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FreshCruiser blog features tips, news and insight to make the most out of a family vacation without sacrificing luxury & a healthy lifestyle. Focus on fun, active, & healthy travel. Enjoy!

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Welcome to FreshCruiser.com

Enjoy all the tips, news, insight, and advice on luxury family travel that highlights fun, active, and healthy vacations. Explore how to make the most out of your family vacation without sacrificing luxury.

FreshCruiser.com opens readers’ eyes to new adventures and calms any fears of traveling with children. With a special focus on family cruising, the website includes tips to staying active, eating well, and taking advantage of all the opportunities while on a family vacation.

Friday
Jul082011

Roll Call! Connect with your Fellow Cruisers

Source: Princess Cruises Facebook page

Have your next cruise planned?  If so, it’s time to join a Roll Call for your sailing date!   

A “Roll Call” is a place where you can find other people sailing on your same voyage.  It’s a great way to gain excitement as well as meet new people, gather information, and ask questions.  The cruise industry website, CruiseCritic.com, has a Roll Call section on their website for all sailings, organized by Cruise line and date of sailing.
 
Princess Cruises recently introduced its own Princess Roll Call™ section on its Facebook page.  The facebook page gives the ability for passengers to connect with other passengers before and after their cruise.

I’ve joined the Roll Call on Cruise Critic for many cruises that I've been for advice on excursions and what to do in certain ports.  The information that I’ve learned has been extremely valuable in planning my trips.  On one of my most recent cruises, I learned from another passenger that we would be in the port of Haifa, Israel during a Jewish Holy Day.  This meant that most of the city would be closed.  My first plan of spending the day trying out different hummus and falafel joints around town changed to more of a site-seeing day.  I think it’s really fun to interact with people from all around the world who are all looking forward to the same thing! 

On another cruise, I thought that the port of Messina, Italy was going to be a day of just relaxing on the ship.  There wasn’t a lot I wanted to see in the town and was the port that I was least excited sailing to.  But after joining Roll Call for my cruise, there were posts about how you MUST go to Taormina and how beautiful the scenery is around that area.  I ended booking a shore excursion through the cruise ship that went to Taormina.  I have to say, “Taormina is not to be missed”!
 
Many cruise lines will host what’s called a “Meet & Mingle” party for Cruise Critic members. You’ll get the chance to meet the other passengers that you’ve been talking to leading up to your sailing date!   It’s usually held in a lounge or other area of the ship and refreshments are served. 
 
If you're looking to meet new people, it's a great way to get started before you even get on the ship.  Furthermore, Princess Cruises plans to keep each sailing's page available after the cruise, so cruisers can keep share photos and keep in touch on facebook.
 
The Princess Roll Call can be reached directly here or by logging onto Princess' Facebook page at facebook.com/PrincessCruises and clicking on the "Roll Call" tab on the left.
 
Cruise Critic Roll Calls can be reached directly here.  You will need to sign up for a free membership before accessing the boards.  

FreshCruiser Tip: Join a Roll Call, it’s a great way to get excited! There's absolutely no risk as you can participate as much or as little as you want! 

Thursday
Jul072011

Day at Sea? Ideas on what to wear on your upcoming cruise

lucy

During a day at sea will probably find yourself doing a combination of being inside, participating in a dance class or trivia as well as outside, maybe sitting by the pool or an outdoor activity.  The key is to layer your clothes and find an outfit that will fit your plans for the day.  Your outfit should be comfy as well, after all you’re on vacation and there to relax! When you're packing, trying to bring clothes that can be mixed and matched to provide you with options.  

The style above is perfect for a morning jog or walk around the track and works great for heading to the lunch buffet.  Since I typically start my mornings at sea by going to the fitness center, the above outfit is one you’d definitely see me in.

Outfit ideas for the Caribbean or Mediterranean cruises

Bloomingdales
This cover-up will let you be comfortable and summery where ever you are on the ship
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When visiting the Athleta website, you can sort by adventure/travel to find a bunch of outfits, this one is great for any activity
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lululemon
Lightweight and vented, great for hot days at sea

Outfit ideas for Alaska or Baltic cruises

Eileen Fischer available at Nordstrom
Cozy, comfortable outfit for a cooler day at sea
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Ann Taylor Loft

Versatile outfit, great for inside and outside 
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Banana Republic
Layered look, ready for warm and cooler temperatures
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FreshCruiser TIPDon't forget, it can feel a lot cooler on deck than the forecast may say.  Depending on the direction the boat is headed relative to the wind, it can feel chilly so dress accordingly!

