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Everything posted by lifes-a-beach

  1. We go out of Galveston at least 3 times a year, sometimes 4 or 5. I just can’t imagine thinking that putting up with an airport twice is worse than the Galveston terminal. I just don’t get it. I drive to the terminal and drop my wife and the bags off. If traffic is bad around the terminal I just turn my radio up and enjoy the comfort of the inside of my pickup. I’ve never sat in traffic more than 30 minutes. Once the wife and bags are out I drive across to the parking garage, park my truck and walk over with only my boarding pass and passport to carry. Security is generally a snap. Getting off is sometimes more of a challenge but not more than an impending airport and all the associated chaos. As for the taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, put them in your bag and keep walking. If one subtracts the dollar amount saved with buying them onboard from the cost of airfare, then quantifies somehow the inconvenience of going through an airport twice I can’t imagine the savings being material. More like a rounding error. On the other hand, I’m not mad that the perception remains if it results in a less crowded cruise. Those Florida terminals are amazing people. Keep moving, nothing to see here in Galveston.
  2. The last evening and morning of our cruise aboard Liberty a couple of weeks ago there were 50 to 100 people in line. That’s not a solution for me. Its their mistake. They should fix it on my time, not theirs. A quick email should suffice in today’s world.
  3. On a couple of trips we have hired one of Victor Bodden’s Drivers for the day. Once, while we had our teen aged kids with us, the driver took us to West End to snorkel Half Moon Bay. She then dropped us off at a restaurant and went somewhere while we ate. She then took us over to West Bay for a bit and then back to the ship. I always like having my very own driver for the day. Like Guest 2000, I am not a fan of taxis.
  4. There was a little there still last week. The water is still stained but not the piles of grass.
  5. True but there is a push to build docks there. They won’t happen quickly (if at all) but maybe eventually. Also I don’t know what RC’s plan is for Liberty or her replacement. If she stays in Galveston Grand Cayman will likely remain available.
  6. While I have not been there, my wife spoke highly of the pool at Mayan Princess. She’s not much of a salt water girl but sometimes enjoys very clear water which unfortunately isn’t present at this time. In the past we have hired a Victor Bodden driver via the tour that you can do whatever you want. That way we just treat it like a private driver as we pretty much know where to go now. The first time we did that we had no idea where to go and she took us to Infinity Bay Beach Resort, which also has a pool. They wanted way too much money so we wound up at Tabayana which was just crowded as heck by 10:30. We had her take us to West End where we ate lunch at El Bosque which was very good. We also snorkeled Half Moon Bay and found it very good. Our kids were along on that trip and they really enjoyed both stops. Another trip we arranged transportation to Turquoise Bay Dive and Beach Resort on the east end of the island. We wanted to get away and surely did as we were the only non-divers there. The beach was uninspiring, the pool was just average. About the only two good things I can say about that trip was that they served fresh fruit that was very good and their driver was excellent. We stopped at Cal’s on the return trip and ate amazing food. C-leg, I think it was you that asked whether there was a bar at Cal’s to just hang out and enjoy the view. There are tables that sit out at the rail and I suppose as long as you were eating or drinking or both you could just sit and chill out. It wasn’t crowded when we were there.
  7. Last week we went to Paradise via Shore Excursioneer. The no-lunch option was something like $37 each and only included transportation and a day pass. We walked outside the terminal gate and there was someone there gathering everyone that had reserved with them. The motor coach arrived exactly on time. It was very clean and the A/C worked great as it was pretty hot outside. The coach was pretty narrow like most are outside the U.S. but it wasn’t nearly full so everyone could spread out. Transport took less than 30 minutes and they drove us right to the front door of the office. The Shore Excursioneer representative was very professional and friendly. This was our first time to use them and I give them very high marks. At the end of the day they were exactly on time and the ride back was just as pleasant as the ride over. This was also our first visit to Paradise. Unfortunately that was where the good tapered off. As I have said previously, the vendors at the beach were pretty relentless and unless you were in the water you were fending off them off. The pool area is far enough away from the beach that no vendors can go there. That’s the main reason we chose Paradise. The pool area is shaded almost completely and there was very loud construction on a building immediately next to the pool. Power saws and hammers all day. We went to the beach bar for lunch. Again service was excellent and our waiter was all smiles and did a great job. We ordered ceviche and shrimp skewers. The ceviche was served in a small beer mug and was very average. The shrimp was nearly flavorless. Both came with plantains which were quite good. We each had a soft drink. The tab for lunch was $68.00 including tip. There’s absolutely no way it was worth that. So so if we had it to do over we would likely choose another venue. My wife has been to Mayan Princess and liked it a lot. Or we might head to West End Village for much better and more reasonably priced food. As always, YMMV.
  8. I stand corrected and so is my post.
  9. It’s like a block. Walk out of the terminal and turn left on the sidewalk. Walk down until you come to the entrance to El Cid and it’s on your left. You can can use Google maps to pinpoint it. Type in Alamo rent a car Cozumel. There are 3 and two are close to terminals. One is the Carnival and the other is where Harmony docks. Change the appearance from map to satellite and you can see clearly where it is.
  10. Welcome to Cruise Critic. Indeed there are multiple sad stories about purchasing jewelry, watches and other big ticket items in foreign countries. If you spend enough time here you will find many things to avoid and many ways to keep your money in your pocket. Sorry you’re having to waste your time on Diamonds International.
  11. That’s really subjective. It won’t be cold but it won’t be like bath water either. It also depends some on where you’re from. I’m from the Houston area and when it gets below 45 I start to go into hibernation. I get laughed at by some of my friends from up north.
  12. 2Beeze, your post doesn’t mention if the military veteran is you or your spouse, or both. Either way I tip my hat to you for your service to our country and offer a heartfelt thanks.
  13. Temporary Cal’s. https://calscantina.business.site/
  14. Never been to Harvest Cay. The beach itself is probably nicer in Roatan but the vendors drive you absolutely nuts. I mean they are relentless and their numbers are ridiculous. We were at both West Bay Beach and Cozumel last week and by far enjoyed our time at Paradise Beach in Cozumel more. The sand is course, not the powdery sand we like, especially in Costa Maya, but the grounds are beautiful, service is excellent and the food and drinks are good and reasonably priced. IMO, food and drink prices were extremely high at West Bay Beach. Next time in Roatan we’ll probably skip West Bay Beach and go over to West End Village and wander around. Several better, and less crowded places to eat there. Might even make another trip to the east to Temporary Cal’s for some amazing food and a gorgeous view.
  15. lifes-a-beach


