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5 Things I’ve Missed About Cruising

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Confession: This cruise-aholic hasn’t been cruising in over 2 years. For real, two long years going on almost 3 years. So, I’m definitely looking forward to getting back onboard.

5 Things I’ve Missed About Cruising

1. Disconnecting

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We’re such a connected culture today. When I started sailing over 10 years ago, onboard internet was limited, slow, and cost-prohibitive. So, I happily disconnected from all things real life. Today, it’s far easier to connect while on a cruise, but it’s also an option to stay disconnected. There’s not much you can do about a problem at work while you’re in the middle of the ocean.

Cruising gives you the chance to step away from worries, cares, and responsibilities. Cruising lets you recharge you – instead of just your smartphone. Cruising lets you focus on staying in the moment and living life to the fullest.

READ MORE: 5 Reasons Cruises Love Florida

It’s nice that you don’t need your phone or social media or anything online during a cruise. Some vacation destinations almost require you to have it for reservations, dining, and more. That makes it hard to disconnect. Cruising keeps it simple and lets you relax and keep your phone in the cabin safe.

2. The Views

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While oceans cover 70 percent of the Earth’s surface – and contain 97 percent of the world’s water – it’s not just one boring endless body of water. It’s so many stunning shades of blue. It sparkles and glows in the sun and moonlight.

And what about the views of the islands sitting surrounded by the ocean, palm trees swaying in the breeze, set in blindingly white sand? Or, the amazing creatures that inhabit the water and land. In all my travels, some of the best views I’ve ever seen come from being on a cruise ship.

3. Seeing New Places

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Saint Augustine once spoke, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Cruising lets you see and explore new places like no other vacation. The more you sail, the more you see. I often liken cruising to a sampler – you experience new places and then you can go back and explore your favorites in more depth.

For my next cruise, we made sure to book a sailing that included a new port, along with some new activities in a familiar one. Thanks to cruising though, I have a long list of places and ports I want to visit again and a shorter list of places I was happy to check the ‘been there, done that’ box.

Extra bonus for cruising: I only have to unpack one time and don’t have to lug my suitcase everywhere to see multiple new locations in one week.

4. The Food

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Another confession: I’m not a foodie, but cruising helped me try new things, new flavors, and now, I’m not nearly as picky as I used to be. Since most food is included in the price of your cruise, it’s the perfect time to try the West Indian Pumpkin Soup, or sushi, or escargot, or a new fish. If you hate it, you can get something else. But… what if you love it?

While most food is included on your cruise, there are some upgrades or specialty options available. With those choices, you can often try foods at a fraction of their land-based cost. On my Carnival Sunshine sailing, I tried duck for the first time at JiJi’s Asian Kitchen. I can’t say that I’ll try it again, but I did love the Hakka noodles and Slow-Braised Wagyu Beef Short Rib – things I would not have tried at my local Asian place.

5. Service and Special Touches

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Photo: Carnival Cruise Line

A room steward for my apartment has been on my Christmas list for almost 10 years now. I don’t like making my bed. Not a fan of the dishes either. Wouldn’t that be one of the best travel souvenirs to bring home?

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I travel a good amount for both work and fun, so I have plenty of interaction with the hospitality industry. There are few places that get it like the cruise ships. It’s the little things they set the service apart: what you want to drink with dinner, asking about your shore excursions, making a towel animal of your favorite creature, and more. Service is personalized, special, and designed to exceed expectations.

When you don’t cruise, what do you miss most? What’s the longest you’ve ever gone between cruises? We’d love to hear your thoughts and stories.

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7 Cruise Pics To Warm You Up On A Cold Winter Day

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There’s a reason so many people book cruises during wave season, which runs from now until March. Much of the country is experiencing frigid temperatures, blustery winds and mountains of snow. If spring makes a young man’s heart turn toward thoughts of love, then winter makes pretty much everyone’s thoughts turn toward thoughts of escaping… to someplace warm! With that in mind, we offer up these pics to keep you warm and maybe even inspire you to spend a little time today booking your next cruise!

1. Half Moon Cay

Who wouldn’t love to trade snow for the white sands of Half Moon Cay, Carnival’s private island? 

2. Sunset in Curacao

Forget the icicles hanging from your roof. This water is much, much warmer. 

 

3. A Room With A View

Bring some sunscreen — and maybe a beer — while we soak up the sun on the balcony!

 

4. Geronimo!

When the sun gets to be too much, we can hit the waterslides on board the Norwegian Breakaway.

5. Kids? What Kids?

Leave the little ones behind and hit the adults-only Retreat on the Holland America Koningsdam.

