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First Time Cruisers

I remember when I received a group of first time cruisers.  They were not really sure of where they wanted to travel, let alone what cruise line would be the best fit for their personalities.  Depending on what their expectations were, I would be able to narrow down my search and find them a cruise that they would always remember.  After speaking with the group leader, it was very clear to me that they have painted a picture in their mind of a small ship rocking and rolling all over the ocean. I needed to address and dismiss those thoughts as soon as possible.

The first thing I did was set up a cruise night for everyone.  I played videos of the two different cruise lines I thought would best fit their personalities. Once they watched the video of the different cruise lines it was a winning situation. They were amazed at how large a cruise ship really is and all of the activities they could participate in while onboard.

We talked about what information was required for both the airline and cruise.  I answered all of the questions that they had. I also gave them an idea of what they could expect while on their cruise.   The ladies main concerns were what to pack and passport requirements. The group made the final choice that night with their first deposit.    I must tell you that my first timers are now my third timers.  They love to cruise!





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Boy-O-Boy!  When I first started this blog I was talking about the bad weather and the travel issues New York was going through.  Now I have to show you a picture of what Chicago has been dealing with since the blizzard. 

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 For an additional review on Princess Cruise Line, check out this blog:



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 Launched in 2007, Emerald Princess in one of the largest ships in the Princess fleet.  She offers nearly 900 balcony staterooms from which to take in the colorful sights.  Staterooms are simply and tastefully furnished and most have twin beds that can be easily converted into a queen size bed. 

If you want a change from the regular dining routine, try something different. One of my favorites was the Crown Grill Restaurant.  The restaurant specialty is juicy steaks and seafood including lobster.  It cost $25.00 per person to dine at the Crown Grill.  I must say, it is certainly worth the fee to dine there.  You will never be bored with so much to do and see on this ship.

I enjoyed relaxing at the Sanctuary, the top deck’s adult-only outdoor spa area.    Guest can relax on sofas or padded chaise lounges and enjoy massages (half a day for $15.00) in special outdoor cabanas.  The Sanctuary is a great getaway on the days at sea.  I would recommend this ship for couples and families.  The Emerald will sail a Southern Caribbean Medley –Round trip Fort Lauderdale – 10 day to Princess Cay Bahamas, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire and Aruba.



Carol Steele CTC, MCC

Cruise Specialist

Email:  carol@getupgoworldtravel.com

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As a travel agent who specializes in cruise vacations, I follow the news and trends in this niche closely.  This year you will have an array of new cruise ships to choose from.  These spectacular floating cities are destinations in themselves.

Once you are onboard you must check out your destination.  You will need a day or two just to see everything on the ship.

You have so many activities to choose and each ship offers different things for you to see and do.  On a Royal Caribbean Cruise Line you could choose to rock climb or maybe ice skating is on the agenda for you.  On a Norwegian Cruise line you can have a bowling night with family.  On a Princess cruise line you might want to attend culinary and wine events.  

The cruise market is exploding and will continue to grow; otherwise there would not be at least 11 new ships for us to checkout this year.

Your options for activities are endless.  Which ship will you choose this year?

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I would highly recommend that you take a shopping excursion for souvenirs.

I also would recommend that you take at least one excursion of the places you will visit on your cruise. Just choose at least one destination you think you would like to learn more about.

When I sailed on the Emerald Princess cruise I had an excellent time. I had such a great experience I would like to share my shore excursion experience with my readers.

I had a wonderful time onboard, as I always do when I sail anywhere especially the shore excursion we took to St. John, U.S. Virgin Island.  I would highly recommend this excursion to my clients who would like to learn about the island and would like to souvenir shop.  The tour guide was very informative and took us to places where we could capture excellent pictures.  The pictures were so great you could use them as screen savers on your computer. 

We also stopped at a place where we could rest. Right across from our rest stop there was a souvenir shop that sold wind chimes. They were beautiful!  Vendors were set up along the way with many different items to purchase for a reasonable price. 

