Getting Ready for Splendor.

shades (1 of 1)

I’ve started packing for my next vacation.

Most people my age, under most circumstances, start packing in the few day(s) leading up to their trip. Usually, I’m no different and throw all my stuff together last-minute. Thing is, I’ve been waiting for this for over 300 days. When I grabbed my suitcase, opened it, and threw in my trunks, it was cause to enjoy a nice beer. All this almost 3 weeks before my vacation.

This is a trip unlike many for many reasons. Off the bat, the ship is repositioning and the itinerary offers ports that tend not to be frequented by most ships (particularly Carnival). It gets deeper than that though.

Not too long after booking the cruise portion of the trip, I joined a Facebook group so that I could plan and pre-mingle with others beforehand. This group is like no other Facebook group I’ve seen. Over 480 members and many of us get together excellently. So much in fact, that since late last winter, I’ve been making long blog-like posts on the page with various insight, questions mostly related to cruising, and offering a music video to help set the tone. I’ve never committed this much to any group on Facebook. I haven’t felt this involved since I was president of some local car clubs a decade ago. It feels good to connect with another group of people outside of family, friends, and work. It’s going to be one big party once on the ship and most of us finally get to all hang out.

I’ve been putting together what I’m going to do while in the ports. Most cruises, I usually book excursions later and in some cases, wing-it once in port. Kim has been putting together a pretty sweet catamaran excursion to Buck Island for when we make port in St. Croix. Grenada will likely be a visit to Grand Anse Beach, Martinique will be another catamaran, and in Grand Turk, I’ve reserved a cabana at Margaritaville. Dominica is still a toss-up between rappelling down a waterfall or river tubing. At each port I want to try the local beer, get a magnet for my tool box, and get a touristy t-shirt. Because, why not.

Besides Dominica, another part of the trip that remains in the air is San Juan, Puerto Rico. I’ll be arriving on the 30th and staying in Old San Juan. Intentions were to see El Yunque, one of the bio-luminescent bays, and find an excellent Halloween party. I haven’t made any decisions on any of those, except that I’ll probably see El Yunque during the day on the 31st. Google isn’t coming up with a whole lot for Halloween parties, but I feel fairly certain that hotels/bars/clubs in Condado and Isla Verde will probably have something lined-up. I’ll just have to look out for flyers or posters once there.

On the ship, I’ve lined up Chef’s Table again. It was cancelled on my last cruise, but this time I get the impression that there will be plenty of people signed up. Enough likely for 2 of them. I’m also on the fence with the “Cheers” beverage program. I suspect my first day will have enough drinking to make it worth while then. However, I have an $80 bar credit so unless I can apply it to cheers, I might just see how the drink situation goes as I can book Cheers into the 2nd day of the trip.

It’s been quite a long time since my last post as I’ve had a lot going on. I intend to post more before the trip and without a doubt, I will go into detail how it went afterwards. I hope you stick around because I have a feeling it will be a pretty interesting read.


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