Planning what we want to do, where we want to go, join a group, explore on our own – these are processes that sometimes take on a life all their own. Faced with them as often as we have been, one would think it should become easier with time and increased experience.
The first consideration (after the actual cruise decision which can be its own struggle) is how to get to the embarkation point and how to get back from the disembarkation point. Given our rather land-locked home (middle of Alberta, Canada), we’re not surrounded by a lot of open sea ports. So fly we must. Trying to get the best bang for airline buck is always met with the We-wanna-go-first-class vs. We-can-barely-go-economy fight. Care to guess which one has been the winner every time?
Next is the Where-to-stay-cuz-we’re-a-day-early questionaire. It’s always seemed unfair to me that the places with the fewer stars seem to always win against the 5-star favorites. (An exception being this time. Flying in on cruise-departure day and flying back on cruise-return day means no contest.)
The most time-consuming and research-intensive deliberation, however, has always been port days. Sea days are great for what they are…full on R & R. No plan other than where to plant our butts for the next few minutes/hours aboard the ship. But when we pull into port…the rules change.
There is generally limited time we can spend off the ship depending entirely on where we are. Again with the exceptions, this cruise includes a 3-night layover in New Orleans, Louisiana. No worries about where to stay as we continue to live on board the ship, but what to DO while in NOLA presents us with choices galore.
The weekend we dock in New Orleans is the first (of two) of the annual Jazz Festival. That, all by itself, is not only a huge reason to visit but could also easily take up the entire weekend. As much as that would please me (personally), I recognize our return to this wonderful city could be years down the road therefore we need to get out and about. So…there’s the first what-to-do challenge.
We’re also stopping in two other Caribbean locales that we have not visited previously – Grand Bahama and Costa Maya. Challenge number two.
And then there are two return stopovers we are doing – Cozumel and Key West (although it’s been quite a number of years since our last visits). Challenge number three.
What are our verdicts? Can’t tell you what we don’t know. It would be great if you joined us here to find out. 🙂