Our cruise bill…Our last full day aboard ship..

Based on our accumulated bill for Thursday, January 17th and expected charges for this evening, cash tips we’re leaving the waiters, cabin steward, etc., we will have spent an additional $1210 (we budgeted $1450) over and above the cost of the cruise, our balcony cabin with one queen bed, for a grand total of $6755.48. 

Our average cost per day at $450.37 for all expenses, was much higher than we’ll experience on future cruises. This Panama Canal cruise is more expensive than other cruises based on the cost the ship incurs for its transit through the canal. They estimate their bill to be between $350,000 to $450,000, due to variables Panama charges for each transit. Of course, this expense is rolled out into the fare.

We have so much enjoyed this experience that we have no regrets about the cost. When we’ll arrive in Belize in 12 days, the cost of living will be more economical over the next almost three months. The rent for our little house on the beach is only $1275 a month. Of course, we’ll report our actual costs after the cruise to Belize ends at the end of this month and our costs after our time in Belize.

It’s Wednesday night at 11:00 pm. We just arrived back at our cabin after another fun evening aboard ship.  As much as we’ve branched out, trying new things we found ourselves, like most other cruise passengers, working our way into a familiar routine which is irresistible when at sea for 15 nights.

Awakening each morning no later than 7:00, we’d shower, dress and meander to the 11th deck for coffee and buffet breakfast in the Island’s Café, an enormous, efficient, spotless, well-staffed restaurant offering a wide array of breakfast foods from all over the world.

Tom, off his gluten-free diet during the cruise (he’ll be back to normal when we get situated on land soon) loaded up on eggs, bacon, sausage, a few little Danish pastries, and a glass of much-missed orange juice.

My daily choices, limited by my continuing commitment to stay healthy, is not only a low carb gluten-free diet, but eliminates all grains, starches, and sugar.

Surprisingly, I’ve been able to enjoy many foods aboard the Celebrity Century.

These many past days my breakfast has included Eggs Benedict (minus the English muffin), topped with guacamole, a side of smoked salmon with cream cheese, capers, and sliced tomatoes plus 3-4 slices of bacon, Asian garlic beef, and a plate of grilled non-starchy vegetables. 

Having checked with the chef to ensure all of these items met the criteria of my way of eating, I enjoyed my two huge plates of breakfast each day plus a three-course dinner in the formal dining room each night (gluten-free and sugar-free items are designated on the menu). Leaving the ship feeling well and nary an ounce heavier, I am thrilled they so easily accommodated me.  

On the other hand, Tom, also eating only two meals a day (no snacking), leaves the ship still wearing his size 34 pants with only a few pound gain which surely will be lost once we get to our own cooking when we arrive at our beach home in Placencia Belize on January 29th. 

Tom surprised me by ordering Oysters Rockefeller for his first course at dinner tonight, enjoying every morsel. Every night at dinner he’s tried new foods, many he had refused to try in the past.

Staying healthy and fit is vital to the success of our continuing world travels over the next few years.  As Norovirus ravaged our ship, we stayed mindful of frequent hand washing, avoided handshaking and touching public areas. 
We not only dodged a bullet without a single incident of seasickness (without medications), even in the past three days and nights of rough seas but also survived the Norovirus outbreak. 

We stuck to our plan of no more than one hour at the pool in the sun each day completely avoiding sunburns. We walked no less than 10,000 steps per day, per my FitBit pedometer. We attended no less than one educational class, more often two, each day, and managed to see no less than four movies throughout the cruise.

Every night aboard the ship, we attended the 9:00 PM entertainment in the Celebrity Theatre. The first three nights we dined alone, after which we decided it was time to dine with other passengers, sitting at tables designated for meeting new people.  Each occasion has been an opportunity to enjoy the conversation and companionship of people from all over the world. 

At the end of every evening, we’ve reveled in what we jokingly referred to as “another boring day is Paradise,” not only in quality time spent together, but in making new friends and learning the history of unfamiliar areas of the world.

It’s now 12:30 pm on Thursday. We just finished packing all of my clothes in the following manner:

1.  Clothes for the next cruise beginning on Monday, January 21st on the Celebrity Equinox for eight days on our journey to Belize, kept in a separate suitcase. Thus, my other bags won’t be opened during the cruise.

2.  Clothes to wear tonight for dinner and the show

3.  Clothes to wear getting off the ship tomorrow and over the next three days in Boca Raton, Florida.

4.  Clothes to wear to board the ship on Monday. Goodness, that’s confusing. We’re done with that.

After a break for a walk, we’ll go back to the cabin and begin packing all of Tom’s clothing plus all of our miscellaneous items and toiletries. Tonight before 11:00 pm, our tagged bags are to be left outside our cabin door, (the cruise line provided the luggage tags with instructions left in our cabin a few nights ago), clothing and toiletries set aside for the morning when we disembark at 9:30, our designated time.

Tomorrow morning, our friend Carol will pick us up at the pier in her huge SUV (thank goodness) to bring us back to her gorgeous home in Boca Raton, situated on the Inner Coastal Waterway. Weather providing, we can enjoy time relaxing by her pool after we get our laundry done and repacked. Thanks, Carol!

We’ve had one great day after another. We promised each other we will never stop being grateful, continuing to treasure each day on its own merits, as if it were the first day on a journey of a lifetime.

The Celebrity Century???  Small with 1800 passengers, a little rough at sea.  Food? Magnificent!  Service? Extraordinary! Ambiance?  Pleasant, a little dated but very nice.  Would we consider Celebrity a cruise line, we will seek out in the future?  Absolutely!

Since this was our first of eight cruises, we don’t feel expert enough to provide a comprehensive review. Once we have a few more experiences under our belts, we’ll assess all of the cruise lines and ships we’ve experienced, sharing our thoughts with our readers.
Stay tuned! Lots more to follo

Comments and responses Our cruise bill…Our last full day aboard ship..

  1. Anonymous

    It has been fun reading about your travels to date. In case you haven't heard about it, cruisecritic.com is a great resource for cruise info. They have chat boards for asking questions, reading others' reviews and for meeting up with others on your cruise. Check it out if you haven't already. Happy travels!
    jc in chan

  2. Jessica

    JC, thanks for reading and commenting! We've seen this site and need to spend more time on it. It sure looks like fun. Maybe we'll have time in the next two days until we board the next ship on Monday.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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