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Everything posted by lifes-a-beach

  1. Which part is not true at all? “My experience is that prices always go up.” That’s my experience and I’m certain I haven’t lied about my personal experience. “ Our normal departure port is Galveston and we book over a year out all the time.” Two truths I one sentence. “We almost never see a reduction in fares...” Another truth for us. ”I know what a very low fare looks like...” yep...true. ”We can go anytime”. I think I’m detecting a pattern here. You see, what’s true for me may not be true for you.
  2. My experience is that prices always go up. Our normal departure port is Galveston and we book over a year out all the time. We almost never see a reduction in the fare, probably for 2 reasons. First, I know what a very low fare looks like and second, we can go anytime. Those 2 factors allow us to book only the lowest fares. We have 5 cruises booked for 2019 and I’ve already identified a first to book in 2020. OBC is a factor but only in the mathematical formula.
  3. Depending on what time you’re arriving, you might consider going to West Bay early, then taking the ferry over to West End Village about lunchtime. There are lots of good places to eat in West End and by about 11am West Bay starts to get very crowded since there are lots of condos there. If snorkeling is on your list, Half Moon Bay is pretty good as well.
  4. lifes-a-beach

    Blue Kay

    Walk out the port gate. There are cabs waiting there. Tell the driver to take you there. $4 per person.
  5. You don’t need a passport to go ashore in Mexico. Just certified birth certificates. That said, unless the kids are fixin to be the age they can get the grownup passports that are good for 10 years and you don’t want to waste the money before then, I think I’d get them renewed.
  6. RCI also charges. If I find that the convenience is not worth the cost, or that my travel budget can’t be adjusted to include the additional cost I’ll just go to one of the free venues to eat. The only time in recent memory when I felt compelled to order room service was for 4 days of a 7 night cruise when I got sick and didn’t want to leave my cabin. I couldn’t tell you, nor do I care, what those meals cost.
  7. Barb, my wife is sensitive to the sun also. We have been to Paradise Beach many times and we always get chairs at the pool in the shade of the palm trees. If you prefer to sit on the beach and in the shade there are plenty of spots there too. The food is very good, service impeccable and the restrooms are always clean. We usually go under the large palapa where there are tables for lunch. Your server will serve you there no problem. The pool is amazing as well.
  8. We’ve done a number of trips over 7 nights and your assessment is accurate. Since not-yet-retired folks are more restricted in their vacation time, and a 7 day cruise is usually a week of vacation, not many choose the longer itineraries. There will always be some number of 20-30 year old travelers, just as there are always young parents with small kids. It’s really just a numbers difference.
  9. Recommend you try Paradise Beach. I think it checks all the boxes for you. We’ve been going there several times a year and when our kids were young they loved it.
  10. I can only comment on Hilton Rose Hall. My wife and I went there on her 50th birthday. The property is beautiful and there is a lazy river and slides, as well as the pool between the beach and hotel. We used Resort for a Day and I was a little irritated that we waited for like 30 minutes past the departure time because some folks are too stupid or rude to be on time. The coach was very comfortable and checking in at the resort was easy. The day was very enjoyable and we even talked about making a week-long trip there. My only other complaint was the short time we were there compared to the cost. Believe me, I'm a "you get what you pay for" guy and we probably did, but it was a short day and I probably wouldn't spend that much again. Truth told, I probably wouldn't have spent it then either except that it was her birthday and the next port was Grand Cayman where you never know if you might not be able to tender. As always, YMMV.
  11. lifes-a-beach

    Blue Kay

    try Mahahual Dive Centre. www.mauahauldive.com They do snorkeling and free dive trips. I think if that was my top priority I would contact them and arrange a trip for the first part of the day, then chill on the beach for whatever is left. I also wanted to make a comment about the food at the little beach bar at Blue Key. Always fantastic.
  12. I wonder if the cruise lines keep a record of those who are late, like they do of those that, say, gamble significant amounts or are art buyers. It would be interesting to know if there was some internal notification that John and Joan are habitually late and don’t deserve any consideration. Of course, if John is an unusually prolific art buyer and Joan gambles at a high level I suppose that could generate another notification altogether. I imagine in all three instances they might be very drunk.
  13. Welcome to CC Erik. The only time we ever took our kids ashore there was to go zip lining and I’m pretty sure they were a good bit older than your’s are. It’s a great place to sleep late, have a relaxing brunch and hang by the pool while the other 3500 (or however many are on the ship) go ashore leaving the whole ship to only the few who stay aboard. I hope someone else has an idea that appeals to you.
  14. If you don’t need facilities head to Cemetary Beach. It’s a 15 minute cab ride or the bus has a stop right at the path that runs beside the Cemetary down to the beach. Cemetary reef is an easy swim from the beach and is in pretty good shape. We get to the beach as early as the tenders allow. Typically there’s nobody else there. By lunchtime we’re pretty tired anyway so we either wait for the next bus or call the cab that brought us. Head back to Georgetown for lunch then maybe to the public beach or do a little poking around in the shops before tendering back.
  15. I need a new pair of sunglasses. Ima follow this though because April is a birthday cruise for my wife and I need some ideas.
  16. Never had that issue but I would definitely make a written report to both the cruise lines and Homeland Security. An abusive crew member like that may be more of a danger to children than the incidents your kids describe suggest. Here at home, let your kids make their own statements to authorities, both in writing and in person. They sound like responsible, confident kids; use this as a learning experience for them in how to react to such threats. I know others may say that U.S. authorities can't do anything but I don't believe that is entirely true. In any case, the effort you put forth in helping and educating your kids will pay dividends. Good luck to you and your family.
  17. Never heard of Tour Plaza and never bothered with any ruins on Cozumel but we go there at least 4 times a year and never had any safety issues. Common sense goes a long way. If you have it, use it.
  18. Welcome to CC. Take a look at this sub forum. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/499-cruisetravel-insurance/
  19. Cheeburger, Cheeburger, Cheeburger!! I wonder what other stupid stuff they've done in their long lives. In a job I used to have we called that a 1d10t error. Idiots.
  20. Welcome to CC. Nope. My advice for anyone is to quit price checking after final payment is due. It will just make you mad if it goes down. If you used a TA you might ask for some onboard credit.
  21. We’ve been to Belize many times and our experience is that once we did the ruins the rest didn’t interest us. My wife absolutely won’t go in a cave. She refuses to fly to Ambergris Key and isn’t interested in taking the water taxi or an excursion to any of the keys. Belize City has nothing of interest. All that said, “somewhere quiet and not too crowded...with loungers, bathrooms and decent food” pretty much describes a cruise ship, including Vista. There’s a pool and spa as well. We haven’t gotten off the ship in Belize in a long time. When 90 or 95 percent of the passengers get off the ship it really makes for a quiet day aboard. Plenty of better beach choices elsewhere. As always, YMMV.
  22. If you look at google maps you can see that Cal’s is pretty far to the east of everything. We had hired a driver for the day and had him drive us there. I’m not a cab fan in Roatan. There’s nothing around at all. It’s just a local place that’s got really good food and a great view.
  23. We leave early and are usually all the way back to Conroe before 10. Even if you need to be there 2 hours early you should have no problem. Hobby is a snap.
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