Of course, I’ve been researching cruises the entire time Tom was gone but I got overwhelmed very easily…so he finally did his own research and narrowed it down to five cruises for me to choose from…and I was still having a hard time deciding! It was either cruise from Ft. Lauderdale before October (in order to use my free US Air ticket—-that I got for taking a bump last year—-before it expired)…or go from Charleston, SC, during Christmas, when cruises were a bit cheaper (and also so we might not miss being at home so much).

Another part of the decision was when to visit Kathryn, Marcus, and the girls. We had talked about going this spring or summer, but it could also be combined with the cruise… Another part of the decision was whether to get a balcony or not. Some ships had them, some didn’t. And we didn’t want to spend a TON of money…but we really wanted a balcony. So, I was trying to decide, wavering back and forth, back and forth, back and forth…when I got an email from Orbitz with some cruise deals. (I had searched Orbitz before, but when Tom was looking, we were using USAA because they had previously had the best prices.) I clicked on it just for the heck of it and—-what? $721 for a 7-day cruise with a balcony? At that moment, we knew we were booking a cruise that night! Here’s what the room looks like:

Deluxe Verandah Outside Staterooms

2 lower beds convertible to 1 queen-size bed, bath & shower, sitting area, private verandah, floor-to-ceiling windows. Approx. 249 sq. ft.
Holland America Reserved Room

We are cruising to the Caribbean on Holland America from Ft. Lauderdale. We haven’t researched the ports much yet—-and honestly, they weren’t much of a consideration when choosing a cruise (especially when we found the good deal). Our main concerns were taking a cruise for 5-9 days for a good price and hopefully getting a balcony. I’m more interested in the whole cruise ship experience, with the ports just being an added bonus.

  • Day 1: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Day 2: Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (HAL’s Private Island)
  • Day 3: At Sea
  • Day 4: Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
  • Day 5: Road Town, Tortola, B.V.I.
  • Day 6: At Sea
  • Day 7: Nassau, Bahamas
  • Day 8: Ft. Lauderdale, FL

So, we’re totally geeked! Now we just have to finalize travel plans (i.e. when we will arrive ahead of time, in order to visit with the Filipek clan) and get our passports! (We had debated not getting passports, since they’re about $100 each, but it’s much easier than carrying around a handful of documents…I’d need three: my driver’s license, my birth certificate, and my marriage license!) Now I’m just hoping I have my birth certificate in the safe…

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