We’re retired on a fixed income but we don’t want to stop cruising. So, we’re being creative and finding cheaper ways to cruise. Here’s we we have coming up for the next six months.
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas
Our next cruise in mid-September will be on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas for five days. I’m excited for this one because we haven’t sailed on Royal Caribbean since our trip to Cuba on Empress of the Seas in April of 2019. The Empress of the Seas cruise was one of my all time favorites, and the staff was outstanding. Sadly, Royal Caribbean no longer owns Empress since she was sold in late 2020.
I’ve loved Royal Caribbean ships since we first sailed on Freedom of the Seas in January 2016. I remember thinking, after years of cruising on Carnival, that this was what a ship was supposed to look like. I was definitely in awe.
So, we found really good deal on Mariner of the Seas a number of months ago out of Port Canaveral. We figured now that we have to cruise cheap, we’d book an interior cabin to save money. But, as luck would have it, I was checking prices one day a couple of months later and found an even better deal with our Crown and Anchor (loyalty club) deals. I called Royal Caribbean and spoke to a customer service agent, who managed to get me a Promenade View cabin and save us $50. Since then the cost has gone up and up, but I’m completely content with the cabin we have.
This cruise will take us to Labadee, Haiti, a private Royal Caribbean beach. We’ve been to Labadee a couple of times before. It has amazing beaches with plenty of chairs to relax on. We really just want this to be a vacation where we can chill and maybe do some snorkeling. We also plan on doing some hiking around Labadee, although it does have a tram that takes you around the island. The only thing that I do not like about Labadee is the Straw Market area. I found the Haitian vendors to be extremely pushy last time we were there, a lot out of a Quiet Cruiser’s comfort zone. But, there is also a small area of stores outside of the market area that is not hard sell. I’d much rather just pay the price for an item that I want than have someone hassling me to buy it. They do take American dollars, and they have a lunch buffet.
It also stops at Coco Cay, a Royal Caribbean owned island. I am looking forward to Coco Cay. We’ve been watching videos of the island, and it looks wonderful. You can pay extra and do the waterslides, and even go up in a hot air balloon that’s anchored to the ground. But we’ll probably just walk around and get some beach time. They also have a lunch buffet and a few complimentary restaurants on the grounds. I can’t wait!
I got an email offer from our Carnival VIFP club (Loyalty club) about a month ago with some unbelievable offers. I managed to find an offer for a five day cruise on Carnival Elation out of Jacksonville, Florida. It was only costing us $100, plus port fees, for the entire cruise. That was an offer that was very hard to turn down. This will be our third Halloween cruise, and I’m really looking forward to it.
This cruise goes to Nassau and Princess Cays, a Carnival owned private island. We’ve been to Nassau a few times and it’s nothing special. We’ll probably just go to the Straw Market near the port, and walk around town a bit. Princess Cays is new to us, so I’m looking forward to checking it out. Still more beach and snorkeling time.
While the prices were good we also snagged a cruise on the Carnival Freedom out of Port Canaveral in January, 2023. This five day cruise will take us to Amber Cove, a Carnival owned area off of Dominican Republic, and also to Grand Turk. We only paid $125 plus port fees for this cruise.
We’ve been to Grand Turk before, but it’s a cute island. Last time we took a local tram tour that we really enjoyed, so we may do that again. It’s a nice island with a lot of wild donkeys walking around. We even saw wild flamingos. And the port area is nice too.
We’ve also been to Amber Cove, but not since it was brand new. When we were there we did a short zipline, which was my first and only zipline. We paid $20 for unlimited zips, and when watching a recent vlog, it looks like the price has remained the same. There is also a nice big pool, and other water sports to try. I don’t remember it having any actual beaches.
And after that?
We’ll be on the lookout for a cruise in the Spring. I’m going to keep checking for deals on Vacations To Go and I’ll be checking on Labor day and also on Black Friday to see if anything new comes up. I’ll keep you in the loop!