Long gone are my days of bringing in the new year in the newest club, paying ridiculous amounts of money for bottles and regretting the morning after hangover. 4 years ago, I made a promise to myself never to bring in the new year in the bitter NYC cold, a promise I have thankfully kept. While deciding on a destination for NYE 2015, my sister and I had 3 requirements: under $1000, sunny, and opportunities to dress to impress. I added a final requirement: diving, because my husband and I became certified and are officially addicted. We didn’t have many options because as many of you know, traveling during the holidays can easily run you $800 just for a flight. Then, it hit me – NYE cruise!
After some research, I was able to find a 4-day Carnival Cruise with stops in Key West & Cozumel that sailed from Miami for only $495 + $300 flight! My sister, Violet and I are expert cruisers (we are at about 8 and counting), but it was exciting to share first time experiences with our plus ones. Here are some of my favorite reasons for cruising and some tips to get a great deal.
Top reasons to go on a NYE cruise
You visit places you may never visit otherwise
For our NYE Cruise we spent New Years day riding bikes around Key West and the next day, we were diving in Cozumel (ahhhMAzing!). In the past, I have taken cruises in the Baltic and Mediterranean where I’ve visited cities that I don’t ever need to go back to like Tallinn, St. Petersburg, or Monaco and others that I was able to experience just enough to warrant another visit like Rome, Barcelona, and Greece. Cruising gives you just enough time in the city to decide if you need to come back or if you can check it off your list.
If you love to dress up, cruises are heaven!
I love to put on a cute dress and take awesome pictures. On most cruises, they have “Elegant Nights” where you dress to impress and take professional pictures on the cutest backdrops known to mankind (I share some of ours below). But beware, the prices for these shots can be high if you want to buy the pictures (but taking them is gratis and just as fun!).
Food, food, food
Violet and I discovered the magic of tea time on our first cruise probably over 10 years ago! It was magical. Amazing breakfast options, lunch galore and 4 course sit down dinners in elegant restaurants. No, that doesn’t mean you have gain weight while cruising, it IS possible to make healthy food choices in the endless buffets available to you! The food options are ENDLESS, and INCLUDED in the price!
How to find a good deal on a NYE cruise
Be flexible and deal shop
This is not just for cruising but for travel in general. You can seriously find a cruise deal for $200 if you are not fixed on travel dates (inside cabin but who cares, you didn’t go on a huge ship to sleep). Check out the deals on Expedia and price check with the actual cruise company. I found a pretty significant price difference and booked directly with Carnival.
Compare deals with airline tickets
So many people ask me what I use for airline tickets or if I have a hookup, the answer is no hookup but I use this website. The most important thing is also to be flexible. Give it a try, search for 4 day flights in a 60-day period and you will be shocked at the price differences!