Re: Need advice from cruisers
Try to time your departure so the last six months or so are live aboard, that gives you time to do a shake down cruise AND a break down cruise.
For example, move on board in June, and depart in October or so.
Save some of the upgrading for while you are out and about on the way down south as there are great deals to be found on the way, and some of the 'stuff' you think you must have now will be things you've found you can live without.
Lessons learned are opportunities earned.