Sea Day Sea-ssentails

In between days at port, you often get to experience a sea day. This is a day of traveling to your next stop where you get to do anything and everything aboard the ship. Some enjoy sleeping in, laying out in the sun all day, and then getting to bed early. Others love spending the day in the casino, trying to strike it rich. We, like many others, like to do a little bit of everything. If you want a taste of a variety of Carnival amenities and experiences, take a minute to read about our Sea Day Sea-ssentials. 

Towel Animals!

On sea days you will encounter a zoo of Carnival’s famous towel animals. While you may become used to seeing one in your room each evening, on a sea day (if you get up early enough), you will find an incredible assortment of animals all over the Lido deck. And you can even visit the towel animal theater, where the towel animals come to life and put on a show!



Morning Brunch

On sea days, we brunch. Sea day brunch in the dining room offers your standard omelets, eggs and toast, and blueberry pancakes. But there are also crazy options, like French toast coated with cereal, mac n’ cheese, steak-n-eggs, and banana cream pie. We love the menu of sea day brunch because it really makes you feel like you are on vacation. When else would you have blueberry pancakes, mac n’ cheese, and a double chocolate brownie at brunch. Cruise life is the best life. 


Fun in the Sun

After morning brunch, we like to go get our tan on. Swap the coffee for a mimosa, put on some sunscreen, and soak up the sun. Feel free to snooze, read a book (Alli), or work on your Rubik’s cube solving speed (Bobby). 



Hairy Chest Contest

Exactly what it sounds like. A contest for showing off your chest hair and performing hilarious challenges to music. The best part is that the hairiest man may not always win… like Bobby. He won for the second time in a row on this cruise. Ha!


Martini Tasting

After the hairy chest contest, and a nice little nap, we head to the Alchemy Bar for some martini tasting. The bartenders make amazing cocktails and like to have fun with it! You can order a flight of 4 martinis, and then blind taste to try and figure out which one is which. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere! 



Art Auction

Art Auctions aren't something we normally spend our time doing, but why not peruse art and possibly bid on some? We love walking around and seeing the diverse art hanging on the walls of the Carnival Victory


Playlist productions are the live performances aboard the ships that have incredible dancing, lighting, and special effects. There are normally two showings on your sea-days, so depending on what else you have going on, make sure you get to one of them. Our favorite show so far was on this recent trip aboard the Carnival Victory, called Vroom! 


Piano Bar

This is not just a sea day activity for us. Almost every night aboard a Carnival cruise, we will end our night at the piano bar. Not only do the ships always have super talented pianists, but it is one of the most fun places to make friends. The same people normally go to piano bar. People that want to have a good time, meet other people, and are outgoing enough to sing songs at the top of their lungs. No matter what kind of day it has been, it is always a great idea to end it singing classic piano tunes with your new best friends!


There are endless opportunities for fun on a Carnival sea-day. You can be adventurous, mellow, or anything in between. We just rattled off a bunch of activities that you will find us doing on our sea-days, how do you spend yours?

This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind. Head on over.

How to get the most out of a weekend cruise (3 WAYS)

Sometimes people have it in their mind that cruises are long…normally over a week. But you know what? There are weekend cruises out there, and even they can satisfy all your cruising desires. You can book them last-minute, you can pack light, and you can feel refreshed from your 9-5 grind during a quick 3 or 4-day escape.

In 3-4 days, you'll have plenty of time to make new friends (including the cruise staff) and make lasting memories. We’re going to share a little bit from our recent weekend cruise aboard the Carnival Victory. We left out of Miami on Friday afternoon, spent a day in Nassau, had a fun day at sea, and were back in Miami early Monday morning. 


We believe that in order to get everything you want out of your weekend cruise, there are three things that you should probably consider…  


Having some routine to your cruise will make you feel like you are at home. When we get on board, the first thing we do is unpack. Take all of our belongings out, pack them away throughout our cabin, and make our stateroom feel cozy. Next, we take a lap around the ship, briefly exploring everything it has to offer. Finally, we head to the main lounge area (on the Carnival Victory this is the Seven Seas Lounge) and have a drink while looking over the schedule of events for the coming days. It's essential to have an idea of what is going on, especially during a short cruise.

On Carnival cruises, here are the things we do every single day…

- Lounge – Even on a port day, we like to catch some rays
- Nap – Every day, we find time to nap
- Pizza Pirate (IMPORTANT - see below)
- Dine in our dining room – We love sitting at the same table and getting to know the people around us and our wait staff
- Chocolate Melting Cake (see below)
- Comedy Club – Laughing is the best
- Piano Bar – A great way to close the day is singing songs with your new best friends.


