Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Walter Christen

Star Wars on Disney Cruise Line!

Star Wars on Disney Cruise Line! | Family travel |

Star Wars on Disney Cruise Line?  It didn’t take a Jedi Master to foresee this coming!  In 2016, Disney Cruise Line Guests can celebrate the legendary adventures and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga during a brand-new, day-long celebration aboard eight special sailings on the Disney Fantasy: Star Wars Day at Sea.


Occurring one day during each of eight Disney Fantasy sailings, Star Wars Day at Sea will transport you to a galaxy far, far away – in the Western Caribbean. The event will feature a full day of Star Wars celebrations, including a deck party, meet-and-greets with favorite characters, Star Wars-themed youth activities, unique food and beverage offerings and special merchandise.  Can you expect to find R2-D2 serving drinks or meet Princess Leia in her metal bikini?  I do not know.

Walter Christens insight:

What a great theme cruise.  Disney Cruise Line's Disney Fantasy will host a Star Wars day on selected Western Caribbean cruises January-April 2016.

This sounds like it will be great fun for any Star Wars fan.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Walter Christen

5 Tips for Planning a Fun Cruise With Kids - Huffington Post

5 Tips for Planning a Fun Cruise With Kids - Huffington Post | Family travel |

After our latest fun and relaxing cruise with our kids, I've come to the realization that I wouldn't mind cruising with them at least once a year. This is our third cruise as a family, my 10th in general, and, I have to say, each year cruising together gets easier. I think it's partially because the kids are getting older and I'm getting wiser. My secret to planning a fun cruise with my boys is to board the ship with a few loose goals that we've discussed as a family before we set sail.

Walter Christens insight:

My wife and I have taken our 2 children on many of our cruises over the years.  I agree with the author of this article that it is one of the best vacations that can be done together with a little pre planning. Here are some of the tips we used when cruising with our children.

  • Luggage - each person had their own suitcase.  As we mainly drove to the cruise port this was not an issue and kept the suitcases smaller and would fit under the beds while on board.  Each of my children also were allowed to have their own carry on bag to bring what they wanted to keep themselves amused although my wife had final say on what they could bring.
  • Onboard entertainment - realize that what you may think to be fun to do or watch may not be the same for your children. Plan accordingly.  My children loved to play mini golf and also participate in some of the trivia contests.
  • Excursions - while it is great if you can find excursions that everyone wants to do, sometimes it is not possible.  My son and I like to snorkel and my wife and daughter do not.  We have on occasion split up and did different excursions while at a port of call. My daughter loved helping pre cruise to look at the excursion options for where we were going and was usually a topic of discussion at dinner. My daughter has found some very nice excursions for us like a zoo on Aruba.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Walter Christen

Royal Caribbean to add first Boomerango water slide at sea to Liberty of the Seas

Royal Caribbean to add first Boomerango water slide at sea to Liberty of the Seas | Family travel |

Royal Caribbean are set to add the first Boomerango water slide at sea to Liberty of the Seas.

Liberty of the Seas will be undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation in January 2016, as she settles into her new homeport of Galveston, Texas in 2016. The Sports Deck will be re-imagined and the three new water slides will be a focal point of it.

Liberty of the Seas will have three slides, a Boomerango and double body racer slides.

Walter Christens insight:

Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas Boomerango water slide looks like a lot of fun.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Walter Christen

Disney Cruise vs. Royal Caribbean Cruise

Disney Cruise vs. Royal Caribbean Cruise | Family travel |

Cruises have become a huge family vacation destination in recent years. In many ways, cruises offer the perfect vacation experience for families. The ability to get out on the sea, far away from the stressors of “real life” is coveted.

For families with children, there are two popular cruise company options: Disney or Royal Caribbean. Both of these companies are huge names in the cruise and entertainment industry. If you’re faced with booking your family vacation, it can be difficult to decide which will be the best value and provide the maximum amount of fun for you and your kids.

Walter Christens insight:

When I saw this article it made me think.  Which cruise line, Disney Cruise Line or Royal Caribbean did I think would be better for a family vacation.  My family and I have cruised on both cruise lines. My opinion is it depends on your family and what you are looking for in a family vacation.


