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Cruising
  • Norwegian Cruise Line invited me on a seven day cruise of the Hawaiian Islands and it changed my view of this state in a profound way that I didn't expect. While we had visited Hawaii a month earlier and had a great experience - I had no real understanding for the diversity of terrain, culture, and opportunities for adventure that would await us on this cruise. With more than 100 hours in port and no scheduled sea days, this was a profoundly different cruise experience - but one that anyone looking to truly experience Hawaii must try.

  • Earlier this summer, I embarked on a journey that would complete my goal of visiting all 50 states. Alaska is a bucket list destination for many and Norwegian Cruise Line was kind enough to host me on this journey. Aside from a quick two-day preview on Norwegian Bliss (their newest ship at the time), I'd never sailed on Norwegian. Compared to other lines who have dominated Alaska for the past several decades, NCL isn't the first name that comes to mind when it comes to Alaska. However, that's all changing now that they have made Alaska a key destination by positioning two of their newest ships there - NCL Bliss and NCL Joy. When planning an Alaskan cruise it's important to examine what sort of experience you are looking for. Based on our experience cruising through Alaska's Inside Passage, you can't go wrong sailing Freestyle on Norwegian!

  • Alaska is on the bucket list for many people and I was privileged to join Norwegian Cruise Lines earlier this summer on a cruise to Alaska aboard NCL Jewel. This year, Norwegian upped the game by bringing their newest ship, Norwegian Bliss to the market and next year they are bringing it's sister ship Joy here as well. That means that this market once reserved for smaller, older ships will now have two of the biggest, and most feature packed ships cruising it together. While we'd return for a cruise aboard pretty much any ship - having go karts, laser tag, craft beer bars, and tons of other features on the ship can only make things that much better!

  • We had the privilege of joining the Norwegian Bliss as guests of the cruise line during its inaugural West Coast cruise out of Los Angeles. While our cruise experience was just under two days, it was abundantly clear that Bliss is the finest ship sailing under the flag of any of the major cruise lines today. Not only did it hit the mark for virtually everything I could possibly review - but it offered new experiences that will help open cruising to new audiences in search of manly adventure.

  • Some people look at spending a week on a cruise ship as a vacation where they will only spend time in their rooms to change clothes and sleep - for the rest of us it's a time to relax. That includes being able to catch up on some of our favorite movies, TV shows, and other videos. Unfortunately, nearly all cruise lines have TERRIBLE programming available on their TVs (I'll give a pass to Princess though since I could never get tired of old re-runs of The Love Boat!). It's not that these TVs can't support HDMI inputs either. The cruise lines have actually gone and disabled them so you are forced to watch their programming instead.

  • Cruise ships are an environment unlike any other when it comes to the spread of disease. You have sometimes as many as 8,000 people from all over the world crammed into a boat together for a week or more. That means that each elevator button, hand rail, tongs in the buffet, counter tops are touched thousands of times each day and unfortunately, not everyone is 100% healthy. While you can protect yourself from others, sometimes it is YOU who is the sick one. Here's what to do if you catch a cold while on a cruise ship.

  • For most people, taking a Caribbean cruise is an opportunity to simply lay back and relax. There’s free food, entertainment, and interesting conversations from people from nearly every part of the world. There’s something else though that everyone does on vacation … but few people think about. Taking great photos. After all, nearly every ship has amazing sights on board plus takes you to beautiful locations nearly every day.

  • When you think of going on a cruise, you probably think about departing from South Florida or Port Canaveral, but today there are many more options than that. The cool thing about taking a mancation cruise is that you really get three destinations in one experience - the ship, the departure port, and a buffet of other experiences along the way at different stops. While we LOVE the major cruise ports like Miami, Ft Lauderdale, and Port Canaveral, here are some of our top picks that you might not already think about.

  • Alaska cruises offer a vast opportunity for guys to explore the last frontier but honestly, the ships that cruise there aren't the newest, fanciest, or most exciting. That's OK though because the adventure is out your window - not just on the ship like you might expect in the Caribbean. Well, that's about to change with the launch of Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship - Norwegian Bliss, launching in 2018!

  • Alaska is a land of incredible potential and a legacy of brave men seeing fortune and adventure here. Luckily, today we don't need to pack up a years worth of food and walk for thousands of miles through the wilderness to experience this. All we need to do is hop on a cruise ship and relax as we are pampered on board and seek adventure on shore. An Alaska cruisetour though is something that still needs research to make sure you select the right ship, ports, and activities that match what you and your friends are looking to do. Don't worry though, we've got some advice to help make it easy for you!

