As I occasionally remind myself, this blog was meant to be about my travel experiences. I tend to digress since when you only have 2 – 3 weeks vacation it’s easy to run out of stories to share. That’s when I fall back on the local color. But I had a productive travel planning day yesterday so I thought you deserved an update.
Back when I went to Florida in January my time share rewarded me with a 4 day cruise for 2. The cruise is free but I would have to pay the port fees and taxes and of course any tips and miscellaneous expenses or excursions.
The first hurdle was who to ask to go with me. That was solved because as soon as Joe (JR) found out about it he jumped on the chance to go. The Cruise line is Carnival, known for its lively, activity packed cruises.
There were 5 itineraries to choose from:
BAHAMAS…Port Canaveral, Freeport, Nassau
BAJA MEXICO…Los Angeles (Long Beach), Catalina, Ensenada
WESTERN CARIBBEAN…Miami, Key West, Cozumel
BAHAMAS….Jacksonville, Freeport, Nassau
WESTERN CARIBBEAN…Mobile, New Orleans, Galveston, Tampa, Cozumel
We decided on Western Caribbean..leaving from Miami, Port of calls Key West and Cozumel. We felt that leaving from a Florida port was the most economical way to go. I’d love to see Baja but the cross-country flight would add time to the vacation and cost. So by going from Florida we had Caribbean or Bahamas to choose from and we’ve both been to the Bahamas. We’ve both been to Key West too. In fact JR. lived and worked there which is how I got to visit. We both love it so Key West and Cozumel are the ports we want to visit.
I’d called the booking agent a few weeks ago to get some general information and what the port fees would be and now I was ready to book the cruise! It was pretty easy. The agent walked me through everything answering questions as we went along. The cruise leaves on a Monday at 4 pm so I might fly down on Sunday and get a room for the night or since it doesn’t leave til 4pm I might fly in early on Monday. I’ll make that decision as it gets closer to the big day.
We’ll arrive in Key West at 7:30 am Tuesday and have until 2 pm to explore. Then it’s back on the ship to head to Cozumel. We’ll arrive there at 1 pm on Wednesday and be in port until 10 pm.
Thursday is at sea all day but according to the brochure this is one of the FUN SHIPS and there are lots of things to do.
We arrive back in Miami at 8:00 am on Friday. I may add a couple more days on and stay in Miami so see the sights…Miami Zoo, and The Everglades for starters.
I was so excited when I finished that I had to call JR and let him know it was all set. He better get his passport! When I reached him he had another project on his mind.
He’s coming up to visit in June. He wanted to know if I still wanted to go to Acadia (Bar Harbor, Me). We’d talked about it but hadn’t made any definite plans. I jumped at the chance so through the wonders of the internet we both searched hotels and motels in the Bar Harbor area. We settled on a Monday, Tuesday Wednesday visit and drive back home on Thursday. I have a Hotels .com account so I booked the room. Then I headed off to work where I put in a vacation request for that Thursday. It was approved.
$250.00 on a credit card and $500.oo cash (debit card) and 2 vacations are not only booked but paid for! That’s the way I like to roll! Even nicer because Joe will be paying part of that so I will have money coming back to me when he gets up here..money I can use for “spending money”.
So for vacations…thus far I have a June “mini” vacation to Bar Harbor, Me., a July “mini” vacation to Portland, Me, and a full vacation (6 days) in September to Glens Falls/ Lake George, NY. to visit family.
Then to start the New Year off, we’ll be cruising to Cozumel in Jan 2013. Looks like I’m going to have some material to share with you all this year. 🙂
Still pending but soon to be booked is THE GREAT ALASKA CRUISE.
And I’m sure there will be plenty of “day trip” adventures over the summer too!