Travel Blog

How to Save MAJOR $$ on Cruise Parking

Today marks Day 1 of our 31 Day Video Challenge!! We are super excited and have plenty of cruise related content to share with you. We decided to kick things off with ways to save money on cruise parking!

Cruise parking can be a surprise expense for first time cruisers. If you booked a cruise out of a port close to home, or simply plan on driving to your destination, you may get a sticker shock on how much money you will actually spend by parking in the cruise terminal. 

But have no fear! There are other options that can help save you BIG and put that money to good use during your vacation instead!

Watch our video "Save Money on Cruise Parking" below to see how YOU can save money on parking for your cruise!

 

 

Have you tried any of these methods? What is your go-to?? Did we miss one?? Leave us a comment and let us know!

 

31 Day Video Challenge!

Hey Paradise Crew!

We have a special video full of fun announcements that will fill you in on what will be happening with the Griffins for the next 31 days. You are definitely going to want to watch this!

 

 

We cannot wait to bring you along with us during this exciting journey! If you have any video suggestions or cruise ships you want us to explore, leave us a comment and we will always consider it! Thanks for being a part of our community. We absolutely could not do this without your support. Until next time, we'll see you in paradise!

Carnival Magic- Things You Need to Know

As you may know, we took a 7 Day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Magic in December. If you DIDN'T know or haven't seen our vlogs from our trip, check out our Carnival Magic Christmas Cruise playlist!

We had a much needed relaxing week with a little bit of adventure! But after our cruise, we collected quite a bit of information about the cruise ship and as always, we wanted do create a video on Things You Need to Know about the Carnival Magic. We covered all areas of the ship plus added in our own personal experience! So if you have never been on the Carnival Magic, looking cruise, or have already been, Check out our review below! 

 

If you haven't seen our other cruise reviews, we have videos on:

Carnival Liberty- Things You Need to Know

Norwegian Escape- Things You Need to Know

Carnival Paradise- Things You Need to Know

 

And stay tuned for 4 more in the next 3 months... We can't tell you what they are yet though! ;) SUBSCRIBE to our channel for more cruise videos!

 

The Coolest Cruise Gear - 2018

Griff and I decided to search for some of the COOLEST Cruise Gear that we can take with us on our next cruise! Here are the quick details:

#1: Solar Phone Charger

#2: The Coldest Water Bottle (also see previous post for a full product review)

#3: Portable Lock Box

#4: Don Poolio

Watch our video below to see why we won't be cruising without these!

Did we miss anything?? Is there something you won't be cruising without that didn't make our list? Leave us a comment and we will check it out! It may even make our Cruise Gear Part 2 video! ;) 

Carnival Magic Christmas Cruise

Now I know we are a little behind on these as it is now JUNE... but we have a good excuse. Our external hard drive literally stopped working for 6 months! It would not turn on at all. That means not being able to retrieve ANY photos or videos that we put on there since December! I honestly thought they were goners, especially after a tech guy told us it could cost us over $1,000 to MAYBE get the files off. But after a lot of praying, God miraculously turned the hard drive on. I am not even joking. We were able to get some files off, but others were corrupted and unable to be used. Cullen took the footage we did have an pieced together some vlogs from our Carnival Magic Christmas Cruise where we spent 7 days in the Eastern Caribbean. I know that some of it may seem incomplete, and for that we do apologize! But we were able to work with what we had and share a small portion of our trip with you all. 

We will also be releasing our review on the Carnival Magic, so look forward to seeing that post in the next week or so!

Thanks for being patient and watching our vlogs! If you haven't already, please SUBSCRIBE  to our YouTube channel if you haven't already! It helps us out a lot and is at no cost to you!

Thanks y'all!

Thompson at Playa del Carmen

This certainly was a weekend we will never forget! 

We started our journey early in the morning at the Tampa airport. We flew all the way to Ft. Lauderdale before flying over to Cancun.. That will never make sense to me, but we made it!

Cancun, Here We Come!

Cancun, Here We Come!

A car service met us at the airport and drove us 45 min to the Thompson Hotel in Playa del Carmen. This was some of the best customer service we have ever experienced! As soon as we met the driver, he offered us ice water, a cool towel AND an ice-cold beer for the drive! Uhm, Yes please... He also gave us the WiFi password for the car. Let me tell you, we felt SUPER fancy. LOL

We arrived to check in and even though we were a little early, they had our room ready and waiting for us. We dropped our stuff off and immediately went exploring... mainly because we were starving. :) 

We decided to eat on the rooftop at Cinco. We had some deliciously fresh ceviche, fish tacos and an octopus tostada. They kept offering us beer, but as we had just arrived, all we really wanted was water. Well... we should have taken the beer, because the bottles of water were literally twice the cost of a beer... Lesson learned!

