Next Cruise Booked

Well, we have done it. As discussed in a previous post, we have been planning our next cruise. Now, we have gone and booked the cruise. Its going to be another transatlantic cruise. This time, from Rome, Italy to Ft Lauderdale, FL.

It may seem odd to do a transatlantic for a second year in a row, but we absolutely loved the one last year. This one will be completely different – except for the sea days which are our favorite days anyway! The cruise will again be on Celebrity Cruises. This time on the Solstice. Its once of Celebrity’s new ships and at almost 2800 passengers, a bit bigger than we normally cruise on. And Celebrity is going to be starting a combination of traditional dining and anytime dining. So, we will get to try out a few new things regarding Celebrity.

Also, we are going to add 4 days before the cruise in Rome for site seeing. I have been to Rome maybe 6 or 8 times on business travel and really like the city. I look forward to showing Suzanne (who has been there once) and the kids the town. Then, we will be visiting different ports of call than last year before making the crossing. Its going to be a great cruise.

Actually, the planning has just started – lots more to do. We have already booked our flights to Rome using frequent flier miles so that helps defray the costs. We will even stop over for 1 night in Dallas on the way to Rome to sort of have a quick, early family Thanksgiving with Suzanne’s family.

We still need a place to stay in Rome. We are evaluating apartments and hotels in the city to stay. I have a variety of points that could be used to pay for the hotel. Or perhaps I can put the points to better use for ship board credit on the cruise. We have requested info on about 8 apts that are for rent for the four days. We are evaluating location and amenities compared to hotels which might not be quite as nicely located. We will probably book our accommodations in the next week or two.

We also need to book our return air from Ft Lauderdale. Suzanne wants to return on the same day the boat docks, but the date is already sold out of frequent flier tickets. So, if I want to use miles, we need to come back the day after the cruise which I kind of like anyways, but Suzanne has a show to do the weekend following our return so wants to get back. There are some first class tickets available on the day the cruise ends, but I am a bit short on miles for four first class tickets. I have a couple business trips which might put me over the top. Or perhaps we can use the rewards points that we were thinking about for the hotel or shipboard credit. Again, probably will finalize return trip plans in the next week or two.

More on the next cruise as it develops.