It's 9 1/2 days out from the 9 1/2-day cruise and not only am I excited but my subconscious is excited too. I had a dream about traveling last night which, honestly, I wish happened more often.
The things I'm especially excited about are the excursions my dad and I just booked for the Norwegian Gem cruise headed to the Caribbean from NYC on Feb. 5.
In the past couple months since we purchased our tickets, I've flipped and flopped and flipped again about doing excursions.
When I was first looking into the cruises - my first one - I thought it was almost necessary to do them so I looked into the Norwegian offered ones and Googled a few offered at the actual islands. I thought the locally-operated ones would be cheaper but that was not always the case, surprisingly. You might save $15 but risk more of a chance of missing your boat when you come back.
(NCL - San Juan City Tour - $44 vs Local tour - $55
, NCL - Discover St. Thomas and Magens Bay - $54 vs Sunny Liston's Beach, Shopping, Sightseeing
- $40, and NCL - El Limon Waterfall horseride
- $79 vs Tour with Terry
Then, as time went by, I started thinking that maybe excursions were not really needed. We'll be on a tropical island - golden sun, turquoise water, sandy beaches, beautiful vistas. Maybe all I'd really need is a good book and/or my Kindle, a swimsuit,
a lot of sunblock, and
a lot of cocktails. That would certainly save about two hundred dollars.
It was my dad - my 68-year-old dad - who convinced me that we should do more than just sit at the beaches. We're healthy, active and, in the end due to a lot of budgeting over the past few months, can afford the excursions.
So, we did it. And, in true nightowl Sanzone fashion, finally booked one for each port of call around midnight the other day:
In San Juan, my dad - a coffee lover - wanted to do the Espresso tour
but $94 seemed a bit steep for coffee and talking (if that was the usual price, I don't think quite as many people would be meeting for "just coffee"). So, we compromised, and decided on the San Juan City Tour
which will include stops at the fort, and several areas of the old and new parts of the city. And we'll probably get an espresso or two on the way back to the boat.
In St. Thomas, we are doing the Discover St. Thomas and Magens Bay tour
with panoramas of the island and bay, a stop at one of the top 10 ranked beaches by Nat Geo(or so everyone keeps saying but I didn't actually see a link/site about it through multiple searches) and Blackbeard's Castle, which, according to reviews
, is touristy but still sounds kinda fun.
In St. Marteen, we'll be doing something I'm especially looking forward to: catamaran sailing and snorkeling
. I've never done either before and it sounds wonderful.
Finally, in the Dominican Republic, a rainforest hike with natural pools
I thought we had a good variety of activities - some history, some beaches, some luxurous fun, and some physical activity - and it was actually about what I had budgeted two months ago.
Now, maybe in the next several days, I'll have a couple dreams about these excursions too.