Ceviche of the Day- Cinco

Ceviche of the Day- Cinco

Octopus Tostada- Cinco

Octopus Tostada- Cinco

We met up with the rest of the group for drinks and then dinner. It was the perfect way to unwind after a long travel day!

The next morning we had a VERY LARGE brunch, complete with a waffle tower!

Waffle Tower at Catch - Thompson Hotels

Waffle Tower at Catch - Thompson Hotels

We took an extensive tour of the Thompson Hotel and got to see the many different types of guest rooms. In the afternoon we had a pool party on the rooftop! 

Chilling with Prosecco on a Swan Floatie!

Chilling with Prosecco on a Swan Floatie!

We finished off the day with Tequila Tasting at the Beach House and Dinner at C-Grill!

Tequila Tasting at Thompson Beach House

Tequila Tasting at Thompson Beach House

AND THEN! The last full day, we spent 10-12 hours on the BEST excursion ever! After we grabbed breakfast at the C-Grill at Thompson Beach House, we loaded a bus with Living Dreams Mexico and drove 2 hours into the Mayan Jungle for some ziplining in a monkey sanctuary, canoeing through cenotes, floating through a natural lazy river and ended the evening with authentic meal prepared by a Mayan village!

A Special THANKS to the Millennials in Travel group for putting on an amazing weekend! We would never hesitate for the opportunity to go back to the Thompson Hotel & Beach House in Playa del Carmen! 

You can watch our adventures in Playa del Carmen on our YouTube channel linked below! Please subscribe for more of our exciting trips!

Life Update

Hi All!

It has been a few weeks since our last post, and I wanted to let everyone know what was going on...

We were minding our own business and enjoying our time with my parents in Longboat Key, FL the week of Labor Day when we got word that Hurricane Irma was headed straight for our home. We cut the week short, packed a few bags, (and Oly bear!)  and drove up to Pennsylvania where my parents live to wait out the storm. You can view our first vlog episode here!

Attempting to be a bikini model ;)  Bikini from  bikini.com

Attempting to be a bikini model ;)  Bikini from bikini.com

Drone shot of the pool at Veranda Beach Club

Drone shot of the pool at Veranda Beach Club

Longboat Key, FL. Bikini from  Bikini.com

Longboat Key, FL. Bikini from Bikini.com

We figured we would only be there a few days, but we ended up staying an entire week. We knew our apartment complex didn't have power and gas was very scarce. So we figured we would turn this into an unplanned "relaxing" vacation. We took Oly hiking in the mountains, visited a beautiful (and cold) waterfall, and spent some more quality time with my family. You can view our second vlog episode here

 

Cucumber Falls- Ohiopyle, Pa

Cucumber Falls- Ohiopyle, Pa

Walking Olyvia by the Youghiogheny River

Walking Olyvia by the Youghiogheny River

By Tuesday, we had received a text message from Royal Caribbean stating that our cruise for that weekend had been canceled. They were going to be using the Majesty of the Seas for Humanitarian efforts in the Caribbean. Can't be mad about that! Sure we were disappointed, as we had been looking forward to this getaway since the beginning of the year, but we can always reschedule for something even better. :) 

Anyways, when we returned home, everything was luckily undamaged, but we unfortunately still didn't have any power. That kind of threw off my plans for getting our lives back together a little bit before flying out to Cancun for our stay at the Thompson Playa del Carmen, but nonetheless, we did get everything settled during that hectic week and took off again!

We just returned from Mexico and had the BEST time. I will be writing an entirely different post on that soon!

ANYWHOOO ... I wanted to catch you all up since it looks like we have been slacking lately and did want to let you know that we were not able to take our trip to the Bahamas as scheduled. We are now back on track and ready for our next adventure!

 

Cheers!

Shopping for Playa del Carmen

If you haven’t read our recent blog post, we have some exciting news! We are flying to Playa del Carmen to spend a weekend at the Thompson Resort! Since we live in Florida, you would think I would have the perfect wardrobe for this trip… well, you would be wrong. I have A LOT of workout clothes and some business casual stuff, but not enough sundresses and rompers to survive a weekend in Riviera Mexico! I did plan on just bringing my current bikini collection, but I couldn't resist the sales from bikini.com. ;) 

I went over to lulus.com to do my shopping. With my busy schedule, sometimes it is so hard to get out and physically go into a store. And besides, have you seen lulus clothes?! ADORABLE! And absolutely perfect for my lifestyle. I am not sure EXACTLY what we will doing while we are there, so I need to make sure I cover all my bases. We are only going to be gone for 3 days, but I will most likely need at least 3 outfits/day... girls, you understand. You never know what you are going to need and you don’t want all of your IG photos in the same outfit!

