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  #1 (permalink)  
Old March 16th, 2008, 09:13 PM
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Default Time to cut back a little

My wife and I orginally wanted to book a seven day cruise on the Carnival Valor. We always book two cabins because we travel with our three children. This year we decided to scale back our cruise vacation a little. It seems the cost of airline tickets has sky rocketed and because of the extra cost we decided to go with a five day cruise over a seven day. A cruise on the Carnival Imagination seems to be a fare deal. In the past we able to purchase airline tickets out of NYC to Miami for about $130 each. The cost of a ticket has now risen to $300 a person. I guess the increased inflation rate and cost of energy is putting a damper on our lives. In addition I just completed my master's degree in education and will soon be facing a monthly student loan payment of $550 a month. Is it me or is this economy hurting every one? Perhaps next year we will just spend a week in Cape Cod or Virginia Beach. Seems a family vacation budget of $5500 does not get you very far today.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 10:35 PM
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It is not you. The price of EVERYTHING has skyrocketed. I went into the supermarket yesterday and came out with a very bad case of sticker shock from the prices.

$300 to miami is a bit high. I suggest you continue to look. You will not find $130 but you should be able to find $180-$200. Try Jetblue and keep checking the price is sure to drop.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 09:10 AM
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THe cheapest flight quote I got from Jersey to Miami nonstop for 2 is $584.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 03:54 PM
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Register on Orbitz. You can setit up so that they will notify you if a price drops to the price range that you are looking for.

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Old March 17th, 2008, 07:25 PM
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It's tough. I heard that cruises from NYC to the caribbean are expensive because fuel is getting so expensive. But the summer cruises to Halifax, etc, from NYCity are still reasonable. maybe you should wait for those?
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Old March 17th, 2008, 08:32 PM
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Don't take this the wrong way, but leave the kids with the grandparents and enjoy a second honeymoon alone for seven days. You can make it up to the kids by taking a week camping or to the nearest beach area.

No matter how it works, five people on a five day cruise is still going to be expensive, even with the cheapest cabins.

As for high student loans, I am wondering if your student loan has the option of remission where a portion of the loan can be paid by the gov't. In Canada the student loan remission program works well, I had a $14000 student loan (for two years) and I got $4000 taken off by way of remission. I'm still paying for the loan, but $67/month isn't much and I can claim the interest paid on my taxes each year (around $500)...
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Old March 17th, 2008, 09:56 PM
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Princess Caribbean does a 9 niter out of New York to the caribbean. August 15 it would be $2,200. for the cabin for 2. I thought that was a good rate. If you want two cabins $4,400. or do the one cabin and it would be cheaper.

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Old March 17th, 2008, 10:24 PM
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Thanks every one for your advice. My wife and I looked into the Princess cruise out of New York City and it seems they can only offer us the outside cabins which start at $1600. The kids are coming with us. Both of our parents are just not up to taking care of the kids. My father in-law is 76 and has Alzimer's. He is in a terrible state. Its horrible to see some you have known most of your life to suffer such a terrible disease. Friends we most all live life to its fullest because we never know what life has in store for us. I applied to teach in the New York City school system. I find my talents we be best put to use there and they will pay back a good part of tuition through their loan forgiveness plan. Hope full every thing will work out and this time next year we can all expect better times for all of us.
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Old March 18th, 2008, 09:22 AM
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Default Re: Time to cut back a little

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Originally Posted by stac2006
My wife and I orginally wanted to book a seven day cruise on the Carnival Valor. We always book two cabins because we travel with our three children. This year we decided to scale back our cruise vacation a little. It seems the cost of airline tickets has sky rocketed and because of the extra cost we decided to go with a five day cruise over a seven day. A cruise on the Carnival Imagination seems to be a fare deal. In the past we able to purchase airline tickets out of NYC to Miami for about $130 each. The cost of a ticket has now risen to $300 a person. I guess the increased inflation rate and cost of energy is putting a damper on our lives. In addition I just completed my master's degree in education and will soon be facing a monthly student loan payment of $550 a month. Is it me or is this economy hurting every one? Perhaps next year we will just spend a week in Cape Cod or Virginia Beach. Seems a family vacation budget of $5500 does not get you very far today.
No it's not your imagination. While I'm not a gloom and doomer about the economy (it will bounce back), things are definitley changing. Many employers are laying off and freezing new hires. Alot are taking away certain perks and benefits. No big news that fuel is way up driving the cost of everything up with it not to mention the home loan issue.

