Why You and Your Spouse May Need a Cruise

Blog 31Our Contributing Editors

Tom & Mary Milano

 

Ladies, you may want to send a link to this blog to your hubby.

There is a good chance the Cruise Fairy will surprise you!

One day Mary and I were watching Oprah, and we heard a renowned expert in the field of marital relations make a statement that got our attention. He said, “The number one cause of couples losing the sense of intimacy and love that they enjoyed in the first years of their marriage, is the mother allotting all her time to her children and their activities and not making time for her husband.”  

He said, “The demands on mothers in today’s society are at an all time high. Many wives are working moms. Not only do they work, they also have to do the house work, the cooking, the shopping, get the kids off to school, take them to extra school activities, attend PTA meetings, help the children with homework, and many more things too numerous to mention. BUT, and it’s a very BIG BUT, it is absolutely essential that she and her husband find a way to have private time together, away from the children. Otherwise, over a period of time their marriage will slowly but surely disintegrate.” He said, “I know it isn’t easy for a wife to turn the switch on and off. One moment being an all-encompassing mother and then the next moment, the sultry, passionate lover, her husband wants her to be. BUT, again the big BUT, it is an absolute necessity that you have some private time, so you and your spouse can rekindle the fire of your love.” 

Mary and I have a suggestion we think you should give some serious thought. What better way to rediscover each other, than you and your spouse spending seven romantic days on a cruise ship, alone, without the children. Just imagine, no kids, no cooking, no shopping, no chauffering, no dog to walk, no litterbox to clean, no phone, no beeper, no commitments, just you and your loved one alone. Being on a cruise, on one of these magnificent floating resorts is without a doubt, a wonderful and ideal way for a husband and wife to rekindle the fire of their love. Seven full days of being with your loved one… in the most romantic intimate setting imaginable; a chance to be alone with your spouse with no responsibilities except to enjoy one another. You probably can’t remember the last time that happened. Well it can happen, but you have to make it happen. One way you can jumpstart your search for private time is to take a cruise. It’s a wonderful way to rediscover the reasons you married each other. 

Let us know if the Cruise Fairy comes to your house

Our Warmest Regards

Tomandmarymilano@yahoo.com

 

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When a Hurricane is in the Path of Your Cruise Ship

Blog 31Our Contributing Editors

Tom & Mary Milano

 Mary and I live in New Smyrna Beach Florida, an area that has just been visited by Hurricane Charley. Although the hurricane came across the entire state of Florida, it lost little of it’s force and had a devastating effect on our area. Trees and downed power lines everywhere. A nearby town, eight miles south of us, had twenty homes that were totally destroyed. We lost three magnificent pin oaks and half the shingles on our roof, but thank God we weren’t injured and we still have our home.

We are writing this article because we know many of our readers have booked a cruise or are considering booking a cruise during this hurricane season, and are apprehensive and concerned that they might be at sea during a full-blown hurricane. Mary and I felt the same concerns when we were booked on the Norwegian Sun, September 2002, and learned that Hurricane Lili was barreling through the Caribbean in the direct path of our itinerary. We had always wondered what a Captain does when his ship is in the path of a hurricane and now we were about to find out.

Needless to say, everyone was on edge, not knowing what to expect. The evening of the first night, Captain Vorren made an announcement that we were not to worry, because he would keep us informed of the position of Lili and what he would be doing to stay clear of it. Every morning and at various times during the day, Captain Vorren made announcements from the bridge. He gave a very concise and thorough report telling us the strength of the storm, where it was, and what he was doing to avoid it. The captain did an excellent job of putting everyone at ease and alleviating their fears. Being Lili was in our direct path, the Captain made a decision to circumvent the area of the storm, by going on the other side of Cuba, then steering a course for the Eastern Caribbean, a complete reversal of our itinerary. We never experienced any heavy seas during our entire cruise. In fact, the waves never reached a height of more than two or three feet. After making our ports on the eastern itinerary, Captain Vorren again reversed course, so we made our Western itinerary ports. Not only did we avoid Hurricane Lili, we made every one of our ports as we dodged and at times out ran Hurricane Lili.

 Dont Be Afraid of Cruising During Hurricane Season. For the last seven years Mary and I have booked one or two cruises during the hurricane season, and we have booked another for this year. We are sailing on the new Caribbean Princess on September 4th. If you book a cruise during June through October, and there is a threat of a hurricane, be assured your safety is the number one concern of the captains of these magnificent floating resorts. They are prepared to divert from their intended course and choose a route that will assure you a safe journey. That plus the fact they have the awesome responsibility of taking care of the cruise lines half billion dollar vessel under their command. We hope these facts have alleviated most of your concerns about cruising during the hurricane season.

