Posted by: Renee Gerber | July 26, 2010

Jogging or Running…which is best?

For those of you that know me personally, you know that I do not run or jog. Did you hear me? I don’t run or jog…UNTIL now! With the help of an iPhone app called Couch to 5K, I am preparing to run a 5K. Hard to believe. This handy dandy app is great. It guides you through 9 nines of workouts (3 times a week). In the end, I am supposed to be able to run a 5K. Keep your fingers, toes and anything else you have crossed.

So, I just completed Week One. It got me to thinking. Just a few weeks after I complete the training, I will be onboard the Norwegian Epic for my CruiseOne National Conference. If this works, I WILL want to run while onboard. I am so excited.

My question to you is…If you run or jog and have done so on a cruise ship…which is the best cruise line and ship for running or jogging? I would love to hear all of your opinions. Please share them with us.

Posted by: Renee Gerber | July 19, 2010

Man’s Best Friend and Traveling

There are some of us that travel with our dog. Either on vacation, to see family or when we move. When flying with a dog, it is very important to watch the temperature outside. I never realized this until a recent article came out about the safety of dogs while flying. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a dog but it is definitely something to be aware of. How many of you have flown with your dog? Have you thought about the heat conditions that your dog is having?

Check out this article for more valuable information.

Posted by: Renee Gerber | July 9, 2010

Art Galleries onboard ships…

For years now, people have been claiming that the art sold onboard cruise ships is not worth the money. Recently, Royal Caribbean International decided not to have Park West on their ships anymore. Now an artist is suing Park West saying that they printed and sold his work without his knowledge. Read the full article here.

So, have you ever bought something from Park West or another cruise ship art gallery? If so, do you think you got your money’s worth? We’d love to know.

Posted by: Renee Gerber | July 3, 2010

Looking to Fly Soon…

Are you looking to fly soon? Have you thought about baggage fees? Most airlines charge for checked bags…don’t even get me started on this one! I think the concept of charging for bags when the airplanes were built to carry the bags below the plane are ridiculous. Although, I do think that they should check the size of carry on luggage before it goes on with passengers! I am seen some pretty big “checked” bags!

Here is an article concerning ways to get around the baggage fees. Maybe you will be able to use an idea or two. Click here for entire article.

Posted by: Renee Gerber | June 7, 2010

Shrek Goes Cruising

That’s right. DreamWorks and Royal Caribbean have joined forces. They are bringing Shrek to the high seas. This new family program will bring Shrek, Donkey and a crew of penguins onboard. This will all start in December 2010 aboard the brand new Allure of the Seas. Shrek will then be introduced to the Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas.

This is going to be something great for kids of all ages. For more details, click here.

Posted by: Renee Gerber | May 13, 2010

Oasis of the Seas has effect on sister ships!

Royal Caribbean’s newest and biggest cruise ship in the world, Oasis of the Seas, seems to be rubbing off on it’s sister ships. The Oasis of the Seas has been such a huge success that Royal Caribbean has decided to take some of her features and put them into the Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas in early 2011. Want to know what features we are talking about? Read the entire article here.

Posted by: Renee Gerber | May 4, 2010

Holland America Veendam Ship Tour

Michael and I were invited to take a ship tour of the Holland America Veendam in New Your City on May 2, 2010. Since we didn’t want to leave really bright and early on 5/2 and drive up, we decided to drive up on 5/1, stay overnight and scout out some other good things to do. Here is the review.

We decided to drive up to Edison, NJ (top rated place to live) and stay the night before taking the ship tour. Michael did his research and we chose the Courtyard Edison Woodbridge as our hotel of choice. This is very conveniently located to the turnpike so getting on and off were a breeze. The hotel was in nice condition and very busy due to a family reunion. The staff were nice and attentive. Overall, a very good choice. And, at only $90 including all taxes, we couldn’t go wrong!