There is an interesting, simple way that I can always tell the economy is not doing so well. Most towns/cities still have a few, smaller diner type places that are usually well packed with folks during breakfast and lunch. Usually, during the week, these are mostly folks on their way to work (breakfast) or folks on their lunch break. If the diner is a good deal less crowded than usual during peak times, the economy is going through a weak stage. If they are packed, things are usually pretty good.

Cruising and vacationing in general is great. But it is also a great time to tone things down in our lives and save our money. There is nothing wrong with that and it just happens for a period of time every few years. We all like to think our jobs are secure and the world couldn't carry on without us personally performing them but it just isn't true....Almost all of us COULD be laid off, outsourced or whatever...It doesn't matter either if you are a custodian at a company or very high up on the food chain, no one is completely safe from it these days. Even retirees have to be concerned as many pension funds, once considered super safe, are going under. I may change my mind later in the year depeding on how things go, but I think we're going to hunker down this year, not worry about a cruise and save our cash. The wife is already going overseas to visit family, which we consider a priority so no real need to do both.
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Old March 18th, 2008, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: Time to cut back a little

Quote:
Originally Posted by ready2board
Quote:
Originally Posted by stac2006
My wife and I orginally wanted to book a seven day cruise on the Carnival Valor. We always book two cabins because we travel with our three children. This year we decided to scale back our cruise vacation a little. It seems the cost of airline tickets has sky rocketed and because of the extra cost we decided to go with a five day cruise over a seven day. A cruise on the Carnival Imagination seems to be a fare deal. In the past we able to purchase airline tickets out of NYC to Miami for about $130 each. The cost of a ticket has now risen to $300 a person. I guess the increased inflation rate and cost of energy is putting a damper on our lives. In addition I just completed my master's degree in education and will soon be facing a monthly student loan payment of $550 a month. Is it me or is this economy hurting every one? Perhaps next year we will just spend a week in Cape Cod or Virginia Beach. Seems a family vacation budget of $5500 does not get you very far today.
.
No it's not your imagination. While I'm not a gloom and doomer about the economy (it will bounce back), things are definitley changing. Many employers are laying off and freezing new hires. Alot are taking away certain perks and benefits. No big news that fuel is way up driving the cost of everything up with it not to mention the home loan issue.

There is an interesting, simple way that I can always tell the economy is not doing so well. Most towns/cities still have a few, smaller diner type places that are usually well packed with folks during breakfast and lunch. Usually, during the week, these are mostly folks on their way to work (breakfast) or folks on their lunch break. If the diner is a good deal less crowded than usual during peak times, the economy is going through a weak stage. If they are packed, things are usually pretty good.

Cruising and vacationing in general is great. But it is also a great time to tone things down in our lives and save our money. There is nothing wrong with that and it just happens for a period of time every few years. We all like to think our jobs are secure and the world couldn't carry on without us personally performing them but it just isn't true....Almost all of us COULD be laid off, outsourced or whatever...It doesn't matter either if you are a custodian at a company or very high up on the food chain, no one is completely safe from it these days. Even retirees have to be concerned as many pension funds, once considered super safe, are going under. I may change my mind later in the year depeding on how things go, but I think we're going to hunker down this year, not worry about a cruise and save our cash. The wife is already going overseas to visit family, which we consider a priority so no real need to do both.
I have to agree with Gas approaching $4/gallon and the price of everything else going my DF and have decided not to take a vacation/cruise this year except to visit family next month and an occasional day or 1 night trip over the summer. As it is I am dreading the cost of driving from NYC to Wisconsin but by the time I factored in the airfare from NYC to Chicago and the cost of a rental car driving for the 2 ofd us was still cheaper then flying.

And yes the diner test is a good one
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Old March 18th, 2008, 09:48 PM
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OMG, I would freak out if I had $5500 a year to play with
for a vacation. Be thankful you can.

This will be our first vacation EVER! No honeymoon.
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Old March 20th, 2008, 07:49 AM
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The thing about recessions is that we are in them before you know it, and they usually end before you know it as well. This one sneaked up on us. I saw gas rising for the last year but no one said recession until a few months ago. I kept wondering why prices weren't spiraling - except for gas.

This thing could be over soon, or it could drag on for years (but that is less usual). My guess is that it will end sometime during the summer months. But as I said, the end of a recession often isn't "seen" by economists until a few months after it happens (it requires trailing data to determine where the economy is going).

Yes, when things get slow they do show in subtle ways - like in diners. This being a fuel-based recession it is affecting vacations maybe more than usual, also. Driving trips, airfare.

