To Cruise, or Not To Cruise
Now that cruises are opening back up, there's always a debate on whether or not cruises are great. Jon and Jenn talk about the benefits and problems with cruising (at least on Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Disney). 4 different cruises, three different liners and Hurricane Hermine. Have you ever been in a full hurricane on a cruise ship? Jon and Jenn have! They tell their whole adventure on the ship's way out to Bermuda.
Ports talked about are Bermuda, Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, Catalina, San Diego, Ensenada, Turks and Caicos and more! Plus why Jenn will not go out on a balcony with Jon while on the ocean.
Transcript from our podcast:
John: We need to get ahold of Eddie money and see if he'll sing the intro for us. I was thinking about this, like two tickets of paradise or something.
Jen: Two tickets of paradise.
John: Like that'd be cool. So, if Eddie Money listens to this little travel podcast.
Jen: Oh my gosh I met Eddie money once.
John: Yeah, but he didn't care about us. All he cared about was our friend, Mike.
Jen: He really liked Mike.
John: He wouldn't keep his hands off of Mike. And I mean that in a friendly manner, not in a predator manner.
John: Oh, welcome to Our Savings Starts Tomorrow episode.
John: And if this is the first one, you're listening to, my name is John and my wife right here is Jen.
John: She's double fisting wine tonight as we record this.
Jen: Why is that different from many other nights?
John: I'm just painting the picture for everyone...
Jen: You're judgey.
John: So, they know what’s happening when we record. What kind of wine are we drinking or you're drinking?
Jen: We're drinking a vintage 2018 at the Menage A Trois.
John: Yes. It's like a, a table wine.
Jen: Yes. Red wine. It's just a steady Eddy staple here.
John: It's a go-to it's easy to drink. It's always good.
Jen: Yeah, you can't go wrong now.
John: No. So, thank you.
Jen: It pairs with everything.
John: Yeah, Menage A Trois, giving us the energy to get through today's podcast 'To Cruise
Jen: Or not to Cruise'.
John: A lot of people, don't like cruises, but they've never been on cruises. It's so BS.
Jen: Cruises are great.
John: Yeah, I know.
Jen: I'm just going to start there.
John: It is.
Jen: I Love it.
John: You don't need to know anything else. In fact, you can stop listening to the podcast in a 01:30 into this.
Jen: And just give us five stars.
John: Right. No, I mean, I feel like there's all these like anti cruise, like, oh no, you know, it doesn't let me learn the culture or I don't get to experience things.
Jen: Yeah. Unless you have a phobia of large ships or a phobia of having fun.
John: Exactly. Yes.
Jen: Then do you have no excuse.
John: I never would have thought that you and I would be cruise people.
Jen: I know.
John: There's nothing about us that makes me think we're cruise people, but we've been on so many cruises.
Jen: I know. You know why? Because I thought that cruise people were trashy.
John: Yeah, there you go. Welcome cruise people.
Jen: You know what? I don't feel like [ crosstalk02:13].
John: She says one of her magic [inaudible02:16] has a straw on it. But we've been on four very different cruises.
John: And how many different cruise liners?
Jen: Three different cruise liners. Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Disney. And for the Disney, we will be talking about that actually on a different podcast.
John: The Disney gets its own episode.
Jen: It gets its own episode.
John: Two things we never thought we were cruise people and Disney people and it turns out we're both.
Jen: Oh my gosh, I hate us. Hate us so much.
John: So, the first cruise we went on was like the perfect starter cruise for somebody who's never been on one before.
Jen: Yes. And I recommend this if you are at like, just nervous about going on a cruise or not sure if it's something that you would want to do. I would definitely out with a cruise similar to the one that we did, which was a Royal Caribbean. And it was like...
John: It was quick...
Jen: Three or four days, but it was like we left Long Beach, we went to Catalina...
John: Which is like 20 miles away from Long Beach. They don't even actually like start the engines. They just kind of push it off from the dock and it floats its way to Catalina.
Jen: Yeah. We were in Catalina for a day. Then the next day we were in San Diego and then we were in Sonata and then back home.
John: We went with your whole family for this one. We were young, I don't even know if we were 21. I was drinking, but I don't know if we were 21.
