I'm Jeff, 44, live in western Mass., and I've been on a few cruises. Rather than insist
on a particular ship or line, I usually choose according to itinerary, then see who's
offering a good deal, especially for a single traveler. But being an ocean liner buff
since I was a kid, I'll make exceptions; I made a point of sailing on the Norway-- formerly
the SS France-- a special treat for me.
While browsing Cunard's website, I saw that the Queen Mary 2 has a two-week cruise in
2004, departing NYC on Dec 6 for Fort Lauderdale, and calling at San Juan Puerto Rico,
Curacao, Bonaire, Barbados, Martinique, St Maarten, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
This will be 11 months after the Mary's maiden voyage, long after the high demand for
early sailings has worn off. Nov through Jan is the off-season to begin with, and
repositioning cruises always offer the lowest per-day fares. For a basic inside cabin,
(no great sacrifice, since even these are nearly 200 sq ft) Cunard had an advance-
booking rate, including port charges, of $1599 per person, plus $50 tax. By the time I
found a traveling companion on this message board a few months back, the lowest category
had already sold out and Cunard had already begun jacking up prices, but I was able to come
within fifty bucks ($1700 total) of the original deal by shopping the online agencies.
(For comparison, this is almost exactly what it would cost you to spend two weeks at the
Fresno Airport Holiday Inn-- not nearly as much fun, I'm guessing. HOWEVER: add travel
insurance; tips, drinks & other onboard incidentals; touring ashore; and airfare, and I'd
plan on budgeting about a grand additional. And if no cruise would be complete for you
without some full-contact shopping and a reckless gambling spree, you'll need to budget
for that accordingly.)
Now that my original roomie has regretfully had to bow out due to a threat of possible
job loss, I'm renewing my search for someone to share the trip with me. I'll need to settle
the arrangements by September, or cancel, so time is of the essence.
I expect we'd have a better chance of getting along if we're similar in age. I'm not
expecting some kind of fantasy shipboard romance, so your gender is not as important as
being a non-smoker, considerate, thoughtful and responsible. In any travel situation, a
great sense of humor always helps. Also, NOT snoring is KEY.
So if the chance to enjoy two weeks aboard this amazing, one-of-a-kind vessel sounds
good to you, please leave a post below or email me directly, and we'll take it from there.