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We like to travel for our anniversary, by the time spring rolls around we are ready to head someplace warm! For this anniversary we chose a Carnival cruise. This was our second Carnival cruise and it fit the bill for a long weekend getaway.
We set sail from Tampa which is a very easy port. We used a taxi from the hotel and were dropped off right in front of the entrance. You take your carry on with you on the ship and we had drinks on the deck while we waited for our room to be available.
We like an ocean view room and booked the cheapest we can in that category. You are never in the room much anyway so why spend more money on a larger room?
A fun fact was we had taken this same ship years earlier on our honeymoon for a week long Caribbean cruise. They had refurbished it and moved it to a new port.
This mini water park was definitely new to the ship!
The mini golf was hard to play with the wind and the ship moving. Husband thinks he won!
The pool area where pretty much we spent most of our time by day and night.
And at the pool area I enjoyed this functional but fun pina colada drink holder…
I love sunsets at sea!
And after visiting Grand Cayman when the ship turned to leave port this poor person got quite a surprise hours after the rain had ended.
We would cruise Carnival again. I know if the past they have had their issues but we have never had a problem. During the swine flu outbreak they had Purell hand sanitizer every where. And crew members handled the buffet by serving you. There was little opportunity to touch anything in a public area. They even manned most of the busy doors in public areas. I was impressed and used every Purell dispenser I saw.
I am a book it myself type of girl. I rarely use a travel agent unless I am traveling with others and then its just easier if someone else collects the payments, yada, yada…
But when it comes to a Disney cruise a travel agent is the easiest way to not only save money and make requests but they also offer on board credit. We usually use the on board credit to pay our tips and buy photos.
In the past I have used Beth at Dreams Unlimited. I get nothing from them, she has just done a good job for me in the past. So please if you are looking at a Disney cruise use a travel agent that can get you some on board credit!!!! Even if you already booked with Disney often they can take over the reservation and get you some credit.
The current offer is if the cruise is $1,000 – $1,999 you get $50. $2,000 – $2,999 get $100, $3,000 – 3,999 get $150 and up from there. And this can be combined with other offers like the Disney Visa $50 on board credit offer. Just use your Disney Visa to book your cruise.
If there is a sale offering they can book those same prices for you and you get the on board credit also.
So please if booking a Disney cruise find a travel agent that will give you on board credit for the cruise and book through them. And use them to make server requests or to ask them any questions you might have.
You can find out more information here: http://www.dreamsunlimitedtravel.com/cruise/specials.htm#sbc
On our second Disney Dream cruise we had a day at sea. We figured Daughter was gone to her club and we had the day to ourselves.
I like to poke around and take pics of the ship when its not quite so busy. So I hit the Enchanted Garden to take a peak.
We took the Disney Dream back to Nassau in the Bahamas for a family cruise.
I love Castaway Cay. The beach is beautiful, the water so blue and its very family friendly!
We love Disney’s Castaway Cay! The water is so beautiful and there is plenty of beach for everyone! Even with many people on land you can still find quiet spots and explore on your own.
She looks pretty sitting at the dock…
And if you get off the ship soon as it docks you have lovely photos without other people in them!
The flower and foliage are so pretty…
And you never know who you are going to run into???
And the views from the beach are even better!
Or this view from my favorite refreshment location!
Its hard to leave such a stunning location…
In the cold long days prior to our Disney cruise I liked to watch the Port Canaveral Webcam to lighten my mood.
Even if the Disney Dream is not in port there is plenty to see. I have seen a submarine, fishing boats, yachts and other cruise ships pass by.
I always wondered how do people miss their cruise ship leaving port? There are some videos on YouTube of people missing their ships. Like this one : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-yrsXsJmbw IF you go off on your own the ship will not wait for your. IF you are on a cruise sponsored excursion they are not going to leave 25+ of their cruisers behind if they are stuck in traffic. So pay attention to the time if you visit on your own.
The ship leaves and about 10-15 minutes later this couple comes hurrying down the dock to where their ship was…
As you can see their ship got pretty far before they arrived at the dock.
We were hanging out on our verandah watching a sea turtle when we saw the upset couple on the dock.
We were told that hopefully they had their passports with them so they could fly at their own expense to the next location and meet up with the ship. Do NOT miss your cruise ship!!!!!!
After our Disney cruise we took a drive over to Tampa. Staying at the Country Inn and Suites Tampa/Brandon put us near Tampa but not in the downtown area. This hotel was 9 miles from the aquarium. Husband and I had visited the aquarium previously after a carnival cruise that docks right near the aquarium. We had wanted to take daughter there knowing she would enjoy it!
We parked in the lot to the left of the aquarium where parking is $6 for the day. There is a parking garage across the street that is used by mostly cruise guests and its more than $6 a day.