I suggest cruising close to home to save a lot of money. That concept was born under similar circumstances - the transportation cutbacks after 9/11.

I thank my lucky stars every day I still have a job and can afford a few niceties.
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Old March 20th, 2008, 08:29 PM
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While waiting in Miami Int'l Airport we were watching CNN--nothing else to watch while wating 90 minutes plus for your flight. They were talking about how the sub prime mortgage was just the tip of the iceberb. More people will be losing their homes because of subprime loans. The were mentioning all the possible woes and high gas prices, plants closing, lower value US dollar, and more I can't remember.

I hope our dollar goes back up, afterall, ur economy isn't doing that bad....er Canada that is...
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Old March 20th, 2008, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: Time to cut back a little

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In the past we able to purchase airline tickets out of NYC to Miami for about $130 each.
I just checked all NYC aiports for the month of July 2008. RT airfares are in the $199-220 range.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Time to cut back a little

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stac2006
In the past we able to purchase airline tickets out of NYC to Miami for about $130 each.
I just checked all NYC aiports for the month of July 2008. RT airfares are in the $199-220 range.
Thanks for the info. I purchased tickets for $226 a person from Newark to Miami. For some reason unknown to me Continental Airlines dropped their prices.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 01:39 PM
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We too are cutting back on cruising. Our problem is mainly that our fav. lines' fares have doubled over the past three or four years. The factors seem to be fuel costs, and the fact that the exchange rate on the $USD has changed much for the worse in the form of a former Euro cost of $.93 USD to a current Euro cost of about $1.53 USD.Since cruise lines are very international organizations, that is very bad for us with $USDs! We were in the Caribbean a couple of weeks ago (one what will probably be our last cruise for a while), and there were ports where merchants WOULD NOT EXCEPT USDs! Only local money and Euros. Imagine that! Not being able to spend USDs in the Caribbean!

It is a shame.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 01:59 PM
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Not only is at a shame Babe, its totally amazing. The currency that not so long ago that they as 'back water places' would bite your hand off for and would only take in transaction...

We are living this also in the UK, the pound has got so low against the EURO that people vacationing from the UK into Europe are taking a step back and asking themselves should they do it, have this vacation?

Something is not right here, and I have my own ideas why
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Old April 6th, 2008, 03:17 PM
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There is a positive side to some of these economic factors in travel, especially for we Canadians. Wherever the US dollar is accepted, we did at one time, have to pay as much as $1.45 Canadian for the same dollar’s worth. But that has changed now and if we cannot find the US dollar at par, we only have to pay a few additional pennies. This has made cruising less expensive and crossing the border to catch flights to destinations also can have savings. There undoubtedly will be even more Canadians headed south for vacations including pleasure cruises. Even your gas price is a bargan compared to what we now pay for it up here.

But to take this to the endth degree, we were watching a TV documentary on China’s cruise industry on the Yangtze River. We wonder what would happen if they were to build cruise ships the size of these monsters of today and offered travel based on the value of the Chinese Yuan. If they can build a toaster and ship it half way around the world and sell it retail for $7.98, can you imagine what fares they could offer? How about Southern Caribbean, B2B, 14 day for $498. US. Frightening.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 03:47 PM
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Agreed!! We also have a family of five...and had always budgeted 1000 per person for a weeks vacation, whether land or sea. Now, everything is out of range, and we're scrambling for alternatives. Drive rather than fly (we have a prius), shorter vacations, closer destinations.

We opted this year, to fly the children to the grandparents, without us....tickets for 3 were in the budget, tickets for 5 were out of the question....and then hubby and I taking a separate cruise vacation, close to home, driving to port, 5 days instead of 7.

Next thing you know, we'll be eating the meals of our college days!! Bye Bye Steak, hello Mac & Cheese!
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Old May 21st, 2008, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Time to cut back a little

