This is a question I get asked almost weekly. I’m not filthy rich, I don’t have a whole lot of money to toss around, yet I’m able to take several cruises per year. So, you ask, how do you do it? Well, for me, it’s a fairly simple process. First, my wife and I try to agree on where we would like to go… whether it be the Caribbean, the West Coast, New England, or wherever hits our fancy. Next, we try to determine the best time of the year to do this. If we are looking at Canada and New England, we are pretty much limited to late summer or early Fall. The Caribbean is easy, anytime during the year. Once we have these parts figured out, we try to decide when, as in, this year, next year, or the year after that. Yes, we plan ahead, which is how we are able to do as we plan. As soon as the itineraries are announced for a specific area, we look to see if it’s something we want. If not, we look at alternates. If nothing still tickles our fancy, we hold off, or put searching on hold. Inevitably, something will come up, whether it be a repositioning cruise, or a series of deals that make sense. It may even be a situation where a cruise now may pay off later. Case in point. We completed a cruise in January, and the cruise line made an offer to assist us in paying for an additional cruise, provided it was taken in this year, and met other criteria. As a result, our next cruise comes in at around $20 per person per day. So, in terms of planning, the earlier you plan ahead of the cruise, the cheaper your price. Also, by booking early, you have the options of spreading out your payments, based on your terms, versus someone elses. By booking early, you can get what you want, and not be taking whatever is left. You can choose the best tours and get them out of the way before sailing. You can put money aside for tours, for on board expenses, and not be jammed up worrying about how you will pay for everything. More importantly, you will have everything thought out before you commit, thus avoiding the pitfall of booking something you really are not interested in. You will have had the opportunity to research the areas, and who knows, you may just find something that’s really interesting, whether it be food tastings, areas to visit, or places absolutely the must see/do, all because you had the time. Now, for this next cruise coming up, We received a message from Princess showing some very nice, inexpensive cruises. This cruise leaves from Houston going to Cozumel, Belize, and Isle of Roatan, Honduras. We were at the last two many years ago, so it will be interesting to see the changes that have occurred in the interim. One activity I’m very interested in exploring is there is a new rum in Roatan, as well as rum cakes, infusions, and rum sauces. They have several outlets, but I’m interested in going to the original location which, from what I understand, has an awesome view from their location. As in other countries, they do not ship outside the country, so any product must be purchased at their stores, with the understanding if you didn’t buy enough, then you won’t get any more unless you return. I certainly hope the taste is worth it, and I’m planning on bringing some back. Hopefully, this will be the last cruise before our winter trip, especially now that there’s a repositioning cruise on the horizon that really has piqued my interest. But that’s for a later discussion.