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  #1 (permalink)  
Old December 25th, 2003, 03:41 PM
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Default Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

With 2003 drawing to an end, I thought it would be fun to share our memories, and reminisce about our cruises in 2003.

What are your favorite memories? What moments still make you laugh when you recall them?


We were really LUCKY and had an amazing cruising year in 2003!

Started off last Jan, with my CruiseMates Birthday Bash Cruise. Got to sail with almost 100 of the best people you'd ever want to meet on a ship. Had lots of laughs with our Dress Your Mate contest, and had a ball flying kites with Mike and Betty, and Ray & Marry and the others on the beachfront at EveryTing Cool in St. Marteen.

At the end of April we did our first transatlantic crossing on the Constellation, from San Juan to Harwich, England. 5 days at sea crossing, and the ocean was calmer than a bathtub, and the weather magnificent! Enjoyed the wonderful company of Tweety and the Coot on the cruise, and a couple of terrific days in London.

In August I fulfilled a dream of cruising the Baltic, with 3 truly amazing days in St. Petersburg, onboard the Radisson Seven Seas Voyager. A truly luxurious cruise experience, and the contrasts of Russia and the Russian society to ours awed me.

Then, just weeks ago, we were on the Costa Mediterranea... cruising Italian Style (my article is presently up on the CruiseMates Home Page). A very amazing ship, and a different experience than everything else we did this year.

So.. 4 cruises, 4 different cruise lines, 4 very different experiences. And not one I wouldn't gladly repeat in a FLASH. I delight in the fact that I "fit " into the various situations enough to truly enjoy the strengths that each had to offer.

That's what I LOVE about cruising... and boy am I BLESSED!

And 2004 is going to be off to a GREAT start with our CruiseMates Catch the Spirit Cruise in January!



Post Edited (12-25-03 15:44)
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old December 25th, 2003, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

Gosh, I think back and I can only recall 1 cruise we took in June but Mrs. Thomas says we took 2, for sure. I guess there's a cruise I'll never remember.

Regards,
Thomas
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Old December 25th, 2003, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

OK Thomas, don't ever forget that cruise. {{wink}} As I posted previously I will not forget our first cruise aboard the Atlantica. We are now hooked. Looking forward to mid February and Brilliance. We wish all of our fellow Cruisemates a Happy New Year. May all of your dreams come true in 2004.

Edited for spelling. Drinking and typing do not go hand in hand. {{wink}}



Post Edited (12-26-03 11:33)
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Costa Atlantica, 3/23/03
Brilliance, 2/16/04
Brilliance, 2/14/05
Brilliance, 2/13/06
Brilliance, 2/12/07
Explorer, 2/3/08
Jewel, 2/9/09
Jewel, 2/1/10, RCI cancelled our cruise, (insert sound of sobbing)

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Old December 25th, 2003, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

Well, we had a rough cruising year. Started out with 3 booked, and only got to take one of them. But the one I took was a great one. Susie (susancruzs) and I did the western Caribbean on the brand new Carnival Glory. It was a great cruise and she was a wonderful companion. And to think, if not for Cruise Mates she and I would never have met!

As for José and me, it turned out to be a non-cruise year. We were booked on the NCL Norway for July 6. As you all know, there was an explosion in the boiler room of the Norway which, sadly, killed 8 crew members, and the Norway is still out of commission. We ended up with a two-week land vacation instead, including 6 days in Cozumel and a bout with tropical storm Claudette! I made regular reports of our progress here on Cruise Mates. What a fun trip we had!

Our long-awaited Panama Canal transit which we were to have taken in November had to be postponed until the spring because of José's job situation. However, we are now DOUBLE DIGIT MIDGITS for the Carnival Spirit Panama Canal transit next sping and we can't wait!

Cruise Mates, the web site, and you, my Cruise Mates friends, keep me going even when I'm NOT on a cruise. I am blessed to be able to cruise once in a while, and double blessed to have this group of cruising friends. Thanks to you all.



Post Edited (12-26-03 12:18)
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Old December 25th, 2003, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

This past September, we had one of our best cruises ever. My husband Rob and I set sail on Celebrity's Infinity bound for the inside passage of Alaska. What made this cruise so special is that I had connected with a lovely couple from Nanaimo, British Columbia through Cruisemates.com. We ended up being right across the hall from this couple on the ship and have developed a lifelong friendship with them.
Our table in the dining room was great! All of the couple's got along and we rotated seats every night so we could sit with everyone at the table. All of our tablemates had heard of the destruction of Hurricane Isabel that had occurred while we were on our cruise. One couple at our table, from Richmond, British Columbia, had offered to let us stay at their home in case we could not fly home to Virginia Beach.
It is not only the sights and sounds that make a cruise so special; it is the people that you meet! At this holiday season, let me wish all my fellow cruisemates a happy and healthy holiday and a new year full of hope for a better world.
Fondly,
Linda G.
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Old December 25th, 2003, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

Guess this will be a no brainer for me since we only went (only!) on one cruise this year but it was a hoot.....we had 7 band families....14 adults and 15 teenagers and I'd travel with the group again in a heartbeat!
Angela Z.
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Old December 25th, 2003, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

Ahhh Zijuatenejo this year -- truly a gorgeous port. The Spirit a great ship.

