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Buffet Dining Onboard the Crown Princess

Cruise ship dining comes with many options and such is the case on the beautiful Crown Princess.

One may choose to visit one’s assigned formal dining room for all three meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner.  One may request room service, which is complimentary.  One may visit a specialty restaurant for dinner – a steakhouse.  One may grab a bite from the grill or pizzeria.  One may even catch breakfast, lunch or a snack from the International Café, or one may go buffet style dining on the Crown Princess.

Here is the best part - except for specialty restaurants and probably minor charges at a cafe, your cruise ship dining options are covered by your cruise fare.  How cool is that?

Eat all you want!  

Now back to Crown Princess and buffet dining...

You will notice in the attached photo that the buffet restaurant is nicely decorated and furnished.  You may choose to have breakfast, lunch, tea (between lunch and dinner) and dinner in the Horizon Buffet Restaurant on the Lido Deck.  You are guaranteed no shortage of food and a wide variety from which to choose.

You will also be pleased with the service.  Many crew members wait around to serve you beverages, clear your table and help with any other requests.

The waitress you see in the photo was very kind to my family.  She even gave me a hug on the last morning of our Crown Princess cruise.

If you want to get away from the formal setting at any time during of the day, consider going buffet style dining onboard the Crown Princess.

Go have fun on the high seas!

Peter Grant
McDonough, GA


You Must Check Out Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class of Cruise Ships

Royal Caribbean currently holds the title as the cruise line with the biggest ships on the high seas.  Now, they are taking things further with their new class of ships – the Quantum Class.

The cruise line has debuted two ships in this class in quick succession: the Quantum of the Seas graced our presence last year and the Anthem of the Seas has recently left the shipyard for England.  Each of these ships has features never before seen at sea.

Here are a handful of things to expect on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class of ships:

The North Star – How would you like to soar above the sea in a capsule that takes you as high as the Statute of Liberty and gives you a 360 degree view of the ocean?  Welcome to Royal Caribbean’s the North Star.

RIP Cord by iFLY – Have you wanted to skydive, but could not find the courage for it?  Now you can on board a Quantum Class ship, which will feature the first skydiving simulator at sea.  It promises to be a fun ride!

Sea Plex – Welcome to the largest indoor play area at sea, which is quite transformative.  During the day, this space will allow for games like basketball, foosball, air hockey, and other games.  At night, this space becomes a racetrack for bumper cars and a place for roller-skating.

Broadway at Sea – Have you seen a Broadway show?  Now you can at sea.  The Quantum Class of ships will feature the Broadway hit, Mama Mia and others.

Are you as excited as I am about these new features?  What will they add next to these luxury vessels?

If you are in North America, get ready to bid goodbye to Quantum of the Seas as she heads off to China to stir up things in that emerging cruise market.  However, do not worry about missing out on sailing on a Quantum Class ship.  The Anthem will sail in Europe for several months and will then be re-positioned to Cape Liberty, New Jersey later this year.

The good news is that you can now make plans to be among first families sailing on the Anthem of the Seas from her U.S. homeport.  You are guaranteed an experience that is out of this world!

I really hope that you will be able to experience the thrill that so many families have when they choose a cruise ship vacation.

Go have fun!

Peter Grant
McDonough, GA


Traveling Opens Your Eyes to Ingenuity Elsewhere

I certainly wish that everyone had a chance to travel.  It has been said that you have not lived, until you have traveled.

Many people are blessed to visit new places, meet new people and try new experiences, but some are not.  

For those who have not traveled, I urge you to make it a goal to leave what you are used to and visit at least one new place.

You will find that traveling opens your eyes to ingenuity and to so much more elsewhere.

Take for instance the attached photo.  You may not see a “taxi” sign, but would you believe that this is a taxi in St. Thomas?  Do you also notice that it is a Chevy pickup truck?  It certainly is.  We use those trucks in the United States to move loads.  However in St. Thomas, and on other islands, they convert those trucks and similar ones such as Ford 250’s into taxis which can carry several people at once.

How ingenious!

I also recall visiting Samana, Dominican Republic and rode in a taxi comprised of seats and a covering attached to a motorbike.  Picture a motorbike that carries two people, having seats and a covering for 4 or more people.

Traveling helps us to see new ways of doing things and meeting people, who while similar to us in many ways, are geniuses in their own rights.

Plan to travel.  Plan to see outside your world.

Happy travels!

Peter Grant

McDonough, GA


Cruising Is Affordable: Some Carnival Cruise Prices for May

While cruising offers the best value in terms of a package deal for families, many people think twice about booking a family cruise vacation.  
The biggest fear is that it costs too much.

