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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

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

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

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

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

Cruise Line Hotel Package ... Choose It or Lose It?

Cruise Line Hotel Package ... Choose It or Lose It?

You've no doubt seen them. The optional transfers and pre or post-cruise hotel add-ons, promising the ultimate in convenience. All cruise lines eagerly offer them with your booking. But are they worth it? Purchase transfers, and a cruise rep will meet you at the airport and whisk you and your belongings safely away to your awaiting cruise ship and, likewise, shuttle you back to the airport when you return. Even better - add a hotel to that transfer, and spend a night or three in your port of emb

Jan115

Jan115

The Cruise is Booked ... Now Fly Me to the Ship!

The Cruise is Booked ... Now Fly Me to the Ship!

The Grand Princess ... our floating paradise for 10 days this summer ... has now been repositioned to it's new home port of San Francisco for it's spring and summer itineraries. It would be so cool to drive there to meet our ship. However, let's be realistic. We live on the East Coast. Since a leisurely cross-country drive to the ship is quite out of the question, we'll have to fly. We have two choices - book our preferred flights on our own, independently, or choose a cruise air package wi

Jan115

Jan115

Cruising the British Isles ~ Day 1:  The Floating Boutique

Cruising the British Isles ~ Day 1: The Floating Boutique

August 2, 2012 ~ Embarkation on the tiny Ocean Princess was the smoothest we’ve ever experienced. We arrived at approximately 1:00 pm to check in. Our luggage was quickly whisked away, and we were warmly welcomed into the cruise terminal with smiling, happy faces. No lines, friendly staff, and all very fast and efficient, yet leisurely. There were even crew members waiting on board to show us the way to our cabin – not that you we needed help – the ship’s not that big. It was like a scene from “

Jan115

Jan115

Cruising the British Isles ~ Day 2: Guernsey

Cruising the British Isles ~ Day 2: Guernsey

I had read many tales of missed calls to this port. Because the ship’s need to tender passengers over to the island in sometimes choppy or stormy seas, it is all too common for cruise ships to bypass Guernsey altogether. I am happy to report that the day was mild and sunny, and the ship made it to port, as scheduled. However, some wind and high surf prevailed, making the tender ride a bit choppy. We watched the tendering process from our balcony and noticed that the tender and ship ha

Jan115

Jan115

Cruising the British Isles ~ Day 3: Jerpoint Abbey & Waterford

Cruising the British Isles ~ Day 3: Jerpoint Abbey & Waterford

This was a two-part day for us. Part one took us on a morning ride through the rural Irish countryside to the little town of Inistioge and a visit to the magnificent Jerpoint Abbey. Following this was part two of our day - a ride from the ship to the City of Waterford. The day began overcast, but rain-free. Sitting on the balcony with my morning coffee and the Princess version of an Egg McMuffin, I admired the beautiful Ireland countryside as we pulled into Waterford. We did not

Jan115

Jan115

Cruising the British Isles ~ Day 4: Dublin, Ireland

Cruising the British Isles ~ Day 4: Dublin, Ireland

The best way to get a feel of a UK or European city when you are only there for a few hours is on the city’s Hop on Hop Off tour (fondly referred to as the HOHO), and most cities here have them. You get a great overview and can get off or on wherever you like, all for one low price. In this case, the green Dublin Bus offered a 15% on-line discount for purchasing in advance, and who am I to refuse a discount – on line, or otherwise. This is a very pleasant and less expensive alternative to the ov

Jan115

Jan115

Cruising the British Isles ~ Day 5:  The Scottish Highlands

Cruising the British Isles ~ Day 5: The Scottish Highlands

The names Rob Roy, William Wallace and Braveheart always come to mind when I think of Scotland. The beauty of the highlands portrayed in the Hollywood films has always inspired me to visit Scotland, and this was a priority of our day here in Greenock. After many months of careful research, I gathered a group of fellow on-line cruise community fans and booked the Luss, Loch Lomond & Sterling Castle tour with Great Scot Tours for 15 eager passengers, a guide highly recommended by many sea

Jan115

Jan115

Cruising the British Isles ~ Day 6:  A Day at Sea

Cruising the British Isles ~ Day 6: A Day at Sea

As great as it is to be in port and see new cities and places for the first time, it is equally nice to have a day in between to sleep in a bit, with no place to be. However, I should point out that my husband and I have very different ideas about sea days. I like to lounge around in my jammies and order breakfast in the room. He likes to be up at the crack of dawn, get some exercise, and stop at the buffet for breakfast. I like to find a quiet place to read, write or just watch the world g