#2 PLAN ON YOUR DIET STARTING MONDAY (when you get back)

You are on a short cruise. The purpose is to relax, refresh, and see the world. So please don’t be on a diet while you are cruising. This is your time to eat adventurously, and eat whatever you want, whenever you want. If you are nervous about how much you may eat without any self-control over the 3-4 day trip, then commit to your diet starting Monday (assuming that’s when you get back to reality). 

Since you are going to indulge in whatever you feel like, here are some of our favorites. 

First, take advantage of room service. With Carnival, they have a continental breakfast that you can have via room service each day. Fruit, cereal, bread, coffee, and juices. If you need some eggs, bacon, or something more hearty, head up a few floors to the Lido deck and grab something from the buffet.

Next, love Pizza Pirate as much as we do (they have both regular and gluten-free crust). We probably ate 1 pizza each per day. Ha! And on our sea day, Bobby ate 2 pizzas in one sitting! These amazing thin-crust pizzas are whipped up right in front of your eyes and can be customized to your liking. Pizza Pirate is seriously one of our FAVORITE parts about Carnival Cruises. Even if the secret gets out on how amazing it is, you’ll never wait more than 15 minutes from the time you get in line, to when you sink your teeth into a delicious slice of pepperoni.



Finally, get everything you want at dinner (including dessert). Carnival’s American Table-themed restaurants serve up amazing cuisine with a standing menu, and a menu that changes based on the port you have been in that day. If you can’t decide between a Fried Chicken B.L.T. from the current port-of-call or one of their nightly Steakhouse Selections, get both! The portions are relatively small, and most people could probably eat an appetizer, a salad, and a main dish. Bobby normally gets an appetizer, the item from the “rare-finds” menu (escargot, cured salmon, etc.), and 2 main dishes. Even if you don’t have room, you must order dessert. We ALWAYS get a Chocolate Melting Cake, and usually 1 (or 2) other desserts. Hehe. Remember, diet starts Monday. 








Cruising is a great opportunity to try new things. Food, activities, and excursions that are probably different from your norm. We like to look through the schedule of events and pick at least one thing each day that we wouldn’t normally do. On this cruise, it was Karaoke (we would probably do this normally), an art auction, the Hairy Chest Contest (for Bobby – he won!), and ballroom dance lessons. If you’re worried about looking silly when you’re in front of everyone, realize you will probably never see any of these people again. So go for it!


We are confident that weekend cruises can be for everyone! Enjoy one soon and let us know how it was!


This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind. Head on over.


A Rockin' Weekend at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana was an incredible experience. It was the first time either of us experienced an all-inclusive resort, and all we were thinking was “don’t make us leave”. It started from the moment we arrived. A short trip from the airport, you drive up on a beautiful property and are quickly greeted by friendly valet attendants. It couldn’t have been more than 1 minute before we were in the air conditioned lobby with tropical drinks in hand! After an overnight flight, this was a dream. We waited in a short line, spotted a few professional athletes, and took a stroll around the property before heading to our room. It was definitely a short stroll, considering how massive the property is. The Hard Rock Punta Cana boast 13 pools (with swim-up bars), 9 restaurants, 23 bars, a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, a beautiful Rock Spa®, the biggest casino in the Dominican Republic, world class shopping, and over 1700 rooms.

After the warm welcome, opening our door to our Caribbean Suite took the experience to another level. Our room had a big, comfortable bed, a private bath with double showers, free liquor dispensers (an all-inclusive must), free Wi-Fi, a balcony overlooking the ocean and courtyard, and a hydro spa tub! We freaked out over the spa tub. It was so sad that we only had two nights here, because we could have easily spent a whole day just hanging out in our room ordering room service (which is included!!) and bouncing back and forth between the balcony and the hydro spa tub. But we made the most of it. We relaxed in the tub while watching the TV right above it (we don’t have cable at home), and spent one afternoon watching the sunset and smoking cigars on our balcony. 

While we only had 2 full days at the resort, we did our best to explore as much as possible. We definitely took in more than 2 full day’s worth of food… we probably ate more like a week’s worth. We ate our 3 dinners at Ipanema, Zen, and Toro. Ipanema is a Brazilian style restaurant where servers walk around with various meats and poultry ready to slice you your choice. Zen is a Teppanyaki style restaurant that specialized in both Chinese and Japanese dishes. While the food was fantastic, we were really here for the show the chef puts on as he creates the meal right in front of you. We enjoyed the family style meal and we made some friends at our table! Lastly, we ate at Toro, their amazing Steak house! At Toro we had some choice cuts of meat and enjoyed incredible views. On top of dining at these 3 restaurants, we may or may not have made a few trips to Pizzeto, their restaurant serving artisanal brick oven-style pizza into the late hours each evening. Please don’t judge us. Even with full bellies each night, we woke up hungry to indulge in breakfast buffets or room service. We tried to avoid lunch so we wouldn’t put on too much weight…

After breakfast or lunch we would explore to try and walk off some of the food. After dinner we would dance. The ORO Nightclub is the ultimate dance party! They had a local DJ that gave us a remarkably authentic Dominican nightclub experience. One night we went to a beach party, where we had some island cocktails and did more dancing. You could describe our trip here as lounging, eating, and dancing. At the end of the night (but also running throughout the day) you can catch one of the trams that will take you all over the resort. This is definitely a plus when you’re ready for bed and your feet can’t handle the walk back. 

