My dear wife Karen is way ahead of me being way ahead

Brenda and JoAnn.

Brenda and JoAnn.

Our great friends Brenda and JoAnn play the group cruises ahead of time.

So they called a Cruise Buddies breakfast for this past Sunday at Good Golly in Central Square to talk about the next time this gang will get on the big ship.

Month: September.

Year: 2016.

Way ahead of time. That’s how our fearless leaders get us the best prices on Royal Caribbean International. And so this past midweek, my dear wife Karen and I talked about how we wanted to go, oh yes, to the seven-nighter that will leave out of Orlando of Florida and include ports of call in St. Thomas and St. Maarten. A cruise on which we’ve not been.

But, I said, expenses. We don’t have to sign up now. We have time.

We arrived to the breakfast and I saw the faces of our good friends and JoAnn and Brenda handed out sheets to those already commited and talked of the lowered prices offered by our fantastic agent Naomi at Liberty Travel being held for us for only so long. I turned to Karen and said I have just the plan to make our reservations.

So she pulled out her phone, punched the screen, and showed me the email from Naomi confirming us that had arrived two days earlier. Quicker than me, again, my dear wife Karen. This is going to be this year’s anniversary and Christmas presents to each other. I can feel the sun and fun and taste the food and see the shows already.

The group at Good Golly. (Photo by Brenda)

The group at Good Golly. (Photo by Brenda)

How far in advance have you scheduled a vacation? Have you been to St. Thomas or St. Maarten, and if so, what should we be looking forward to there? Have you any cruise ship stories to share?

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55 thoughts on “My dear wife Karen is way ahead of me being way ahead

  1. It sounds great! I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time with sun, relaxation, things to do, and good friends with you! I haven’t planned a big trip at all, much less one so far in advance. The closest thing would be when I went to Italy (once with each daughter) with a group. The trips were planned by the Latin teacher, who is very organized, and the planning was started about a year before each trip.

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  2. You are one spur of the moment son of a gun Mark. O_o I’m planning out 2020 this year. Bwahaha! just kidding. It is great that your kids are off doing their own thing, you can plan ahead. It is wonderful to get good prices. I’ve never been to the warmer seas, so I’ll be looking forward to your posts when you return. ;D (ps – I’ll say good bye closer to the leave time.)

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    • Yes, we save by at least a third doing it in this manner, Paul. Otherwise, we wouldn’t even go! The earlybird catches the bargain I guess. Also because my group leaders pictured have booked so many through the agency and the cruise line. They’re maybe over 20, so the whole group benefits from their platinum level. Yes, you can wave bon voyage later, my friend. πŸ™‚

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  3. That’s great Mark!! For big vacations like that you have to plan ahead!! We usually start about two years out, which is what we did for Scotland. Earlier this year we started plans and savings for a week in Key West for my birthday over New Year’s. I’ve been on a cruise down there but it was so long ago (and so many rum-based drinks were involved) I don’t remember details other than it was great fun!! These kind of presents are way better than something you unwrap!!

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    • I agree, Katie. I love these sort of gifts, and the plannng really helps. Enjoy your Key West trip! MDW Karen and I have been there with the cruise line, too, and yes, beer was involved in several of the bars. I’ll stop the story there save to say I remember each place in great detail. πŸ™‚ I think a week on land would be … well … be sure to moderate! πŸ™‚ And catch that sunset at Mallory Pier so you can applaud with the hundreds of fans. I will never forget that goosebump moment.

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  4. Seeing you asked, Mark πŸ˜‰ …we are now planning our first cruise, slated for Easter next year. It will be in the Caribbean but we aren’t sure which ports are included yet. The best thing is my daughter, son-in-law and grandkids are going too!

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  5. We cruised the Mediterranean for our 30th anniversary on Royal Caribbean. It was great chiefly because of excellent shore excursions. Cruising can be such a stress-free mode of travel; once you’re there and unpacked, you can pretty much shut off your brain and sometimes you need a vacation just like that. No planning, no worrying about currency conversions, etc.

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    • Yes, MDW Karen and I call it our floating hotel and restaurant and theater, all in one. We get off the ship and do our thing, their way or our way, in every port, too. I like the RCI set-up bus tours a lot, for the reasons you state, Barbara.

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  6. Um, I don’t care for sea travel. I’ve been on big fishing boats and a sail boat, and I didn’t like either. Plus, sea monsters, Mark.
    I have only been to the Caymans, so I have no idea what you’re in for exactly, but I am ghastly white and have no business in the Caribbean. Although, the cocktails were delish…Gah, those yellow birds. Do not drink too many yellow birds and fall asleep on a glass bottom boat. You may require medical intervention after that…
    I married a Marine, so he desperately wants me to take a cruise. Maybe one of those Viking cruises when we’re very very old. Like so old a death via sea monster sounds good…
    Sorry to go all Debbie Downer on you. My friends and family love cruises and the Caribbean, so you probably will too πŸ˜€

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  7. Good for you and Karen, Mark, especially since you missed the opportunity last time! I plan all sorts of traveling in my head, oh the places I would see, but in reality, I mostly visit in my imagination. I do want to do a trip to the south this winter though, where? I don’t know, but I’m already saving for it! ❀
    Diana xo

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  8. Mark that sounds like a lot of fun! I’ve never been on a cruise before.

    As far as planning a trip, two years in advance is the farthest I’ve ever planned ahead. It was worth the wait. πŸ™‚

    Bon voyage.

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  9. This sounds like “The Great Escape,” Mark and Karen! You both deserve a 2016 cruise to islands and warmer climates. Anniversary and holidays combined. Wonderful! Glad you are getting excited and confirmed, too!!

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  10. I’m BEYOND impressed, Mark! Dear Lord our family can barely plan this summer, LOL! Good for you and Karen. Well earned and something terrific to look forward to!

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  11. We planned our first trip to Ireland about a year in advance. That was the longest we’ve taken to plan a trip. And it was worth the wait. I’ve never been on a cruise. Part of me says …yes! The other part says….no!!!! πŸ™‚

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    • Oh, wow. We’re leaving from Caniveral. We gotta talk about this, Rachel. We go down a day before and stay at a hotel and eat dinner and you can join us. You and Michelle ever been on a cruise?

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  12. i am so excited for you!!! wow, what a great surprise and fantastic gift to each other. you are so lucky to have karen in your life, planning and organizing all these great things )

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