Left Coast By Design

Tag: Cruise

Discounted Onboard Credit with Royal Caribbean

If there’s one thing we Canadian travelers are sensitive to, it’s how much our dollar relates to the dollar of our neighbours to the south.  While we have had some recent history where the loonie was trading for more than an American greenback, we’re quite accustomed with it being the other way.  In fact, no more than where it sits as of late – just shy of a full quarter less.

So you can imagine my surprise when I was browsing the Cruise Critic forum and came across a post suggesting that Royal Caribbean sells Canadian cruisers onboard credit in $USD for only 10%! That’s right – $100US only sets us back $110.

Radiance of the Seas - Royal Caribbean

Radiance of the Seas – courtesy of Prayltno

The nitty-gritty is this – if you booked through a Canadian travel agent and paid with a Canadian credit card, then you should qualify for the preferred exchange rate. If that’s you, then do the following:

  • Call Royal Caribbean Gifts & Gear at 1-800-722-5443.
  • Ask to pre-purchase onboard credit at the preferred Canadian exchange rate.
  • Enjoy the savings!

Now I will concede that “mileage will vary” depending on who you get on the other side of the phone, but from the forum post it seems just a second phone call back is all that is needed. And for those worried about where the unspent credit goes, you can withdraw at the casino for a 5% premium or simply have the value refunded back to your credit card.

Score, right?

So have any of you travelers taken advantage of this deal or something like it?

Tips for a First Time Cruiser

Can you believe that I’ll be boarding a cruise ship in California in just a couple of weeks? I sure can’t.

Grand Princess

Courtesy of Mircea Gola


But you see, this will be the first time I’ve been on something bigger than a BC Ferry and I’m told that I shouldn’t consider the Queen of Surrey to a cruise ship.

So off to Twitter I went looking for some tips. And tips were exactly what my friend Dixon sent me. In fact, he sent me ten of them. Continue reading

A Trip for the Soul

When I first introduced the idea of funemployment to all of you, I spoke about my desire to view this sudden change of scenery as an opportunity.  In fact, I believe I said this:

I’m going to take the next few weeks and do things I never thought to do before. I’m going to be going on a short cruise. I’m going to fly somewhere on a lark and simply enjoy the destination. – The Opportunity of Unemployment

So as a man who looks to keep his word, the first trip on this journey of funemployment has been booked. While the original idea was to hop on a short cruise and take a few days to simply recharge my soul, my wife and I decided to make it a little more than that and to create a week of adventure.

Amtrak Cascades

Courtesy of Stephen Rees

The first step on our week long journey will be riding the Amtrak Cascades train line from Vancouver down to Seattle. While the whole concept of a passenger train is not entirely foreign to the two of us – we rode them in when we went to the United Kingdom a while back – we’ve never taken in the ride locally.  And as I am a transportation junkie, this could be one of the most exciting parts of our entire trip.

jetBlue Plane

Courtesy of cclark395

Then there is the second leg of our journey, flying from Seattle down to Los Angeles. Neither of us has ever been to this massive city and figured we’d be good to spend at least a day down there before our cruise home. While we still haven’t figured out what we’ll do, we did decide on flying with jetBlue after hearing from friends of ours that the airline is a pretty solid choice. And it also helped that they fly into Long Beach which is essentially where our ship will leave. Or is it San Pedro? I don’t know – Los Angeles is just that big.

Grand Princess

Courtesy of MA1216

Last, but not least, is our sail on the Grand Princess from Los Angeles back home to Vancouver. This is also a new experience for the wife and me, so we’re viewing it as a practice trip to prepare for our much longer sail to Hawaii later this year (I know, I know. I’m a jetsetter).

While the trip is essentially a repositioning cruise with our only ports of call being Los Angeles and Vancouver, you’ll likely find us either on our balcony watching the ocean or poolside relaxing. I get that the temperatures are likely not what one would expect to experience on a cruise, but this trip is really about helping me find that soul of mine that has gone missing.

This adventure is about something new and untravelled. It’s about fun and excitement. It’s about rest and relaxation. It’s about the experience and that’s pretty darn exciting!

Want to come along?

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