We spent our days on the beaches and at the pools. The beaches are wide-open with beautiful white sand and warm blue water. It was surprising that with so many rooms, the beaches were very mellow. There were always plenty of open chaise lounges and hammocks for us to nap in. During the day, the beaches were always a relaxing, quiet place to be, while at the pool you could either find a good spot for a drink and a book, or you could get wild in some crazy pool activity. We did a little of both, spending most of our pool time lounging, but then also checking out the foam party and doing some water aerobics to burn some calories. All the pools had bars nearby, and many of the pools had swim-up bars. There was also a water park for kids, where Bobby was disappointed when he heard he was too big for the water slide. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana even has a lazy river, where you can get in an inner tube and float a large loop around the property. Regardless of if we were on the sand, by the pool, or floating the river, the serene vibe and beautiful surroundings demanded we enjoy many naps while at the Hard Rock. Thank you for the relaxation!

With all that we did get to enjoy, we can’t forget to mention some of the amazing amenities we did not have time for (you need at least 5 days here). First of all, they have 9 restaurants and we were only able to get to 4. There are so many incredible cuisine options here, satisfying anything you can imagine. You can go to one of their specialty steakhouses or Asian cuisine like we did, or you can indulge in one of their incredible buffets! There is also an 18-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus (arguably the greatest golfer of all time). We saw the beautiful course, but did not have time to experience it! For those of you that cannot hit a golf club, there’s also a mini golf course! 

You can probably tell that we did not have nearly enough time at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana. We ate, drank, danced, and lounged. We didn’t even shop or spend time at the Casino! But we aren’t worried that we missed out, we just know that we need to spend more time here! If you’re interested in having a rockin’ time like we did, check out the website at

Thank you Hard Rock! We will be back!

Pitbull Live in Punta Cana!

During our amazing stay at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, we had the opportunity to rock out with Pitbull! He performed in front of a full house at the Filmore Lounge on-property.

We did not really know much about the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino experience when we first arrived. The idea that there would be a concert on-property seemed EPIC (and it is), but it is in fact the norm at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino properties.

Also, the resort is essentially a music museum. Hard Rock Hotels are recognized globally for their distinctive design that says “This is Hard Rock” (a Hard Rock slogan). From the moment you walk in the lobby, the walls are adorned with curated memorabilia from rock legends we all know and love (who often donate the artifacts themselves). This too, is the norm at all Hard Rock Hotel & Casino properties. What makes it even more awesome is that they embrace the attitudes, culture, and charisma of each location to make it unique. Local music culture and history will influence the design of each property. So if you are in Latin America you will see Shakira memorabilia, compared to Palm Springs you will see Frank Sinatra memorabilia. Along with the locally inspired artifacts, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana guests will be eager to see Elton John’s hand-painted piano, Tommy Lee’s Motley Crüe silver space ship outfit, Gene Simmons’ custom axe base, Sammy Hagar’s 1926 hot rod, and MADONNA’S LIMOUSINE. That’s right, they have the sparkly, sequins-tiled limousine that Madonna used at the Grammy’s in 2001. This is definitely a standout in the collection of rock memorabilia at the resort. The music memorabilia on-property at the Hard Rock definitely gets you in the right mindset before heading to a concert :)

In terms of the Pitbull concert, we did not know what to expect! We were not sure how many people would be there, if we would know that many of Pitbull’s songs, and what kind of performer he is. All we knew is that he is the king of collaborations. He has recorded songs with Ricky Martin, Christina Aguilera, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Belinda, Austin Mahone, Ne-Yo, Marc Anthony, Enrique Iglesias, Usher, Eminem, Fergie, Chris Brown, Ke$ha, and more! We had our fingers crossed that maybe one of them would be there? 

Before the show, we did a little more research on Pitbull. First of all, Bobby had to dig into how he was able to collaborate with so many major artists. It turns out the Pitbull is a very savvy businessman. We also found out that he uses his fame in a positive way… challenging his fans to push themselves and pursue their dreams. He helped build the Sports Leadership and Management Charter Middle and High School in Little Havana, the neighborhood where he grew up in Miami. He came from poverty and used the obstacles in his life to fuel his journey to becoming “Mr. Worldwide”.  

