The Travel Diary

Month: May 2016

Packing Tips: How To Pack The Right Way

How difficult is it to pack some trips? If you’re anything like me, then you may have to decide between travel companions. When an assignment comes in, I have the daunting task of selecting who will accompany me. No, I’m not talking about a person, but instead am referring to which of my lovely travel bags will have the pleasure. If it’s a short trip, then possibly my Vera Bradley backpack will do. However, if I have need additional items, then it may require my faithful (of over 20 yrs,) Ralph Lauren tote bag and small roller bag. Then there’s my trusty Genius Pack Entrepreneur laptop bag, my large roller bag…my denim duffle, and of course my many weekenders to choose from. Regardless of who makes the cut, it’s super important that I have room for all the essentials- for my journey. For packing tips, click here to review a great little visual guide to help you prepare, before your next trip. Happy packing and safe travels!!!

IMG_4971Short trip- leaving out of MCO Airport – Vera Bradley Backpack Weekend

Cruising Solo NCL Style

Are you prepping for your next holiday and considering traveling alone? If so, then cruising solo is the ideal way to go! You can explore multiple destinations as you float from port to port- and meet some incredible people along the way. That’s right! You can pack your bags for a party of one- with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)and still get in on all the fun. There’s no need to harass your family and friends any longer, because I’m going to show you how to have an incredible time all by your lonesome…Well not completely alone, but it’ll at least start out that way. So…grab some coconut water and get ready for the solo adventure of a lifetime!!


Norwegian EPIC

Here’s Why You Can Embark On This Mission Alone

Venturing out on a solo mission is now easier than ever. Norwegian Cruise Line has created a community where solo cruisers can link up- in an environment completely designed with them in mind. All Studio guests, as they’re affectionately called, receive “exclusive key card access” to the Studio Complex and Lounge. It is a private common space, strictly for those cruising solo- where cruisers can engage with others from all across the globe. The area is complete with coffee, espresso, pastries and plenty of space to lounge and engage in some light-hearted or in depth international conversations. There are even dedicated “happy” hours in the evening for singles to meet-up. I met travelers from just about everywhere, as I sipped on a hot beverage. It was awesome! I love the concept and the exclusive access.


Norwegian EPIC Studio Complex & Lounge (Image credit to NCL)

Cozy Studio Cabin Staterooms

Norwegian offers solo cruisers the perfect space.They have “award winning,” studio cabins for those floating, shall we say… unaccompanied. Last May, I had the pleasure of sailing on Norwegian Cruise Line’s EPIC, in a studio cabin; throughout Spain, Italy and the French Riviera. My little home away from home on the Mediterranean Sea was fantastic. It was just the right size and it had all the amenities that I needed. It featured white and purple décor, a comfortable bed, an in-room shower, a sink and of course a separate, enclosed “water closet”…. if you know what I mean. It also had cabinet space, a flat screen television and even a small desk area to use. I absolutely adored my cozy little stateroom cabin, and cannot wait to cruise solo again soon. It is such a great space for eager independents, providing them the ability to cruise alone, and for an amazing rate.

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Studio Stateroom Cabin

Onboard Activities and Off-Ship Tours

There are tons of  epic activities on the ship. Whether you’re restaurant hopping, line dancing, taking photos or splashing in the pools, you would have to work extremely hard to be alone in this environment. I found myself chit chatting and laughing at every turn. From the passengers to the staff, I never had a dull moment. NCL also offers free-style dining, which is phenomenal. No designated times or assigned tables are required. This allows guests to float about at leisure. Additionally, there are fantastic shows on board, a comedy club, bowling, the option to belt out your favorite tunes for the crowd- via karaoke and much, much more. You can also catch some of the most incredible pictures as you dock at each port. Once you exit, a whole new world opens up. Also, there’s no need to be concerned with how to get around by yourself. You can book group tours directly through the ship, or even opt to explore the areas with your new found (ship) friends as a unit. Either way, you’ll have a lovely time!


Headliners Comedy Club

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On Board Water Activities

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Port in Naples, Italy

While on board the Epic, I linked up with some others I knew from the states. It was a remarkable adventure and an unforgettable time. You never know who you might bump into on your next unescorted mission.But, what I do know, is that cruising solo is now easier than ever, so I promise you’ll forget you ever boarded the ship alone. However, if you do get tired of all the crowds and want some space, you always have the option to steal away. After all, you are technically on holiday alone, so it’s all up to you. Until next time my friends, Bon voyage!

*I had a blast reviewing NCL. This post is meant to inform and provide travelers information. This is a summary of my true experience while onboard the ship, and my opinion is solely shaped by my own personal experience. I like to experience what I write about firsthand, so that I can advise fellow travelers of offerings and services!

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