Category Archives: NCL Sky

Hurricane Earl: NCL Sky Amazing Deal!

As Hurricane Earl brushes past the Northern Caribbean, he is leaving behind him a wake of amazing cruise deals. Deal hunters in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama are fully aware that this is the season to land those dream deals. Combine a semi-recovering economy with a passing hurricane and you get the DEAL OF THE YEAR! The NCL Sky departing Miami on September 6th for a 4 night Bahamas cruise vacation is now priced at only $119 per person! The best part is that Hurricane Earl will be well past Florida and the Bahamas by Labor Day. And with the NCL Sky departing on Labor Day, you’ll only have to take off 3 days to enjoy this last-minute deal! Hurry and book it now!
NCL Sky Cruise Deal

If you can’t take advantage of this awesome Deal, make sure you subscribe in the top right of the blog so you so you do not miss out on the CruiseSource.us Deals, News, and Advice. Or just Follow us on Twitter!

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Guide to Choosing the right Cruise Line

For your first Cruise deciding which cruise to book can seem like a very difficult task due to having so many options. My goal is to help you narrow down your options of cruise lines with the help of this blog post. Over the course of Cruising adventures, I do recommend that you try out multiple lines to see what they all have to offer. A lot of our clients graduate from shorter cruises to longer cruises as they become “addicted” to cruising. These clients will increase their vacation budget and their ability to get more time away from work (or retire). So look at this as your first of many cruise bookings and do not stress too much about making the wrong choice. 99% chance which ever you choose, you will be happy that you took your first cruise!

If you need to take a 3 – 5 night cruise due to budget, available time, or you are testing out cruising then of your main choices for Cruise Lines will be Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and the Norwegian Sky. Celebrity, Holland, and Princess Cruise Line occasionally offer short cruises. Carnival has the most ships completing 3 – 5 night itineraries leaving from multiple ports in Florida, Galveston, TX, Long Beach, CA, and New Oreleans, LA.

The Cruise Lines typically use their Medium-Sized ships for short 3 – 5 itineraries. So if on your first cruise you want to enjoy amenities like ice skating rinks, wave rider or bowling alleys of the large ships then you will need to take a 7-night cruise. The Short itineraries typically have a younger average age of passenger. The cruises longer than 7 nights will have an older average age.

When choosing your cruise line here is a quick reference to help you choose the right cruise line-

Carnival – the FUN Ships. Carnival is rated very high for their quality of Food and Entertainment. It is a mass market cruise line that appeals to almost everyone. Ships décor is bright lights, colors, reminiscent of Vegas. Carnival has the highest rated beds at Sea…a big deal if you are looking to catch up on sleep.

Royal Caribbean – Family Oriented. Unmatched in the size of their of ships and the activities offered aboard the ship. Royal Caribbean pushes the envelope on their ship designs. Décor is a lot of Brass and Glass on all of their ships. Large Family Reunions I would consider Royal Caribbean and Carnival because they appeal to the most diverse range of people.

Norwegian Cruise Line – Freestyle Cruising. It is your vacation do thing on your own schedule and dress up for dinner if you want to. NCL are the mavericks of the cruise industry and are willing try things that are not ‘traditional’ cruising. Most cruise lines now offer an open dining option for dinner after NCL introduced it several years ago. Casino’s on NCL offer the highest limits and are my favorite. NCL is making an effort to improve their food but it ranks lower than Carnival and Royal Caribbean.

Princess Cruise Line – Described as Casually elegant. They have a good kids program but not are not as kid friendly as Royal, Carnival, and NCL. This also means that when school is out that you will not see as many kids on a Princess Cruise as the other 3 before mentioned. Princess offers Anytime Dining for Dinner and have almost perfected the concept. You are not likely to find a late night party crowd on a Princess Cruise. If you are cruise Alaska for your first cruise I would look at Princess first. Princess has been in Alaska the longest and have invested the most money in Alaska.
Celebrity Cruise Line – Celebrity is Royal Caribbean’s Premium Brand. They have impeccable food and drinks. The average age of the passengers will be older than the cruise lines above. Most of Celebrity’s ships are medium-sized ships, but they have recently launched the Celebrity Solstice which is getting rave reviews for design and innovation. The Celebrity Solstice is Celebrities largest ship and seems to be appealing to the younger demographics too.

Holland America – Holland is a Premium Brand. Holland America is geared toward the 60+ demographic. They have white glove service and highly rated food. They offer several World Cruises. I do not believe many people take a world cruise as their first cruise. I could be wrong, so if you are taking a world cruise as your first cruise leave a comment below and let us know how it turns out.

