How do you manage your house, pets, etc. while on such a lengthy cruise?

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#1
PA
945 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Hi,

Can't help but ask this....it'd be interesting to know how many people who do WC either have smaller properties to take care of - possibly 55+ communities and such - possibly no pets or houseplants, etc. I suppose an option is to hire a live-in house sitter to take care of some of the things I mentioned. Another concern is, if appropriate to one's living situation and location, having someone to plow snow, mow lawn, etc.
I've looked at these WC itineraries occasionally over the years and find them really intriguing, but just can't imagine the logistics of being away so long since I have all the concerns I mentioned above - a substantial property to take care of, pets, plants, and so forth.

Thanks for any thoughts on how those who have done such long voyages manage it on the homefront. Then I suppose there is the cruise itself - I have enough trouble deliberating over and choosing shore excursions for a 2-week cruise, let alone have to deal with a cruise that stops at like 50+ ports!! Then, too, there is all the time spent just at sea. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 50+ days just at sea.....not sure about how I'd like that.
#2
USA
5,282 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
I haven't taken my world cruise yet (2019), but have already made a long list of "things to do."

I live on a small farm - no animals currently, but lots of mowing. I also have a poodle who is 12 yrs old. I plan to ask my neighbor to let my dog stay with them (if he's still alive at the time I sail) and ask my daughters and sons-in-law to check the house, mow the lawn and drive the car every couple weeks. Of course I'll pay them for their help.

Before I leave, I'll get a vacation extension on my prescriptions, have the mail forwarded to one of my daughters' home and have all the bills on auto pay. I think seeing the world will be well worth the effort of preplanning.
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Oceania Insignia 1-2019 (World Cruise - 161 days)
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Oceania Insignia 12-2017 (Cuba - 7 days)
Regal Princess 11-2017 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)
Caribbean Princess 3-2017 (Southern Caribbean - 8 days)
Celebrity Silhouette 8-2016 (British Isles, Guernsey, Belgium, Amsterdam - 14 days)
Grand Princess 11-2015 (Hawaii - 15 days)

Celebrity Infinity 10-2014 (TA - England, Azores, Bermuda, Bahamas - 14 days)
Celebrity Reflection 3-2014 (Eastern Caribbean - 7 days)
Crown Princess 7-2013 (Baltics/Russia - 14 days)
Emerald Princess 3-2012 (Eastern Caribbean - 10 days)
Caribbean Princess 6-2011 (Canada/New England - 9 days)
Crown Princess 9-2010 (TA - British Isles, Iceland, Greenland, Canada - 14 days)
Coral Princess 12-2008 (Full Panama Canal, Central America, Mexico - 14 days)
Sun Princess 9-2007 (Alaska - 7 days)
Carnival Paradise 9-2003 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)
Carnival Fantasy 1-1990 (Bahamas - 4 days)
Carnival Holiday 12-1989 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)

#3
Tampa, Florida
4,669 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
If I had a close friend or family member locally, with whom my pet had spent a lot of time, I might consider doing that. However, we have an aging feline companion, who is an "only child", and we have made the decision to not go on any long trips until she has crossed the "rainbow bridge." Since that time appears to becoming closer, we intend to put a deposit on the 2018 Grand Asia and/or the 2019 PC, and make a final determination by the time of final payment, depending on our pet's health. I just can't imagine leaving her with just anyone for four months. After all, she won't know if we will ever come back and will think that we have abandoned her.

Payment of bills is no problem in this digital age, but obviously a laptop or i-pad is essential. You don't want to use a public computer for payment of bills and access to financial accounts.
Obtaining multi-month supplies of prescription drugs sometimes takes a few days and your physician's confirmation as to necessity, so we plan on allowing sufficient time for that.
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#4
Raleigh NC
25,280 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
We are on pace to be traveling around 270 days this year. We moved to a townhouse several years ago so we could travel . We have no responsibility for any out side maintenance. Inside, we have no pets, gave away the tropical fish and plants a while back. We will be home three times this year, as short as a few weeks, as long as about six weeks. All bills are direct draft, mail is rerouted to a po box.
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Kirk

Future Cruises
HAL Maasdam 7-14-2018 - New England and Canada
HAL Prinsendam 8-5-2018 - Four months on the Elegant Explorer
HAL Zaandam 12-6-18 Back to the frozen south
HAL Amsterdam 1-22-2019 - Grand World Voyage
Hurtengruten Fram 6-3-2019 - Visit the polar bears on Svalbard
HAL Maasdam 8-28-2019 - Eighty days on the Maasdam
HAL Amsterdam 1-4-2020 - Grand Would Voyage
#6
Austin, Texas USA
1,164 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
In our experience, USPS will hold mail for only 30 days.

