Monday, July 18, 2011

Cruising - The Basics

So, my laptop is still down, but I'm sharing my hubby's computer so I can get back to blogging.  I thought it was broken beyond repair, but apparently it was just the hard drive.  I guess I'll have to wait to get that MacBook Pro I've been dreaming about...

A lot of my photos are sitting on my memory card waiting to get transferred when my computer is up and running, but never fear, I have culinary stories to share in the meantime!

E and I recently went on a cruise to the Bahamas.  We're huge fans of cruising for several reasons:

1.  It's (almost) all-inclusive.  Your food, lodging, transportation and entertainment are included.  You only pay extra for gratuity, alcohol, excursions and any other optional luxuries.
2.  You don't have to drive!  Your cruise ship is your floating hotel.  For two long-distance commuters, this is a match made in heaven.
3.  You get to disconnect completely.  Your mobile phone will not work at sea.  You won't be able to check your email. 
4.  The scenery.  I love blue water.  With our balcony cabin we get our own private ocean-front room for an entire week.  Paradise.
5.  Low-stress.  No worries about where you'll be eating dinner.  There are plenty of places to eat around the clock and plenty of choices.  There's always something to do, whether you're a night owl or an early riser.  You don't have to do much planning beyond booking your trip.

Freeport, Bahamas
We went on our first cruise back in 2006 (Royal Caribbean, Empress of the Seas to Bermuda).  Our second cruise was in 2009 (Carnival Pride, Bahamas) and we repeated that same itenerary in 2011.  Why did we repeat the same cruise?  Convenience and cost.

If you live in the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast, you have a choice between flying to Florida or the West Coast for your cruise or just leaving from a "home port".  Home ports are cruise ports within driving distance.  We have home ports in New Jersey, New York and Baltimore, all within three hours of our home in Delaware.  We opted for Baltimore because it's the closest and most affordable, plain and simple.  As a matter of fact, we've chosen home ports for all three of our cruises. 

Relaxing on a hammock on Embarkation Day... in the Baltimore Harbor!
As much as I love to cook, I think cruises can also be a great vacation for food enthusiasts.  While I'll admit that I missed my kitchen by the end of our trip, it was great to have people wait on us all week.  Room service?  Included.  Fancy, colorful cocktails?  Available 24/7 at prices no higher than your favorite bar at home.  Upscale dinner at an elegant steakhouse?  On this cruise, a reasonable upcharge of $30 per person (gratuity included).

The best part about dining on a cruise is the variety.  E loved eating hamburgers from the grill on the Lido deck  I preferred to switch it up every meal.  Once our dinner server learned that I liked the cheese plate as an appetizer, he had one waiting for me every night before dinner.  Want to eat breakfast twice in one day?  Go on a cruise.  Want to eat light, healthy food and run laps around the deck while at sea?  You can do that on a cruise, too.

A bad day on a cruise is still better than a good day at work!
I'll share more info about this specific cruise in my next post.  Does anyone have any fun vacations planned?  Any other cruise enthusiasts?  We still have one more little (road) trip planned for this summer!


  1. Sounds like fun! We went on a cruise last year, but after reading this post, I wish I could do it all over again! We also enjoyed the Sandals resort in Westmoreland, Jamaica. Since we are not close to a home port, it was about the same price as taking a cruise.

  2. I read your blog all the time but never post. I'm a foodie. I love to cook but I also love to go to restaurants. Living in NYC I go to a lot of restaurants some expensive some just mom and pops(best ones).
    I've been on three cruises and I'm still not a fan. I like to go and explore a city and eat the cuisine etc. With cruises I feel like I just can't do that the way I want to. My first cruise was out of Galveston,TX and stopped in Cayman,Key West and Cozumel. The second was out of Miami just to the Bahamas for a fun weekend(I actually enjoyed that). The next one was from Barcelona with stops to Rome,Naples,Florence and Malta. We left on a Sunday so we flew to Barcelona on Thursday night so we were able to see the city and eat our a**es off! That one was ok but not enough time in port.

    This year I went to Colorado,South Beach and Dubai(THE BEST). I have a few road trips planned to DC and the Beach. Heading to Cancun in October for a wedding and Colorado for Christmas(sister lives there).

  3. Between you and this cruise, Nadette and Spain, and Maddy and Greece, Im really a bit envious at the moment :). Im hoping to squeeze in a minivacation somewhere before summer is over and hopefully we'll take our first family trip abroad sometime this year

  4. Cruising has been on my vacation to-do list for quite some time! Everyone that comes back from one can't stop raving about it, so I know I'll have to give it a try sooner rather than later. Glad you had a break! You guys work so hard, you definitely deserved the R&R!

  5. Sound like fun. I don't typically like cruises, but I could sure use some down time that doesn't involve me driving, cooking, or doing anything other than lounging near some pretty water with a tropical drink and a book. Can't wait to hear more about your trip!


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