Looking back on great cruises is nice, but looking forward to those trips we have ahead of us is even more exciting. On this episode Ric and Billy discuss their 2018 cruises and talk about where they'll be sailing in 2019.
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As we begin the new year it's time to look at where we'd like to go in 2019 and while we're at it we'll cover where we went 2018 as well I'm Rick Ross and I believe her we're previewing 2019 on this episode of the cruise have a podcast. You're about to set sail on the cruise have a post cost annuity a voyage through the wounded ship's points and beyond Welcome aboard let's dive into the 1st episode of 2019 by both taking a look back at our cruising in 2018 and a look ahead to what 2019 May bring us on in the world of Curzon So 1st taking a look back at 2018 to what I did in my cruise and calendar I had 3 cruises this year total the 7 nights at sea my 1st one was on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas I stayed in a solo cabin on that one some of the highlights there bamboo room the drinks that I enjoyed that kind of tiki bar the playmakers spaced like a sports bar and grill I really enjoyed those 2 new additions that are not just new to Mariner but new to the fleet of Royal Caribbean and if you want to hear more about that you can check out episode 271 of the Royal Caribbean blog podcast where Matt Hodge more interviews me about my my time on the ship my next cruise was also solo This was when I went on Celebrity Infinity didn't have a solo cabin went regular inside but there was such a great Florida resident rate I was able to book that I at this point this is my 3rd solo careers in a row and I really found I was getting into a habit of breakfast in the main dining room dinner in the buff and I think that's something when I'm solo cruising I'm going to keep doing because then I get the attention of the waitstaff in the main dining room breakfast I'm avoiding kind of. Busy. Everybody elbowing everybody else in the buff A in the morning and then for dinner when I'm in the buffet I think the service is great there are 2 there are so so few people there you can really get what you want and not have to elbow around and get served immediately my 3rd and final ckers for the year was the demand just the amazing celebrity edge where I went with my friend Jose and also joined by the other half of hers abit dot com Billie her share. We have lots of coverage on Cruise have a dot com We got blogs we've got 4 podcast episodes if you count our preview our 2 part celebrity edge and our episode solely on the Eden portion of of celebrity edge which was just amazing and hard to explain outside of the pod cast that was my 20183 cruises 11 nights Billy What did your 2018 look like well towards the end my 2800 felt like felt like we were recreating the rocky franchise with with Edge podcasts episodes but pretty shit everyone. Who's listen then and then commented as a lot of fun so for my 2800. I it started off actually kind of rough because I had a number of cruises booked the 1st part of 2800 that I simply wasn't able to take and I actually used to trip insurance for the very 1st time because when I one final payment came for one of them in particular I knew it was a gamble Basically I was out of work layoffs happen well that happened to me and I used trip insurance for the very 1st time. Instead of being able to sail on celebrity economics and I think it was the there January February so that was a bummer but while I was in dry dock for a little bit so to speak eventually I got to cruise M.S.E. seaside in July and that was really cool because one. It's not often that especially if you're admittedly as fortunate as I am that you get to try new lines and I definitely did get to try new a new cruise line there with M.S.C. a lot of mixed reviews we had a great time on M.S.C. but it was different than a lot of other lines so I encourage if you're interested in Seaside check out the live blog that we did there will put in the show notes I talked about the stuff that we liked and what we thought could be improved but that was really cool and it was unique ship I'm glad we did and I hope we get to do that again and then had to wait for another cruise until November but that was an awesome time because that was the Royal Caribbean blog group cruise and. The previous year about. A year before that I'd done in 2017 the end of $27000.00 harmony as part of a roll crim blog group cruise and a year or 2 before that allure is a group cruise so he see a trend there but I'll tell you a symphony of the seas as much as I'm not a big ship kind of person you know I again really prefer smaller ships symphony was the best Oasis class ship so far for for a number of reasons if you did nothing but sat me in the celeriac and had me stare at the big wonder with its view. Fal changing lights at night that would be that would be enough for me so that was really cool and look forward to doing moral cribbing blog group cruises you guys should check out real quick blog dot com slash events. Then was as Rick mentioned the edge sailing where we can churn out seemingly endless content and this is where I kind of want to make a I want to thank really a lot of our listeners because we. We started putting more content on Instagram and got picked up some followers along the way loved sharing on Instagram pictures and video of celebrity edge so thank you guys for following along because