I just took my very first cruise and chose to go to Alaska with Princess. Since it’s my first cruise, I don’t have anything to really compare it to, but all I can say is that it was a remarkable experience!
The ship we sailed on was the Crown Princess. I loved all the different amenities, activities, entertainment and dining offered onboard. I think food is very important for most, so I’ll say that their food was really varied, fresh, and delicious. There is something for everybody and the seafood options were especially tasty. Main dining was so incredible that we didn’t even find it necessary to try the specialty dining…but, of course, we tried it anyway and that was a really great experience.
On days we were at sea we always had something to see and do. There were broadway-style performances, comedians, dance classes, and more. There’s a gym, a spa, a casino, pools, and an area for golf and games.
Aside from the experience onboard the ship, the time we spent at the ports and enjoying Alaska was my favorite. The trip started in Vancouver and we visited Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Icy Strait Point. The towns were very nice but Alaska’s natural wonders are the true reason to visit. We were able to view Hubbard Glacier and we took a few optional excursions as well. We visited a salmon hatchery and enjoyed an outdoor salmon bake. We took a train ride with the most amazing views of mountains, creeks, and forests. We canoed on Lake Harriet Hunt and did a nature trail through the rainforest.
I loved Alaska and would definitely recommend exploring this beautiful state with Princess cruises.
I had a wonderful relaxing time on my Oceania Cruise aboard the Riviera. Unfortunately, the main port of the cruise was Bermuda and was canceled due to bad weather and 30 Ft waves. Oceania did their best to accommodate by adding a stop at Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas which was also canceled due to the currents being too dangerous to boat passengers from the ship over to the island. Oceania then reported that the itinerary changed to 3 days at sea, 2 days in Jacksonville, FL, 2 days in Charleston, SC and 1 day Port Carnival As you can imagine there were some very upset passengers upon boarding and with the port replacement of Jacksonville. I was very impressed with how Oceania did their best to address the passengers, empathize and tried to add some additional activities. At the end of the day mother nature has a mind of her own and therefore out of Oceania’s control with the main priority being safety.
I decided to travel alone which was a great experience. For the first 3 nights they offered a single traveler gathering where passengers could get to know each other. However, I had no problem making friends with passengers traveling together. All of my shared tabled guests were inviting and fun to sit with.
The veranda cabin I was staying in felt like I was at a very high end hotel. Rooms were very contemporary, lots of rooms with a sitting area, large bathrooms with a rain shower and the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. I’m actually thinking of ordering their beds.
For only having 1150 passengers and 800 staff, I have to say that I saw more staff than passengers. The boat never seemed crowded except for embarking and disembarking at the ports. There was always plenty of seating around the ship and in dining areas. The ship is decorated in art and paintings everywhere. It actually felt like you were in a museum in certain areas.
The Ship Crew and service was impeccable. I never saw one crew member not in an upbeat mood or willing to assist a passenger with questions or needs. My 2 attendants Soe Soe and Jaun made me feel very welcomed and anything I needed they were able to assist.
Most of the excursions I had paid for were in Bermuda but I did do the Full Day private Island with Lunch in the Bahamas and a city tour of Charleston. Charleston was a very charming town and I walked everywhere within the city admiring the houses, trees and architecture. All were very organized and Oceania did a great job keeping all the passengers together.
The offered a wide range of entertainment from comedy shows, listening to the string quartet, wildlife educational talks, yoga classes, karaoke and more. My favorite activity was High Tea with the string quartet at 4 pm daily. It was a nice day to relax and view the ocean.
I was able to try all 4 of the Specialty Restaurants, but my favorite was Jacques, the atmosphere made me feel like I was in France. The courses were beautifully presented, delicious and consistent across all courses. My morning ritual was the coffee bar, Barista’s, where I had lots of friendly conversations with other passengers and staff. The juice bar was also one of my regular stop bys to make sure I got my greens for the morning. The Terrace which was the buffet always had a variety of choices for every kind of eater. I did hear several past passengers say that they felt that the food was not as good as it was before COVID.
Best Learning Tip:
The biggest learning that came from the cruise was not only experiencing the ship itself but actually listening to the passengers talk about their prior experience with Oceania, the other itineraries they have taken and other competitor cruise lines that they enjoyed.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to experience Oceania Cruise of the Riviera. Thank you so much for allowing me to go. I definitely would like to take another cruise with them and actually experience the set itinerary of ports.
After taking many cruises with many different lines I just had the opportunity to sail with Oceania. I have to say it did not disappoint. The highlight of our itinerary was to be three days in Bermuda, which I was really looking forward to. Alas, Mother Nature did not cooperate, at boarding we were informed the ship would not be able to make it to Bermuda due to inclement weather and high seas. This put a lot of pressure on the staff to keep the guests happy, and they really did a great job. Oceania is known for having “The Finest Cuisine at Sea”, and now I know how they earned that distinction. From the Grand Ballroom main dining room, to the four specialty restaurants we dined in, everything was spectacular.