 

Vacation Dresses

Photo Cred:  lulus.com

Photo Cred: lulus.com

Photo Cred:  lulus.com

Photo Cred: lulus.com

 

Beach TowelS

Guys, I haven’t purchased a beach towel in years… And I think the last time I did it was because we were on our way to the beach and accidentally left ours at home. I thought this would be the perfect time for a new one. I purchased this beautiful Turkish Cotton towel and I cannot wait to try it out. There are quite a few Turkish Cotton beach towels on the market, but I love Sand Cloud because of their mission to save the ocean… and their towels are adorable and super affordable!

Photo Cred: Sandcloud.com

Photo Cred: Sandcloud.com

Sandcloud.com: Use code AlyssaGf25 for 25% off of your purchase!

 

Can't wait to share our experiences with you!

Carnival Liberty Review

Hi All!

We recently toured the Carnival Liberty over in Port Canaveral, so we wanted to share our experience with you! We love going on ship inspections with Carnival because we really get a chance to see everything the ship has to offer, and it almost feels like we are actually cruising.... almost. lol

These are the most important things you need to know about the ship! We would also consider ourselves foodies, so we threw in our review of the food in the main dining room as well. SPOILER ALERT: They did NOT have any Melting Chocolate Cake for dessert on our luncheon menu... and I was told they won't be having it any time soon during the tours.... :( SUPER SAD DAY FOR ME! Apparently, the chefs want to provide more variety to the menu for the Travel Agents.. blah blah blah... lol jk jk. But have no fear! They will still be serving it regularly on board for guests! I guess we will have to wait until our Carnival Cruise in December to eat the chocolate deliciousness...

We would love to hear your thoughts on the ship if you have ever sailed on the Liberty as well!

Enjoy!

A VERY Busy September

We have a very busy September ahead of us!

We are getting closer to doing what we love everyday… and that is traveling to new places together and documenting our experiences for our fans, like you! With that being said, I wanted to let you in on all of the fun things we have planned for the month of September.

Labor Day Week(end) – BOTH of our parents will be joining us at our Timeshare at Veranda Beach Club in Longboat Key, FL for the week. We are very excited to be spending more time with our parents since we live so far away from both of them and typically only see them 1-2 times per year. This will also be a good time for them to get to know each other better, since they met for the first time on our wedding cruise. Cullen and I will only be there for the long weekend but have the luxury to drive back and forth so we can still work throughout the week without taking any more time off… because…

1 WEEK LATER...

We will be going on the Majesty of the Seas to the Bahamas for the weekend! This is a 3-day cruise out of Port Canaveral with stops in Freeport and Royal Caribbean’s private island- Coco Cay. I wrote a brief post about why we booked this trip and what we are looking forward to last month, but since then, we purchased Day Passes to the Grand Lucayan Lighthouse Point All-Inclusive Resort in Freeport. This will give us something fun and relaxing to do while we are in port… and it is a beautiful location to take amazing photos and video. SO, let’s pray for beautiful weather!

Grand Lucayan Lighthouse Point. Photo Cred: xtns.org

Grand Lucayan Lighthouse Point. Photo Cred: xtns.org

Now, to the part I am extremely excited to share! We have been selected to showcase the Thompson Resort in Playa del Carmen that following weekend! We will be home for exactly 3 FULL days before we jump on a plane to Cancun. Neither of us have ever been to Cancun OR Playa del Carmen Mexico before, so this will be quite the experience. We will be staying in a Luxury King Room for 3 nights. We will also be doing a special activity with the group we are going with, so I am personally excited to see what that will be. There are plenty of food and drink options and we will be just a few short blocks from the beach. CANNOT WAIT for some authentic Mexican food and spend the weekend with my boo in a beautiful resort. I am positive we will vlog every day we are there and do an overall review, so be on the lookout of that after we return!

Thompson Playa del Carmen. Photo Cred: Thompson Hotels

Thompson Playa del Carmen. Photo Cred: Thompson Hotels

Griff and I would like to thank each and every one of you for your support as we continue along our journey. We are happy to announce we now have 109 subscribers on our YouTube channel and over 6k views since May. It’s so exciting to me because I know we are just getting started and the more we travel (which will be a lot in the next few months), the more content we can share with you and the better quality it will become! So, THANK YOU again for being patient and watching and reading our early content. <3