Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cruising for Christmas

Although Sophie and I had already booked a 18-night stay in Vegas for the Christmas holiday, last night we changed our plans. (Thank goodness hotel reservations can be canceled!)

Instead, we decided to take a Caribbean cruise. Don't get me wrong. We LOVE Vegas! It's kitschy Americana is just our style and the idea of shopping at the Premium Outlet Mall in Vegas right after Christmas gives me goosebumps (both good and bad since I love sales and hate crowds).

Nonetheless, we've got gowns! Sophie and I have found a new favorite store. BCGB Max Azria has an outlet store at the Premium Outlet Mall in Orlando. We've found some fabulous gowns at incredible prices. Who wears gowns these days, anyway? We do!!!

Side note: One nice thing about not having men in the house is that no one complains about dressing up. It's more a matter of finding appropriate places to dress up!

Ever since our first cruise (we've only taken two), we've fallen in love with dressing up for dinner and eating in the formal dining room.

Our first cruise was with Norwegian Cruise Lines where dressing up was optional. We were treating ourselves to a special time and wanted to respect and appreciate each aspect of our experience. Also, we had just found this incredible shop in Barcelona where we bought a boatload of cool clothes which we found ourselves wearing to our dinners. The cruise was 12-nights which mean that it was us and the geriatric crowd. Turns out most people can't take the time away from work or afford long trip (buy them when their cheap! I think we paid $499 per person) unless they are retired. Well, as you might assume, older folks appreciate our desire to dress up for dinner. And we did!

Our second cruise, a 14-night transatlantic jaunt from Barcelona to Miami, was another sensational reason for premium attire at dinner. Especially since Royal Caribbean mandates formal dinner wear. My only complaint with this cruise is that they refused to allow us our own table (two person tables are commonplace on this ship) and forced us to sit with single men. After a few days of this - and one of the men trying very hard to convince my (at the time) 18-year-old daughter that the parties were better down with the crew - I demanded our own table and, by golly, got it! I also got nasty stares from the man and his father for the rest of the trip. lol Deal!

As it turned out there finding people under the age of 65-year-old was slim pickins which was just fine with us. We tend to like to spend our time with a much older crowd as they are more sedate and Sophie always seems to enjoy the conversation... and the games. Everyday there is some game or another that everyone gathers to play. Sophie is right in there with them.

So, after our most recent excursion the our new favorite store where Sophie bought something like 10 new dresses (all at incredibly discounted prices. Think: $39 for a runway Max Azria!) I suggested we might consider a cruise for the holiday as we really don't have anywhere else to wear them (okay, the periodic steakhouse or to the Nutcracker in NYC.) She thought it was a great idea. I looked into it and presto! We've got an all inclusive place to wear our fabulous gowns and little chance of running into places to spend money! (Always a nice side benefit.) When we travel we like to walk around the cities we visit. We aren't so keen on shopping, although we like to buy stickers for our suitcase.

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