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Jan115

Cruising the British Isles, Pre-Cruise ~ Canterbury Cathedral

Cruising the British Isles, Pre-Cruise ~ Canterbury Cathedral

August 2, 2012 ~ Before leaving the lovely House of Agnes for the 20-minute ride to Dover to meet our cruise ship which would carry us around Ireland & Scotland for the next 8 nights , we took a walk through the old town of Canterbury to Canterbury Cathedral. If you only have a short time in this beautiful Dickens-like town, this magnificent medieval holy place is truly breathtaking and is a must-see. Dating back to somewhere around 597AD, the cathedral is the seat of the Archbish

Jan115

Jan115

Cruising the British Isles ~ Day 7: Edinburgh

Cruising the British Isles ~ Day 7: Edinburgh

Today we were given a gift – a warm, sunny day in Edinburgh. Unlike the mixed bag of weather conditions the previous days, blue skies prevailed – certainly not the dreadful weather picture I described in my earlier post where Sir William Wallace is drenched in the Highlands (see British Weather-Hollywood Style). We were lucky with the weather, but not so sure about our luck of getting into Edinburgh this morning. As we headed into the Port of Rosyth, the Captain came on over the loud s

Jan115

Jan115

Cruising The British Isles ~ Day 9: Time to Say Goodbye

Cruising The British Isles ~ Day 9: Time to Say Goodbye

You are probably wondering what happen to Day 8 – Sea Day. See previous Day 6. It was exactly the same with one added feature – re-packing, which is always a little sad and a little challenging – how to squeeze your all your stuff and the added souvenirs into your bags – but we made it work. As is the case with just about every vacation I take, my camera seems to take a holiday on the final day, and I return with basically no pictures of the final hours of our time away. Such was the case here.

Jan115

Jan115

Looking Ahead to Alaska - Summer 2013

Looking Ahead to Alaska - Summer 2013

When one cruise ends, another begins … that’s my motto! Our Ireland & Scotland Interlude was not yet complete, when we were already thinking of our next cruise. Actually, we were not yet sure of the destination, we just knew it would be a cruise on Princess. Therefore, as is the custom, we took advantage of the Future Cruise Desk while on board the Ocean Princess and earned future cruise credits and on-board credits by booking a future cruise, to be taken on any ship at any time within

Jan115

Jan115

No, I Don't Want to Be a Volunteer From the Audience

No, I Don't Want to Be a Volunteer From the Audience

In previous posts, I spoke of the personality differences between my husband and myself. David likes to fill every moment of his vacation with all manner of entertainment, where I like to curl up in a quiet corner with a good book or simply sit and watch the world go by. He likes to arise well before dawn, eager and ready to face the day, where I would just as soon roll over and catch a few more hours of precious slumber, maybe have a leisurely breakfast on the balcony – when we’re lucky enough

Jan115

Jan115

A White-Knuckle Drive through a Vermont Snow Storm

A White-Knuckle Drive through a Vermont Snow Storm

As I was making travel plans for an upcoming winter week in the Grand Canyon, and wondering why the blazes we would choose the month of February and risk icy roads and snow to get a glimpse of this natural wonder, my thoughts took me back to one frightening wintry drive on a snow-packed highway in the stately Green Mountains of Vermont. Our daughter, Jenn, was attending a four-year E-game design program at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. I had made my semi-annual four-hour drive n

Jan115

Jan115

Counting Down my Top 10 Travel Moments of 2012!

Counting Down my Top 10 Travel Moments of 2012!

I couldn't move ahead to a new year of travel adventures without first looking back on my trip experiences of 2012. Most destinations were new to us, and some were old favorites. All were special and memorable. Therefore, in the tradition of David Letterman, I thought I would take this opportunity to count down my own Top Ten travel moments of the year. Wishing you happy and safe travels in 2013! So here goes - my top 10 favorites of 2012: #10. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey -

Jan115

Jan115

Stingrays, Horses and Bears ... Oh My!

Stingrays, Horses and Bears ... Oh My!

The dream Alaska cruise is booked, air fare reserved and pre and post-cruise hotel stays arranged. Now comes the hard part - deciding what to see and do when we get to the Last American Frontier. With only a day in Skagway, Ketchikan and Juneau, the choices won't be easy. While I enjoy touring famous cities and landmarks from the comfort and safety of a vehicle, as I grow older and cruise more, I find myself wanting to experience sightseeing in a more active and thrilling way. This is a bi

Jan115

Jan115

A Belize Blunder

A Belize Blunder

It was August of 2003. We were joyfully embarking on our second cruise, this time a 5-day voyage on the cruise ship Imagination, one of Carnival's smaller vessels. After our rookie sailing the previous summer on the Grand Princess, we simply couldn't wait to share our newfound love of the cruise experience with our two daughters, ages 16 and 11, and hoped they would be as thrilled as we were. Our destination would be the Western Caribbean, the ports of Belize and Key West, and two rel

Jan115

Jan115

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