My Upcoming Cruises

Here are the details on all of the cruises I currently have booked
and speculation on what others might get added to the list

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I've been on 57 cruises since 1996...  and there are still so many more cruises that I want to go on!

I'm very excited about my next cruise, because I'm going to be on Carnival's brand-new ship, Carnival Celebration, just a month or two after she goes in to service.  Carnival Celebration is an Excel-class ship, and I've never been on that class of ship before...  so it's going to be really exciting for me to see all the changes Carnival has made since the Vista-class.

Carnival Celebration

I'm also excited about being back with Carnival, since they're a really good match for my tastes in food.  Of course, those great burgers & fries at Guy's Burger Joint on Carnival are a lunch mainstay for me when I'm onboard a Carnival ship...  but I also love the barbecue food at Guy Fieri's Pig & Anchor restaurant aboard Carnival ships.  I can't wait to get onboard!

One of my favorite meals at the Pig & Anchor restaurant is called "The Whole Smoker"


Trash Can Nachos at the Pig & Anchor restaurant on Carnival

My 59th cruise will be something a little different for me!  I've cruised with quite a few cruise lines, but not all of them...  and I think it's about time I try a cruise line that many people have suggested to me:  Celebrity Cruises.  My travel agent, Caitlin Gallagher, felt so strongly that I should give Celebrity a try that she found a deal for me that I simply couldn't refuse!  So, Kellyn and I are booked on the Celebrity Solstice for a cruise out of Los Angeles in the first quarter of 2023.

Aerial view of Celebrity Solstice

This ought to be an especially good introduction to Celebrity Cruises because we'll be staying in a suite...  and therefore we'll get several really good perks.  For example, access to a private restaurant just for suite guests, as well as a private bar & lounge.  Basically, it's Celebrity's version of "The Haven" on Norwegian Cruise Line, which has been one of our favorite ways to cruise.  We'll also have priority boarding, which I'm especially happy about since the last time we sailed out of the port of Los Angeles, boarding was a total nightmare due to the far-from-state-of-the-art cruise terminal they have there.  A few other perks for us on this trip will be the premium beverage package, premium Wi-Fi, prepaid gratuities, and $600 in onboard credit.  I think it sounds like a great way to get started with a cruise line we've never sailed with before.

Bonus:  We'll be cruising with our friends, Bob & Joan, who we've cruised with twice before...  so it's guaranteed to be a fun cruise!

Lately, I've been in demand as a commercial photographer, videographer, and licensed commercial drone pilot.  I haven't had to pay for a cruise in a while...  two different cruise lines (Viking, and American Cruise Lines) have been inviting me to sail with them at their expense to shoot photos and videos.  I'm also in discussions with a third cruise line about a possible future opportunity.

It's smart of these cruise lines to do this, because it generates great publicity for them.  Also, it's cheaper than if they actually hired a commercial photographer because I don't charge the cruise lines a thing for my service.  I love cruising, so I am happy to do the work at no charge in exchange for the free trip.

The offers for free cruises from the cruise lines are quite often just a few weeks before the sailing date...  because the cruise lines are smart.  They don't offer free cruises on weeks when demand is high and paying customers have booked all the cabins.  They offer them on weeks when it looks like the ship is going to sail with an empty cabin or two.  Rather than waste the cabin by leaving it empty for the week, they offer it to someone like me who will at least create some good publicity for them.  My point is that I get this offers just a few weeks before the cruise.  So, just because I don't have any cruises booked for the next few months doesn't mean that I won't be doing any cruises.  I might not find out about an opportunity until just before the sail date.

Cruises I'd Like To Take

A few cruises I would love to do:

Cruising Less These Days

In 2020, I retired after 28 years with Pacific Gas & Electric company at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.  This allowed me and Kellyn to move out of California and to have our dream house built for us in Washington state.  We chose to move to Washington because we wanted to live close to my sister and her family.  There are other benefits, too...  such as the fact that Washington doesn't have a state income tax, and that water is abundant thanks to the Columbia River that is only about 1200 feet from our new house.

Kellyn and I are so comfortable in our new house that we probably won't do as much vacationing over the next few years as we did in previous years.  A lot of our vacations were just elaborate ways to get to warm ocean water or in to a nice hot tub.  The weather here in Southeastern Washington is so great (better than where we used to live in California, believe it or not) and now that we have our own hot tub here at our dream house, we're happy...  and just not quite as motivated as we used to be to head out on vacation.  If I had to guess, I'd say instead of doing three to five vacations a year like we used to do, it might only pay for one (or maybe two) cruises a year for a while.  The key word in that sentence is "pay".  If any cruise line wants to invite me aboard at their expense so that I can make YouTube videos about their ship, I'd almost certainly accept their offer.

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.  Also, the call centers of some of the big cruise lines are severely understaffed these days...  creating extremely long wait times to talk to a customer service representative.  When you book a cruise through a travel agent, you'll never have to get stuck on hold with the cruise line...  your travel agent does all that kind of stuff for you.

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.

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