Jen: Yeah. I don't know if we were 21 either, but no, it was a great one. And I thought it was so fun with the whole family, because we all got to have dinner together. Like you have your set dinner time. So, everyone got to sit and have dinner together. And then during the day we kind of all went off and did our own little excursions or whatever.
John: We all went on excursions and your mom sat there and played in the casino.
Jen: Yeah, she did.
John: I don't think she saw daylight for the four days we were on the cruise.
Jen: She had a good time and all that matters.
John: She had a blast.
John: Yeah, we funded that cruise.
Jen: We also stayed in an interior room.
John: Okay, so here's tip number one. Don't do it.
Jen: Don't stay in an Interior room.
John: Pay the extra money, no matter what it is.
Jen: I just felt like you don't know which way is up, down. If it is day night, you have no idea what happening.
John: It's like being put in the hole in San Quentin. You don't know what time... you and I slept until noon one day.
Jen: Which never happens.
John: No, we were just so confused and out of it.
Jen: Because it’s so dark.
John: Find some kind of window, I'm not saying you need a suite, but I'm saying you need some kind of daylight in your room.
Jen: I agree.
John: It’s going to make the cruise different, I thought Royal Caribbean was a really nice cruise.
Jen: Yes, they are a nicer cruise liner. And like I said, it was a great, like just starter.
John: Our second cruise was Carnival.
Jen: It's more of a budget type cruise line.
John: I think it's more of a party cruise line too. Kind of a younger party... a lot of fist bumping.
Jen: Yeah. And they don't keep them as nice. I feel like, you know...
John: The paint was kind of yeah. The carpet was...
Jen: Yeah, but they did offer us remember an upgrade.
John: Yeah, I got like a random call from them
Jen: To upgrade and it was like $10 or $20 a day more or something.
John: And originally, we had just booked like a normal room with a window, a porthole. And all of a sudden, I got a call a couple of days before the cruise. And they were like, Hey, for an extra, I think it was 50 bucks’ total. We're going to give you this balcony suite.
Jen: And it was...
John: Just ridiculous.
Jen: So, nice.
John: It was so nice.
Jen: It was so nice. We literally had just liked a corner of the back of the boat.
John: With a sliding glass door that you could walk out and like be out on the balcony over the ocean. And if you have like a day at sea or at night, when the moon's out, you could be out there.
Jen: No, don't go out at night.
John: And Jen and I had one of the biggest fights of our marriage because we're out at night, we're not by any land. The cruise is going from the one destination to the other and I'm like, Hey, wouldn't it be romantic for us to go out on the balcony together. We can have some wine; we can stare at the stars. It's like pitch black. So, we could really see the stars. And you would not go out on the balcony with me.
Jen: No. How do I know that you don't have some sort of screw loose and you throw me over the side.
John: My plan is 10 years of marriage, all to book, a carnival cruise, and then throw you over the side.
Jen: Yes, I do have a phobia of that.
John: Yeah. So, you would not go out on the balcony...
Jen: At nighttime.
John: At all with or without me.
Jen: During the day yes.
John: When we were like at port and other people could hear you scream.
John: That's the only time.
Jen: Well, at 10 o'clock at night, people are inside the boat. They're having fun. They're at dinner, they're doing all these things. They're not going to hear me.
John: I'm still better.
Jen: And I still will not go on a balcony with you on a cruise ship at night.
John: We did this one from Miami.
Jen: Yeah. And that was kind of cool because we hadn't been to Miami before. So, we spent like a little bit of time in Miami before boarding and a little bit of time in Miami on the way out.
John: Then it went to Turks and Caicos. It was fine. I don't know what I was expecting with Turks and Caicos, but...
Jen: It's a beautiful, It's just a beautiful island.
John: Its Nice. Yeah. We got really sunburnt that day and it kind of ruined it because it was overcast and it ruined almost the rest of the trip. I mean, we were just lobsters.
John: We went to Nassau.
Jen: Yeah, so tip number two would be, make sure you lather on the sunscreen on day one to not ruin day two and three.
John: In The Bahamas, So, in Nassau we spent the day at the Atlantis resort, which as a kid was one of those places, like I've always wanted to go to. It looks like a castle, right? Like with the Atlantis castle. And, I've always heard that, like they have a really cold-water park there and, and then you can swim with the dolphins. We did the dolphins swimming,
Jen: We did, we just went all out. We were like, go big. So, we did the whole dolphin experience. And that was actually very cool.
