Getting Buzzed about Cruising

I have never been on a cruise. I’d love to go, but there are so many choices and there’s always big deals, it’s so hard to choose. So, I wanted to get some advice, and I’m sharing that conversation with you today with Carrie Finley-Bajak from Cruise Buzz. She’s got some great tips and practical advice on why cruise and where.
 Getting Buzzed about Cruising

Can you introduce yourself?

I live in Orange County, CA with my husband, two kids, a dog and a fish. Although I have lived in Southern California most of my life, I have also laid down roots in Vail, Colorado and Maui, Hawaii.

Traveling is in my blood! When I was younger my family camped a lot, drove up and down California visiting relatives and I was asked to come along on a lot of my friend’s vacations. As I got older, I was selected as a foreign exchange student, I went to Jamaica with a friend when I was a junior in high school (what were my parents thinking?), and I was determined to move to China to teach English in my early twenties.

Instead of teaching English in China, I found myself in Vail, Colorado working at a ski shop part-time while working for the ski company full-time. The beauty of this equation was a free ski pass and access to great equipment. One of the highlights of my time in Vail was skiing over 100 days one season.

Now I am in Orange County, developing a social media strategy to apply to my travel business. Most of my time is spent talking and writing about cruise travel, teaching yoga once a week, and being with my kids in their class, at their games, and helping at school.

You run a site called Cruisebuzz. Tell me, what gets you buzzing about cruises?

Cruising is a great fit for me because, to put it simply, I love water. The cruise industry is booming, if you consider the amount of new ships that have been built over the last couple of years. According to Cruise Lines International Association, it is estimated that a total of 14.3 million passengers will have cruised in 2010. So with that captive audience, what we see in the cruise business is a lot of buzz about new ships and additions to onboard programming designed to enhance the guest experience.

I am looking forward to continuing to work with cruise lines to build awareness about sustainable tourism through cruising. Also, I am excited to grow a mutual social network platform with cruise line partners and ports they serve.

With so many cruise ships on the oceans, I think it is important to help the communities that the cruise lines visit through some sort of voluncruise activity. If I can get cruise line support on this, I have non-profit organizations ready to help create programs.

thomson spirit Getting Buzzed about Cruising
Who do you think has got some of the best cruise experiences out there?

I get that not everyone wants to take a cruise. There are some people that will never take to water, and that is ok. However, for those people that want to try cruising there is a ship to suit one’s lifestyle and preferences. Buzz worthy cruise ships:

Family Cruising: Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Dream slated for arrival late January 2011. This will be Disney’s largest cruise ship and it is filled with high-tech features for all members of the family to enjoy (think virtual porthole in the inside cabins) and a water coaster ride.

Solstice-class cruise ships have great food, space and onboard programs.

Celebrity Cruises will debut the Celebrity Silhouette as the fourth Solstice-class ship. Glass-blowing, real grass, and fantastic cuisine make this one of my favorites. Scheduled for delivery in July 2011, Silhouette will cruise in the Med during the Summer of 2011.

Looking for flawless, gracious, country-club cruising?
Marina – Oceania Cruises will be launching the biggest cruise ship of their fleet in January 2011. I am especially interested in the new Bon Appétit Culinary Center, which will offer hands-on cooking instruction under the guidance of master chefs.

 Getting Buzzed about Cruising

Kick back, watch the sunset while sipping champagne
The Yachts of Seabourn have changed the way we experience small-ship yacht-like cruising. This luxury cruise brand offers vacations with ports of call across the globe and service that is consistently ranked best of the best.

Andy: WOW. Those sound great. It’s hard to choose – one of each, please? icon smile Getting Buzzed about Cruising

What’s been your most inspirational cruising experience?

My most inspirational cruising story is the social media inspired fundraiser that a couple of us on Twitter created, called, Cruise4Haiti.

Over 30 humanitarian travelers joined the Cruise4Haiti on Royal Caribbean International’s Liberty of the Seas sailing roundtrip from Miami on Nov. 14th, 2010. With the help of Royal Caribbean, we delivered 6 pallets of aid to Haiti to benefit For Haiti With Love’s medical clinic, orphanage and food bank projects in Cap-Haitien.

We also brought donations of food, medicines, school supplies, individual gift bags and 200+ personalized cards, toys, sports equipment, and clothing for 50 orphans and more than 500 needy children and their families. Our group was the first cruise passenger group to assist For Haiti With Love’s projects.

Delivered 33 individual Christmas gift bags, over 100 personalized cards, and over 120 pounds of clothing, toys, stuffed animals, school supplies, medicines, sports equipment and toiletries to the St. Maarten Orphanage & The I Can Foundation. Our group was the first cruise ship or airline group ever to visit the orphanage. One group member is beginning the adoption process for one of the young children. In addition, our visit forged connections for this orphanage that will result in future visits and aid.

Delivered over 75 pounds of Christmas gifts, infant & toddler clothing, stuffed animals, toys, books, medicines and baby items to La Casa Cuna de San Juan Orphanage. Our group was the first cruise ship group to visit this orphanage.
 Getting Buzzed about Cruising

Andy: Awesome.
Do you have any hot ticket items on your cruising bucket list?

My cruise bucket list is full! In addition to getting on as many cruise ships as I can so that I can write about my experiences, I really want to go to Asia and to the Eastern Med. There are certainly no shortage of great cruise itineraries to choose from.

Thanks Carrier for all that advice and tips! Really has me craving a trip on a ship now. Folks, to connect with Carrie, follow her on Twitter or on her website,

Getting Buzzed about Cruising

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