We plan to kick off the cruising year on January 28th on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas where we have set up a Pickleball cruise. We have reserved court time on this ship’s sports court and will have three Pickleball courts set up to play on each sea day. Even if you aren’t a Pickleball player you are certainly welcome to join us on this 7 day Caribbean cruise. Currently we have nine other couples that will join us on this cruise.
One month after returning from this cruise we will be heading to Hong Kong to do two back to back 14 day cruises on the Celebrity Millennium. The first cruise departs on March 4th going to Vietnam (3 stops), Taiwan (3 stops) and China (1 stop). The second cruise departs on March 18th going to Vietnam (1 stop), South Korea (3 stops), Japan (1 stop) and China (3 stops). We are taking these cruises as part of the Distinctive Voyages program where we will host a group of passengers on this ship with a cocktail party and a complimentary excursion. We are very excited about this cruise because Asia is an area we haven’t seen as much as we would have liked.
We are seriously considering a return back from Asia on the Mariner of the Seas which is doing a repositioning cruise back to the US. It is doing a 51 day cruise departing Singapore on April 9th and arriving in Miami on May 20th. This cruise is broken down into three segments: Singapore-Dubai, Dubai-Barcelona and Barcelona-Miami. Two years ago we took the Mariner out of Galveston on its original trip to Asia. It was one of our favorite cruises watching the ship make changes to meet the Asian market differences. It was also one of the least expensive cruises we ever took costing us only $35 a day per person. The cruise next year is a little more expensive but prices start at around $75 a day per person which is still a good price. There will be many different countries visited on this cruise: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Oman, Dubai, Jordan, Israel, Spain and Portugal.
During the summer we have decided to do an African Safari which has been on Sharon’s bucket list for a long time! She has spent a lot of time investigating different tour guides and talking to people to create a custom designed safari package that will maximize our time to see as much wildlife as possible. Part of the trip is in Kenya at the Masai Mara Basecamp while the other part of the trip is in Tanzania. We have timed the trip so that we can see the Great Migration and also see the Big Five along with many other animals in the region. Included in this package are multiple game drives each day. There will be game drives both during the day and night to see the different types of animals in the area. There is even a walking tour included. Our planned departure date is August 13th for this 13 day trip. We are very excited about this trip and already have two other couples who will join us.
Our next big trip will be one that is on Greg’s bucket list. On October 19th we will be heading to the Galapagos Islands. This will be another great opportunity to see some exotic animals but they will be very different from what we will have just seen in Africa. We should see giant tortoises, green sea turtles, blue footed boobies, puffins, marine iguanas, frigatebirds, Sally lightfoot crabs, albatrosses and many other types of animals and unique plant life. Many of these animals can only be seen on these islands. The Galapagos Islands is attributed to being the main place where Darwin came up with his theory of evolution. We will see these islands on the Celebrity Expedition which is a small ship that only holds 100 people. This ship will go in and out of the islands providing both morning and afternoon excursions that are included with the price of the cruise. We already have one other couple signed up to join us on this trip.
In conjunction with our trip to the Galapagos we plan to make a side trip to Machu Picchu in the Peruvian mountains. Machu Picchu is a series of well-preserved ruins built by the Incas in the 1400’s. There are also several other sites to visit in the area such as Sacred Valley and Cusco. We feel that if you are going pay for the airfare to fly to Ecuador or Peru to see the Galapagos Islands, you might as well spend a few extra days to see some of the beautiful sites in the area such as Machu Picchu and the Peruvian mountains.
This is what we currently have planned for 2018 (although we will most likely add a few more cruises if we find some special deals). We would love to have other folks join us on any of these trips. If you are interested please email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .
We are also in the process of setting up some groups for cruising in 2019. We know this is a little further out but these are being set up as group cruises and more time is required to plan these. As a group cruise you typically get some extra amenities that are not provided when individual bookings are made. We will be letting everyone know more about these when they get set up but if you have some interest in them, let us know so we make sure to save you a spot. These are the four group cruises we plan to set up in 2019.
- Pickleball Cruise
- China Viking River Cruise
- Paris-Normandy River Cruise
- Mediterranean Cruise
Greg and Sharon Conrad