Disney Cruise Line – Disney is very kid oriented. There is not a casino. Adults to have some adult only areas on the ships to get a break from kiddos. Disney Cruise Lines food is very good. Disney Cruise line has all the characters and even gets taken over by Pirates so the Mickey can save the day. An awesome family vacation. Price will be more expensive than Carnival and Royal Caribbean for similar Itineraries.

There are several other Deluxe and Premium Cruise lines such as Regent, Oceania, Azamara, Crystal, Seabourne, etc. A future article will be how to choose the right Luxury Cruise Line.

Click on the Cruise lines above to get more detailed information. Those of you who have been on A couple of Cruises, how did you choose your first cruise and and advice you have to offer? Leave a comment!

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Filed under Carnival, Celebrity, Family, NCL Sky, Norwegian Cruise Line

NCL Sky Review – @Toryn, Winner of our Cruise Contest on Twitter

@Toryn, the winner of the Free Cruise in the first Twitter Cruise Contest just returned from her vacation on the NCL Sky. We held the contest in November 2008 and Toryn cruised on February 22nd, 2009 in a Balcony Cabin on the NCL Sky. Follow @CruiseSource on Twitter to win our next Cruise Giveaway. Here is her review from the Norwegian Sky 4 night Bahama’s Cruise:

Monday we left for Miami; it was very similar our last trip- same airline (American), same type of plane (small regional jets), same landing area (out away from the terminal, having to take a little bus to get inside), but this flight left a few hours later, meaning we didn’t have to leave for the airport at ungodly hour, and we also didn’t have to wait around when we got to the ship. The only negative part of the trip happened as soon as we got to the port. The porter who was supposed to take our suitcase was very rude, and wouldn’t accept the cabin number I told him. I was reading right off a paper I’d downloaded as part of my e-docs. He told us we’d have to carry the suitcase on ourselves, and I really didn’t want to do that. We got up to the entrance to the NCL terminal, and the person there, an actual NCL employee (porters work for the port itself) asked if we wanted to check our suitcase, and by this time I was crying and upset. He looked up our room number on a passenger list, and we got a new tag to fill out and sent our suitcase on its way. After that was taken care of, things went smoothly for the rest of the trip.

We checked in, boarded, received a free glass of champagne, and went directly to Deck 11 for lunch. Then, after 2PM, we were able to see our room. The room was smaller, a little smaller than what we’ve been used to with Carnival, but it did have a balcony, and was very cutely decorated. We laid down for a little while until lifeboat drill. After the drill was sailaway, so we went back up to Deck 11 for drinks and they were also grilling hamburgers, hotdogs, and chicken right there next to the pool, so we had something to eat. This is the second cruise in a row where our room has been one deck below the deck where the pool, buffets, and other activities are, and I am getting very spoiled by that! It’s so convenient to just run up one floor to get a snack or a drink. That night we walked around to find out where things were, and went to bed early.

Tuesday the ship docked in Freeport, Bahamas. We decided to stay onboard because 1) we’d already been to Freeport, and 2) since the cruise didn’t have a “sea day” we wanted to make our own. We played trivia, and won a couple of times. NCL gives out little souvenirs for prizes, instead of trophies, so we have some playing cards and luggage tags. We sat out by the pool for awhile, ate lunch, just hung out, basically. We ate in one of the main dining rooms for dinner,
and went to the show, which was a Broadway tribute and included songs from Moving Out, Wicked, Mamma Mia, Hairspray, and a couple of others. It made me want to see Wicked!

Wednesday we stopped in Nassau. We did get off the ship, but didn’t do much. We took a horse-drawn carriage tour (the horse’s name was Anna Nicole…LOL) and walked around a little. I tend to avoid the big, over-hyped jewelry stores like Diamonds International, but we found a small, out-of-the-way shop that sold locally made soaps, candles, etc, and I bought a necklace & earring set there. They have beads and the necklace has a pendant made from a shell. We got back on the ship for lunch. Spent the rest of the day just hanging out some more. Funny story- the ship had a nice little library with books you could borrow, and a shelf full of games like chess and Scrabble, and tables to play them. We got Uno, and started to play, when Frank noticed a stack of papers sitting on the shelf. It turned out to be some paperwork the ship needed to dock in Nassau- including the entire passenger manifest (names, birthdates, room #’s, passport #’s), the crew listing, and the ship’s inventory (how much food & supplies it had). I can’t believe someone just left it laying around! We turned it in at the main desk, but then later regretted not asking for some sort of reward.

