Another Last-Minute Trip

In my last post, I listed all of the places I wanted to visit this year.  In this post, I’m announcing my first destination–which is actually four destinations in one!  That can only mean one thing–another cruise.  Another solo cruise, to be specific.  I should never have gone on that first solo cruise–it clearly has become an instant addiction.

For those of you following along, you will note that one of my must-visit destinations for 2012 is New Orleans.  You will also note that I mentioned that I wanted to spend as much time as possible at sea as well as explore the Caribbean.  What better way to do all of those things than a cruise out of New Orleans?  I certainly can’t think of one.

And so, in sixteen short days, I will be flying to the Big Easy.  I’ll spend three days there pre-cruise and, because of the semi-last-minute nature of the flights, one day post-cruise (with a brutal 6 a.m. flight home–I may just stay up the whole night!) As I type this, my just-purchased Fodor’s New Orleans 2012 guide sits to the left of me ready to be highlighted, and I have additional tabs open researching jazz clubs and culinary tours.  I’ll be staying in the heart of the French Quarter at a little hotel called Place d’Armes, which not only looks very French Quarter-y, but also got very good reviews on Tripadvisor (and I’m not capable of booking anything before thoroughly consulting Tripadvisor).

Honestly, I’m as excited about visiting New Orleans as I am about the cruise itself.  But the cruise is going to be pretty great too.  You see, I’ve always wanted to see Mayan ruins, and the super-awesome cruise deal I found just so happens to stop at Cozumel.  And so, for my first-ever cruise line sponsored shore excursion, I’m going to Tulum.  Yes, it’s going to be a long day with lots of time on a bus and on a ferry.  But that’s fine.  I’m going and I’m taking my camera and a positive attitude.  And I know that no matter what, at the end of the day, there’s a free multi-course meal waiting for me and the option to sit in an adults-only jacuzzi.

The ship also visits Falmouth, Jamaica and St. George, Grand Cayman.  I’ve done a bit of research on both places (of course) and am thinking of a plantation visit and some horseback riding in Jamaica and the probability of snorkeling in Grand Cayman.  In fact, I may do ship-sponsored shore excursions in each port.  That would be super not like me–and thus probably very interesting to write about.  Check back in early February to see how that works out for me.

I hope that this will be a good first trip of the year for me.  I’m kind of looking at it as a test-trip.  If I can enjoy New Orleans–an unfamiliar, party-centric city–solo, then I’ll feel better about planning future urban adventures.  I plan to ignore the fact that I’m alone and visit bars and jazz clubs and generally have a good time as though I was an entire group of people.  Maybe I’ll even take myself on a romantic carriage ride through the French Quarter (but probably not!)

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