My Upcoming Cruises
Here are the details on all of the cruises I currently have booked
I've already booked two cruises for 2024. The first will be on the incredible over-the-top new ship from Royal Caribbean, Icon Of The Seas. This is the much-anticipated first in an all-new class of ships for Royal Caribbean... improving upon their extremely popular Oasis-class ships... and with so many interesting features that I'm worried I won't have time to get video of all of them in just a 7-day cruise!
This cruise will begin and end in Miami, and will take us to the island of St Kitts, the island of St Thomas, and Royal Caribbean's awesome private island on Coco Cay. I've always wanted to spend a day at Coco Cay... and had two different cruises booked that were supposed to take me there, but neither of them worked out. So, I'm really looking forward to finally getting there and experiencing it for myself.
Royal Caribbean's private island on Coco Cay
My travel agent, Caitlin Gallagher, got me a crazy-great deal on this cruise. She made a brilliant move and locked in some low group rates for a bunch of cabins on Icon Of The Seas, on eight different dates in 2024 and 2025. The buzz about this new ship has been so strong, that most of her sailings in 2024 are nearly sold out already... so Royal Caribbean has jacked up the prices to incredible highs I don't think I've ever seen on any cruise ship before this. $8000 for a balcony cabin for a 7-day cruise! But thankfully, I did not have to pay anything close to that... thanks to Caitlin's smart move in reserving cabins when the rates were much lower. It was such a great deal that I made two videos about the deal, which helped Caitlin sell over 90 cabins as a result of my videos!
Later in the year, Kellyn and I are going to revisit a ship we really loved... the Norwegian Breakaway. We sailed on her back in April of 2019, and there's kind of a funny story about why I decided to cruise on this ship for a second time.
Norwegian Breakaway made her debut back in 2013... the first of a brand new class of ships for Norwegian Cruise Line... but in the years since then, Norwegian has brought out six newer ships. In fact, when I mentioned Breakaway to my travel agent, one of her comments was that it was kind of an old ship! My point is that with so many newer ships that have come out over the last ten years, even I had kind of forgotten about Breakaway and focused on the newer ships.
But a few weeks ago, I was having a lazy day at home without much to do, and I found myself looking at a few old YouTube videos of mine. I stumbled across a video that I made back in 2019 when we cruised on Norwegian Breakaway. If you have 12 minutes to watch a video, have a look at it:
Looking back at that video, about four years after I had made it, I realized that I had forgotten how much I really enjoyed Breakaway... especially since we had been fortunate enough to sail in The Haven. I also realized that it was a really great ship, and that we really liked a lot of things about The Haven on that particular ship. It got me thinking about how NCL charges the highest prices to sail on the newest ships... and that a cruise on a ten year old ship like this might be a little more affordable than sailing on Norwegian's newest ships.
One thing led to another, and now we're booked to cruise in The Haven on Norwegian Breakaway again!
I also have a cruise booked for 2025... on one of my favorite cruise ships: Carnival Panorama. What I love about this ship is the uncrowded area at the back of the ship which is for the exclusive use of the passengers who booked a cabin in that area. Enjoying the uncrowded pool, hot tubs, and bar at the back of the ship makes me just want to stay onboard the ship and never even go ashore!
This ship is based in Los Angeles and is really easy and inexpensive for me to get to from my home in Washington state. I also love the Guy Fieri food that they serve on this ship... not just the burgers at Guy's Burger Joint, but also the barbecue food at Guy's Pig & Anchor restaurant.
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.
A cruise with Holland America.
That's probably the biggest cruise line that I've never sailed with. I
think I should try it sometime. The reason I've never sailed with Holland
America before is that I view it as a cruise line for old people. Well,
now that I am one, I guess I should give HAL a try.
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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