Checking for best prices for future bookings…Do we use a travel agent?…What’s the deal with Australian egg yolks?…

While on the ship, several Australian mentioned the light color of the ship’s egg yolks. Back on land, Aussie eggs come from free-range chickens and when not fed grains the yolks are dark and dense. Lovely.

After the fun cruise from which we just departed, we look forward to future cruises around Australia with a new found enthusiasm. Tom, the cruise person in the family, makes an effort to frequently check for new postings and price changes.

Nitrate free bacon purchased at Woolie’s in the deli section. This is some of the finest bacon we’dd had in a long time. This morning we made bacon and scrambled eggs with cheese. None of the cheeses here are dyed with orange or yellow dyes. Thus, cheddar cheese is all white, and shredded cheeses for Mexican food is also white. We like that.

The cruises we’ve already booked of which there are four at this time may have price reductions that we can take advantage of between the time of booking and up to 90 days before sailing when the final payment is due.

Variety of meats offered at a meat market in the mall.

If there’s a price drop, all we have to do is notify our booking rep at that there’s been a price drop and we’ll be given the benefit of the reduced prices. Our entire cruise documents package is reissued at the new price.

The tricky part of this is that it’s our responsibility to check for price changes. No cruise agency is going to check for price reductions every day for thousands of upcoming cruises. As the consumer, that’s our task.

The lamb chops were considerably more at the meat market than at the Woolworth’s store, AUD $38.99, USD $30.22 vs. AUD $23.99, USD $18.59 per kilo (2.2 pounds). Yesterday, we purchased an ample dinner-sized portion for me with six chops for AUD $7.19, USD $5.57. To be able to enjoy lamb for this price per meal will keep me coming back for more. Tom doesn’t care for lamb.

Most travelers have one cruise booked at any given time, making this checking fairly quick and easy. This can be done daily. Price changes can be posted and an hour later they’re back up again. It’s important to notify the booking agent quickly, making a copy of the price change and sending it by email.

After Tom caught a reduction last night, this morning our new confirmation came through saving us over US $500, AUD $645.29. This was certainly worth taking a few minutes to check once a day. If the price returns to a higher rate, we’re locked in at the lowest price on the most recent cruise documents.

A well-stocked Asian grocery store in the mall.

For those who cruise, this is definitely worth the undertaking. Since we began cruising we’ve literally saved several thousand dollars taking advantage of these changes. 

Of course, we’ve been on 11 cruises in the past 32 months, more than most cruisers for this period. But, even if one cruise once in three years, it’s certainly worth checking prices for reductions after paying the initial deposit. Also, it’s important to have a price guaranty in writing from your chosen cruise travel agent.

Bakery in the mall near “Woolie’s” the name Australians use for their popular Woolworth’s grocery store. We won’t be buying anything from this case but it’s fun to look at.

Using a travel agent for cruising is the only travel agent/agency that we use. Many have suggested names of friends or agents they recommend we use in an attempt to make our travels easier. 

We appreciate the thoughtful suggestions but based on the nature of our travels and having complete control over every step of the way, we wouldn’t be able to use an agent, picking out vacation homes, flights, and venues for us. 

This is the indoor Farmer’s Market where we were able to buy fresh daily organic vegetables at very reasonable prices. Woolie’s is in the background, making it easy to stop for produce after buying protein and essentials.

We look at 100’s of possible vacation homes in each possible future location, a task no agent would have time or inclination to consider tackling. Also, we like the freedom of negotiating the best possible prices, terms and conditions, and of course, schedules. Leaving this in the hands of another could potentially be a fiasco.

Our goal remains the same…” wafting through our worldwide travels with ease, joy, and simplicity,” as stated as our motto at the top of our changing-daily-homepage. 

We are not a “travel log.” We are a “daily life log” of two crazy retirees who wanted to step outside the box to spread their wings to live a different kind of life in our later years, a life of change, adventure, and wonder. 

The locally grown produce was abundant in quality and selection.

On top of it all, we love the freedom we have to live each day exactly as we choose whether exploring an area, out on an adventure or simply lounging at home doing exactly what many retirees do each day; a trip to the store, a walk in the neighborhood, preparing a special meal, and maintaining a comfortable home environment.  We love it all.

And, we love all of our readers for sharing it with us. Today, we’ll venture out for a drive to check out the area and hopefully report back with good photos tomorrow.

Thanks to friend and reader Staci for her coffee-making suggestions including “cowboy coffee” and checking thrift stores for a “coffee perc.” Thanks to our many other readers who sent emails with other suggestions.

Have a wonderful day. Back at you soon with more new photos.

                                                Photo from one year ago today, June 17, 2014:

The view from our veranda in Campanario, Madeira on a clear day. For details from that date, please click here.

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