Part 2...Challenges along the way...New cruise bookings...Changes in tipping on cruises...

San Antonio, Chile to San Diego, California
15 nights departing March 24, 2019, on Celebrity's Celebrity Eclipse
Our price:  $3,885.68 (we included tips on this cruise) (ARS 73,349.98)
(Prices listed here are for both of us included taxes and port fees)

Sunday, March 24Santiago (San Antonio), Chile9:00pm

Monday, March 25La Serena, Chile10:00am6:00pm

Tuesday, March 26At Sea

Wednesday, March 27At Sea

Thursday, March 28Lima (Callao), Peru7:00am5:00pm

Friday, March 29At Sea

Saturday, March 30Manta, Ecuador10:00am6:00pm

Sunday, March 31At Sea

Monday, April 1Puntarenas, Costa Rica7:00am4:00pm

Tuesday, April 2At Sea

Wednesday, April 3Huatulco, Mexico10:00am8:00pm

Thursday, April 4At Sea

Friday, April 5Puerto Vallarta, Mexico9:00am5:00pm

Saturday, April 6Cabo San Lucas, Mexico9:00am5:00pm

Sunday, April 7At Sea

Monday, April 8San Diego, CA7:00am

In reviewing our upcoming itinerary for 2018-2020 for 852 days (see this link), we realized we'd yet to post any information for the cruises we've already booked. 

We've yet to book the Zambezi River cruise in Africa which we'll do once we arrive on the continent and also, the cruises for the Pantanal and Amazon River since they're both far into the future.

Otherwise, at this point, we have a total of five cruises booked which includes the upcoming Antarctica cruise sailing in 17 days.  Based on the fact we'll be spending a full year in Africa, other than the Zambezi River cruise, these four cruises are booked as shown including pricing.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Dublin, Ireland
14 nights departing April 22, 2019, on Celebrity's Celebrity Reflection
Our price:  $4,497.10 (tips not included) (ARS 84,891.76)
(Prices listed here are for both of us included taxes and port fees)
Monday, April 22Fort Lauderdale, FL5:00pm

Tuesday, April 23At Sea

Wednesday, April 24At Sea

Thursday, April 25At Sea

Friday, April 26At Sea

Saturday, April 27At Sea

Sunday, April 28At Sea

Monday, April 29At Sea

Tuesday, April 30Ponta Delgada, Portugal7:00am

Wednesday, May 1Ponta Delgada, Portugal3:00pm

Thursday, May 2At Sea

Friday, May 3At Sea

Saturday, May 4Cork (Cobh), Ireland10:00am8:00pm

Sunday, May 5Waterford (Dunmore East), Ireland7:00am7:00pm

Monday, May 6Dublin, Ireland4:30am

Tom suggested I mention the fact that the pricing in Vacations to Go is not necessarily the price we paid.  Usually, they list the prices for the lowest valued cabin the category mentioned. 

Based on our Captain's Club member status, we often get an upgrade and also choose a more conveniently located cabin suitable for our needs that may be priced slightly higher than listed.  Thus, the prices listed here today may be different than listed on the VTG site.

From time to time, there are various perks listed but few are included on the cruises listed here due to their excellent overall pricing based on "six of one, half dozen of another."

Note: No map was provided for this itinerary.
Amsterdam to Amsterdam, The Netherlands
12 nights departing August 11, 2019, on
Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas
Our price:  $4,313,18 (tips not included) (ARS 81,419.90)
(Prices listed here are for both of us included taxes and port fees)

Sunday, August 11Amsterdam, Holland5:00pm

Monday, August 12At Sea

Tuesday, August 13Copenhagen, Denmark8:00am5:00pm

Wednesday, August 14At Sea

Thursday, August 15Tallinn, Estonia11:00am6:00pm

Friday, August 16St. Petersburg, Russia7:00am

Saturday, August 17St. Petersburg, Russia6:00pm

Sunday, August 18Helsinki, Finland7:00am3:00pm

Monday, August 19Stockholm, Sweden7:00am4:00pm

Tuesday, August 20At Sea

Wednesday, August 21Skagen, Denmark8:00am6:00pm

Thursday, August 22At Sea

Friday, August 23Amsterdam, Holland6:00am

Oftentimes, cruise passengers prefer the perception of getting a great deal with a number of perks provided.  After all these years of cruising, we're well beyond the concept of perception and prefer a straight-forward price.

Recently both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity (owned by the same parent company) have upped the daily tips from US $13.50 (ARS 254.84) per day per person to US $14.50 (ARS 273.72) per day.  That results in an amount of US $29 (ARS 547.43) per day added to our cruise bill.  For a 15-night cruise, there's a total of US $435 (ARS 8,211.49) added to the bill.

These tips can be reversed by passengers when on the ship and they can do whatever they'd like regarding tipping their favorite staff members.  However, we've never reversed the daily tips and always include extra tips for cabin steward and others.

London, England to Fort Lauderdale, Florida
15 nights departing on October 24, 2019, on
Celebrity's Celebrity Silhouette
Our price:  $4,304.40 (tips not included) (ARS 81,254.16)
(Prices listed here are for both of us included taxes and port fees)


Thursday, October 24London (Southampton), England4:30pm

Friday, October 25At Sea

Saturday, October 26At Sea

Sunday, October 27At Sea

Monday, October 28At Sea

Tuesday, October 29At Sea

Wednesday, October 30At Sea

Thursday, October 31Boston, MA7:00am5:00pm

Friday, November 1New York (Any Port), NY3:00pm

Saturday, November 2New York (Any Port), NY5:00pm

Sunday, November 3At Sea

Monday, November 4King's Wharf, Bermuda10:30am

Tuesday, November 5King's Wharf, BermudaNoon

Wednesday, November 6At Sea

Thursday, November 7Nassau, Bahamas10:00am6:00pm

Friday, November 8Fort Lauderdale, FL5:00am

We discovered from a former cruise employee that the removal of tips is noted in the passenger's computer file and clearly visible by all serving staff members.  This could surely have a negative impact on the quality of service. 

Like us, many passengers prefer to show an extra token of gratitude for exceptional service especially for their cabin steward, bartenders, and other service staff one may frequent.  After all, these workers leave their homes and families and live in not-so-ideal conditions while aboard ship for many months at a time.

When we first began booking cruises in 2012, tips were often included in the price.  But, this was merely a case of convenience.  With price increases, these cruise lines decided to leave them out for passengers to pay separately, allowing them to raise basic pricing which would provide the perception of somewhat lowered pricing on many sailings. 
Artistic painting on a wall in Palermo.
Trickery.  It's the nature of the beast.  We love cruising in between our land-stays, using cruises as much as possible for us to get from one location to another as illustrated in our newly posted itinerary.

With the sun shining again, after last night's rainy walk to dinner (the Prodeo Hotel staff provided us with an umbrella), we're looking forward to getting out today for a bit of sightseeing, now that we've completed so much planning for the future.

We're both feeling well, optimistic and refreshed as we're almost halfway through our extended stay in Buenos Aires, enjoying each and every day's insight into life in this big city in Argentina.

Be well and happy!

Photo from one year ago today, January 6, 2017:
Joey head and legs hanging out of the pouch in Tasmania last year.  It looks as if it's time to stop living in there!  For more photos, please click here.


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