However, if you compare the price for a cruise ticket and all the things included: accommodations, food, activities, entertainment, plus visiting new places with the price for a land vacation, you will conclude that cruising is a great value.

Admittedly, if you attempt to sail during the summer when everyone else is cruising, you will pay more than at other times.

However, if you choose a Carnival cruise package, you will often come out a winner.  Carnival Cruise Line is known for its efforts to make cruising available to people of all backgrounds.

Below are some Carnival cruise prices for May.  If you can drive to a cruise port, this will save you tons of dollars on travel as airfares tend to get out of hand.

Sample 1 – Prices Include Taxes & Port Charges

3-day Cruise from Miami to The Bahamas on May 29th

Fares for 2 people per cabin start under $760.

Fares for 3 people per cabin start under $980.

Sample 2 – Prices Include Taxes & Port Charges

4-day Cruise from Port Canaveral (near Orlando) to 2 Stops in The Bahamas on May 17th

Fares for 2 people per cabin start under $780.

Fares for 3 people per cabin start under $970.

You may search for more family cruise vacation options for May by clicking here.

I hope that you will go have fun, now that you realize that if choose the right time, cruising is affordable and is a great value for your family.

Bon voyage!

Peter Grant
McDonough, GA


Surprised By Two Things In Rome

My wife and I were blessed to take a 7-day Mediterranean cruise via the beautiful Costa Serena for our 15th anniversary almost three years ago.  

As part of the cruise we docked at a city called Civitavecchia and from there we rode a tour bus into Rome.  The bus’ final stop was at Vatican City.

As you can imagine, we had the opportunity to see the famous city for the first time.  It was quite exciting! 

However, there was something about the Vatican City (Rome) that surprised me.  There were scores of men and women who lined the street selling different items – bags, scarves, jewelry and several other souvenir items.  Many of the vendors appeared to be immigrants from Africa. 

The most interesting thing about the vendors is that they were there without permits or licenses.  How did I know this?  Whenever a police car came into sight, we watched them scurrying about in many directions.  And, as soon as the police left, they came right back.

Another thing about Rome that surprised me was the presence of pickpockets.  From Vatican City, we rode the subway to the Coliseum.   The guide on our tour bus warned us before leaving to look out for pickpockets.  Sadly, one of our friends who had visited Rome the year before had her passport picked.

I remember standing on the train platform and seeing a very suspicious guy eyeing the patrons.  I held onto my stuff firmly.

Those are the two things about Rome that surprised me.  Why was I surprised?  I think of Rome, especially Vatican City, as a “holy” place.  I therefore do not expect certain things to happen there.

Yet, I was reminded that the people are pretty much the same wherever you go.

Despite those two “minor” things, Rome is a beautiful city.  Your family will enjoy the visit, whether by cruise ship or by airplane.  Be careful as you explore and enjoy the breathtaking views of this ancient city.

Peter Grant
McDonough, GA


Still Not Sure Which Summer Vacation To Book?

Believe it or not, it is April and before you know it, summer will be here.  

Have you booked your summer vacation yet?  If you haven’t, then you need to get to it.

Most people take their annual vacation during the summer.  Hence, prices are at their highest during the summer months.  Cruises, airfares, resorts, and vacation rentals all experience price hikes during this time of year.  The best way to beat this is with good planning.

It may be a little late for some things but you may still get lucky, especially with a last minute cruise deal.

Here are some helpful tips about booking summer vacations:

1.  If you are traveling overseas, book your airfare three (3) months or earlier before your desired departure date.

2.  If you are flying domestic, book your airfare about 6 – 8 weeks out.

3.  If your plans involve a hotel/resort and flying, always seek for a combo package.  It will save you money.

4.  As much as is possible, avoid booking a vacation that includes Memorial Day or Independence Day.  If you must travel during those times, prepare to spend a little extra.

5.  If you are booking a cruise for summer, you should do that

6.  If you live in the northeast or elsewhere schools re-open after Labor Day, look for a cruise package for late August.  The deals then can be super!

7.  Save!  Save!  Save!

I really hope that you are able to take the family away this summer.  Go have fun!

If you need any help with vacation planning, I’ll be delighted and honored to help.  Reach me at

Have you booked your summer vacation yet?  Get to it!

Peter Grant

McDonough, GA


Interesting Things To Know About Carnival Cruise Line

If you are considering a cruise vacation for the first time ever, I encourage you to sail with Carnival Cruise Line.  Carnival offers a fleet of “Fun Ships,” equipped to ensure that you have a fun time at sea.

