Monday, August 27, 2012

Finally!!!! I have a cruise booked!!

Another cruise!!!! HOORAY!!!! OK, to be honest I actually have TWO cruises booked, DOUBLE HOORAY!!!

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Here is whats going on with the cruise(s):

Some of you may have heard me talking last February about having booked a 15 day Hawaii Cruise. Tim and I were excited about this cruise at the time we booked, but there were a few reasons we ultimately decided to cancel.

One of the main reasons we decided to cancel Hawaii was that there are a few people going on that cruise that I had come to "meet" on a cruise website I frequently spend time on. The attitudes and antics of a few people have definitely colored my perception of that cruise, and after thinking about it I decided I would rather not be on a ship for 15 days with the likes of this "group".

Along with that, Tim was having a hard time with taking 15 days off of work. He is quite a work-a-holic, and  although he would have taken the cruise if I insisted, I knew deep down he wasn't thrilled with being away from his job for over 2 weeks.

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Before we cancelled the Hawaii cruise I started looking around for another shorter cruise, but when I thought about it I was a little bummed out. I was really excited about being on the ship for 15 days on the Hawaii cruise, and now I was looking at much shorter 5 and 7 day cruises.

I came up with a plan, but it was going to take a lot of work to pull it off. I was thinking I could book another Back-to-back cruise (actually 2 cruises, one after the other). Tim could cruise with me on the first 5 day leg of the cruise, and my best friend Christina and I could go on the 2nd leg together - a "girlfriend" cruise!!!

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Sounded like a great plan to me!!! Now only if I could get Tim and Christina to agree.

I asked Timmy what he thought first..........he warmed up to the idea pretty quickly, especially when he realized he would only be gone from work for 5 days instead of 15.

Next, I asked Christina what she thought..........I was a little skeptical about Christina agreeing to go on a 5 day cruise. Christina is the type of person who NEVER EVER does anything special for herself. She's a single mom, and she puts all of her energy into her kids, her job, and taking care of her parents. In the 24 years I have known her, she has taken only 2 vacations........and she took her kids on both of them. The chances of getting her to agree to a "girlfriend cruise" was slim.

I have to say I was shocked when she agreed to go!! WOOHOO!!! She also thinks a "girlfriend cruise" sounds like fun!!

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So, in May Tim and I cancelled the Hawaii Cruise, and we made plans to book these back-to-back cruises.

Before I even had a chance to book the new cruise(s), there was another glitch with Tim's job. He was thinking that taking a week (really only 5 days) could still make things difficult at work - even though the cruise is still a year away. So I asked him if he would rather skip the cruise altogether, to stay home and work. I also mentioned that I would still like to go on the cruise(s) and that maybe my sister Lisa could take his place on the first part of the cruise.

He agreed that he would feel much better if he skips this cruise - and truthfully, this is the exact same cruise he and I took in 2010 for our honeymoon. He has already been to these islands, so he really wouldn't be missing anything.

So I spoke to my sister, and she has agreed to cruise with me!

We also decided to take my 2 youngest kids with us (Chris and Cody, ages 23 and 21).

So here is the "new" cruise plan:

My sister, my 2 kids , and I will take the first 5 day cruise together.
After the first cruise is over, Lisa and my kids will fly back home and I will stay on the ship.  My best friend Christina will join me for the next 5 day cruise. After Christina and I get off the ship, the two of us are planning to stay at a spa/resort hotel in Ft. Lauderdale for a few days.

I have mixed emotions about this. First, I am really excited about this vacation, but also it's hard to get so excited when I know my Sweetheart isn't going. Of course, it's completely his choice not to go, and he knows if he changes his mind I will add him to the cruise(s). He has plenty of time to change his mind.

The hardest part will be waiting so long until our cruise gets here............I have never had any patience whatsoever when I am waiting for something, and we don't cruise until September 2013. UGH! I'll be a basket case by the time it gets here.

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I will admit though, I need every bit of that time to save up for this vacation. It's definitely a whopper, and so is the price tag. (and by the way, I'm paying for my part of this shin-dig myself. I am taking a little out of each of my paychecks each month. Chris, Cody, Lisa and Christina are each paying their own parts too)

I am very happy that we have 12 months to plan. I think half of the fun of a vacation or a big event (such as a wedding or a surprise party) is the planning! I have shopping to do too! Of course I'll need cruise clothes. It's nice to have time to take advantage of sales and not have to be in a hurry to get everything all at once. I have an entire year to shop around and find the things I want.

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Here is the entire itinerary so far:

Saturday, August 31st- Travel Day - Lisa, Chris, Cody and I will fly to Miami and stay the night in a hotel at the Port of Miami.
Sunday, September 1st - Spending the day in Miami
Monday, September 2nd - Boarding Day - The 4 of us will board the Carnival Victory!!!
Tuesday, September 3rd - Sea Day
Wednesday, September 4th - Grand Turk Day  - The largest of the Turks Islands, but it's only 6 miles by 2 miles
Thursday, September 5th - Half Moon Cay Day - Carnival's private island - It's PARADISE on earth!!!
Friday, September 6th - Nassau Bahamas Day  - Spending the day at Atlantis Resort and Waterpark
Saturday, September 7th - Miami - Turnaround day. - I'll have to say goodbye to Lisa and the kids. They will board a flight back home and I'll already be on the ship when Christina boards.
Sunday, September 8th -  Sea Day
Monday, September 9th - Ocho Rios Jamaica Day -  Christina and I are looking at a ziplining excursion
Tuesday, September 10th - Grand Cayman Island Day - We are looking at swimming with the dolphins
Wednesday, September 11th - Sea Day
Thursday, September 12th - Miami - Christina and I will have to get off of the Victory :( We will head to Ft Lauderdale to spend a few days at a resort and spa.
Friday, September 13th - Ft Lauderdale
Saturday, September 14th - Ft Lauderdale
Sunday, September 15th - Travel Day - Heading home to see my Timmy!!!

So with this plan, I will get that 15 days anyway, even if I'm not going to Hawaii.

If you ask me, The 5 Islands I will visit in 10 days, plus the time in Miami and the resort in Ft Lauderdale sure beats Hawaii!

Ready to read all about my 16 day cruise vacation???  Look HERE!

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