Starting With the Anchor of Our Trip
To be honest, we started planning this adventure, on kind of a whim, almost a year ago.
Geoff is always scanning upcoming cruises on the iCruise app on his iPad or checking the emails we receive on a regular basis from Vacations To Go and the various cruise lines that we’ve sailed with. This one he noticed on iCruise.
As cruising has turned out to be one of our favorite vacations, we look for cruises that are interesting, reasonably priced and take us to places we haven’t been before. We tend towards TransAtlantic repositioning cruises for several reasons:
- they are usually pretty reasonably priced because the cruise line is trying to fill up a ship that they have to move the ship anyway
- we would rather cruise than fly and a repositioning cruise not only gives us the cruise experience, it also gets us “across the pond”
- we like to spend time in Europe and cruising, at least one way, is more appealing than flying
This cruise fit the bill. It leaves from Copenhagen and gets us to New Orleans 19 days later, with some pretty interesting stops along the way. And, we can easily get flights from New Orleans to Eleuthera with only one stop in Miami. (check out our “over the shoulder” post on finding the best, most economical flight -coming soon)
We won’t go into detail about the cruise here because there will be several posts about it later.
Back to the Day That Launched This Adventure
Actually, saying that booking this cruise launched this adventure is a bit of a stretch.
The conversation, on March 24, 2018, went kind of like this:
Geoff: “Hey, this looks like an interesting cruise in 2019.”
Vicky: “What are the dates?”
Geoff: “Leaving Copenhagen on October 20th, arriving in New Orleans on November 8th.”
Vicky: “We’ve never stayed in New Orleans. And (Vicky looking at the itinerary) this looks like the most interesting TransAtlantic cruise we’ve ever taken. What do we need to reserve it and can we cancel if we can’t make this work?”
Geoff: “They only want $100 total to hold our reservation and it’s totally cancelable and refundable until June 2019.”
Vicky: “Book it!”
So, we booked the cruise – 1 year, 6 months and 26 days – in advance.
Our reasoning was: We’re only tying up $100 to have this booked and we have until June 22, 2019 (1 year, 2 months and 29 days) to either confirm and pay the balance, or cancel and get our $100 back.
It seemed like a no-brainer. If we decided, for whatever reason, that we couldn’t do this, we could just cancel and get our money back.
However, it WAS something we WANTED to do.
HINT: Booking early is often a good idea. Since booking, we have checked the cruise and, not only has the price gone up SIGNIFICANTLY, but the lowest cost cabins (which is what we booked) are SOLD OUT!
Over the next several months, it kind of sat on the back burner. Oh, sure, we were always cognizant of the booking but we hadn’t gone into full planning mode – yet. Mostly, we think, that was because you can’t check airfares that far in advance anyway, so getting any real numbers on getting to Copenhagen and getting to Eleuthera from New Orleans was still months away.
What we did know, was that this cruise would be the “anchor” of our trip.
Each time we plan a mega-trip, we start with an anchor. Something that kind of defines the trip and something whose dates aren’t flexible. With the anchor set, filling in around it was the next step.
Cruise Booking Tip
When booking a cruise, it’s always best to just book the category – not an actual stateroom. This leaves your reservation open for available upgrades.
We know this! Sadly, we neglected to follow our own advice when we booked this. Actually, the booking agent at iCruise insisted that we needed to pick a cabin and, without a lot of thought, we did.
This cruise is with Norwegian. As we sailed with them for 28 days in 2014 (See 2014 Mega Trip), we may have been able to get an upgrade but, currently, neither they nor iCruise are willing to upgrade us.
Stay tuned – we’ll try for an upgrade when we check in.
Planning Has Already Started
Here we are – still 8 months and 24 days away from the cruise, but we’ve already starting filling in on either side of our “anchor”.
Adventure Begins on September 16, 2019
We have already determined that this adventure will begin on Monday, September 16, 2019 (7 months and 21 days away) when we board a plane to London Gatwick airport.
Follow our ongoing posts about our 2019 Mega Trip. And, as always, we’ll keep looking for the best deals while keeping our budget in mind.