Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Travel plans - the South American cruise planner

Really haven't been posting much here but that is about to change - a year from now I will be on a long 49 cruise around South America starting in Fort Lauderdale Florida and ending up in San Francisco.

I booked this trip more than six months ago but was on a wait list which I was able to bypass thanks to a computer savvy friend who realized that when Princess was updating their reservations they exposed those cabins to anyone online and I was lucky enough to be able to get a cabin booked.

As I don't fly this is one of the few opportunities to do South American by starting and finishing in North America - the Grand Princess is too big for the current Panama Canal so to get it to the west coast it will do the South America itinerary.

One week after I got the booking Carnival announced that they were moving a couple of ships and one of them is too big for the Canal - I spend several days procrastinating which one to take as they both had plus and minus points but decided to stay with Princess - a cruise line that I have cruised with twice before.

So now starts the long planning process and with overnight stops in both Rio and Lima lots of opportunities to see the sites.

Just how I will pay for the cruise I will discuss with my financial guy later in the year.

I will also need to renew my passport as it expires within six months of the trip. I will also have to get a visa for Brazil but luckily there is an office here.

There is a thriving group on the cruise critic website who have already organized a number of private excursions but most are fill - the ships list is only partial at this point - they will add more as the year goes on.

Got the hotel booked in Fort Lauderdale and are now just waiting for the Amtrak web site to let me book that part. Will just do the Vancouver to FLL part for now as I haven't decided whether to stay a day in SF at the end.

Have picked up a book on South America and one on Rio to help with my planning - have started a binder where I am putting useful info that I am gathering from the net.


In other new I am keeping myself busy with daily walks or bike rides and visits to the Y - will be doing a volunteer stint with the Celtic Festival next month and then shortly after that - the training rides for the Vancouver Marathon which will be more fun this year as the course has been changed.



No comments: