Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Country #96: St. Lucia

Reasons this cruise had to be done (in no particular order):

*I found a great deal on Travelzoo.  We each paid $700 for a 7 day cruise including unlimited drinks, a $75 on board credit, taxes and gratuities!

*Initially, there were six of us going and everyone was able to get the time off.  On top of that, the dates coincided with my friend's husband's 50th birthday and this seemed like a very suitable place for a party.

*Two new countries!!!  Well, not exactly new. One has been independent since 1979 and the other since 1981, but they were new to me and both would put me that much closer to 100. This was huge.

On our fourth day, this third reason came into play.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sailing solo with Turtles.


Yesterday morning, I got off of a one week Southern Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Summit. By myself. This was not the original plan. I was supposed to be on the ship celebrating a one year anniversary with a man I loved very much. Unfortunately, two weeks before we set sail, he decided that he did not feel the same way and announced that he would not be joining me on this or any of our other scheduled (and paid for) vacations. Why he could not hang in there one more month and at least enjoy the gourmet food and chill ports of call is both beyond me and a topic for another type of blog.

The only reason I am deviating from the norm and discussing my personal life here is because throughout this and the next couple of posts, I will be addressing the surreal experience that is cruising single. As a newbie cruiser, I had no notion of how couple-y an environment a cruise ship truly is.  I had been on one cruise, with a boyfriend, but the median age on that ship had been Jurassic and there were many widows and widowers. This one drew more of a mixed crowd but I am convinced that Noah's Ark itself had more creatures traveling stag than the Celebrity Summit did.  I suspect that the original ship's flag was just going to be a picture of two people doing it, but some prude in marketing suggested "Why not just put an X instead and let people figure it out?"

Monday, April 13, 2015

Cebu'ing it, Cebu'ing, Cebu'ing it well....

Two weeks ago, plans were put into place to visit Manila, Philippines. We would be flying over via Seoul and staying there for a couple of days. Of course, I had a couple of things to do already in the advanced planning stages. Unfortunately, someone else had designs on the Philippines during the same time frame,  Super Typhoon Maysak.  Not sure what was so super about it but it continued its' westerly crawl at an uncomfortable rate of speed.  There were questions as to whether we would cancel our trip or merely delay it.

In the end, we did neither.  Instead, we made a last minute re-route to Cebu, Philippines, which is in the southern part of the country and outside of the super trajectory.  Under the new itinerary, we would only have one full day there but from the last minute googling I did, it appeared that we were going to a beachy wonderland.  Added bonus, our hotel looked like it was only blocks from the water.  Grab the sunscreen, everybody, this should be good.

We arrived late at night so we would have to wait until sunrise to appreciate the crystalline blue waters that adorned the Cebu google images page.