You see, I had a few "musts" in regards to my vacation. First, I only wanted to spend 1/3 of what I received as my bonus. It could be a little more, but not too much more. Next, I only wanted to miss a week of work. Finally, I didn't want to come home from my vacation feeling more tired than before I left. Translation: no running from tourist site to tourist site, no driving endlessly to get from one city to the next, no waking up at dawn and not going to bed at 2am unless I could sleep on a deck chair the whole next day. In addition, Cardine wanted to go somewhere she hasn't been and Joie didn't want to have to plan all the details of a trip.
The cruise Cardine, Joie, and I chose satisfies these "musts" almost completely. Cardine hasn't been to any of the places we're going (more details to come), Joie doesn't have to worry about which hotels we'll be staying at/which restaurants to eat at/etc., and I'll get a restful vacation that was only marginally more expensive than I'd planned and that will only require me to miss one week of work (and possibly another day, depending on how I feel after getting home around 4am Monday).
Here are the details. We're going in August. We'll fly to Puerto Rico, where the cruise starts, then spend a week traveling to several Caribbean islands, including St. Lucia, Barbados, and Antigua. I can't wait. The last time I went on a cruise, I lost weight, rested a lot, had a lot of fun, and met interesting people. I hope this cruise will be even better. I've wanted to go to St. Lucia ever since I first heard about it from an investigator on my mission. She was from St. Lucia and couldn't believe I'd never heard of it. It piqued my curiosity and I've wanted to go there ever since. This time, I'm not so gung-ho about the cruiseline-sponsored shore excursions. A part of me would like to just walk around town, sit on a beach, and find a nice restaurant to relax in for awhile. I'm going to research each of the ports and just see what's there that I'd like to see.
It's a relief to have a vacation finally planned. I'm thrilled to be going with my two friends (and possibly, hopefully a third friend) and am grateful they want to go with me. I'm also excited about going to the Caribbean and seeing some place new. It's my grand adventure for 2007 and I can't wait!!