We did visit Charleston, SC and that was a very charming historic town. The general consensus among the guests was the cruise was very nice, the food was outstanding, and everyone I talked to just decided they would have to book a new cruise to Bermuda. That seems like a fantastic idea to me!
We started our morning at the Sunflower Café down the street from the Port of Galveston. It is an excellent choice for breakfast that never disappoints. With full bellies, we parked at Lot B and headed to the Cruise Terminal nearby. We purchased Faster to the Fun which turned out to be a great decision throughout our cruise. We breezed through security and check-in, and we were on the ship in less than 10 minutes. Our rooms were already available when we boarded, so we relaxed before heading out to explore the ship. That evening we were surprised with a brand-new menu featuring dishes curated by Emeril Lagasse. This menu debuted on the Carnival Dream on June 20, 2023. We were lucky to be the first guests to try it out on Carnival Vista and the food was delicious!
Days 2 and 3: Sea Days
The next two days we took it slow, enjoying the various amenities around the ship. We played in the Casino which had a great selection of newer slots, as well as table games. We checked out the water park, WaterWorks, and the kids enjoyed the water slides. We tried the included Pasta Bella pasta bar for lunch in Cucina del Capitano. Service was quick, and the food was very good. We also visited Cherry on Top where the kids got some candy, and we went to one of the shows called Rock of Ages in the Liquid Lounge. The band and performers were great, and they covered quite a few well-known rock songs from the 70’s and 80’s. These days were well spent while we rested up for our port days to come.
Day 4: Mahogany Bay, Roatan
After a light breakfast at the Lido Marketplace, we headed to the gangway for our day in Roatan. We had a spot in mind already at the beach in Mahagony Bay. Instead of walking, we took the Magic Sky Ride gondolas to the other side of the port. This dropped us off right where we wanted to be, and we were the first to arrive at our beach spot. The kids snorkeled most of the morning and saw a myriad of sea life including flounder, crabs, conch, rockfish, lionfish, angel fish, pipe fish, and even an octopus. After an exceptional morning at the beach, we rode the gondolas back to the main port area for some shopping. We then headed back to the ship to rest up before dinner. Our Maitre’d, Melvin, invited us to a private tasting of the new dishes on the menu that evening. We were given an exclusive tour of the galley before meeting the head chef and being presented with several dishes to sample. We tried each one and it was difficult to critique any of them because they were all so tasty. This was an awesome experience for us to see how the kitchens operate on such a large scale to accommodate everyone onboard.
Day 5: Fort Street Tourism Village, Belize City, Belize
Faster to the Fun came in handy this morning as it provided a priority tender into port. Instead of having to collect a tender ticket early that morning and queue with the rest of the ship, we were able to hop right on our priority tender to shore. We did not have plans for Belize, so we explored the port area for a few hours and did some shopping at the many stores located here. Before boarding our tender back to the ship, I decided to pick up some Lobster Fritters from the Wet Lizard. My family and I enjoyed them on our way back to the Vista. Many people on the tender commented on how good they smelled and believe me they were amazing! These will now be a must when we call on Belize.
Day 6: Terminal Maritima Puerta Maya, Cozumel
Today we booked our family at Paradise Beach Cozumel. We were the first ship in port so getting off was quick and easy. We made our way to the taxi stand and quickly had a ride to Paradise Beach. Less than 10 miles from port, Paradise Beach is a newer, family friendly beach club with a large pool, water inflatables, and an extensive menu of food and drinks which are all included with the all-inclusive
day pass. We also rented a day bed here which was well worth the money. This afforded us a semi- private spot for the whole family to enjoy while we were there.
The kids decided to snorkel most of the day here as well since the water was teaming with sea life yet again. This time they saw starfish, lobster, sea urchins, and many different types of fish. We also sampled quite a few dishes and drinks from the all-inclusive menu during our time there, and the wait staff were very attentive to our needs. All in all, I would highly recommend Paradise Beach if you are ever looking for a beach club in Cozumel.
Days 7 and 8: Sea Day and Galveston; Debarkation
Needless to say, we were exhausted after our beach time and exploration in the ports. Our last sea day was spent packing up and enjoying a couple of things we had not yet tried. Guy’s Burger Joint and Blue Iguana Cantina are lunch options located by the Beach Pool on Lido Deck. We tried both, but we really enjoyed the burgers from Guy’s. We also decided to take in a movie at the IMAX Theater onboard. They get the newest releases, so we decided to see Blue Beetle which had just come out the day before. Our theater experience was surprisingly good, so much so, I forgot I was on a cruise ship until the movie was over. Faster to the Fun saved the day again on debarkation day. We were able to go directly to the Liquid Lounge to be the first guests allowed off the ship. The process only took about 15 minutes once our group was called. After clearing customs, we made our way back to Lot B and headed home. We reminisced on all of our experiences, and we all agreed that we had a wonderful time. Overall, an A+ for Carnival and the Carnival Vista!