If you have small children I would give the edge to Disney. Everything is Disney themed, the shows, character meet and greets, and movies.  The food, I felt was top notch and yes, Disney knows service which is excellent. 

The cabins are larger than most but I was unsure if the bathroom which is split into to parts really worked for my family.

The only downside I can see is that traditionally, Disney cost more than other cruise lines.

Royal Caribbean

I feel that there are more activities for families with older children on Royal Caribbean but it should be mentioned that they also have a excellent children's programs geared to different age groups.  Flow Riders, rock climbing and other activities would keep the teen aged group occupied for some time.  Royal Caribbean does have character meet ups as well with their association with DreamWorks.

The food is more varied and geared toward adults  and yes there is a children's menu available.  Evening entertainment may have your teenagers looking for something else to do.  The singing and dancing shows were not my son's cup of tea.

As  my children got older, we booked adjoining rooms (with a door in-between).  This gave everyone more room to spread out and when needed a place to relax or take a nap.

I would highly recommend either cruise line for a family vacation.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Walter Christen

The Best Fitness Areas on Norwegian Cruise Line Ships

The Best Fitness Areas on Norwegian Cruise Line Ships | Family travel |

You can get a good workout during your cruise at the best fitness areas on Norwegian Cruise Line ships. The ships, like Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, have a wide variety of activities to challenge you.

Freestyle cruising means you can enjoy your vacation the way you want. On your own schedule. 

If you're like me, that schedule is going to include a daily workout or at least some physical activity to let you know you properly enjoyed a complete day. Norwegian Cruise Line offers freestyle "Cruise like a Norwegian" sailings that its legions of fanatics enjoy so much. And Norwegian Cruise Line includes a range of cool fitness options onboard its ships -- especially its newest vessels. 

Walter Christens insight:

John Roberts gives a very good overview of what workout and fitness areas are available on Norwegian Cruises present and future ships.  There is no need to miss your workout routine while on vacation.


See Carrie Finley-Bajak's look at the Norwegian Breakaway

Norwegian Breakaway calls New York as it's hope port and sails to the Caribbean year round.

And here is Danielle Fear's look at the Norwegian Getaway

Norwegian Getaway calls Miami as it's home port and alternates weekly between the eastern and western Caribbean.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Kirshan Murphy

30 Reasons to book Disney Cruise Line for Families

30 Reasons to book Disney Cruise Line for Families | Family travel |

"It’s all in the details: everywhere you turn on a Disney ship, and everyone you interact with, has that special ‘Disney Difference’. Service, amenities, and ports-of-call all come with that undeniable layer of ‘pixie dust’ when you cruise with Disney."

Kirshan Murphys insight:

When looking for travel options for families, a cruise is a fun and cost effective way to go.  This article breaks down many reasons why you should consider Disney Cruise Line for your next family trip.  Let us know in the comments any of your own family cruise experiences with Disney.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Walter Christen

Disney Cruise Line adds limits to alcohol policy

Disney Cruise Line adds limits to alcohol policy | Family travel |

Disney Cruse Line is altering its alcohol policy, adding restrictions to what passengers may bring onboard to consume during their voyages.

Starting with cruises that leave Sept. 30, Disney Cruise Line guests will be allowed to bring a maximum of two bottles of unopened wine or champagne — no larger than 750 milliliters — or six beers — no larger than 12 ounces — on board at the beginning of the trip and at each port-of-call.

These beverages must be packed in carry-on bags or luggage. They cannot be in checked-in luggage.

Bringing liquors and spirits onboard will be prohibited.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Walter Christen

Carnival's Enhanced Internet Access, Including New Social Media Packages, To ... - MarketWatch

Carnival's Enhanced Internet Access, Including New Social Media Packages, To ... - MarketWatch | Family travel |

Carnival Cruise Line's new social media Internet packages – which offer access to a variety of popular Web sites for just $5 a day – are now available on more than half of the line's ships with fleetwide implementation scheduled by the first quarter of 2016.

Additionally, the line's new mobile app – currently available on Carnival Breeze and offering an innovative "chat" feature – has been very well received with a third of the ship's guests actively using the app during their cruise.  The app is expected to be available on five additional ships by the end of the year and be fleetwide by summer 2016.    