that's something that was a little bit new to us so in total. I should have I should have tallied the nights that I was supposed to cruise and the nights that I did cruise but it ended up being 3 cruises that we took and 17 nights at sea you know. Not what I was aiming for but not too shabby at all I I found spoiled so I'll be happy with my 7000 nights at sea and and then the good news is the last sailing since last one was at the end of 2018 we get to jump right into 21000 cruises and I know Rick you and I are both pretty excited about a number of things coming up in 2019 I'll dive right in and tell you my very 1st thing and actually really my only thing that I have booked which is the only thing I'm doing but if the only thing that I have booked to the best of my recollection in 2019 and that is drum roll celebrity edge going back we had such a great time with our 3 night sailing I promise we won't put out like 7 more hours of edge vodcast. So at this so when I will be thinking of you I want to say the entire time how about a lot of the time thank you you can send me. Oh oh but you know where you can get pictures Rick. I don't Instagram that's a great place Instagram but of course Twitter and Facebook as well but yeah so we're going to jump on actually just a week from the day we are recording this episode we will be I will be sailing and along with lorissa on celebrity edge once again this time for 7 nights before we just had a 3 night preview sailing this can be 7 nights and we're going to send one Tortola in St Maarten pretty cool itinerary I like eastern Caribbean we don't do it as much as maybe I would like like to and it gives us 3 full days in addition to embarkation day so that's pretty cool as well now what do you have booked goose egg not a thing I don't have any cruises booked as of yet is everything OK out of the cruisers sorry is everything OK yeah yeah I mean there's a lot that I'm looking at but OK I'm a single guy right now so that makes it tough to book be cuz i either have to pay the single supplement or find a studio cabin or solo cabin or some like that so that makes it tougher. But. I don't have any cruises booked but I do about land trips booked so my friend Jose is his thanks for me introducing him to the world of cruising he is introducing me to the world of South America and we are going on a land trip to Lima Peru so we're going to spend 4 nights at Mira Florence Lima Peru and this is going to be my 1st time going to South America could be my 1st time south of the equator. Really be my 1st time to majority Spanish speaking country other than the few hours I was in Cozumel So it's going to be interesting we're looking forward to it so the so I think I've got booked. Based on what I can deduce from your description this land trip seems interesting I'm just not familiar with this idea of going someplace not on a cruise ship so I hope you break it down for me step by step while you visit yet you know what's funny is someone actually requested that we cover are they on trips as well and I thought it was the rose where really taken me. I mean once in a while I do put out a picture from from western North Carolina if you guys really want to follow. Right I don't think your trip to San Francisco really counts as that was kind of a war trip but yeah so we'll see there may be some comfort from Lima Peru I don't know if I can tie it into cruising or not or just maybe right I mean at this point I'm pretty used to when I go somewhere and do something I write about it so probably going to be a bog post about it. Well I look forward to that I've actually heard some cool stuff about Prove it seems to be an up and coming destination for for American holiday goers so I look forward to that. I as mentioned only have the one cruise booked. And you have none so in terms of cruises Well in terms of other stuff too maybe we should talk about what we want to book for 29 what we have and more than just what we would like to but maybe what we're thinking is likely How's that because I mean I'd like to book a world cruise maybe 2. What is likely so I don't think I'm pulling back the veil or destroying any kind of magic to say that we use show notes and we write up what we want to talk about so we've got kind of a path to go on I'm just realizing what your 1st point for what you want to book and why 19 means. Sir can I dive into that one and explain I guess go for it Richard Branson's Virgin voyage is going to open their booking in February of 2019 it's a pretty specific date through various thought it might be in February 14th Billy how have you will frame to this in your list of things to book and 2019 so my top top point here in our show notes as you mentioned he says the most expensive Valentine's Day ever it's. Now in fairness in fairness I don't listen I don't usually do things for holidays Valentine's Day or otherwise. But even if we did I have a hunch that in fact for you and I both this could be a pricey Valentine's Day February 14th bookings open So getting back to your list I think I think that's what we have in common Yes. Yeah that's the one that showed up on on both of our listeners that that version voyages I'm looking forward to seeing well 1st of all how much does going to cost. Yeah it's it's not going to be cheap I'm I'm I'm not big into predictions in less and less I'm forced to go in for let's say a pod cast for certain front of ours but because a I suspect and I've mentioned this before I'm gonna