Florida and Cruising
Welcome to the web page about Florida and Cruise Travel!
If you are looking for interesting things to do before cruising out of Tampa Bay you might enjoy seeing Harbor Island, it is located close to the Tampa cruise port. For a fee you can park and walk along the yachts parked at Harbor Island. There is a restaurant on the water front.
One of my favorite sites is the University of Tampa. During certain hours for a small fee you can walk through the Henry B. Plant Hotel. You might feel like you stepped back in time.
Florida is known for fabulous beaches, some people prefer the east coast and some the west coast. In the Tampa Bay area we have St. Petersburg and Clearwater beaches.
Recently, I visited Ft. Desota Park. If you are in the Tampa Bay area for a few days and would like to see the fort the view is unbelievably beautiful. This is an actual fort that was actively used years ago. I was amazed when I saw the cannons. The side of the fort is covered in foliage. There are steps that go to the top of the fort and the view from there is spectacular. I looked out across Tampa Bay and saw a tanker moving out to sea. Then I turned a different direction and I saw a very pretty beach. There is an antique building that has some historic items which I found interesting.
Other beaches are located approximately 1 and 1/2 hours from Tampa in the Brandenton/Sarasota area. Here are the names of a few beaches in the area; Anna Maria Island, Coquina Beach, Lido Beach, Long Boat Key, and Holmes Beach.
There are many diverse sites to see in Florida. Florida has many interesting state and local parks where you can see Florida as it must have looked years ago. Myakka State Park in the Bradenton/Sarasota area has alligators, birds, and it is possible that you might see a wild pig.
"The Cruise Book"
I have sailed upon the *Regent Rainbow, *Fantasy (twice), *Miracle, *Pride, *Caribbean Princess, and the *Sensation. Some of the ships are full of glitz and glamour, while others are elegantly decorated and filled with beautiful art. I have received excellent service while aboard these ocean liners. The Caribbean Princess was the first ship that I have sailed aboard which provided a public laundry mat.
I am not a Travel Agent, but I do love cruising. However, I do not claim to be an expert on cruising, just a "enthusiastic cruiser." I have been assisting people with cruise questions on cruise ships for years. If I do not know the answer to your question; I will try and locate the answer. You can email me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org Put in the subject line of your email "Cruise."
Excerpts from The Cruise Book
Passports or Birth Certificate -
Do I need a Passport?
I was surprised at how hostile people get about whether to purchase a passport or use their birth certificate. All I want is factual information. The internet site for information is www.travel.state.gov. The U.S. Department of State has the information that I am looking for. You can also call and find out if you need a raised seal birth certificate or passport at the time of your cruise. I called 411 and found a number for passport information it is 1-800-876-8472, 1-900-225-5674, or you can contact the National Passport Information Center at 1-900-225-5674. If you visit the link above you will learn what is currently the law.
My family and I are going to apply for passports. In my opinion, passports will make traveling simple. Birth certificates are required for identification for so many different things, I do not want to lose them.
There is a post office in our area that has the passport office inside. According to the web site, if my family already has passports and they have expired, I could renew them online. If I wait until a few weeks before I am ready to travel to apply for a passport, there is an additional fee called an "expedite fee." Since I am the type of person who is either early or late, I am going to apply for my passport early.
I have found out that teenagers and adults also need picture identification. My husband and I will use our drivers license. One of my teenagers has a drivers license, and the other one is to young to drive. She will need a picture identification. I have found that I can have a picture I.D. made at the drivers license office for a small fee. Visit the U.S. State Department web site for more information.www.travel.state.gov
It has been my experience that requirements change from time to time. I always do research to see if anything has changed before I cruise.
Preparing To Cruise
I was trying to create a list that would help me become better prepared for traveling. Here is a sample of my to do list.
My To Do List:
Make arrangements for pets. Contact the veterinarian and ask if my dog needs a Bordetella before going to the kennel. Some kennels ask you to bring your dogs favorite food, blanket, and toy. See if your pets inoculations are current.
Proper documentation is required before you board the ship such as; drivers license or picture I.D, cruise documents, and passports. Again remember to Visit www.travel.state.gov for current information.
Remember medications, pack prescription drugs (if you need them).
If you have a newspaper delivery, postpone your delivery before leaving home (optional). If you have a house sitter, you might want to purchase food for the house setter depending on your arrangement.
Preparing To Cruise
If I desire to take pictures, I need to remember my camera, or camcorder, film, and batteries. Film and batteries are usually for sale on the ship in the photo department. Although, my particular camera or camcorder supplies may not be available.
Remember the garment bag with dress clothes (suits for men and evening dresses for women). Have the mail held at the post office. Remember to give the house sitter important numbers to call in case of an emergency. Set the light timers before leaving home.
(Optional) Tell close personal friends or neighbors (someone you trust) that you will be out of town.
Pack motion sickness pills.
Preparing To Cruise
Quantity of items packed depends on how often you plan to change and whether or not you wish to wash clothes while cruising. Since we are visiting a hot climate; my husband plans to change shirts two or three times a day while visiting the countries where we dock. He will need one shirt first thing in the morning, one shirt after returning from the excursion, and one shirt for dinner. He only changes shirts twice a day while at sea.
My Husbands Packing List
-Two pairs of Docker type pants
-Two pairs of dress pants
-Two dress shirts
-Sports shirts (The amount depends on the number of cruise days and excursion days). He needs Cool comfortable shirts for excursions.
-One suit for the formal night complete with tie and dress shirt.
-Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, and a razor (sometimes the cruise companies provide small sample items).
My Packing List
These are my personal lists that I use each time I cruise. Remember to pack miscellaneous and toiletry items such as: emery board, eye glass repair kit, small sewing kit, hair spray, hair brush, hair accessories, tooth paste, tooth brush, and mouth wash, tampons, sanitary pads, any type of personal hygiene items that I use. I also pack sun glasses, sun screen, dental floss, make up, stockings, socks, jewelry, and my snorkel gear. I also carry medication for bug bites. I have been told by other cruisers that they carry alcohol wipes or gel. Perhaps you will want to travel light and wash clothes while cruising (for a fee).
The Regent Rainbow is a registered trade mark of Regency Cruises, the Carnival Fantasy, Pride, Sensation, Legend and Miracle are registered trade marks of Carnival Cruise Lines. The Caribbean Princess is a registered trade mark of Princess Cruise Lines.
B.J. Keen is not affiliated with Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruise Lines, or Regency Cruise Lines.