14 Reasons to Cruise with Your Best Friend

14 Reasons to Cruise with your Best Friend | truelane

1. They’re the perfect distraction from long-haul flights.

Flying nine hours from Chicago to Copenhagen to kick off an 11-day Scandinavian cruise with Princess Cruises may not be the best part of the trip, but when you spend the whole time watching movies and playing games and having deep philosophical conversations with your main gal, it makes the time fly (pun intended).

2. Planning your trip in the first place will be a breeze.

Tamara and I live four states apart and we had our whole itinerary planned in a forty-minute phone call because we already wanted to do all the same things. I know her interests and she knows mine! Wine tasting in Estonia, a river cruise and pretzels in Germany, a bike tour in Oslo...with one read-through of the shore excursions available on the Regal Princess, our plans were set.

14 Reasons to Cruise with your Best Friend | truelane
14 Reasons to Cruise with your Best Friend | truelane

3. The champagne toast on Embarkation Day...it takes two to ‘cheers!’

You may have been delayed a couple hours due to a reset of the ship’s communication system...but that just means the champagne toast goes on two hours longer—no complaints here. My favorite place to be at embarkation is at the stern of the ship, watching the sunset and the wake as you sail off to dreamland.

4. You can trust her to be honest.

"The red dress or the maxi skirt?" I always tell Tamara exactly what I think about her outfit and answer honestly when she asks what I think everyone else might be wearing, and I know she’ll do the same for me. Getting dressed is pretty dramatic when you lock two fashion bloggers in a room together, but when one of them is your bestie, you know you can take her at her word.

14 Reasons to Cruise with your Best Friend | truelane

5. Besties just get it.

Stopping in a new port city every day for five days straight, you’re bound to get a little tired. Tamara could tell by looking at me when I needed a break (or, let’s be real, a glass of wine), and I could tell right away when the mass of tourists was getting to be too much for her. Our travel partnership worked because we could communicate without words, which is always helpful in a public or group setting!

6. You’ll need someone to help you finish your dessert.

From the Horizon Court buffet and the International Cafe to the Concerto Dining Room and Alfredo’s Pizzeria or the Winemaker’s Dinner, there’s a lot to eat on the Regal Princess. Sometimes a little too much. But somehow, you always have room for Swirls soft-serve ice cream on the Lido deck...

14 Reasons to Cruise with your Best Friend | truelane

7. Who else will talk you out of spending way too much money on souvenirs?

You’ve already bought two things for your ma, chocolates for the whole fam, three things for your dog, and eighteen things for yourself...you definitely won’t be able to fit that Danish lamp in your suitcase. However, your bestie still has extra room, so then again...

8. When you have a routine, you stick to it.

Who else will let you go to the same wine bar—Vines on deck 5—and order the same glass of wine—Mirabelle Brut—for a week straight? Some of Tam’s and my best memories were made sitting on what became “our” barstools, pink champagne in hand, people-watching in the piazza while our favorite waiter ran all the way across the ship just to get us a snack mix from another bar that we mentioned we liked. This is how the best memories are made, folks. When you find something that works, you stick with it.

14 Reasons to Cruise with your Best Friend | truelane

9. You have a security blanket if cruising makes you nervous.

Someone to hug you when the waves are rocking the boat a little too hard. It lulls most people right to sleep! Having your best friend around also helps quell homesickness if you'll be cruising for an extended period of time—it's comforting to have some element of familiarity in a new place. Thankfully, we only had one night of noticeable rocking (out of eleven total nights) and the rest of the trip was a breeze.

10. You always have a dance partner.

We all need someone to encouragement to get just one more margarita on salsa night in the Piazza...

11. You’ll have 1,000 new inside jokes to make the memories even sweeter.

I can’t tell you how many times Tamara and I danced around yelling, “Bonjour!” in sing-song voices in every country that didn’t speak French—without a reason why that any of you would understand. Now, I can just text her, “Bonjour!” and it gets a giggle out of both of us, plus takes us right back to our happiest memories sailing the Baltic Sea.

