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jcl410

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About jcl410

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  1. The El Gaucho we saw in Sept. on the Freedom was the 2nd one (the you tube video). In addition whips, and the things whipping around he tells jokes and plays a mean classical guitar. He is a great performer. Aloha, John
  2. A Google search led me to this page: http://www.sintmaartengov.org/government/TEATT/Economic-Inspection-Department/Pages/Public-Bus-Tariff.aspx It lists the bus routes/fares.... Based on the info there as well looking at the map it looks like you will need to transfer at Cole Bay. When leaving Maho just ask the driver where in Cole Bay to get off for the Marigot bus. Good luck; please come back and let us know how it went! Aloha, John
  3. jcl410

    Boarding the Ship

    The actual process of getting onboard in Baltimore is a bit of a pain.... The terminal is just one floor. The gangway is a series of short ramps to get you up to the boarding deck. I assume the steepness is ADA compliant, but it is a hike. I have seen them board wheel chairs on deck one (a straight shot from the pier.) As others have said, the Manhattan terminal, along with many (most?) others have two floors which makes the final ascent to the ship more bearable. Aloha, John
  4. jcl410

    Barbados - bargaining

    I was in Bridgetown last week, and I'll add my experience with taxis.... The rest of my group went on an excursion; I just wanted to go downtown and photograph some of the historic buildings. They offer a $2 "shuttle" to downtown. I asked the "taxi & tour" reps outside the terminal who pointed me to the taxi stand. The stand was busy/noisy, and a little confusing. But I had the impression that the drivers/starters knew what they were doing; it just looks like chaos to the passengers. I just kept walking forward and asking "Shuttle to down town", and in less than a minute I was at the taxi. It was a full size van, that already had 10 people on, and a couple and I were the last to board. As I sat down, a women said "We've been waiting for 15 minutes!" I thought, 1) for $2 I would expect the driver to wait for a full van, and 2) I was considering buying out the shuttle on the way back to speed the departure. :-) When I was ready to go back to the ship, I walked up to meeting point for taxis (under the Breitling clock), and was approached by a driver. He charges me $5 US for the return - by my self! :-) PS : if down town, I recommend visiting the Parliament museum. It tells the history of the 3rd oldest parliamentary system in the New World, and also offers a tour of the actual chambers of the lower and upper houses! Aloha, John
  5. jcl410

    Pier Runners

    On a related topic; I was on the Freedom of the Seas last week. At one port, the "All aboard" time was 4:30pm. Around 4:45pm, the last guest arrived at the gangway. She said she thought we had until 5 pm. It got me wondering where she might have gotten that idea. The Cruise Compass and the signs at the gangway all listed 4:30 as the all aboard time, with no mention of a 5pm departure. Then I looked at the Shore Excursion booklet. In a table, it listed our times in port. It showed a time from 8am till 5pm, with no mention of an earlier deadline. I guess she read that first; had the 5pm time stuck in her head, and did not comprehend all the other papers and announcements saying 4:30. Aloha, John
  6. Dave - Thanks for trying ... I WAS able to get the brochure to download, but despite being on the Spanish web site, the brochure was in English (I also tried specifying the Euro.) Aloha, John
  7. Hi - I'm taking a cruise aboard the Freedom of the Seas on 9/15. We are traveling with my in-laws who are from Ecuador. I know we will get a Spanish language booklet on board, but I was hoping to give them some information ahead of time. I've tried specifying my location as USA/Spanish language, as well as Mexico - both times when I get to the section to print out the online brochure it's in English. I also tried setting my location as Spain; this got me to the Spanish website (royalcaribbean.es), but when I click on the link to the excursion "catalog" - it tells me that the web site is on "vacation" (I assume this is location based blocking.) Any way, does any one have any other suggestions how I can get a Spanish language shore excursion booklet? Aloha, John
  8. jcl410

    Late Arrival for Check-in

    My first RCI cruise was ~20 years ago; departing from Singapore. The first day the ship overnighted in Singapore. My flight didn't land until 11pm. (That was the LAST time I let a cruise line pick my flights.) Any way, we got to the pier around midnight. In that case, at least, we were allowed to board, and checked in at the Purser's desk
  9. jcl410

    “Old-timey” Cruises?

    Take a look at Star Clippers. They have modern large (200+/- passeners) sailing ships. I took the Royal Clipper from Lisbon to Barbados on a 15 day cruise. It's very interesting to watch the crew adjust the 42 sails. The dress is casual during the day, with dinner wear being resort casual (long khakis and polo shirts for men). The passengers come from all over; announcements are in German, French and English. The only entertainment on board was a singer and accompanist at cocktail hour. Aloha, John
  10. jcl410

    Leaving Ship Early

    They might be breaking Mexican Immigration rules/regulations... The cruise ship will have told them that the pax will be departing on the ship; not leaving by plane... I don't KNOW if not notifying anyone in this case would cause a problem, but I've had enough dealings with Immigration in various countries to know it is best to have all your paperwork in order. Aloha, John
  11. jcl410

    Passport Expiring in <6 Months

    I did a google search, and found these web sites - which appear to be official. I'd recommend contacting them directly to confirm, but at first glance, it appears that they allow any LPR(Legal Permanent Resident) of the USA to visit via a cruise without a Visa. Aloha, John http://www.congenjamaica-ny.org/visas/cruise-passengers/ http://www.immigration.gov.ky/portal/page/portal/immhome/visitinghere/visas/visitorsvisas/listofcountries https://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/sanfrancisco/index.php/visas-traveling-to-mexico
  12. After you board, stop by guest services and get a space key for the kids room. This way, you can check the room any time you want... (We book a balcony, with the kids across the hall in an inside. We get spare keys for each room.) Aloha, John
  13. jcl410

    EASY way to Baltimore Cruise Port

    I'd definitely take I-695 to I-95 versus trying to navigate through the city. According to Google maps, it's 60 miles to go 695E to I-95S through the tunnel (with toll), and 63 miles going west then north. I'd listen to 1090AM on the radio for traffic information if one or the other route has accidents. (Assuming you're driving down the same day, rush hour will be over by 10:00am.) Aloha, John
  14. You will also get a reserved seating section for the shows; full menu available for room service; access to the Suite Lounge on deck 14; free luggage valet (if available); and priority debarkation Aloha, John
  15. jcl410

    Anthem Boston Aquarium

    I will also second the suggestion to do a whale watch when in Boston... There are boats that leave near the aquarium that will take you out to Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary. Which is a great feeding area for all types of sea life including hump backs. For food, take a look at the Durgin-Park restaurant at Quincy Market. It features traditional New England fare,and has been in business since 1827. Aloha, John
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