My 2018 Cruise Highlights
Welcome to 2019 and Happy New Year. I was sitting here thinking about the cruises I took in 2018 and the highlights and decided to jot them down for you. I will also talk a little about what is coming up for 2019.
First off, I was blessed to take 3 cruises last year which is a first for me. Up until then, it was 2 at most. But my goal now is 4. Not sure if you can tell but I love cruising.
My first cruise in 2018 was on the Carnival Vista from Miami sailing for 6 nights to the Western Caribbean. The Vista was the newest ship I had been on being less than 2 years old. The Vista Class which now includes Horizon and the new Panorama coming out in December 2019 has so many awesome features. This includes the Ocean Plaza, Lanai, Havana Bar and so much more. Two highlights from that cruise was Ocho Rios and Ocean Plaza.
I will start with Ocean Plaza/Lanai. On deck 5 of the Vista Class and Dream Class, there is an area called the Ocean Plaza. Here they have music at night, trivia during the day but what I really like is the breakfast buffet. They serve the basics, eggs, bacon, sausage and more plus coffee and juices. Its never very crowded and it opens on to the Lanai. On the Lanai, there is seating overlooking the ocean where you can enjoy a cup of coffee and breakfast. By the way on the Vista class, this deck goes all the way around the front but does stop at the back where the Havana Area is. On the Breeze though, you can walk around the entire ship. Also, the steakhouse, Red Frog Pub, Cherry on Top, the Library Bar and Bonsai Sushi all have seating on the lanai. I spent a lot of time on this deck because there are not many ships that have such an area.
My second highlight would have to be the White River Tubing in Jamaica. This was an excursion I booked through Carnival and was with a company called Chukka Tours. They were so awesome and would recommend them for sure.
They took us on a bus on the some pretty rough roads (I expected) up to the White River. They provided helmets, life jackets and the tube plus you could order Jerk Chicken to be ready when you finished. I did not do that but wish I did. The area on the river where they take you is pretty calm but does move rapidly. I glided along the river in peaceful surroundings with big bamboo hanging over and lots of tree cover. There were a few short and small rapids along they way which were fun but for the most part, very peaceful and calm. This is a tour I will do again the next time I go back to Jamaica.
My next cruise was in August with my nephew. He had never been on a cruise and was getting ready to start college so he wanted to go. It was a 4 night Bahamas cruise on the Carnival Liberty from Port Canaveral. This was my second time on the Liberty and I like that class of ship so I was excited.
My first highlight from this cruise was my nephew experiencing cruising for the first time. Sailing with first time cruisers is so much fun because you get to see cruising through their eyes. He had an amazing time and I think he is now addicted. YES!!
My second highlight was on the Formal Night, the Teriyaki Salmon. Its served with Sesame Rice Cake and Vegetables and I think marinated in teriyaki sauce. Wow, this was the first time a meal has really stood out to me that much, except the chocolate melting cake. So if you are on a Carnival ship, be sure to look for this on the menu.
My last cruise of the year was on the Regal Princess for 7 Nights to the Eastern Caribbean. This was really exciting for me since I had never sailed on Princess Cruise Line or been to the Eastern Caribbean. Double Word Score!!
My first highlight from this cruise was on St. Thomas. I didn’t do an excursion there, just got off the ship and walked around. But I took the Sky Ride up to Paradise Point, grabbed a drink called the Bushwacker and sat and enjoyed the view. From up there, you can see so much of the island and of course all of the ships in port. Don’t miss this if you head to St. Thomas.
My second highlight of that trip was Princess Live. This is a venue on the Royal Class ships where they play trivia and game shows. Now I might be a little bias since a friend I met on the ship and I won the music trivia. The games were fun like Passenger Fued, Jeopardy but not Jeopardy and several other themed trivia games. The room is also a tv studio so some of the games, like the Love and Marriage Show, they broadcast live on the TV’s around the ship. You become part of a studio audience. Lots of fun and something unique I have not seen on a ship before.
So 2018 was a fun year cruising and hopefully 2019 will match or beat it. For 2019, I am currently booked and preparing for Carnival Elation 5 nights to Nassau and Half Moon Cay on January 28th. Despite the fact I live in Jacksonville, I have never sailed out of here. It will be cool to get back on a Fantasy Class ship again. The Elation went through a multi million dollar renovation at the end of 2017 looks amazing. The best part, I get a ride to the port so no driving or parking.
I have one more planned for 2019, well sort of planned. I have the Carnival Breeze booked to the Western Caribbean for the end of August but I think I am going to change the date. I really want to sail the Breeze to the Eastern Caribbean which is St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk and Amber Cover. The only port I have been to on that itinerary is St. Thomas so the rest would be new. I have been to all of the ports on the Western Caribbean itinerary but would go back to Cozumel again.
One thing I might try to do is fit in a short one on the Mariner of the Seas from Port Canaveral. Royal Caribbean is moving the Mariner to Port Canaveral in May of this year and will also open more of attractions at Cocoa Cay. Mariner went through a $100 million dollar renovation so I am excited to try RCCL again and see this ship.
Anyway, that is 2018 in a nutshell and an idea of what is coming for 2019. My goal this year is to bring more pictures, video and other content across all my platforms. Be sure to check them out with the links below. Subscribe and follow.
Thanks for reading and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
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I have a passion for travel and believe travel is about experiences. Experiences create memories and are the stories we tell to friends and family - even with a little fudging on the facts.