Thursday we were supposed to go to Great Stirrup Cay, NCL’s private island, but due to the windy conditions, it was not safe to operate the tenders, so we had a sea day after all. On one hand, I was disappointed because I’ve never done the private island thing and was interested to check it out, but really I enjoyed the ship so much I didn’t mind spending another day onboard. We ate breakfast in the dining room since we were up early enough to do so! When we checked in at the desk, we were told that since were staying in a balcony, we could go eat at the other dining room, which had a buffet for the fruits, pastries, etc plus a menu for the hot items, so we did that. The cruise director announced that a new “Freestyle Daily” was being printed to accommodate the change of plans. A few extra trivia games were added to the itinerary, but I didn’t win any more prizes. That night we went to the show (a revue of rock/pop/country music from the last 40 years), and later to The Quest, which is an adult scavenger hunt. We just watched, didn’t play, but it gets pretty wild, and now we’re prepared in case we go on another NCL cruise!

Friday we got up ate breakfast, and disembarked. Our flight was at 11:55 AM, which I had worried would be too early, but we had plenty of time. Disembarkment was really fast, and we were at the airport by 9:30. The airport wasn’t as busy as it was the last time we’d flown out from there, so it didn’t take us as long to get through security. We could have stayed on the ship another hour! We got home to our kitties by 3PM.

Overall, it was a great trip! The only complaint, of course, was that it was too short! After our last 4-day cruise, I said I’d never do another 4-day because it’s not enough time, but of course I won this one, so I was willing to make an exception. 🙂 I loved the ship, loved the food- especially the buffet, it seemed to have so much variety, and at lunch they had these awesome pretzel rolls that I am already missing. We never tried any of the specialty restaurants, so that’s still something I need to try if I sail NCL again. They are supposed to be wonderful, but I was okay just eating at the places that were included. Now I just need to figure out when, where, and on which cruise line, I will cruise again!

This review is from Toryn’s LiveJournal Blog.

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Filed under bahamas, Miami, NCL Sky, Social Media

Win Free Cruise Plus MadGringo.com Clothing

The CruiseSource Free Bahamas Cruise Contest is off to a great start!! And we have NEW Announcement!

After some thinking and a nudge, I realized that you cannot go on a cruise vacation without the appropriate clothing.  So we have teamed up with the MAD PEEPS at Madgringo.com to add their tropical wear to the prizes that we will be giving away during this promotion. Leading up to the announcement for entrants to Call into the winning phone number to win the Free Cruise, we will give away Shirts from the Mad Gringo Collection!   

HOW TO WIN A SHIRT: The first 25 people after 3:20 PM ET on Friday Nov. 7th to complete steps 1 – 3 of the CruiseSource FREE CRUISE Contest will be entered in a drawing to win one of the MAD GRINGO shirts pictured below. 

We love our Twitter friends who have already completed steps 1 – 3 of the FREE Cruise Contest, so for you; we are going to have a drawing for a FREE SHIRT.  Of course, we will video the drawing and post it on YouTube for everyone to see!! 

HOW TO ENTER THE CONTEST:

Step 1: You have to be a Twitter User.  If you are not a Twitter user please go to www.Twitter.com and sign up for a free account.

 

Step 2: You must follow both @CruiseSource and @CruiseDeals on Twitter. 

Visit http://twitter.com/CruiseSource and http://twitter.com/CruiseDeals and click on the follow button.

 

  

Step 3: To enter the Contest you must Tweet (post) this message on Twitter.

Copy and Paste into Twitter: @CruiseSource @CruiseDeals This is my entry to win the Free Cruise http://tr.im/WINACRUISE !

 

To win the cruise, be the first who has complete steps 1 – 3 to call in when prompted by @cruisedeals or @cruisesource via Twitter. 

 

Click here to read all details on the Contest – Good luck ~ Mad Rich

 

Womens Mad Gringo Logo Tee

Womens Mad Gringo Logo TeeWomens Sand Angels MadGringo T

MadGringo.com Mango Madness Hawaiian Shirt

MadGringo.com Mango Madness Hawaiian Shirt

   

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Filed under NCL Sky, Norwegian Cruise Line, Uncategorized

Halloween Cruise and Hotel Packages

I just found some amazing NCL SKY Cruise and Land Package.  If you are looking for last minute Halloween plans these deals are unbeatable for a 4 night Marriot hotel in Orlando or in Hollywood and a 3 night Bahamas Sky…plus you will get to trick or treat on the NCL SKY….

