Our Upcoming Cruises
Here are the details on all of the cruises we currently have booked
Our next cruise will be the shortest one we've done in quite a long time! It's just a three day cruise, but it's going to be packed full of fun. This cruise is going to be all about waterslides!
If you keep an eye on my YouTube channel, you may recall a video that I made back in March about Navigator Of The Seas, a ship that Royal Caribbean spent $115 million on renovating... including the addition of two really cool waterslides. Take a look at the video...
I decided that I really want to sail on that ship and experience those two waterslides, but most of my vacation time from my "real job" is already committed... so I settled for a 3-day cruise that would only require the use of one day off from work. But being on that newly renovated ship and trying out those two new waterslides is only part of the fun we'll have during that cruise. The ship will be stopping at Coco Cay, Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas, which has also been the subject of a big makeover recently. (To the tune of $150 million.) Coco Cay features a huge number of waterslides, including the tallest waterslide in all of North America, so this truly is going to be "the waterslide cruise" for me! Here's a video I did recently about Coco Cay and all the new waterslides there:
Our short cruise on Navigator Of The Seas will be our 49th cruise overall, and our 8th on Royal Caribbean... meaning we will have done as many cruises on Royal Caribbean as we have done on Norwegian.
As you may know, making videos for YouTube is only a side job for me. I do actually have a "real job"... at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. I recently celebrated my 27th anniversary at that job, and I've made the decision to retire in September 2020. With a firm end date now in sight, I was able to plot out my available vacation time from now until I retire, and I realized that I have one more week of vacation time still not committed. So, I asked Kellyn to think about all the cruises we've taken together and to tell me which ones she liked the most and would like to experience again. She said her favorite cruises have been in The Haven on Norwegian Cruise Line, and I agree with her that those really were some fantastic cruises. So, I started looking for a way to sail in The Haven without completely blowing our vacation budget wide open.
While Norwegian has been steadily raising the prices for The Haven over the last few years, I did manage to discover one bargain. It turns out that Norwegian has one ship that is experiencing very soft demand lately. It's the Norwegian Joy, a sister ship to Norwegian Bliss. Kellyn and I had a fantastic Panama Canal cruise on Norwegian Bliss last year, but weren't able to afford a suite in The Haven. Ever since then, I've been keeping an eye on the pricing for The Haven on Norwegian Bliss, looking for an opportunity to experience The Haven on that ship, but it's been tremendously expensive. It was a delightful surprise to find much more reasonable prices in The Haven on her sister ship, Norwegian Joy. At least, if you're willing to cruise during times of the year when demand is the lowest.
So, Kellyn and I are now booked in The Haven on Norwegian Joy for this December. While cruise prices are always sky high for cruises over Christmas week and New Years week, if you're able to cruise in the weeks before Christmas, you'll find the prices to be among the lowest of the entire year. This will be a Mexican Riviera cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlan... and since this cruise will begin and end in Los Angeles, we won't even have to fly to get to it. LA is a four hour drive from our house.
The Haven Sun Deck on Norwegian Joy
Our December 2019 cruise on Norwegian Joy will be our 50th cruise! A week in The Haven will be a pretty great way to celebrate that milestone!
Our 51st cruise will be on a ship I've been looking forward to for a long time. I immediately booked a Havana Suite on the Carnival Panorama on the very first day they started accepting bookings! When I first heard that Carnival would be building a third Vista-class ship and basing it in California, I got really excited because it means there will be a Vista-class ship within driving distance of my house... saving me the cost of airfare whenever I sail on it.
I became a big fan of the Vista class of ships back in September of 2017 when we stayed in a Havana Suite on the Carnival Vista. For our 50th cruise, we'll be staying in that exact same type of suite once again. Take a look at this video of the Havana Suite on the Carnival Vista, to give you an idea of what's in store for us on Carnival Panorama...
Another video I'd like to have you look at does a pretty good job of explaining why we're so excited that Carnival is bringing a Vista-class ship to the west coast...
Our Carnival Panorama cruise will be in January of 2019, and that means we'll be one of the first to sail on the Panorama. Her very first cruise will be just a few weeks before that, in December.
