Cruising to Cuba

Cruising to Cuba

The Wanderer and I joined in for Physician on FIRE’s pre-FinCon cruise.  Definitely a fun adventure!

Expenses

Date Cost Description
Cruise Cost
2/11/2018  $200.00 Royal Caribbean – Deposit
7/9/2018  $918.38 Royal Caribbean – Remainder
9/22/2018  $75.00 Cuban Entry Visa fee – Kristine
9/22/2018  $75.00 Cuban Entry Visa fee – Michael
9/25/2018  $114.73 Onboard gratuities for 4 days – charged automatically
 $1,383.11 Total
Transportation Cost
9/22/2018  $30.02 Uber to get to the ship
9/25/2018  $38.25 Uber home
 $68.27 Total
Extras
9/18/2018  $1.70 Onboard Pedicure (had $75 credit to offset rest of cost)
9/22/2018  $25.00 2 On-board Pina Coladas
9/23/2018  $7.51 Magnet from Key West
9/23/2018  $4.00 Beer and Pina Colada at Hog’s Breath in Key West
9/23/2018  $8.00 1 On-board Beer
9/24/2018  $8.00 Pineapple juices in Cuba
9/25/2018  $25.00 2 On-board Pina Coladas
 $89.21 Total

Final Total: $1,540.59

The cruise included lodging, transportation, all the food anyone could possibly eat, and all sorts of other goodies.  We did not get any additional packages or add-ons.  It’s clear that’s where most of the expense was.  All of it could have been mitigated by travel hacking.  We will definitely open some new cards next time we go on a cruise, since that’s basically a free trip with very little effort.  Overall, we really enjoyed our hotel on the water.

Thoughts on Cruising

Oh my gosh, the food.  There were so many good options every single day, and you could get one of everything.  We made a point to eat each meal on the boat, since we had already paid for it with our cruise ship price.  Bring an empty plastic water bottle that you can fill up on the boat before walking around the port.

We were in an interior room, lower on the ship and toward the center to help reduce the roll.  I was on the fence, but it actually worked out really well.  We spent so little time in the room, other than sleeping.  It was pitch black when we took naps.  Our cabin was near the front of the boat, so there was less traffic and noise.  We had to put everything away, or it started to feel extremely cramped and cluttered.  That would be any room, though, as they all were small.  The doors were metal, so if traveling with a group, consider small dollar-store whiteboards to stick on the outside.  That way, you can leave notes for each other about when to meet up (cell service on the water was spotty).

Normally we travel light, but for the cruise we threw in everything and the kitchen sink into our new suitcase.  I had dresses, shirts, skirts, shorts, and all sorts of goodies.  We just hung everything up in the closet when we got to our suite.  Since we left out of Tampa, there were no flight weight limits or size restrictions to contend with.

We would definitely cruise again!

More information for first time cruisers.

Thoughts on Key West

Mile 0 of highway 1!

It’s fun for a day!  There’s not a whole lot to see, but the laid back atmosphere was really nice.  I think driving down the entire keys would be more fun than just our brief stop with the ship.  Overall, it was very walkable and comfortable.  We made it all around the northern docks and went to the southernmost point of the continental US.  There were a ton of tourist shops, outdoor bars, and streets to wander.

We didn’t end up trying key lime pie.  If you live near a Publix, their original key lime pie is incredibly authentic.  It’s made with real key lime juice and graham cracker crust.  We eat key lime pie regularly, so we grabbed a drink near the docks instead.

Thoughts on Cuba

You really have to see it for yourself.

Happy travels!

The fort in Old Havana

2 Replies to “Cruising to Cuba”

  1. It was so nice meeting you and the hubs. Glad we got to share in the cruise and Cuba adventure and that we had that big table all to ourselves the first night at dinner. Hope you guys are doing well.

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