Traveling is an incredible way to enrich our lives and create memories that will last forever. Whether you’re exploring new cultures, trying new foods, or taking in breathtaking sights, traveling offers experiences that can change us in profound ways. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in our daily routines and forget the value of taking a break from our usual surroundings. This is where travel comes in, reminding us of the beauty and diversity of the world we live in. Let’s explore the reasons why travel is worthwhile, and how it can shape us in unexpected ways
Can Travel Really Change Your Life? Exploring the Value of Travel
Traveling isn’t just about going to new places and seeing new things, it’s also an opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery. By immersing ourselves in different cultures, meeting new people, and experiencing the unfamiliar, we can expand our perspectives and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Travel can also be a form of self-care and relaxation, allowing us to escape the stresses of our daily lives and recharge our batteries. Whether it’s lounging on a beach, exploring a new city, or trekking through the wilderness, there’s something about travel that rejuvenates and inspires us, which is why travel is worthwhile.
Famous travelers throughout history have experienced the transformative power of travel. From Mark Twain to Anthony Bourdain, their journeys have shaped their lives and left lasting impressions. Their stories remind us of the potential of travel to create lifelong memories and make a positive impact on our lives.
The Importance of Creating Lifelong Memories Through Travel
Traveling is not just about seeing new places, but also about creating memories that will last a lifetime. Memories are a fundamental aspect of traveling, and they are what make the experience unique and unforgettable. Memories can be formed in many ways, including trying new foods, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures, and engaging in outdoor activities.
One of the most significant benefits of creating memories through travel is that they can become a source of inspiration for future adventures. Remembering past experiences and the joy they brought can motivate individuals to continue exploring the world and discovering new places. Memories can also help individuals appreciate the present and remember the importance of living in the moment.
Some of the most powerful memories that can be formed while traveling include trying new and unique foods, visiting historical landmarks, and participating in cultural experiences. For example, trying local delicacies can provide a sensory experience that engages all the senses, and learning about the history of a place can provide a deeper appreciation of its culture and significance.
Personal travel memories are also unique and significant, which is why travel is worthwhile. Memories can be anything from a beautiful sunset seen from a mountain top to a conversation with a local resident. Such memories can serve as a reminder of the beauty of the world and the importance of embracing different cultures.
Travel is an excellent way to create lifelong memories that can inspire individuals to explore more of the world, appreciate the present, and remember the importance of experiencing new things. From trying new foods to engaging in cultural experiences, every travel memory is unique and significant. So, pack your bags and get ready to create unforgettable memories on your next adventure.
Embracing the Journey: Overcoming Challenges in Travel
Travel is not always smooth sailing. It often comes with its fair share of challenges and obstacles, from canceled flights to lost luggage and language barriers. However, it’s how we choose to respond to these challenges that can make all the difference in our travel experiences.
Prepare for the unexpected. This means having a backup plan in case of any mishaps, such as bringing a carry-on bag with essential items in case of lost luggage. It also means being flexible and open to unexpected changes in itinerary or plans. Some of the best travel memories can come from unexpected detours and unplanned adventures.
Another common challenge for travelers is communication barriers, especially when visiting a foreign country with a language barrier. However, this can also be an opportunity to connect with locals and immerse oneself in the culture. Learning a few key phrases in the local language can go a long way in making connections and creating memorable experiences.
Travel can also bring personal challenges, such as stepping outside of one’s comfort zone or facing fears. Whether it’s trying new foods or engaging in adrenaline-pumping activities, overcoming these challenges can lead to personal growth and unforgettable memories.
Overall, while travel may come with its share of challenges, it’s important to embrace them and view them as opportunities for personal growth and creating lifelong memories.
Connecting Through Travel: How Building Relationships Creates Lasting Memories
Traveling isn’t just about seeing new places and taking stunning photos – it’s also an opportunity to connect with people from all over the world. Whether it’s through striking up a conversation with a local shopkeeper, meeting fellow travelers in a hostel, or joining a group tour, the connections we make while traveling can be some of the most memorable parts of the experience.
Connecting with locals can offer an insight into their way of life, cultural traditions, and unique perspectives on the world. Whether it’s learning to cook a traditional dish, participating in a local festival, or simply chatting with someone at a café, these interactions can create powerful memories and have a lasting impact on our worldview.
Similarly, connecting with other travelers can lead to lifelong friendships and provide a sense of community while on the road. From sharing travel tips and recommendations to embarking on adventures together, these shared experiences can create some of the most memorable moments of a trip.
