What Happened to My Virtual Cruise Life?

My little project “My Virtual Cruise Life” got put on hold as we got swept away in searching for and getting a boat under contract.

My Virtual Cruise Life–Interrupted

After years of watching good last-minute deals on Med cruises, I wondered whether or not it would be feasible to spend a summer cruising the Med using last-minute fares.  I called the experiment “My Virtual Cruise Life,” because I would be doing all the vacation planning, but not actually going on the cruises.  The idea was that you could spend a summer in Europe by alternating land segments and last minute cheap cruises.  I explored this idea in Starting My Virtual Cruise Life.  

In that first segment I got us to Europe on a Transatlantic cruise to Copenhagen, and then got us to our Rome staging area via a cheap flight on EasyJet.  The next segment was a cruise aboard the Norwegian Spirit (Virtual Cruise Life–Norwegian Spirit.)

That got us up through the end of May, and then I stopped posting about the virtual cruises.  Two things happened–I had serious technical blog problems (see How I Bombed My Blog Back to the Stone Age) and we got the idea that we wanted to buy a boat to cruise the Great Loop.

At this point I am going to have to assume that we have been (virtually) hanging out in Italy, perhaps doing a wine tour of the Veneto, or hiking in the Dolomites, or perhaps touring Tuscany by bike (certainly plenty to do in Northern Italy for a month.)  If we were looking to rest for awhile and get back aboard a cruise ship, we would find that last-minute deals are practically non-existent.  I was only able to find one cruise that meets my criteria of having interesting ports, is based out the Med, and has low per diem costs.

The Holland America Westerdam has a 12-night sailing from Venice to Rome that looks interesting:

Holland America July 10 Itinerary
Holland America July 10 Itinerary

The price would be reasonable for us because we qualify for interline rates (as parents of an airline employee.)  The total cost for one would be $999 (the listed rate) plus $152 (taxes and fees) plus $162 for gratuities.  This is a total of $1300 for 12 nights, or $108/day.  This is at the upper end of what we like to spend while doing extensive travel, but this would be the only reasonable option if we wanted to cruise in the Med next week!

Holland America Westerdam Interline Rate

Holland America Westerdam Interline Rate

Finding and Getting Our Great Loop Boat Under Contract

My biggest distraction has been looking for a suitable boat for our Great Loop cruise.  It has been fun but exhausting as we have been flying to different marinas on the Gulf and East coasts.  We put a boat under contract this week. We will be flying back and forth to the Chesapeake Bay as we get the inspections done and arrange for funds to be transferred.  It’s a lot like buying a house!  Of course if everything goes as planned, I will be blabbing and blogging all about the details as soon as we actually own the boat.

Please spare me the jokes about how owning a boat is like standing in a cold shower while you rip up $100 bills (it should be $1000 bills, actually.)  Or that the two happiest days of your life are when you buy your boat and then when you sell it.  Let us have an interlude of happiness before reality sets in!

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