Friday, September 25, 2009

The Cruise Extravaganza Begins..

Woo hoo! And we’re off! Well, not off on the ocean yet, but off to Ft Lauderdale. Me & Liz took Barky (Rocko) to doggy summer camp yesterday and there were so many people making a fuss over him he didn’t even know I was gone so I can now cruise guilt free - although the castle was eerily quiet without him.

So we packed up and I went to check us in online on Continental and they offered us a first class upgrade for $79. And I had one of ‘those’ moments when you wonder if its worth it. I mean we all still get there together so does it really matter? Now I will admit that I’ve never flown first class. I’m a hard core Southwest Airlines person and first class flies in the face of flying for ‘peanuts’. But in this case I felt I was more than justified since continental charges $55 for 2 bags – Each way. And if you upgrade then you get three bags for free so if I can fly First Class for $79 round trip that saves $31 net – for both me and Kevin.

So after we got off the puddle jumper and onto the real plane in Houston for Ft Lauderdale, we settled into the cushy first class seats. Then they served us chicken fajita wraps that were hot and fresh fruit on real plates with real silverware. They also serve all the beer and wine you want FREE and your earphones are FREE too! I had no idea they did that on these shorter flights and of course now we’re hooked. But it made me realize that they are really soaking everyone who is paying coach. We got the flights for less than $400 each on Expedia and the upgraded to First Class and paid no baggage fees, no booze fees and no other fees AND our luggage was marked priority and came off the plane first and we were on our way. It just goes to show that you really have to do the math because just because you assume you are saving a buck by squishing into that uncomfortable middle seat in coach between Tonya the Talker and Sam the Smelly, doesn’t mean it’s true.

So anyway we get to Ft Lauderdale just fine and dandy and arrive at the hotel for the night which I paid with my Starwood points for free AND they didn’t have many people there today so they upgraded us to club level (don’t you love upgrades on stuff that’s already FREE?). We then went down to the lobby bar and had our first official vacation fruity drink. Kevin had a Pina Colada and I had a Mai Tai (make that two). Kevin kept getting brain freeze but I was down for the count. We started the day at 5 am so it didn’t take much to put me out.

After a short nap we got headed over to Truluck’s for our birthday dinner. The place was nice of course and had a hoppin’ bar with live music. We decided to try the Alaskan King Crab since we’re rarely ever in a place that really has good seafood and Truluck’s is known for its crab. I have to say it was totally better than lobster. For dinner Kevin got the Joshua Crab (cousin to the stone crab) and I got the Prosciutto wrapped Mahi Mahi. Mine was excellent! Of course if you wrap bacon around anything its going to be good. Kevin said his was okay. Not because the Joshua Crab was bad, but he just liked the King Crab so much better. He said it was like following lobster with a plate of tadpoles. They put a candle on a piece of chocolate cake for our birthday. Happy Birthday to us! Now tomorrow we get on the boat!!!

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