Quote:
Originally Posted by stac2006
My wife and I orginally wanted to book a seven day cruise on the Carnival Valor. We always book two cabins because we travel with our three children. This year we decided to scale back our cruise vacation a little. It seems the cost of airline tickets has sky rocketed and because of the extra cost we decided to go with a five day cruise over a seven day. A cruise on the Carnival Imagination seems to be a fare deal. In the past we able to purchase airline tickets out of NYC to Miami for about $130 each. The cost of a ticket has now risen to $300 a person. I guess the increased inflation rate and cost of energy is putting a damper on our lives. In addition I just completed my master's degree in education and will soon be facing a monthly student loan payment of $550 a month. Is it me or is this economy hurting every one? Perhaps next year we will just spend a week in Cape Cod or Virginia Beach. Seems a family vacation budget of $5500 does not get you very far today.
This will probably sound way too self righteous and that's not how it's intended...I know most will disagree, but if you have student loan debt coming up, why not just work like crazy to pay it off before going on a cruise? $550 a month is a good chunk of doe. I definitely wouldn't put a family cruise or even a cruise for 2 on a credit card but instead save up for it after you have your student load paid off. Whatever money you have saved up for vacation I would put toward your current debt. You'll enjoy your vacation alot more if you pay cash and are debt free except for possibly your home. Try doing some local things with the kids for vaction until you have your debt paid off...Baseball games, zoos, theme parks, cool museums etc.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Time to cut back a little

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Originally Posted by ready2board
Quote:
Originally Posted by stac2006
My wife and I orginally wanted to book a seven day cruise on the Carnival Valor. We always book two cabins because we travel with our three children. This year we decided to scale back our cruise vacation a little. It seems the cost of airline tickets has sky rocketed and because of the extra cost we decided to go with a five day cruise over a seven day. A cruise on the Carnival Imagination seems to be a fare deal. In the past we able to purchase airline tickets out of NYC to Miami for about $130 each. The cost of a ticket has now risen to $300 a person. I guess the increased inflation rate and cost of energy is putting a damper on our lives. In addition I just completed my master's degree in education and will soon be facing a monthly student loan payment of $550 a month. Is it me or is this economy hurting every one? Perhaps next year we will just spend a week in Cape Cod or Virginia Beach. Seems a family vacation budget of $5500 does not get you very far today.
This will probably sound way too self righteous and that's not how it's intended...I know most will disagree, but if you have student loan debt coming up, why not just work like crazy to pay it off before going on a cruise? $550 a month is a good chunk of doe. I definitely wouldn't put a family cruise or even a cruise for 2 on a credit card but instead save up for it after you have your student load paid off. Whatever money you have saved up for vacation I would put toward your current debt. You'll enjoy your vacation alot more if you pay cash and are debt free except for possibly your home. Try doing some local things with the kids for vaction until you have your debt paid off...Baseball games, zoos, theme parks, cool museums etc.
What? Are you kidding me? My total loan amount is about $65,000. Where do you live where teachers make $100k a year? Have you ever taught in the New York City School System? After teaching half a year one needs a break. So it isn't really your business to say give advice. My wife and I work hard and deserve a vacation. Perhaps you don't know but teachers work long after the last bell rings. After dinner I work another two to three hours completing the next week’s lesson plans and grading papers. Any way it’s going to take ten years to pay off my school loan. Why should I kill myself paying off my loan early if I don't have to? My wife and I still have our every day expenses and I am not going to put that in jeopardy. Well you do seem self righteous but remember the old saying those who live in glass houses should not throw stones? Mind your own business. You don't earn my wages, didn’t support me through college or help me earn my bachelors or master's degree with honors. My generation is living in the economic ruins left to us by the WW2 and baby boomer generations.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 07:37 PM
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In the words of many a President, "I feel your pain" We understand fully that there can be no way out of this debt. We read today that over $4,000 of each of your personal 2007 taxes went to pay just the interest on the US national debt. And that will only escalate with each deficit year. The money for the tax rebate to encourage economical stimulus was borrowed! The expenditures for military defence to "maintain your way of life" are ruining your way of life. Unless your government reins in these huge expenditures, which are being financed again by borrowed money, you may find yourself as bankrupt as was the Soviet Union.