go off on a very slight tangent there going after a market that other lines especially Viking ocean has had some accidental success in and they're going they're determined to have that success with that market on purpose and designing products but yeah before it and they have a No one brand it's especially in Europe but no one in other countries as well and they're only going to have one ship at the beginning so not many beds to fill so I'm thinking they are naming their price yeah yeah hold on to that credit card February 14th so it's going to be a painful day pain well we'll just let the zoom that this pod cast serves notice to to chase to let to let them know for both of our accounts that it is not a mistake. So so that's some of the book and 2019 but we're not going to take that sailing and 2019 something that I could book and sail pretty quick turnaround on would be the. The newly amplified ships from Royal Caribbean's fleet so we've got navigator of the seas we're just going to. Do through its. Roll amplified her RAM probably at the end of February or I would totally go back on Mariner of the Seas I had a really good time on that ship there were some things that I didn't get a chance to do there are some things I'd love to do again like as I said bamboo room playmakers So really looking forward to doing that again you said before that what are your crews This was last year was on symphony of the Seas and you thought that was an upgrade and worthwhile to go on even if you've already been on harmony I think this is one of the things you've said about that my friend Jose his 1st cruise that he booked was will be on symphony of the Seas I think Labor Day weekend but then he got a jump on the edge of hers with us and I'm trying to see if there's a way for me to get on that something of the Seas cruise and check that ship out for a few days maybe 3 days would be enough on something a if I've already been on harmony for a week. Another ship that I'd like to see is the M.S.T. sea side that's another ship that you want on last year I guess maybe I'm catching up to what you did last year. Really as did the sea side that the deck plan looks interesting the 2 buff A's concept this whole it's a European level of service or there are some more European aspects to the service I'm I'm curious about so I'd like to see what's go on seaside one of my friends from Brazil is also interested in seaside or maybe he's going to try out sea view I think it's the one that they're going to some to South America and then I would love to check out carnival or really any other line I haven't sailed on if especially if I could say a lot of Tampa that would be new experience all around and something that could make my 21000 different than any other year in cruiser so that's my list believe me any comments on that are yeah you know a couple things rapid fire 1st I don't think you're catching up I think we have maybe inverse schedules in some ways because in a 2nd I'll mention at least one thing that you did that I might be doing so we'll see if we can we can flip that seaside Yeah it was in need ship and as I said at the top of the show I look forward to doing it again so I would love your thoughts on it because I find that often you and I enjoy very similar things but often for different reasons. So I would I would like your feedback on that and to your last point something on Carnival or any other line you've not sailed. It's one of the most exciting things for me is trying out new things in general and new cruise lines that's that's awesome I mean. You know in 2017 near the end of 2017 I did. Holland America for the 1st time and then 280 yeah that M.S.E. and now I need to book princess that's the only cruise line that has that has ships home ported in the US that have not sailed so trying trying new lines is awesome because you just you it cruising is exciting especially when you get togethers a lot. But there's also an element of maybe predictability that goes away when it's pretty crucial and so I would forward to you being able to to to do that. As far as my 2900 plans we talked about the 1st one the most expensive Valentine's Day ever. Again I'm sure the people who chase relistening so. Then I want to try out a couple new things and I'm not sure exactly how many of these I'm going to be able to do but this is more than aspirational I'm planning on doing at least some of these we just have to see what schedule scheduling allows one I would love to see News dot com We took our 1st call in America cruise on New Amsterdam in at the end of 2017 and had a fantastic time thought the musical entertainment was really cool new stopping them it seems like they've just plussed everything and it from what I have seen it looks like they are trying to reach new heights and new audiences. All in America is with new start numb in a way similar to how celebrity is trying to reach new heights and new audiences with celebrity edge not that the ships are similar or anything like that but they're directly trying out some new things and maybe reaching out of their comfort zone as lines and I want to see that specially especially around the forgot what they call exactly what the Rolling Stone venue along with still having a B.B. King All-Star so that that would be cool if we can pull that off I see some very good deals in the spring. Then anthem or Mariner group cruise maybe both I don't know packing a lot into the beginning of the year and that's why some of