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About CantSwim63

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Calgary, AB
  • Interests
    Sci fi and fantasy writing
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL and Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. There is a website. Try this link: https://thenativechoice.com/ Cheers! Roehl
  2. Check out The Native Choice tours. Modern air conditioned vans, ours to Dzibanche (taken late January 2019) was a ten passenger one, so small groups. Our guide Eric was great and the tour provided a lunch and water/soda. Definitely less expensive than ship tours. They also refused to sell us a two ruin tour due to tight timing with the time in port, so I was impressed with integrity. If you have any questions, let me know. Cheers! Roehl
  3. Our booking experience was excellent - they did not try to squeeze in the two ruins tour they have available due to the way NCL Epic set up their arrival and departure time; and we followed their recommendation of the Dzibanche Ruins Tour. Making our way out of market port area was poor, in agreement with an earlier poster -the route is not marked well and the sales people we asked for help from were not forthcoming regarding the route. I understand they want to make money so did not get mad, but it was frustrating. If you are new to the area, I recommend leaving 10 to 15 minutes earlier than your anticipated time based on your walking pace. Dzibanche Tour was fantastic - travelled in a modern air conditioned van (maximum 10 guests) and driver was excellent, especially negotiating the speed bumps and pot holes; Eric, our tour guide (has won the last two years as #1 tour guide for company), is Mayan, was able to welcome everyone in seven or so languages, and more importantly was an informative and friendly host; the ruins themselves were a great experience and we were able to climb one ruin without the big bus tour that followed in the way, and then Eric led us around the site until the big bus tour left and we climbed a second set of ruins without a lot of other tourists around (only six of us on this tour); they also provided pop and water as well as a sandwich lunch.
  4. Tropicante and Nancy’s Bookstore? Technically it is in downtown Mahahual beach area? I am pretty sure the restaurant is still going strong, but I don’t know about the bookstore. Unfortunately, we did not get to go there in this January. We were going to stop by and grab a bottle of their moonshine whiskey, but literally ran out of time due to the excursion we were on running a little long.
  5. Recommend Dzibanche tour with The Native Choice in Costa Maya. Modern air conditioned van (pretty sure there is no way to avoid a long ride) and no more than 10 in group. If you can get Eric as your tour guide you will get their number one guide as well. Depending on time in port a second site as well. (Took this tour last week of January 2019). The Native Choice gets you to the site (usually before big tour buses) where you have time to climb before the afternoon heat, provides a lunch and plenty of water. The only small negative is to get to The Native Choice office, you have to make it through the curvy route through the market area (that appears to be intentionally laid out to confuse people wanting to exit), leave the port security area and walk approximately five to ten minutes (depending on your pace). If you have any questions, let me know. Might even be able to post some pictures if you want. Cheers! Roehl
  6. Hi Marcia, if you have Canadian dollars left that will cover the fare plus tip, I would recommend using that so as to not have to get taken by the exchange rate differential twice (buy rate first and then sell rate second). If you use credit card, choose the pay in $CAD (if pay in $USD is offerred) so as to get the bank/credit card exchange rate and no merchant fee (charged for the convenience of paying in your home currency, which I have read is at least 3%). Do not use $USD on a par basis because there is over 33% exchange. Cheers! Roehl PS: Just read my narrative and realize there are a lot of words, when the following might suffice "Use $CAD."
