Sunday 16 November 2014

Going on a cruise

We haven't been on a holiday for quite a while (I currently have about 40 days of 'long service leave' accumulated plus another 40 days of accumulated 'annual leave'), so early last week we decided to book a 'cheap' 14-day round-trip cruise to New Zealand during the January school holidays. The initial idea was to book a cheap 'quad share' interior room that would have cost a total of around $6,000, but it turned out that there were not any 'quad share' interior rooms available, and only one interior twin-share room. So we then tried to book one interior twin share room and one slightly more expensive 'ocean view' twin share room close by. However, during the booking stage it turned out that the 'quota' for 12-17 year old children on the cruise was full, so we couldn't book DS1 on. At that stage it was looking like we'd have to defer the trip, as the other available cruises to New Zealand were either one-way (and DW didn't want to have to fly back to Sydney), more expensive (over the Christmas/New Year period), or were travelling during Dec or Feb and would have meant that the boys would miss out on some of the school term.

Luckily DW decided to double-check on the same cruise again the next day, and either the quota had been increased or someone had cancelled, as we were then able to book everyone onto the January cruise we'd initially wanted. There were no longer any interior rooms available, so we ended up booking two adjacent 'ocean view' twin-share rooms for a slightly higher total cost of about $7,500. I'm guessing that the total vacation cost will end up somewhere over $10,000 for the two week trip! Aside from the cruise itself (basically transportation to New Zealand from Sydney, overnight accommodation between ports, main meals, and on-board entertainment), I've already paid another $136 for travel insurance, and we will be applying for new passports for DS1 and DS2 this week as their passports expired in 2013. Each 5-year children's passport will cost $122 (which is half the cost of a 10-year adult passport). Finally there will be extra costs for the various sight-seeing 'excursions' available at each port of call -  I'm estimating at least $100 per excursion per person for the ten days or so we are visiting various ports in New Zealand.

I'll post a break-down of the final costs (and some photos) when we get back.

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