Friday, May 18, 2012

MSC Cruise- MSC Magnifica (sister ship is MSC Poesia)

We choose MSC Cruise line to take advantage of their KIDS SAIL FREE promotion.  Which ended up being children under 11 sail free.  We only had to pay port fees and taxes on them.  This was a HUGE HUGE savings for us.

MSC Cruise 

Kids Sale Free promotion  

MSC Magnifica 

"Cheap" Trip Overseas with a family, can it be done?

In planning our trip to Europe, not only did we have to balance the time (how much school they would miss) but also, how much cash outlay were we signing up for.  Trips to Europe aren't cheap, but coupled with a bad Euro to US dollar... its just painful. 

Not patience enough to wait another 3-4 years for the dollar to become stronger again (I hope), we decided to bite the bullet and deal with the $1 to 1.33 euro exchange. 

Helping avoid some of this exchange, we decided to use all of our accrued hotel mileage abroad, thank you very much Hilton and Holiday Inn.  This was a huge cost savings for us, as a room is a room... a $150 room a night translates into points... not into Euros.

Secondly, we decided to go for part of the trip on a cruise line... a European cruise line that quoted us US prices.  By booking this way, we were able to know exactly the cost of our cruise in US dollars vs going through the conversion.  We did not benefit any further on the payment in US dollars, other than the cruise purchase, excursion, drinks, any extras was fully calculated as euros... with the (ouch) Euro to US dollar crunch conversion.  That 4.50 euro soft drink now costs $5.90 US dollars.

Planning our American Children (and Family) Vacation to Europe

When planning our trip overseas from America to Europe with our two kids, we looked for out - of - the box trip planning, locations and site recommendations to interest our children and found that there was little out there.  Our American children, 9 and 10 year old boys that love to travel and see new things, we wanted our European vacation to be a hit with them.  So we wanted to share the things we've learned...