Monday, January 28, 2008

Cruisin' Along

Unlike the last couple of posts, this one is actually interesting. I promise.

Ok, story time.

CN came over the other day while I was home for lunch. This was kind of unusual, so I knew something was up.

"Hey, babe. This is a pleasant surprise. What's up?" I said, greeting him with a quick peck.

"Ok, I was going to talk to you about this last night, but someone didn't answer their phone," he teased.

"Yeah, I fell asleep on the couch. I didn't hear it ring," I replied.

"Well, I was calling to see if you wanted to go on a cruise with me."

[Insert squeals of excitement and the Happy Dance here.]

It turns out that CN's friend L called the night before. L and his wife, C, are going on a cruise in April to the Bahamas, and they wanted to know if we would like to join them. CN wanted to check with me first before committing. (He received a lot of smack-talk from L about this. I believe the phrase "pussy-whipped" was used. LOL) Anyway, CN was worried that I might not be able to afford it ($400 is the cost) because I've been kind of broke lately. So he wanted to check first. But my squeals of excitement proved otherwise.

"OMG, I can totally do this! I know I can! It will totally motivate me to work on budgeting my money, because I really want to go and so I will save up for it!!!" I explained, excitedly.

"Ok, because if you don't have the $400, I am going without you," he replied.

"Ok, that's fine! But I'll get the money together. I promise. Besides, I know I am getting a nice tax refund this year, so I should be fine, anyway. EEK!!"

So, as of right now, I need to come up with at least $400 by April 10th. I am working on a savings budget right now. Yay!!

It will also motivate me to lose more weight before we go, so that I look better in a bikini.

WOO HOO!! I cannot wait! I have never been on a cruise before. Neither has CN. I have never been to the Caribbean, either. Neither has CN. So we are really looking forward to it. The ship will be in Jacksonville, FL and we will drive down to get to it. But so far, this is all I know. I don't know what cruise line it is, or what ship, or anything like that. All I know are the dates, the cost and the destination.

So if any of my readers have been on cruises or have been to the Bahamas, please tell me what to expect and any advice you can think of. I would really appreciate it!!! Does anyone know if we need to get passports?? Can anyone explain duty-free shopping to me? If I don't get motion-sick or air-sick, will I get seasick? How much spending money should I bring? It's a 4 day cruise.

Oh, I would also like to ask my female readers: I am thinking about getting a spray-on tan and a bikini wax for this trip. Are they worth it? Or should I pass? (Sorry if this is TMI!)

I will share more about the cruise as I learn more about it. In case you cannot tell, I am wholly obsessed with this news, so I doubt I will talk about anything else for a while! Bear with me. I'm easily entertained. LOL


sassafras said...

I'm going on a cruise in April too! I have never been on one either so I will be back to hear what your readers suggest!

Virginia Belle said...

oh! yippee!!! we will have to share our experiences!!! where are you going on yours?

Christina said...

YAY for Cruises! I go on a cruise every other year, one being this past summer. I can give you some tips.

1. Take lots of cash. Using your credit cards on land is risky business. It is very easy for them to get your number and use it. Or, go to the store to get one of those re-loadable credit cards.
2. Spray tans are not really worth it but the bikini wax definitely is.
3. Alcohol is VERY EXPENSIVE!!!
4. You will have a formal dinner (or several) so take something nice.
5. Duty free shopping is cheap, the country doesn’t tax you locally or nationally but when you return to the US, they will. There is a cap on how much you buy before they tax you on your purchases. (hint: if you wear it they can't tax you on it) The shopping in other countries is amazing.
6. If you don’t get airsick, carsick or rollercoaster sick you may get seasick also. It really depends on where your room is.
7. The shopping is great. Always stick to the tourist areas. Outside the tourist areas are very, very dangerous.
8. You will have free time from the ship so google activities to do like swimming with the dolphins. It’s a little costly but worth it. Your ship will have theme nights, casinos and other fun things to do also.
9. You will need your passport.
10. You have to see the Atlantis. It is gorgeous. I stayed there once and it is breath-taking.
11. HAVE FUN!!!

Sorry this is so long. :)

You and CN will have a blast!

Phantom Hater said...

"Ok, because if you don't have the $400, I am going without you,"
lol. That's not exactly what I would call whipped.

I recommend the wax, but then I'm a bald-beav sorta guy myself.

My guess is the cruise is probably with Carnival if it's leaving out of Jacksonville.

Stuck said...

-If you need passports, you need to put that application in about a month ago. Those guys are slow at handing out new ones these days.

-Don't take your fishing rod. Most cruises frown on rednecks trolling off the stern. This is why I won't do a cruise.

cmk said...

We have friends who do a cruise every year, but we haven't gone with them. (They beg every year, but I get VIOLENT panic attacks just THINKING about floating on water! :() The sun WILL be very hot, so a few sessions in a tanning booth won't hurt. Depending on the cruise line/package, the booze MIGHT be included--and a LOT of drinking is done on these cruises. As Christina said, dressy clothes are required for at least one meal. And speaking of meals, the biggest activity--besides drinking--is eating. I guess there is an abundance of food at all times. And if you enjoy dancing, be prepared--our friends even have taken dance lessons so they can really enjoy their cruises! Have a great time!

Lynn-e said...

Never done a cruise, so I can't help you there. My guess would be that the $400 is just the beginning of the spending....

However, I've done the Mystic tanning and loved it. I don't tan because my whiteness surpasses most so tanning beds were out for me. (plus? a few too many skin cancer scares in my life) ANYWAY, Mystic tan was great.


Hannah said...

