As always, I take several books with me when I cruise. I don’t really have the time and energy to read at home, but on vacation, I’m a voracious reader. Sometimes I read them all and have to read some of my Mom’s books. I’m taking 4 books for an 8-day cruise. Here goes…
As you know, a cruise countdown is a perpetual thing for me. I’ve decided to dedicate a good portion of my life to cruising. I literally work to cruise. So here’s my latest.
We are ready!
We ended up getting flights to Ft. Lauderdale for $377. Still a little higher than I wanted, but not that ridiculous $480. Here’s where we stand:
Ground transportation ✔️
Here’s what’s left to do:
Shopping – I need new sneakers and sandals. I’m trying to graduate from flip flops, but they’re so comfortable and easy! I could also use a few new maxi dresses and maybe a new bathing suit. The bathing suit depends on whether or not I can successfully bring sexy back. 😜
Packing – I just got the packing cubes I ordered from eBags. We’ll see if it actually works and keeps my suitcase organized.
Choose my entertainment – I always take several books and load my iPad up with movies. It’s only an 8-day cruise, but vacation is when I do most of my reading and watching movies. I’ll do a separate post to let you know what I picked out.
Prepare the house – I always like to come back to a clean house. Coming home from vacation is depressing enough without having to look at a mess when you get home.
Prepare a meal – After 8 days of pampering and having every meal served, I know I don’t want to cook on my first couple of nights back. So, I prepare and freeze a meal (or two) so that I only have to reheat when I get home. I’m still gonna be looking for the MDR (Main Dining Room) for a while. 😂
There are other little odds and ends I have to take care of, but those are the major ones. Now, if I could just fast forward time… ⏱
So, we paid off our cruise and now we’re ready to go! Time to book hotels and airfare, right? Wrong! I’m looking for round-trip, non-stop airfare from Charlotte to Miami. Should be easy right? Should be relatively affordable one would think. I mean, Charlotte is a hub for American Airlines and Miami is a major international airport.
But, before I get too deep into my whining, let me come clean. I’m discerning. Some might call that picky LOL. I want specific flights on specific dates and times. Is that wrong? Call me decisive. I see what I want and I focus on that goal. That’s a good thing, right? So here’s what I want:
Non-stop Charlotte outbound on Friday morning between 9am – 11am
Non-stop Miami outbound on Sunday afternoon between 12pm – 2pm
These flights exist, but at an exorbitant price. Are you ready? *drumroll please*
Yeah, you’re probably thinking the same thing I am: WTF? On what planet does it cost $480 to fly anywhere for 2 hours? What kinda fuel are they using? Sigh…
So, now it’s just the waiting game. But can my nerves take it if the price goes up more? Will my thrifty self be able to actually purchase a $500 ticket to Miami? I don’t know. But I’m gonna stop looking at these prices for a moment so that my head doesn’t explode.
After an unplanned hiatus where I didn’t come back and tell you about Christmas in Pigeon Forge, I am excited to tell you about my upcoming cruise this summer with the family.
We will be on Carnival’s newest ship, the Vista this July. It’ll be me, Mom, my brother, niece, sister and her husband. It’s my sister’s first cruise and she is a type-a planner like myself, so she wanted to have a meeting to go over everything. At first, I was hesitant, but as we got closer, I got excited about planning for the meeting. I’m an administrative professional, so organizing things is what I’m good at. I pulled together a packet of information for each of us.
I was very proud of myself.
We talked about how the 6 of us planned to get to port. My sister, being the type-a planner that she is, had already purchased her airline tickets. My brother doesn’t like to fly, so he was hoping we could “rent a van and sing songs.” Well, not the sing songs part, but he was disappointed that she was flying. Mom and I were already leaning toward flying since it would be about a 12 hour drive. I don’t want to spend all day trying to get to my destination (unless of course I’m cruising there. That’s different 😜). I want to get there and be able to enjoy the beginning part of my vacation. My pre-vacation vacation, if you will. Under peer pressure, my brother decided to fly. He’s a little thrifty, so he immediately started hawking airfare prices. They’re a little high now, even for my blood. But, we’ll probably book soon just to get it out of the way.
We talked about transportation to and from the port, choices in hotel (I’m a Hilton girl) and even looked at excursions (we’ll have a BBQ at my sister’s house after final payment to choose excursions).
I walked away with homework:
Look for some adventure-type excursions (my niece insists)
Look for possible 2018 cruises (I already have some ideas)
Look for cruises to Hawaii for 2019
And now, not only am I excited for the cruise, I’m excited for these pre-cruise planning meetings. Planning the details of the cruise is almost as exciting as the cruise itself!
Does planning get you excited for your trip? Do you have any cruise planning rituals?