Spending Money

I would like to say that we have been using our 3 day weekend to get things done and have been completely motivated.  The sad truth is absolutely not.  It’s been awesome!

Let’s talk money.  This is a subject that I am uncomfortable discussing.  Why? Well, this is the time that I admit how much money we spend playing on our cruise vacations.  I have read plenty of posts about the “formula” that cruisers use when deciding on how much spending cash to take….$100 per person per day. That’s all well and good if you are single or have a big spending budget.  Here is my insight for spending money:

Galveston: The Saturday before the cruise we head down to Galveston and spend the night.  Scott and I like to pick a restaurant that we haven’t been to before and have a nice dinner.  For the two of us we spend $50-$60. A couple of times we went and played tourist by checking out a local sight.  We play that by ear and how the weather is.

Boarding: The first day we don’t spend any additional money on the ship.  We take that first day to explore the ship and get ourselves settled in.

Sea Days:  We budget $50 to $100 on each sea day.  Scott might have a drink or two and I will play a game of bingo.  We always make Steakhouse reservations so in our pre-cruise budget we have $70 set aside for that. We aren’t big gamblers but will stick $20 into a slot hoping to hit it big.  One cruise we played almost 3 hours with one machine and our $20.  Yes, we play the same machine together.  It’s called bonding people. LOL When we sailed the Breeze last year I purchased the bento box at the Bonsai Sushi for $10 at lunch one day. We will buy a t-shirt or teddy bear at the Groove for St. Jude for $10.  There is the Seuss at Sea for $5 per person that we do the last sea day for breakfast.  It’s not just for kids.

Port Days: For port days be budget $50 each day.  We bring a backpack with some unopened bottled water and do our excursions in the morning.  We like to be back on the ship for lunch unless our excursion comes with lunch.  Cozumel is where we buy all of our souvenirs.

We have purchased pictures while on our cruises at an additional expense but for the most part Scott is the camera man.  There are also sales that happen in the Fun Shops and we will purchase a shirt for the boys or jewelry for the girls.

I cannot tell you how much money to spend on your cruise.  I can only give you guidelines that we use.  Just remember that Carnival has so many great activities all day long that there is plenty to keep you busy.  You have already spent the money on the cruise take advantage of everything it has to offer.

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Y – Yawn

Congratulations DJ and Matti on their beautiful wedding. With all of the hustle and bustle of the last week you would think the “Y” for yawn would mean I’m tired. You would be wrong.  I’m good to go and ready to talk to you about nightly activities on the ship.

Carnival offers nightly entertainment in many forms for all of those that just didn’t get enough during the day.  After hours you can find dancing at Liquid Nightclub.  Make sure and check the Fun Times to see if there is a theme for the night.  For all of you dancing machines get on down to Liquid Nightclub and dance the night away.

If you want music but not all the dancing, Piano Bar 88 is a fun place.  There are plenty of people singing along with the piano player and requests are taken.  Don’t forget to tip the piano player if you enjoyed the music.

If laughter is what you are looking for then head over to the Limelight lounge and the comedy Punchliner entertainment.  The adult only show is perfect for time away from the kiddos.

Don’t forget the Dive In Movie up on the Lido deck.  There is usually a double feature showing.  Grab popcorn, a lounge chair, and blanket.  There is nothing like the Dive In Movie experience.

For those adults that couldn’t get to the casino during the day do not fear.  The casino is open and ready to take your money, I mean let you win.  This is a no kid zone so if adulting is what you want then that’s a sure fire way.

Now you are thinking, this is all well and good but I have little ones and can’t just lock them in the cabin…can I?  No, there will be no leaving little ones behind without supervision.  Carnival has thought of that.  The Night Owls for ages 6 months to 11 years is open from 10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.  There is a fee of $6.75 per hour and a gratuity of 15% is tacked on.  No discounts are given for any additional children so sorry parents.  Any child left after 1:00 a.m. gets to pay double and also have the privileges of leaving the children at the Night Owls taken away.

If you are not capable of staying awake late then it’s ok.  Just take your yawning to your cabin and enjoy the comfort of your bed.  The up all nighters will miss you and have extra fun just for you.

