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Everything posted by lifes-a-beach

  1. Someone at Carnival did. “Studies have shown” that if more people become offended by rules fewer of them will go where those rules apply. Less people will mean more empty cabins, thus lower fares. “Studies have also shown” that if a departure port is seen as a chaotic mess fewer people will choose to use it. Same result. So shout it from the rooftops: “Carnival cruise line is a bunch of stuck up snobs who won’t let you wear your F*** THE POLICE tee shirt and Galveston is completely disorganized with horrible traffic and long lines!” Just doing my part for lower fares from Galveston where we sail from 4 or 5 times a year.
  2. You know what, I think you’re right. It was. Victor Bodden driver and maybe Bananarama. Been a few years.
  3. When people talk about safety I always think about murder, kidnapping for ransom, sexual assault, things like that. I am a retired law enforcement professional and in my experience lots of victims are somewhere they have no business being, and/or doing something they have no business doing. My wife and I have been all over Roatan, east west and central, for years and I have never once felt unsafe. Property crime can happen anywhere and is sometimes, but not always, the result of someone’s relaxed caution with their items of value. Use common sense like you do at home. I was born and raised in Houston and there are several parts I avoid during the day, not to mention at night. Same with most U.S. cities. So don’t go where you have no business going. Don’t get falling down drunk. Don’t buy drugs. Pay attention to your surroundings. Stay with people you trust (and I would include Rony’s, as well as Victor Bodden in that characterization), don’t flash expensive jewelry or large amounts of cash. Sound familiar? Yeah, same as at home.
  4. As you can see, the reef is a bit closer to the beach the further down you do. Mayan Princess at the top of the picture is a pretty good walk from Infinity and points further down. Not too many boats except where you see them near the pier in front of Infinity, although you should always be looking out for them. In my experience the snorkeling closer to the beach is pretty good from about Paradise Beach down to the end of the beach. The calmness of the water will depend largely on the wind and weather conditions. Tabayana is just down from Infinity and, while there may be a boat traveling that stretch, i haven’t felt unsafe in the water there. There are pools at Paradise and Infinity but not at Tabayana. Food is subjective so I will only say that I was disappointed in the food at Paradise. Food is expensive all along the resort areas but what we had there wasn’t very good. We don’t drink so I can’t comment on any of the all-inclusive options. As for transportation, we used Shoreexcursioneer for our trip to Paradise 2 years ago and their service was excellent. The motor coach was nice and with the usual exception of stupid people showing up late and causing delays it was a good experience. We have also used Victor Bodden just as a driver and very much liked that process. The one time we went to Tayabana was first thing in the morning and when it got to be lunch time I was done snorkeling so we had the driver take us to West End Village for lunch. Lots of good restaurants there. Good food for a bit less money although, when you factored in the cost of the driver the cost was probably about the same. It really all depends on what you want to do.
  5. My advice is just get in multiple cabs all at the same time. It's a 20 or so minute ride so what difference would it make? If you intend to get there early I seriously doubt they will be full. My wife and I are not AI folks either and have never been turned away either because it was full or, since they started AI, in favor of AI customers. I can't imagine them ever doing that. You can continue to read this sub-forum for every alternative there is but we have never needed one. In fact, the times we have gone elsewhere we ask ourselves later why we didn't just go to P.B. which we always love.
  6. First off, Roatan is not Cozumel. It’s not even Costa Maya. Cabs are not regulated and, while you may find a reasonable fare over to West Bay beach, the return trip may not be so reasonable. That said, I love Roatan as much as, or more than any other island. There is no comparison to the snorkeling from the beach anywhere I have been except perhaps Cemetery Beach in Grand Cayman. We have used Victor Bodden several times. His “Best of” tour is really just having a driver for the day. Tell the driver where you want to go and to hang close for when you’re ready to go somewhere else. We have snorkeled West Bay Beach and Half Moon Bay over by West End Village. Both were top notch. There is a restaurant in West End called El Bosque that has always been excellent. There are a number of other restaurants in West End that I have heard good things about. Last year we ate at the restaurant at Paradise Beach Resort on West Bay and it was not good. Overpriced tourist food. If you really feel adventurous you can snorkel West Bay for a few hours in the morning, then head east to Temporary Cal’s Cantina. It’s a hike over there but we really love it. Local place sitting atop a hill with outdoor seating overlooking the Caribbean. We also did a ship excursion years ago to Maya Key, a private island near the airport. Very nice day with a small pool and snorkeling from a very long pier that takes you right out to the reef. The food was good also. Keep reading this Roatan forum for lots of other good ideas. Many folks speak highly of Rony’s Tour service and we used Shore Excursioneer the time we went to Paradise Beach Resort. While I can’t recommend the resort, the service provided by Shore Excursioneer was excellent.
  7. I second Paradise Beach. Been going there for close to 20 years, long before the amazing pool and restaurant that’s there now. It’s definitely worth the cab fare. Also to add to what others have said about safety, Cozumel is very safe. Take some sun block, a good book and a little cash and let Mexico do the rest.
  8. Walk all the way out to the parking area where the tram loads and you will see the gate that leads out to the street. Go through the gate and there will be a guy there who coordinates the taxis. It’s a hike but most of the hike is getting out of the port area. We do it every time we go there though.
