Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fall Vacation Plans Made, Then Changed.

It all started in March, when Bob & I were on that little 4 night cruise out of Los Angeles. Our waiters were telling us that the ship (Monarch of the Seas) was going to be moved to Florida at the end of this season. He explained "it's called a repositioning cruise."  We talked about it then, but after we got home, I started checking into it and found that the ship would be leaving LA on October 17th ending up in Miami on Nov 2nd. With many interesting port stops along the way and of course going thru the Panama Canal.  When I presented the information to Bob we were both really excited and decided "we want to do this, it's a chance of a lifetime!"  So we called the travel agent (this was back in March) and signed up...paying a deposit of $480 a piece with the balance due on August 8th.

I also told him, that as long as we were ending up in Florida and since neither of us had ever been there (well, he was in Orlando for 2 days once), I would love to spend some time there, especially in the Orlando area.  So I made reservations for 6 nights at a lovely place in Kissimmee, reserved a rental car at the Miami airport for our use and made one way plane reservations from Orlando back to LA on November 8th.  As the August 8th date crept closer I was really stressing out about the cost of the "Great Adventure."  So last week we sat down and went over all the figures...cruise cost, rental car, hotel, gas for rental car, food during the week in Orlando, admissions into the Disney venues & incidentals.  Whoa !!! Shocking !  We figured all together it would be up around $6,000 for both of us.  No way !!!  So I got on the phone and called the travel agent and asked her what would happen if we canceled the cruise. She did tell me that if we applied our deposit to another cruise there would be no penalty.  Then I called Orbitz and asked about canceling the plane tickets and hotel.  The plane tickets were the worst~the two tickets were $174 each and the airline (Delta) keeps $100 (on seats they will sell to someone else) and Orbitz keeps $30.  The hotel keeps only $25 upon cancellation this far in advance.

We knew we still wanted to go to Pasadena so Bob could spend his birthday (Oct 11th) with his daughter and family that live there.  So after looking online (oh, I am so thankful for my computer~you can find out almost anything) and presenting my plan to Bob, I called back to the travel agent.  (Mind you this was going on last week while I was also trying to get ready for the carport sale.) She did some figuring and told us we could go on either of two cruises out of Los Angeles for much less than a third of what we still owed on the Panama Canal cruise.  Plus there were still good outside cabins left on both ships.  Finally she said, let me know which one you decide to go on, so I can make your reservations. Bob and I talked it over and the next morning I called her back.  "Well, what did you decide?" she asked....I said "we're going on both of them!"   "Wow, you two are serious about taking another cruise aren't you?"  So this is what we're doing;  Sept 29th we'll board the Monarch of the Seas for the same 4 night cruise we took in March & I'm NOT going to hurt my knee again !  I will be able to walk off the ship in Ensenada, Mexico.

 

When we get back in LA on October 3rd it will be in time for the 15th birthday of Bob's Pasadena grand daughter.  We've never been there for her birthday.  Then we'll spend the week there in Pasadena and on Sunday Oct 12th (the day after Bob's birthday) his daughter will drive us back to the Los Angeles cruise center in San Pedro and we'll board the Vision of the Seas (the ship that used to be in Seattle for the Seattle to Alaska run) and take the 7 night Mexican Rivera cruise.

We'll get back on October 19th...stay in Pasadena for a few more days and then head out.  Bob has mentioned Bryce Canyon in Utah but also has talked about going back to Arizona, namely the Yuma area.

So the plane tickets & hotel have been canceled. I'm still angry that Delta keeps $100~that's ridiculous!   And I called and "un-reserved the rental car"  they hadn't asked for any money up front.

Originally, he said he was not taking the big truck and camper because of the cost of the adventure once we reached California.  He did not want to drive the Chevy dually down there and back at 12 miles to the gallon only adding to the total cost.  But now, since we've drastically down graded...we're taking the camper.  In fact the last few days he's been out there working on it, getting it ready. Among other things he pulled out the old carpeting and put in some pretty new stuff.  It looks so nice.

Miss Gabi has made her reservations with my grand daughter & they've been confirmed, so she'll be moving in over at their house about September 19th.  That will give me the weekend to get ready to get out of town while she gets settled in.  I'm planning another potluck for the gals from my graduating class on Monday September 22nd and after that we can head down Highway 101 to southern California.

Even though it's a little over a month away, I'm getting excited.  And I know Bob is also.  I don't think he's ever spent his birthday with his California daughter & family since she moved to California when she was 18 years old.  It will also be fun to be there for Nina's 15th birthday.  

Well, it's already hot here...the ice has melted off my windshield (LOL) and they are saying the air quality in the Seattle~Tacoma area is very poor, warning that people with asthma and other respiratory conditions should stay indoors at least Saturday evening.

I'm going to get off here now and go do something constructive~very slowly. Oh I am so glad I got the lawn mowed yesterday afternoon.

 

14 comments:

justplainbill said...

Linda, wow you have been busy planning and replanning your cruises(s). Sorry you won't get to do the Canal, that  is worthwhile seeing. Now you are going to do two curises back to back. Not sure i could do that, I don't have enough cloths to cover tht span of time.
I amd sure you will have fun and get a lot of nice pictures, good luck, Bill

lv2trnscrb said...

sounds like a fun time!!! will be looking forward to hearing about your adventures and seeing pictures upon your return!

betty

gitterdunna said...

All that really took some planning and you seem to be an expert at it:)........alice

pharmolo said...

Sounds like you made the right decision, Linda - holiday costs can certainly mushroom. Hope the hurricanes look the other way ;-)

robinngabster said...

Wowzers it sounds like fun!

sharonna1955 said...

sounds great wish i could go along..love Sue

jjdolfin9 said...

I wanna go....pleeeeeeze.  Sounds great.
Hugs, Joyce

jimsulliv3 said...

Wow - good plan. Go for it !

Jimmy

preciousone25 said...

I wanna go!!!!  OH WAIT, I'm already here... I need a vacation.

Joann

mariealicejoan said...

Todd and I are thinking of taking a cruise sometime.  I have always enjoyed seeing how your's have gone so very much.  I hope that you will take lots of pictures of these ones too!  I really get a lot out of seeing them!  I also hope that your knee doesn't give you any gyp this time!
Marie
http://ayearatoakcottage.blogspot.com/

dbdacoba said...

Sounds like great fun, Linda.  Can we expect pictures?   DB

kaydeejay5449 said...

Fun, fun, fun!  I'm green with envy.  My husband and I were on the Vision of the Seas for our first Alaska cruise.  It's a beautiful ship.  I know you will really enjoy it.  Can't wait to hear all the details.
Hugs, Kathy

fasttrack58 said...

Too bad you had to cancel the one trip but now you are going on two trips, lol....
How exciting!
The schools cancelled outside play on Friday cause our air was so bad from the heat....
Linda :)

sunnyside46 said...

sounds like a great adventure
Marti