royal caribbean

Cruising World Travel

Photo Essay: Havana, Cuba

We had the opportunity to visit Havana, Cuba with Royal Caribbean aboard their ship, Empress of the Seas. Havana was a really interesting place to visit. Obviously there is a lot of history here, and it was a great experience to be able to see Havana in person. Here are some of our favorite photos from our day there:

Sunrise over Havana, Cuba

Sunrise view from the ship


San Francisco Square - Havana, Cuba

San Francisco Square

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Empress of the Seas

Review: Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas

Review: Empress of the Seas

When the travel restrictions were eased for traveling to Cuba, the cruise lines jumped at the opportunity to start sailing to Havana. We finally were able to go aboard Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas over Labor Day weekend! Needless to say, we had a wonderful experience. We are very loyal to Royal because we always have a nice time and they have a fabulous loyalty program called Crown & Anchor Society. Since we reached the Diamond level, we almost exclusively sail with Royal now because the perks are so worth it. We also enjoy sailing with Royal because the ships feel like a second home now.

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Caribbean Cruise Aboard the Rhapsody of the Seas ... Read more on thetravelinggals.com

Caribbean Cruise Aboard the Rhapsody of the Seas

We just got off a seven day Caribbean cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas. Of course we had a fabulous time, even though the weather wasn’t that great. It’s hard to have a bad time on a cruise! This one left out of Tampa and stopped in Roatan, Honduras, Belize City, Belize, Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico. Although the Rhapsody is one of Royal Caribbean’s smaller ships, there is still plenty to do. This was also one of the best crews we have ever experienced on a cruise. They were all so nice and helpful. The first two days aboard were a bit chilly and rainy. We used this time to do more of the ship activities because it was not good pool weather. We actually ended up having a great first day aboard going to trivia, games, and different seminars throughout the ship. (We also spent a lot of time at the Schooner Bar.)

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Majesty of the Seas anchored in CocoCay, The Bahamas
Ashley Cruising

Bahamas Cruise Aboard the Majesty of the Seas

Port Canaveral, FL – CocoCay, Bahamas – Nassau, Bahamas – Sea Day

We just got back from a great cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas! This was just a 4 night cruise that stopped in CocoCay and Nassau. It was a lot of fun and we really lucked out with the weather. This time of year is good to go because the prices are usually very low, however you run more of a risk of hitting bad weather because it is hurricane season. The crew was wonderful and the food and drinks were great! While the Majesty of the Seas is one of the smaller Royal Caribbean ships, there was still lots to do.

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Sailing to the Caribbean

Sail Away on a Caribbean Cruise

Sail Away to the Caribbean on a Cruise!

Every year our family goes on a Caribbean cruise out of Tampa with Royal Caribbean. It is a great way to relax and have fun in the warm tropical weather. This year’s cruise was 5 nights and stopped in Cozumel and Grand Cayman. It was especially nice because we left while Florida was having a bit of a cold spell, but the weather in the Caribbean was great.

We have been fortunate enough to go on a lot of cruises over the years and have become very loyal to Royal Caribbean due to their fantastic loyalty program, Crown & Anchor Society. You can read all about this program here.

The ship we were on this year was the Brilliance of the Seas. She is a medium sized ship that has great amenities and a fantastic crew. This is our favorite size ship to sail on.  Here is an overview of our 5 day cruise with our tips. We will also have a list of our best tips at the end!

Day 1: Tampa, FL

Brilliance of the Seas in Tampa, FL

We suggest that you head to the cruise terminal around 11am. If you go to early, the ship’s not ready and you have to wait. If you go later in the afternoon, that’s when most other people arrive so you also have to wait. Unfortunately boarding the ship usually requires waiting in a few lines, so be patient and prepared by eating a snack beforehand. Luckily we did not have to wait too long and headed straight to the buffet for lunch.

Check out our tips for first time cruisers.

We always like to take a tour of the ship to see where everything is and what’s going on. It’s good to know where the Guest Services is located, the dining room, and your room. Typically the rooms are not ready until around 1 or 2pm and your luggage should be in front of your door. If it’s not, don’t panic yet! It’s probably on it’s way. When the room is ready we like to unpack and freshen up a little before heading to the Sail Away Party on the Lido Deck!

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Royal Caribbean Chops Grille

The Finer Things Aboard Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean:  The Finer Things

In the world of cruising, family and budget friendly usually come to mind when thinking of Royal Caribbean cruises, not the finer things.  I want to share with you two experiences I recently had on the Vision of the Seas that were quite grand events and elevated my perception of service and epicurean significance.

Royal Caribbean

Vision of the Seas


Lafite Wine Tasting

When reserving the tasting, I did not realize it was Lafite and assumed it was the usual tasting offered on board most ships.  It was not!  Royal Caribbean has exclusively partnered with Domaines Baron de Rothschild Lafite and this program presents the history and details of these exquisite wines of the region of Bordeaux.  Chateau Lafite is a wine estate in France owned by members of the Rothschild family.  It is renowned as one of the most famous wine properties in the Medoc.  Producing primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, some Lafite Rothschild vintages are the most expensive wines worldwide for purchase.

We had a small group and an excellent sommelier.  As is usual in tastings, everyone is quiet at the beginning but are much more chatty as the wine continues flowing!  The sommelier is key.  Ours was very knowledgeable, but also a lot of fun!  I really enjoy wines and informative tastings, but I do not take them too seriously.  I want to learn and have a good time.  Since the wines are primarily reds, we started the tasting with the one white wine and moved up to the fuller bodied reds and ended with a classic dessert wine.   The wines tasted are below.  I loved the Bordeaux Blanc which is a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc and the Medoc red which was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  They were all interesting to taste.  The wines flowed very freely and we were sent home with a beautiful folder packed with information regarding Lafite and the wines we tasted.    This is a perfect afternoon endeavor on a day at sea as long as you have time for a nap at the pool before dinner!

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