For dinner, we decided on the Skylark Diner. Yes, a diner. Although, this is not your typical diner. It is considered a “Finer Diner”. The decor is hip and has a travel theme. How perfect! This particular diner was even featured on the Food Network Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. If Guy likes it, you have to like it to. From the moment we stepped in we knew it would be good. The atmosphere was calm and not all hustle and bustle. The waiter (Mike) was incredible. I wasn’t sure what to order and he pointed me in the right direction all the way to dessert. The details in the diner were great even down to the clocks on the wall from all over the world. Yes, I did have to use my World Clock on my iPhone to see if the times were correct. I found some mistakes. Mike promised that the next time I come back, they would be right. I’m counting on you.

Sunday morning we got an early start. Since the Port of Bayonne was on the way, we decided to check it out. The port is very convenient, however, if you don’t pay attention to the signs, you could go the wrong way. Of course, the first two signs off the NJ Turnpike were the toughest to find. All went well from there and we found our way. I have to say this is not the most scenic of ports. They are building some new condos along the road leading to the port, this is a welcome addition. You will be driving through some abandoned warehouses (this part is straight out of a movie). Then all of a sudden, a ship appears. The Celebrity Summit was in town on this day.

Once we saw a glimpse of the Summit, it was off to the Port of NY to see the Holland America Veendam. The Veendam is an older ship built in 1996. She had a $40 million refurbishment in 2009. During the refurb, new decks were added on the rear of the ship. Lanai cabins are new…you basically have a balcony cabin where the sliding glass door opens up to a common walk way with chaise lounges. It is pretty cool. There is also the Retreat on the rear of the ship. This is a private area with a shallow pool and chaise lounges and the LCD tv above. The chaise lounges actually sit in about 3″ of water. You can get some sun and if you get hot, just put your feet down and you will cool off…but don’t drop your book! We even had an opportunity to eat in the Rotterdam Dining Room and experience the wonderful customer service that Holland America is known for. The food was incredible.

For photos and video of the Veendam, keep an eye out for our exclusive Cruise and Country video webcast of the ship tour coming soon.

Posted by: Renee Gerber | April 27, 2010

New Cruise Survey

A new survey was just completed by Travel Leaders. The purpose was to determine what percentage of people who have been on a cruise would take another one. Well, if you’ve been on a cruise before, I think we know what the answer would be. Of course, you would take another cruise! Cruising is the best vacation for the value…unlimited food, top notch entertainment, the pool, fitness center and so much more. Oh, and let’s not forget the opportunity to see multiple places on your voyage.

To see the full results of the survey, click here.

I want to hear from you.
If you have been on a cruise before, will you go on one again?
If you have not been on a cruise before, are you interested in trying one?

Happy Sails,

Posted by: Renee Gerber | April 21, 2010

Ever Wanted to See How Chefs Work on a Cruise?

Have you ever wondered what is was like behind the scenes of the galley on a cruise ship? Most ships prepare over 10,000 meals a day during a cruise. How insane is this? In order to make things happen, they must be organized and work like a well oiled machine. I have been fortunate enough to take a tour of the galley onboard the Celebrity Century. Wow, is all I could say. The galley was stainless steel from head to toe (ceilings, walls and floors). This is just in case of a fire, nothing would burn. The cleanliness of the galley was purely amazing. You could eat off of the floors 🙂

Carnival Cruise Lines has just announced a new program for the Carnival Liberty, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Pride and Carnival Fascination. It is called the Chef’s Table dining option. There is a per person cost of $75 per person. The experience will include a tour of the galley and an opportunity to enjoy dining with an onboard chef. This is a great experience for anyone interested in food or how the cruise ships manage to deliver such great meals on a daily basis.

Posted by: Renee Gerber | April 4, 2010

Bringing Alcohol Onboard Cruises

It is one of the most common questions in the cruise industry…”Can I bring my own alcohol onboard the ship?” The answer is no. While some people will try to sneak it onboard in very creative ways (you know who you are), the cruise line policies do not allow you to bring alcohol onboard.

If you are a wine drinker, you can in fact bring one or two bottles (check each cruise line rules) of wine per stateroom. If you take this wine to the dining room to enjoy and ask it to be uncorked, you may be subject to a “corkage fee”. If you open it in your cabin, there is no “corkage fee”.

How many of you bring wine onboard? Is it to save money on your alcohol bill or do you prefer a certain brand of wine? Please let us know.

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