A new future booking...A change in our itinerary...It pays to be frugal...

Are these poppies?
Its great that we can make itinerary changes whenever we deem it necessary, for cost saving or befits our desires.  The exception in doing so is often predicated by the fact that we may have already paid non-refundable deposits or full payments such as for flights, vacation homes with a no-refund policy and cruises after paying the final payment 90 days prior to sail date (partial refunds may be applicable).

For the remainder of our itinerary, we have the option of changing our minds, finding better deals and instituting price reductions, particularly on cruises. So far in our travels, we haven't made any major changes, other than for a few cruises.

As Tom continually peruses our existing booked cruises, of which we currently have seven (with more to come), he's always hoping to find price reductions that may suit our needs.  After considerable research over these past few days, he found a change for a cruise we'd considered changing at some point anyway.

We spotted these flowers in many areas of Tasmania.
We'd booked a cruise from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Santiago, Chile while aboard a prior cruise in order to lock up the offered low down payment of AU $274, US $200 (for two), including several perks and cabin credit. 

When booking onboard a ship, our cruise rep still gets "credit" for the transaction and continues to handle the booking.  At any time prior to final payment we can transfer the low down payment to any future cruise, with the same cruise line.

When we booked the above mentioned cruise, at the time we anticipated we'd never keep the booking for two reasons; one, it was the reverse of an itinerary on which we'll have already sailed; two, the total cost for the cruise was more expensive than we preferred.  Tom watched and waited.

Wildflowers along a country road.
Finally, in the past few days, as more and more cruises became posted, Tom found a replacement for the more expensive, "reverse repeat" cruise that will be much more suited to our future plans to try to visit family in the US every two years.

The fare for the cruise we cancelled yesterday was AU $10,960, US $8,005, as mentioned, way more than we prefer to pay for a 14 night cruise (the exception to this is the upcoming pricey cruise to Antarctica in less than 13 months).

Instead, after speaking with our cruise rep Shanon, aka Brooklyn, at Vacations to Go, we moved our deposit over to the following cruise in its place (see below for itinerary):

Charges

Cruise (includes port charges)3,198.00
Price Match- 200.00
Government Taxes*   452.68
Pre-Paid Gratuities   405.00  
Total Sale (US$)$ 3,855.68             
 


*subject to change by the cruise line.

Payments

Paid ToTypeAmount



CelebrityPaid Direct200.00

Total Payments (US$)$ 200.00
Balance Due (US$)$ 3,655.68
 

Final payment due January 1, 2019.

The total fare for this new cruise, including prepaid gratuities and taxes is AU $5,278.90, US $3,855.61 which based on the above other cruise, constitutes a savings of AU $5,681.16, US $4.149.39. 

We didn't have to think twice about this, especially when this new cruise is an easy means for us for return to the US for a visit slightly less than two years from our upcoming visit in May, 2017. 

Here's the itinerary for the new cruise:

Celebrity - Celebrity Eclipse, departs 3/24/19, 15 nights
DayDatePort or ActivityArriveDepart
SunMar 24Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile9:00pm
MonMar 25La Serena, Chile10:00am6:00pm
TueMar 26At Sea
WedMar 27At Sea
ThuMar 28Lima (Callao), Peru7:00am5:00pm
FriMar 29At Sea
SatMar 30Manta, Ecuador10:00am6:00pm
SunMar 31At Sea
MonApr 1Puntarenas, Costa Rica7:00am4:00pm
TueApr 2At Sea
WedApr 3Huatulco, Mexico10:00am8:00pm
ThuApr 4At Sea
FriApr 5Puerto Vallarta, Mexico9:00am5:00pm
SatApr 6Cabo San Lucas, Mexico9:00am5:00pm
SunApr 7At Sea
MonApr 8San Diego, CA7:00am

Once we arrive in San Diego, we'll begin the process of visiting family in San Diego and Los Angeles, California; Henderson, Nevada and then on again to Minnesota.

We noticed these wildflowers on the roads from Hobart to Penguin.
Those of you familiar with our upcoming itinerary may ask, "Why are you going back to South America, after spending many months in Africa?"  The answer is clear for us...we'll return from Africa to head to South America since the proximity makes sense (although its still very far away).

This plan provides us with about a combined year to spend in Africa and South America (during the second visit to the continent) which we'll continue to plan as we go along.  While in Tasmania at this time we don't feel any pressure to pin down specific details. 

Once we have pinned down more of the above plan, we'll update our itinerary and post it here accordingly.  Overall the last itinerary we posted while in Bali, still is accurate except for the change of cruise and time spent in Africa and South America.  Please click here for the link to our most recent itinerary which was posted on October 14, 2016.

Bushy looking plants.
In any case, we haven't booked this new cruise a lot earlier than many other cruises we've booked in the past.  Using cruises for transportation has always been our objective when neither of us cares for the commotion at airports, baggage issues and uncomfortable seating on flights.

This morning, as we reviewed the figures we're posting today, Tom discovered price reductions on other upcoming cruises.  Once our rep returns to work on Monday in the US, Tuesday here in Australia, we'll call her and update our pricing to save even more. 

So maybe today, we aren't out sightseeing on this cool and windy day (8.3C, 47F) but instead we're staying indoor saving money.  That's not a bad way to spend a day!

Happy day to all!
__________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, December 18, 2015:
TappooCity, the four story mall in Suva, Fiji, surprised us with its familiar brands.  For more Suva, (the capital city of Fiji), please click here.

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