Geoff at GoldenGate

2018 Mini Birthday Trip (For Geoff’s Birthday)

We were hoping to have another Mega Trip in 2018. After all, the last one was in 2014 and we were longing for another extended trip.

Sadly, it was not to be for 2018. But that didn’t stop us from planning a shorter trip – complete with a TransAtlantic cruise – just at the right time to celebrate Geoff’s birthday.

Although this trip may not be considered “short” by some standards, it felt that way for us. We would be traveling for less than a month – unusual for our trips.

Here is our itinerary. We’ll go into more detail on individual blog posts.

  • May 3 – Drive to Thunder Bay. Stay at the Valhalla Inn.
  • May 4 – Fly from Thunder Bay (YQT) to Toronto (YYZ) to Atlanta (ATL) to San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJO). We’ll explain why there were so many flights on that post.
  • May 4-7 – Howard Johnson’s in San Juan
  • May 6-20 – Onboard Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas from San Juan to Rome. More about all the ports of call on individual blog posts.
  • May 20-21 – B&B just outside of Rome.
  • May 21 – Flight from Rome to Lisbon, Portugal
  • May 21-23 – B&B in Belém just outside of Lisbon
  • May 23 – Flight from Lisbon to Toronto
  • May 23 – Days Inn in Toronto
  • May 24 – Flight from Toronto to Thunder Bay – picked up car and drove home

As you can see, the trip was just barely over three weeks, so we couldn’t call it a Mega Trip.

However, it was a great way to celebrate Geoff’s Birthday. We were on Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands for his birthday on May 14th.

Norwegian Jewel of the Seas

May 6, 2018 – Boarding Norwegian’s Jewel of the Seas in San Juan

It’s boarding day!

There was no rush to get to the port, so we took our time with breakfast and getting re-packed.

The hotel called us a cab and the fare to the cruise port was $25.00.

While waiting for our cab we met several other people who were headed to the same ship!

Easy Check In

On most of the cruises we’ve been on, the check in process is sometimes slow and a little stressful. There are often long lines just to get to the check in agents and then another long wait for your group to be called so you can actually join the line of people boarding the ship.

Well, none of that happened this time. Check in was pretty simple and, once that was complete, we were able to board the ship immediately – no crowds – no long lines.

Once on the ship, we were also able to go directly to our cabin. That doesn’t happen often, either. But this allowed us to drop off our hand luggage. Our checked luggage would find its way to our cabin, eventually.

Exploring the Ship

We spent time exploring the ship and learning our way around while waiting to set sail.

Great Dinner Companions

We were lucky to find we had great dinner companions at our table and made introductions all ‘round.

Evening Entertainment

Our first evening’s entertainment was a Canadian comedian – Landry – and he didn’t disappoint.

And, before we knew it, we were on our way. Rome, here we come!