My Upcoming Cruises
Here are the details on all of the cruises I currently have booked
My next cruise will be something a little different for me! I've been on 57 cruises since 1996... 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.
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:
A 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 Princess ship to check it out! The last time I
cruised with Princess was before they rolled out the Medallion technology.
Just about any cruise on Viking. The ultimate Viking cruise I would love to do is a 40-day South Pacific cruise
they offer... starting in Los Angeles, and visiting Hawaii, Tahiti, Bora
Bora, Moorea, New Zealand, Tasmania, and ending in Sydney, Australia. What
a cruise that would be! But I would also love to cruise with Viking in
Alaska, or on their new river ship that will do Mississippi River cruises.
An Alaska cruise with American
Cruise Lines. American Constellation, the ship I was recently on for a
Puget Sound cruise, spends the summer cruising in Alaska. I would love to
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, so
I don't see any need to book a suite... which makes it possible to do
a very affordable cruise, and still have a great experience.
A cruise in the South Pacific, visiting places like Tahiti and Bora Bora.
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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