Reflections of 2015

christmas ornament ships

2 new ship model ornaments to add to my collection this year – the Infinity and the Ecstasy. (I already had Breeze and Legend didn’t have any.) Veendam didn’t have any either, but my aunt had a lovely ornament made for me from one of her photos.

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope the new year brings good things to all and fine adventures to the travelers.

ship model ornaments

Ecstasy and Infinity in their packages


2015 was my best cruising year so far with 5 cruise adventures taking place throughout the year. Our cruising year started early with a month-long February trip to Australia. We visited our daughter and her family who live there and took a one week cruise to Tasmania out of Sydney on Carnival Legend with my daughter and her kids.

cruise ship docked in Quebec

Veendam in Quebec City

May brought an early-season cruise to the northeast with a couple aunts and an uncle on Holland America Veendam. After a couple days touring Boston we boarded the ship for a cruise to Maine and Canada, ending at Quebec City.

Celebrity Infinity

Infinity in Columbia

In September my husband and I set out for 35 days of cruising to celebrate our 35th anniversary, which we spent transiting the Panama Canal on Celebrity Infinity. We had never sailed with Celebrity before so we got to try out a new line as well as a different ship. We boarded the Infinity in San Francisco and spent 17 days cruising to Fort Lauderdale. After disembarking we hopped in a cab for a slow and tedious traffic nightmare journey to Miami. It took about twice as long to get there as it should, but we still arrived well before time to board Carnival Ecstasy for a short 4-day cruise.

Carnival Breeze

Breeze in St. Kitts

We had one night to spend in Miami, but the motel we had booked near the cruise dock had plumbing issues and they took us to another they owned far from the port, which turned out to be the same place we had stayed several years earlier. Next morning we boarded Carnival Breeze for back to back Caribbean cruises totaling 14 days and the grand total of 35 days of cruising.

2015 In The Blog

2015 was a very busy year for My Cruise Stories blog. Besides adding cruises from 4 new ships over the course of the year, the blog had plenty already going on. Of course new towel animals and recipes appear from time to time. 2015 brought about the conclusion of the Cruise Ship Doctor series. Other adventures that saw their final post in 2015 included the MSC Divina Caribbean cruise and the Un-Cruise Adventures Wilderness Adventurer beer-themed cruise in Washington State, with the final episode published in October.

Meanwhile tales of the Carnival Splendor had pretty much just gotten started at the beginning of the year. The first leg of the back to back cruise got covered in 2015, but the second has yet to be revealed so there are plenty of posts left from the Splendor for 2016.

2015 On a Personal Note

This was the first time I was able to take so many trips because 2015 was my first full year without an outside job. I used to be a press-brake operator in a sheet metal shop so I had limited vacation time. After breaking my arm at the elbow joint in 2014, trying to keep working there led to back issues and a knee injury so I left my job that summer to regain my health. Things are going much better for me healthwise now other than having a bit of skin cancer removed last spring. While the arm will never regain full strength or range of motion and two of my fingers would like to be one, it could have been a lot worse. I’m working on losing the weight gained during that time, but have to be careful because while both my back and knee are much better than they were, exercise makes my back feel better and my knee feel worse.

fishing tackle

glow mono spreader light rig with water activated light

We’ve expanded our product lines on our internet fishing tackle business to include new items like King Kandy. Besides selling tackle now I actually make some sometimes and even invented my own product – the monospreader light rig – by adding an underwater light into one of my husband’s product designs, the Brite Bite glow monospreader. Both versions are available at, one of our fishing tackle websites. Also at, a site that I rebuilt this past winter so we could move it to a new host. At the Alaskan fishing lodge where they tested the prototype they couldn’t keep the fish off it and I had to send more because all the guests wanted to fish with something that had a fish on it as fast as they could get it into the water. Monospreaders catch bottomfish like halibut. The fishing line attaches to the plain swivel, lead weight to the corkscrew swivel, and bait on the hook.

cruise ship in Panama Canal

Infinity Entering Locks at the Panama Canal

Looking Forward to 2016

2016 looks like another good cruising year. I have a transpacific, an Alaskan cruise, a cruise in Europe, and a transatlantic booked so lots of interesting new adventures coming up for the blog. Two of them are on cruise lines I haven’t tried before, P&O and Princess. It’s always fun to branch out and try different ships and see new places, though familiar ones like Alaska or the Caribbean are lovely too.

Copyright My Cruise Stories 2016

About LBcruiseshipblogger

MyCruiseStories blog tells stories about adventures in cruising on ships big and small. Things to do onboard and in port. Anything connected to cruising. Also food, travel, recipes, towel animals, and the occasional random blog.
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26 Responses to Reflections of 2015

  1. Lyn says:

    Gosh, 5 cruises in 1 year. That is amazing. What a great way to live life. I wish you many more wonderful experiences for 2016

  2. Happy New Year, Lois! Wow, you had a productive year in cruising. Do you field comments on your site while you’re on a cruise? You must. Are all the ornaments on your tree cruise-related? If so, I’d like to see a photo of the tree.

  3. aFrankAngle says:

    That list of 2015 cruises is awesome … well done … and cheers to the cruising goals for 2016. I look forward to reliving the trip here. Happy New Year!

  4. Leyla says:

    Happy New Year 2016 🙂

  5. sharechair says:

    Looking forward to all your cruise adventures! I only have one coming up …. on the Anthem of the Seas. I’ve never been on one of those huge ships before, and I’m a little intimidated by the meal plans and need for entertainment reservations. I’m sure we’ll learn our way ……
    Happy New Year!!

    • Have fun on your cruise. I haven’t been on Royal Caribbean yet, but they are on the bucket list. Especially one of those giant ships that are so unlike anything anyone else has. Hopefully they have figured out a way to disembark people efficiently at port stops.

      • sharechair says:

        Great point about the port stops. We are cruising with another couple and this will be their first cruise. I worry about the eating arrangements, etc, on this mega-ship. I want everything to go smoothy for them. Port stops will be ok, since our stops are lengthy (I chose this cruise on purpose for that reason). I understand that I can make the needed reservations three months in advance, so you can bet I’ll be calling Royal Caribbean as soon as we hit that mark. We’ll see….

  6. Ralph says:

    Oh wow ! What lovely unusual ornaments and what a full year you had. Glad your arm is improving LB. 😀 ❤

    • Thanks. I try to collect an ornament ship model from every ship I sail on, but the ships do not always cooperate by stocking them in their gift shop so there’s a bunch missing. The arm is as good as it will ever be, which is a lot better than either the doctor or therapist thought possible. Hopefully you find something that works for you. I got something for joints from the local herbal store while it was healing and that certainly worked out well for me since my arm surpassed what both doctor and therapist thought it could do.

  7. Art Downing says:

    I wish you and John a Happy New Year and may you have many more happy cruises. Also, I hope
    there will be some improvement in your health issues.

  8. Chris says:

    The ornament made from a photo is really nice and unique among all the other cruise ships on the tree.

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