7.24.2012

Vacation Booked

[Photo Source: worldatlas.com]
The trip is booked and I leave in 2 months.  Yeah!  We decided to do the cruise and take a different one leaving a day earlier so that we could go on Royal Caribbean.  I was feeling uneasy about being on a European cruise line after reading some negative reviews.  There is smoking allowed, minimum gratuity requirements and other dining charges I never quite figured out.  And you know, that Costa Cruise ship did go down last year.  I feel much more comfortable going on a Cruise line I've sailed with before.  The ship even has an ice skating rink!!! By the time I go Mj will already be in Stuttgart.  I'll fly directly to Barcelona and get there Friday morning and spend the night there all by my lonesome.  Just a tad bit freaked out about that.  Mj will meet me there the next morning and then we'll leave on the cruise.

Itinerary
Barcelona, Spain (1 night)

W. Mediterranean Cruise (7 nights)
Royal Caribbean, Liberty of the Seas
1-Barcelona, Spain Departure
2-Provence (Toulon), France    
3-Nice (Villefranche), France   
4-Livorno, Italy                
5-Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy    
6-Naples, Italy                
7-At Sea                
8-Barcelona, Spain Return

Barcelona, Spain (1 night)
Paris France (2 nights)
Amsterdam (2 nights)
Stuttgart-Early Morning flight home

We'll spend one night in Barcelona after the cruise, two nights in Paris and one 1/2 nights in Amsterdam.  We'll be leaving there at night and taking a sleeper train overnight to Stuttgart and then we'll fly home in the morning.  Thank goodness I was able to get on his return flight.  Planning a trip to Europe takes a lot of research especially when you have a budget to consider.  I don't know what I'd have done without Trip Advisor.  The site gives you multiple price comparisons and there are tons of reviews and hotel photos that guests have posted themselves because you know the hotels will try to fool you with their sleek professional photos.  Paris was the hardest because the hotels are tiny and expensive.  I had hotels coming out of my ears scouring the internet for hours and hours to find us the best value and best location for our money.  We probably won't spend too much time in the room and I don't need to be in a five or even four star hotel but it needs to be clean or else I will freak out.  I can't afford $500 a night but I'm not staying in a dump just because it's less then $150 bucks!  I went above the budget but I'd rather do that then risk being miserable in a nasty hotel.  The airfare, cruise and hotels are all booked and the only thing left to get is our Eurail tickets.  I think I've finally figured out how to get us from point A to point B to point C to point D.  Normally I consider travel agents pointless but I can really see how it would have been helpful to have someone who knows something, anything about Europe helping me figure it all out.  Mj is lucky; he has his own personal travel agent.  ME!!

I racked up some major points on my credit cards by paying with those.  I put half the trip on one card that I'll pay off in August and then the rest of the trip will go on a different card that won't be due until September.  They will both be paid off by the time I actually go I can enjoy myself and not have to come home to a giant bill.  We'll be on vacation for 15 days and 14 nights.  This will be the MOST EXPENSIVE, FARTHEST and LONGEST vacation I've ever taken in my entire life! I won't even know what to do with myself.  I can't wait.

14 comments :

Faith said...

Omg!! So exciting!! I know that you are going to have the best time!!!

Mrs. Williams said...

Sounds like fun-a whole 14 day vacation sounds like a dreame. Enjoy!!

Newlyweds on a Budget said...

Congratulations! I am so so jealous but I know you will have a fabulous time!

ruthy ann said...

AWESOME!!! you should check out airbnb as an alternative to expensive hotels!

middle child said...

Boy, you really got your sh....um, stuff together! I couldn't go on a cruise because I get motion sick if someone even rocks the chair I am sitting in. But did you say Ice Rink? That may make me reconsider. You will have such a great time and I will b excited to hear about it!

Michelle said...

I am so jealous of your trip!

Ameena said...

Hotels in Europe are never worth the money but it's better to splurge like you said...otherwise you could end up really regretting it.

So excited for you!

Nicole G said...

Awesome! I traveled in Europe a bit after high school, and I think a lot of hotels/spaces over there are smaller because they're so much older. Perhaps people were smaller/shorter back in the day?

Anyway, have fun! These next 2 months will fly by!

CeCe said...

Thanks for the tip on airbnb. You did post about that and I totally forgot.

CeCe said...

Thanks. I have to be organized and on top of things or else I go crazy.

Domestic Sweetheart said...

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Janna Renee said...

I am SO flippin' jealous!! You are going to have the best time ever! You better take a TON of pictures, so that we can all life vicariously! Although...I could sneak in your luggage. Haha.

Mrs. Pancakes said...

i am so excited for your CeCe...i think you are going to have a blast...can't wait for recaps!

LWLH said...

Wow that it trip sounds aahhhhhhmmmaazzzziiinnngggg!!

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