So I really did have a luxury experience -- probably the most chi-chi thing we've ever done. I've been blogging sparsely lately because of my injury/recovery and return to full time work, and then because we were on vacation. I hate to post that I am not at home because it's not the best move from a security perspective -- so I'll admit it now, we were out of town all last week taking a fabulous cruise vacation in the Caribbean. The trip was the result of a sales incentive that TBG mostly met. We had to pay a small portion of the trip and cover tips and local activities. Our portion of a 7 day cruise, along with airfare, ground transportation, meals and a classic beverage package was around $900. We upgraded our booze package to a premium offering at $12 each per day. We tipped close to $400 and then spent under $100 on shore transportation plus a few tacky souvenirs.
We were on the Celebrity Silhouette, which is a really nice ship. It is only five years old and with a load of two thousand people, they carry 1000 staff. This meant we were taken care of in a way that I have never experienced. Dining service was so professional and the food was very good! The waiter was our friend after the first night and helped us make great menu choices. The wine steward quickly realized my proclivity to over-indulge in champagne and had a glass of Chandon Brut waiting for me every night. The "World Class" bar with it's assortment of high end scotch, bourbon, tequila, vodka and the likes was where we spent most evenings. Yes, you can drink $70 worth of beverages a day if you are as dedicated a boozer as I. Especially since I've discovered Don Julio tequila.
We had a stateroom with a balcony and I frequented the adult pool to swim laps. We dined at 8:30 so the pool was cleared out in the early evening, then the bars were emptied by the time we stumbled out of dinner. The company treated us to a sushi dinner in one of the specialty restaurants and we paired up with a young couple who was with the same group. When we lunched and breakfasted in the main dining room, we met other folks who we'd casually stop to drink or chat with too.
As self sufficient and frugal as I am, I think I am made to be waited on, boozed, dined and put in a setting where my bed is made each time I mess it up and I have an ocean view right outside my door. As for the service, I'm not complaining that we were expected to hand over an 18% gratuity. We gave an additional $80 in cash to various staff members who really enhanced our trip.
Next year the trip is a week in an all-inclusive on St Martin and my man better start working hard toward that now!