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  1. Firstly let me thank all on this site for the knowledge they have shared, being a new cruiser i didnt know what to expect but the information and friendliness shared on this site has made me less worried about things. For me this upcoming cruise has been a long time coming, in fact over 20 years, it's a bucket list item that i thought i would never be able to tick off! I have dragged my wife to some strange cities and countries around the world, be it on vacation or for work but one thing i could never do was get her to go on a cruise due to her dislike ( thats an understatement ) of water. However this year as this trip is for my 50th birthday she had to relent ? hopefully this cruise is the first of many! We fly British Airways (BA)from a very cold and wet North East of Scotland on Thursday, heading to New York via Heathrow with a 7hr layover in JFK before boarding our Delta flight down to Peurto Rico for a 2 day stay before our cruise. I booked both of these flights as soon as i was able to (11 months out) and i have watched prices daily, BA has never dropped, Delta i could have saved a little ($100) if i waited one month. Since then prices have risen so it was a good idea to ignore my wifes advice to wait until 2 or 3 months out. The hotel of choice having read good reports on it was the Sheraton in Old San Juan, right opposite the cruise port or so i thought! Thanks to info on here i found out that RC leave from another terminal, that along with the fact my wife saw a photo of a hotel with a beach with hammocks on it where we could just chill on our first day sipping cocktails after a long flight, i decided a change was needed, booked the Courtyard by Marriot Isla Verde ( yes the one with hammocks) as soon as dates appeared available and since then i was watched the prices rocket, so again good idea to book as soon as you can. The cruise itself was booked through a UK travel agent, i didnt have a clue which one to use but noticed one was giving you a price match, $100 OBC and free drinks package and 6 bottles of red wine if you booked through them, the wine was the deciding factor and i must admit they tasted nice. Room is an oceanview on deck 9, i wanted a balcony but had to compromise as my wife wasn't keen on a balcony on first cruise. For UK cruisers i used trivago to look for best deal on hotel, skyscanner for flights and just searched for best deal on cruise, i then went onto TOP CASHBACK and used that as a link to BA, Booking.com and company for insurance and have ended up with a £200 payback which is extra money to spend on holiday ONBOARD Voom purchased for my wife using OBC so she can keep in touch with family back home As i got drinks package FOC, theres no point adding up bar bill to see if i break even, also the fact as im scottish the batterey would probably run out an calculator from over use?? Schedule Thursday 22nd Aberdeen to Newyork Friday 23rd New York to Peurto Rico : 2 night stay CRUISE ITERNERARY BASSETERRE, ST KITTS & NEVIS ST. JOHNS, ANTIGUA CASTRIES, ST. LUCIA BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS PHILIPSBURG, ST. MAARTEN Back to San Juan SJU TO JFK As we just like to wing it and decide what we want to do when we wake up or sober up lol, the only things we have planned are Bernards tours in St Maarten and Atlantis Submarine in Barbados ( another bucket list item so i had to bribe my wife for this one) After the cruise we head back to the big apple and heres where the bribery kicks in, a 2 night stay in the Grand Hyatt in NYC taking in the xmas lights etc, ice skating in Bryant Park even though i've never skated in my life( just as well i have idiots abroad travel insurance) some Xmas shopping at Jersey gardens, however my wife wants to visit Tiffany's for her present ? and just when i thought everything was done and i could relax without having to spend anymore more money, John Legend announces a tour where his only New York date corresponds with our time there and knowing full well what my wifes reaction would be if we get there and she see's advertisements for his concert, its easier for me to have a quiet life if i just open my wallet and purchase 2 tickets All packed and counting down the days ? Ray
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