About 8 months ago RG started scouting around for a Celebrity CRUISE vacation. 

Decades ago we found a really cheap cruise from Miami to Cancun and back.  Our cabin was with the crew… under sea level. I actually had to get on a chair to look out of the underwater porthole in that cabin.  That 3-day cruise cost us $200 for 2, with meals and all of the ‘fixings’. Those days are gone. Now we want top deck location with, balcony, steward service including hors d’oeuvres at 3 p.m. and several bottles of ‘free’ daily water.

This year RG found a suitable 16-day vacation that we thought was affordable. It was easily over twenty times the price p/p as that first memorable cruise. Not cheap anymore.  I remember walking around that initial cruise and admiring the fantastically well-chosen artworks the owner’s wife had purchased. I’ve often thought that, that first X ship in the Celebrity fleet was held together by the numerous coats of paint, however the art works hanging all around each deck were museum quality and probably worth more than the ship is today. Bottom line: that affordable cruise convinced us that we wanted to become ‘cruisers’ forever.

Our recent trip was booked on the Summit.  Not the newest ship in the X fleet however she was sea worthy and the staff was super nice.   I don’t like to fly so we flew into NEWARK  (!!!), New Jersey Liberty International Airport. Here’s a tip.  Find less traveled airports. MIA going into JFK would have cost us hundreds more.  FT. Lauderdale airport flying into Newark was so much more affordable, plus there were free airport shuttle services to various hotels including the Robert Treat. Ask, Inquire, Seek. People don’t share information.  You need to be curious. 

The Robert Treat Hotel was a treat.  Lovely, clean, quiet, with a couple of really good but pricey restaurants.  We found a Whole Foods across the street, a dollar store two blocks away and a burger place.  Another great advantage, the Penn Station N.J. (5 minute walk from the hotel), will get you directly into Penn Station New York and back for less than $10 p/p. This is a really helpful hint.  Try to get to your destination at least one day ahead of your cruise’s departure date.  Trust me, you can’t imagine how many travelers ‘miss the boat’ because of plane delays and/or weather conditions.  

The taxi ride to the ship cost us $40 flat rate. Negotiate. The Scottish couple right behind us didn’t negotiate and their ride (same hotel, same ship, same day), cost them $65. Bon voyage.  Tomorrow>Boston