We have the neighbor's kids collect our mail for us (their mail box is next to ours). For our 2018 WC, instead of paying them $20 each for this service, we're looking at getting them US Savings Bonds or some similar financial instrument.
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#7
Tampa, Florida
4,669 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
I understand the 30-day hold, but the mail can be temporarily re-routed for, I think, up to 180 days. So if it is re-routed to a PO Box, and that box gets full, what then? And pls. don't tell me what I fear sometimes does happen - gets deep-sixed or returned to Sender. The last time we had our home mail re-routed for two months, some of the mail was returned to Sender, marked "Moved away." Gotta love that service!
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#9
Centerville, Ohio, USA
9,983 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
It is not inexpensive, but for long times away from home, I use the USPS Premium Mail Forwarding Service and have mail sent to a friend's home in a neighboring community.
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#10
Raleigh NC
25,280 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by Tampa Girl
What happens when the PO box gets filled - the PO stuffs it somewhere in the back in a box?
We rent a large box, remember only first class mail is forwarded so junk mail get tossed.
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Kirk

Future Cruises
HAL Maasdam 7-14-2018 - New England and Canada
HAL Prinsendam 8-5-2018 - Four months on the Elegant Explorer
HAL Zaandam 12-6-18 Back to the frozen south
HAL Amsterdam 1-22-2019 - Grand World Voyage
Hurtengruten Fram 6-3-2019 - Visit the polar bears on Svalbard
HAL Maasdam 8-28-2019 - Eighty days on the Maasdam
HAL Amsterdam 1-4-2020 - Grand Would Voyage
#11
Tampa, Florida
4,669 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by KirkNC
We rent a large box, remember only first class mail is forwarded so junk mail get tossed.
I think that is the best choice. But, interestingly, the PO does occasionally (by mistake) forward junk mail, and it also forwards magazines and, occasionally, catalogs.

RKA - Why do you feel that the premium forwarding service is worthwhile? We use the regular forwarding service, and we find that the mail still only gets forwarded once or twice a week. If we're lucky.
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#12
Centerville, Ohio, USA
9,983 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Originally posted by Tampa Girl
I think that is the best choice. But, interestingly, the PO does occasionally (by mistake) forward junk mail, and it also forwards magazines and, occasionally, catalogs.

RKA - Why do you feel that the premium forwarding service is worthwhile? We use the regular forwarding service, and we find that the mail still only gets forwarded once or twice a week. If we're lucky.
For my post office, their forwarding service can be a "hit or miss" proposition. I want all of my mail forwarded because I do subscribe to some journals and publications that I do want to receive. Yes, there is some--not alot--but some "junk mail" that is in the boxes which I can easily discard.

Plus, the premium forwarding service puts the mail in a sealed box that helps me to be sure that all that I should receive has been received and not just sent "loose" as regularly forwarded mail is.

I often need to use this service in late December-January-February when tax forms are being mailed. I want to be sure that I receive those forms.
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#13
Tampa, Florida
4,669 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by rkacruiser
For my post office, their forwarding service can be a "hit or miss" proposition. I want all of my mail forwarded because I do subscribe to some journals and publications that I do want to receive. Yes, there is some--not alot--but some "junk mail" that is in the boxes which I can easily discard.

I often need to use this service in late December-January-February when tax forms are being mailed. I want to be sure that I receive those forms.
Good reasons.
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#14
USA
5,282 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by KirkNC
We rent a large box, remember only first class mail is forwarded so junk mail get tossed.

Does that include Oceania's continuous supply of brochures??!!
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Life's Milestones are Best Celebrated in Nautical Miles.



Oceania Insignia 1-2019 (World Cruise - 161 days)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oceania Insignia 12-2017 (Cuba - 7 days)
Regal Princess 11-2017 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)
Caribbean Princess 3-2017 (Southern Caribbean - 8 days)
Celebrity Silhouette 8-2016 (British Isles, Guernsey, Belgium, Amsterdam - 14 days)
Grand Princess 11-2015 (Hawaii - 15 days)

Celebrity Infinity 10-2014 (TA - England, Azores, Bermuda, Bahamas - 14 days)
Celebrity Reflection 3-2014 (Eastern Caribbean - 7 days)
Crown Princess 7-2013 (Baltics/Russia - 14 days)
Emerald Princess 3-2012 (Eastern Caribbean - 10 days)
Caribbean Princess 6-2011 (Canada/New England - 9 days)
Crown Princess 9-2010 (TA - British Isles, Iceland, Greenland, Canada - 14 days)
Coral Princess 12-2008 (Full Panama Canal, Central America, Mexico - 14 days)
Sun Princess 9-2007 (Alaska - 7 days)
Carnival Paradise 9-2003 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)
Carnival Fantasy 1-1990 (Bahamas - 4 days)
Carnival Holiday 12-1989 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)

#15
Centerville, Ohio, USA
9,983 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Originally posted by Go-Bucks!
Does that include Oceania's continuous supply of brochures??!!
Thread drift this post is, but I applaud your comment! How much could Oceania reduce their fares if this nearly daily flood of brochures cease? I really don't understand their business model that causes such mailings!

