2019 Recap: This Cruise Life Just Keeps Getting Better!

2019 brought another jam packed year of cruising.  I sailed seven times, on seven different ships, and spent 28 days at sea.  While I sailed a number of new ships this year, I did not sail any new cruise lines, and I did not sail to any new ports.  As always, I enjoyed each trip, and really loved each of the ships I sailed for a variety of reasons.  Let’s take a look back at each of my sailings from 2019!

Symphony of the Seas, February 9th.

It has been a decade since Royal Caribbean came out with their Oasis class ships, yet I had never found myself on one until this sailing.  I booked this sailing almost two years in advance, as it was part of a group cruise.  I was thoroughly impressed with how well Symphony of the Seas could handle the number of passengers onboard, and never feel too crowded.  If you want to read about all the details of my trip, you can do so here.  I’ll definitely be back on an Oasis class ship soon!

Norwegian Getaway, April 9th.

This sailing was a father/son trip.  My son was just shy of 4 years old at the time of sailing.  We were on a four day itinerary out of NYC to Bermuda.  The weather wasn’t ideal and quite chilly, but we didn’t let it stop us from having a great time.  If you asked my son, his highlights would be: the splash pad, Splash Academy (kids club), and the arcade.  For me the highlight was sharing my passion for cruising with my son!  I wrote a mini review of my trip for Cruise Fever, you can check it out here.

Carnival Victory, May 17th.

I booked this sailing nine days prior to embarkation.  I actually booked my air to Miami about a week prior, in hopes of snagging a last minute deal.  I ended up choosing the Victory because it was the cheapest of the three ships that fit my dates, and I also wanted to have a set dining time.  I ended up running into a couple friends onboard and in Nassau.  It definitely was a fun quick weekend trip.  You can check out all the details of my experience here.

Carnival Valor, July 11th.

My wife and I spent time in New Orleans pre-cruise and post-cruise.  It had been about eight years since I had been to NOLA, and it was my wife’s first visit.  Even though it was really hot and muggy, we enjoyed our time there.  We did a lot of walking, but that was definitely a good thing as we also ate A LOT!  Hurricane Barry was coming through at this time.  We ended up having to be bussed over to Mobile to catch the ship.  I did not write a full review for this sailing, but I did review the Cozumel Bar Hop which was the highlight of our sailing!

Majesty of the Seas, August 10th.

Originally I had booked this sailing because my wife really wanted to visit Cuba.  Unfortunately due to new regulations the cruise lines all needed to remove the destination from their itineraries.  It was replaced with Nassau, and we received 50% off our cruise fare for the inconvenience.  If it wasn’t for the deep discount we may have cancelled, but with an incredible deal like that I was adamant we just go with the flow.  The good news was the itinerary already had Key West on it and that did not change.  We spent our time in Key West doing a jet ski tour and having lunch at Sloppy Joe’s.  If you are looking for ideas on what to do in Key West, you’ll definitely want to check out the blog post I did for Cruise Fever on the port of call.  As far as the Majesty goes, she is getting old, but I felt she still offers a great cruise product.  The service and food were excellent and I wouldn’t hesitate to sail her again.

Norwegian Encore, November 11th.

I was very fortunate to be invited to check out the brand new Norwegian Encore while she was in NYC for two nights (after her transatlantic sailing).  The ship has so much to offer that I simply could not experience everything in those two days.  There were a number of venues that stuck out to me during my time onboard, you can read more about them here.  Fortunately I’ll be headed back on the Encore in February 2021 for the Cruise Life Group Cruise!

Carnival Sunrise, November 21st.

Here we are, my final sailing of 2019.  The Sunrise and Grand Turk did not disappoint.  The Sunrise has so many great food options, I even wrote a blog post about it.  You can check it out here.  Grand Turk was  absolutely beautiful, I got some of my best photos of the year from here!  It had been over a decade since I have been to Grand Turk, but I was reminded why it is one of my favorite ports!

What a year!

It’s hard to believe 2019 is coming to an end.  It was filled with some amazing times at sea.  I love writing posts like this because I get to relive them all as I type.  I hope you were able to benefit from the content I’ve created over the year, and wish you all a happy holiday and new year.  Let’s bring on those 2020 cruises!  So far my lineup includes, the Mariner of the Seas in January, the MSC Opera in April, the Norwegian Escape in July, and the Scarlet Lady in September.  That’s two new cruise lines for me, and a laundry list of new ports.  I hope you’re ready to follow along!

As always, if you enjoyed this post, please be sure to subscribe to my blog in the box to the right, (below on mobile devices) to get email notifications of future blog posts.   If you are looking for additional cruise content and discussion be sure to check out Cruise Life Group.  If photos are your thing, you can find me on Instagram @cruiselifematt.