6. Ready… Set… Lounge!

Forget the chair hogs… surely we’ll be able to find somewhere by the pool to tan!

7. Jack To The Rescue!

Is there a better way to spend a day on Grand Turk than visiting Jack’s Shack? (The answer: No, there is not!)

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The Benefits of Becoming a Cruise Ship Counselor

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Have you ever wished your job was exciting?  Are you tired of being stuck in a boring job that doesn’t offer much advancement?  If so, you probably need to do something to change that!  There are many fun careers out there, and going back to school is one way to land one of them.  If you enjoy helping others, you might want to consider a job as a cruise ship counselor!  Masters in counseling programs can help you land this very exciting job and the best part is you can do it completely online.  Today, we are going to learn some of the benefits of this position and what it can offer you.  

You Will Get to Cruise the World

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Photo: Cunard

Once you have completed your online masters in counseling from one of the top schools like Bradley University, you can find a job on one of the many cruise lines as a youth counselor.  You will work on the ship and when you have time off, you can explore the ship and all it has to offer.  The best part is you will get to see the world and get paid for it at the same time!  This is just one of the many perks you that you will get while working on a cruise ship.  

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No Need to Worry About Paying the Rent

Rent can be expensive and while you are working on board a cruise ship, you will never have to worry about paying for it.  You will be able to live rent free because a cabin will be provided for you free of charge!  While you might not get one with an ocean view, you will have a nice cozy place to call home while you are out on your voyage.  Many other things will be free of charge including your meals which you can get in the mess hall of the ship. You won’t be eating at a 4-star restaurant, but the food will be just as delicious and it’s completely free! These covered expenses will save you a lot of money which you can use for other things.  This will help you pay back your student loans that you incurred while attending your online masters in counseling degree much faster.  

You Get to Meet People from All Over the World

When you work on a cruise ship, you will get to meet interesting people from around the world.  You will get to work with people from all walks of life and from countries you have probably never heard of before.  This can be very wonderful, and you just might make a few friends in the process.  Knowing people from around the globe has its benefits and you will learn so much about different cultures.  So if you are a people person, this job just might be right for you!  

These are just a few of the benefits of getting your masters of counseling online, and landing a job as a cruise ship counselor.  This job is very exciting, and you will get to meet new faces, travel to strange places and get paid while doing so.  

Have you ever considered working on a cruise ship? 

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9 Things That Make Cruisers Happy

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It doesn’t take much to make cruisers smile. Heck, just setting foot on a ship is usually enough to do it. But there are certain things that are sure to put a pep in the step of a cruise lover… sometimes, long before we walk the gangway.

What Makes Cruisers Happy?

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1) The Single-Digit Dance

When that countdown clock finally hits “9 Days”, you know it’s time to get serious about packing, because your ship is finally coming in… literally!

2) Amazing Deals

Sit at the atrium bar long enough, and the conversation eventually will turn to how much you paid for this cruise, followed by talk of the best deal everyone ever got. Like old men telling fish tales about “the one that got away,” some will sound too good to be true. But they’ll also inspire you to keep looking for that elusive, so-good-they-were-practically-paying-you-to-sail bargain.

3) Price Drops

No matter how good a deal we get, we’re always hoping that between the time we book and the time we board, it’ll become an even better deal. After all, any money not spent on this cruise can go toward the next one!

4) That First Cocktail

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Whether the bartender’s serving you a Kiss On The Lips on board the Carnival Sunshine or a Rebellious Fish on the Norwegian Escape, one of the first things many of us do is raise a toast to the week ahead.

5) Great Dinner Companions

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Conga line in the main dining room.

Whether you’re eating with the family you brought along or friends you’ve met on board, nothing beats a laugh-filled meal. If a conga line happens to break out, don’t blame us… just go with it!

6) Quiet Spots

As much as we love being at the heart of the action, it’s sometimes great to find a place off the beaten path where you can simply enjoy the view, or maybe do a little reading. Every ship, no matter how big or small, has them… you just have to do a little bit of exploring!

7) Free Upgrades

Visits from the Upgrade Fairy aren’t as common as they once were, but they do still occasionally happen. Norwegian Cruise Line also now has a program where passengers can bid on upgrades, usually at a cost far below what they’d pay to book the stateroom in question.

8) Big Wins

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We usually end up being robbed blind by the one-armed bandits who call the casino home, but every now and again, the tables are turned and we walk away big winners. Assuming, of course, we don’t give it all back!

9) Sunsets At Sea

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Eastern Coves of Alaska sunset.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so we’ll just let the above photo speak for itself.

What makes you happy when cruising?

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