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Everything posted by CruiseMan3000

  1. 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! 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!
  2. 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!
  3. Oh Jan, I love ya! Thanks for tagging along and engaging with the blog this year! I remembered you welcomed me to the site with open arms and I'll always cherish that! Look for me on a Princess Cruises vessel one day in the future (save me a spot by the pool and make sure I have enough room to dance)! ;)
  4. Awww, thanks for chiming in, Karen but unfortunately, it is so... Thanks so much for reading the blog and finding it fun to read - I'm glad you've enjoyed reading it as much as I have writing it! See ya in a forum (or on the high seas) real soon!
  5. You're too sweet! Thanks so much for following along and understanding! Look for me on the forums! :)
  6. Thanks so much for the kind words, Jason! It truly has been a blast adding cruisetacular posts each week! I'll definitely be sure to add to the other posts on this awesome site! :)
  7. 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! 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! 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! 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! 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
  8. 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!
  9. I knoooooooow! I'm so upset to see Grand Princess no longer have Skywalkers onboard [insert sad face here]! Anyway, I know I'll make the most of my time on her! Thanks for the insight and it seems you've got the Princess fever! Keep "escaping completely!"
  10. You never know... with some ports having height restrictions due to bridges, we could possibly see a turn back to smaller vessels... I mean, we can hope for that, right? What were the names of the RCI and Celebrity ships - they both sound like I need to add 'em to my list! :) Thanks so much for sharing!
  11. 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!
  12. 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!
  13. You're awesome for chiming in! Thanks so much for keeping the inspiration circulating!
  14. Oh Sarge, I am so sorry to hear of your loss, but I pray the same peace that has come over your heart will also invade the lives of all those affected by this tragedy! Thanks for sharing your kind words and thoughts - as always, they're welcomed with smiles and open arms!
  15. 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!
  16. 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! CM3K's Day on Breakaway (2:16) Norwegian Breakaway and CM3K (1:25) CM3K's Farewell to Norwegian Breakaway (1:28) Hot Dog Cart Fail on Norwegian Breakaway (1:13) 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!
  17. 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!
  18. All good, Shari! Hey, I know you're grooving and dancing in spirit! I'll be sure to get a few extra moves in for ya! :)
  19. She's moving from Baltimore to Tampa - replacing Carnival Legend while she's sailing in Australia with Carnival Spirit!
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