Monday
Jul042011

Zumba® at Sea

Photo credit: Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises recently announced that it will be expanding its free Zumba Classes to its entire fleet. The Zumba workouts, referred to by many as a "fitness party", will take place in one of many different venues on the ship such as Club Fusion, the Piazza, or the outside decks and not in the Fitness Center.  What’s exciting about this is, if you’re intimidated or don’t know much about it, you can start by watching and then quickly jump in when you’re ready.  It may be so fun that you decide to continue when you get back home!  And, if you regularly do Zumba workouts, what better way to keep up your routine while on the cruise ship. 

According to LIVESTRONG.com article, Zumba Workout Benefits, you can burn 400 to 600 calories per hour. "Aside from its heart-health benefits, Zumba provides a workout for the whole body. From head and shoulder rolls that loosen up the neck and warm up the upper body, to footwork that strengthens and stretches calves and ankles, this fitness method touches on nearly every muscle and joint."

The complimentary Zumba workouts will be offered one to two times on every Princess cruise.

Zumba classes were first introduced on Princess ships in December 2010 and are currently offered aboard 11 ships. The workouts will be available fleetwide before the end of the year. 

Freshcruiser TIP: Never tried Zumba? Trying it on a cruise is a great way to try it out without the costs and commitment of a typical gym membership.

Friday
Jul012011

Frog Legs Anyone?

Photo Credit: Celebrity Cruises
 

Ever tried escargot or frog legs? A cruise ship is the perfect place to try new foods! 

When I was recently dining at Blu, one of the specialty restaurants on the Celebrity Equinox for AquaClassSM guests which focuses on healthy cuisine, I didn’t realize that the waiter overheard me as I exclaimed, “Frog legs?!!” I was reading from the dinner menu and was excited to see them as an appetizer since I had never tried them before.  But when I went to order, I lost my courage and didn’t order the frog legs. 

The appetizers were served and then a few moments later, the waiter placed another dish in the middle of the table, it was the frog legs!  I love to try new foods; however, in this case, I needed a little push.  I was so glad I did, now I can say that I’ve tried them AND liked them!

Are you like many people who order the same 1-2 things every time you go to your favorite restaurants?  A great thing that I’ve found going on a cruise is that it widens your eyes to different types of food that you normally wouldn’t try at home.  I love opening up the menu at dinner every night to read the menu and see what’s available in the dining room that night. Go ahead, don’t be afraid, you might just be surprised! You may just realize vegetable caponata tartar is one of your new favorite dishes!

FreshCruiser TIP:  Find out where the main chef and most of the workers are from, it will give you insight into their specialties to pick the best and most authentic dishes.

Thursday
Jun302011

Wellness + Fitness + More =

1st BIGGEST LOSER EXPERIENCE CRUISE

Although it was announced back in March, I wanted to touch on my excitement for NBC's The Biggest Loser’s Cruise this November on the Celebrity Eclipse.  I love how it will dispel myths of cruising by offering cruisers “a fun-filled, educational and guilt-free vacation.”  The experience includes special exercise classes, health & wellness lectures, and cooking demonstrations. 

Not only will you be able to learn from the best, as “The Biggest Loser” trainer Bob Harper will be on the cruise to deliver the keynote address and mingle with cruisers, and also a chance to meet other people who want to learn more or be better about exercising and/or what they regularly eat. According to the NBC Press Release, “The biggest obstacles to healthy living are the bad habits we fall into over the years,” said Bob Harper, “…and we hope that people will jump at the chance to take a fun vacation and learn about how easy it is to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle.”

The possibilities of who would enjoy this cruise are endless and I think goes far beyond just those who are fans of the show. I think it’s a great idea for a family vacation, let mom and dad put their health first while the kids are also having fun in the kid’s club!  Or go with a friend and enjoy all the education and ordering food off the specially designed menu.

I will definitely be keeping my eye on this cruise, as additional speakers and former contestants from the “The Biggest Loser” will be announced as it gets closer. 

The 7-Day Cruise aboard the Celebrity Eclipse, will departing from Miami on November 12th. 

Wednesday
Jun292011

Are you a landlubber?


