Yikes—another place we want to go

One of the problems with working in a travel agency is that we see so many great travel destinations, that we want to go to all of them. Well, maybe not all of them. There are a few places I don’t care to go to but I never dwell on those. So our destination goal list grows with every presentation we see.

By the way, you may have noticed I don’t use the term “bucket list.” Not a big fan of trying to do things before I die. Always sounded kind of negative to me. Would rather set goals that keep me wanting to go on until I visit all of them. I am going to call them my destination goals. Bucket list is too negative. 

So back on the new place we want to go. Last night Marilee Syme from Celebrity Cruises came by. Now we have been on quite a few Celebrity Cruises but we have never been to the one place that they kind of rule the world of ships—the Galapagos. To be honest, I have always wanted to go there. The animals, the flora, so many amazing things to see. So many things to photograph. And Marilee had just been there in September and she had first hand experiences to share and incredible photos she and her traveling partner had taken when they were there. No word fits but amazing.

Did I mention that the ships they have down there are not really ships. They are yachts. Celebrity’s “yachts” that sail the Galapagos hold no more than 100 people. The newest, the Flora, will be launched in just a few days. If this amazing new “yacht” interests you at all, check it out by clicking here: The Flora.

Of course that means we now have another destination to add to our list. But as I posted a few days ago, we plan far, far ahead. But right now, we are planned out about as far as we can go. Maybe 2022. But don’t let that stop you from going right now. If you are interested, let me know and I will set it up for you. You can send us pictures.

I love traveling and seeing new things, learning the histories of different cultures. But I’ve always wanted to go to the Galapagos to see the giant turtles.—Mikaela Shiffrin

Where are you going in 2019?

Happy New Year!

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Saw this online this morning and loved it. We don’t do it often and I think we should. always seem to know where we are going because I love to plan vacations.

I have had this post in my head all day long and finally have time to get it up and online. It’s kind of a combo post. A chance to share where we are going this year and a chance to ask you where you are going.

Last night we had dinner next door with our wonderful neighbors Jayesh and Lisa as well as Lisa’s sister Leanne and her husband Derrick. Most of the night was spent talking about travel. One of the things that came up was all the places we would all be going in the coming year and I told our friends that it just drives me CRAZY when I don’t have something planned. Either a cruise or a road trip or a visit to someplace we haven’t been.  There was a point a few years ago where we didn’t have any trips planned anywhere and it drove me nuts until we got something reserved.

Last year we did not sleep in our bed (because we were traveling) for a total of 70 nights. That’s more than two months. We are pretty sure that this is the most we have ever been gone in a calendar year. We did three cruises, one preceded by a very long road trip as well as going on a number of short trips within the western US not to mention numerous 100+ mile road trips to see the grandkids in Wenatchee.

This coming year we already have 40+ nights that we know we are going to be on the road. Between those short trips to the kids in Wenatchee, a March trip to Arizona, our big European trip in May and June and our Alaskan cruise with the grandkids in July we will be getting close to that two month number again. I know we will add something in the fall or we just wouldn’t be us.

We try to take one BIG trip each year and a lot of smaller ones. Last year we were in Southern California three times (January, March and November). Those were our small trips. Our New England trip was the big one that found us out of the house for almost a month. And we also had two other short cruises, a FAM to Alaska with HAL and Seth’s birthday cruise  around Puget Sound.

This coming year the big trip is May/June Europe trip. We will spend four nights in Edinburgh, six nights with our Mates Paul and Gail in Leeds, UK, then three nights in Dublin followed by a 10 night cruise from Dublin to Iceland and back. We will be gone almost a month on that one.

So that’s our plans right now. What are yours? Where are you going this year? Some of my readers (who comment a lot) are coming with us on some of this but we would love to know where else you already have plans to visit in 2019. So let us know in the comments below or on our FB page or by e-mail or Twitter. We would love to hear from you.

Where should we go next?

ask-blackboard-356079So if you read my last post about all the places we have been, we want to know—where we should go now. Here is our dilemma. One of the smartest ways to purchase a cruise is to buy it onboard your latest cruise. The cruise lines often offer some really great deals to get you to purchase your next cruise while you are enjoying your current one.

While we were on our last cruise in November, we bought a Celebrity cruise credit. We have bought one of these before because it allows you to take advantage of some great perks and lower prices on your next cruise as well as on the cruise you are on currently. It’s not an actual cruise. When we purchased it in October, we didn’t have to pick a time or a destination until later. The deposit is low and refundable but here is where we need your help. The current Celebrity cruise credit rules require that we choose a destination by December 31 of the year we buy it. So we have until this coming Monday to choose where we want to go.

When we purchased the cruise credit on Summit in October, the 2020 autumn deployment schedules were not out yet. We hoped that there were would be a cruise in that new group of Celebrity cruises announced between when we bought the credit and today that would appeal to us. We were specifically looking for a Pacific Coastal cruise for the fall of 2020 that would take us from here in Seattle to California. We have done these repositioning cruises before (some of our favorites) that often take place when the cruise lines move their ships from summer in Alaska to winter in the Caribbean. But so many of the cruise lines no longer send their ships on that route and Celebrity has stopped all together. While she has three ships in Alaska in the summer of 2020, two will go to Asia, one to Hawaii and then on Down Under. We have done these cruises before and are not interested in going back. Plus we really want a short, fairly inexpensive cruise. One that we can drive to and not have to fly. All of our options from Seattle or Vancouver are more than 10 days which is too long for us.

So nothing like that is available for the fall of 2020. We already are fully booked between now and then. We have our June 2019 Ireland/Iceland cruise, our July/August 2019 Alaska cruise with our grandkids and finally we are going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras in February 2020.

So, let’s open it up and say we are pretty much willing to go anywhere, anytime in the next two years. Based on all the places we have been, (see the previous post) where would you go? We have until Monday to decide. If you have an idea, please post it in the comments. I will let you know on New Year’s Day where we decided to go.

PS: Only qualifiers are that our destination must me someplace a cruise ship can go anytime after June 2020 and before April of 2021.

Grumpy?

So my incredible bride thinks I am being grumpy because I keep criticizing my favorite cruise line, Celebrity. We have taken almost 20 cruises on Celebrity, and they have long been our favorite cruise line. They have just launched a new ship, The Edge, that two of our best friends are sailing on in the Caribbean as I write this.

My “brother from another mother” Bob (Kathleen says that’s what we are because we are so much alike) is live-blogging their cruise and I have not been responding to it well. For that reason, I have been designated as, “grumpy.” You can see Bob’s posts by clicking here.  But I don’t think I am being grumpy. I think I am being proactive about my favorite cruise line.

Yesterday Bob got to meet and take a quick selfie with Lisa Lutoff-Perlo (not sure if I spelled that right), the CEO of Celebrity. He was really excited about it. I just asked him if he got a chance to ask her about the problems that X (that’s what long-time Celebrity cruisers call the line because all their ships have HUGE Xs on them) is currently having on all its ships—a qualified crew.

This is such an ongoing thing that I am going to give it a rest today and write about it a lot later on. Not just as it effects Celebrity but the entire cruise industry. And about that, maybe I am grumpy?

“There’s a fine line between angry and grumpy. Angry isn’t nice, but grumpy is funny.”–Rick Wakeman