I Sailed with Seven Cruise Lines in a Year!

(3 Reviews)

Manuela Henning

New Braunfels, TX
Cruise, Solo & Group Travel Specialist

As an Air Force veteran, I am no stranger to travel.      

Early in my military career, I got to travel for about a year as an entertainer, singing and dancing my way around the world...twice. The lessons I learned in that time have been pr...

Maybe it was a pent up need to travel again after almost two years.  Or perhaps it's because I decided to pursue a career in the travel industry.  I think it was that little voice inside me saying, hey...life is too short...if not now, then when?  

I set out to take more cruises in 2022 than ever before; 13 cruises by end of year, 10 of which were solo adventures.  By January of 2023, I completed my 24th cruise in total.      

Prior to the pandemic, I'd only ever cruised with Carnival (except for one Mediterranean Cruise on MSC back in 2006).  But, by the end of 2021, I was ready to branch out and also try cruising solo.  

I took three cruises on Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas in January and February of 2022; two were solo adventures.  In November 2022, I also got to take the first revenue sailing out of the new Royal Caribbean Terminal in Galveston on the Allure of the Seas.    

In April, I decided to take some cruises in a row: Carnival Valor out of New Orleans, and two back-to-back sailings on the brand new Carnival Mardi Gras out of Port Canaveral.  If you've never tried cruising out of New Orleans, I highly recommend.  It takes about 7 hours to traverse the winding Mississippi River before hitting the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  It's a unique experience.  And, trying Carnival's first EXCEL class ship was a bit of a "culture shock" at first, but one I got used to pretty quick.  It's a beautiful ship with great entertainment and lots of great food options, too.  

Over the summer, I decided to take a break from cruising to focus on my training to become a travel agent, but before I knew it, some girlfriends of mine convinced me to join them on a "ladies only" cruise out of Tampa, so back to Florida I went, and we took the Carnival Paradise out on a Western Caribbean itinerary.  There are only two Fantasy class ships left, so I appreciated the opportunity to sail on her, because my first cruise ever back in 2001 was on the Carnival Fantasy.  It was like coming home; gave me lots of feelings of nostalgia.  

In September, I took a friend out on her first cruise, after having to cancel in 2020, so it was a special moment for her to finally experience, although we ended up playing a little chicken with Hurricane Ian.    

I spent October plotting and booking the remaining four cruises I would take in 2022, and the one in January 2023.  I wanted to try as many different cruise lines as I could, and after returning from my cruise on the Allure of the Seas, I finished the year with four cruises side-by-side out of Florida: Norwegian Prima, Holland America's Nieuw Statendam, Celebrity Cruises' Reflection, and Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady.  I was home for a couple of weeks before finishing what I ended up calling my "Cruising Through Winter" tour with the Ruby Princess mid Jan 2023.  

What did I learn and gain from my adventures?  Certainly, I now know what each cruise line I tried has to offer me and my present or future clients.  I also appreciate the variety of options available that can cater to all kinds of tastes and interests.  But probably what I cherish the most is all the people I've gotten to meet along the way.  In the end, that's what matters most to me anyways.    

The world is ours to discover.  Live to travel to live and remember, if not now, then when?           


My Travel Albums

Cruising Through Winter Tour
Half Moon Cay
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