Personal travel experiences often highlight the value of these connections. From attending a local wedding in India and being welcomed into the family’s home, to hiking with new friends in New Zealand and watching the sunrise over the mountains, these connections and relationships are often the highlights of our travels and can create lasting memories that go beyond the sights and sounds of a place.
In short, travel provides an opportunity to connect with people from all walks of life, creating meaningful relationships that can result in unforgettable memories. So, whether you’re exploring a new city or embarking on a multi-country adventure, take the time to connect with those around you and build relationships that will last a lifetime.
How to Create Memorable Travel Experiences
Traveling is an excellent way to create memories that will last a lifetime. However, creating a memorable travel experience requires planning, creativity, and a bit of spontaneity. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your travels and create unforgettable memories:
Plan Ahead: Do Your Research
One of the best ways to create a memorable travel experience is to plan ahead. Research the destination you plan to visit and learn as much as you can about the local culture, customs, and language. Knowing some basic phrases and customs will help you connect with locals and create more meaningful experiences. Consider creating a rough itinerary that includes a mix of popular attractions and off-the-beaten-path locations.
Try New Things: Be Open to New Experiences
Travel is an opportunity to try new things and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Try local foods, learn new skills or participate in activities that are unique to the region you’re visiting. The more you’re willing to try new things, the more memorable your travel experience will be.
Get Lost: Embrace Spontaneity
While it’s essential to plan ahead, it’s also important to leave room for spontaneity. Don’t be afraid to explore off the beaten path, take a detour, or get lost in a new city. Some of the most memorable travel experiences happen when you let go of the plan and embrace the unexpected.
Interact with Locals: Make Personal Connections
One of the best ways is to create a memorable travel experience is to connect with locals. Strike up conversations with locals, take a local cooking class, or stay in a homestay. Making personal connections with locals will not only create lasting memories and is why travel is worthwhile, but it will also deepen your understanding of the local culture.
Document Your Experiences: Take Photos and Keep a Journal
Take photos and keep a journal to document your travel experiences. Photos and journal entries are a great way to relive your travel memories and share your experiences with others. Consider creating a scrapbook or photo album to display your travel memories.
Give Back: Volunteer or Make a Positive Impact
Making a positive impact while traveling is a great way to create meaningful travel experiences. Consider volunteering for a local organization or participating in an eco-tourism activity. Making a positive impact will not only create lasting memories but also is why travel is worthwhile because you contribute to the local community.
By following these tips, you can create travel experiences that will last a lifetime and is why travel is worthwhile. Whether you’re exploring a new destination or revisiting a favorite spot, remember to be open to new experiences, interact with locals, and make a positive impact.
The Lasting Legacy of Travel: Create Memories That Will Live On
Traveling can be an enriching experience that creates lifelong memories. These memories are not only valuable to us but also have the potential to become a legacy for future generations.
Let’s take a look at the importance of creating a legacy through travel and tips for preserving those memories.
Importance of Creating a Legacy:
Travel memories are more than just souvenirs or photographs; they are a legacy that can be passed down to future generations. Sharing our travel experiences with loved ones can create a sense of connection and inspiration and is why travel is worthwhile so you can pass adventure down. Our travel memories can inspire others to explore the world, embrace new cultures, and to live their lives to the fullest.
Tips for Preserving Travel Memories:
Preserving travel memories is crucial for creating a lasting legacy. Here are some tips for preserving your travel memories:
Keep a Travel Journal: A travel journal is a great way to document your experiences, thoughts, and feelings while traveling. It can be a place to record your daily activities, the people you met, the food you tried, and the places you visited. You can also add pictures, postcards, and other mementos to your journal.
Take Photos and Videos: Photos and videos are a great way to capture the beauty of a place and the memories you create. Take as many pictures and always back them up online or print them out to create a photo album.
Create a Travel Scrapbook: A travel scrapbook is another way to preserve your travel memories. You can add photos, postcards, maps, tickets, and other mementos to your scrapbook. It can be a fun project to do with your family or friends after your trip.
Share Your Stories: Sharing your travel stories with others is an excellent way to create a legacy. You can share your experiences through social media, blog posts, or even by writing a book.
The Power of Travel: Creating Memories to Last a Lifetime
The value of travel and creating memories cannot be overstated, which is why travel is worthwhile. Whether it’s broadening your perspective, overcoming challenges, connecting with others, or leaving a lasting legacy, travel has the ability to transform and enrich our lives in countless ways. As we reflect on past travel experiences and the memories created, let’s use them as inspiration to plan future adventures and continue to create new and meaningful memories. The world is waiting to be explored, and there’s no better time than now to start planning your next trip. So pack your bags, embrace the unknown, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime!