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Old 09-19-2015, 07:37 AM   #41
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Are these dates correct, I know cruises will schedule that far ahead, but thought that airlines only do booking about 12-14 months ahead, did you book thru the cruise line? Do you buy any trip insurance for these far out trips or simply eat the fees and non-refundable costs if you need to cancel or can't go on the trip?
Excuse me. Finger burp. April, 2016 is when we're going on the cruise from Italy to Greece and Turkey.

The best website to watch for cruise schedules and prices is VacationstoGo.com. The repositioning cruises are incredibly good values for those (1) with the time to spend 2 weeks at sea and (2) those that are experienced cruisers. I wouldn't suggest them for a first time cruiser. Most repositioning takes place late April and in October of every year. No, I don't buy trip insurance as my wife and I are in good physical shape

Someone mentioned staying in Europe for an extended time after taking a repositioning cruise. Don't forget that the Schengen Agreement only allows Americans to stay in the European Union for 90 days out of a 180 day period without a Visa. Visa's are very difficult to get if you're not a full time college student. You can duck into the U.K. which doesn't count toward the 90 day maximum, however.

We flew Norwegian Air Shuttle on our recent trip from Orlando to Copenhagen for about half the normal airfare. They have an extensive network of budget flights within Europe for ridiculously low fares. Just be ready to picnic as food and drink is optional. And their one way fares allow those to fly back to the U.S. cheap. We often use EasyJet.com to get us around Europe after we get to London Gatwick Airport--about $100 each leg.
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Old 09-19-2015, 07:53 AM   #42
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Bamaman, can I ask why you would not recommend a repo cruise for first-timers? Thanks.
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Old 09-19-2015, 08:20 AM   #43
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Bamaman, can I ask why you would not recommend a repo cruise for first-timers? Thanks.
Showed Bamaman's post to DW, whose first ship experience was a westbound repositioning cruise Barcelona-Florida; she enjoyed it so much that we took a second one, some 4 weeks later, Civitavecchia-Florida.
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Old 09-19-2015, 09:02 AM   #44
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When we did our first long term (for us) trip outside the U.S. we put our cable and phone on vacation hold, so those expenses really dropped. Gas, electric, water etc were way down since we were away, no mortgage, so we did find our fixed costs drop quite a bit.

You got your lender to stop your mortgage payments while you were away
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Old 09-19-2015, 09:40 AM   #45
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Bamaman, can I ask why you would not recommend a repo cruise for first-timers? Thanks.
I haven't yet taken my first repositioning cruise, but I suspect there are two reasons.

1. The middle of an ocean is a long way from anywhere. If you discover that life on board bores you silly, you are stuck until you reach the next port, which could be a week away.

2. The middle of an ocean is a long way from anywhere. There be storms, sometimes. And you have no choice but to hunker down.
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Old 09-19-2015, 09:46 AM   #46
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There be storms, sometimes. And you have no choice but to hunker down.
But, but......that's the fun part of it.
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Old 09-19-2015, 09:53 AM   #47
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Darn!... One more calculation to add to my budget... Pretty much limited to the fuel cost of going back and forth to the lake... 25 miles each way. I don't include the 1/4 mile trip to Aldi's... Should I?
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Old 09-19-2015, 09:56 AM   #48
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Darn!... One more calculation to add to my budget... Pretty much limited to the fuel cost of going back and forth to the lake... 25 miles each way. I don't include the 1/4 mile trip to Aldi's... Should I?
Heh heh, I think you're overanalyzing this!
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Old 09-19-2015, 10:10 AM   #49
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You got your lender to stop your mortgage payments while you were away
Yes, after we paid it off for they stopped asking us for monthly payments
If you pay rent or a mortgage it would be difficult to reduce expenses with long term stays in lower cost areas such as SE Asia as we found we were able to do.

I have one question though for those that spend a lot of time living in different areas. When you are at one, do you miss the other? I was enjoying our summer so much in San Diego, that it was difficult to think about spending so much time away. Then we left for 3 months for our home in SE Asia.

But after I got into life there I didn't want to come home. After our three months were up, I really wasn't ready to leave. I had started making new friends, and found places we liked to go, things we enjoyed doing. We were just getting started, and then we had to come home.

But then after being home again, I got into things here, enjoying the summer, spending time doing the things we enjoy here, seeing friends and family, which I will miss when we leave again.

But I want to go, I love the experiences of travel, I love it when I am traveling. Am I weird? I want to be TWO places at once!