this just going to come around scheduling but there are more rocker blog group cruises on. 2 ships that I'm really excited about in fact and then at the end of the year their own freedom but anthem and Mariner of the 2 I'm really excited because I've never been on a Quantum class ship and. Mariner you know had all of her work done if you will and I would like to check that out and see what it's like so hopefully we can we can make that happen as I mentioned on mats podcast which we'll talk about in a little bit Mariner. Marriner needs some faster internet and that would really open up the possibilities for me so because I know that rollkur people are listening just taking notes every word I say there you know carefully noting please please unhandsome on Mariner of the Seas so we can make that happen and then a revolution of Richard Feynman Yeah I you know I I under as best as I understand Richard Fein has a speaker sitting on his desk that does nothing but play this pod cast Yeah it just alternate spent hours in math I think yeah. So I would like to see potentially similar timing though there's really no expiration date on this but I'd like to do it sooner than later but revolutionized Celebrity ship we had one of our very 1st podcast episodes was actually about celebrity revolution their fleet revitalization project and the very 1st ship comes out of that in the spring I would like to see what celebrity does to. I don't even want to say to improve because I think celebrities fleet is pretty solid but to you know to to enhance to to bring as they said bring the rest of the fleet to the edge so we'll see if we can fit that end and then so inspired by your land trip. To to Lima I'd like to either get back to Mexico just for maybe a long weekend or something had to can coon living in south Florida it's an easy quick trip or a couple years ago are supposed to go to Colombia and had to cancel that so maybe a maybe had to met a union and then all around the south with a non Caribbean sailing everything that I just talked about so far had to do with the Caribbean and the Caribbean is great and the Caribbean really convenient for both you and I but I have many Europe in. Year and a half I think. Have been Alaskan like 33 years I think so something something's going to change with that so that that that's those are my goals for 21000 again with the knowledge that it will be hard to knock out all new. And the Mariner and revolutionized Celebrity ships because there's only so many days in the year but we'll see well I'll take it as a challenge yeah that's pretty ambitious we're looking at the revolutionize Celebrity ship I think one of the ships that's going to be bribed Lucian as this year is equinox and if you went on that that would be 2 for one for you because I know you also have not yet been on a solstice class ship on celebrity Yeah it's hard to believe because I'm a big fan of celebrity economics again was the ship for equinox still still can't decide how to say that was the ship I was booked on that I had to use insurance. For when I canceled so that would not that would take a couple boxes in a perfect world I do a back to back or I should say maybe not back to back but close together I would do a soul says class ship that had been revolutionizing the one that had you know for research for research and we just have to use your your photographs and your beautiful ability to paint a vivid picture in my head because you've sailed on Solstice class ships before celebrity revolution so I may just have to depend on that I hope that's OK with you. I'd be happy to talk about my soldiers class sailing the celebrity reflection any time. One has a few things we have an episode idea. Great art collection a matchup really great article action really. Oh yeah yeah I look forward to looking at all of the art on on then hopefully I can actual see and going Rick was very impressed by this I think things are pretty and that's what I know. You're well get your interpretation or glyph is going to be the same on the on the equinox as it is on the other reflective of the on the red letters in the whole art collection is based on the idea of a mirror or collection so there's that. Scene Yeah it shows up throughout the whole a whole collection there well well I. I want to jump in and say you picked a really great great one with and I'm here that's something I've been thinking of the more I hear people talk about Quantum class ideas showing up in the edge class especially with maybe a 272 Eden kind of parity. I even more want to sail on a quantum clash up and that would also cover the non Caribbean sailing because that would be something like a Boston. You know kind of like New England sailing or maybe even up into Canada Yeah I think in fairness I think the one that I'm looking at now and we're doing it live guys I think the one that I'm looking at goes from. I'm checking this Roker Blog dot com slash events by the way. I was just the one over July 4th yes ask for it as you know here it is so leaves out of New Jersey thing stops and Bermuda I've never been to bring you to St Maarten Puerto Rico and lobby so I guess you know the fact that it includes Bermuda means I would also be trying out something new there because I've never been there so yeah but I've heard so many people say and I know you have as well that Quantum class ships are like an in between point between celebrity and Royal Caribbean Yeah and I find that to be really intriguing