Here are some interesting things to know about Carnival Cruise Line:

1.      Carnival currently has plans to spruce up all its ships via the program Fun Ship 2.0.  This program will add more features that passengers enjoy – amazing waterworks, an expanded sports-square, more dining options, better bar experiences, an adult-only area, etc.

2.      Whereas prior to 9/11 Carnival largely sailed out of Florida, the cruise line now offers sailings from 15 different US homeports.

3.      Most people in the United States looking for a Carnival cruise are within a 5-hour driving distance from a Carnival ship.

4.      Carnival welcomes 80,000 passengers each week onboard its ships – 4.5 million fun-lovers per year.

5.      The company has a fleet of 24 Fun Ships.

6.      Carnival ships sail to the most desirable destinations – Alaska, Australia, Bahamas, Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico, New England, New Zealand and the Panama Canal.

7.      If you have traveled with Carnival or on any of her sister cruise lines, you are entitled to the past guest rate on any other line within the company.  Other cruise lines owned by Carnival’s parent company (Carnival Corporation) include: Costa, Cunard, Holland America, Princess and Seaward.

8.      Carnival is known for its spacious staterooms.  Not many other cruise lines can brag about offering more cabin space.

9.      Carnival Cruise Line continues to outdo the competition in pricing for cruise packages.  You can generally expect to spend less on a cruise package booked with Carnival than with any other cruise line.

10.  Carnival offers the Great Vacation Guarantee.  This program promises to refund you 110 percent the price of your cruise, if within 24 hours of leaving your U.S. homeport you decide that the cruise is not for you.  (Certain restrictions apply.  Check with your travel professional for details.)

You are guaranteed to have a fun time at sea on any Carnival cruise ship.  I hope you will plan your cruise vacation today.  Call your travel agent.

Bon Voyage!

Peter Grant
McDonough, GA


Have You Visited Cozumel, Mexico?

My family first visited Cozumel, Mexico nine years ago on our first Caribbean cruise.  Since then, we have been back on three different cruises – all Carnival sailings.

There was a time when I thought that Cozumel was largely a cruise stop.  However, I have learned over the years that it is much more.  It is a very popular Mexican tourist spot for families, singles and couples.

Cozumel, Mexico is known for great beaches, deep sea diving and snorkeling.  It is said that over a million tourists visit this Mexican island each year.

As I said earlier, the island is also popular with cruise lines.  You can find all the top Caribbean cruise lines with itineraries that include Cozumel.  If fact, the island has three different piers to welcome cruise liners, many of which offer year-round cruises to this hot tourist spot.

To get to Cozumel on a cruise ship, you need to book a Western Caribbean cruise.  Our last visit to the island was July 2012 on a Carnival Paradise cruise, which also called at Grand Cayman.  We did a tour of the island, checking out the interior, seeing how the people live and get around, watching people play with iguanas and visiting one of the many beaches on Cozumel.

If you are interested in taking your family on a cruise ship vacation which includes Cozumel, Mexico, you can find several sailings leaving from ports in Florida, as well as from New Orleans and Galveston.

Happy sailing!

Peter Grant
McDonough, GA


First Time Cruisers: How To Book Your Cruise

If you have never cruised before but you are considering a cruise ship vacation, I want you know that booking your cruise package is not difficult.

Booking your cruise can be done either by you or a third party - a travel agent or cruise line representative.  You can book your cruise in one of three simple ways, which I will discuss below.

First things first:  To book your cruise, you will need the correct spelling of your name as it appears in your government-issued identification document; an email address and phone number; an emergency contact person; plus you will need an idea where you want to go, which kind of ship, the length of your cruise, and what type of cabin you want – inside cabin, oceanview, balcony cabin, or a suite.

Booking a Cruise via a Third Party

You can either call the desired cruise line and speak with a representative or you can use a travel agent.  Using a travel agent works to your advantage because that person will help you choose the cruise package that is right for your family and will remain available to help with anything you need before, during, or after your cruise ship vacation.

Booking a Cruise by Yourself

1.  You may visit the desired cruise line’s website to book.  It does not matter which cruise line it is, you will find a link on the website to book –,,,, etc.

2.  You can book with an online travel company.  There are several big names in travel which sell cruises – Expedia,,, etc.  The only issue with booking at an online travel company is that you do not speak directly to someone.  

If you are booking a cruise ship vacation, it pays to speak directly to someone – a person who will use his or her expertise and knowledge of cruising to help your family find the cruise package which suits your pocket and your preference.

Happy booking and sailing!

Peter Grant
McDonough, GA


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