Once again I found a deal we couldn’t refuse, this time through Online Vacation Center. The package included airfare, an eleven night Celebrity cruise with balcony cabin, gratuities, and drink package, and a two night hotel stay in Sydney (front end) and Auckland (back end). We added air from Orlando with a return stopover in Hawaii for six nights. The grand total $4,400 each, the most expensive trip we have ever been on by far, but for almost a month and three countries, not bad.
Our trip over was a story of weather delays and missed flights. Luckily, we had long layovers in Charlotte and LAX, so the two hour delays in both airports were no problem. However, we made the colossal error of going to the international terminal in LAX and waiting for a Quantas flight to Sydney that was scheduled at the same time as our American Airline flight (assuming they were the same flight). In our defense, we did show our ticket to the attendant at the counter, and he told us we were in the right place. When we were boarding, however, we were told we were in the wrong terminal. The other was so far away there was no way we could make the flight. The Quantas folks were great and called American and got them to reissue a ticket to them, but unfortunately not in time to board that flight to Sydney but in time for another flight for Brisbane, from where we would continue on to Sydney, arriving only an hour later. As luck would have it, Sydney had torrential rains and flooding the morning we were to fly in, and we were stuck in Brisbane most of the day, arriving at 4 pm. We missed a day but we did get there!