Archive for September 2011

We’re nearly there…   Leave a comment

18 months ago we booked our Panama Canal cruise aboard the Norwegian Star…we’re officially 8 days away…or 4 business day away…and ticking…

All docs have been printed and put in our doc folder.  All ironing is done (hallelujah!!!).  Tomorrow, packing commences…

This is the cool part of booking trips so far in advance.  This is your reward for planning ahead and taking advantage of the price breaks that can be had by those of us who plan well in advance (the price on our suite went up over $3000 by the time final payment arrived).

We booked this trip 18 months ago…and made the time pass by focusing on our interim trips (Epic Crossing, Las Vegas, Hawaii…)!  Now it’s time to let loose and let it all be about this cruise!!!

I find that once 90 days hits, time starts to whiz by.  At 75 days, NCL requests final payment and w/in two weeks of that you receive your edocs.  Now you’re at 60 days and the clock ticks in earnest.  NCL has gotten cute this time and started sending us weekly emails in anticipation of our trip (shows on the ship, excursions and restaurants, etc).  Did it add any value to me, a seasoned cruiser?  No.  But I could see the added value to new cruisers and it gave me a nice little buzz.

We fly to LA a week from today (while keeping a beady eye on Hurricane Hilary.  We don’t get sea sick (100+ mile per hour winds and 40+ foot seas under our belts attest to that), but want to make sure we can arrive in LA as scheduled next Friday. After that, whatever will be, will be.  Hey rough seas means we’ll have Cagneys and the casino to ourselves.  🙂

My big decision (after what to pack..and I’m determined to pack light…always a challenge!) is whether to blog live from the ship or not??  Decisions…decisions…

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Posted September 23, 2011 by cubechick in Cruise Planning...it never stops!

Key West Anyone?   Leave a comment

In looking at things to do for during our brief stop in Key West during our Panama Canal cruise, DH has become quite interested in this area.

We currently have a cruise to Bermuda booked in June of next year, but really, I just booked it “just in case” as there was a sale going on at the time ($250 deposit wasn’t hard to part with!).  I’ve always been ready to cancel it if we came up with a better option…mostly because we’re cruising to Bermuda in September 2012 so it’s not like I’ll be going through Bermuda withdrawal for too much longer.  🙂

So I began my “feasability” study last night.  Pricing airfare, hotel, car rental etc for both May and June of next year.  This is quite doable!  We’re talking about going down there for 5 days…the airfare direct from Boston to Miami starts at $250 pp which isn’t too shabby.  If we fly into Miami but home from Key West the price rised $60 pp. 

My concern here was the cost of the car rental going up if we chose option #2 as we wouldn’t be returning the car to the same place.  Sure enough, the price quoted by Hertz more than doubled from $64 per day (base model) to $160!!!  AAA to the rescue!  I can rent my car in Miami and return it to the Key West airport (mid-size this time) for $84 if I book through them.  Gotta love AAA. 

So far, looking at beach front properties near Mallory Square, I’m finding well rated/reviewed resorts for $200-$300 per night.  Not too bad for a waterfront resort. 

We’ll have to do some more thinking about this…and see what we think of Key West when we’re there next month and see if we come away feeling like a longer visit is in the cards.

Oh, while I was at the computer, I couldn’t help by toy with other options and found on Orbitz that if we wanted to spend the 5 days before Memorial Day in Cancun, we could book an all-inclusive 5-star resort, including airfare for $884 pp!  Wow is that a nice price!  Unfortunately DH isn’t just looking to sit on the beach for 5 days…

Posted September 9, 2011 by cubechick in Land Based Vacation Planning

Another Bermuda Deal!   2 comments

Jet Blue is currently offering $99 airfare for flights from Boston to Bermuda (each way).  The sale is now through December 15th, with little restriction.  Granted, we’re heading into Bermuda’s off-season, but this is a great price if you can get there by the end of October!  The prices aren’t good on Friday or Sunday, but I don’t thinks that’s too bad!  Wish I could go!!!

Hold the phone!  Just got an email from Travelzoo.  Last minute cruise aboard the Norwegian Dawn, Boston to Bermuda, sailing this Friday, (September 9th) is $99 per person for an inside cabin!!!  Holey Smokes! 

Cubechick has to wonder, “Could I get away with calling in sick for a week???”

Posted September 6, 2011 by cubechick in Deal of the Day!

Happy Labor Day!   Leave a comment

I hope everyone had a lovely Labor Day.  We spent our day hiking (in preparation for our hiking tour in Acapulco) and talking about the upcoming cruise.  We agreed that we’d like to go to Cagney’s for dinner that first night.  It’s become a bit of a tradition.  😉

Got the new suitcase ready for its maiden flight with orange ribbon (for easy identification) and luggage tags.  Started looking at the miscellaneous items we want to bring…the binoculars given to us by a friend make the list.  Discover we need to buy some hand sanitizer for the room (we like to keep it handy to access as you leave the cabin and enter).

We fight depression since Fall seems to be moving swiftly into our area (the blackbirds are gathering to make their trek south)…depression somewhat alleviated by the upcoming cruise.  Thoughts of the Panama Canal dance in our heads even as we discuss purchasing mums and pumpkins for the front steps!  Alas, Summer, we look forward to your return next June!

It’s amazing how quickly Mother Nature flips the switch between Summer and Fall…at least in New England!  Even as we plan all of the summer wear we want to pack as we caper around Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Columbia and Key West, we think about what sweaters need to surface from the attic.  😦

Ah, well, we fight seasonal depression with cruise planning.  We have another cruise coming up in February…when Old Man Winter seems to have our area in a death grip.

Gotta love cruise planning for helping you ignore the seasons!

 

 

Posted September 5, 2011 by cubechick in Cruise Planning...it never stops!

The clock is ticking…   Leave a comment

Happy Labor Day to my American and Canadian friends.  As we enjoy the last gasp of summer, the clock is rapidly ticking down to my next adventure.

Oh, the Panama Canal cruise is so close I can smell the salt air!

The packing list has been printed out and modifications are being made.

We bought new luggage locks (one old lock having been bent on our last trip after 7 years of flawless service), have practiced with the new camera, which is brilliant.  Tons of cool bells and whistles which will help step up the the vacation photos.  Arranged transportation issues.

Now comes thinking about what you want to pack.  Conventional, and very wise wisdom, I’ve seen on Cruise Critic is to put what you think you need into a pile…then put half of it away before you pack.  🙂 Surely, better advice has never been given.  I think about the insane amount of clothing I brought on my first cruise (how many pairs of shoes????!!!!)…of course we were driving to the port (no weight restrictions!), but still.  We still had to lug the bags weighed down with a crazy amount of clothes and books back to the car after the cruise.

Today a Kindle has solved the book problem (I thought DH was out of his mind when he gave it to me for my birthday a couple of years ago!) and experience has cut down on the over packing.  Really, will anyone notice if I wear the same capris to dinner more than once during the cruise?  And if they do notice do I care??

I swear someday I will board a ship with just a carry on bag…but it won’t happen this cruise since it’s a 15 dayer.  Baby steps dontcha know?  😉

Anyway, planning is cruising along (ha! Pun not intended!).  Printing out maps from Google Maps of the ports we plan on walking around.  Piles are forming in the packing room of things we at least think we want to bring at this point (to bring the binoculars or not?).  And final decisions to be made (do I attempt to blog live from the ship???).

It’s all good and part of the wonderful world of travel!!!!

Posted September 2, 2011 by cubechick in Cruise Planning...it never stops!

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