Long Beach Part III

I really appreciate you hanging in here with me. I know it’s taking me a while to share my whole trip experience with you, but you know how life sometimes gets in the way…

Anywho, if this is your first time visiting and you want to get caught up, here’s Part I and Part II.

So, where did I leave off? Oh, yeah. Walmart. We were going to be gone for so long, I wanted to have some sense of normalcy, so we brought our favorite teas. We drop our tea bags into a bottle of water, add sugar, and go. Welp, I use Splenda Sugar Blend and if you’ve ever tried, you know it’s almost impossible to recreate the mix with sugar and Splenda. So, I decided a trip to Walmart was in order. Luckily, there was one not too far from the hotel.

Right outside of the parking lot of the Queen Mary is a stop for the Long Beach Passport. It’s a free shuttle that takes you around the city.

Long Beach Passport

We hopped on!
Long Beach Passport

It’s a nice way to see the city and you can’t get any cheaper than free. Lol. The driver let us off at the stop for Walmart and told us how to walk the few blocks to the store. I live in the southeast and the Walmarts here are usually in a large shopping center or all by themselves, but this was quite the urban location. It looked like any other store in a downtown shopping area, but once you walk inside, you know you’re at Walmart. I don’t know how it happened, but I only bought the sugar that I went in for. If you’ve been to Walmart, you know how easy it is to overspend.

While we were on the bus headed to Walmart, we saw several restaurants and decided we’d stop at one for dinner on the way back. Since my Mom has dietary restrictions, she gets to choose the restaurant and she decided to go to Bubba Gumps.

We ate good!

After dinner, we hopped back on the Passport to go back to the Queen Mary. It was a really quick ride and the buses were comfortable and clean.

It was still early when we got back to our room. But our bodies were still on eastern standard time, so we passed out a little after 9pm. Rather boring for a Friday night if you ask me. But jet lag is a son of a female dog and it hit hard. lol

Up next: Embarkation!!!!

Until next time (which hopefully won’t be too long),

Your Cruise Girl

Worst Blogger. EVER!!

Yep, that’s me. I try to get on a schedule, but life happens. I’m sure it’s happening to other bloggers out there, but they are just able to get it done. I don’t know…is blogging for me? I feel like I have a lot to share, but if I don’t share it, what’s the point, right?

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I’m gonna do a little self-encouragement and start again. I still owe you my Hawaii trip. I haven’t forgotten, I just get caught up in other things. Well, this is my new resolution to re-commit my self.

You still love me? 🙏

Your Cruise Girl

Carnival Early Saver

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Have you ever booked with Carnival’s Early Saver rate? If you haven’t and you are a planner like myself, you probably should give it a look-see.

With Early Saver, you can book over a year in advance. If the price drops, Carnival will adjust your fare up until the final payment date. If the price drops after your final payment date, they will give you onboard credit. There are a few restrictions. I’ll give you the major ones. Click here to see all the terms and conditions.

The price drop only applies to your cruise fare. That means it does not include your taxes and port fees, insurance (if you purchase – and you should ALWAYS purchase), transfers, or prepaid gratuities.

The price drop is based on your cabin category. Cabin categories can be a little tricky and complicated, so let’s just say inside to inside, ocean view to ocean view and balcony to balcony. There are exceptions of course. But we’ll tackle that in-depth on another post.

You can’t downgrade.

It’s only available for bookings made in USD.

It does not apply to group rates, membership programs, charters, select promotional fares, travel agent rebates, or other travel agent promotions not offered by Carnival to the general public.

I book with Early Saver all the time, and usually only get a few bucks back. The good news about that is that I’ve usually gotten a really great rate on my cruise fare. You may even feel cheated by the fact that you don’t see any price drops, but that just means that you’ve paid the lowest fare. It’s a win-win in most cases.

