Wednesday, December 30, 2015

To cruise or not to cruise?

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that I like to cruise - so why you ask would I be asking such a question in the title page.

Well you see - there is this thing called the Canadian $$$ - and well like lately it has been in the tank - dropping almost daily in value - it has long been associated with the price of oil and despite gas prices not dropping enough we all know what has happened to the price of a barrel of oil - it is in the tank as well and no pun intended - so you get the connection.

In other words - it is now costly me almost 35 - 40 % more to cruise than a couple of years ago.

While cruise lines do allow you to pay in Canadian $$ at a discounted rate - the rest of my expenses - hotels, train rides, excursions etc have to be paid in US $$$.

It should now be coming clearer why I have given this post that title.

I have two cruises currently booked.

1. A 10 Pacific Coastal in April and 

2. A 14 day Caribbean repo from Boston to New Orleans.

What are their future?

That is a question that I have been mulling for awhile and now the decision has been may.

I will be canceling #1 and doing #2.

While the dollar is a factor in the cancellation there are other factors also in play.

I will be having cataract surgery sometime in the New Year but may not know the dates before final payment date in early February.

I am also hoping to get hired once again by Stats Canada for the 2016 census - I have applied for both a supervisor and/or canvasser position.
If I get the former I will need to have the dates of the cruise available for training of workers etc. I am also unlikely to know the dates for this before final payment.

If I get either job it will provide me with some funds for the second cruise.

When I booked this repo almost two years ago it was partly because I don't know how many more years I am going to want to spend four or five days taking a train ride across the continent to take a cruise.

So I want this trip to be a little different - one way I can save on some costs is by taking Via Rail across Canada - when compared to Amtrak it looks like quite a bit more but when you factor in the exchange rate it is is more competitive plus I haven't used Via rail since my student days when I took it as far a Winnipeg for a convention.

I will take the train across Canada to Toronto and then onto Ottawa for a day tour and then to Montreal for a couple of days before taking the train to NYC - where I will overnight and then head to Boston the day before the cruise.

One major concern I found was finding a place to stay in Boston that wasn't $300.00 a night and that was before the exchange rate - I know I could stay in the outlying areas but there are challenges with that as well.

I finally found a place called "the Copley House - looks like it is a step up from a hostel and a step down from a B and B -  but it is close to the Back Bay train station and many of the attractions in Boston.

For New York I will once again stay at the Vanderbilt YMCA - it's near the UN Building and Grand Central Station and an easy subway ride from Penn Station to the Y.

Next up - booking the train from Montreal to NYC and then from NYC to Boston.

More in 2016.



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