By , April 14, 2012 5:44 pm

Greetings from somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean!

After nine amazing months, it is finally time for us to bid adieu adios to Central America. It’s hard to leave a place we’ve grown to love so much; a place that has taught us more than we could have hoped about life, the world, and ourselves. But it’s time.

As you read this, Mike and I are lounging aboard a 5-star cruise ship en route to Barcelona, Spain. Actually we’re probably ice skating, rock climbing, surfing, or working out in the fitness center aboard the ship (we’ve got to offset all the food we’re eating somehow).

“Wait a minute!” you’re saying. “Did you say 5-star cruise ship? Am I reading the right blog? Aren’t Mike and Ashley self-proclaimed cheapskates? What are they doing on a 5-star cruise?”

No, we didn’t win the lottery. And we didn’t decide to throw our budget to the wind. Nor did we feel like we were in need of some luxury. To our utmost surprise, we discovered that a relocation cruise from Florida to Spain is actually cheaper than plane tickets to Spain, even when we factor in our flight from Guatemala City to Fort Lauderdale to hop on the boat (we’re talking $579 USD per person, taxes in, plus tips). And it includes 14 nights of food and accommodation! So it turns out the cheap thing to do is eat at delicious over-the-top restaurants, watch a broadway show, and go ice skating while we cross the Atlantic. Who would have thunk it?

Why Spain? We thought we were heading south through Central America and were planning to catch a boat from Panama to Colombia to continue through South America. But something in the back of our minds was itching for something a little different. We still want to work on our Spanish language skills, so Spain seemed like a good fit. We also thought it would be nice to walk the Camino de Santiago before Mike turns 30 (before he’s too old for it, as he says) , which happens on July 31. And the timing worked out perfectly, as the relocation ships only travel to Europe in April/May (they head back in November, in case you’re wondering).  South America is still calling to us, but it’ll have to wait for now.

We haven’t given up on all that we learned in El Salvador.  We plan to stick to a vegetarian diet on the cruise (if the free sushi doesn’t trip us up).  And we think the Camino will give us the perfect opportunity to reflect on everything we’ve been learning on this journey.  Post-camino, we are excited to try some more WWOOFing and work exchanges at organic farms in Europe.

So here we are. Cruising across the Atlantic. Internet is available, but at a whopping 65 cents a minute, we’re content to stay “unplugged” for the next 14 days. So we won’t be responding to your comments or emails for a little while. We will, however, finish posting the last of our Central American posts for your enjoyment.

See you on the other side.

5 Responses to “Something New for Us… Cruisin’ the Atlantic”

  1. Oh you bet you well have time to reflect on El Salvador, vegetarianism, and pretty much anything else that crosses your mind over the course of 800kms. 🙂 We are so excited for u two walking the Camino…. you will love it. Congrats again, on that almost obscene cruise deal…. travel safe.

  2. Paul says:

    Couple questions for you: How did you find your relocation cruise? And how far in advance did you book?

    Since seeing your post i’ve been looking at a repositioning cruise instead of buying a one way plane ticket when I set off sometime in the fall.

    • Ashley Lenzen says:

      Good questions. We searched for our cruise using a website called After finding the cruise we wanted, we then booked through a website called via phone as they had more onboard credit for the same price.

      We purchased our ticket on the last day of February during a 2 day sale. That’s about 6 weeks before we boarded. That was the cheapest price we saw advertised.

  3. Nils & Ilona says:

    That 5 star trip sounds amazing! I bet it’s cheaper because it takes two weeks; most Americans only have 2 weeks holiday every year so it makes more sense for them to fly? Enjoy!

    • Mike Lenzen says:

      I bet that’s a big part of it. There was only one US couple we talked two that were not flying home within two days of arriving in Spain. As expected, we were well under the average age, and most cruisers were retired (yet still they chose to fly home, or string together another cruise to Rome or Singapore!).

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