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With three measly weeks to go, I am starting a PTR for my upcoming cruise! I am SUPER excited about this, and as you read, you'll see why!
First let me start with the "cast"...
Melanie (me) - 36 (for another seven weeks) - Single mom of a crazy little girl named Meri, Disney addict, travel addict, works a second job to fund said addictions, volunteers at church and school, positively exhausted! LOL!
Toni - 42 - Very good friend of mine who lives in Northern VA. Works for a house painting company. Loves to dance, socialize, and is VERY extroverted.
About three years ago, Toni worked for this same house painting company. They send their employees on yearly cruises each December, if the company-wide goal is met... and the sales reps that qualify can bring a friend / spouse. Toni is the company administrative assistant, so she gets her ticket paid for, but anyone else that goes with her has to pay for themselves. She is single, so she asked me if I'd like to go, and I said absolutely! It's quite a good rate and, of course, I never turn down a vacation opportunity! We were in planning mode, when unfortunately, early that fall, times got a little tight for the company and they had to let Toni go. So, of course, our cruise was canceled!
Flash forward to this spring. With business booming, they rehired Toni, and by summer, they had extended the offer for her to again go on the cruise! Yet again, she graciously extended the invitation to me, and I leaped at the chance to have a few kid-free days in the sun!
What the company does is, they offer an inside cabin (the least expensive level) to all employees for free... and if the employee wants to upgrade to an outside or balcony, they pay the difference themselves. After much discussion, Toni and I agreed to just stick with our inside cabin and save our money. I still had to pay for my airfare, after all, and turn in my cruise payment for the inside cabin.
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So, after everything was settled, I was ready to write the check to Toni's company for my portion. We were just waiting to find out if they wanted the entire payment or just the deposit... and what amount exactly I should write for. Then Toni called me with some amazing news. She was beside herself as we spoke, and just kept saying, "I have the best news!" FINALLY I dragged it out of her... her company had offered to pay for MY cruise, too!!!
I could NOT believe it!!! Not just a nice, inexpensive cruise, but a FREE one! How incredibly generous!!
So, our adventure will begin on Wednesday, November 28! We will overnight at a hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, and we will board the ship on Thursday, November 29. We plan to arrive at the port as early as they will allow us to board, so we can drop our carry-on luggage in the room and go spend a few hours exploring the ship! This is always my favorite thing to do! Then, that afternoon is a sail-away party with her company. Friday is a day at sea (oh bliss), Saturday we are in Cozumel from 8am to 5pm, and Sunday is another day at sea. Then we dock on Monday morning, and fly home that day. It will be a really lovely, relaxing long weekend!