Plan Your Cruise

Cruise and travel tips to help you plan your cruise vacation.  You’ll find cruise advice, packing tips, onboard experiences, how to choose a cruise ship shore excursion and much more.

If you are a solo female traveler like me, you’ll find a wide range of solo travel advice.  There are articles that cover everything from solo dining on a cruise ship to staying safe in a new cruise port.

I try to review as many cruise ship shore excursions as possible so you can decide what shore excursions to take before you cruise.

For actual cruise reviews, cruise ship profiles and daily cruise reports, head to
Ocean Cruise Reviews.

Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas

Best Tips for Easy Debarkation on Oasis of the Seas

At 7am on debarkation morning, some 5,400 passengers are eager to go on their merry way after a week-long cruise.  Of those, probably a couple thousand arrived by car.  With all this activity – people rushing to their cars, busses and taxis – you’d think an Oasis of the Seas debarkation would be a chaotic […] Read more…

How to Bring Wine on Your Cruise

Guide to Bringing Wine on a Cruise 2019

What to know if you plan to bring wine on a cruise. I know a lot of cruisers who prefer to bring wine on a cruise that they’ve purchased at home. I even knew someone who packed inexpensive wine glasses to use in their stateroom with their smuggled French Bordeaux. Then again, years ago, people simply bubble-wrapped their […] Read more…

Things to Do in Malaga, Spain on Your Own

First stop in Europe: Malaga Spain! We made it!  From Ft. Lauderdale to Malaga, Spain in 11 days aboard Holland America Koningsdam.  I was here last year but with my foot in a bulky black boot because of a broken toe, I didn’t go much past the busy port area. Today I felt like I […] Read more…

Ultimate Cruise Ship Gratuities Guide 2019

How to tip, how much, when and to whom? Your cruise is paid in full. All that’s left to do is pack your bags, head to the pier and board your ship. But keep your wallet handy because there are gratuities to pay even before your cruise begins. How much, to whom and when to […] Read more…

How to Choose a Panama Canal Cruise

It’s been on my bucket list for quite a while.  So when I had a chance to jump on Crystal Serenity for a Panama Canal cruise that included a full transit of this feat of engineering, the decision was easy.  But it wasn’t until I really started to look at several other cruise lines’ itineraries […] Read more…

43 Lessons I’ve Learned From Traveling Solo

Solo Female Travel Tips It’s taken me a lot of years to compile this new list of my best solo travel tips.  Decades, actually. My first solo trip happened when I was 12 years old. My dad put me on a two-night train ride from Chicago to Phoenix to visit family.  As I settled into my […] Read more…

9 Best Tips for Your First Solo Cruise

You can find dozens of articles online written by people who have completed their first solo cruise.  I enjoy their stories, but one solo cruise does not an expert make. Not to say that I’m an expert, but I’ve really been there, done that and have been buying the proverbial t-shirt since 1979.  My first […] Read more…

How to Get to Paradise Island from Nassau Cruise Port

Easy step by step directions to get to Paradise island. Cruise ship shore excursions offer pricey packages to Atlantis for its 141-acre Aquaventure water park complex and beautiful beaches. If you are just a curious cruiser who wants to see Paradise Island and Atlantis, there’s a simple and easy way to get to Paradise Island […] Read more…

Entrance to Portland Oregon Union Station

Alaska Trip Report: Catch the Alaska Ferry or Else

A Smoke-filled race to Bellingham, WA for the Alaska Marine Highway ferry. The journey of 11,000 miles begins with one train…  Amtrak Silver Meteor – one overnight from Orlando to Washington, DC Amtrak Capitol Limited – one overnight from Washington, DC to Chicago Hotel nights (4) in Chicago Amtrak California Zephyr – two overnights from […] Read more…

cruise to canada and trois rivieres for maple syrup

Cruise to Canada and Pour on the Maple Syrup

Amber Ambrosia With winter’s ebb and spring’s impending warmth, stately old maple trees begin their annual ritual. All across eastern Canada, when the clear-colored sap of the maple tree begins to run, it signals the start of the anxiously awaited “maple sugaring” season.  It’s the beginning of the season to cruise to Canada. It’s the […] Read more…

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