in potentially appealing idea so so we'll see and you know maybe we'll keep an eye on that and. Maybe maybe we'll make a surprise appearance you and I show up and take all of the take all the glory and and you know attention from and that kind of cruise. I think that with the weather love that and so what it that I think will happen for us there I don't think we have I don't think we have to worry about stealing anyone's thunder I've got a hunch I've got a hunch it's not going to be a problem even if we showed up wearing a neon seats. Yes Well you know one of the things you could say is that Matt definitely has a following Matt has his fans and if you're one of those fans you could come to the Royal Caribbean blog meet up on Sunday January 27th at 2 pm So Billy and I are going to be there we're all getting together at grills at Lakeside seafood Dechen tiki bar at $4301.00 North Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando Florida again that is Sunday January 27th that 2 pm for an R.C.L. blog meetup I think it's been a couple years since we did one of these the last was I'm Downtown Disney or maybe there was one in between that I didn't go to was unable to it's been a couple years since you did one of these I don't know what you're so to be busy doing you know getting more graduate degrees and whatnot now. I've been busy. But yeah there are always a good time it's really great to get to to meet people and to see the people that maybe we've met but don't get to see often enough so if you will be in the Orlando area on January 27th come hang out if you show up. Just just tell Matt the you are heard about the event from us and he will give you a hug and buy you a beer I think that's the plan I believe that's the plan I didn't get a confirmation of my text from him but we're going with that see I'll put in the show to link to that information as well we'd love to see you out there and hang out with the Iraq War Blog crew while we're on the topic ever ocurred woggle Yeah I was going to say if you can't get enough we're all Caribbean bog and belly Hersch all at once like if that's the vanilla chocolates or all soft serve ice cream cone of hers pod casting for you. Well then good news. For absence right. Check out I should have the episode number on here let me look it up right now but just recently at the end of 283 up so to 80. That's how to cruise on a tight budget which I'm sure is another fantastic episode that I was not invited on for because I spend too much money to $81.00 is the 3 wishes podcast and it's our 2nd or 3rd Annual I keep thinking the 3rd but I haven't actually verified that where Matt and I talk about 3 things that we look forward to seeing in the New Year 21000 this case on record and we also look back to the 3 wishes we made last year to see if any of them came true and. Spoiler alert we pretty much twist and manipulate what we said last year to make it so that we got at least one right he time so check that out again we'll put that link in the show if you're not sick of talking about role Caribbean blog. We asked and you responded if you have questions you'd like us to read on air or if you don't want to read money or you can let us know but to reach out to us pod cast a cruise habit dot com So we want to take this opportunity to read one of the e-mails we got from Keith and listener Keith 1st of all thank you for writing Keith writes guys start listening your podcast after hearing about it on the road cribbing blog pod cast I knew we'd get another mention in there just gotten listening to your review of the new celebrity Edgewood sounds great but never heard never hear good things for kids on that line I have cruised on Royal about 4 times no region 3 times and set to cruise mother with my wife and daughter 16 on the getaway in April going to Harvest King on the cruise How does it stack up to other private destinations can you should you go to the mainland Thanks for all of your hard work putting together the pod cast keep P.S. Not sure I could do a 3 day cruise hate getting off after 7 so keeps talking about our 3 day edge sailing there and keep. But 8 young I pretty much refused to do 3 night cruises at this point it's just such a tease you know we did that one cuz it was one of the 1st and we wanted to check it out we didn't want to wait but I dig it so 1st to answer your question around stuff for kids you know celebrity is definitely not like the mainstream or like the can ember lines rather like role Caribbean and C.L. and carnival in terms of having as much for families with children that in mind out of the the main premium lines celebrity in America and Princess I think celebrity probably is the best option out of those 3 for families with kids I don't have kids Rick doesn't have kids so you know it would be disingenuous of me to speak to it in 1st person I can just tell you that for certain times of the year especially in the Caribbean you will find a surprising number of children on celebrity when I see them they seem to be having a good time and I will tell you what we'll try and do no promises I will try and get some more information about some of the children's programs and activities on board celebrity space specifically celebrity edge when we're on next week so getting to the rest your question you're going to be going on Getaway and you're wondering about harvest K. frankly Keith I am too so I want to hear from you about harvest because I've not had the chance to go there