On my most recent Carnival Cruise
During my most recent “Spring Break” Cruise aboard the wonderful Carnival Paradise on a 5 Day Mexican Baja trip, I had the opportunity to enjoy some things that I typically either don’t get to engage in on other cruise lines, or ships, or destinations and ports of embarkation! Be sure to check out my most recent “Dysart Spring Break Cruise” Picture Collage by clicking here!!
10. It was a very convenient for me to drive from AZ. Our port of embarkation was Long Beach California, which allowed for us to drive (about 6 and one half hours) from the Phoenix Area. With my grown kids along with me in the car, after two pit stops (one for lunch), we played a couple of rounds of the i-phone version of “family feud”,(very appropriate I might add) and before you know it, we were there! I would have to say it was a wonderful alternative and break from the strains of having to catch flights to head for my cruise. Would do it again at the drop of a hat.
9. I Got a great value on a snooze and cruise hotel site. A really great advantage of taking this journey was the great deal we got on our Pre Night’s Hotel Stay and Parking Package Deal. The Hotel offered us a special rate which gave us not only the one nights lodging, but included the parking absolutely free. (Some Hotels offer packages that include free transfers to and from the hotel and the pier, and even throw in a free breakfast). Also the Hotel was actually located on the port property which the Cruise Ship Terminal Building was literally a two-minute walk, so we didn’t have need for any transfers. If you happen to be driving to your port terminal, you may wish to check with the local chambers of commerce in the port city to see if they have such package deals. Sometimes they call them cruise and snooze, park and sail, or the like! They are a great deal where for not much more than the cost of parking at the port terminal, you can get all of the other niceties I speak of
8. We Stayed, Slept, and Ate on the Magnificent Queen Mary Hotel. This Hotel is without a doubt one of the greatest ideas to come along in a long while. The actual Queen Mary ship was purchased by the city of Long Beach after she was retired from her 30+ year service on the seas. She was brought to long beach and moored their, where she has been painstakingly restored to her glory years, and has become not only a wonderful Hotel property, but offers a look back into yesteryear, and stands as a testament to maritime life on the high seas from the 30’s, through the 60’s when she was known as one of the most luxurious of passenger cruise ships ever to sail. It’s really neat to see and to savor in person. Seeing her was an absolute treat, but to be able to eat, sleep, and interact with her ships hotel personnel, was a genuine experience I shall not long forget. Whether staying pre or post cruise, or merely coming for a stay with this glorious lady herself, she is definitely a trip well worth the journey.
7. Got a chance to get with the people and see what they love about cruising. One of the things I most enjoy when cruising, is being able to interact with the people who are cruising, to see what they like, and what they dislike about their cruise. I had heard that out of the 2600 passenger capacity that over 1900 were first time cruisers with Carnival. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, with little dislikes voiced. I even had the chance to meet with some very young cruisers who were parts of two separate dance troop groups (also from Arizona) who seemed to be having an absolutely wonderful time. They (the little ones), thought it was very neat to be able to eat Pizza, and Ice Cream at midnight. Hearing what people like and don’t like about their various cruise experiences helps me a great deal in being able to better match folks with the best available cruise ship and line.
6. Didn’t have to make up the bed, and got to eat 24 hours a day. While I certainly get away with doing less when on any cruise ship; I had forgotten that Carnival offers continual food service 24/7 with their Pizzeria, and their Ice Cream Machines. Most all other cruise lines offer some type of light fare up until the wee hours of the morning, but certainly not to the extent that Carnival does. So there was a difference to what I am typically accustomed to finding when on a cruise adventure.
5. Met and interacted with some really great Wait Staff, and Stateroom personnel. While I firmly admit, that I truly find all of my cruise experiences filled with wonderful and delightful wait staff, and in particular very well-trained and doting, stateroom stewards. I was really impressed at the caliber of personnel I recently encountered on the Carnival Paradise. They were certainly a cut above the average, and especially better than what I had recalled when on previous Carnival Cruise Ships.
4. Enjoyed some very tasty and pleasurable meals (alone and with friends) while on board! I must give fairly high marks to the Carnival Paradise for her on-board food fare I found. While convenient and readily available at all hours of the night, I do feel personally that the best meals offered in the Lido (Casual Dining Venue) was Lunchtime meal (which is when they experience their busiest volume). The Ecstasy (formal) Dining Room certainly offered the most in variety and quality of food available on the ship. Formal doesn’t mean formal either. Actually they merely requested that no jeans or shorts be worn just on the one official formal night, which was definitely a casual dress code itself!
3. Observed the workings of the cruise ship from “behind the scenes”. I must admit that in all of my years of sailing, I was never afforded the opportunity to see so much, for so long as to the behind the scenes escorted tour, as I was recently afforded on the Carnival Paradise. They actually offer such a tour (cost is about $55 per person), but it was well worth the price. We toured the laundry, kitchen (where we were escorted by the Executive Chef), Engine Room, Storage and Environmental Areas, Backstage and the On-Board Entertainment Managers, and was topped off with a tour of the Bridge, conducted by the Captain Himself. What an experience. I don’t know of any other cruise line or ship that does this on such a level of comprehensiveness. Well Done Carnival. And thanks!
2. Was able to enjoy some quality family time with my kids. Sadly enough with my kids now being grown and married and for the most part their own family unit themselves. I had not had the pleasure of spending this much quality time (especially all at one time), since they had been little children themselves. So this was certainly a real treat for me personally. Not just for me, but for many if not all who cruise, these are perks that come to cruise passengers.
1.Got to spend some much-needed time away from the office and work grind! While this was certainly a job and work for me, (which was observed as such and pointed out to by my children several times during our voyage), it was certainly a nice change of pace for me to be able to get away from the office and to be able to emerce myself into the cruise and the passengers we had there on board the ship. And certainly while still work for me, at least it was a different sort of work than that which I generally find myself in day-to-day.
While I have been on several cruise adventures, I must admit that this most recent Group Cruise aboard Carnival’s Paradise was certainly one which I found not only an enjoyable experience, but one which definitely left me with some improved overall impressions towards the Carnival Cruise Family!!
Some other Top Tens and other Ten topics of interest you might like to read about: (click on each topic to view)
For more information on Group Cruises and Spring Break Vacations, contact Mike via email email@example.com . You can tweet (or follow) Mike at http://www.twitter.com/cruisewithmike . To “Join” our Travel Club go to http://meetup.com/Sun-Cities-Travelers-Group/ Mikes web site can be found at www.mberryhill.cruiseholidays.com . Follow Mike’s blog (or subscribe to it) at http://www.cruisewithmike.com (or merely click on the subscribe button above to have daily delivery to your email). View all of Mikes uploaded Flickr Photo Galleries at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cruisewithmike/ . Mike also edits his own twice daily e-newspaper called “The Compass Headings” you can see (or subscribe to) it free! at http://paper.li/CruisewithMike
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