John: We got to be pushed by a dolphin by our feet and like ride a boogie board at the same time, you got to kiss a dolphin,
Jen: You kissed a dolphin?
John: Yeah, I did.
Jen: We all kissed the dolphin.
John: We all kissed the same dolphin too that poor dolphin got around. There's a casino there that I hear is really good. We weren't gambling on the strip at all. We didn't spend any money on that, but Atlanta resort, I guess, has like a really nice casino that you can lose your money at too.
Jen: And then they also have the rum cake place that I like the Tortuga place. So, every time we've gone to Nassau, I always like search for it, the Tortuga...
John: It's a very specific shop.
Jen: Very specific shop and you can buy rum there and then you buy some rum cakes there and they have like five different, six different kinds of them. Those are like really great gifts to give to...
John: And you get a free shot of rum while you're in there.
Jen: Worth it.
John: So, it's ...yeah.
Jen: But the rest of Nassau, sketch.
John: Yeah. Stay in the tourist area or with your tour. And I mean, we got like.
Jen: Or Atlantis which is beautiful.
John: Yeah, exactly. If you stay on the property, you'll be fine. And then we went to the private island. I think it was Half Moon Key.
Jen: Is that what? ...
John: I'm pretty sure that's where we were and we rode bikes for the day. Which always sounds fun, but it's so sticky and hot.
Jen: Yeah. I know. But you can only do so much laying around and drinking.
John: And we did a lot of that.
John: And then the third cruise we did was a Royal Caribbean cruise.
Jen: Yep, back to Royal Caribbean. And we had a port hole. We actually had two really big port holes. So, we were like right below the balcony.
John: We almost could afford the balcony level, but we couldn't for this one. This was a big cruise. Cause it started in New York. It was like a day at sea out to Bermuda and then a day at sea back. So, it was a lot of day at seas, but we liked that idea so we could just kind of lay out. Plus, we wanted to see what Bermuda was all about it's one of those things you've heard of. And we even scheduled like this Bermuda triangle, snorkeling expedition, which I was so excited about because who didn't grow up hearing about the Bermuda triangle. Yeah. Right. But we never got to do it. Because we went cheap and you can get a cruise for cheap if you do it during the hurricane season.
Jen: And we got stuck in a hurricane.
John: Yeah. We went to New York and New York was like on lockdown already. Like they had signs up saying there was a storm coming. We were watching the news and they were expecting, we thought to ourselves what perfect timing. We're going to be able to escape the storm, on the ship.
Jen: We're dumb.
John: And so, we get on the ship and we're like peace out New York. And I don't know, 8:00 PM that night the captain comes on. And he was saying that we were going to go around
Jen: Like a longer way around to Bermuda to try to avoid the storm.
John: Yeah. And he's like, don't worry. Going to be fine.
Jen: Yes. I trusted him.
John: Yeah. He had an accent. It seemed like he knew what he was doing.
John: He came right on the TV to talk to us about this hurricane. Turns out fun fact tip number three hurricanes move. And the hurricane moved while we were out in the middle of the ocean and we ended up being stuck in a hurricane and it is the most surreal experience
Jen: You're on such an enormous ship.
John: Yeah. Actually, this ship that we were on was at the time was the largest cruise in the world.
Jen: So, we're on this enormous ship and to feel like we were being tossed around in the ocean was crazy. In fact, it started kind of like late that night. And then we woke up that morning. I think we ended up still going and having breakfast.
John: At the time, everything was still open. We had breakfast; we went out to the solarium.
Jen: And we're just kind of like laying out. It was like overcast, but we were just kind of like laying there, hanging out and I started not feeling great.
John: The ship was going up and down and up and down.
Jen: Which is not typical of a cruise ship because it's so big. You don't really feel the movement of the ocean, but the waves were just crashing.
John: And the way the solarium was for this one, it was like this big glass...you're almost in a greenhouse. And the wave started going up over the top. And that's when they came on the speaker and said, Hey, we're going to go ahead and close everything down.
