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Posts posted by lifes-a-beach

  1. 5 hours ago, Ysya said:

    Grow up, they promised us these perks.  You can have a say when you have cruised as many times that I have.  And by the way, if you think we haven't paid for these perks, you are wrong.

    I bet you’re one of those people that, when you get pulled over for speeding, tells the officer, “I pay your salary!”.  

  2. 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.  

  3. 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.  

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. We cruised Easter week this year and encountered something very unusual for us.  We cruise out of Galveston at least 3 times a year (this year it was 5) and never even considered that Easter week was some sort of Mexican travel date.  There were literally thousands of passengers that were from Mexico and leaving was a nightmare.  I guess there are lots of extra steps with Immigration and it delayed our departure several hours.  Getting back was a snap though since thousands of passengers were in the Immigration/ Customs lines for International travel and we sailed right through the passport line. 


    The 1:00 shuttle will be fine for getting to Hobby.  Just have your extra patience handy for departure.

  7. There are taxis all over the place around spots like Royal Palms and the public beach.  Cemetery Beach is a little more remote but there's a bus stop literally right there.  On the other hand, when we went there I just got our cab drivers number and called her when we were ready to return.  She was there in 15 minutes. 


    For my money, and given its your first trip to GC, I would go to Royal Palms.  Entry is something like $3pp.  There is a nice adults only pool and if you walk just a short distance down the beach to the right you'll be almost by yourselves.  You can get food and drinks there but be mindful its pretty pricey, as it is everywhere in GC.  When you're ready to leave there will be cabs there to take you back to the tender.  No need to be nervous, just pay attention to the time.

  8. I always carry some for fans.  Before early this year there was never an issue in 30 cruises.  Then I was called to the “naughty room” and told to remove them, which I did.  Our room steward brought us some but they were very large and long.  They gave them back at the end of the trip.  Then in October we did B2B and nothing was said at all.  

  9. 7 minutes ago, Kenster said:

    Is it worth the hassle of getting into the long line of cars to drop off someone at the ship, THEN go park and take the shuttle?


    When the shuttle gets to the terminal, does it have to get into the same line of cars that are just dropping people off?

    To me it is worth not having to handle our luggage virtually at all on the way in.  The line of cars dropping off isn't that bad and given that I'm sitting in a comfortable vehicle with air/heat and a great radio I wouldn't care if it was a little long.  Most importantly I don't have to tip the bus guys as well as the porters for handling the luggage.  Pull up in front of the terminal, set the bags on the driveway next to my truck, wife handles the tip money while I drive off.  Nothing to it. 


    Shuttles have their own lane across the dropoff/pickup lane. 

  10. First, the pier is very long.  Ive walked it bunches of times and I am always amazed at how long it is.  Sometimes there’s a tram running and sometimes not.  Once you get to the port area there are the usual assortment of shops, a few restaurants and a pool.  But make no mistake, the port isn’t “right off the ship”.  

  11. When you get inside you will show your boarding pass documents to one of the port employees and they will direct you to the correct lane.  It’s before security (but honestly I’m not sure if they might also have a priority line for security).  I’m pretty sure it’s to the right of the other lines but rest assured they will send you the right way.  There has never been much of a line when we depart on Enchantment, including two weeks ago.  

  12. We did this in September and it was $23 to the drugstore next to Guidos.  Pretty sure I gave him $25.  There will be taxis lined up at both P.B. and several spots along Rafael Melgar downtown.  As mentioned, ask what the fare is before you get in but I’ve never had any issues with gouging (like in so many cities in the U.S.)


    And if if you’re hungry check out Pancho’s Backyard in the next block past Guidos.  We were there last week and, while a little pricey, food and service were excellent.  

  13. I gave in and bought Klymit Static V Luxe and OMG they’re the greatest thing ever.  To the OP, we cruise on Liberty often as we live not far from Galveston.  The mattresses are horrible.  As someone noted, they double the mattress pads which does absolutely nothing.  I put the Klymit under the pads and every evening I might have to put one breath in them.  Once they’re in place the room steward just makes the bed up on them.  They roll up easy back into the carry bag they come in and don’t take up much room in my suitcase.  I can’t recommend them enough.  We just got home yesterday from 10 nights on Enchantment.  Same terrible mattresses but we slept good on these.  Got them on Amazon.  

  14. Welcome to Cruise Critic.  Keep reading and you’ll find lots of information in the respective port of call forums for those ports.  Here are mine.  


    Belize, go on the ship tour to Lamanai.

    Jamaica, zip lining or stay on the ship

    Grand Cayman, CaptainMarvin to Stingray City

    Honduras, if you mean Roatan, check Victor Bodden’s website for options including touring the island and going to West End Village for good food, snorkel West Bay Beach, snorkel Half Moon Bay, head to Temporary Cal’s for lunch.  


    Good luck to you!

  15. I use WiFi all the time in every port.  Somewhere there’s a beach club or restaurant with WiFi.  Even found a coffee shop in Puerto Limon and was able to FaceTime via WiFi.  I never need cellular service for work email.  

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