Leisure: Celebrity&rsquo;s Eclipse has golfing on real grass on the top deck of the ship. <em>*Photo by Don Burgess</em>
Leisure: Celebrity’s Eclipse has golfing on real grass on the top deck of the ship. *Photo by Don Burgess

FRIDAY, MAR. 30: I’m off on Friday to do back-to-back cruises to celebrate my 50th birthday with my family.

My wife and I are already booked on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas for this coming week and it appears we’ll either go on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas or Celebrity’s Eclipse the following week — we still haven’t booked it.

We’ve been on both of those ships before and they are winners. Cruises.com rates the Liberty as the number two ship with the Eclipse at number four (The Oasis comes in at number six). If we sail on Liberty, we’ll move up to Platinum Level status, which will also carry some perks over to Celebrity as both lines are owned by Royal Caribbean. We have a $500 credit on Celebrity so that’s also an appealing option.

Regardless of which one we choose, we’ll do a few tours over the two weeks, but we never book on the ship.

Why? Because you can get a better deal at the pier or through www.shoretrips.com.

I’ve seen far too many people in Bermuda whining on about how much the ships charge for trips here.

Yes, they are more expensive, but every savvy cruiser knows that’s not the way to go.

As a matter of fact, WEDCO, has put out to tender for two additional tour booths at Dockyard for the coming cruise season.

It’s a great business opportunity for someone to make tourists happy and earn cash for themselves.

There are benefits to booking on the ship, which are lessened when in Bermuda.

The number one being, if you book on the ship, you won’t get left behind when the ship leaves the port if the tour is late. If you book with an outside company and the vehicle breaks down or the guide thinks he’s doing you a favour by giving an extended version of a tour, you are completely out of luck if the company gets you back after your scheduled departure time.

Every trip, at least at one port, you can see people doing a mad dash to the ship trying to catch it before it departs.

You’ll have to pay your own way to the next port.

So there is a peace of mind in knowing you’ll be back in time.

I’ve never had that happen to me, but I have forgotten my passport in a car rental prior to a ship departing and got it just in the nick of time.

The crew was literally untying the gangplank as I ran across — I couldn’t have cut it any closer than that.

US Airways

Is offering two months free when you buy the company’s annual club membership.

The cost is $450 for regular Dividend Miles members (or $675 for a joint membership) which will entitle you to use their club loungers in airports across the world club without flying first or business class. For Silver, Gold or Platinum Members it costs $375 (or $600 for a joint account).

You’ll also get 2,500 miles and US Airways will waive the initiation fee. You must enroll by April 3 and use the promotion code CLB14.

Visit http://.shopping.usairways.com/Club/Enrollment.aspx.