So your choice, the Marriott Resort in Orlando or Hollywood FL starting on 10/27/08 plus the 3 night cruise on 10/31 starting at $754 per person + taxes. All transfers from the hotels to the cruise out of Miami are included in this rate. Call 800.668.6414 for details.  We have package rates on all dates between now and April 14th like the deal below:

So that date does not work for you?  You want a lower price?  on 11/17/08 you can have 4 nt. stay at the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach + 3 night NCL Sky Cruise on 11/21 starting at $549 per person + taxes.   Interested? Space is limited, Call 800-668-6414 before they are gone.

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Filed under bahamas, NCL Sky, Norwegian Cruise Line

First Cruise Preparations

I am going over to my brothers tonight to go over last minute questions for their cruise so that they know exactly what to expect on their first cruise.  Their excitment and anxiousness is definitely building as the 9/8 sailing date gets closer.    Click here to read the original post of this series
Here are some of the items I am going to cover with them:

1. They really want to do the swimming with the Dolphins excursion.  This excursion is offered at just about every Port in the Caribbean and Mexico.   It is pretty expensive, so they are thinking about buying the excursion once they get off the ship from a vendor.  My Opinion: The small amount of saving is not worth not having the security of the Ship waiting on you in the case that something happens that prevents you from getting back to the ship on time.  If you book excursions through the cruise line they will wait for you if something happens like a flat tire or wreck.    If you are wanting to do something the cruise line does not offer, like some adventurous Scuba, golfing or fishing then book the excursion through a well researched source, and make sure that they are scheduled to be back to the ship at least an hour before it departs.

2.  Bring cash or Credit Cards?  The Cruise Ship is a cashless society.  The casino is the only place on the ship that accepts cash.  Your room key is your on board account.  You can set up the account to be tied to a credit card or you can give them cash at check-in.  When your cash runs out you will have to re-deposit more cash to be able to buy anything on the ship.  My Opinion.  If you are on a budget and absolutely want to stick to it, you could use cash for your on-board account.  It is more of a hassle and you risk losing it on the way to the ship.   Most people use their credit card and it is easier.   So this is a personal preference, if you have high school or college kids traveling with you, you can set up their accounts to be tied to cash.  That way you can ensure that they do not spend too much money.  

3.  What clothes to bring?  They are going to the Bahamas on the NCL Sky.  So of course, they need to bring Beach Clothes.  During the day, on the ship they can wear shorts and t-shirts to Breakfast and lunch.  On a NCL Cruise, in the evening guest wear everything from suites to Jeans and tshirts.  It is freestyle cruising and you a free to wear what you want.  I like to dress up a little in dress pants and a dress shirt.  NCL will usually not let guests wear jeans or shorts in the main dining rooms at night.   So I am advising my brother to take several pairs of Khakis for dinner. 

4.  Concerns about sea sickness?  It is motion sickness, just like you can get from riding in a car or airplane.  I am recommending that they take Bonine and take the first dose 2 hours before they get on the ship.  After the first night they will be able to decide if they need to continue taking the Bonine.  I recommend getting a dose in 2 hours before you get on the ship for your first cruise.  Most likely, you will not need it because the motion is not that bad, but no reason to risk it the first day.
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Labor Day Cruise DEALS!!!

Click through for 2010 Labor Day CruiseDeals Starting at $199!! 

Cruise Deals just released these last minute Labor Day Deals:

Related Post: 2009 Labor Day Cruise Deals

News Alert on 9/2/09: CruiseDeals.com Announces that they pay fuel surcharges for their clients!
 

Related post: Labor Day Cruise Sale, Carnival
 

Labor Day Cruises from $199Labor Day Cruises from $199
Labor Day Cruises from $199

Labor Day Cruises from $199

Labor Day Cruises from $199

Labor Day Cruise Sale

Cruise 4 Nights for only $199 pp!!

Summer’s nearly over but the cruise deals have just begun! Celebrate Labor Day by relaxing aboard a cruise ship. CruiseDeals.com is bringing you 4-night Bahamas cruises for only $199 pp! We have many cruises departing all over the country visiting the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Mexico and more!

We also have a very limited-time CruiseDeals.com exclusive: 7-night Carnival Caribbean cruises this Fall at the unbeatable price of only $379 pp! These are regularly $499 and up. Must book by Friday 8/15 so call a CruiseDeals.com agent to book today at 800-668-6414.

View All Labor Day Cruises

$199
Interior
$209
Oceanview
$649
Suites
Act fast and call CruiseDeals.com today at 800-668-6414.
Space is limited on this special promotion. You are also invited to
book directly online below.