Now, I’ve said all that to say, Carnival is having a sale with a reduced deposit! You can book Early Saver with just a $99 ($49.50 per person) deposit. Let me tell you what deposits normally are:

Cruise-To-Nowhere – $50 USD (non-refundable)
2 & 3 day – $100 USD
4 day – $150 USD
5 day – $200 USD
6 & 7 days – $250 USD
8 & 9 day – $300 USD
Alaska – $350 USD
10 Day or longer – $400 USD
Panama Canal cruises – $500 USD

Those are per person rates. So, if you were looking to cruise and just didn’t have that kinda cash to drop down for a deposit, today (and through January 31st) is your lucky day!

Click here for the sale!

Happy Cruising!! Maybe I’ll see you on the ship! 😄

Your Cruise Girl

Travel Entertainment: Books

The last post was about the movies I took with me. This post is about books. Now, I am an avid reader, but in spurts. When I’m in the mood, I can read 500 pages a day. And I love me some historical romance novels. So here are the books I took with me on the trip:

1. True Love by Jude Deveraux
This was a book I was looking forward to. We were on the plane headed west and I had just finished watching God’s Not Dead. We didn’t really have time to start another movie, so I started this book. I only finished chapter two before I had to put it away for landing, but I knew I’d get back to it at the hotel just before bedtime. I got to read just one more chapter before I passed out from jet lag exhaustion. When I got up the next morning, we packed up and headed to the next adventure. I only realized after the boat had sailed that I left the book in the hotel. Can we say mad? 😤 Now I’m down a book.
True Love by Jude Deveraux

2. The Accidental Countess by Valerie Bowman
This is a new author for me, but I will say she did a great job! I was intrigued with the characters from the beginning and it made me want to read the other books in this series.
The Accidental Countess by Valerie Bowman

3. The Mystery Woman by Amanda Quick
It had been a while since I’d read Amanda Quick, but I looked forward to this story because of the Arcane Society. Those series of novels add an extra flair to the danger and romance.
The Mystery Woman by Amanda Quick

4. Midnight Rider by Kat Martin
Kat Martin is fairly new to me as well, however, I have read just about everything she’s written in short order. She’s goooood. I was a little leary about reading this one only because I never had much of an interest in the spaniard-hero novels. But, she gets the benefit of the doubt. I wasn’t disappointed.
Midnight Rider by Kat Martin

5. By Winter’s Light by Stephanie Laurens
So, I bought this in the airport on the way home because I left my other book at the hotel.😡 (Still mad about that. Can you tell?) I had watched all the movies on the ship, so I needed something to occupy my time. And who doesn’t love Stephanie Laurens?
By Winter's Light by Stephanie Laurens

What books do you take on vacation? Oh! By the way, I still read books the old-fashioned way. No digital books for me. How do you read books? And what genres make your vacation great?

Until next time…

Your Cruise Girl

Travel Entertainment: Movies

So, I was planning to be gone for two weeks. We had a total of 8 sea days and over 10 hours flight time round trip. I definitely needed to plan my personal entertainment.

The easiest choices were the movies. I picked movies I wanted to see, but hadn’t yet had time to watch. Normally, I wouldn’t take my iPad with me on a cruise, but with so much downtime, I kinda didn’t have a choice. I mean, I had just upgraded from the Air to the the Air 2. Who leaves the new gadget at home? Definitely not me! So, here is the movie playlist:

1. Conan the Destroyer
Conan the Destroyer
So, this is obviously an old movie, but I had just recently found out that Mom had never seen either of the Conan movies. I was completely aghast! So, we had already watched the first one and decided to add this to the playlist so she could join the rest of us. lol

2. Edge of Tomorrow
Edge of Tomorrow
I’ve been trying to tell Tom Cruise to retire through my movie screen, but somehow the message never gets through and he puts out another movie. Sigh. But, the plot was interesting, so I gave it a try. It was actually pretty good.

