Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Three phone calls later: Singapore is Rome

RivieraNayarit2012 335Regular readers and those who know us well won’t be surprised to learn that we’ve changed travel directions again.

The winter’s “Big” cruise from Singapore is now the autumn cruise  from Rome.

All it took was a couple of phone calls.  Really, it was that simple. Proving, once again, that planning travel really isn’t that difficult.


The original plan: Frequent flier airline seats to and from Asia. A Celebrity cruise from Singapore to Sydney, a few days there (using Marriott points), then off to Bali, returning home a week later . Yikes – that put us traveling two days before Christmas! (Read that: the dreaded holiday travel.)

We were looking forward to the Asian Adventure, but. . .

RivieraNayarit2012 155While in Mexico we had plenty of daydreaming time and started discussing other destinations that we want to visit in the next couple years. . .

Then, back in Kirkland this week Joel happened upon the ‘perfect’ Celebrity cruise – beginning in Rome, ending in Venice, with stops in Montenegro, Croatia, Greece, Malta and Slovenia along the way. If only we weren’t headed to Singapore. . .
 

After a 24-hour ‘ponder-the-idea-period', Joel checked on availability of frequent flier seats, which was key to any changes, with airline prices being what they are this year. Two calls to Alaska Airlines in as many days and we had seats and a good routing to Europe.  He nabbed them after cancelling the Cathay Pacific business class seats to Singapore. We’ll  fly business class on KLM to Rome and back.

DSCF2121The third phone call was to CruCon Cruise Outlet (the travel agency we use for booking cruises because they’ve had the best prices and on-board goodies). They moved our $200 deposit from one cruise to the other, we’ve now got a balcony room on the Silhouette; incurring no penalties and getting the same on-board credits and other goodies as we had on the other cruise.

Then he cancelled our Marriott ‘loyalty points’ reservation in Sydney and used them to book a five night stay in a Marriott “Autograph” Hotel in Venice. (Use of those hotel points in Venice saved us approximately $1,700!)

We were excited about the Sydney experience; but we are plain crazy about this new adventure. Joel’s dug out the Lonely Planet guidebook to Slovenia to get the research started. . .I ordered a new Baggallini roller tote from a discount on-line shop.  Let the fun begin. . .

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