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Sail Date Ship/Itinerary Interior Oceanview Balcony Suite Book
Online
Mon.
9/1/08
Majesty of the Seas
4-Night Bahamas
(departing Miami)
$199 $209   $749 Book It
Mon.
9/1/08
Sovereign of the Seas
4-Night Bahamas
(departing Port Canaveral)
$199 $219   $649 Book It
Mon.
8/25/08
Majesty of the Seas
4-Night Bahamas
(departing Miami)
$199 $229   $1149 Book It
Mon.
8/25/08
Norwegian Sky
4-Night Bahamas
(departing Miami)
$209 $279 $449 $1879 Book It
Mon.
8/25/08
Sovereign of the Seas
4-Night Bahamas
(departing Port Canaveral)
$229 $259   $729 Book It
Mon.
8/25/08
Carnival Fascination
4-Night W. Caribbean
(departing Miami)
$299 $329   $689 Book It
Mon.
8/25/08
Carnival Paradise
4-Night Baja Mexico
(departing Long Beach)
$349 $389     Book It
Thu.
8/28/08
Enchantment of the Seas
4-Night W. Caribbean
(departing Ft. Lauderdale)
$399 $419 $679 $949 Book It
Thu.
8/28/08
Carnival Ecstasy
4-Night W. Caribbean
(departing Galveston)
$399 $529     Book It
Thu.
8/28/08
Carnival Elation
4-Night Baja Mexico
(departing San Diego)
$429 $489     Book It
Thu.
8/28/08
Carnival Victory
4-Night Canada/New England
(departing New York City)
$609 $669 $809   Book It
Sun.
8/31/08
Carnival Sensation
4-Night Bahamas
(departing Port Canaveral)
$259 $319   $659 Book It
Mon.
9/1/08
Carnival Fascination
4-Night W. Caribbean
(departing Miami)
$219 $259   $659 Book It
Mon.
9/1/08
Norwegian Sky
4-Night Bahamas
(departing Miami)
$219     $1339 Book It
Mon.
9/1/08
Carnival Paradise
4-Night Baja Mexico
(departing Long Beach)
$249 $309   $669 Book It
Find out about special amenities on some of our Holiday Cruises!
Call our cruise specialists at 800-668-6414 today.

 

 
Sail Date Ship/Itinerary Interior Oceanview Balcony Suite Book
Online
Thu.
8/28/08
Carnival Sensation
3-Night Bahamas
(departing Port Canaveral)
$299 $319   $609 Book It
Fri.
8/29/08
Sovereign of the Seas
3-Night Bahamas
(departing Port Canaveral)
$279 $299   $889 Book It
Fri.
8/29/08
Norwegian Sky
3-Night Bahamas
(departing Miami)
$289 $299   $1199 Book It
Fri.
8/29/08
Carnival Fascination
3-Night Bahamas
(departing Miami)
$329 $359   $749 Book It
Fri.
8/29/08
Majesty of the Seas
3-Night Bahamas
(departing Miami)
$399 $439   $749 Book It
Fri.
8/29/08
Carnival Paradise
3-Night Baja Mexico
(departing Long Beach)
$409 $479     Book It
Fri.
8/29/08
ms Eurodam
3-Night Cruise to Nowhere
(departing New York City)
    $645   Book It

Sail Date Ship/Itinerary Interior Oceanview Balcony Suite Book
Online
Mon.
8/25/08
Holiday
5-Night W. Caribbean
(departing Mobile)
$309 $359     Book It
Mon.
8/25/08
Carnival Inspiration
5-Night W. Caribbean
(departing Tampa)
$379 $499   $1099 Book It
Sat.
8/30/08
Holiday
5-Night W. Caribbean
(departing Mobile)
$299 $399     Book It
Sat.
8/30/08
Carnival Imagination
5-Night W. Caribbean
(departing Miami)
$399 $489   $849 Book It
Sat.
8/30/08
Carnival Inspiration
5-Night W. Caribbean
(departing Tampa)
$399 $519   $999 Book It
Sat.
8/30/08
Grandeur of the Seas
5-Night Bermuda
(departing Norfolk)
$599 $699 $1299 $1749 Book It
Mon.
9/1/08
Carnival Elation
5-Night Baja Mexico
(departing San Diego)
$299 $399     Book It
Mon.
9/1/08
Enchantment of the Seas
5-Night W. Caribbean
(departing Ft. Lauderdale)
$379 $429 $869 $1079 Book It
Mon.
9/1/08
Carnival Ecstasy
5-Night W. Caribbean
(departing Galveston)
$399 $429   $899 Book It
Mon.
9/1/08
Carnival Fantasy
5-Night W. Caribbean
(departing New Orleans)
$399 $439   $1099 Book It
Mon.
9/1/08
Carnival Victory
5-Night Canada/New England
(departing New York City)
$429 $529 $849   Book It

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Filed under Family, NCL Sky, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean