Saturday, January 12, 2008

Two Weeks Till Open Ocean

Ten days of my vacation start in just two weeks from today. Where am I going? Don’t really know and, to be honest, don’t really care. I’m one of those cruisers for whom the ship itself is the destination and the ports of call are just interesting daytime stops.

Some folks are port-intensive when they book a sail, while a good percentage are like me and just want a relaxing trip, regardless of where we call along the way. I know we are going south into the Caribbean and it’s one of the last trips my cruise line will be making from New York City. Pity; it’s so easy for me to make the pier by bus from where I live.

But, when it’s a little more than two days’ straight sailing from NYC down to the first island, and the same distance back, the cost of coal (or gasoline or oil, whatever) is pretty steep. Much cheaper to start the cruise from Fort Lauderdale and battle the pirates on the first day out, rather than waiting two days before we hear, “Arrrr, mateys!” from deadly people on the dock who look suspiciously like the ship’s photographer and assistants.

My next proposed trip, to be or not to be, is in the first half of September. There is a new tangle over a long-standing act dealing with carriage of passengers in/out of, and between, US ports. The cruise line and I see my trip from Boston to Montreal and back as two separate bookings; the Feds see it as one cruise and just got in the mood to mess up people who do that without their ship staying in some foreign port for 48 hours. It looks to some of us as if there are interests (read: $$) at play here and palms may have been greased. For people like myself who will no longer put up with flying, stay tuned.


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