travel experiences of 2013, followed by photos I took: Flightseeing in Ketchikan,

Jan115

Jan115

Home for the Holidays vs. A Christmas Cruse: A Lively Debate

Home for the Holidays vs. A Christmas Cruse: A Lively Debate

As the holiday season approaches each year, I wonder aloud to those who will listen: Wouldn’t it be great to combine two of my most favorite things in the world: Christmas and a cruise vacation. From the moment I picked up a copy of John Grisham’s “Skipping Christmas,” at the library, I knew that book was written with specifically me in mind. If you haven’t read the book, or seen its weaker film version (“Christmas with the Kranks”), the story is about a couple that decides one year to forego Ch

Jan115

Jan115

20 Signs That You Chose The Wrong Cruise

20 Signs That You Chose The Wrong Cruise

Think yours was the cruise from hell? Here are some REAL signs you're on a really bad cruise: 1. Upon embarkation, you hear a computer voice calmly announcing that “this ship will self-destruct in 5, 4, 3 ….” 2. The Captain’s name is Jack Sparrow, and he wants to know, “Where’s all the rum gone?” 3. The Atrium resembles a waiting room, with a sofa, folding chairs, and a coffee table containing a copy of “The World’s Biggest Cruise Ship Disasters Ever”. 4. “Stewart”, you’re ca

Jan115

Jan115

"Mom Moments" from a Mother & Daughter Cruise

"Mom Moments" from a Mother & Daughter Cruise

My daughter and I just returned from a cruise from New England and Canada aboard the Brilliance of the Seas - or should I say from just Canada, since I already live in New England, and it seems strange to say I returned from a place in which I already live. I thought I would share a few amusing personal cruise episodes, things that my kids fondly refer to as "mom moments." People of a certain age prefer to call them “senior moments”. I've always been a little clumsy and absent minded, but g

Jan115

Jan115

Self-Help for this Cruise Junkie

Self-Help for this Cruise Junkie

When I told my husband I would be cruising without him come October, he was less than enthused. We have enjoyed seven previous journeys at sea together, one being with Carnival, another on Norwegian, and the rest with Princess. I was itching to try another line, not because I disliked the other three, but simply because I want to say that I’ve sailed every major cruise line, at least once. David and I discovered cruising fairly late in life, at age 47. Why we waited so long to sail away on

Jan115

Jan115

Winging It in Alaska ... "Bear"ly

Winging It in Alaska ... "Bear"ly

A cruise to Alaska isn’t about standing at the railing watching the scenery. Don’t get me wrong; you’ll see some amazing scenery from the deck of a cruise ship – wildlife, panoramic vistas and glaciers. No, to really experience Alaska, you’ll need to get off the ship and venture out into the wild and commune with nature. My husband came up with the idea first – a flightseeing trip to see black bears in their natural habitat. I’d seen pictures - tiny planes that fly relatively low and land o

Jan115

Jan115

Alaska Cruise Highlight ~ A Day in Glacier Bay

Alaska Cruise Highlight ~ A Day in Glacier Bay

This was it, the reason for our cruise to Alaska - to see glaciers before they melt. We were aboard the Grand Princess, on a 11-day cruise which left San Francisco on July 29, 2013. The Captain told us the previous day that the best place to initially observe the glaciers would be port side, and a naturalist from Glacier Bay National Park would be on board to narrate about our wondrous surroundings. We reached Glacier Bay about 6:00 a.m., and as the morning wore on, the skies became s

Jan115

Jan115

A Pre-Cruise Weekend in San Francisco

A Pre-Cruise Weekend in San Francisco

July 26, 2013 ~ The day finally arrived! Our long-awaited weekend in San Francisco was about to begin, followed by a 10-night round-trip cruise aboard the Grand Princess to Alaska's inside passage, with stops at Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria, Canada. The icing on the cake would be beautiful Glacier Bay! Once again, David and I would be joined by my brother, Norm and wife, Dana. We found them to be great cruise buddies last summer sailing around the British Isles

Jan115

Jan115

San Francisco to Alaska ~ Let the Journey Commence!

San Francisco to Alaska ~ Let the Journey Commence!

San Francisco, Alaska and Grand Princess, here we come! I am getting a jump on reviewing this trip - our 2013 summer vacation - less than two days before departure. Tomorrow, I'll be busy double-checking and triple-checking my CruiseCrazies packing list to make sure I have everything covered and probably will be too exhausted to do much of anything else, let alone write. The idea - and I'm probably over my head on this one - is to write a day-by-day review of our experiences along the

Jan115

Jan115

Share Your Alaskan Cruise Packing Secrets ... Please!

Share Your Alaskan Cruise Packing Secrets ... Please!

I am so excited, I am beside myself! Our new lightweight luggage has arrived and sits in my living room waiting to be filled with an endless variety of stuff befitting a 10-day Alaskan cruise. As I look at the assortment of wheeled bags in an array of sizes, I realize I went a little overboard in buying 7 pieces. What the heck was I thinking? I needed only a couple of replacements. But, hey - the old stuff was getting - well - old, so why not replace it all, I rationalized to myself. The kids wi

Jan115

Jan115

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