Norwegian Jewel Review – A Bit Dated, But Comfortable

In 2018 we hopped aboard the Norwegian Jewel for an Alaskan cruise that was many years in the making (about five by our count). We were making this trip with our families for a big adventure that included a DIY add-on to Denali National Park and spanned well over two weeks.

As with most cruises we go on, we pick our ships based on the itinerary and dates first, and then hope for the best with the on-board amenities and offerings second.

Our northbound itinerary on the Norwegian Jewel fell into this setup. We knew the ship was dated at the time of booking, and our experiences on-board confirm this, but for the right itinerary we were still more than happy with what we got.

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Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel Review – A Great Stay in the Finger Lakes

I am a frequent traveler to the Finger Lakes- in recent years at least.

Part of this is because I now live within a manageable five hour drive, and the other part is that I've developed a love for many of the exceptional vineyards that call the region home (notably Boundary Breaks, Hermann J Wiemer, and Heron Hill to name a few- must visit Finger Lakes wineries in my opinion).

But one problem I've always had when visiting is figuring out where to stay.

The reason for this is because the area known as the Finger Lakes is large. It is so large, in fact, that to drive from the furthest west lake to the furthest east lake in one direction you're looking at a two hour drive time (not to mention bypassing every lake in between). Or if you want to stay in larger cities like Rochester, Syracuse, or Corning (for the Corning Museum of Glass) you're looking at 30-60 minutes of driving before you even begin to see water.

Going even further, if you pick any lake (especially larger ones like Seneca or Cayuga) you will have an hour driving just to go from tip to tip as well- all before stopping at all the vineyards, breweries, and distilleries along the way.

It is because of this that picking a good hotel location is so important when visiting. After my stay at Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel as a guest of the property, I can safely say that I've found my spot for the foreseeable future.

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Which Cruise Promotions Are Worth It? Finding the Best Perks

Almost anyone who has booked a cruise has been there- you research various different cruise lines and itineraries and in an effort to try and get your attention you are offered a promotion for a free perk.

There are a number of cruise perks out there ranging from on-board or excursion credit, to extra guests sail free, or even the coveted open bar package, and all are used for one particular reason- to get you make that booking today.

We recently sailed on the Norwegian Jewel where we received many promotions as part of our booking on Black Friday, and in this one we want to break down our thoughts on whether they (and others) are worth it when booking your next cruise!

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Should You Visit Denali or Take an Alaskan Cruise?

Alaska is the largest state in the USA and is roughly 2 1/2 times larger than the second largest state, Texas.

With it size comes a vast area for visitors to explore, and over the years two parts of the state have become the most frequently visited- southeastern Alaska (explored via a cruise) and central Alaska in Denali National Park (explored via packaged tours or DIY).

We recently visited both on a combination trip, and while we were there a thought occurred to us: not everyone can make it on both a cruise and to Denali.

After thinking about it for quite some time and experiencing both parts of the state on our journey, we realized that if we were poised to only do one of the two major trips we would have had a hard time picking one over the other.

In this guide, we want to highlight the differences between the two in case you find yourself in the position of only being able to do one!

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