I was about to pull the trigger and place a deposit on the cruise from Vancouver to Tokyo, but I was a little anxious. The deposit alone was almost $3000, and with taxes and tips, the cruise looks to cost us about $8K. Despite reassurances from the cruise line, I was not confident that we could get the money back if plans changed for any reason. Not to mention we have to get to Vancouver. The same cruise cost $250 less per person last year when I first found it! Repositioning cruises (Florida- Europe) in April are about half the price. Why oh why?? Consternation abounds.
I had a discussion with Mr. Fantastic, during which he looked up prices on one-way flights from NYC to Bangkok. A glaring possibility I had not considered. It looks to be about $500pp. It would be a gnarly 24-hour ordeal, but then we would be there for about half the cruise price. We would not have the two weeks of room/board/entertainment, but on the plus side we would be closer to our first destination for a long-term stay and time-wise we save about 6 weeks (drive + cruise). As for the drive to Vancouver, we agree that is neutral since it wouldn’t cost too much and would be a nice part of the trip, but we are willing to forgo since we could do it at a later date and without vaccines/passports.
Another option is to leave in April 2016 rather than September 2015 and catch a cheap repositioning cruise to Europe. I found one from Texas to Italy for about $700pp. We bagged that idea pretty quickly, though, since we have already been planning and waiting for so many years and it is best to rent our house in the fall rather than spring. We are considering, for the return trip, a repositioning cruise from Europe back to the US which may extend our 1-year travel plan by a month or two, but we could score one of those for around $700pp.
So now the rough outline looks like flying from NYC to Bangkok, Thailand in late August/early September 2015. We would stay there a day or two (hook us up, airbnb!!) to recuperate from the flight then head for Battambang, Cambodia unless we find a better option. And we have about 9 months to figure out passports and vaccines and renting our house. I have to research vaccines more, but I do have a few hot tips from Dr. Mama Fabulous, who visited us this week with two of her kids – stay tuned for a post about that, BTW, adventures were had. And my savings for the deposit for the Vancouver cruise we will likely not take, well, part of that went to a car repair this week, part will go to passport fees, and the rest I hope to grow over the next months.