Archive for the ‘Cruising’ Category

Happy Valentine’s Day, Readers 

The Kindle versions of my romance novel, TROUBLE IN PARADISE, is FREE today on Amazon.com.  If you already have plans for Valentine’s Day, ENJOY.  If you don’t, why not curl up with a romantic comedy today?  Happy reading 🙂

Chocolate and a good book.  What a perfect way to spend Valentine's Day.

Chocolate and a good book. What a perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day.

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Christmas in July?  Yes!  I just published CHRISTMAS IN PARADISE, which is a 22,000-word Novella combining three of my greatest passions…Christmas, Cruising…and Romance, of course. 

Several readers of my first cruise romance, TROUBLE IN PARADISE, have written to ask what happened to Alicia and Kenneth after the book ended.  So, CHRISTMAS IN PARADISE started out as their story…until Alicia talked her friends Beth and Jonathan into cruising with them.  After all, it was Christmas!

Set sail on a holiday adventure where two couples search for holiday magic on the high seas.  Bon Voyage and Merry Christmas…in July.

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Oprah’s Favorite Things

Since Oprah and I both have our list of Favorite Things, I thought I’d post MY favorite from Oprah’s list … a cruise on RCCL’s Allure of the Seas.  This would be my number one choice … Someday!!!

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I read an interesting comment on FB by a passenger that was on the Carnival cruise that had a fire and lost power.  He (or she) saw iPads going “dead” and being rendered useless.  His Kindle stayed charged for the whole ordeal, and he was able to sit on deck and read.  What a great way to make lemonade out of lemons, in my opinion. 

I was on RCCL’s Majesty of the Seas last weekend.  It’s the smallest ship in the fleet.  I’m used to cruising on the biggest, newest ships, but had a wonderful time.  Instead of running around all weekend, I spent a good amount of time sitting in a deck chair and enjoying reading on my Kindle while gazing out to the turquoise Caribbean waters.  I felt sooooo lucky to have my Kindle with me.  It was PERFECT. 

Where is YOUR favorite place to read a book or an eReader?

Majesty of the Seas

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How to Choose a Cruise

Choosing a cruise may sound like an easy thing to do, but there are certain factors to consider.

1.  Where do you want to go?  Uh, isn’t THAT the easiest question of all?  Not really.  If you’ve already decided you want to go on a cruise, you may or may not know WHERE you want to go.  Sometimes the desire to cruise is just a vague longing, and sometimes you to think it through.  These days, there are soooooo many opportunities to visit familiar or exotic ports.  I live in South Florida, so the Caribbean has been an “obvious” choice for me.  Sure, I would love to cruise to many, many place, but for now this works for me.  I can drive to the port(s) and jump on a ship.  BUT … if I lived in a different part of the country, I would weigh all my choices … Caribbean?  Alaska?  Mexican Riviera?  Mediterranean?  Australia?  Bahamas?  Canada/New England?  Hawaii?  Panama Canal?  Possibly a transatlantic cruise to or from Europe?  SEEEEE.  It’s not so easy anymore … although … sometimes (always in my life) the cost factor comes into play … and we move on to #2.

2.  What will you budget allow without groaning and weeping?  That’s a really good question, in my opinion.  The “cost factor” will often determine WHERE you’re going to cruise, what ship you’re going to sail on, and how long your cruise is going to be.  Of course, time has to get factored into all the equations as far as how long you can be away from home, family, jobs.  Once you have a vague/definite idea of how much you can/will spend on the cruise itself, you can start checking out different cruise lines for  pricing/bargains.  Here you should compare cruise line versus length of sailing.  Maybe you’d rather go on a more upscale ship for a shorter period of time.  OR … maybe you’d rather go on a less expensive cruise line for more time.  Hmmm.  These are all things to consider.

3.   Once you’ve realized every question that comes to your mind will probably raise another question, here’s a GREAT place to start thinking about cruises, cruising, and different options:


This link will give you some “best of the best” suggestions and links.  If nothing else, you’ll get some direction and start thinking about what you didn’t even realize you don’t know.

Have fun doing some research, and BonVoyage!

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National Geographic TV Special – June 17th at 6:00 p.m.


Whether you’ve been on Oasis of the Seas, plan to cruise on her someday, or never ever want to go on it but enjoy cruising, I would recommend watching this National Geographic special.  For years now I’ve been watching these cruising specials related to whatever ships just because they’re sooooo enjoyable IF you love cruising, as I do.  I’ve seen specials in the past regarding Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Carnival ships … but Oasis’s making of blew me away.

Sometimes it’s even fun to live vicariously …

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As a finale, here’s Oasis in all her glory.

Oasis of the Seas in Labadee

Oasis of the Seas

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I can’t rave enough about the Aqua Theater.  I felt like I was back on Long Island at Jones Beach Theater <g>.  The seats were comfy, my Long Island Iced Tea was icy and delicious, and I was transported to another time, but one that had been modernized and become high tech.  The high divers (who I learned were certified cliff divers) took my breath away.  The music and show were spectacular.  The weather was gorgeous and balmy.  What a night!

What a view out to the ocean!

Daytime view

Ready for the nighttime extravaganza


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Here’s another escape from activity.  On sea days it can be a bit full of people, but port days and evenings are WONDERFUL here.  It’s truly a magical area of the ship.  It’s nice and big and has comfy chaises, hot tubs, a gorgeous view of the ocean all around, and a Vitality Spa for healthy meals.  I didn’t eat all my meals in the Vitality Spa area because I couldn’t commit to a totally healthy regimen for the week, but I sampled some wonderful beets roasted in honey and marjoram that stuck out as being delicious and different.  I don’t know why I don’t have more photos here.  I think I was too busy enjoying the Solarium to photograph it <g>.

One of the hot tubs we enjoyed

Hot tub with fountain in the middle

Part of the Solarium

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This is the “heart” of the Oasis.  It’s chock full of boutiques for souvenirs, perfume, cosmetics, liquor; the Globe and Atlas pub; Sorrento’s pizza parlor; Cafe Promenade for sandwiches, coffee, snacks, desserts; a camera store;The Cupcake Cupboard (a FAVORITE of ours); Guest Services; the On Air club, a wonderful spot for karaoke (where my son WON the competition the last night of the cruise); and a wonderful Promenade for walking, sightseeing, people watching, and parades.  And there’s the fascinating Rising Tide bar that actually moves up and down three decks.  Very cool!

The Cupcake Cupboard (Yummy)

The Cupcake Cupboard (Interior)

Globe and Atlas (cozy pub)

Sorrento's (Pizza)

On Air (Karaoke hot spot)

Rising Tide bar (literally)

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