My advice:  Review excursions before the cruise and pre-reserve your space.  Excursions sell out fast and some of them will have limited space available once you are on-board.

Carol Steele MCC

Cruise Specialist

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I was reading KayHicks Travel Blog and thought I would share this tidbit of it with you.

Celebrity plans to add several Solstice Class amenities to their Millennium Class Ships over the next 3 years. In a Travel Weekly article this week, it was announced that the Celebrity Infinity will get the new Qsine restaurant during an upcoming renovation in late 2011. Also planned is the addition of spa cabins, the Apple ILounge and the ice-topped Martini Bar as well as Crush. 

After reading all of the renovations planned for the Millennium Class Ships, I certainly would like to be one of the first onboard.  You can read more about this on KayHicks Blog at: http://kayhicks.wordpress.com.


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I was reading a forum today and it stated “Top 5 memories of your first cruise”.  Thinking about my first cruise it really made me laugh today.  Maybe you will too once you read this post.

Number One- I could not sleep for two days.  I kept thinking about my luggage (this is before the luggage fees of course).  Did I bring enough clothes to wear?  It was a five day cruise and I had packed enough clothes for two weeks!

Number two- I was so nervous that once I made it to the airport I developed a nervous stomach and you all know what that means…..

Number three-Once our group arrived at the Los Angeles airport to baggage claims, my luggage was not there.  It took 30 minutes to figure out what happen.  My mind went into over drive and I was in a panic state once again.  Everyone in my group was on-board the bus waiting to go to the pier before they discovered my luggage was stuck at the very top; when it should have dropped down on the carousel for me to pick up.

Number four- Catalina Island was the first Island I had ever visited and it was absolutely beautiful.    The wonderful picture of that in my mind is something I will always treasure.  I had so much fun on the island.  Good shopping ladies!  Good fishing gentlemen!

Number five- After I got over my lack of sleep, nervous stomach, and received my luggage.  The overall cruise experience was so beautiful to me.  I LOVE CRUISING!!

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I recently read in the Travel Blackboard that Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry announced that Carnival Spirit will be based full time in Australia from October 2012.  In a move that represents the first time Carnival Cruise Lines has ever ventured into Australian waters, the Carnival Spirit is also the first cruise ship to call Sydney home full time.   The Carnival Spirit Carries 2,667 passengers and approximately 930 crew members on board.   

This articles goes on to say that approximately two-thirds of its cabins offer private balconies and many are adjoining which suits families and larger groups.  This is an ideal cruise for those of us who want to visit Australia with our families and friends.   I believe since Oprah broadcasted her show from there last year more people will be interested in visiting.  Carnival Spirit is scheduled for year round 8 to 12 days cruises to the Pacific Islands and selected 13-day sailing to New Zealand. However, itineraries will be confirmed midyear.

The Spirit is certainly not one of the mega ships that can hold 5400 passengers.  However, it is large enough for you to forget you brought your family with you.   Sssh!  Please don’t let my family know that I forgot all about them when we sailed on the Carnival Spirit in Alaska.  On any cruise I take you can always find me at the spa in the afternoon or at the piano bar in the evening after dinner.

What better way is there to see Australia than on a cruise?

Carol Steele CTC, MCC

See you onboard!


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I took my first cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy in 2001 with my family.  I had never been

Splendor 10/2010

so nervous and excited all at the same time.  As I was waiting in line to board, I thought to myself this cruise ship is huge and I cannot wait to see what my stateroom looks like.  

In my wildest imagination I could not believe I was onboard a floating resort.  The service, entertainment and the dining was unbelievable.  Arriving at different ports of call and not being limited to one destination while on vacation was great.  I only had to pack my bags once for this cruise; this was the most important to me.    Without a doubt, I fell and I am still in love to this day with cruising.   

A time saving tip I always tell my clients is to not over pack.  You will only wear half of what you bring onboard the cruise.  You will save a lot of money at the airport on luggage fees.

Carol Steele CTC, MCC

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