If anything, it turns me off from considering booking a cruise on Oceania.
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53 cruises: 32 Holland America, 4 Princess, 4 Carnival, 3 Pacific Far East Line, 2 Cunard, 2 Royal Viking Line, 1 each: Celebrity Cruises, NCL, Royal Caribbean, Sitmar, American Hawaii Cruises, Home Lines
#16
USA
5,282 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by rkacruiser
Thread drift this post is, but I applaud your comment! How much could Oceania reduce their fares if this nearly daily flood of brochures cease? I really don't understand their business model that causes such mailings!

If anything, it turns me off from considering booking a cruise on Oceania.
Sorry for the rabbit trail . . . . but many other cruiselines stuff my mailbox with full of their brochures too. Lots of pretty pictures but I can't imagine that it's a profitable way to market their products. I'd prefer my fares to decrease instead too.
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Life's Milestones are Best Celebrated in Nautical Miles.



Oceania Insignia 1-2019 (World Cruise - 161 days)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oceania Insignia 12-2017 (Cuba - 7 days)
Regal Princess 11-2017 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)
Caribbean Princess 3-2017 (Southern Caribbean - 8 days)
Celebrity Silhouette 8-2016 (British Isles, Guernsey, Belgium, Amsterdam - 14 days)
Grand Princess 11-2015 (Hawaii - 15 days)

Celebrity Infinity 10-2014 (TA - England, Azores, Bermuda, Bahamas - 14 days)
Celebrity Reflection 3-2014 (Eastern Caribbean - 7 days)
Crown Princess 7-2013 (Baltics/Russia - 14 days)
Emerald Princess 3-2012 (Eastern Caribbean - 10 days)
Caribbean Princess 6-2011 (Canada/New England - 9 days)
Crown Princess 9-2010 (TA - British Isles, Iceland, Greenland, Canada - 14 days)
Coral Princess 12-2008 (Full Panama Canal, Central America, Mexico - 14 days)
Sun Princess 9-2007 (Alaska - 7 days)
Carnival Paradise 9-2003 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)
Carnival Fantasy 1-1990 (Bahamas - 4 days)
Carnival Holiday 12-1989 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)

#17
Raleigh NC
25,280 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by Go-Bucks!
Does that include Oceania's continuous supply of brochures??!!
Yes, otherwise you will need two boxes!
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Kirk

Future Cruises
HAL Maasdam 7-14-2018 - New England and Canada
HAL Prinsendam 8-5-2018 - Four months on the Elegant Explorer
HAL Zaandam 12-6-18 Back to the frozen south
HAL Amsterdam 1-22-2019 - Grand World Voyage
Hurtengruten Fram 6-3-2019 - Visit the polar bears on Svalbard
HAL Maasdam 8-28-2019 - Eighty days on the Maasdam
HAL Amsterdam 1-4-2020 - Grand Would Voyage
#18
Florida
21,141 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
We have our mail temporary transferred to a neighbor who also watch's the house and we pay her $200 per month.
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#19
PA
945 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Interesting thoughts, especially on having mail held. I can't even rely on my local newspaper company to be sure and NOT put any papers in our delivery box when we're away for only 2 weeks. Inevitably we get back from a trip and there is at least one or two newspapers in the box. I've complained about this so many times, but the problem just continues on. What happens is that whenever there is a substitute carrier, the message to have our paper delivery temporarily suspended somehow does not get to that person. So I worry about this every single time we go on any trip - be it 5 days or 3 weeks. And to ask a family member or relative to check each day on whether or not we got a paper is a bit too much to expect. With further consideration, the WC just sounds like too much: too long, too much to worry about while away, especially with a large property to attend to and the pets, plants, etc. It'll have to wait till the inevitable downsize and a possible move to a 55+ community. The thought of doing so is actually looking better and better as the years go on.
#20
South Carolina, USA
693 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Originally posted by three4rd
Interesting thoughts, especially on having mail held. I can't even rely on my local newspaper company to be sure and NOT put any papers in our delivery box when we're away for only 2 weeks..
Can't comment on newspaper delivery, but regarding USPS Hold Mail service, we have used it many times and never had a problem. At the end of the hold period they put it all in the mailbox if it fits and it it doesn't fit they deliver it in a tub which they put on the front porch. If we didn't have a porch and would worry about rain, we could elect to pick it up at the PO.