This next cruise I'm about to tell you about is the biggest adventure we've ever planned... and you're invited to come along! This is going to be something very different for us... we're planning to lead a group cruise and landtour in Alaska and Canada in July of 2020.
We'll start with a land tour over a five day period, staying at three different hotels in Alaska. Two of them will be Wilderness Lodges operated by Princess Cruise Line. The highlight of the land tour will be a 295 mile ride on the Alaska railroad in an amazing glass-domed rail car with incredible views!
The train will take us all the way to the coast to meet up with our cruise ship, for a 7-day cruise southbound from Whittier, Alaska to Vancouver on the Royal Princess. The cruise will end in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Along the way, we'll visit Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park, Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. After the cruise, people are free to fly home from Vancouver... or stick with us and join us for one more leg of the adventure. In Vancouver, we're going to get aboard the Rocky Mountaineer for a railtour through Western Canada!
I provide a LOT more details about our plans for this big Alaska Adventure on this page of my web site, so please click that link and go take a look at that page if you want to find out more... or have any interest in coming along with us!
A Carnival cruise that I have booked for 2021 will be our 53rd cruise. I'm pretty excited about the ship... it's the Carnival Mardi Gras, the first of an entirely new class of ships for Carnival. The big thing I'm most excited about on this ship is a new kind of suite they're offering called an Excel Aft Suite. There will be twelve of them on the Mardi Gras, and what's going to be amazing about them is that each one will have a private Jacuzzi on the balcony. Here's an artist's concept of what these very cool Excel Aft Suite balconies will look like...
You are welcome to join us for the Mardi Gras cruise! The sail date will be February 27, 2021, from Port Canaveral, Florida. We'll be visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico... Carnival's private resort at Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic... and Carnival's private resort on Grand Turk.
For more details about our plans for this group cruise to the Caribbean, please take a look at this page of my web site.
Need A Travel Agent?
Booking a cruise can be confusing, especially if you haven't been on many cruises before. There are lots of first-time cruiser mistakes that a travel agent can keep you from making.
If you're interested in booking a cruise with any cruise line... please feel free to use the services of my travel agent, Caitlin Gallagher. She's extremely pleasant to deal with, easy to talk to since she lives in the United States and speaks without any kind of an accent, and quite experienced and knowledgeable about different types of cruising. Caitlin is the owner of Ambren Travel. Visit her web site, check out the Ambren Travel Facebook page, or contact her using the information below.
A few other cruises I would love to do:
Any cruise on a Princess ship that has their new Medallion technology. This seems like it could really improve the cruise experience, especially for someone like me that needs to stay connected to the Internet even when on vacation. I need to get onboard a ship that has it, and check it out.
Any cruise on Viking. A year or two ago, they actually offered me a free cruise out of Bergen, Norway, if I would simply make some videos about the cruise. I turned down that offer, because I didn't want to fly all the way from California to Norway... which would be a long, uncomfortable series of flights in a coach seat. I enjoyed my recent Caribbean cruise on Viking so much that I've decided that if they make me any other good offers, I will not be turning them down this time.
A cruise on one of Royal Caribbean's Quantum-class ships. I totally loved Anthem Of The Seas when I sailed on her a few years ago, and thought it was the best cruise ship I had ever sailed on at that point. I'd love to sail on Anthem Of The Seas again, or any other ship in the Quantum class. One of the great things about it is that it's an outstanding value... the regular balcony cabins on the Quantum class ships are really nice and I don't see any good reason to book a suite. So, it's possible to do a very affordable cruise, and still have a great experience.
My retirement from my "real job" in the Fall of 2020 will create some interesting travel possibilities for me... since the thing that keeps me from cruising even more than I do is not that I can't afford to, it's that I don't have enough vacation time from my real job. If you think I'm doing a good job with my YouTube channel now, just imagine what I could do if I didn't have my real job eating up 40 hours of my time every week!
When I do finally retire, the cruise that's at the very top of my list is a South Pacific cruise. I'd love to see Tahiti and Bora Bora, but what has kept me from doing it yet is that I don't want to fly down there and then take a cruise, I want to cruise there and back out of Los Angeles... and that's a long cruise that would require using a lot of vacation time if I were to do it now.
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