3. A Million Ways to Die in the West
A Million Ways to Die in the West
I actually didn’t get around to watching this one…

4. Sex Tape
Sex Tape
This was absolutely hee-larry-us!! I recommend it!

5. God’s Not Dead
God's Not Dead
This was an intellectual feel good movie. I will admit, not everyone will enjoy it. It starts out a little slow and the acting is not the best, but overall, I enjoyed it.

6. Neighbors
Neighbors
Another funny movie. I enjoyed this immensly!

7. Hercules
Hercules
I enjoyed the action and of course The Rock was easy on the eyes! This was a better storyline than the Hercules movie released earlier in 2014.

8. Tammy
Tammy
This was not what I expected. It had funny moments, but overall the movie left me nonplussed.

I was pretty shocked that I had actually watched so many movies while on vacation. But I’m glad I had them. Do you take movies with you on vacation?

Until next time…

Your Cruise Girl

Long Beach Part II

So, where did I leave off? (Read OUR FIRST TRAVEL DAY: LONG BEACH to get caught up.) Oh yeah, arriving at the Queen Mary.

When we pulled up at around 4pm, the parking lot was full of activity. They have winter events they put on every year and folks were out to enjoy them. I knew we wouldn’t have time to participate, but it looked like fun.

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The Queen Mary is actually docked at the pier and you have to go through a terminal-type building to come aboard.

The main lobby was beautiful and the line to check-in was short. Check-in is scheduled at 4pm, so we were right on-time. I’d read on trip advisor that you should get a harbor view room because it’s quieter on that side and the view is beautiful. The harbor view rooms are first-come, first-served. Luckily, since we got there right at check-in time, they had one available. Our room was on B deck, so we had to go down one floor. The elevator was very antiquated and tiny, but it worked. Our room was aft. Very far aft. Like all the way aft. Lol. It was a looooong walk to the cabin.

Our cabin was spacious and comfortable. We got the Family Cabin with Queen beds. This is suite-level type ish… I wonder how much this cabin cost back in the day…

I give The Queen Mary high marks for truthful advertisement. I had read some disparaging remarks on trip advisor, but I’m glad I didn’t let that stop me. The room I got looks exactly as advertised. Their photo obviously has better lighting though. lol

By the time we dragged our luggage down the loooong hallway (I know I’ve said it already, but it was really long lol), we needed a brief break. I needed to get to a Walmart to buy a bag of Splenda Sugar Blend (my only calorie compromise in life). That trip was a nice little outing and deserves its own post, so I guess there’ll be a Long Beach Part III. I promise I won’t make you wait too long.

Thanks for sticking with me!

Until next time…

Your Cruise Girl

Back to School – Sort of…

Blogging U.

Yep, I signed up for Blogging 101. I’m not just doing it for me, but for you too. I plan to put everything I learn to work here so that this is a blog you’ll want to continue to read.

Having said that, there are assignments that I will have to do and there may be posts that are not congruent with the overall theme of the blog. But, stick with me! I know I owe you part 2 of Long Beach, and it’s coming! I promise!

I just wanted to give you all a heads up in case you started wondering why I’m writing about how beautiful the red apple on the table looks (or some other strange topic). LOL

Until next time!

Your Cruise Girl

What’s on Your Bucket List?

It’s almost 2015. 2014 has been quite interesting for me. The last trip I took, which was to honor my Grandmother’s life, actually inspired me to live more. By her example, she encouraged me to experience new things with the people I love. And so, that is what I’ve decided to do. There are a million places I want to go, but the following 5 are on my immediate to-do list:

1. Cruise to Alaska
After making the trip to the left coast and struggling to acclimate to the time change for about a week, I’ve decided that the experience was worth it. There is nothing stopping me from doing it again to see Alaska. While I’m a hardcore Carnival girl, the Alaska trip is going to have to be on Royal Caribbean because they have the Alaska Cruisetours which include the wondrous glass-domed Wilderness Express!