And did you know that his stage name and style all come back to his past? Maybe you actually thought his name was Pitbull? His name is Armando Perez. He grew up in Miami, the child of emigrants from Cuba. It was his family that inspired him to learn about his Cuban background, and why he learned of José Martí. Martí was that Cuban national hero and poet that taught Armando the effectiveness and power of words. He used these words to escape the streets of Miami, and it was then that he identified with a pit bull. He said in an interview that pit bulls have a lock-jaw, and they refuse to give up because they are too stupid to lose. He believes that the lock-jaw like quality has been the key to his success. As for his style, you will never find Pitbull performing in casual clothing. He shows up in Armani suits to show his maturity and evolution. He wants to inspire young people to leave their old lives and go after something bigger

So after a little background, we were pumped to see Pitbull perform. We would be looking closer at his suit (especially as it gets really hot in most venues), and were excited to see his energy for a close-to-home-crowd that he undoubtedly inspires. 

Honestly, we were blown away. Pitbull rocks. Solo, without any of the superstar artists he collaborates with, he brought a remarkable show to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana. He came out dressed in a black tailored suit, and from the moment the first song began he never stopped dancing. The show is a combination of choreographed dancing from Pitbull and his dancers, as well as plenty of songs were he interacts with the crowd and is having a blast. The energy is high, the fans are crazy, and Pitbull and his dance crew put on quite a performance.

He played over 15 songs, the majority of which were major hits that we knew all the words to…

- “I Know You Want Me”

- “The Anthem”

- “Bon Bon”

- “We Are One”

- “Give Me Everything”

- “Don’t Stop The Party”

- “International Love”

- “Timber”

- And plenty more!

We couldn’t believe how many songs we knew! We were really impressed by his stage presence, how excited he was to be performing, and how thankful he was for his fans. There were multiple times where he talked about how grateful he was for the opportunity to be with us, and there was an authenticity to him that we really appreciated. He definitely wow’d us!

Thanks Pitbull, for giving us an amazing experience and for encouraging us to shake our Bon-Bon’s! It was an awesome night! 

Thank you to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana for sponsoring this post!

Cruising as Wanderlusting Explorers

When it comes to cruising, we’ve noticed there’s a really funny (and puzzling) stigma:

Adventurous souls are afraid to cruise. 

They think of it as a limiting way to travel. “You’re stuck on a boat”, they say. “You’re just one of the masses”, they say. “You can never go do your own thing”, they say. 

Well, friends. We’re here to break - no, CRUSH that stigma. Because it’s simply not true. We actually think cruising oftentimes gives us the ability to see and experience MORE than traveling on our own. Think about it… Every day you’re waking up in a new, exciting, and exotic location. What wanderlust soul wouldn’t be into that?! Exactly. We’re here today to share a few tips on how to get the most out of your cruise, you adventurous souls, you.


 First things first, RESEARCH.

Before our Carnival Caribbean cruise, we spent ample time researching each island we’d be visiting. Keeping our itinerary in mind, we’d plan our day around the times we’d be at each location. For example, we knew we’d be entering the port of St. Thomas at 10am. We’d head straight to our favorite beach, (Magens Bay), beat the crowds and get our tan on, then hit up the local milkshake shop - all before noon! Leaving the rest of the day to get lost in the town, make new friends (we made some animal friends), or go on a hike!







Next order of business: Don’t post up on the beach too long.

You’re on a cruise. You’re relaxed. You’re in a warm and tropical location, and the desire to create that “Corona commercial” moment is oh-so-real. But be strategic. Don’t spend all day laying out in a place where there’s a lot to see and do. We’ve found a couple hours on the beach is all we need, and the rest of the day is devoted to exploring. Trust us. You can lay in a chaise lounge on the sea days - go see the sights!








When it comes to excursions, go outside your comfort zone!

Find the excursions that excite, and possibly scare you! Whether it’s scuba diving in St. Thomas, taking a salsa class in Old San Juan, or the Island Dune Buggy Adventure in Turk & Caicos, there are PLENTY of options for fun and invigorating excursions! Pick something different in each port, and you’re bound to have the trip of a lifetime. We explored Grand Turk via a dune buggy - and it was a day we will never forget!





 Last but not least, get off the ship early!

Whether you’ve booked an excursion or you’re exploring the island on your own, try to be the first ones off the ship. Really utilize the time you have in that location. We’ve found that the early morning is a perfect time to chat with the locals, get a cup of coffee, or find an off-the-beaten-path restaurant for breakfast! In San Juan, we were sharing a piña colada (where the drink was created!) and had already explored the Fort San Cristobal while some people were just getting off the boat. If you get off early, you will see so much that by the end of your day in port you’ll feel like a local yourself! 









There you have it, folks. Cruising IS for the wanderlust explorers. 

Carnival truly knows how to ensure that their guests get the most out of their time at each port… That’s why our adventurous souls keep coming back!! And hey, why visit one island in the Caribbean, when you can go to four?! 


This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind. Head on over.