14 Reasons to Cruise with your Best Friend | truelane
14 Reasons to Cruise with your Best Friend | truelane

12. You’ve got a built-in photographer.

What better way to remember your travels than with a few frames of yourself in front of beautiful and monumental historical sites? While you’ll still have to snag another passenger to get pics together, your best friend is the only person you can boss around to get the exact photo you want!

14 Reasons to Cruise with your Best Friend | truelane

13. You get twice the wardrobe in half the space.

I can’t tell you how many times I ran out of clothes and asked Tamara, “Can I borrow this?” Especially since our Baltic cruise was so much colder than we expected—we needed all the layers we could get. About the coldest it gets is during the Movies Under the Stars...luckily, Princess provides cozy blankets for that, so all we needed to bring were our hats and gloves!

14. They’re the perfect person to walk down memory lane with after you get home.

Solo travel is sweet, but traveling with your best friend is sweeter. The trip feels so much more real when you can relive your favorite memories together...cake and coffee in the town square of Tallinn, getting stuck in a snowstorm in Stockholm, or shedding a tear during the Russian ballet in St. Petersburg...there are some things you just had to be there for. 

14 Reasons to Cruise with your Best Friend | truelane

Thank you to Princess Cruises for sponsoring this post.

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel: Top 5 Memories

It feels like yesterday I was flying home from Florida with shells on my mind and sand in my shoes. Now, a year after my first trip to one of the most beautiful beach destinations in the country, National Seashell Day is almost here once more (tomorrow, June 21)! I’m taking a walk down memory lane today, sharing some favorite moments from Fort Myers & Sanibel that made it such a unforgettable summer destination. Here are the top 5 best memories from my trip to southwest Florida!

5. Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Ft. Myers.

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island: Top 5 Memories | truelane
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island: Top 5 Memories | truelane

I have always been somewhat of a history nerd, so I was pumped that one of our activities on the last day of our trip was visiting Thomas Edison and Henry Ford's winter estates in Fort Myers. Apparently, these two were great friends, which is adorable since Edison was Ford's childhood hero! One of my favorite views on the property was looking out across the historical botanical garden and seeing a brand-new high rise framed perfectly between the trees. It was a really interesting angle blending history and modern construction.

4. Kayaking at the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island: Top 5 Memories | truelane
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island: Top 5 Memories | truelane
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island: Top 5 Memories | truelane

Although I was hoping for an alligator, we spotted one dolphin, a ton of jumping fish, and some beautiful white herons. I've also developed a serious love of flamingos in the last year, so these days, I'd flip if I had the opportunity to see one...which is all the more reason I'm itching to go back to Sanibel!

3. Sunrise and sunset at South Seas Island Resort.

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island: Top 5 Memories | truelane
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island: Top 5 Memories | truelane
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island: Top 5 Memories | truelane
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island: Top 5 Memories | truelane

Some of my best shelling finds were made before most of the guests at the resort were awake. There's nothing like seeing the first gleams of sunlight in the morning, and the last of the pink and purple evening rays. I felt like I had walked into a Nicholas Sparks movie in Florida's white sands, surrounded by beautiful reeds and beach grass.

2. "Shelling" on Sanibel Island!

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island: Top 5 Memories | truelane
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island: Top 5 Memories | truelane

As soon as we had finished breakfast, we were off on a boat to Cayo Costa, one of the best places to spot beautiful and unique shells. Jingle shells were my favorite variety, along with lightning whelks, alphabet cones, and Florida prickly cockles. The best part is you can bring them home, and hold on to your treasures for the rest of your life. 

1. Seeing dolphins for the first time in my life. 

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island: Top 5 Memories | truelane
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island: Top 5 Memories | truelane
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island: Top 5 Memories | truelane
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island: Top 5 Memories | truelane

Seeing these cuties prance and dance in the wake of the boat behind us wasn't just the highlight of this trip, it was one of the highlights of my entire year and most of my travels! There's something so special about seeing wildlife in their home and natural habitat, and dolphins are about as magical as underwater creatures get. I was squealing more than the dolphins. Even those in the group that had seen dolphins before were completely captivated, since the dolphins were putting on such a spectacular show for us. I'd go back just to relive this moment again, and here's hoping I get to sometime soon. Maybe next year's National Seashell Day

Thank you to The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel for sponsoring this post.