yet I will tell you a little bit just all of our listeners a little bit about Harvey's case so the Norwegian Cruise Line has a number of private destinations in fact they were the very 1st cruise line to have their own private destination and we'll talk more about that an upcoming episode teaser they actually had 2 of them and they advertised the wrong one see now now you look for that one. But harvest K. is the most recent It opened up at the end of 2016 it's right off the coast of Billie's and it's visited not just by N.C.L. but by and seal Oceana and Region 7 seas Those are all Norwegian Cruise Line holdings companies. So that makes it in and of itself a little bit unique and as I mentioned island off the mainland coast of Billie's it's very much a resort like destination you look at the pictures and videos it is absolutely gorgeous looking big pools beaches there's a salt water lagoon for water sports kayaking stuff like that there's a whole aerial center thing for thousands of feet of zip lines and other aerial activities aerial seems to be the looking at what we saw an edge in losing to 70 aerial it people spending on things and hanging from things I feel like that's going to be a thing. And there's a ton to do on Harvest K.. What's really interesting what's different about harvest cake compared to a lot of other destinations beyond just by the way the I forgot to call him I think cottages that are like houses that you can kind of rent for the day but what's really unique is there are while there's not any complimentary dining usually on cruise line private destinations it's an extension of the ship at least to a degree right there's no complimentary dining and harvest but there are a lot of different restaurants and other types of businesses there but you're not going to find Diamonds International and things like that wine all of the businesses in this part of the deal that N.C.L. worked out with the government of Billie's all of the businesses on Harvest K. are owned by people in Billy's. They're owned and operated by locals they employ I believe over $400.00 locals in harvest so that's pretty cool I like I like seeing something that actually supports the local economy have talked about it with with lobby for example that they that they hire locals and and really give people an opportunity there especially in places where there aren't as many opportunities as maybe there should be so I think that's pretty cool personally when I when I do get there you know I'm sure I'll be like I wish lunch was free but glad to contribute to local businesses so that's pretty cool that there are some options like that and there are as you mentioned there are opportunities to actually leave the island so that's another thing that's unique about harvest cake compared to other private cruise line destinations is you can actually take excursions from harvest cake to the mainland there are some ruins that you can see there are there are some really high high activity high energy tours that you can do or you can just say on the island now unlike most S. nations or I guess more like private private cruise line destinations you would have to book that experience or those experiences through N.C.L. you can't go through short trips or somebody else to you know even even an independent person to do that in theory I guess if you got to the mainland you could but in order to even do that I believe you have to book an excursion through N.C.L. personally Keith if you're looking for a good beach day I'd be inclined to stay in Harvest take is everything that I've heard about it from from other gas from bloggers has been that it is a really gorgeous destination so if you if you're looking for just that relaxing do very little day you get to enjoy all those benefits that you have on other cruise line private destinations while simultaneously contributing to the local economy and it may sound cliché but I think that's really important so I would for finding out whatever you do whether you stay on the island or you head out Keith and do right back let us know what you did and how you enjoyed it. But more than anything thank you so much for writing in and warm mind all of our listeners if you have questions please send us an e-mail podcast at cruise habit dot com Yeah Keith when you get back please give us an email below snow what you thought about how did our facts stack up with what you experienced there and what would your recommendations be for other people who are going to harvest including us one when we might go someday yeah will round out the podcast with a thank you to. I will also say speak E.G. for the review. On i Tunes We're glad you like the podcast However you're listen to our podcast do us a favor and search for Cruz habit in i Tunes or in the Apple podcast app and leave us a review there if you have a question for us go ahead and e-mail us at pod casting crews habit dot com and we'll see if we can get to that on a future episode of the show thanks for listening. Hey this is David from new for Richey Florida I'm a friend of Cruz have a dot com and you can join me in following the guys on Twitter Instagram and Facebook Don't forget to subscribe to Crews have a podcast on i Tunes Google Play Spotify or your punk chess player of choice to stay up to date on all the latest episode so if you're a fan of the periscope app you can search crews have it to join the broadcast from ship to shore they would love to talk shit for the real soon.