Since I started this blog in 2017, I’ve always done a year in review post. It’s a great way to relive some of my favorite cruising memories of the prior year, and it’s a way to give you all some details about sailings that I did not do a dedicated post for.
2020 not only put a pause on cruising, but it put a pause on my sharing with you all. I’m happy to be back sailing in 2021, and again sharing those experiences here. I did my best to make up for lost time and managed to get on four sailings in the last five months of the year. I sailed on four different ships, spent 17 nights at sea, and experienced two, new to me, cruise lines. Let’s see what the year cruising resumed looked like for me!
Norwegian Gem – August 2021
After 18 months of dry dock, I stepped back onboard a cruise ship. There were so many emotions around this sailing. From the stress of having to test at the pier, to the excitement around those first steps onboard, it was a roller coaster ride. The sailing turned out to be near perfect, other than a port change, due to a hurricane coming through the eastern coast of Mexico. You can read about all the details of this sailing here. It felt so amazing to be back doing what I love!
Grand Classica – October 2021
For years I’ve wanted to try the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s offerings out of West Palm Beach, but the right timing just never worked out. It’s hard to justify a flight to FL just for a two-night sailing. When BPCL had interest in hosting me for a sailing, I decided to finally make it work. I think the sailing exceeded most of my expectations, and all the details can be found here, in the full review I did back in October. I’m excited to see what the future holds for them as BPCL transitions into Margaritaville at Sea. I look forward to working with them again in the future!
Celebrity Constellation – November 2021
It’s hard to believe, but this sailing was actually booked before the pandemic even started. As the Constellation sailed away from Tampa in early November, it would mark the ships return to cruising, and my first time sailing with Celebrity. There were many things I loved about the cruise line, especially the food! Everything from the main dining room, to Luminae, to the specialty restaurants, the food was phenomenal. The only reservation I’d have sailing with them again, is the demographics. While this was not a surprise, the average age onboard is much high than what I’m used to. Did it stop me from having fun? No, absolutely not, but I would have preferred a little more in the late-night entertainment participation. I have no doubt that I will sail with Celebrity again in the future, but not for a guy’s trip (which this was). I did not write a full cruise review for this sailing, but there are a lot of the trip details that can be found on my Instagram highlights here.
Independence of the Seas – December 2021
I randomly saw this sailing had no single supplement at one point, so I decided to pull the trigger. It was a quick three day sailing to Coco Cay and Nassau. My last attempt at Coco Cay was in January 2020 on Mariner, where we were not able to dock. That was also my last sailing before the pandemic. I suppose this sailing was a bit of a retribution of sorts. We made it to Coco Cay this time around, the upgrades to the island are impressive. I’ll definitely need to go back again to experience more of island’s offerings. This sailing would also mark my 30th visit to Nassau. I know a lot of people aren’t fans of stops there, but even after all my visits, I still get off the ship, and I still enjoy my time ashore. It was great to see the ship all decorated for Christmas. The only bad thing about this trip was that it was my last one of the year!
2021 Wrap Up
There certainly was a lot of excitement about the return of cruising in 2021, but as the year was winding down it also was a reminder of the dark times while everything took a pause. More cancellations have come as we went into 2022, and it leaves me wondering how long we are going to allow things to be put on hold. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, and I really wish we would stop acting like life can just wait for another day.
I can only hope 2022 will bring us even better times. My 2022 cruise line up is quite small quantity wise at the moment, but there are some exciting ones on the horizon.
The entire family will be sailing in April, on the Norwegian Bliss, to the Mexican Riviera. The whole family has not sailed together since 2018, so we are really looking forward to this one. To top it off, I have not sailed from the west coast, so these will be all new ports for me.
June will not only bring my first Canada/New England sailing, but it will bring my 40th Birthday. Eeeek! I will be boarding the Adventure of the Seas one day after my birthday from Cape Liberty.
Last but not least, a bucket list cruise in November. I’ll be sailing the Carnival Celebration on her inaugural voyage from Southampton England to Miami. I’ve never done a transatlantic, but it’s always been a dream of mine. This one is sure to be special, on Carnival’s brand-new ship.
What do you have lined up in 2022? I’d love to hear all the details!
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