Jen: Why don't you go into your room and hang out for a little bit.
John: So, we got locked in our rooms and they closed everything except for the bar, that’s like in the middle of the ship. And there was like one to go restaurant and that was it. And you continue to get just more and more sick.
Jen: I mean, I never got like ... Like I never like threw up or anything, but I just did not want to get up.
John: Yeah, you were just like[crosstalk13:13].
Jen: I just want to lay down.
John: And they gave everyone free movies to keep you in your room. And I was feeling fine, I know which I hate and I was bored. So, I started roaming the ship during this hurricane and I know you're thinking, oh, it was just a little rough water. No, the port hole where we were, and in fact, we're going to post the video up on our Instagram, which is oursavingstartstomorrow. You can't see anything but water we're like a submarine.
Jen: Its kind of freaked... at first, I was okay, and then it got to the point where I was nervous.
John: I'm walking through because now I'm just roaming the ship. And water is coming through the side of the doors, which lead you out to like the track and leaking in every time a wave hits us and the way they have the weight of the ship, it's actually leaning one side heavily. So, you're not walking straight. You're actually like walking at an angle down these hallways and the lights are flickering like you're on the Titanic. And I got to the one bar, because I'm like... because side note we decided on this trip there's like a band, you can buy a Royal Caribbean that will give you like all you can drink booze.
Jen: Yeah. And you can buy like different packages. So, we bought like a premium,
John: Oh yeah top shelf.
Jen: Like all you can drink package.
John: And because of the hurricane, we hadn't been drinking and I'm like, no, we spent a lot of money on this stupid
Jen: Going to get your money's worth.
John: And I get to the bar I get one drink and a wave hits the side of the ship and everything on the bar just falls off and breaks. And the bartender goes, oh, we're closing down. And we all had to go back to our rooms.
Jen: Like when the employees of the ship are like, eh, ...
John: They were scared.
Jen: Then I mean, that's when I start getting scared.
John: There was a spot in the middle of the ship where people who were too afraid to be in their room. I'm sure like if we were down in the interior, there’s no way I would've been with these people. So, they were all just laying together like a huddle mass in the middle. But I went back to the room and just watched you lay there. And when we finally got to Bermuda, you were just so nauseous from the night before we canceled our snorkeling of the Bermuda triangle.
Jen: Just the thought of like getting off of one boat that would not stop moving and getting onto a smaller boat that obviously was going to be moving, I was like, I can't, I just, I can't do it
John: Bermuda itself we were there for two days. It was cool.
Jen: It was cool.
John: There was that, is it a pink?
Jen: Yup, the pink sand beach. And I feel like...I mean, we spent most of our time on that beach cause it's like the most picturesque area.
John: They have like a fort there that you can tour. And then you can rent...
Jen: And there was like a shell beach that we went to.
John: So, I mean, Bermuda itself was worth it. I'd like to go back if we felt better and try it again. Would you do a cruise during hurricane season? Would you roll the dice?
Jen: Oh my Gosh,
John: We were on the news by the way.
Jen: I know.
John: Not us personally, but our cruise was on the news.
Jen: You know what? I probably would.
John: I would I'd roll the dice.
Jen: You know I do get seasick typically, not on large ships, but hindsight, if I was going to do another one, I would get the patch that you put behind your ear. Because thankfully when we were in Bermuda, I found a pharmacy and I was able to get that patch. And that I think also just helped me.
John: Had we been in the hurricane and you weren't sick. We would have had the time of our life.
Jen: Oh yeah, we would have had a great time.
John: Yeah, it would have been another whole story, but that's fine.
Jen: I mean, it was still a vacation
John: Things we love about cruises versus things that we don't like about cruises. Okay. What do you get?
Jen: I love the idea of being able to like get a taste of all these different places that maybe you can go and visit at a later time.
John: Little appetizers.
Jen: Yes. Like we got to explore a little bit of New York. We got to explore a little bit of Bermuda, a little bit in Miami.
John: You and I've talked a lot about going back to Nassau and just staying at the Atlantis resort after being there and seeing their waterpark.
John: Yeah. I'd like to do one in Europe like that.
Jen: That would be cool.
