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Some people love cruises. Take my brother. He has been on two, 7 Day cruises - THIS YEAR. But he also went with me on my Vietnam/Cambodia trip - so I'll give him a pass. Me? I'm not a cruiser. It just doesn't interest me. So how did I find myself sitting on the balcony of a cabin ON a cruise ship? Easy. My desire to help everyone "get out there and see the world". Here's where it started........ People are always saying "you don't invite me when you travel", so I invite them they say "that's out of my budget". Sigh. So since people tell me that cruising is affordable and that payment plans are available, my desire encouraged me to say "let's take a cruise". So I chose the dates, and the shortest cruise available. I sent out some invitations, got some takers and we were all set. I put down my deposit and created my flight alert. A few other people put down their deposit and I got excited because I was thinking "YES. WE ARE TAKING A TRIP!" Months passed, I sent out encouraging emails (they all ended with YaY), we talked about how much fun we were going to have, I purchased a flight and waited. And waited…..AND WAITED. I stopped sending encouraging emails and started sending emails that ended with “are you taking this &*$&# cruise?”

So let's see. I'm now on a 3 Day cruise to the Bahamas (where I have already been this year for a wedding, but I digress) with my “I will travel anywhere” daughter and a friend who has never left the country. I’m sitting on the balcony adding up my affordable cruise:

Cruise: $450 (includes transportation to the Bahamas, lodging, around the clock unlimited food - including ice cream, movies, live shows, clubs, casino and other activities)

Flight: $220 Car Rental: $90 (this was cheaper than each of us paying for round-trip transportation) Parking: $40 Gas: $20 Misc (internet, drinks on cruise, food/drinks on island): $75 So, my desire to help everyone "get out there and see the world" cost me approximately $900. That’s an average cost of $300/day……hmmmmm. I’ve planned longer, more exciting (for me) vacations for half the cost; but what hurt me the most was the 2 vacation days I lost. When I returned, I spent some time with myself, and we have come to an agreement. People who want to travel, well, will TRAVEL. I don’t have to invite them, I don’t have to encourage them, I don’t have to plan specialty trips for them. They will get out there. And they will see the world. P.S. – my friend did get her FIRST passport stamp. That is the only picture I saved!

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