Cruising / Living on Cruise Ships / Norwegian / etc.

Virtual Cruise Life–Norwegian Spirit Roundtrip Rome

Norwegian Spirit May 18 Roundtrip from Rome

In this second installment of my virtual cruise life, I’ve decided to add a Norwegian Spirit round-trip cruise from Rome.  I’ve also investigated the costs and logistics of getting from Copenhagen to the Port of Rome at Civitavecchia.

American Airlines / Award travel / banking

Why I No Longer Collect American Airlines Miles

Useless AAdvantage Miles

I no longer try to amass American Airlines AAdvantage miles from credit card sign ups and BankDirect checking accounts.  Award availability on American and its partners has been so scarce recently that I haven’t made any AAdvantage mile redemptions this year!

Cruising / Living on Cruise Ships / Norwegian / etc.

Starting My Virtual Cruise Life

Norwegian Getaway April 2017 Transatlantic

My newest blog project is to plan a summer of Mediterranean travel using last-minute cruise bookings interspersed with land travel.  I want to see what the ratio of land/sea travel would turn out to be, and to come up with an approximate cost.

Credit and Debit Cards / Cruising / Hotel Rewards

When Hotel Loyalty Programs Are a Waste of Time

Loveland Pass Colorado

Booking last-minute hotels on a quick cross-country road trip taught us the value of using CASH to book last-minute budget hotels.  We never paid more than $60 a night for hotels that were basic but adequate.  This experience makes me question the value of hotel points that I have been saving.

Cruising / Royal Caribbean

Chasing Royal Caribbean Diamond Status–Is It Worth It?

Crown and Anchor Club Benefit Levels

The value of “status” with airlines, hotels and cruise lines has always eluded me.  It seems like the time, effort, and money spent are not worth the nebulous perks.  Now that I realize that I am a couple of cruises away from Diamond status on Royal Caribbean I may be changing my tune.

adventure / Carnival / Cruising / etc.

Is It Finally Time to Cruise to Cuba?

Several cruise lines are offering cruises that visit Cuba.  They vary widely in price as well as the number of days actually spent in Cuban ports.  I’m wondering if it is finally time for us to take a cruise to Cuba.

Cruising / Family travel / Royal Caribbean

A Cruise for Mom–Five Nights on the Royal Caribbean Empress of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Empress of the Seas Itinerary
Royal Caribbean Empress of the Seas Itinerary

I’ve booked a short itinerary that sails from Tampa for Mom and me.  We can easily drive to the port and she will be away from home less than a week.  In the meantime I’ll be working on my Royal Caribbean Diamond Status. Continue reading “A Cruise for Mom–Five Nights on the Royal Caribbean Empress of the Seas”

Cruising / Port Days / Ports

A Rome Port Day–Aqueduct Park

Detailed Map of Aqueduct Park Rome

Aqueduct Park in Rome is seldom visited by tourists but it makes a beautiful and peaceful day trip from Rome’s busy center.  It is also easy to do if you have a fairly long port day in Civitavecchia.

Airport Lounges / Credit and Debit Cards / Cruising

American Express Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve–Why I Have Both

I am currently using and paying a $450 annual fee on each of these cards.  I think that the benefits of these cards are valuable enough that I may keep them indefinitely.

adventure / Mexico

Party Town Guanajuato, Mexico

Museo de las Momias Guanajuato Mexico

This was our favorite “hang out” town on our last Mexico trip.  Guanajuato has just the right mix of colonial architecture, varied geography, great climate, interesting sites, and just enough tourists to make it a fun place to spend a few days (or more.)