header-imageOver the past year, Heather and I have caught the cruising bug. It started out simply as a cheap way to get away for a few days without the distraction of email and mobile phones, but it has now become something that we actually enjoy.

As we have progressed from "let's just cruise" to "let's have a great time" there are a few things that we have wanted to try out but had been focused only on budget. When we booked on the Dream, we got the opportunity to upgrade our rooms to the Cloud 9 Spa deck ...

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header-imageHaving cruised a few times in the Caribbean we wanted to do something new. A tour of New England and Maritime Canada, seemed like a great idea to explore a different area and show my wife some of the places I visited when I was younger. We had fun, the Carnival Glory is a great ship, but we learned a couple important things that will help guide us on future cruises 1) Sometimes the first trip on an itinerary is a bit rough 2) the "total cost" of a Caribbean cruise can be MUCH CHEAPER than other destinations 3) Sometimes you just need to be able to make your own fun when mother nature doesn't cooperate.

Next year (2013), Carnival is set to bring the Glory back to Boston, but with Funship 2.0 Upgrades, and hopefully our cruise helped both Carnival and the various ports iron out any kinks that we experienced.

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le-cirque-headerRecently Heather and I had the pleasure of attending a special "Pop Up Series" of An Evening with Le Cirque events across the country. Ours was located at the Mid-America Club in Chicago, a SPECTACULAR venue set 80 floors above Chicago with gorgeous views that matched the fabulous flavors and plating that Le Cirque is known for. 

 

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carnival-ecstasy-bowWhat's better - new mega boats or the smaller, older ships like the Carnival Ecstasy? While I can't answer the first part, I can say that the Ecstasy is an extremely fine ship and was as clean and polished as the much newer Carnival Victory that we sailed on a few months ago. This trip was Heather and I's "test" to see if we "really liked cruising" and I have to say that the Ecstasy and her staff passed with flying colors - Heather and I even executed our "future cruise" deposit, so now we are committed to sailing again!

This cruise wasn't fancy, wasn't long, and wasn't expensive. It was however a perfect post holiday romantic retreat.

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On my recent cruise on the Carnival Victory, one of my favorite stops was visiting the island of Barbados and the opportunity to check out the fantastic Turtle Beach Resort. 

One of the tricky things about finding a good resort is finding a good balance between great staff, activities, and amenities. I have to say that I was super impressed by the island of Barbados, and I would recommend Turtle Beach Resort for a great mancation - or for our UK readers, a Lads Holiday! (Barbados is apparently very popular with UK vacationers and has regularly scheduled direct flights from London).

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