So… how did this come about? Last year, Mr K and I cruised around New Zealand with Princess (for the 3rd time) and had a wonderful relaxing holiday which we naturally were posting about on Facebook as we travelled… as you do. Quite a few of our friends commented that they’d love to go on a cruise and well, I just assumed it was lip services, so back in January this year, I created an event “New Zealand Cruise”, chose a date, 30th December on the Sea Princess (for New Years Eve fun, and school holiday convenience and a lot of our public service type friends are on leave around that time anyway) and I thought maybe half a dozen people would want to come with us…?
Little did I know that we would end up with 24 cruisers in 11 cabins from Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra all deciding to join us! So in early Feb 2014, I did the bookings with a lovely lady – Princess Ann, I called her – and I did everything I could to minimise the cabin costs (this primarily involved switching all our past passengers around into different cabins to get a discounted cabin rate) and keep the initial deposit costs low. We didn’t have quite enough past passengers for discounted cabins for everyone, but the one cabin that missed out had an ex-military member so they scored themselves a nice chunk of OBC which kinda balanced things out nicely.
After we made our bookings and paid our deposits in early February the watching and the watching began… I was assured by Princess Ann that we could price match any discounted fares that we found along the way, and she was really helpful in doing that for us. Thanks to constant vigilance on the website, newspapers and promotional emails, I managed to get our entire group’s passage down from the original $AUD61,453.00 to $42,714.00 by the time final payments were due. Not bad if I do say so myself.
We’ve all been getting increasingly excited about the trip and there have been lots of questions flying around our little FB Cruise Group about packing, shore tours, cruise cards, embarkation processes, passport requirements and lord knows what else! It’s going to be a LOT of fun.
Oh, and did I mention the Steampunk cruise bit? My sister, BigSal and her family are coming along and almost literally the first thing she thinks of is ‘We will still be at sea for Borys’ birthday, we should have a Steampunk party in the Wheelhouse Bar!’ Because of course you can’t have a bar decorated like an Edwardian study without steampunk costumes… which is why we were all madly making steampunk costumes over the last few weeks! Thanks BigSal. Love your work *mutter mutter* sewing, extra luggage… hmmm.