The Start of Our Atlantic Crossing

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Nov 01 ~ Day #175
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$17500
$102.34
$15647.88
$89.42
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
15551
8185.5
7662
168
31566.5

Current Location: On Board Celebrity Century En Route to Miami

Today’s Total Expenses: $102.34 (cruise cost includes transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment)

Miles Traveled Today:
We will record the miles for the Atlantic Crossing on November 8th when we arrive in Miami

First Day of Atlantic Crossing

Yesterday we visited our last port of call in Europe and we will now be at sea until we get to Miami on November 8th.

The ship has lots of activities, so I’m sure we won’t get bored. I expect it will just be a pleasant, relaxing week at sea.

A Little Too Relaxed?

As we’ve mentioned earlier, we are traveling with just one laptop. So, when one of us is using it, the other one has to find something else to do.

While Geoff was using the computer, I settled in to read my book and promptly fell asleep. That wouldn’t be so bad, I guess, but for the fact that we were in the Hemisphere Lounge on Deck 12 Forward. It’s really a lovely lounge with wrap-around windows so you can see the whole bow of the ship and, of course, a great view of the ocean.

So, here I was sound asleep, with my feet up on another chair. I think I slept for almost two hours. I sure hope I didn’t snore!

More Great Entertainment

The cast on this ship, both singers and dancers, are very good. The production numbers are well put together and very professional.

Tonight’s entertainment was called “Liverpool Knights” and treated us to a lot of songs we remember from the 60s as well as some incredibly “tight” dance numbers.

We thoroughly enjoyed it.

Tenerife, The Canary Islands

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Oct 30 ~ Day #173
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$17300
$102.34
$15443.20
$89.27
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
15551
7702.2+324.5=8026.7
7662
168
31407.7

Current Location: On Board the Celebrity Century visiting Tenerife, Canary Islands

Today’s Total Expenses: $102.34

Cruise: $102.34 (cruise cost includes transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment)

Miles Traveled Today:
Sea Miles: 324.5 (282 Nautical Miles – Madeira to Tenerife)

Tenerife

Geoff and I have been to Tenerife before but that was a very, very long time ago. I think it may have been around 1989 or 1990. And, we were at a different part of the island than we are now.

So, it will be like discovering it for the first time and that’s true for this part of the island, anyway.

Getting A Replacement Camera

While exploring we stumbled across and electronics store and checked out the items they had in their windows.

We noticed a Sony digital video camera that seemed like a good price so we stopped in to check it out.

Actually, Geoff checked it out. They also had watches and jewelry in the store, so I browsed those things while a salesman demonstrated the camera for Geoff.

No, I didn’t buy anything, I just browsed.

After the salesman had finished showing Geoff the camera, we discussed it and then plunked down some plastic and bought it. We were just so tired of not having a camera with us.

As this was our second-to-last stop before heading back to Miami, it may seem like an odd time to actually break down and get another camera, but we did it anyway.

Next thing was to get it charged so that we could start recording video.

So Many Shoes, So Little Time

While exploring the town further, we also found a shoe store that was simply unbelievable. Really.

There were stacks and stacks and stacks of shoes and most of the prices were €1.00, €3.00 and €6.00! There were very few shoes priced higher than that.

Geoff actually said, “With prices like that, get as many as you want.”

I was in shoe heaven!

I didn’t know where to start, but I was certainly trying to pick out several types of shoes that I would like to try on.

I had only made a few selections, and hadn’t even tried any on yet, when one of the sales clerks indicated that we had to leave – the store was closing. What? I only just got here.

We had arrived just a little after 1:00pm and apparently the store closed at 1:30pm.

Okay. Closing for lunch is pretty normal in Europe. I asked what time they would re-open. After all, we were in port for a while, so we could come back.

Well, as it was Saturday, 1:30pm was their closing time for the day. They wouldn’t be re-opening until Monday! By Monday we’d be in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

I was devastated. I hadn’t even tried anything on yet. But, they didn’t care, they just wanted us out of the store so they could close.

So, I left this amazing shoe store, where I was told I could buy what ever I wanted, without making a single purchase! Waaahh!!

Doing the Tourist Thing

As the Canary Islands were our last stop where we would need Euros, and we still a few left, we did the touristy thing and actually bought some t-shirts with Tenerife on them.

They were actually a pretty good deal and we liked the quality of the t-shirts, too. They weren’t those awful thin shirts but a good weight and very soft.

We bought three of them at €3.75 ($4.94) each. Two for Geoff and one for me and that all but used up our last Euros.

Even though there is VAT (valued added tax) in Europe, I like the fact that it is already included in the price of things. So, the price you see if the price you pay. The tax doesn’t get added on on top of the price like it does in Canada and the U.S.

That made it easy to figure out if we had enough money to buy the t-shirts and how many we could afford. As we only had about €12.00 left, we were able to buy three t-shirts.

Again, we have not added this into the daily expenses as this is a discretionary expense and not really a cost of traveling. Other people may not find the need to make such a purchase.

Entertainment

Tonight’s entertainment featured two performers – Sideshow Bert, who we’d seen earlier in the cruise – and Mario D’Andrea.

Mario D’Andrea is billed as a mixed up Italian from Australia. He has a great voice and does wonderful impersonations of such celebrities as Dean Martin, Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdink.

Let’s Do The Time Warp Again

Tonight we turned back the clocks another hour. It’s something that will be happening a lot on this cruise.

We also find it much easier to deal with the time change this way. When you fly you have to deal with the time changes immediately.

I guess that’s why there’s “jet lag” but I’ve never heard of “cruise lag”.