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G – Galveston

On Saturday, December 16th there will be a family meet up in Galveston, Texas.  Some family members will be flying while others will be driving.  Of course not everyone has decided how they are getting to Galveston yet but there is still plenty of time to figure it out.  I will get the schedules together for pick up as needed and make sure we all end up in Galveston ready for hugs and vacation shenanigans.

Scott and I enjoy going to Galveston the day before we set sail on our cruises for many reasons.

  1. An extra day of vacation
  2. We like to check out the area attractions
  3. Eating at local restaurants
  4. No rush getting to Galveston in time to make the cruise
  5. Traffic in Houston is not our friend so we get thru it early in the day
  6. We are ready to get to the port early because we have Faster to the Fun!

If you will be departing Central Texas with us on a convoy to Galveston, please make note that we will be leaving around 8:00 a.m…..maybe 9:00 a.m. Another item of note for those leaving out of Central Texas, we like to stop.  That’s right we stop for bathroom breaks, snacks that must be eaten, roadside attractions, and of course Bucee’s.

Once we have picked up our passengers at the airport in Houston we will finish the journey to Galveston.  Once in Galveston we will get our rooms or house and then go see the sights.  I would like to say we would go enjoy the beach but honestly, Galveston is not very warm in December.

A few of the area attractions are:

  • Moody Gardens – this place is so cool.  They have pyramid buildings with aquarium and rain forest attractions.  Last year they had the Festival of Lights which was fun.  We have found that using Groupon for tickets is the most cost effective.
  • Pleasure Pier – There is an outside amusement park on the pier.
  • Ferry ride – This is a free ride on the ferry but not much to see in December 😦
  • Bike rentals – you can rent bicycles and ride around Galveston
  • Railroad Museum – This museum has something for every age group and the tickets are nicely priced from free to $10 depending on age. (Wyatt would be free)

As we get closer to the trip I will have the sleeping arrangements in place and an itinerary.  No worries, I will of course be asking everyone for their inputs.

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The Breeze

And the days keep on cruising by….I hope you have all received your countdowns (except for The Peebles Clan cause the post office is mean) and are fully in sync with 523 days to go.

Today lets talk about the Carnival Breeze.  The ship we will call home for 7 days.  Where great times will be had.  Where lifelong memories will be made.  Look at me with all of these glorious thoughts of our cruising future.

The Breeze is one of three ships that are part of the dream class for Carnival. The dream class ships are the second largest ships in the fleet, second only to the new Carnival Vista. It was built in 2012 with a gross tonnage of 130,000. Finally something that weighs way more than me…lol. It’s 1004 feet in length. The guest capacity is 3690 while the crew consists of 1386 people.  For the people that went on the 1st family cruise on board the Triumph here is the comparison. The Triumph has a guest capacity of 2754 and only 893 feet in length.

The Breeze has 15 decks counting deck zero and the absence of deck 13.  Yep, just like a lot of hotels the 13th floor is omitted. The only time guests are allowed on deck zero is to get off the ship at the various ports.  I will get into more detail about that in another blog.

One of the best kept secrets about the Breeze are the secluded areas.  In the front or forward of the ship on decks 6 & 7 accessed through unlocked doors are the secluded areas.  These areas take you to the farthest forward of the ship.  Great picture opportunities during sunrise and sunset. This is where yelling “I’m the king of the world” would be appropriate.

If you want a place to lounge away from the party area on the Lido deck, head on over to deck 5.  On this deck you will find the Lania.  It is still close to food and hot tubs but just a little quieter.

There are 19 places to eat not including room service, 10 bars for your drinking pleasure, and lounge chairs galore to eat your food and drink your drinks. There is a casino, spa, adult retreat, gym, pools, hot tubs, kid areas and oh so much more! You want shopping then guess what, you get shopping. It truly is a floating resort.


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I’m Back

I have to say time got away from me in a major way.  I have been very bad at keeping up with my travel blog.  Of course I have been traveling during my absence with my partner in crime, Scott.  I will go back in time and update previous posts while also adding posts about what we have seen and done in the last two years.

Our family is spread out from coast to coast of the United States so we plan on making our way to California, Alaska, Colorado, and South Carolina to just name a few.  Scott and I have a couple of cruises planned as well.  Yep, the adventures will be piling up.

Thank you for your patience as I update the old and write about the new.  Let the adventures begin!

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