  9. You may also consider driving to the terminal and dropping off your bags and family, then driving to the parking lot. I have been doing that for years and find the wait, particularly other than Saturday and Sunday, to be reasonable. I’ve walked to and from EZ cruise dozens of times by myself without bags. Just remember to keep your passport and boarding pass. By the time I get there my wife is through security and waiting for me. I also keep an umbrella and/or one of those 99 cent throw away rain ponchos handy for both arrival and when we get back. I walk to the lot and drive over and pick up my wife and bags.
  10. I’m pretty sure is was Norwegian but it might have been RCL. I wouldn’t do this one with a private vendor. I think we’ve only done 3 ship excursions; Panama Canal on a passenger ferry, zip lining in Jamaica and this one. I forgot to mention that the boat ride was a blast. On the way there we stopped to see wildlife and other sights. On the way back it was just a run.
  11. This is one of the very best excursions we have ever taken. The bus ride included a very good speaker who gave us history and current affairs of Belize. There was another guy seated up front that was operating the bus door. He was quiet on the bus ride and then on the boat ride too. I wrongly presumed he was a staff member of the transport company. Once we got to the ruins he was introduced as a Doctor of Mayan Studies who had been to nearly every Mayan site in the world. It was an amazing trip and we sent out kids on it the next year when they were in college. Get you some Deep Woods Off wipes from Amazon. Spray just goes everywhere. Mosquitoes are vicious!
  12. Welcome to Cruise Critic. If you don’t all have passports get them Go on a healthy diet and exercise program now so you can partake in whatever you want and still come back fit. Start looking for your second cruise.
  13. The reality of it is, if not for someone’s personal appearance I might have to associate with them to learn that I want nothing to do with them. “Wear what you want” indeed, and thanks for the heads up.
  14. Works great on every RCL ship I’ve used it on. Also used it at random places off the ship including in the port restaurants as well as outside the port. Used it once in Puerta Limon at a pizza joint on the second story of a building. Worked great. Set it up at home.
  15. I bet you’re one of those people that, when you get pulled over for speeding, tells the officer, “I pay your salary!”.
  16. I suppose if you booked the room through one of the online services they wouldn’t even know you were a cruise ship passenger. Or need to for that matter. One downside might be the cancellation policy. Although rare, there are times when a port is missed. Cancellation with a refund would likely be before you would know the port was being missed so you would be out the cost of the room. As was already stated, the hotel and room would have to be pretty nice to be nicer than an already paid for cruise ship with very few passengers aboard and mostly free food. Such a hotel would likely be very expensive for a single night. If money is no object then go for it. But if you really don’t need access to a room you might consider just paying a day pass fee. Usually if the port is missed for whatever reason the reservation is refundable.
  17. It’s cold. I hate cold. I’m wearing shoes. I hate shoes I’m wearing jeans. I hate jeans. I’m wearing a jacket. I hate wearing a jacket because I hate cold. There’s no beach. I’m a complete beach bum who loves the beach. I have to actually talk to stupid people instead of ignoring or laughing at them because I’m back to work. I’m back to work. I’m planning the next cruise. Or, like today, I’m planning our shore activities since we have three cruises booked in 2020. That’s all I can think of. My wife is an amazing cook. Contractor takes care of the yard. My coffee is better than ship coffee, specialty or not. My bed is more comfortable. I can watch what I want on tv. All things considered my life is pretty darn good.
  18. Welcome to Cruise Critic LaLaX8. As was stated above, be sure to visit the individual ports-of-call threads under Caribbean. For my money, and after 30+ trips mostly in the Caribbean, for Cozumel it’s Paradise Beach. In Grand Cayman we love either Royal Palms or Cemetery Beach but someone above recommended Captain Marvin’s trip to Stingray City and I will add that we also did that some years back and it should be a bucket list item for everyone visiting GC. In Costa Maya we take a cab to Blue Key and enjoy a beach day and their ceviche. We love stopping in Jamaica since 90% of the passengers go ashore and we get to enjoy a day on the ship mostly to ourselves. It’s just not our gig although 20 years ago we went zip lining with a ship tour and had a blast. Otherwise, since we don’t want to buy drugs or get our hair braided there’s not much attraction for us. Never been to Half Moon Cay. You will find lots of information here at CC and a wide variety of likes and dislikes so read up and see what attracts you. Enjoy!
  19. Definitely specialty dining. Don’t drink. Don’t buy jewelry. Don't buy watches. Don’t buy art. Gratuities are generally taken care of with OBC. I have been known to throw down on the dice table but usually I come out OK.
  20. First of all, I think it's none of my business since I don't live there. It is for the residents there to decide. In any case, the vote has been delayed. https://www.caymancompass.com/2019/12/03/port-referendum-delayed/
  21. No more calls about my cars extended warranty.
  22. When, after breakfast, I struggle with the decision of pool deck, sun deck, library or casino.
  23. I always figure 20% as a baseline. Everything goes smoothly, driver does his or her job, 20% is sufficient. Over and above service, particularly if it’s personal like taking us to a restaurant we may not otherwise have found or getting us out of an emerging unsafe situation, drives that percentage up. I have tipped 100% before when I felt it was deserved. I think if you start with 20% you will know when something more is warranted.
  24. There is a regularly scheduled nap time every day.
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