The Star Princess in Febraury -- our No. 1 ship. I had tears in my eyes as they played the blind opera singer as we departed.

Best part -- booked 2 cruises for 2004 to make up for the "lack" in 2003.

Blessed, truly blessed to enjoy a cruise so regularly.

Harry
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Old December 25th, 2003, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

Well the year started out with me finding CruiseMates website as I was during research on the Carnival Legend. As I later found out we would be cruising 2 weeks after the Kuki Birthday Bash. After reading a few posts we wish we were going with them.Then after a few more posts we were wondering if the Legend would ever be the same after they got off ????
We cruise with 6 other couples who we have cruised with for the past 5yrs. We had a blast and wondered if the Legend was ever the same after "WE" left. This is the cruise we were introduced to the "balcony cabins" I sit and wonder how we ever cruised without them before.
I'am cruising with my family in a few weeks, but i'm already looking to book a CM's cruise further in the year I would love to cruise with anyone of you.
Smooth sailing in 2004..........



Post Edited (12-25-03 21:00)
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Majesty Of The Seas 06
Carnival Victory06
Holland America Oosterdam 05
Carnival inspiration04
Carnival Destiny04
Carnival Legend03
Imagination99
Sensation94,96,98,01
Jubilee92,97,00
Festival87
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Old December 25th, 2003, 10:11 PM
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Default Re: Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

2003 started off with a bang aboard the Carnival Imagination, with my hubby, son and his best friend. I had never before spent such a fantastic New Years, and I will really miss not doing it again this year. 2003 was also the 1st year we cruised more than once! The next one is a year away, so that won't happen again, but we have many happy memories of the Imagination and the Legend from 2003, and are eagerly awaiting experiencing the Queen Mary 2 next November!
I hope, one day, to be able to do a CruiseMates cruise and meet some of you wonderful folks in person!!

donna

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Old December 25th, 2003, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

January through March, we endured a very tough winter here in New England. One snowstorm right after another until it was waist-deep AFTER packing down.

In April, we joined with 5 other couples (from Maine, New Hampshire, Kentucky, South Dakota and California) and sailed on the Adventure of the Seas.

In June, we went to my family reunion in Northern Alabama.

In July, we went to Karen’s family reunion at Bozeman, Montana.

Karen retired in September and we went to Kentucky to celebrate it with her sister.

We met with cruise buddies in October as their ship stopped in Bar Harbor and had lunch with them.

In late November, we sailed on the Nordic Empress to Grand Cayman, Belize and Cozumel and had the best excursions we have had in a long, long time. On our return to Tampa, we were greeted with the news of this year’s first major snowstorm in New England and spent 3 days in Tampa trying to get a flight home. Upon arrival at home, as soon as we got that snowstorm cleaned up, another one hit us.

Does anyone get the picture why we like cruising so much????? Seriously, it has been a good year from start to finish (would be much if we hit the $137Million Power Ball tonight) and we wouldn’t trade our life here in New England for anything.

Happy New Year everyone.

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Old December 26th, 2003, 06:18 AM
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Default Re: Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

Two good cruises this year. The other half and myself crossed the pond with P&O to visit the Caribbean at Easter. Good fun was had by all except the force 9 on the way out!! In May headed out to Copenhagen to join Marco Polo on a week around the fjords. What a great time was had by all. Met some lovely people from Colorado who we still keep in touch with and hope to spend a vacation with in the near future. So many friendly Americans on board - so much more approachable than most of us Brits! We love to hear all about life in the USA and also met some Australians.

As for 2004 can't wait! We celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in March by taking a Panama Canal cruise on RSSC's Mariner!!! Sooooo excited. Then off to Iceland/Norway/Ireland in the summer with P & O . Trouble is I think RSSC will have spoilt us for anything else!

Seasons greetings everyone,

Teresa
ps recently found this site. I am a teacher living between London and Oxford. Married to Roger with one son Dudley who is 19 [also keen cruiser]. Have been addicted to cruising for about 8 years now and no known antidote!
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Old December 26th, 2003, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

Teresa, nice to meet you, and welcome to our board! Hope to see you posting again!
By the way, has Dudley read the Harry Potter series? <Grin!>

P.S. My hubby is also from England, grew up in Wales and Chester, then London. Emigrated to Canada in 1969.
I too am a teacher (pre-school) and I have a daughter 19, and a son 15.

donna

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Old December 26th, 2003, 11:36 AM
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Default Re: Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

Kuki, this is a dangerous question. I have not yet stopped rhapsodizing about this cruising year, even if my installments are sporadic, and as yet unfinished. But the highlights:

2003 began in anticipation of our first cruise, yet a month away. The previous 9 months or so were spent endlessly pouring over brochures, deckplans, and websites. My wife despite years of reassurance was afraid of seasickness.

