Cruise final expenses including shopping at port and extras...Finalizing details...Favorite photos...

Mystery Island scene.
Rather than wait until the day we disembark the ship, which is tomorrow, I decided to post the final expenses and favorite photos today.  With today's packing

Tomorrow, when we disembark by 8:30 am with a 9:00 am shuttle pickup at the Port of Seattle, we'll have time to post until after we arrive in Vancouver later in the day.
Sun shining on the sea.
Once we're settle in our hotel, we'll prepare and upload a post with scenic photos of the three plus hour drive from Seattle to Vancouver which we expect will be stunning.  Neither of us have ever driven this route by car.  It should be interesting.

At 11:30 am now with another time change occuring at noon, we decided to pack earlier than usual and get it all behind us.  Tonight, the staff will collect all of our checked bags, leaving the newer duffel bag and computer backpack behind for us to keep in our possession during the disembarking process.
Mystery Island, Vanuatu beach.
Once we're off the ship, we'll find the remainder of our luggage in the cruise terminal and make our way to the pickup area where an SUV driver will be waiting for us for the US $550, AU $744.95 drive over the US border into Canada.

We hedged at this high cost for transportation but after careful consideration decided this was the least stressful means of travel.  We always keep in mind that keeping stress at a minimum has always been our goal and our motto.
A reminder of cannibalism in the South Pacific.
It always falls upon the fact that we can only control that which "we know" in our world travels, not which "we don't know" which would include unforeseen circumstances over which we have no influence in our diligent planning.

Sometimes, that includes paying a little more, planning ahead and leaving ourselves free and unencumbered to relish in our surroundings and experiences along the way.

Situated in the Diamond Club lounge for the last morning of this 24-night cruise we can relax knowing everything is in place: we're fully packed with clothing left out for tonight and tomorrow. 
King Neptune poolside celebration after crossing the Equator.
We've calculated our total expenses for the cruise, as shown below entering the figures into our main spreadsheet; we've reviewed our cruise bill for accuracy, handling any necessary adjustments; we've paid cash tips to our fabulous restaurant manager Belic who oversaw meticulous handling of my special meals and, over-the-top cabin steward Mira, the best we've ever experienced after 18 cruises.

Here are the final expenses for this 24-night cruise aboard Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas from Sydney to Seattle:
 Expense   US Dollar   Australian Dollar 
 Cruise Fare - 24 nights   $              5,955.26  $                    8,068.18
 Cabin credit   $                (280.00)  $                        379.28
 Airfare    $                                 $                                     
 Taxi    $                    50.20  $                          68.00
 Laundry aboard ship   $                    49.98  $                          67.70
 Ship Shop Purchases   $                    94.78  $                        124.38
 Tips not inc. in fare   $                   188.17  $                        254.87
 Lahaina Gap purchases   $                   106.00  $                        143.57
 Total   $              6,164.39  $                     8,349.44
 Average Daily Cost    $                  256.85  $                        347.89

 We're please with these totals.  The daily totals are slightly higher than our usual average daily costs.  Using this cruise for transportation back to the US actually saved us money when the airfare alone would have been around US $2,000, AU $2,708.93.

During the 24-day period we would have been paying for a vacation home, groceries, transportation, etc. Adding the pure joy of spending this extended period of time with other passengers, it's definitely money well spent.  Also, we avoided a horrendously long 14-hour flight from these distant locations.

We've made many new friends on this cruise and look forward to hearing from them in the future.  Who knows?  Our paths may cross again sometime in the future.
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii.
As we enter North America by early tomorrow morning, we'll no longer include Australian money exchange rates for our expenses.  All expenses, during our time in North America will be posted in US dollars only.  For our Australian readers, as you know for one US dollar it is $1.35 for Australian dollar.

We won't be posted a foreign exchange rate until August 1st when we enter Costa Rica as we continue on our world journey.

Thanks, dear readers, for your continued love and support during this lengthy cruise.  We'll continue to post daily during the Alaska cruise beginning in three days when we'll be visiting many ports of call for a hopefully good signal which has been lacking during this cruise.

Goodbye, Australia, New Zealand, and islands in the South Pacific for the gifts you bestowed upon us in this exquisite and fascinating part of the world.  We'll remain eternally grateful for the experiences.

Happy Mother's Day to Moms all over the world!  May your day be as special as YOU!
Photo from one year ago today, May 14, 2016:
This dog walked up to our villa in Bali and wandered around the pool.  We stayed seated and didn't say a word.  Soon, he wandered away.  For more photos, please click here.


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