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2. The Napa Valley Wine Train
Yes, another trip to the left coast. But who doesn’t want to take a trip whose focus is drinking wine? Olivia Pope would heartily approve!

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3. New England/Canadian Cruise
So, umm, yeah, I’m originally from the northeast, but I haven’t had an opportunity to visit places like Boston and Portland. An itinerary like this:

Day 1 New York, NY
Day 2 Fun Day At Sea —
Day 3 Boston, MA
Day 4 Portland, ME
Day 5 Saint John, NB, Canada
Day 6 Halifax, NS, Canada
Day 7 Fun Day At Sea
Day 8 New York, NY

4. Hawaii (Again)
I missed my luau due to an itinerary change (more on that later). Who goes to Hawaii and doesn’t do a luau? Apparently, I do. But there is already a plan in place to rectify this. I also didn’t see any whales on my trip and I’d like to do an excursion just for that.

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5. A Solo Cruise
While I absolutely love traveling with my friends and family, I want to do a cruise by myself and experience travel all on my terms. I can stay in the room all day or be out all night without having to consult or notify anybody. No compromises while on vacation!

What’s on your bucket list?

Our First Travel Day: Long Beach

While it’s not my first time traveling to the left coast, it has been so long since I’ve done it that it might as well be my first time.

Since I’m going to be gone for so long, I decided it would be more cost effective to leave my car at home. I used the Curb app to schedule a taxi. It will only let you schedule for the current or next day, so I had to schedule a reminder to remind me to schedule a taxi. Lol


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Curb is really easy to use and you can even pay for the trip (including tip) right from the app. They give out discounts for referrals, so if you’re using the app, share with those you know so you can get a little monetary assistance.

Once I made the reservation, I received an email to confirm. In my city, Curb contacted the Yellow Cab Company. I arranged for the taxi to arrive at 10:15, but he was a little late. When I called to find out where he was, the automated system knew it was me and told me that he was 0.2 miles from my house. Right after I hung up, the driver called to ask for directions. He had passed the house. He was a really nice guy and got us to the airport in no time. I’m only 3 exits away on the interstate, so it was a quick drive.

We flew on the new American Airlines. Our trip west was on US Airways and was a direct flight. Check-in was a breeze. My bag weighed 52.5lbs, but they didn’t even blink an eye. I guess they charge for overweight bags if you are significantly over the mark. My Mom has the TSA Pre✔️ and was able to breeze through security in less than 5 minutes. I, on the other hand, was stuck in a long line. I told the officer that was monitoring our line that Mom had time to take a nap while she waited. Lol

By the time we got to the gate, our flight was boarding, so our timing was pretty perfect. I will say, the flight was way too long. I mean, I wanted a direct flight, but who wants to be stuck in one spot for 5.5 hours straight? I would prefer connecting flights if I have to go this far again. Luckily, that’s what we have coming back.

The flight was uneventful and I was able to watch the movie God’s Not Dead. I thought it was going to be a sappy, religious movie, but it was actually pretty good. It helped while away the hours. I only had one snack, so I had to purchase something else. I bought Pringles for $4. That’s just unnecessarily expensive. I looked at the meals they had, but I didn’t like the options. They would have been more filling and satisfying than those chips. And the chips were cold. 😏

Once we landed and got our luggage, we headed over to Super Shuttle to catch a ride. I also reserved this prior to our trip. They got us checked in and I immediately received a confirmation text letting me know they had a van coming. We only waited about 10 minutes before the van to Long Beach came. We had a good ride and driver. It took about 30 minutes. I passed exits of some of the famous streets I’ve heard of like Crenshaw and La Cienega. The amount of traffic on the 405 was interesting and CA has an interesting way of merging traffic on to the highway: they have a traffic light. Each green allows three cars to merge. Interesting.

I’ll continue Long Beach on the next post. It includes a trip to Wal
-Mart!🎉

Until next I write,

Your Cruise Girl