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I just wanted all of you to know what a great tour guide Ionie is. I found her here through a number of you and she is a great guide and a fantastic person. We were on the Century last week and she met us at the pier and took us to Dunn Falls, Fern Gully, and Coyaba River Gardens. She was great, she answered all of our quesstions and is just a lovely person. If you need her email it is listed on this page somewhere or I will be happy to give it to you. She will answer all of your questions before you go--believe me--I had tons.
If I can answer anything just let me know and I will do my best.
Thanks for the info. We just contacted Ionie about a possible tour when we visit in January. She got back to us very quickly. I am looking forward to the tour.
I will also be arriving on the century. Did you get to the falls early before the big crowds?
Lewis and Ionie met us in the parking lot by the cruise ships (we went with Lewis in the smaller van-there were only six of us) bright and early. We went to the falls first-something I would do-before the big crowds. When we were there, there was a HUGE line of ship tours lined up and waiting. We breezed by them and jumped into the van and we were off! Ionie had a sign, and it either had our last name on it, or hers. She was easy to find.
The falls are so lush and beautiful. It was nice getting there prior to the big crowds. We left all our things we didn't need in the back of the van. Lewis provided us with complimentary Pepsi, water or Red Stripe beer.
When we were driving around, Lewis asked us if we wanted to stop at any of the roadside vendors (and they are everywhere)...we were never pressured into buying anything from anyone. We did however buy a lot of things! Lewis helped us when it came to negotiating with the locals on a price...
When we left the falls, we walked over toward the merchant stalls and bought a couple of t-shirts. There was also a woman next to this area, near a white board (I believe it was white), and she was selling pictures taken during the climb. They also offered a video (I think it was $20) and I believe I have read on the boards that they now offer a DVD also. It was worth the money.
After we bought our pictures and t-shirts, we did not continue through the vendors, but turned around and went out the way we entered the park. Several people yelled we were going the wrong way, but we didn't really want to purchase anything else, so we scooted out this way.
There was a guy with a burro (the burro had a hat on-didn't look too happy about it either!), and I took pictures of my kids next to the burro (college-age, and they weren't too happy either!). I remember reading on the boards that prior to taking pictures of something like this, you should ask if it's ok. We did, and they either said..."Yes, for this price, or Yes, no charge." Something like that. I don't remember exactly what they charged, but it was a buck or two. Very cheap for fun pictures.
The only thing we didn't do and wished we had, was eat at a local restaurant. We ate at Margaritaville, and while it was good, it wasn't much different than any other Margaritaville. I think next time we will try The Ruins.
Last edited by twinkletoes4445; November 29th, 2004 at 11:53 PM.
We did the falls early, before the crowds. We would have been there earlier if the ship had been in port at the scheduled time. It was not a problem, we got off, followed the sign to Ionie and Lewis, waited a really short time and there was Ionie. She is a wonderful lady, we had been communicating since I booked the tour. She has four children and we were able to chat about them. She showed us where her youngest daughter went to school, talked about their schedules and lots more. She was a perfect tour guide and I would just her again in a flash.