For our readers who are concerned about getting seasick, here’s a Remedy For Seasickness: Something a great many people fear is getting SEASICK. Well the best advice we can give you is to ask their family doctor for a prescription for [Transderm-SC 1.5mg Dis Nova]. This is medicine which prevents nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. It is a small patch that you place behind your ear. The patch is good for three days, then you replace it with another. It will stay on even when you shower. Place the patch behind one ear, the morning of the sailing. This gives the medication a chance to start working. Also when you have to change the patch, do it first thing in the morning. Believe me, it works.

We hope we have helped you,

Our warmest regards,

Tom & Mary

tomandmarymilano@yahoo.com

Tom & Mary are our great cruising friends, who inspire us in our daily life. If you’d like to receive a daily inspirational email from Tom and Mary, just send them an email asking to be added to their distribution list.

Linked By Sea, Cruise Staff & Guest Friendships

Princess just started a new blog, Linked by Sea, sharing the stories of staff and guests who become friends after the cruise. After reading their first blog post, it reminded me of a friend we made on one of our first cruises, who we haven’t heard from in a long time.  Here’s our story.

On 9/1/2003, we were cruising aboard the Carnival Paradise.  We met two good friends on that cruise, Connie and Steve, who we’ve cruised with over and over with since then.  We had late dining in the Elation Dining Room, with server, Som, and his assistant server, Kat, both from Thailand.  We enjoyed getting to know them throughout the cruise, especially hearing about their mutual homeland of Thailand. Som had completed several contracts with Carnival, but this was Kat’s first contract.

We noticed a little chemistry, shy smiles and glances, between them, so when we had a few minutes alone with Som, we asked about it.  He said he was very interested in getting to know her better, but she was so new on the ship, he didn’t know if she had a boyfriend back home or if she’d even be interested in him.  So, next chance we were alone with Kat, we inquired about her relationship status.  She too was very interested in pursuing a relationship with Som.  Before our cruise was over, we gave Som the green light to pursue a relationship with Kat.  About a year later, we received an invitation to Som and Kat’s wedding in Thailand.  We love being part of love stories, and this young folks provided us with not only good service, but such a great memory!

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Port Canaveral, Florida Recommendations

Radisson Resort at the Port Pool Area

Port Canaveral is one of our favorite places to cruise from for several reasons.  The port area and the cruise terminal are easy to navigate.  That’s good news especially for the folks who are driving to the port and parking their car there during the cruise.

Radisson Resort at the Port is our favorite place to stay when cruising from Port Canaveral.  (We prefer a beachfront hotel when we are actually visiting Cocoa Beach.)  We love the pool area, a fabulous Tiki bar, and easy transportation to the ship.  We can’t wait to hang out with cruising friends at the Tiki Bar in the pool area the night before the cruise

Here are some interesting restaurants we’ve enjoyed in the Port Canaveral area:

Rusty’s Seafood & Oyster Bar:  Roger especially enjoyed this place, because he loves oysters on the half shell.   We enjoyed a fabulous group meal on the open-air deck of this restaurant, with fun live entertainment that had us all swaying our hips, even in our chairs!

Roberto’s Little Havana:  This restaurant is just a little more than a diner, but I love trying new kinds of food, and this was my first taste of Cuban entrees, which I love.  Good food, good service, so this might be a place you want to try!

Durango’s Steakhouse:  Some friends picked this place to meet up with us, against our objection that you don’t eat steak on a coast.  To our surprise, this was among the best steaks we’ve ever eaten, and we ate their twice during our week-long visit.  Highly recommend this place for steaks!

Florida’s Seafood Bar & Grill:  This restaurant is the furthest away from our hotel, but I wanted to throw it into the list, because we enjoyed a fabulous seafood meal here.

Rusty's Seafood Menuhere one evening.

While you’re out on the road headed to or from your restaurant, I highly recommend a stop in Ron Jon’s Surf Shop.  We aren’t big shoppers, but we really enjoy visiting these stores, and we never leave empty-handed.  The most comfortable beach sandals I’ve ever worn came from here!

We visited Cocoa Beach the first time after taking our kids on a whirlwind visit to the four Disney Parks, Universal Studio and Sea World in Orlando.  We had scheduled three days in Cocoa Beach for beach time before flying home.  As we pulled into our hotel, two long limos pulled out of the parking lot, and we commented that someone “important” must be staying there.