Now that doesn't really deal with your personal comment. I take exception to you blaming WWII and the Baby Boomers for the economic mess today for I am that generation. The one think I learned early on was that interest added to the purchase of something make that something that much more expensive. So a long time back, we learned that when we purchase something there should be no interest involved. Late in life we purchased our first home in cash as we do our automobiles. We didn't take our first cruise until we were in our 60's. It is not we old timers who caused this mess but rather those whose attitude was who cares what it costs, get it now and worry about the consequences later. You may again say for us to mind our own business but it was you that posted the details of your plight.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 08:48 PM
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My generation and the next is dealing with the insane loss of jobs and lack of decent salaries which has forced many young people to supplement credit for what they could not pay for in cash. I know my students well. Some of them have talents which can not be satisfied by going off to college. Unfortunately machine shop positions as well as other similar jobs are been outsourced beginning when I was in high school. This is great for people who own stock in companies who practice this policy, but leaves little for the younger generation to look forward to. Out sourcing began in the 1980's and continues today. The real question is how can the older generation robe the younger of any real sense of economic tranquility? It does not take an Ivy League graduate to see why the market keeps falling. Any way, after working for months, a cruise is a great way to get away and enjoy some wonderful family time. When I default on my student loans then you have the right to judge me. Until then I have to continue to work. Some one has to pay the high federal taxes needed to bail out American’s failing banks.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stac2006
My generation and the next is dealing with the insane loss of jobs and lack of decent salaries which has forced many young people to supplement credit for what they could not pay for in cash. I know my students well. Some of them have talents which can not be satisfied by going off to college. Unfortunately machine shop positions as well as other similar jobs are been outsourced beginning when I was in high school. This is great for people who own stock in companies who practice this policy, but leaves little for the younger generation to look forward to. Out sourcing began in the 1980's and continues today. The real question is how can the older generation robe the younger of any real sense of economic tranquility? It does not take an Ivy League graduate to see why the market keeps falling. Any way, after working for months, a cruise is a great way to get away and enjoy some wonderful family time. When I default on my student loans then you have the right to judge me. Until then I have to continue to work. Some one has to pay the high federal taxes needed to bail out American’s failing banks.
Holy cow, man. No one was attacking you. I thought teachers were supposed to be open to discussion from all different points of view lol. You brought up a question about whether the economy was affecting folks. All I was doing was basically agreeing with you that it is. Sorry you didn't like my suggestion (which is all it is) about folks being debt free (except for their home) before doing things like fairly expensive vacations. You used the classic "we deserve it" line that has become the justification for most folks to go in to debt cause they "deserve" to have it now, now, now!!! I have a great deal of respect for most teachers, but there are many on here, in many different professions, who work just as hard, if not harder than you do.

Sorry, but the idea that people have to borrow huge amounts of money to finance school or anything else is ridiculous. I know college students working their butts off while attending school so they don't have to go into debt for it. They drive beater cars, have a couple room mates, jobs and make it happen. They are definitely the exception to what we are supposed to believe by the credit credit companies...That debt is the only way to get the things we want...Saving for them and delaying pleasure is pretty much old school thinking but I guess I'm just old school. My wife and I both work 2 jobs and she attends college..."Somehow" we are getting her through school without borrowing any money and we aint millionares. All her school friends just can't understand why she just doesnt go out, get a huge loan and not worry about working (the same friends who are 30 yrs old and have about 40 dollars in their savings account)...It's simple...Because we realize debt is dumb and that even though she should have a great paying career in the future anything can happen to prevent it...Illness, accident and about a thousand other "life" things are possible that could make having all that debt the worst thing in the world. All you have to do is budget & live within your means and going into debt becomes unnecessary.

Hope I haven't said anything to get you all energized again but like I said, teachers like open discussions and hearing different points of view, right?? . Remember, the borrower is the slave of the lender. Sixty-five thousand in JUST student loan debt?...Good luck. Enjoy your cruise.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 03:51 PM
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Sad thing here is none of this is in our control, no matter who you place in office with your vote. The cartels and "big business" are driving the prices we pay today; they are the guys in control, not the Government.

It’s all about OIL as its price governs what we pay for everything, from gas in your car to electricity, or the price of a flight, or the price of a hamburger.

The problem here is we as tax payers, pay for the troops etc to defend and protect it, but the cartels and "others" will decide the price we will pay for it regardless of all our support, efforts, "money" and the military life’s lost to protect it...and for what benefit to us "tax paying normal" people.

People lose their life’s to secure this product, and we may pay more in tax etc to protect it, and we may pay more for food etc. But for all that...do they as the oil companies who dig it out the ground “pay”… they don’t seem to have that problem, as we pay for the protection of the asset, but they can still make increased profits from the scenario .

mmm, something wrong there. You don’t agree, then look at the profit statements presented from the "big guys" in gas and oil production since this all kicked off…... They can well afford to fly and cruise.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 04:11 PM
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i agree with stac 2006, i work 2 jobs, 60 hours a week just so i can go on 2 nice trips a year. i hate having to work a second job, but i would die if i stayed home for vacation. i have no life besides work. in fact i am saving money now for my trip to new york city in august. now that is an expensive trip. i used my $600.00 to put down for my cruise in january. i make huge sacfrices in order to travel. plus i travel solo by choice, so i am paying almost double for my cruise, but it is the price i pay for traveling alone.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 11:42 PM
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David, you are so very correct about the big businesses.
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