I've never commented before, but I just felt like adding my input...I'm the palest person you've ever seen (think Nicole Kidman pale) and spray tans have just turned me a slightly orange shade. Sigh. Bikini wax = a must, and really not that painful at all. I've been on a cruise in the Galapagos Islands on a 100-passenger boat, and I'm someone who gets seasick on smaller boats when they're docked, but I was 100% fine. Take some non-drowsy dramamine with you, just in case, for the daytime, and drowsy stuff for night.

JP said...

Lucky girl! I love cruises, I've been on two in the Caribbean. My advice:
*Take sunscreen and use it!
*Plan to come back from vacation with a few extra pounds because the food is plentiful and delicious.
*Participate in on-board activities. Most have pretty good shows and contests.
*There will probably be one dressy night at the Captain's Dinner. On other nights you can usually choose early (more casual) or late (dressier) seatings.
*The ship is so big, I've never had trouble with motion sickness. However, it feels weird when you're back on terra firma.
*Snorkling's pretty cool.

I also recommend setting up an ING online savings account. I have money automatically transferred from my checking to ING each month. I don't miss the money and I earn like 4 percent interest, versus .2 percent from a bank. If you want a referral, let me know-usually they give you a bonus for signing up through a referral. Citibank also has an online savings account, but to get the high interest rate you have to automatically pay two bills from the savings account.

Good luck and have fun!! Make sure you take a digital camera :)

Phantom Hater said...

"-Don't take your fishing rod."
lmao. For some reason, I don't think VB's much of a fisherman.

I do hope you have your passport. Those things are a nightmare to get nowadays.

As for jp's suggestion, ING Direct's rates suck now, especially with the latest Fed rate cut. There are better online options out there, although with rates as low as they are now, you might as well just keep your money under a mattress. lol

Since you're fair-skinned, I say, make a few visits to a tanning salon and forgo the spray tan, unless CN will be carrying a parasol over you the whole time. There's nothing worse on a cruise than getting a sunburn.

KT said...

YAY I am so excited for you!! I can't wait to hear all about it!! I expect tons of pictures :)

Smug said...

I am so excited for you!! I have always wanted to go on a cruse, but have never been. I think everyone's ideas of hitting the tanning bed is a good one, this time of the year, you can get really good deals. A place here is offering 5 months on unlimited tanning for $99 - see if you can get something like that. Waxing is great if you have someone experianced fo it for you, this is not something you want to do yourself.. trust me on this!!

I have become a wizz with the whole budgeting thing since we started the whole house buying thing - just get everything down on paper. For one month keep track of every penny (and I mean PENNY) you spend. This will give you a really good idea where your money is going. You will not believe the amount of money that my husband and I were spending on food (grocery's, snacks, lunches and dinners out, etc..)

Carolyn said...

WOW! exciting...
answer to your questions:
Passport -I'm not sure since I'm Canadian (I know I'd need one) but you better get on that quick. They take FOREVER.

Bikini wax -definitely they're so worth it. Hurt like nothing else, but not for very long (go to a reputable place!!!!) and are way worth the trouble... but go a few days early since the redness may take a day-ish to go down.

Spray-tan -no idea never had one, but I do use fake-tanner myself ocasionally and it is worth the effort.

have lots of fun!!!!!!!!!

RWA said...

I don't think "L" can say that CN is "pussy-whipped" if he's willing to go without you.

Hope this works out for y'all. Sounds like you'll have a great time.

Sugar Kane said...

I've been on two cruises, here are my suggestions:
1. Plan on spending the same amount while you're there as it cost you to get on the ship. I remember you writing that you don't drink, so that should be enough. Food will be covered, alcohol will not be.
2. Book your shore excursions early to make sure you get the ones you want. Take advantage of them.
3. The at sea days are the best!! Lots of shipboard activities.
4. Defintiely get a base tan before you go. Mystic is great, but won't save you froma sunburn at sea. And the sun in the Carribean is INTENSE.
5. Go snorkling.
6. Don't be afraid to act like a tourist. Everyone's there to have fun.

Dixie said...

OMG!! You are going to loooove it! I went on my first cruise last year to the Bahamas. Just be warned, the drinks are expensive!! I spent $300 in three nights on booze alone.

The wax will be well worth it!! Get it done!

Megan said...

I really want to go on a cruise. I can't wait to hear all about and I am copying all the tips for our first cruise. After the winter we have had I should book one for next week!

teahouse said...

Sigh, I'm jealous as well. I'm hoping to go on a cruise soon, too..I'm getting married in April so maybe a short one right after our wedding (our real honeymoon will be in the summer).

I'd say a bikini wax is always worth it!

Virginia Belle said...

christina -- wow! thank you so much for all your tips!i am glad to hear that bikini waxing is a good idea. the spray tanning makes your skin smell funny, anyway. also, i will be able to save a lot of $$ by not drinking alcohol. i have seen the atlantis in photos -- it's really beautiful. i can't wait to go shopping!!!

PH-- yeah, i think it must be carnival. one of their ships is leaving that same day.

stuck-- i don't really like fishing, so i don't think that will be a problem! luckily, i already have a passport, and CN can just use his birth certificate. the laws don't change until this summer.

cmk-- i'm looking forward to the dressing up, the eating and the dancing. but i don't tan and i don't drink, so those two things i will skip! give me a virgin colada and sunblock, please!

lynn-e -- oh, i'm sure $400 is just the beginning!!!

crap....time to leave work. i'll finish comments in a little while...

jennster said...

LMFAO @ i am going without you! HAHAHAHA.. love it!

jennster said...

oh yeah. i've been on a cruise to the bahamas, but i was so young, i don't remember shit. all i know is that it was super fun!