OCTOBER IS OFFICIALLY PLAN A “WIN A FREE” CRUISE MONTH

So by now you know that I have partnered with the Cruise Lines International Association to give away 4 free cruises for Plan A Cruise Month this October.  But maybe you didn’t know that not only do you have the opportunity to win a free cruise, but you can choose from 31 different cruise options all on different cruise lines and all with different itineraries.  More specifically, I want to tell you about one of the exciting cruise options, a seven-night river cruise in Southeast Europe with AmaWaterways.  

 

AmaWaterways free cruise

 

Personally, I have found that what I love most about cruises is the opportunity to explore places that I would have never considered traveling to.  For example, last year I went on a cruise along the Baltic Sea.  The main reason I wanted to do this trip was because I wanted to visit St. Petersburg, Russia and a cruise just makes all of those logistics so simple, as almost everything is done for you.  What I learned from that trip though, was that my two favorite ports on the cruise were the ports that I had somewhat disregarded in my planning, Gothenburg, Sweden and Tallinn, Estonia.  St. Petersburg had all of the opulence and beauty that I expected, but the museums were filled with so many tourists!  And I actually like crowds!  During festivals, you won’t hear me complain.  But indoors, at all of the famous sights like the Hermitage and Catherine’s Palace it was just a lot.

Gothenburg, on the other hand, was not on my radar at all probably because it can be very much overshadowed by its neighbor, Stockholm.  However, as soon as I arrived in Gothenburg, I just had that feeling you get when you feel truly comfortable in a city.  And it was absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful even though it rained almost the whole time.  We were only there for a few short hours, but I am so grateful that this cruise took us to Gothenburg as I know I probably never would have visited otherwise.

 

Preview

 

While I had heard really good things about Tallinn, the city itself was definitely not a contributing factor in the decision to take this Baltic Cruise.  But now?  Wow!  I would have totally done this cruise just for Tallinn and just for the food.  Besides Greece (#1) and Italy (#2), Tallinn was my 3rd favorite place for food in Europe.  That brown bread is just delicious and the omelet was the best I’ve ever had.  Plus, the medieval charm of the city is just perfection.

 

Why am I telling you all of this?  Because one of the cruises that I am helping to giveaway has an itinerary that I am incredibly excited about!  You have the opportunity to win a luxury river cruise on AmaWaterways that not only starts at one of the best cities in Europe, but takes you to ports that you probably might not have traveled to on your own.

Here’s a little blurb about the cruise to get you excited:

Seven-Night Gems of Southeast Europe: Begin in Budapest and embark upon your Danube river cruise with stops in Mohács and Vukovar on the way to Belgrade. Traverse the dramatic narrow gorge known as the Iron Gates, then cruise along the Romanian-Bulgarian border. Visit Vidin, Belogradchik and Veliko Tarnovo. Disembark and continue by land to Bucharest where you will conclude your journey with a two-night stay.

 

free cruise Budapest AmaWaterways

 

 

Ok so here are some pretty awesome things I am noticing about this cruise:

1)  It starts in Budapest!  Budapest is my favorite city in Europe besides the ones that I have emotional ties to because I lived there (Madrid and Barcelona).  I need to do a post on Budapest, but that’s for another day.  The reason why it’s the best city is because the “things to do” are either super fun or historically fascinating.  For example, it’s basically a requirement to go to a bath in Budapest.  I mean, who can’t deal with that.  No one is telling you to stare at a statue for 4 hours, just at your book while you soak in warm water.  Also, I went on at least 3 walking tours because the city is beautiful and the history fascinating, albeit traumatic as you learn about the state of the city and its people during the Holocaust.  Bars and restaurants are even located in preserved bombed out buildings from the war, a sight that is truly surreal.

2) The rest of the itinerary is completely unique!  I guarantee at least 90% of people planning a trip to Europe do not have any of the rest of these ports on their list of destinations unless they have family there/are from that locale.  And to me, that is exactly what cruises are for.  To expose you to cities that you may have never heard of before and be able to explore their cultures.  Because just like on my past cruise to the Baltic Sea, the cities that you least expect to “wow” you, have a good chance of being the destinations that will leave that completely memorable impression on you forever.     

 

free cruise amawaterways

 

3) Shore excursions are included!  It is sooo stressful trying to plan out how to best see a city in one day, trust me I have spent hours of my life working on it.  And although it is very rewarding when the day works out the way you planned, it would be so awesome to have that all planned for you and included in the cost of the cruise!  Seriously, so amazing.

4) Unlimited red and white wines and beer on the ship.  On every cruise, the food we know will be plentiful and usually delicious. But one thing I always find issue with, is that the alcohol package is like $50 a day.  Now, maybe that would be worth it it I was doing a repositioning cruise, a crossing from Europe to the United States, but otherwise there is just no way I am going to be able to drink that much with a full day of excursions.  That $500 per person for a 10-day trip quickly adds up so it is so nice that AmaWaterways includes that on your river cruise.

 

And there you have it!  Hopefully one of my reader’s will win a free cruise!  Also, I will be doing a Twitter event next Tuesday October 11th at 9:00 AM.  Nine cruise lines will be participating including AmaWaterways and there will be even more prizes given out.  All of the information is below if you want to join me!  And for details on how to enter to win this free cruise, check out my last post. 

 

Preview

#CruiseSmile Cultural Exploration Twitter Event 

Join the Cruise Industry on Twitter to Discover Amazing Cruise Vacations and For a Chance to Win Incredible Prizes

Join Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) for a two-hour twitter event to learn more about the variety of “Cultural Exploration” cruise vacations. Tweet along and engage in the event for a chance to win amazing prizes from cruise line partners as well as American Express gift cards that can be used for future cruise vacations.

Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Time: Noon until 2 p.m. EST

Hashtag: #CruiseSmile, #Sweepstakes

Follow: @CruiseSmile

Cruise Line Partners:

@AmaWaterways @AvalonWaterways @CroisiEurope

@cunardline @OceaniaCruises @PrincessCruises

@tauck@UniworldCruises@WindstarCruises

Amazing Giveaways

  •   American Express Gift Cards
  •   MSC Cruise Bathrobe and Candle
  •   Gift Bag of prizes from Cunard Cruise Line
  •   $50 American Express Gift Card from CroisiEurope
  •   Anthem of the Seas Gift Bags from Royal Caribbean
  •   Carnival Cruise Lines Prize Pack

Win a Cultural Exploration Cruise!

Participate in the #CruiseSmile #Sweepstakes for a chance to win a Cultural Exploration Cruise vacation for two! Immerse yourself in different cultures, explore historic sites, and see the world! Check out the incredible variety of cultural exploration cruises from October 7 – 16. Enter the #CruiseSmile #Sweepstakes during the cultural exploration theme period for your chance to win your choice of one of the amazing featured international cruises. 

 

Have you ever been on a cruise?  If so, where? And, if you are a “cruiser” and have been on multiple ships, what itinerary has been your favorite?  Please share in the comments below.  And let me know if you entered the Plan A Cruise Month #cruisesmile sweepstakes to win a free cruise! 

 

This is a sponsored post thanks to CLIA.  I take my partnerships very seriously, and if I had not thought that Plan A Cruise Month was an incredible chance for my reader’s to win a free cruise, I would not have participated.  

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