  • I tend to be a major advocate for a cruise lifestyle. Simply put, I LOVE the experience of being on a boat, but I know a lot of guys who aren't convinced that a cruise is for them and not every line or itinerary is. However, last fall I had the chance to explore the Rhine thanks to Viking Cruises and I still can't believe how many opportunities there are for guys to have an amazing time on this route!

  • Take away some of the "home" features like a refrigerator that knows when you need more milk and instead, let's focus on the core system that we've all dreamed about. Despite our homes being stuff with IoT devices today, what still separates our "smart homes" from what we see in the movies is the system that runs it all and unifies the hardware, the software, and the brains. No matter if you're using Zigby of Z-wave, no consumer-level smart home today can genuinely call itself smart. For that experience, we're going to have to take a cruise. When Princess rolls out it's OCEAN system later this year, powering the Ocean Medallion, we're finally going to see the potential for smart home technology... it's just going to be on a cruise ship with waiters and crew instead of robots. In fact, this smart ship is so smart it knows that it doesn't even has to use that label :)

  • I've enjoyed my share of ocean cruises on a few different lines to different hot and cold destinations so I consider myself a pretty experienced cruiser. However, despite this I found river cruising a completely unique and wonderful experience that I wish more people would consider. After being hosted on an amazing experience by Viking River Cruises, I wanted to share my thoughts so you can better understand the experience.

  • For the past few years I've watched Holland America ships sit in port here in San Diego but I've never actually pulled the trigger and cruised with them till last month when they invited us to sail with them. While the experience is dramatically different from warm-weather cruising in the Caribbean and Mexico, I found a lot of stuff to like about cruising on the Holland America Line Maasdam. 

  • This is a departure from my normal posts here, but I think it's important to share my thoughts about why I'm looking forward to sailing with Fathom in June. For those of you who don't know yet, Fathom is a new type of cruise experience that combines visiting exotic destinations with giving back and learning about new cultures. To disclose completely, I was interested in this opportunity long before I was invited. While they are paying for Heather and I - we are investing our own money to fly to Miami where we will meet the ship. I'm not really sure what sparked the discussion today but in a couple different places I saw very negative posts about Fathom.

  • For many people, the Caribbean is an exotic land that is as a place for only the rich and famous. But it doesn't have to be that way and today there are many affordable ways to explore this beautiful part of the world, it's exotic islands and amazing food and friendly people. For me personally, cruising is one of my favorite ways to do this since I get a "sampler" of different islands so I know where I want to come back to in the future. Ironically, I started this way but now I really enjoy the experience of cruising itself since I never get bored and get to see somewhere new each and every day!

  • Last fall I had the chance to take an 8-day Southern Caribbean Cruise with Carnival as part of one of our #MenWhoBlog cruises. This was the first time I've had a chance to really enjoy a cruise with a bunch of my guy friends as well as my wife so it was a bit of a different experience. Similarly, this was the longest cruise I've taken to date - and while it has been completely overhauled a couple years ago I was a bit nervous that it would feel dated. Luckily all those fears were unfounded and we had an amazing time that confirmed my premise that a group of guys can have an amazing time sailing together for a Carnival Cruise Mancation!

  • Way south in the Caribbean Sea are a couple islands that don't get as much love as their northern sisters but for those willing to take the trek south, there's a world of awesome and unique things waiting for you. Last fall, we visited Bonaire during a port day on the Carnival Sunshine. Here's some of the cool things that await you on your next visit.

  • Earlier this month I spent eight days in the middle of the Caribbean Sea with some of my friends exploring Carnival Sunshine. This ship is literally packed with activities and entertainment in every nook and cranny, but one area that seemed to be consistently drawing us back for more is SportsSquare. During the course of the week, we gathered here to play (mini) golf, shoot pool, play chess, corn hole, basketball, dodgeball, and shuffleboard with one of the best views you can ever ask for of the ocean as it passed by 14 decks below us.

  • In less than a week I'll be getting on Carnival Sunshine along with a group of other male bloggers. Before any cruise though, I always love to do research to prepare but this one's a bit different since not only is it the "newest" ship in the Carnival fleet but it's an experiment of sorts with some new venues that aren't available on any other ship. Plus, while Heather is joining me on this trip as part of a romantic getaway, it's also a mancation at sea with some of my best friends.

    So, stay tuned to our adventure using #MWBcarnival on Twitter and Instagram. We're setting sail on November 13 and headed to Aruba, Bonaire, and Grand Turk before heading back to Port Canaveral on Florida's "Space Coast".

Meet James and Heather!

 

 

 

 

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