Archive for July 2014

To Spend Or Not To Spend? That is the Question…   1 comment

There is always a time when you are planning a trip where you decide whether or not to spend that extra dime. I’ve had a couple of such turning points in recent months.

The first came on the heels of our delayed flight from hell on Southwest last Thanksgiving (you may recall my writing about it)…two years in a row of serious flight delays have DH and I vowing to never fly during Thanksgiving ever again. EVER. The series of events that occurred last Thanksgiving lead to my writing a letter of complaint to Southwest (something I very, very rarely do). Of course they called, apologized, and gave DH and I each a voucher worth $200 in airfare.

That was the first decision making point. Where to go with our “free” airfare? Ultimately we decided not to use it. We already had most of our vacation time booked for the year and really there was nowhere else we wanted to go that we could use the vouchers for. When I tell people this, they are horrified! How can we just let those vouchers go to waste???

The conversations reminded me of a story I heard where a millionaire asked, “If someone approached you in your first class seat on an airplane, and asked you if you would move to coach for $3,000, what would you do? Most of us would say “Yes!” move to coach, and pocket the windfall,” he paused, then continued. “So why on earth would you pay an extra $3,000 to sit in first class rather than save that money and sit in coach in the first place?”

Good question.

That’s how I view these vouchers. If I had a trip planned that I could use them for I would pounce. But in order to use them, we would have to spend about $1,000 between hotel, possible car rental, dining out, etc. So we have to spend $1,000 to get a couple of free flights, huh? Doesn’t sound so free when I put it that way, does it? So I will think like that millionaire and say I am paying myself $1,000 to stay home. 😉

The second crossroad was when I was booking the business trip I am currently on. As I was pouring over the flights, for reasons I will never know, I could book first class for $200 more than coach; for the entire trip. Granted this isn’t “first class” like you see on international flights with beds or pods or anything, but it means a big seat, food, drinks, expedited security, checked luggage etc. I asked myself was that worth my while for two flights totally over 6 hours each way? Heck yeah. I forked over the $200 out-of-pocket gladly. I do realize that if I traveled frequently, I probably would not have done so, but as my business travel is only a handful of times per year, I spent the dough. As I sat in my big seat today, was handed a drink in a real glass, and served a warm lunch, I was very happy with my decision.

I could go a step further and say the net of my two travel decisions means I’m ahead $800…but maybe that’s pushing it. 😉

Posted July 21, 2014 by cubechick in Land Based Vacation Planning

Boston to Bermuda, leaving tomorrow!! July 11, 2014   Leave a comment

$299 pp for an inside cabin on the Norwegian Dawn (plus taxes and port fees)!!! $279 pp if your a Latitudes member!! Wish I could go!

Posted July 10, 2014 by cubechick in Deal of the Day!

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Time to Look at Bermuda!   Leave a comment

After our Great Alaskan Adventure, it is time to start thinking about our Blissful Bermuda Vacation.

As of today, we are three months away from a short drive into Boston, followed by (hopefully) an even shorter time waiting to board the beautiful Norwegian Dawn. It will be our tenth cruise to Bermuda (ninth out of Boston) but it has been five years since we’ve visited the beautiful archipelago that is Bermuda. Such a long time away means that a little research is in order.

A couple of things that I have found out that have changed since our last visit in 2009:

You can now purchase Wi-Fi for the duration of your visit to Bermuda. A three-day Wi-Fi package from the TBI Network runs $14.99. Granted that isn’t cheap, but it is less expensive than purchasing internet on the ship. The same price point would give you about 10 minutes of Wi-Fi on the ship ($7 activation fee and 75 cents per minute without a package).

Those of us who have been to Bermuda before know the bus and ferry system is the best (and most economical) way to get around the islands. A three-day bus pass runs $35 per person. However I discovered this year that $30 will get you a book of 15 transportation tickets where each ticket covers a journey of more than three zones. The tickets can be used by more than one person. So depending on how much bus and ferry hopping (the tickets are accepted on the ferries this year per the ferry website, http://www.seaexpress.bm) you plan to do, the booklet may meet your needs. Based on our current plans, I think the book will work for DH and I and save us $40 versus the cost of buying two bus passes.

This part isn’t new information for me, but seems a good tip to share for my fellow cruise passengers. I’ve read a lot of gripes on Cruise Critic that you can purchase bus passes on the ship, but that you need to do so early on as the ship runs out. If that happens, fellow cruisers warn, you need to buy them at the pier and the lines are horrendous. Well, yes, that is true if you go to the Visitor Information center at the pier. However there are two other Visitor Information centers on Dockyard a short walk away. I recommend strolling by the massive line by the ship and going to the next center to purchase your book of tickets or bus passes.

DH and I are still sorting out what we’d like to do on this visit to Bermuda. We do know that we’d like to go to Gibb’s Lighthouse as we have never been there before. It’s easy to get to on the number 7 bus. Just get off at the Henry VIII Restaurant and walk five minutes up Lighthouse Road. If you’re of a mind, after you’ve climbed the 185 steps to the top of the lighthouse, you can take in refreshment at the Lighthouse Restaurant. However the restaurant is small (I believe it seats 50), so our plan is to hop back on the number 7 bus and make our way to the South Shore Swizzle Inn. No visit to Bermuda is complete without a pitcher of rum swizzle from the Swizzle Inn!

Swizzle

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