Final Vacation Costs

by Kay Lynn

You were promised the final cost of my recent girls cruise.  We’ve been back two weeks and my memory is starting to fade so I figured it’s now or never and will detail expenses by day.

 Travel Days

My airline ticket cost $10 for the security fee using frequent flyer miles on American Airlines.  I paid $15 each way to check my luggage.  The hotel the first night was free using Priority Club points with Holiday Inn.  Meal expenses included $10 for an on-board meal (Boston Market sandwich) on the outbound trip, $2.50 for an airport diet coke and $16.50 for dinner in Miami at Carino’s

On the way home expenses included $9 for sandwich and water at the airport and $4 for an in-flight snack.  Throw in $4 for hotel shuttle in Miami and $10 for my share of the taxi to the Miami airport on the way home.  Subtotal: $97.

Sunday 

Everyone else in my travel group arrived this day. After the included breakfast at the hotel the shuttle driver dropped me at Alamo and I rented a minivan to get us around in Miami.  He earned a tip of $3.  I then proceeded to pick up one sister at the Fort Lauderdale Airport, my brother and his daughter at the Port of Miami returning from a cruise and finally my mom and other sister at the Miami Airport. 

 In between pickups, we had a terrible lunch that nonetheless cost $9.  The next stop was our hotel in Miami Beach. It was art-deco and very cute although very different from the corporate type hotels I usually stay in on business.  The last arrivals had eaten lunch so we had snacks/lunch at a beach side cafe.  It was my treat for a cost of $46.40.  Beach loungers were included as were happy hour drinks.  Mom picked up the tab for a casual dinner of BBQ.  Subtotal: $58.40.

Monday

We checked out of the hotel (Mom picked up the tab for the rooms and parking) and headed towards Fort Lauderdale for breakfast and to drop my brother’s party at the airport.  Breakfast was about $8 with tip.  We then returned the car in Miami after filling it up.  Mom again picked up the tab for the car and gas (thanks, Mom!).  The free Alamo shuttle took us to the Carnival Imagination at the Port of Miami. 

We tipped the shuttle driver ($2) and then checked in for the cruise.  We had paid $221.73 per person for our ocean view cabin.  Once on-board I didn’t have any more charges today.  Subtotal: $231.73.

Tuesday

Today’s port stop is Key West.   Despite all our travels this was a first time visit for all four of us.  Mom had booked trolley tour tickets prior to arrival and we were able to see a lot of the island during our brief time there including getting our picture taken at the Southernmost continental US spot.  Next we were off to Kino’s sandal factory where I spent $12 plus tax on a pair.

You can’t go to Key West without hitting at least one bar so we had a drink at Sloppy Joe’s where a very good drink cost $9 with tip.  I think it was noon somewhere.  I hit the Blonde Giraffe for two slices of Key Lime Pie (one was for Mom), key lime taffy and key lime cookies for Mr. Boomer.  The total here was $23.02.  My last purchase was a t-shirt (again for Mr. Boomer) for $7 and then it was back to the ship.  Subtotal: 51.02.

Wednesday

We were lucky to arrive in Cozumel early enough to visit Nachi Cocom which is our favorite Cozumel spot.  My share of the taxi back and forth was $6 each way and the entry fee was $49.  This includes a three course lunch, all the drinks you can ingest, beach chair and palapa and use of the pool with swim up bar and jacuzzi.  I spent another $6 for a float to use in the ocean.  It was a wonderful day and then we rushed back to have dinner with mom on board.  Subtotal: $67.

Thursday

This was a sea day so I didn’t spend much money but have to estimate because I lost my on-board account detail.  I know I spent about $13 for a fun ship drink in a funnel shaped container that post-drink serves as a piggy  bank.  This was very enjoyable pool-side although for some reason when I wanted to give it as a gift for my grandson my son and daughter-in-law did not think it was as cute.  My final bill included $20 in Internet charges and $40 for well-deserved crew tips.  Subtotal: $73.

Summary

The final cost for this six day trip to Florida and the Caribbean was a smidgen over $578 which is less than $100 per day including transportation, meals, lodging and souvenirs.  I think we did well on holding our costs down although it was subsidized by our mother’s generosity.  Was it worth it?  Oh yeah.  The time spent together was worth every penny and I hope we can make it a tradition.

Photo by Bucksomeboomer

Content © Bucksomeboomer  2009.  All Rights Reserved.

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