Saturday, October 8, 2016

Boston to New Orleans Oct 28, 2016 to Nov 11, 2016 -

                         My home for two weeks - the Norwegian Dawn

In less than two weeks I will heading out of Vancouver with my ultimate destination being Boston where I will board the Norwegian Dawn and set sail for a 14 day Caribbean cruise and end up in New Orleans - at least that is the plan but it's hurricane season so some of the ports etc could change depending on where the active storms are.

I have been lucky over the years on these repo cruises - while there has been storm activity in the region we have not missed a scheduled port or being rerouted.

Stops on this cruise are San Juan, Puerto Rico, Bonaire, Aruba, Curacao, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico - all except Bonaire I have visited before.

As this will likely be my last long distance east coast cruise - this old body can't take the 4 - 5 day train trip both ways and since I don't fly there aren't a lot of ways to get to the east coast ports - I am taking a somewhat circuitous route to get there.

Amtrak train will be my main form of transportation to Boston and home from New Orleans.

Here's a brief outline of how the train trip will unfold - Vancouver to Seattle to Chicago to Buffalo where I will transfer to the Maple Leaf Service and head for Toronto - two night - one day stay there then it's off to Montreal for an overnight stay and then the train to NYC - overnight there and then the Northeast Regional to Boston - only coming in the night before the cruise - for some reason and partly because of the low Canadian $$$ the hotel rooms in Boston were around $250 - $300 US so I couldn't justify more than one night.

New Orleans streetcars are always fun to ride.

After the 14 days at sea I will stay overnight in New Orleans as I want to take the Sunset Limited from NOLA to LA and it doesn't leave every day. 

Hotels rooms were also very expensive here - partly because it's the Nov 11th holiday weekend and also because there is a large convention in town. I was able to get the Drury Inn - a very desirable hotel for cruisers using my RBC Rewards points.

After arriving in LA I will take the Coast Starlighter up the coast to Seattle and then transfer to a bus to get me back to Vancouver early in the morning.

How am I coming with my preparation? Well it's a slow process for me - for some reason I haven't started to pack and I am less than two weeks from leaving.

One of the major challenges in packing for this cruise is the need for taking some colder weather clothes - Chicago, Toronto, etc can be cool in late October early November - as much as possible I want to check my main luggage  but will still need the colder clothes on the train and at some of the stops along the way.

Don't know if I can fit the heavier clothes into my day pack and still have enough room for my toys - two cameras, one laptop, two cell phones - one for the US only - and there various chargers etc. + at least one change of clothes and a second pair of footwear.

One thing that helps is that I am leaving Vancouver in late October so can likely wear some of the bulkier items.

That's all for now.

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