Upcoming cruises with visits to many locations...A year ago...interesting new visitors...

Another of Tom's exquisite sunrise photos.
Yesterday, as we sat in the lawn chairs whale watching with fervor, we realized that in only a few days, we'll no longer be this close to the ocean, able to watch for the gentle giants when we see signs of life whether we're peering out the window or sitting outside.

In our new home, a condo in Princeville, Kauai, it will require we walk across the street, carrying lawn chairs in order to get close enough to take photos of the whales.  We'll have views of the sea from the condo but it will just be too far to see from what we can determine from the photos.

We've been spoiled these past months since we arrived in Maui on October 16th when our close proximity to the ocean made every view exquisite.  Now, three months later, we move along to live on the last of four Hawaiian Islands arriving in Honolulu on October 5th, off the Celebrity Solstice after a 12 day cruise from Vancouver.

Its winter in Hawaii and yet the hearty Hibiscus flowers continue to bloom.
And again, as we mentioned in the past two posts, we've now booked two more cruises on this same ship, one we've found ideal for our liking.

Today, as promised we're listing the five upcoming cruises we've booked, each of which offers its own unique ports with only a few repeats here and there.

Let's face it, the major cruise lines only take so many routes worldwide.  Although it may appear they travel all over the world, they do not.  They have specific routes, repeated over and over again.  Frequent cruisers are aware of this fact, often experiencing similar cruises several times, including visiting the same ports of call.

At this point, we're satisfied if a new cruise takes us to two or three new ports of call.  When we visit ports we've previously experienced, we usually stay behind, enjoying the quiet on the ship, choice of chairs by the pool and the good WiFi signal for posting using the rented MiFi.  In any case, we enjoy it all.

As promised, here is the information on our five upcoming cruises including the cost:
Honolulu to Sydney18 days5/24/2015 6/11/2015 $  6,010.64
Sydney to Auckland14 days1/5/20161/19/2016 $  4,771.32
Sydney to Perth16 days4/12/20164/28/2016 $  4,714.20
Singapore to Sydney14 days10/31/2016 11/14/2016
$  4,143.81
Sydney to Sydney12 days3/1/20173/13/2017$  4,820.36

Total for five above cruises:          $24,460.33
Average cost per day for 74 days: $     330.55 (for both of us)

Our usual average cost per day while living in vacation rentals is approximately $200 per day including meals, dining out and rental cars.  In this case, cruising is $130.55 more per day plus additional charges for WiFi and beverages at an average of $78 per day for an additional total of $209.55 per day x 74 days, equals an additional $15,506.70. 

As a result of the added expenses of cruising, we've managed to find vacation homes, buying groceries and rental cars at reasonable enough prices to bring down the average daily costs around the $200 each.  The magic of diligent planning enables us to cruise and to live comfortably all over the world.

A palm tree, a Hibiscus plant and a blue sky.  Many days are cloudy on this island, as much as 60% from what we've seen over these past six weeks.  A sunny day is glorious!
As I write this, Tom suggested we list the ports of call for all of these cruises to illustrate how much of the world we have an opportunity to see while cruising, adding considerable value to the process.

Here's the complete list some of which may include more than one stop at a specific location as mentioned above, that ports of call may be repeat visit on various cruises:
  1. Moorea, Society Islands
  2. Papeete, Tahiti, Society Island
  3. Bora Bora, Society Islands
  4. Savu, Fiji
  5. Ill des Pins, New Caledonia
  6. Sydney, Australia
  7. Melbourne, Australia
  8. Hobart, Tazmania, Australia
  9. Milford Sound, New Zealand (cruising only)
  10. Doubtful Sound, New Zealand (cruising only)
  11. Dusky Sound, New Zealand (cruising only)
  12. Dunedin (port Chalmers), New Zealand
  13. Akaroa, New Zealand
  14. Wellington, New Zealand
  15. Tauranga, New Zealand
  16. Bay of Islands, New Zealand
  17. Auckland, New Zealand
  18. Picton, New Zealand
  19. Adelaide, Australia
  20. Perth, Australia (Fremantle, Australia)
  21. Singapore, Indonesia
  22. Benoa, Bali, Indonesia
  23. Darwin, Australia
  24. Cairns, Australia
  25. Airlie Beach, Australia
  26. Brisbane, Australia
  27. Nounea, New Caledonia
  28. Lifou, New Caledonia
  29. Mystery Island, Vanuatu
  30. Lautoka, Fiji
Only approximately six of these are repeats for us.  How in the world would we have every been able to visit these 30 locations without cruising?  The time, the cost and the effort would far exceed the glorious 74 days of cruising which we so thoroughly enjoy?

Add the facts that cruising enables us to meet so many fabulous people, many of whom we've stayed in touch with over these past two plus years, enhances the experience beyond our wildest dreams.  These are the reasons we choose to cruise.

The tiny cabin, often around 194 square feet, the risks of rough waters, the difficulty of managing my way of eating, the constant WiFi issues and the lack of dressy clothing for the formal nights, the crowds at certain venues, all are manageable for us.  We don't complain.  When weighing the pros and cons of cruises, the pros win for us.  We love every moment, rough seas included.

We've noticed this peculiar drooping plant on the past three islands we've visited.
Today, perhaps a little organizing, a little tossing of worn clothing and a little time in the lawn chair whale watching.  Tonight and tomorrow night, we'll fire up the charcoal grill to make the last of the frozen hamburger patties we'd made and we'd stored in Ziplock bags in the freezer.

We're happily using most of the perishable food, leaving some non-perishable foods for the next occupants of this house and sending the remainder to ourselves in Kauai.

It's all good.  Good as it can be.

Happy Monday to all!

Photo from one year ago today, January 12, 2014:

It was exciting one year ago, for the visit of hundreds of these grasshopper visitors in our driveway in Marloth Park.  Everyday provided an exciting new experience.  We spent the day watching and videotaping the activity of this "family" of grasshoppers including their babies.  To see the videos from that date, please click here.


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