"Fast, affordable and reliable social media channels and the Internet have become essential on today's cruise ships," said Gabriela Gonzalez, Carnival's vice president of guest technology.  "We have thoughtfully approached this area to ensure we are providing options that guests sailing throughout our fleet find truly valuable and reliable," she added.

Walter Christens insight:

This is exciting news for those who need or want to stay connected during their cruise.  The social media package for 5 dollars a day sounds like a deal. There will also be a value package giving more access and a premium package that will even give access to video calling sites such as Skype.

I am also intrigued by the mobile app with a chat feature. It would be nice to be able to find my kids so we could do group activities or have meals together.

 Seems that all the mainstream cruise lines have realized that internet at sea is important to many of their passengers.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Walter Christen

Carnival continues to Seuss-ify family cruises

Carnival continues to Seuss-ify family cruises | Family travel |

Carnival Cruise Line and Dr. Seuss Enterprises continue their partnership this year with more Seuss-themed family cruise activities in its Seuss at Sea program.

The cruise line celebrated this year’s release of “What Pet Should I Get?” with celebrity book readings. Story time readers include Tampa Bay Rays all-star Evan Longoria aboard Carnival Paradise in Tampa, and New Orleans journalist and former news anchor Angela Hill aboard Carnival Dream in New Orleans, according to a company press release dated Aug. 3.

Carnival also celebrated the new book’s theme by promising to match Longoria’s $100 donation to Pet Pal Animal Shelter for each home run he hits in 2015. It also made financial donations to the Tampa Bay and Louisiana chapters of the SPCA.

Walter Christens insight:

The Seuss-themed family cruise activities aboard Carnival Cruise Lines ships sounds like great fun for small children.  When my children were young, we always had many different Dr. Seuss books in the house and were read repeatedly.

The donations Carnival Cruise Lines has made to Animal shelters is also a plus.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Walter Christen

Royal Caribbean Dares You to Try a 10-Story Waterslide on its New Cruise Ship

Royal Caribbean Dares You to Try a 10-Story Waterslide on its New Cruise Ship | Family travel |

Never afraid to make a splash with its cruise innovations, Royal Caribbean is going bigger with a 10-story waterslide on Harmony of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas is the line's third Oasis-class ship and will be even bigger than sisters Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas when it launches in spring 2016. Harmony of the Seas will homeport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, beginning in November 2016.

The big new ship will have a big new waterslide, too. Harmony of the Seas is going to feature a 10-story slide called The Abyss, which plunges passengers from the AquaTheater area to the Boardwalk neighborhood at the back of the ship, Royal Caribbean said.

Walter Christens insight:

Royal Caribbean has upped the ante.  I too enjoy a good water slide although I am not so sure about a 10 story water slide called The Abyss.  I may have to work my way up to it by using the smaller 3 story water slides onboard called Cyclone, Typhoon and Monsoon.

Harmony of the Seas will homeport out of Fort Lauderdale starting November 2016.  I cannot wait.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Walter Christen

Cruising with Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas in the Mediteranean

Cruising with Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas in the Mediteranean | Family travel |

Have you ever been on a cruise?  As part of our European trip, we booked a Western Mediterranean Cruise with Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas.

A couple of months ago I was thinking about back packing through Europe. Then I got turned off by the idea of staying in hostels and traveling for weeks with all my stuff. Booking hotels in various cities was looking expensive and that’s when I thought about the cruise.

I chose Royal Caribbean’s  7-Night Western Mediterranean cruise because it made stops in the same cities I wanted to visit.

Walter Christens insight:

Here is a very nice write up of a couple that sailed on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas to the Western Mediterranean. Some very nice picture of the ship and ports. I have been on this ship when it was sailing in the Caribbean and it is one of my favorites.

Also see Cruiseable Critic Carrie Finley-Bajak's take on this fantastic ship

No comment yet.
Scooped by JD Lasica

MSC Lirica Cruise - Unravel Travel TV

MSC Lirica offers extraordinary comfort in an elegant setting. If you are looking for a casual easy-going ambience framed by traditional, luxurious decor MSC ...
JD Lasicas insight:

Ok this is a test. 

No comment yet.