Aboard Carnival Miracle-Day Two

image courtesy of Gerry Barker

  It’s Day Two, or actually, Day Three (if you count the sailaway), and we are currently navigating the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Central America en route to our first port of call, the walled city of Cartegena, Columbia. This is another day at sea, do Pam and I have had time to explore the ship and get to know our home away from home for the next two weeks. One thing we noted right …

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Aboard Carnival Miracle-Day One

Image courtesy of Gerry Barker

  It’s Day One of our 13-day cruise. We are bound for the Panama Canal, then on to our final destination, Long Beach, California, where Miracle will reposition for cruises to the Mexican Riviera, among others. This was our first time to embark from Tampa, which means we have now cruised from all four major ports in Florida. It was a homecoming of sorts as well, since it was a job opportunity that brought us to Tampa, …

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Carnival Studios Event

image from Gerry Barker

  Two years ago, Carnival debuted Carnival Studios, a massive, 44,500-square-foot facility in Davie, Florida, where the cruise line has centralized planning, production, training and development for all the shows aboard their fleet. Its 21 studios accommodate everything from 3-piece string musicians to full-blown Broadway productions. This week, media was invited on an extended tour to see first-hand how it all comes together, including a preview of the new Playlist production that will debut on Carnival Panorama …

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Gerry Barker’s Interview with Jackie Chase, North American Director of Public Relations for Cunard

photo from Gerry Barker

  I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jackie Chase, Cunard’s North American Director of Public Relations, since I started writing about cruising. She is the consummate professional at what she does. Meet Jackie, and learn more her, her job and Cunard’s storied history in this Q&A. Q. How long have you been with Cunard and what attracted you to the opportunity? A. I began my career in Public Relations in 1999, when I joined a boutique …

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Cruising into the Future: The Digital Wizards at OZ

image from Gerry Barker

  As anyone knows who has taken a cruise recently, technology is front and center when it comes to the guest experience. On MSC Seaside, we reserved shows and restaurants on large digital touch screens, and were amazed by how easy disembarkation was at Customs thanks to biometric facial recognition. On Carnival, the Carnival HUB app is like having a concierge in your hand. Princess goes a step farther with their OceanMedallion, a wearable that opens your …

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Announced a New, Plant-Based Menu

Photo from Gerry Barker

  Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced a new, plant-based menu that would be offered across its fleet of ships beginning in October. Last night, Pam and I were among a small group invited to get a sneak preview of both the new menu and the culinary experience guests can expect on their newest ship, Seven Seas Splendor, debuting next February. As you might expect from the luxury cruise line leader known for “an unrivaled experience,” the event …

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CARNIVAL SUNRISE- WRAP-UP

Photo from Gerry Barker

  Since we do most of our cruising from South Florida, it was a real treat to depart from New York. There’s nothing quite like sailing past its iconic skyline and feeling the pride of seeing the Statue of Liberty standing tall in the harbor. The photos and selfies were coming fast and furious, even when a driving rain hit as we left the dock. From stem to stern, the $200 million Carnival spent transforming Triumph into …

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ABOARD CARNIVAL SUNRISE- DAY FOUR

Photo courtesy of Gerry Barker

  Sunday morning — our last day at sea. How do these cruise days go by so fast? In less than 24 hours, we’re back at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, right where we started. First, the weather report you’ve been waiting for: The winds have picked up, but nothing so far like the trip out. Lots of sunshine streaming through our balcony window. We start with “Brunch at Sea” in the Sunshine room. While Pam goes traditional …

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ABOARD CARNIVAL SUNRISE-After a Windy Trip From New York, We Have Found Smooth Waters as We Dock in Bermuda.

  Last night we had dinner at Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, one of the specialty restaurants that has an $38 per person upcharge. Steak lovers will find their nirvana on this menu for sure, which includes a wagyu. But since we don’t indulge red meat, we found our happy place with the Dover Sole. If you need a recommendation for a cocktail with dinner, try the Polaris. It’s like a French 75 with a splash of elderflower. For …

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ABOARD CARNIVAL SUNRISE-It’s Day Two, and We are Rocking and Rolling. Literally.

  High winds are whipping up the waves around us. During the night, toiletries toppled in the bath and water spilled from glasses. No surprise they had to close the pool and access to the upper decks for safety reasons. But guests are pretty much taking it all in stride. All the pool loungers are occupied and the bars are doing a brisk business. It will take more than a little wind to slow down the Fun …

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