    Same at Paradise Beach today. The water is clearing up nicely.
  16. Everyone should be aware that cab fare has doubled from $2pp to $4pp, at least if there are only 2 of you. It was $8 for the cab from just outside the gate to Blue Key. Our driver didn’t give us any problem stopping exactly where we wanted. $8 back as well.
  17. lifes-a-beach

    Blue Kay

    We were at Blue Key yesterday and it was amazing, just like always. It was $10 pp which included 2 drinks. Service was excellent. Our server was Ishmael (I think that was his name). If you’ve never been there, this is a totally chill, quiet place without the huge crowds and lines of chairs. We sat in the shade of a palm tree and enjoyed peace and quiet. We don’t drink alcohol so I can’t comment on that but the non-alcohol drinks were good. There were pads placed out where people were using them. What was really over-the-top was the food. They will serve you right on the beach but we always prefer to walk across the malecon to the little bar/restaurant and eat there under the covered area. We have done this many times and have found the ceviche and guacamole to be absolutely fantastic. It is well presented, plentiful and reasonably priced. And oh so yummy. There is is a little black cat named Lola that I have played with each trip since she was a kitten. She’s about 5 or 6 now and totally chilled. She napped in the chair next to me all the while we were there. I get to see her two or three times a year and it’s one of the highlights of the day for me. The water is still stained but there really wasn’t that much sargassum there. I walked further down the beach and just past the second boat pier there was some washed up that no one was cleaning up since there’s no beach club there. Hopefully the water will return to the clear blue we are used to. The place next door was quite crowded but we didn’t really notice it. It was a quiet and fun day with great food and a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere.
  18. Yes the pool has several tiers from inches to maybe 4 foot. It was fairly clean given it was at the end of the day. My wife got in and she is pretty sensitive to such things where I am not. 5he temperature was cool but not cold.
  19. Was there today on our way back from the beach. We put our bags down on lounge chairs and a waiter walked up. We told him we didn’t need anything and we’re just going to use the pool. He asked that,if we decided to order something to please order it from him instead of walking over to the bar as he was working that area. We spent about 30 or 40 minutes in the pool and left. No one ever asked us for money and I’m pretty sure if there was a cost he would have informed us when we got there.
  20. We are aboard Liberty and the onboard cost is 12.95 or 17.95 for streaming. My wife had streaming pre-booked for like 14.95 and it went down to 9.99 so she cancelled and rebooked. I don’t know anything about primers or C&A discounts but simple math tells me that’s a pretty good deal and I should pre-book. I used it it to watch the final World Series game and several times for FaceTime with no problems, even in our cabin on deck 8. As always YMMV
  21. If you’re bringing something to charge phones/iPad/laptop/tablet look at the anker usb hub. They also sell 12 inch cords to reduce the coiled up clutter. Im on Liberty right now and also brought extension cords with three outlets on the end as well as small fans. They were in my checked baggage and nothing was said. On the other hand my MIL got her cord (no power strip or surge protector) taken from her out of her carry on. No way do they have time to X-ray all the checked bags. I bet they just walk drug/explosive dogs past them. Just my two cents.
  22. So you were blamed for smoking dope, fighting, rude behavior and language? " Long story short is that I was blamed for the others on board behavior (drug use, assaults and various animal behavior)" Because that's what jumped out at me. (Well, that and that you only had 11 posts) I thought you had been arrested instead of the person responsible. It wasn't until I clicked through your profile to your other 11 posts that I learned the actual facts. You might consider including a link next time.
  23. First cruise in 1992. Complete disaster. 40 foot seas, lost $3,000 in the casino in one night in the Bahamas and we nearly crashed during landing on the return flight. The plane had lost hydraulics and we landed in foam on the emergency runway in Houston. That was my last cruise. Until a few years later. Thirty-something cruises later and it's just a great story.
  24. Yeah it was some sort of religious holiday and, shockingly, the kids were out of control.
  25. It was important for us to learn that spring break is not just the week where we live. all over the country they have spring break at different times. I agree though, a 10 day cruise tends to only have home schooled kids and, for the most part, I find them more well behaved than are public school kids.
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