Archive for the Category »Carnival Cruise Line «

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.

Luggage Express After Your Cruise – Thumbs Up!

Luggage Express – Thumbs Up!

We’ve just returned from our latest Caribbean cruise, and I promised to tell you all about it when we got back. It was wonderful, as always, but the last best thing about our cruise is the first thing I want to tell you about.  Luggage Express is a program where you put your bags outside the door of your cruise stateroom, and you don’t handle them again until you’re at your home airport.  Additionally, you are checked in for your cruise and receive your boarding pass, so all you have to do following your cruise is pass through airport security.

We’ve seen this program offered for a while, but we usually stay in port a day or two following the cruise, so we weren’t eligible for the program.  You have to fly home the same day you disembark the ship in order to participate in this program.  Since we were flying home as soon we disembarked this time, we decided to participate in the program.

About mid-week during our cruise, we received a flier about Luggage Express. The flier showed what airlines agreed to be part of this program and explained the program. Since we were flying home the same day we disembarked the ship this time, and Southwest Airlines was part of the program, we decided to sign-up. The cost with Carnival Cruise Line’s Luggage Express is $20 per person, plus the airline’s cost per checked bag.  Our cost was only $40, since “our bags fly free” on Southwest Airlines.

Additionally, Carnival completed our check-in and provided us with our boarding pass before we disembarked.  All we had to do at the airport was clear security.  We were traveling with another couple, who also used Luggage Express, and we both agreed this was going to be a great program … as long as our luggage arrived with us in Little Rock.

We had four bags, and our friends had two bags.  We waited with nervous anticipation as the luggage carousel started, but we had all six bags and were happily headed home.  Without a doubt, the airline could lose or delay a bag with Luggage Express, the same as any other time, but it sure was nice to know this program works great.

Thumbs up!  If you have a chance to participate in Luggage Express, it was so nice to not have to search for our luggage in the cruise terminal, drag it through customs and to a waiting taxi, then drag it into the airport to check it for our flights.  We highly recommend this program.

Stay tuned with more highlights of our recent trip!

Ports of Call

St. Thomas

U.S. Virgin Islands

We love St. Thomas.  The folks on this island are friendly and welcoming, and St. Thomas has some of the most beautiful views and beaches I’ve ever seen.  We consider St. Thomas a paradise, and Roger claims he’s working his way south to live in St. Thomas at least six months out of every year.  more »

Dreaming of Beaches

Boatyard Beach, Barbados

I woke up this morning thinking about beaches.  Some of my favorite memories from our cruises are the relaxing days we’ve spent together on fabulous Caribbean beaches.  Roger is a sun lover, but I’m not, so he gets us two beach chairs and an umbrella at the beach, then he settles my chair in the shade of the umbrella, while he stretches out on his chair in the full sun.  We each take a few dips in the water, just to cool off, but other than that, we don’t spend any time in the water unless we’ve also booked some snorkeling, jet skis, or parasailing.  I love digging my toes into the cool wet sand.  I love hearing the waves lapping against the shore, the birds calling as they fly overhead, and the laughter of people nearby enjoying their vacations.  I’m happy with a lovely fruity beverage and a good book, relaxing in the shade, near my fabulous husband.  more »

Cruise Review

Carnival Conquest

January 31 – February 7, 2010

Please welcome my guest blogger, Robin Johnson, who reviews her recent cruise experience aboard the Carnival Conquest in true Arkansas style!  Here’s Robin …

 The Carnival Conquest was the second cruise for my husband, CJ, and I, but it was our first 7-night cruise. Our first cruise was just 4 nights, which wasn’t enough time to do everything that we wanted to do.  We decided to sail from Galveston, because it would be an easy drive from Arkansas, saving us the cost of flights.  With a group of 13 friends and family, we drove in four cars, sharing the cost of fuel to make it affordable for everyone.  more »