John: They really can be budget friendly. If you're on a budget, meals are included. Sodas are included. There's free ice cream, like on the Disney cruise, which we'll talk about other time. And there's always fun stuff to do for free on the ship.
Jen: There's always a little like folding of towels and you know, like drink fixing classes. And I mean, certain things do cost money, but there's a ton of activities to do.
John: When you're on a cruise ship every day after they make your room, they do the towels and different towel art.
Jen: I love it so much.
John: And you're like...
Jen: I'm obsessed with it.
John: I'm shocked you haven't taken a towel art class the way...
Jen: I know and I think they even have like a book.
John: Yeah. That you could buy.
Jen: I mean, I would never fold our towels like that.
John: No never.
Jen: Oh, I should do that sometime for our guests.
John: Also, the vacations are pre-planned, which is good because we don't like to plan.
Jen: We're just not good planners.
John: And this is a way to kind of make sure there's a schedule without you doing anything.
Jen: It's like all right, great. I'm just going to get on this boat and then they're going to take me to like four different islands and you can either get off and do something or not.
John: And there's entertainment nightly, like there's games, there's activities, there's comedians, there's musicals. The musicals on the Disney cruise are absolutely incredible. I know we're not talking about the Disney cruise right now.
Jen: Right, but like, there are some top-notch comedians cause you know, some comedians actually that have done the circuit.
John: Yeah, and it's, they're like big time you see them in New York or LA and they fly out here cause they get a free cruise and they get paid really well to do it. What don't you like about cruises?
Jen: Getting seasick in bad weather, So, do you need to plan ahead of time if you are sensitive, I mean you can go to your doctor and get a prescription for that patch that goes behind your ear. And that really helps. So, even if you're just like a little nervous about it, just get it and you'll be fine.
John: You can always have bad weather. Just be aware you're out in the middle of the ocean.
Jen: I mean and the thing is, is that even on the cruise ship where we got stuck in the hurricane, all these people were like demanding their money back. They were so upset. They were screaming at the people and I'm like, they can't control the weather.
John: Yeah, we went during hurricane season.
Jen: What do you expect?
John: I did think a few times though about the Poseidon adventure and I thought about what's the one with George Clooney where they go fishing. Oh, perfect storm. Like those two movies like played in my head the entire time. I'm like, oh, there's gonna be a wave that hits us from the side and I'm gonna have to crawl my way out.
Jen: No, you're scaring people.
Jen: We like cruises.
John: The drinks are expensive. So, if you can buy like the wristband, do that.
Jen: Yeah, if they have a drink package and you do partake in drinks, I would recommend doing the drink package.
John: You think the food's great?
Jen: The food is okay. The food is okay. I mean, I feel like breakfast and lunch I feel like it's always the same thing. It's always ... I mean, I don't know about like how much buffet stuff there'll be doing right now, but yeah.
John: But dinners are good.
Jen: Dinners are pretty good. [crosstalk20:16] are really good.
John: And your biggest gripe. Go ahead tell everyone
Jen: You can't bring your steamer on
John: How dare they, who do they think they are?
Jen: They confiscated it last time.
John: They took it from you, you couldn't get it till the end of the cruise.
Jen: I was very angry and then they put a sticker on top of it. So, like I have like the sticker residue on it. Anyways, I travel with my steamer everywhere because no one likes to be wrinkled.
John: I know it's embarrassing on vacation for the photos’, so that is our list for the cruise of what not to do, Hey, we've had so many people start listening to the show. We're actually ranked now on apple podcasts, like right around the top 50 on travel. I know so thank you for that. If you haven't gone on to apple, if that's where you listened to this and given us a five-star review, please do so.
Jen: Do it.
John: Yeah, and leave us a little rating like Jeff0319 says this podcast has become my new favorite. I look forward to where they're going to take me each week. These two have such amazing chemistry combined with their loving demeanor is just magic. So, down to earth, and relatable listening to their take on Cabo makes me wish my husband and I hadn't already tied the knots. So, I love that. So, there's so many sweet reviews. Thank you
Jen: Yeah, thank you so much
John: And if you are an Instagram and you want to see like the hurricane or anything else our Instagram again is @oursavingsstartstomorrow. And if you're Eddie Money and happened to be listening to this show.
Jen: Yes. Two tickets to paradise.