Alaska North Pacific, Tibet, Mekong, Rai Lay, to Oz

World Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Friday, May 28, 2010 May,  5, 2010:
This will be the very detailed account of how one plans and executes bookings, for transport, accommodations, routes, and expenses.
We recently discovered cruising, and have been to Alaska twice, and round the horn in South America.  All trips were planned last minute on spur of moment because we saw excellent price deals on this cut rate site Vacations to Go Travel Site. Because of this there were tense moments when we thought we would not get on at all. So this time we said if we saw one that looked an amazing bargain to an area we both wanted to go, we would book immediately; well, almost immediately. We found this one which thrilled us both.  It departs from Vancouver, Canada ends in Beijing, China,and is a repositioning cruise, meaning that the ship Diamond Princess, is sailing to a new home port for the next season.
Cost: - We first saw it advertised at $1790 pp in an inside cabin. - We waited a week to see if it would decrease, but next time we looked it was $1999.  No more waiting.
- Very carefully I chose best booking agency to maximize needed frequent flyer points. Ended up using Continental Airlines Cruise department; I need to use this account again as I have not used it for ten years. With continental you never lose your points, they say, but I do not trust that, so the sooner I use my account the better. I get 10,000 points for using Continental cruises, so when they are credited, I will have 33,000 points. 
- I asked their agent to get me the least expensive cabin on the ship. She said there were two that always went for the lowest fare because of their position at end of a corridor, but they were also up high on 7th? deck. Cost: $1690 each, so OK!  We feel sure that because ours is a "lesser" cabin and because we doubt if the ship will be full, we will be upgraded.  The latest quote on Vacations to Go is $1950 so we are still winning in the price game.
-  Fly? Despite some grand fares, none are for one way,  and taxes make it infeasible anyway. Also, we never fly if we can find another way.  Our delight in flying died twenty years ago. 
- Via Rail? Yes, we love train trips, but that's how we went last time to YVR, and it is considerably more expensive than Bus.
- Bus? Yes. We will take a Greyhound bus from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to Vancouver via: - Edson, Hinton, Jasper, - and from here on I will have to fill it in as we go.  ..................   So I will have to figure out how best to record this. maybe I will just put in the date in this spot to make it consistent.

 SEPTEMBER 9: - We will depart from Edmonton. 
Checked Greyhound site for best fare:  If we use our HI card discount, we have to book 14? days in advance; If we take the Seniors package same thing; If we buy one seniors full fare, companion goes for half fare and we have to buy it only 3 days in advance. Must check that again tho as it could be 3 hours prior to departure. Whenever we have to book, that is the least expensive option for us. 
-ACCOMMODATION:   As we arrive Vancouver around 10p.m.?  we have to be sure we have a room booked. As Life Members of HI Canada, of course we check Vancouver Hostels first. We have stayed Downtown in a 2 bunk room with breakfast for around $75? for both of us. It is convenient to beach and Stanley Park.
After our last cruise we were lucky to find an amazing hotel deal in ..................? We loved it so much we kept on putting off our return to Edmonton and just hung out in Vancouver for a week in glorious sunshine.  Our room had a fine view that even included water glimpse.
     Keep checking the hotel rates in vancouver but they are not coming down enough .. So it is the Hostel which we will book this week. Another reason for booking that is that we have two $5 off coupons on Western Canada hostels;  a Life Member Gift sent to us when HI Alberta and Britsh Columbia became one.
           Also have to check on the Visas we need for China and for Thailand. We know we cannot do anything about the permission to travel in Tibet paperwork, until we get to Beijing. But don has already checked and there is a Consulate in Calgary for both countries. So we must time our trip when they are open for Visa business. We know we need a multiple entry visa for China because we are visiting two different ports enroute to Beijing.
         As we have various free hotel stays offered from visiting Condo resort weekends, we will try to use them in Calgary.   DETAILS ........?


see all comments
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Sponsored Links