I am like a very young kid I saw who ate their first hot wing. They took a bite and then cried. Then took another bite and cried again. They could neither stop crying nor stop eating the spicy hot wings. That is how I feel sometimes.
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Old 09-19-2015, 10:17 AM   #50
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We took a repo cruise across the Atlantic. Early May, weather was perfect. Smaller ship, Regent, really enjoyed it. Highlight was their Cordon Bleu cooking school. Lots to do on the ship. Very good pricing. We often don't get off at ports if the tours are mundane. Always seem to be waiting for "Aunt Matilda" to get back on the bus. Haven't done a cruise for a few years. We find the mainstream large ships too mass market for us.
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Old 09-19-2015, 10:21 AM   #51
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I have one question though for those that spend a lot of time living in different areas. When you are at one, do you miss the other? (
We tend to travel to our next place every 3-4 weeks. Always happy to get to the next place but often a little sad leaving the place we are at.
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Old 09-19-2015, 10:46 AM   #52
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We tend to travel to our next place every 3-4 weeks. Always happy to get to the next place but often a little sad leaving the place we are at.
So which one is your mailing address? Is there one that you call "home"?
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Old 09-19-2015, 11:02 AM   #53
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Different mailing addresses for different purposes. US address for all US banking, CC's, US items. Canadian mailing address is in Canmore. Have arranged as much as possible to be electronic. Home is where the heart is and our heart is where we are at that moment. Our friends/family never know where we are.
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Old 09-19-2015, 11:25 AM   #54
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By the end of this year I anticipate the travel will have cost us 50 percent of our total expenses, a little less than half of the travel $$ for a trip to Japan. Next year should be less. Maybe.

At least most of our travel is optional (travel to our of town DS's home is mandatory for me), so if we need to cut it back, we will. And when it's not fun any more, we will stop.
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Old 09-19-2015, 11:28 AM   #55
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I do look at it that way. Of course I enter travel expenses in my Travel category. But I realize that I would have been spending money on groceries, gas, etc at home if I were not traveling. For example, in 2016 I will be taking a 13 day repositioning cruise across the Atlantic. For less than the cost of a business class airfare, I will get transportation plus almost two weeks of living expenses. When I get to Europe I will be spending two weeks there, one of which will be at an upscale resort that I am exchanging time with. I will be able to prepare many of my own meals. And because many of my travel expenses will have been prepaid, I expect that my total spending that month may be lower than at home. Looked at like that, I can't afford not to travel. Thanks to ER, I have the time to do so.
This trip sounds amazing!
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Old 09-19-2015, 12:39 PM   #56
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We're making some changes to our budget as we prepare for semi-retirement, but the end result will be that travel is 15-25% of our budget depending on the year. Budget for things like groceries will travel with us, so even higher if you look at it that way.

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Old 09-19-2015, 12:54 PM   #57
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About $2-3k per year, or 10% of my budget.

I am trying to convince myself to raise it because I really want to go to Europe next year.
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Old 09-19-2015, 02:16 PM   #58
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Just my must do trips to visit daughter , grandsons & mother cost me $4,000 add in a trip for us and we are close to $8,000 or more . That represents 10% of annual budget .
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Old 09-19-2015, 02:50 PM   #59
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Bamaman, can I ask why you would not recommend a repo cruise for first-timers? Thanks.
Many people don't feel secure when out at sea. And many don't do well with motion. Going 5-7 days without seeing land wouldn't bother me one bit, but it might bother those that have never been on any cruise.

Heck, I've floated around the ocean 2 days (without propulsion) in 65 mph winds waiting for the Mississippi River to reopen.

I just think those taking a long cross-Atlantic cruise need to have taken a cruise before--so they don't have any surprises.
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Old 09-19-2015, 02:58 PM   #60
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Showed Bamaman's post to DW, whose first ship experience was a westbound repositioning cruise Barcelona-Florida; she enjoyed it so much that we took a second one, some 4 weeks later, Civitavecchia-Florida.
Sounds like my wife. We've been home 1 week from our Baltic Cruise out of Copenhagen and she's not ready to stop traveling.

My wife and her girlfriend are going out of Tampa 11/1/2015 week--to Belize and Mexico.

She found a bargain and booked us on a 4/2016 Celebrity cruise out of Rome thru Greece to Turkey and back to Venice. Then we fly thru Berlin and back to London on the way home.

I gotta slow down sometime.
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