Where has the Time Gone?

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OMG!

Like, I have just 5 days to get it together! While I feel like I’m not prepared, I can say that I have been steadily checking things off my list.

By the way, Happy Thanksgiving!

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I made the usual – Cornish hen, stuffing, Mac & cheese, and an almond pound cake. Mom made cabbage. It was good and filling. I am officially fat. Lol

Anywho, I’m washing clothes, shopping for those last minute necessities, shopping (and crafting) for Christmas, cleaning and preparing the close up the house, packing and let’s not forget Black Friday shopping. Sheesh! I’m tired just typing all of that! Lol

In the next couple of days, my calendar is full of random little tasks and errands like going to the bank, filling prescriptions at the pharmacy, and putting a hold on the mail.

I feel like I’m gonna overpack and forget something. You ever do that?

I was gonna have this post be about the excursions we booked, but I need a little more down-time to get that posted. Maybe next post.

Until I write again,

Your Cruise Girl

Hawaii Pre-Planning: The Hotel

So, when we booked this cruise, we were only 25 days out. 😳

That’s less than a month to plan for a 15 day cruise that leaves right after Thanksgiving and returns right before Christmas. This will definitely be a test of my organizational skills.

We’re on the east coast and the ship leaves out of Long Beach, CA. Got our flights booked. We looked at flying directly into Long Beach, but flights were cheaper flying into LAX. I booked Super Shuttle for the trip to the hotel and back from the port after the cruise.

Now for the hotel…

I belong to a forum called Cruise Critics and they recommended a couple of the regular hotels in Long Beach. They were mostly major chains with the amenities you would expect. But there was one hotel that was recommended that was a little different. It was The Queen Mary. That’s right, the old ship. It’s now a hotel. Trip Advisor has it listed with a 4/5 of almost 3,000 reviews. With so much history, it’s nice that you get an audio tour of the ship and discounts to the other attractions.

We’re booked for the Family Stateroom with 2 Queen beds. The room has a port hole.

Photo of Family Stateroom with 2 Queen Beds

Now, based on what I’ve read, the rooms don’t always look like they do on the website. The site does say that each room is different and I will keep in mind how old the ship is. I told my mom that there were reports of ghosts and she seemed excited by that. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I’m up for a new experience. I can stay at a major chain hotel anywhere, but I can only stay at the Queen Mary when I’m in Long Beach. Plus, it has the added benefit of literally being walking distance from the Carnival Port.

I think it’s also kinda cool to stay on a boat before I get on a boat. 😊

Here’s a video to tell you a little bit about the ship:

And this will be going on while we’re there…

Until I write again…

Your Cruise Girl

My Upcoming Hawaiian Cruise

Your Cruise Girl's Carnival Cruise Countdown

I’ve been to Hawaii once before when I was 16. That was quite some time ago. I traveled there with my Mom and Gramma as I so often did as a child. They gave me my love for travel. It was always just the three of us up until the time Gramma could no longer travel.

We always took land vacations with my grandmother. We’ve gone to places like St. Thomas, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Hawaii. Once Gramma stopped traveling, Mom and I started cruising and as you can tell by my moniker, we are absolutely addicted. We often tried to convince Gramma to join us on a cruise, since there was so much on the boat she would enjoy, but she always said two things:

1. “I can’t drink all that water.”
2. “You can take me on a cruise when I die.”

Can you tell that my gramma was a straight talker? Lol

Unfortunately, Gramma passed away on November 10th. So, when it was time to make her arrangements, Mom and I agreed that we should take her on a cruise and have a burial at sea.

At first, we thought we would just take a quick 3 night cruise, but Gramma would never travel anywhere for just 3 nights. She always liked trips that were a week or longer. Then we started looking at a 7 day out of San Juan. The itinerary was nice, but only a few of the islands were islands Gramma really loved. Still doing just a general search, this Hawaii cruise came up. A 15 day cruise that visited several of the islands. We knew this was the one. One of the last places she spoke of before she passed was Hawaii. She spent a whole day talking about it. How could we not do this for her? So, we’re booked.