 

Source: P&O Cruises website

Landlubber [land-luhb-er] is a noun, defined as “an unseasoned sailor or someone unfamiliar with the sea.”
 
P&O Cruises looking for Australia’s ultimate “landlubbers”!  The competition seeks to dispel cruising myths by giving away cruises to their toughest critics: non-cruisers who have reasons for why they have never cruised before and why now they are ready to give it a try.

Open to Australian or New Zealand residents who have never been on a cruise, 6 people will be chosen to win a P&O Cruise’s trip around the Pacific Islands with a guest, “so they can see what they've been missing.”

According to P&O’s competition website, “We think a P&O Cruises holiday is hard to beat, but some people take a little convincing. So we're taking 6 lucky landlubbers on a free cruise around the Pacific Islands, so they can see what they've been missing.”

Although you may not be eligible to enter, I would definitely recommend checking out the entries

Do you share the same thoughts as one of these entries? 
What’s keeping you from cruising? 

The winners go on a cruise in September. P&O Cruises plans on filming the winners and posting short videos on their website to show the benefits of a P&O Cruises holiday.  I’m looking forward to seeing the videos and the outcome of cruising for the first time.  Want more information or to enter?  Click here to visit P&O Cruises Landlubbers competition website.

Monday
Jun272011

Making the right choice – Refreshing low-calorie drinks while cruising

Overwhelmed by the drink menu on cruises?  Looking for a tasty but healthy drink? 

Just in time for summer, MSC Cruises announced that it will be putting an emphasis on “pure, fresh and fruity beverages this summer season to ensure the selection of natural drinks, cocktails and fine wines matches the healthier lifestyle choices of increasingly discerning guests.”  The cocktails will offer “innovative twists on the traditional classics and feature fresh ingredients and contemporary flavours.”

Have you ever been on a cruise ship or in a tropical location and wanted another pina colada but not the calories that went with it?  It’s great that MSC Cruises is addressing the needs of many cruisers who want a fun, flavorful drink but without all the calories. 

MSC Cruises’ "classique-nouveau" (new classics) cocktails include:
-    Pomegranate Tini
-    Frozen Mojito
-    Campari Orange shake
-    Martini Gold Dolce & Gabbana includes ‘bergamot from Calabria, lemons from Sicily, oranges from Spain, saffron and myrrh from Ethiopia, ginger from India, and cubebe pepper from Indonesia'!

"Our passengers are a lot more health conscious and we pride ourselves in keeping up with new trends by continuously upgrading, changing and adjusting our selection of drinks, cocktails and wines to ensure we can always meet their expectations," said Monica Panero, MSC Italcatering Corporate Bar Management Director.

My favorite calorie-conscious drink that I always order, coined the Zabby Sunset, by me while another friend calls it “Health”, it is made up of vodka, soda water, and a splash of cranberry juice, finished with a lime. It is low calorie, refreshing, flavorful, and hydrating at the same time!  The hint of pink makes it fun and summery.

Other healthy drink options:
-    “Light” or Ultra Light Beer (55 calories – 95 calories)
-    Guinness – looking for a more flavorful beer, Guinness is a good option (around 125 calories)
-    Wine – careful as it depends on the size of the pouring (normally around 120 calories)
-    Simple cocktails – Stick with light mixers including: Club soda (0 calories), Diet soda, diet tonic (0 calories), orange juice (85 calories – 6 oz.), lemon or lime juice  (10 calories ½ oz), Cranberry juice (140 calories – 8 oz), coffee (0 -10 calories) and tea (0 – 10 calories)
Note: Calories are approximations as it depends on the size of the drink and the brand. 

For more calorie counts on popular drinks, click here to read an article by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD from WebMD.

Don’t forget to try a Zabby Sunset next time you’re looking for a low-calorie and refreshing drink! 

Friday
Jun242011

Welcome Aboard!

Welcome Aboard and thank you for visiting my blog!  Since this is my first blog post, I’d like to share a little information with you about what you can expect.  Freshcruiser.com and the blog are for first time cruisers, family-focused cruisers, veteran cruisers as well as young cruisers to cruisers young at heart. I plan to show you how to make the most out your cruise experience, dispel cruising myths as well as active tips for the young cruiser inside all of us. I love cruising and I hope you’ll enjoy reading my blog!

Participate!  Please send me your questions and ideas!
Set sail with me and discover all the fun of cruising! 

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