John has held a dream for many years. We never imagined we would fulfill it but here we are planning our ultimate cruise and rail journey.
The cruise is John's dream. He travelled through the Panama Canal in 1958 on the NZ Shipping Company MV Rangitata when he was being repatriated after working for twelve months as a junior engineer on the tanker Athelcrest.
In June of this year he noticed that the Oceania ship, Regatta, is doing a half price cruise from Honolulu to Miami. We raced to book our tickets.
The next phase was deciding how to return to Hawaii and subsequently New Zealand. I had a wish to travel more in USA. John no longer wanted to drive so we turned to Amtrak.
My wish list included going to New Orleans, the Martin Luther King Centre in Atlanta Ga., visiting an antebellum estate, see something of the Eastern States and Niagara Falls and to travel across Canada.
We've spent many hours pouring over itineraries and are now getting it together.
There is still one big question hanging over us. Money.
New Zealand elected a new Government and it has upset the financial market. Our dollar is not as high, nor as stable on the world market as previously. Our trip is hugely expensive. We can afford it but ....... it will eat into cash I wanted to invest with our children. This is causing me pause.
Meantime our proposed itinerary goes something like this.
Fly from NZ to Honolulu March 22nd 2018.
Join the cruise March 29th and have our 55th Wedding Anniversary aboard ship.
Disembark at Port of Miami April 23rd.
April 25th Miami to Savannah by rail (https://www.amtrakvacations.com/vacation/charleston-savvannah/
28th Savannah to Charleston by rail
30th Fly from Charleston to New Orleans
May 4th New Orleans to Atlanta by rail
7th Atlanta to Washington DC
10th Washington to New York
13th New York to Niagara Falls
15th Niagara Falls to Toronto
17th Toronto to Vancouver by Canadian Rail
21st Arrive Vancouver.
Here we will begin the the Amtrak Vacation Package, which gives us a couple of nights and sightseeing in Vancouver, similar in Seattle, San Francisco where we will have a day trip by bus to Yosemite NP, Santa Barbara, (instead of Los Angeles), and San Diego.
June 2nd Fly to Honolulu, then Hilo on Big Island and spend a few days with friends
June 8th Fly home.
The details are still being worked on with a Travel Agent. I use a huge spread sheet. I love the planning.
The very thought of doing this takes my breath away. We are very mindful of our age and we're not so fit these days.
We are concerned about our luggage and our laundry. It's a challenge to pack for tropical climes and northern states including Canada in the spring.
We are working on a health and fitness program to prepare us.