How To Cruise The Caribbean For FREE!


In exactly four weeks I’ll be setting sail on a cruise, and I’m thrilled with a capital T! Not because I haven’t cruised before (I have, more times than I can count). Not because I’ll be seeing new destinations (I’ve been to all of our Caribbean ports before). But because, for the first time ever, I’ll be cruising with my family. All my voyages before this one have been work-related, on assignment for travel various publications. And while they’ve been fun, they’ve also been serious work. I’m usually rushed off my feet checking out all the restaurants, activities and stateroom categories on board, and while we’re in port, I’m studiously taking notes throughout our excursions. Often I travel with a group of other journalists, and once I even sailed alone (insert sad trombone), which, despite the myriad diversions on modern ships, can be lonely.

So this time I’m thrilled to be cruising the way I believe it should really be done: in a group of family or friends. I love that cruising gives you the freedom to spend your days going off on your own as well as the opportunity to come together every evening at dinner to share your adventures. I love that you can have space when you want to and “together time,” too; your friends are far enough away that you don’t feel crowded, but not so removed that you feel isolated. I love that today's cruise ships offer something for everyone: a gazillion restaurants for my foodie husband; a casino for my slot machine-loving mother; live shows that my father will love; and spas that are bound to impress my first-time cruiser aunts. Cruising offers groups and families a combination of time apart to pursue their own interests and time together that makes for the happiest of holidays.

Have I convinced you to give it a try?


Sadly you won’t be able to join me and my family on our November adventure, but you CAN enter the #CruiseSmile Sweepstakes for a chance to win a FREE cruise vacation. It’s Plan A Cruise Month, and I’ve partnered with CLIA to promote today’s featured cruise: a five-day eastern or western Caribbean sailing on Princess Cruises. For your chance to experience my favorite corner of the earth for yourself (at no cost to you!), simply upload your “cruise smile” selfie at and share the entry with friends. For more chances to win, post your photo on Twitter and/or Instagram using #CruiseSmile and #sweepstakes and share your #CruiseSmile with friends to earn even more entries into the sweepstakes.

Here’s to sunny skies, calm seas and smooth sailing!


And just so you know: I've been compensated for posting about this campaign. But the opinions I've expressed are mine, all mine.