Did we get in on an outstanding, unanticipated windfall?…

What a cute bird. Friends Lynne and Mick identified this bird as a grey-headed bushshrike.

The only word I can think of to describe the bit of good fortune  was windfall or in our case “safari luck” that we experienced yesterday resulted from Tom reading what’s called a “roll call,” for which he was signed up to receive email messages each time a passenger posts a comment on CruiseCritic.com.

Yesterday’s comment from a passenger who’ll be sailing on the same cruise we’ll be on next August from Edinburgh, Scotland, to Amsterdam, Holland, stated prices for the cruise had dropped substantially. In the past 24 hours. In the cruise industry, most cruise lines allow those who booked early to take advantage of price drops before the final payment is made.

Tom took this photo of this colorful bird, albeit a little blurry.

With credits we received for canceling past cruises due to the pandemic and visa issues, we still owed a remaining US $8600, ZAR 149127 (roughly), for this expensive cruise to Norway. The price had dropped over US $4500, ZAR 78058!!!!

  1. an apple or other fruit blown down from a tree or bush by the wind
  2. a large amount of money is won or received unexpectedly

Promptly at 3:59 pm, 1559 hrs., Tom started dialing Costco Travel’s phone number. Often it can take us an hour or two on hold to get through to a live representative. We’ve found that dialing nonstop, minutes before their offices open in the US,  is the best and most efficient way to get a live rep on the phone right away. This has been our only frustration with Costco Travel.

A rep came on the line in less than a minute. Tom explained the price drop he found at Azamara’s site. It took 45 minutes on the line for the rep to confirm that we were entitled to the price drop. Only moments after Tom ended the call; we had a new cruise confirmation document with our vast price reduction of US $4520, ZAR 78286.

Bushbuck in the garden; Tulip, Lilac, and Johnny; and Delilah, one duiker.

All we’ll owe for the final payment to the US is due on March 20. When it’s due, we will pay the balance of US $4096.62, ZAR 71061.20. Costco keeps one of our credit cards on file for this purpose, so we don’t have to call to pay the balance.

The original cost of the cruise for two  passengers was $16274.62., ZAR 282,938. Our total price now is US $11754.62, ZAR 204302.35 before all the credits we received in the past year for canceled past cruises.

We’re thrilled! It isn’t often we’ve been able to benefit from this much of a price drop in one fell swoop. After the documents confirmed all this, Tom posted on CruiseCritic.com to alert other passengers to the price drop. Many have responded that they, too, have saved this substantial sum.

We couldn’t have been more delighted to see Norman, Nina, and Noah this morning. We gave them an apple, but they didn’t seem interested after sniffing it.

Today, we’re staying in on a cool cloudy day. We’ll make our “unwich” (bread-free) subway-type sandwiches tonight using good quality deli meats, Emmenthal cheese, avocado, red onions, tomatoes, and keto mayonnaise, wrapped in large lettuce leaves and finally in parchment paper. We hadn’t had this treat since we were stuck in a hotel in Minnesota, sick with Omicron, while Tom could still drive before pneumonia made it impossible for him to go out. That was in May.

As for my headache, I am delighted the medication has begun to work, and the pain has improved by 50%. Again, tonight I’ll double the dose from 10 mg to 20 mg as directed by Doc Theo. This should result in considerably more improvement over the next several days. I am hopeful. I’ve had two good nights’ sleep since I increased the dose on Monday night.

Tomorrow morning, I’m off to Stoep Café in Komati for breakfast and “girl talk” with Rita. If I can, I’ll complete the post before we leave at 10:00 am; if not, I’ll finish it when we get home. Plan to see the new post, a few hours later than usual.

Enjoy your day!

Photos from one year ago today, September 7, 2021:

Broken Horn and Hal in a bit of scuffle over pellets this morning. For more photos, please click here.

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