I know it seems like all we do is travel, travel, TRAVEL! Cruising around the Caribbean in November, spending Christmas week in London town and now here we go again. Too much galavanting about in too short a period of time, you say? Well, maybe – I’m just grateful that we get to go at all!
You may have already noticed that I like to plan my travel way ahead. At this point, we’ve booked trips (mostly cruises) through 2017. I think it’s great to get them on the calendar. Sometimes, there’s a financial incentive to booking early. If you’re traveling by ship, perhaps you want to snag a certain cabin. Maybe you’re traveling with friends or family and need to coordinate. You get my drift.
Here’s the deal: our cruise line of choice for the past 11 years has been Crystal Cruises. We’ve sailed on Serenity or Symphony more frequently than all other cruises we’ve taken combined. We like the service, the crew, the spaciousness of the vessels and, not least, the passengers with whom we sail, many of whom have become good friends over the years.
TRAVEL TIP: Crystal Cruises
So, about 2 years ago, Crystal announced that, in January 2016, Symphony would be sailing from Buenos Aires to Antarctica and to several other ports. We’d never been to Buenos Aires, let alone South America. And how many opportunities do you have to visit Antarctica? It sounded too good to pass up, and so we booked it, way back then. I contacted my friends at Tully Luxury Travel, chose my cabin, and they booked it for us. Thank you, Nada and Monika.
TRAVEL TIP: Tully Luxury Travel
Look what awaits us in about 2 weeks!
As it turns out, my sister, Leslie, and her husband, Ron – who introduced us to Crystal Cruises back in 2005 – decided that they wanted to get in on the action and offered to join us. They’re good sailing buddies, so we thought “why not”?
Here’s where we’ll be going
In addition, we have other good friends who are joining us on this cruise, at least 4 of them (that we know about). One fun thing about Crystal is that, while you’re at the terminal waiting to embark on sailing day, you’re inevitably going to run into people with whom you’ve cruised before. AAC CPA and I are always amazed (and totally flattered) when people walk up to us on line, reintroduce themselves and say how pleased they are to see us again. That’s pretty nice, right? That’s also part of the Crystal experience.
Our cruise doesn’t begin until January 13th, so we decided to fly down to BA this Thursday evening (American Airlines has an 11 hour, nonstop overnight flight from JFK to EZE) and we’ll spend 5 nights at the Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt. It’s reputed to be one of the loveliest hotels in Buenos Aires. Thank you Veronica at AmEx Platinum FHR for taking care of our hotel reservations.
TRAVEL TIP: AmEx Platinum FHR Program
We’ll be there in just about 72 hours
Our digs for 5 nights
TRAVEL TIP: Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt
Oh, and here’s another little TRAVEL TIP, if you have the means to do it. You know when your cruise ends and you’re thrown off the ship first thing in the morning (probably kicking and screaming and in total denial)? Well, what if your flight home doesn’t depart for another 13 hours? What’cha gonna do?? Our policy is if you don’t ask, you don’t get. So we asked Veronica if she would contact the Park Hyatt and inquire if we could reserve a “day room” until it was time to leave for the airport that evening. Guess what? We asked and we got! (Thanks again, Veronica!) We’ll be able to check in as early as 9:00 AM, and we’ll have the room until early evening. And, because it’s only a “day room”, the rate has been reduced. So now it won’t hurt so much to get off the ship – we’ll be able to laze around the hotel, hang out by the pool or the spa, and just be pampered, pampered, pampered.
If you’ve been following my posts at all, you know that I’ve already booked our dinner reservations and retained the services of a very cool guide who will squire us around the city.
And for all of you concerned with jet lag, here’s a cool travel fact: there’s only a 2-hour time difference between NYC and BA. Not only that, it’ll be the same everywhere we sail on the cruise. Jet lag: BE GONE!
Guess who lived here once upon a time
I’ll be posting while we’re away although, as usual, we’ll probably have the usual lousy Internet challenges for the 2 weeks we’re aboard Symphony. I know, poor us!!
Stay tuned – it’s going to be a great trip!