I leave for vacation in less than 60 days! I can’t believe I get to go to Orlando, Harry Potter World, Disney World Magic Kingdom, and take a cruise to Cococay and Nassau in the Bahamas. I’m still reeling over the fact that I’m going.
I’ve done the hardest part. I chose my cruise date. Had I known I didn’t really have a choice as to when I was going, I wouldn’t have stressed over this for the past 4-6 weeks!
I’ve done the most expensive part. I paid for the cruise and the flights to Orlando and home. I bought my tickets to Universal and Disney. And I’ve paid for the 4 nights I will be in 2 different hotels. That was… painful. And my bank didn’t like it much either. I managed to buy my cruise and flights before they froze my account. I called and got it fixed with them. Then I bought my Universal ticket and got a call from the National Fraud Hotline to confirm I had made all 3 purchases. Finally, I was able to purchase the rest.
I made a checklist of everything I wanted to bring with me. I already had most of the items on my toiletries list. I had to pick up 3 or 4 items there. I bought a new swimsuit since mine is too big (good problem, not complaining) and then had to alter the new one because the neck strap was too tight. I sewed a short strap extension for it and all is well. I got a cover up, a robe, a cute pajama set, and a big floppy hat. I picked up a waterproof disposable camera, swim shoes, a new journal, and a new book to read. I just got a “personal bag” book bag (which is probably too big but will squish) and a carryon bag that looks perfect size.
Gran got me sunscreen for my birthday. I ordered some clothes from Lakeside that should be here soon. I got a couple dresses and some dress shirts. I can’t believe I need formal clothes for a dang cruise just to eat dinner. Oy. I’ve been marking things off as I’ve gotten them and the only things left on my list is 1 pair of dress pants and my bag I’m using for checked luggage. I dug out my suitcases. Somehow, they are covered in mud. I went through all of my pants this past weekend and I may have to buy new ones. My capris are 2 sizes too big and both pairs of black dress pants are hemmed for heels, not the ballet flats that I’m taking. No heels on the ship!
I still have a ton of things to do.
- Wash all the clothing that I got or will be taking with me. Will do that the week before I leave.
- Decide if I want to go to the doctor for those seasickness patches or take a chance with Dramamine. I need to decide this in the next month.
- Clean my suitcases and decide which one to take.
- Figure out my pants situation. I planned on taking 1 pair of jeans, 2 pair of capris, and 1 pair of black dress pants. I have struck out on 3 out of 4. Going to dig through Mom’s clothes before I do anything. Maybe I’ll just buy the pants shortener things I saw at the craft store last week instead of buying new capris.
- Fill out all the cruise documents. Waiting for the cruise line to post them on my account. I don’t know what those documents are, but they need to be completed.
- Purchase any ship extras. I’m trying to limit the hit I take while traveling so whatever I can do now and adjust my actual vacation expenses will help.
- I’m looking at the soda/water packages. Mom is getting one or the other for me for my birthday. It is $39.00 for a single delivery of 6 1-liter bottles of water or $8.00/day for the soda package. So they come out to be about the same.
- I’m also trying to decide on if I want the internet package or not. I need to decide that soon. It is about $12.00/day if I get it now. If I wait until I’m on the ship, I think it is around $16.00/day. Mom is not having this “no contact for 5 days and 4 nights” stuff so I probably need to get the internet package so I can at least send her a message on Facebook from my phone.
- I can also prepay the ship gratuity fees. I think it is $13.50/day or something.
- Make copies of my driver’s license, passport, and medical cards to keep in my travel book. Just in case. I will get around to it as soon as I can find my passport. I think it is in Mom’s safe.
- Find a small wallet. I have a dozen or so of these somewhere. I just need to find them. And then figure out how much cash is reasonable yet safe to carry. I need cash for tips and the straw market at least. But, if something happens to my bank card, I don’t want to be stuck either.
- Figure out travel arrangements. I can’t do Uber from the airport but I might be able to do the rest with Uber. I need to account for how much each journey costs and the time to get there. Those long trips are going to be expensive. I’m researching my options through shuttles, Uber, and other private services. A rental car is out. I don’t want to drive. I think my first hotel has a shuttle to Universal so that might be covered. One small step, lots of expenses to go. I have to travel:
- from the airport to my hotel (40 miles),
- from my hotel to Universal and back (3 miles),
- from my hotel to the port (60 miles),
- from the port to my 2nd hotel (65 miles),
- from my hotel to whatever I end up doing in Orland that night and back (? miles),
- from my hotel to Disney and back (11 miles), and
- from my hotel back to the airport (50 miles).
- Make a budget. I’m nearly finished with everything I need to pre-purchase. Once I do the cruise pre-purchases and find pants, I’m literally finished with what I need to buy.
- So far, I’m doing okay with my initial budget.
- The cruise was a lot more than I expected because I didn’t know solo cruisers are charged 200% fare. That sucked.
- Since I am doing this 2 months out, I still have plenty of time to work out the rest of the budgeting. I have to deal with travel, souvenirs, food when I’m not on the ship, parking when I get my car from the airport on my way home, and account for extras.
- My coworker suggested I budget for a massage while on the cruise but I think I’m going to pass on a $200.00/hour massage. o.0
- So far, I’m doing okay with my initial budget.
- Get a pedicure the week before I go.
- Carefully manage my manicure schedule. That is going to be tricky. If I follow my normal 3-week schedule, I will end up getting my mani on (Sunday) April 30th, a full week before I leave. I may have to stretch that out so that I get it on Wednesday or Thursday if my nails are getting too long.
- Decide what makeup I’m taking. This is of utmost importance and probably the most stressful thing I have going on.
Whew, that is a lot left to do. Thankfully, I still have 8 weeks to get it done. 😀
Have you ever been on a cruise? Do you have any suggestions for things to plan ahead of time for or activities on the ship that I should try out?