Enjoying a Relaxing Sea Day

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Oct 28 ~ Day #171
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$17100
$102.34
$15206.88
$88.93
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
15551
6923.2
7662
168
30304.2

Current Location: At Sea On Board the Celebrity Century En Route to Madeira, Portugal

Today’s Total Expenses: $102.34 (cruise cost includes transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment)

Miles Traveled Today:
At sea all day, will record mileage at next port – Madeira, Portugla.

Lazy Days on Board

The days at sea seem relaxing and unrushed, yet seem to go by very quickly nonetheless.

Today consisted mostly of relaxing, reading and wandering the ship.

Entertainment

We had, once again, chosen the late seating for dinner, so we were going to the early entertainment at about 7:00pm.

Tonight was an act from Las Vegas – Sideshow Bert.

While it was fun to watch, we didn’t think it was what could be considered “A List” entertainment. I suppose it must be difficult to get entertainers on a transAtlantic cruise. After all, once we leave the Canary Islands, it’s sea days all the way to Miami.

Repositioning Cruises

You may think that we’ve got the daily expenses wrong on these posts. After all, $102.34 seems like an awfully cheap price for a transAtlantic cruise.

That’s a two-week, all-inclusive vacation. And we do mean all-inclusive – food, accommodation, entertainment AND transportation all rolled into one.

One reason for the price is that this is a “repositioning” cruise. What that means is that the ship had been doing Mediterranean cruises for the summer season and was now being moved to the Caribbean for the winter season.

Although some people actually flew over from North America just to take this cruise, we found that it was the most cost-effective way for us to get back home from our European adventure.

We checked the airfare from Barcelona to Miami and it was over $1100.00 for the two of us. This cruise, which offered us a two-week, all-inclusive vacation, like we said above, and also got us home, only cost us $1432.76 – total – for the two of us!

It was a simple decision. With only a $300 difference, who wouldn’t go for the cruise?

Last Day in Dénia

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Oct 22 ~ Day #165
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$16500
$33.73
$14403.99
$87.30
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
15263
6378.9
7662
168
29471.9

Current Location: Ogisaka Gardens, Dénia, Alicante, Spain

Today’s Total Expenses: $33.73

Accommodation: $28.14

Entertainment: $5.59 (€4.00 – Dénia Castle)

Our Last Day in Dénia

Sometimes we’re just not sure where the time goes, but this was our last day in Dénia and so we decided to visit the Dénia Castle.

We had planned to visit it earlier in our stay but just never got to it. So, today, we made it our top priority.

It was an easy walk from our hotel and we arrived there mid-morning.

It is an impressive structure and we spent lots of time walking around the ruins and up on the walls and ramparts. It has a pretty impressive view over the ocean and the whole town of Dénia. The archaeological museum that was housed in part of the castle, was small but informative.

Time To Pack – Again

The rest of the day was spent just relaxing and then packing for our trip to Barcelona tomorrow.

Finally Found the Beach in Dénia!

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Oct 21 ~ Day #164
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$16400
$44.59
$14370.26
$87.62
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
15263
6378.9
7662
168
29471.9

urrent Location: Ogisaka Gardens, Dénia, Alicante, Spain

Today’s Total Expenses: $44.59

Transportation: $6.98 (€5.00 – bus)
Accommodation: $28.14
Food: $9.47 (€6.78)

Miles Traveled Today:
Zero

Costa La Calma

Today we decided to take the bus in the other direction along the coast.

This trip was much, much longer and the end of the line was at a small river emptying into the ocean. There was only a footbridge across this little river.

More Walking

We, again, did lots and lots of walking. Some of it along the beach, some along the sidewalks when we thought there might be interesting things to see in the small towns.

Some of the beaches are groomed, some are not and I’m really not sure what the criteria would be for the beaches that are, or are not, cleaned.

Checking Out Real Estate

We passed many, many real estate agents along our walk but most of them were closed.

We did stop by one that was open and the lady there was very, very helpful.

We explained that although we are looking to move to Europe, we haven’t actually decided where. And, on top of that, we will probably rent for at least a year before we buy anything.

This did not deter her enthusiasm at all and she was happy to give us all the info we wanted. She also suggested that she show us a rental property to give us some idea of what was available in the area.

She showed us a lovely 3-bedroom house on a decent piece of land that was only steps to the beach. It came furnished and with all the dishes and linens as well.

It was, however, a bit out of our budget at about $1200/month (€850/month) if you rented it for a year. If you rented it for just the winter months then it would be only $1050/month (€750/month) because the high season here is the summer. You see, the get about $10,000 (€7000) for just July and August. So, often it’s more profitable for them to let it just sit empty during the low season than lower the monthly rate for a year long, or six month long rental that includes those months.

But, all this did give us some idea of what we could expect to get for what we’re willing to pay.

What Is It About Me and Insects?

It seems that no matter where I go if there are any biting or stinging insects in the area they will find me!

And, today was no different.

While we were walking along the beach a felt something on my thigh and brushed it away. Wrong thing to do!

OUCH!

I saw the wasp that I had just brushed away on the ground at my feet. But, he somehow had plenty of time to sting me!

I immediately headed for the ocean and splashed the sting area with salt water. It didn’t seem too bad – at first. After the next few days it would get much worse, with the read area spreading across quite a large portion of my thigh and swelling as well. Not to mention it got quite itchy for a few days, too.

It seems I just can’t escape this kind of thing no matter where I go. Sigh.

It’s Melting … Melting

On the way back to the timeshare unit we stopped and picked up a few more groceries.

We were both in the mood for some type of dessert and we bought what we thought was simply a frozen cake.

You see, we didn’t have a freezer in the tiny little fridge in our apartment.

Any way, when we took the cake out of the fridge for dessert we found that it was, or rather HAD BEEN, an ice cream cake.

It was a little runny and a little messy, but we still enjoyed it for dessert.