Friday, September 26, 2014

When is your favorite time to take a cruise?

When booking a vacation, especially a vacation on the water, timing is everything! There are many advantages and disadvantages to taking a cruise during all times of year.

Seeing as so many people fly in and out of the cruise port they are sailing from, winter could make or break your vacation. Many people suggest traveling a day or two prior to your cruise all the time, but especially during winter storms. Traveling to your destination early to avoid snow delays is a stress reducer and gets you into the vacation mode early! However, winter is an ever popular time to cruise due to everyone avoiding their freezing cold temperatures at home, many times returning to lots of snow.

Summer is also a popular time to cruise for families since the kiddos are out of school. The warm summer temps are also enticing to those beach lovers! Although starting in June/ July and running until October/ November lurks hurricane season which can easily ruin anyone's cruise experience.

Seems like spring and early summer are the best times to take a cruise! If you can luck out before the prices for summer skyrocket this is a great time to go on vacation. The water is plenty warm, the weather is beautiful as always and there are hardly any weather issues to worry about! Our experience is that if it rains in the Caribbean, it is for 5 minutes and then it is back to the sun shining again!

So far, we have cruised in early February, late March, late October, Thanksgiving. Our favorite time frame to cruise thus far has been Spring time. Our first cruise went through March into April and we had AMAZING weather. The days were warm, the evenings on board were slightly chilly and the water was perfect. The February cruise was nice but we had a huge storm coming our way and were flying out morning off, very nerve racking! We came home to snow which was a Debbie Downer as well. Our Thanksgiving cruise was nice, weather was a still nice enough for people to be swimming in South Beach post cruise. Traveling over the holiday was also night, the airports weren't busy yet and the cruise didn't seem to be full. Nice to have a relaxing Thanksgiving on the beach, we would do that again in a heartbeat.

Now to October..... This was most definitely the worst idea ever. The cruise was so convenient, leaving from a port close to home. Norfolk only sails May and October so we took advantage of not having to fly and taking a new cruiser with us, poor guy didn't stand a chance! Now not every cruise during hurricane season is a disaster, my grandparents used to sail in September every year. Thousands of cruisers depart and make it back without a hurricane story to tell. We however, cruised during Super Storm Sandy and what a disaster she was. When I tell you we were surrounded and followed by Sandy the entire cruise I am not exaggerating. Our 3 days in the Bahamas, ended up with 7 hours and as we headed back up the Atlantic, Sandy tagged along. We had a rough ride which our cruise mates did not enjoy. I can only imagine what that would have been like for all the first time cruisers.

There are a lot of options for anyone who is open to cruise during severe weather seasons. As mentions previously there is the choice to fly in and out a couple of days before and after your cruise in case of any delays. Travel Insurance is a popular choice. Although I have never purchased insurance, it is widely available from both cruise lines as well as private companies. If you are at all concerned, I recommended looking into the details to avoid a vacation disaster.

You have heard from me, now I want to hear from you! When is your favorite time to cruise?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Orlando Hotels?

I am reaching out today to get feed back from fellow travelers on hotels in the Orlando area for my Disney Princes Half Marathon in February. As we approach the 5 month mark, I would like to start my search for accommodations. I am not particular right now as to how nice the hotel is etc, just want honest recommendations!

We still have not decided how long we will be staying. I am going to do packet pick up on Saturday, Feb 21 and the race is bright and early Sunday, February 22. I am narrowing down some choices for a cruise to take immediately after (either leaving Sunday or Monday).  We will most likely be sailing out of Port Canaveral unless we find an awesome deal from Tampa, JAX, etc.

Please leave a comment below or let me know on Twitter!