I’m normally so ecstatically happy to have a cruise booked, but I’m a little anxious about this one. I have no doubt in my mind that we are giving Gramma her last wish, but this will be the last time the three of us will travel together. She’ll be with us when we go, but she won’t be coming back…

I’ve heard that a cruise can be healing during a period of grief. I hope this will be true for Mom and I.

We’re 16 days out from going on a 15 day cruise. Pre-planning is on overdrive and I will share that with you soon.

Until next I write…

Your Cruise Girl

Carnival Early Saver Sale – Ends November 20th

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Just saw this come through this morning. That 50% deposit is nothing to sneeze at!

Carnival Early Saver Sale

*50% per person non-refundable reduced deposit

*Choose your stateroom location

*Free Upgrades

Offer expires November 20th, 2014

50% per person non-refundable deposit is applicable to sailings outside of final payment due date. Changes made to the reservation may result in the assessment of cancellation penalties or service fees. All cancellations that occur prior to the final payment due date will receive a non-refundable and non-transferable future cruise credit in US dollars in the amount of the deposit less a $50 pp service fee. Future cruise credit must be used on a sailing within 24 months from the date of cancellation. Free upgrades are automatically assigned at the time of booking and are based on availability in like to like categories only (interior to interior, ocean view to ocean view and balcony to balcony). Early Saver fare is only available for short cruises (5 days or less), 3 months prior to sail date, and available for long cruises (6 days or longer), 5 months prior to sail date. No name changes are allowed. Offer is applicable on sailings between February and December 2015. Offer does not apply to Carnival Australia sailings. Offer ends on November 20, 2014 EST.

Visit Carnival.com for more info.

Your Cruise Girl – just here to help! 😄

Let Me Introduce Myself…

So, I’ve been thinking of getting into blogging lately, but didn’t really know what I wanted to talk about. Everybody says you should talk about things that you are passionate about and love to do. Well, for me, that’s cruising. I usually try to cruise at least twice a year. Life happens sometimes and I’m not always able to do it, but even when I am forced (and tortured) to take a break, I’m still salivating about the next one.

I’ve been traveling since I was a little girl. It’s always been me, my mom and my grandmother. The three of us would travel to places like Las Vegas, St. Thomas, or New Orleans. This is where I learned to love travel (on a side note: ever notice how many people you know that don’t travel? Weird, huh?).

Welp, I’m in the middle of planning a couple of cruises and it prompted me to wanna share. But before I get to my current cruise planning, let me tell you a little about my past cruise history.

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You can get your own badge at Cruise-Ships.com.

I’ve been cruising since 2001 with my mom aka my “Road Dawg.”  Our first cruise was as a result of a timeshare presentation.  We were both leery of making the timeshare purchase, but they threw in a 3 night/4 day cruise to the Bahamas on Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas and two cruise addicts were born!!  Since then, we’ve taken 11 more cruises and have absolutely enjoyed each and every one.  We mostly cruise on Carnival, so that’s the line I’ll be talking about mostly.  At least until we hit platinum status (which will be soon).  After that, we feel like we might be more open to exploring other lines.  Maybe. Lol.

Carnival Breeze 4/12/14
Carnival Destiny 8/2/2012
RCI Majesty of the Seas 7/29/2011
Carnival Dream 4/30/2011
Carnival Imagination 7/30/2010
Carnival Glory 4/25/2010
Carnival Destiny 4/25/2009
Carnival Inspiration 4/21/2008
Carnival Sensation 2/8/2007
Carnival Fascination 1/12/2007
RCI Explorer of the Seas 7/19/2003
RCI Majesty of the Seas 6/1/2001

I’ll sign off for now.  Here’s what I’m planning for…

Cruise to Hawaii

 

Til next I write!

Your Cruise Girl