Later that night, our son, who was only 17 at the time, slipped out of our room for a little time to himself downstairs, and returned saying that we could get a free drink in the bar if we said we’d seen Tommy Lee Jones or Clint Eastwood at the hotel.  Apparently that’s who the limos were for!

The next morning, Roger and Rachel headed down to the beach early, while Eric and I were relaxing a little longer in the room.  As they rounded the corner from the elevator, they ran into Clint Eastwood who was just coming in from an early swim.  (Yes, their bodies collided.)  Roger was shocked, Rachel didn’t know who he was, so they just moved on, but Roger said Clint was in great shape for an older guy.  We later found out they were filming Space Cowboys at that time, a movie that still makes us smile.

If you have time, you may want to add on some extra days before and/or after our cruise in the Port Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Orlando area, because there’s so much to see and do there.

A TransAtlantic Cruise For You?

Lee in Gijon, Spain

Many of you have shared your interest in a TransAtlantic cruise with me, but some of you have held back from booking one so far for various reasons. When Lee booked their second TransAtlantic cruise recently, I asked if he could share why they love these cruises with my guests.  Here’s my friend and guest blogger, Lee  Whitman, with his thought about TransAtlantic cruising:

Mike and I took our first cruise in 2005 and caught the bug…hard!  We’ve been on two dozen cruises now, and our friends seem to think that we’ve lost our minds. We even started our own cruise blog, Cruise Notebook, and it’s amazing to us that over 100,000 people have viewed our pictures.   We just love the fact that we pack once, visit many exotic places, have a variety of experiences onboard, and meet all kinds of people.

We have found that as our cruising experience has grown, the types of cruises we look for have changed.  At first, it seemed that we wanted to cruise as often as possible.  That meant shorter cruises and, invariably, Caribbean destinations.  After a while, we wanted longer cruises and new ports.  While it’s definitely a first world problem, we were getting tired of the same ports over and over, so we branched out and took a Mediterranean cruise.

Our sailing on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas from Barcelona to Venice and back was not only utterly fantastic but also utterly exhausting.  We came home needing a vacation from our vacation.  This made us wonder, is there a way to sail to Europe and not arrive home exhausted?  The solution, it seemed, was a TransAtlantic cruise.

A TA (Transatlantic) cruise seemed to be a sailing many experienced cruisers really loved, but we had always shied away from because we were afraid we’d get bored.  That’s a running joke in our house now because we were anything but bored!  Even though we’re very active people who want to try everything, we found lots of things to fill our days shipboard without arriving home pooped.  Many of our friends were horrified at the idea of being at sea that long “with nothing to do” but thatwas not our experience.  We participated in wine tastings, receptions, speaker series, afternoon teas, backstage tours, and all manner of diversions.  Also, we found that we enjoyed the evenings a lot more without thinking we had to get up early the next day.  A TA allowed us to see a few European ports (France and Spain, in our case) while having a long period of relaxation afterward.  Also, because we chose a westbound TA, we had six 25 hour days and arrived home with no jetlag.

Here are my tips for having a great TA cruise:

  • Book early or book late.  Booking early will mean you get the room of your choice.  Those great cabins with extra space on their balconies go fast.

    Mike & Lee in Paris

    Repositioning cruises are really popular now, and they have their loyal fans who will grab the best cabins very early in the sales cycle.  On the other hand, if you have flexibility in your planning, we’ve seen TAs on large ships go for $599 per person, but those prices only arrive very close to the sail date (about six weeks beforehand) for a brief sale.

  • Choose the ship, then the itinerary. A Caribbean or European itinerary might be chosen because of the ports, but it’s important to choose the ship well on a TA. After all, it will be your home for two weeks; you will want to choose a ship that offers all the comforts you think you will want.  We love Celebrity’s Solstice Class for this, especially the Aqua Class staterooms.  Even after 13 days, there were many areas of the ship we had hoped to spend time in that we hadn’t visited yet.  It had a Gelato bar, a Panini cafe, a coffee shop, a thermal relaxation room, and four specialty restaurants (including a private one where those booked in Aqua Class could dine every night, included in their cruise fare).
  • Spend a few days in your embarkation city.  You’ll get over the jetlag and have a more in-depth experience of one of the ports.

We met Lee and Mike at a dinner before we all boarded the pre-inaugural cruise of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas.   We became fast friends, sharing our love of good food, fine wine, and fun travels, especially cruising, so I encourage you to visit their cruise blog, Cruise Notebook.  Thanks, Lee, and if any of you are ready to book your next vacation, give me a call!

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