Last week opportunity rocked our boat ~ striking with the force of a tsunami!
I’d just tried on the mosquito net head cover given me by my friend, Jeanie. (It fits!) The lemon eucalyptus mosquito repellent was ordered. Our noses were buried in guides and other books preparing for that Amazon cruise that would replace our traditional Christmas this year. . .
Then, like the old adage, ‘when opportunity knocks. . .’ .
Okay, so it wasn’t a knock, it was a bit more modern a version - an email from Oceania cruise lines that said:
If we wanted to volunteer to take one of five longer cruises to different destinations, they’d refund us $3,240 and transfer all of our on-board perks to the new cruise.
Our stages of reaction began with chuckling as The Scout read the email aloud, then we moved to speculating ‘why’: perhaps our cruise was overbooked, perhaps they needed to fill the five other cruises they’d offered.
Then we began pondering . . . there was one cruise that had caught our eye. It was not only going to places we’ve talked about – it was over-nighting in a number of them! But really. . .
. . .it sounded too good to be true. (After all, a longer cruise for less money on a luxury cruise line?!). . .
. . .there must be some catch. . .
. . .some small print somewhere. . .
We called the cruise line.
We called our travel agent.
Both assured us:
And then you might say, we jumped ship – in a manner of speaking!
We often say our travel lifestyle is one that requires flexibility. In this case it was an exhilarating acrobatic flip – letting go of the trapeze called Brazil and spinning forward in time and place to Bangkok.
We’ll hop aboard the Nautica ship for our Far East Odyssey, as this 35-day sailing adventure from Bangkok, Thailand to Istanbul, Turkey is called. We will sail through the Gulf of Thailand, the Andaman Sea, the Bay of Bengal, the Laccadive Sea, the Arabian Sea, The Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea AND transit the Suez Canal before entering the Aegean Sea!
Don’t Leap without Looking
While we are fantastically excited about the new cruise, let me caution that no matter how flexible your lifestyle, switching plans for a major trip isn’t something to do on a whim. There are a number of details to consider. For example:
Airline changes: Cancelling those flights booked to and from Seattle and Miami. Luckily we used airline miles one way – and booked the higher level of miles so they could be refunded. We’ll deal with Expedia to change the other.
Booking flights to Bangkok and back from Istanbul are going to cost substantially more but that refund will balance out the cost increases. The Scout has begun scouting.
Passports/visas: Yes, we’ll need to send our precious passports off into the unknown again to secure visas for three countries on the itinerary – a step that can’t be done until until 90 days prior to the trip. (The cost of these visas is not insignificant with estimates as high as about $800 for the both of us – this time they weren’t included as a benefit.)
Give and Take: While being at home or gone at Christmas isn't a big consideration for us, our spring travel compass had been pointing back to Greece. . .celebrating Easter in tiny Loutro, on Crete’s southern coast has become a near tradition for us. We’d hoped to take in the 2nd Annual Jazz Festival in Kardamyli in May. Neither of those will happen.
But as I said of the Amazon River cruise, sometimes we need to s-t-r-e-t-c-h our comfort zone. This spring’s cruise – perhaps even more than the Amazon -- will do just that!
We always welcome recommendations and suggestions for things to do in new places – and we will have a bunch of those on the new cruise . Do you have any thoughts about the places shown on our route map above?
Again, thanks for the time you spend with us – we read each and every comment and appreciate them all. Every ‘like’ and ‘share’ on Facebook is so appreciated! Welcome to our new followers both here and on Facebook~
Happy Travels to you ~ come back soon!
Linking up this week:
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening