Time seems to have dragged by, while at home these past few months, but in the last couple of weeks, while packing and now already having started our journey, the pace has picked up and we are racing to the sailaway party.
So, have we been busy since the last update 50 days ago? Other than spending time with our new grandson, our cruise related activities were packing and booking tours.
This is a task that where we have a completely different philosophy, Judi normally digs the cases out about 1 month before we leave, whereas I prefer to start the day we leave, or the evening before, if departure is early morning. Not having spare rooms and 3,000 square feet of living space any more, we agreed a compromise – Judi wouldn’t start until the last week and I would pack at least the day before we leave. Happy to report we both complied with Judi starting about 3 days before and Andy the day before.
Our next challenge is space and weight, as a few years ago we filled the 8′ box on the F350 just for a 3 week tour of the Western States. Therefore, how could we possibly survive 9 months with 4 suitcase of 50 lbs each. After some prioritisation we succeeded, but each case weighed either 48 or 49 lbs.
The great cruise ship debate regarding tours is whether to book through the cruise line, book privately in advance, or walk out the gate and hire a local. Although they are more expensive, we generally opt for the cruise line tours, especially if going any distance from the port. Yes, we have experienced all the negatives including other passengers that are consistently late, busy venues, etc. but the biggest benefit is when the tour is delayed – the ship waits for you. If the tour is late, we don’t stress, knowing that whatever time we return our temporary home will still be at the quay or anchorage. On a private tour the ship doesn’t wait and you have to get to the next port at your cost.
Many years ago we went over to Victoria to meet our son who was working on one of the Princess ships doing 7 day RT from Seattle. Waiting to board we met 2 couples that missed the ship in Alaska, had to fly to Seattle then up to Victoria. They rejoined the ship for about 6 hours before disembarking in Seattle the next morning. They missed about 1/2 the cruise and spent hundreds of dollars on airfares, etc.
We pay more for ship tours, but consider it cheap insurance.