In early February, we drove 1200 miles to board the ship. It was a breathless thrill seeing Sensation for the first time at the end of Channelside Dr. It was a thrill to go aboard her and find our cabin; a thrill when the card-key worked and the cabin door opened; a delight to hear BAAAWOOSH! the first time, not to mention the beginning of a ceremony to be re-enacted each time we claim a cabin. I won't revisit the sound of the horn as we sailed away under cloud cover.

The next morning, my wife and I were joined by a total of 11 family members for coffee on the Lido fantail at sunrise. The swishing of the water in the children's pool one deck below still echoes in the ears of those who were there. Two of my sisters who were there, and a nephew, cruised Alaska this past summer aboard the Coral Princess.

My wife's fears of seasickness proved unfounded and she got as hooked on cruising as I am. Within 6 weeks of debarkation, we booked another cruise for September aboard Enchantment. Within 6 weeks of booking that one, we booked another for this coming March.

The Enchantment cruise is now 3 months past. And I now have another cruise "trophy." My sister- in-law bought a "shipnack" of Enchantment during the cruise and gave it to me for Christmas. She will soon join the trophy of Sensation in my den. It's appropriate that she be berthed next to her. When we first saw Enchantment, she was berthed next to Sensation, at an adjacent pier, when we made our first visit to Cozumel. I may have to build a shelf to hold the collection, if I get one for every ship I sail.

And the Echantment cruise gave me the weirdest moment in my brief cruising resume. On night 2, I was sitting on the port Promenade deck looking at the lights on Cuba's north coast. I noticed a fluttering out of the corner of my eye. I looked down and discovered a finch sitting on my left shoe. It was one of several that nest in Enchantment's funnel. They could sometimes be seen swooping over and around the ship as she sailed from port to port. Is there such thing as a ship's aviarian?

So 2003 ends in anticipation of yet another cruise, aboard Inspiration. Seventy two days from today, the Baaawoosh! ceremony will be enacted to claim yet another cabin, this time with an aft window. The following morning will be another fantail sunrise kaffeeklatsch. And the day after that will be a reunion, of sorts, in Georgetown Harbor. Echantment, Coral Princess, and Inspiration will visit at the same time. Who knows? We might even see our old friend Sensation, somewhere along the route, if only in passing. I'm almost willing to bet we'll get another one booked before spring turns into summer. Knowing there's a cruise in the future makes for a very good year.

Steve

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Sensation 2/03 I disembarked, but never really left the ship.
Enchantment 9/03
Inspiration 3/04
Sensation 04/05 The vessel made me do it!
Summit 03/06 to Hawaii, Where God left his fingerprints, in memory of Margaret.
Sensation 03/07
Carnival Freedom (March 08)
\X\Mercury (January 09)
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Old December 26th, 2003, 12:37 PM
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Default Re: Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

April 2003 cruise the Summit on a 10 day cruise. It was the best cruise so far for us. So much so we are going again on Summit in March 2004 for the 11 day. I was reading the Sunday travel section this past spring/summer and came across the web sites I now call home every morning. And was so warmly welcomed into the family of Cruisemates! Thanks guys xoxo Then friends "twisted our arms" and we went on Millennium in Nov/Dec. only 7 days, went too fast, but met some great people at the Celebrity Connections party. Cruise people are the best! We have met so many wonderful people from all over the country and still connect, even if only thru emails and phone calls now.

Jeanne

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Old December 26th, 2003, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

We sailed on the Elation Nov 30th. We were overjoyed to learn that we were upgraded from a cat 6D guarantee to a cat 12 suite!! What could be better than soaking in the jacuzzi tub and then sitting out on our balcony? We are planning a Jan 22, 2005 cruise on the Triumph so there won't be a 2004 cruise for us.

I have really enjoyed the support and friendship of everyone here at CM and hope to take a CM cruise and meet some of you!!

Happy New Year from Alaska, where the snow has finally stipped and the temp dropped to single digits.

AKcruiser

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Old December 26th, 2003, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

My wife and I took a Celebrity Infinity cruise from Hawaii to Ensenada in April (less said about Ensenada, the better), but everything about Hawaii was memorable, from coming down Nimitz Hwy at night and seeing Infinity for the first time (X marks the spot) to sailing into Nawiliwili (Kauai) harbor the first morning. The trip just exceeed all of our expectations on every level-- and it was out first balcony cabin!!
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Old December 29th, 2003, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: Your REMINISCES of 2003 Cruising

Although we only had one cruise this year it was great! It was only 5 nights (which is the first short cruise we have taken in 10 years or more) but it was really nice to take a cruise at all. We also did a new kind of cruise. We did a houseboat trip in Arkansas with friends in October which was like having a cruiseship to yourselfs - only you had to do the cooking! and the dishes- YUK!!!

This coming year hope to do a cruise with my Dad. We have asked and asked for years and are hoping to finally convince him this year. That would be an awesome trip just to get him on board! Cross your fingers for us! Debbie
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