It's all beginning to come together...I am in the process of booking my flights for my Mediterranean cruise with the Carnival Sunshine cruise ship this April!
I can't even begin to tell you how exciting this is; this is really my dream vacation, my dream destinations, and it's all aboard my favorite cruise line, Carnival Cruise Lines!
Now, I will be visiting a few Mediterranean cruise ports while I am on the Carnival Sunshine cruise ship, with an overnight port of call in Venice, Italy. My cruise actually ends in Venice, but instead of flying home that day, I am arranging with the lovely person handling my travel arrangements to book my flight home a few days later out of Rome.
That's right - I am extending my stay in Italy and spending a few days vacationing on my own! Because the cruise and airfare are going to be at no cost to me (I was invited on a press trip to cover on my websites), I just couldn't imagine NOT taking full advantage of this opportunity. I mean, really, how often will I be able to travel to Europe at no cost?
But spending three days and four nights in Italy isn't cheap. And money is not something I have an overabundance of right now.
Now, fortunately, as soon as Chris told me that he was changing jobs and we were going to lose his travel per diem, I began making changes in our budget: I didn't plan any trips, I began paying more attention to sales at the grocery store to save money on food, we hardly ever go out to eat anymore, we normally only go to the movies during $6 night, or we use gift cards that I receive from blogging, and the only shopping I've done since November is buy myself and Angeline an Origami Owl Living Locket and charms. Even with less disposable income, we have managed to pay off Chris's credit card and that new fridge we bought last September.
While we aren't necessarily broke, we don't really have the money for me to finance a few extra days in Italy.
After talking to Chris about it, he reminded me that he still has 90,000 Marriott Rewards leftover from when he was traveling to Barbados for work every month. I did a little research and found that I could actually cover TWO NIGHTS at either of the Marriott Hotels in Rome, Italy, using his points! That right there will save me so much money! My travel partner, Deb, will be joining me on the Carnival Sunshine cruise ship and staying with me in Italy those few extra days, and she will be covering the other two nights hotel.
So now all I have to worry about is food and sightseeing costs...which will probably cost as much as the lodging would have cost me!
I still have three whole months before I leave for the Carnival Sunshine cruise, so that is plenty of time to pinch pennies and sell a few items to save money for my trip.
I am beyond excited! Do you have any recommendations for things to do while I am in Rome? If you have ever been there, I would LOVE to hear about it!
I am so excited for you Jenn! You totally deserve this.
Thank you so much! 🙂
Oh my gosh, that is so exciting! I have never been on a cruise or to Europe!
I can't WAIT to see the pics from THIS trip!
Anne - Mommy Has to Work
That is so awesome!!!!
This is going to be a trip of a lifetime!! I can't wait to hear all about it!
Vanessa: the queen of swag !
Sounds so exciting! Can't wait to hear about the trip.
You are going to have such an amazing time! I can't wait to read all about it. Would love to get some cash for some of our old stuff too.
Oh my gosh so exciting !!!
I am thrilled for you, Jenn! Italy is on my bucket list, so I do have any advice as to where to visit, etc. I do hope you have the time of your life! Can't wait to hear (and see photos) all about it!