Using the holiday hustle as an excuse to recharge our batteries, we booked a cruise. We did have an ulterior motive, however. We’re just a week away from achieving Five Star Mariner Status. Now that might not seem like a big deal, but there are perks to the higher levels of Mariner Status. We’ve been at Four Star level since we acquired two hundred cruise day credits. Getting an additional three hundred days has been grueling . . . LOL.
Since we have two more cruises booked for this year, we’ll suffer through a mere week-long voyage . . . or what I usually call, “a good start.” Following this trip, in addition to the four star perks, we’ll have a complimentary day pass to the Greenhouse Spa and Salon Thermal Suite, two complimentary dinners in the Pinnacle Grill, and a complimentary hands-on cooking workshop. These benefits, in addition to those we already receive are worth it . . . at least to me.
We flew out of Eugene, Oregon on a flight that left about an hour late due to fog. First stop was Portland, Oregon, for a shorter layover than originally scheduled. We had plenty of time for a bite to eat and wait at the gate for another slightly delayed flight.
In the gate waiting area, we struck up a conversation with people sitting across from us, who as it turned out were going on the same cruise! Then, a woman sitting behind us joined in that she was going too! It’s a small world!
The flight to San Diego was uneventful, and we were met
by our dear friends, Sandi and Fred. Not
only did they pick us up to deliver us to our hotel, they brought wine for the
four of us to enjoy before taking them to dinner. The also brought a couple of bottles of wine
for us to enjoy on the ship. Each
passenger, over the age of twenty-one, is allowed to bring one bottle on board
to enjoy in their cabin.
We had accommodations at the Marriott Residence Inn, conveniently located across the street from the cruise terminal . . . and, happily used points to cover the cost. The kitchenette, small living room, and separate bedroom were very comfortable. . . the panoramic view from the fifteenth floor was icing on the cake.
After a fun evening of catching up, our friends headed home and we turned in after having been up much too early with a fitful night of sleep. We drifted off to dreamland with visions of cruise ships in our heads.