Another year is starting to fly by. Here it is April 2018 and our Japan trip is well behind us (begging us to return!).  Finances and time prohibit doing two cruises again this year, as much as we’d love to do so.  Deciding on a firm vacation plan became a three week long hunt that led us in a myriad of different directions.

Cruising is, and will forever be, on top of our list.  Itineraries, pricing and exchange rates don’t always coincide with personal wants and desires however.  We looked over a variety of cruises both river and ocean for this year.  Suffice it to say that cost (primarily because of exchange rates) put a major damper on almost everything we considered.

How about doing a couple of weeks island hoping in Hawaii?  Our last trip there was also our very first ‘long-distance’ vacation…way back in 1980.  A great airline company (WardAir) was still in existence with a non-stop from Edmonton to Honolulu.  Two weeks of sun, sand and wandering around Oahu was enough to embed the need to broaden our worldly explorations.  But…that was almost 40 years ago.  Much has changed.  Looking at all that we would like to do ~this~ time around (visiting other islands being high on that list), getting there, hotels, transportation between islands, etc., etc., etc., AND the ever-present exchange rate, it became apparent there wouldn’t be a lot of difference vs. going on another cruise. (and YES…I know things can be done more frugally, but at this stage of my advanced years comfort reigns supreme. 🙂  )

Ok…how about staying in Canada?  There are certainly many parts of this wonderful land that we have enjoyed in the past and many more that we have never seen.  The exchange rate is a non-issue and we could drive our own vehicle rather than fly.  In theory, at least, that should reduce the cost.  Now one of the trade-off’s however, is the drive itself.  Do I really want to spend a lot of time driving from one place to another, living out of a suitcase (essentially)?  Yes, we’d see more of the landscape and could stop whenever and wherever we’d like.  And either pre-book a hotel or try to find one on the fly that we know nothing about because we can’t just jump on You-Tube and check them out.  Fly to someplace in Canada instead of drive? Then what? Rent a vehicle there at exorbitant rates just to…drive around and live out of a suitcase… rinse and repeat.

Fine then…I will accept and admit that there may be a certain amount of negativity relating to vacations other than cruising.  On the other hand, it is OUR vacation. 🙂  We Really enjoy floating from one new, exotic land to another (typically when sleeping so no loss there).  Unpacking ONCE (for an extended period of time).  Being fed in Great restaurants everyday with accommodations that are more than acceptable.  Visiting countries and meeting people from vastly different cultures.  Life is short and ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda’ is something better left for someone else.

So…back to looking at another cruise.  The British Isles have become a desired place to visit.  Anyone that knows me, knows our first trip to England was met with some (figurative only) kicking and screaming on my part.  For reasons that to this day escape me, England never appealed to me.  However, if you wish to read our blog on “5 Weeks In Europe”, you’ll notice I changed my mind.  Substantially.  With that in mind we re-visited the choices offered that toured the British Isles.

Over the past few years, we have had our share of…perks…if you will, relating to some of the cruises we have taken.  When we went to Alaska (and had my mother with us) we got an upgrade to a Full Suite for very minimal cost.  Coming back on the flight home from Japan just last year, we got a free upgrade to Japan Airlines Business Class – which was nothing less than AMAZING!  As it turns out, the cruise we are about to go on presented a mini-suite for a great deal less than a normal balcony cabin (that we have become very used to).  Cruising provides a multitude of cabin choices.  We love the balcony cabin because…it has a balcony.  We use it quite often as our personal getaway from the crowds.  A mini-suite, while certainly a nicer way to go, has a price tag that is indicative of that…much like business class travel by plane.  Hence not something we normally do.  This time, however, it was one of those deals that was just too good to pass up.  When we get on the ship I will expand on its virtues. 🙂

Now the anticipation.  With about four months to go, hurry up and wait is now our norm.  More details will come as our departure date gets closer.  We hope you wait with us.

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