  7. Below are tips from the organizer of meet and greet for the Epic cruise on January 23 (same as Phaedrus78). Epic Tips .Book Specialty Dining and Big Shows and Excursions ahead at 120 days, 130 for Haven, IF you have not booked, or want better times, book as soon as you board, the ship has many more openings when you board. · Join a Sail page, Cruise Critic to meet your fellow travelers to learn about the ship and ports · If you have latitudes status make sure you know what your discounts are, as in free ships tour, free platinum dinners. Excursion and spa discounts · Check out the Deck plans before going! · Buy a Lanyard, Dollar store, or wish.com, they will have a bunch for the whole family · Bring your own refillable water or drink containers. Also bring Ziploc’s or reseables for leftovers, or taking lunch off ship in some ports (Harvest Caye private island.) I like taking fresh fruit back to the cabin. · Sign up for the Meet and Greet and meet the officers and each other, free refreshments and snacks. A Fellow passenger hopefully has organized on Cruise Critic with the ship. (its easy to start one with the ship) · Do not eat at the Buffet on embark when its shoulder to shoulder; go to O’Sheehans for some pub food or a main dining room for a white tablecloth, peaceful experience. · Don’t have the Beverage package? , Bring wine, $15 corking fee for a 750ml bottle upon boarding. No hard spirits.Find the Free Booze. Art Auction, shops liquor tastings, Casino opening at Sailaway has rum punches. · For Posh adult only sundeck, ‘run’ when boarding to buy for the full week, limited passes · Book the Escape Room when Boarding, its free and family friendly · Do not miss muster at 3:15 you do not want the detention make up class · Find a great Sailaway Spot, Spice H2O, above the pool, secret deck 18 · Communicate with others with Iconceirge for $9.99 for the week each (or the new APP) or the new Social media only package for Facebook and more. 87.50 for 7 days each · Find Secret deck 18 Forward for free padded loungers over the Bow, it’s a quiet zone, technically children are allowed, but they would be bored stiff if they have to be quiet and no pool · Do not miss Prime rib night in the main dining rooms usually first and last. · The bed too short? pull it out from under the headboard and stuff pillows or a blanket in that space · Sofas may have bins for storage under them · Ask for more hangers if you need them · Have the Steward EMPTY the fridge, it costs money, you need it for leftovers! · Mimosas for free! Bronze and above get a free bottle of sparkly. Plan a sit down breakfast in the main dining room, take your warm sparkly, they will swap for cold, and bring your OJ and Champagne glasses!!! · On sea days check the dailies for special lunches in the Specialty restaurants for free, Asian, Bbq and other days pop up · Have lunch at the Spice H2O BBQ up top, burgers, dogs, salads and more. · Spice H2O adult Area Sundeck AFT, Its Amazing, and it has a bar. And the Topside BBQ · Want to read in the shade, grab a spot in the Marketplace entrance to Spice H2O · Highlight your daily, EVERYDAY. You won’t be able to do it all. Music everywhere, lounges, bars Atrium · Do not miss the funny shows, not so Newlywed game, dance contests, and if they have it ‘racy’ Quest (R rated) · Fill out the FREE continental breakfast room service form the night before. Ask your Steward for them. Room service is $7.95 otherwise · Buy Cruise next for future cruises. You must buy two for full for the extra discount. You are buying $250 vouchers for $125 each. Contrary to how they explain it. IT IS NOT OBC, it’s a credit to your credit card back, Charge $500, rebated $250 instantly.*** if you only buy 1, you pay $150 for a $250. You can use one per future cruise usually, Balconies 6 months in advance you can use two · Own 100 Shares of NCL stock, $100 OBC credit for 7 day cruises. Every cruise · MDRS ask to see the week’s dining menus ahead of time to decide if you want to go there or a Specialty and ask when Prime rib night and Seafood buffet night. Vanilla Pound Cake French Toast Breakfast days too · 19.99 Stuff a bag laundry day, it will be on the dailies, still fill out the slip but cross off the pricing and write 19.99 on It and on the bag. · Buy Specialty Dinning, Ala carte the tab can be much higher. · Have a hiccup in service CALL and get it fixed, Engage with officer Dept. Heads if necessary. · Food in the MDR isn’t what you expected? Order another dish; it doesn’t cost a dime extra. At a table of friends order extra and share with each other. Do you want two desserts, order them. · Bring highlighters to mark the dailies. · Atrium will have Trivia, Sudoku , food demonstrations · Play games? check out the Game room · Painting classes, Wine Tastings for a fee
  8. NCL Epic? We were in Cannes off the Epic in June last year; had an espresso and chocolate croissant at a sidewalk cafe, walked to the train station and with the help of Google translate got return tickets from Cannes to Antibes. Fabulous Picasso museum and interesting fort and marina. Sorry, do not know if St Paul de Vence is on train route. Cheers! Roehl
  9. Or go online and book specialty dinners as soon as reservations are allowed. Then make changes as plans/excursions/onboard activities firm up.
  10. If you get the dining package and Teppanyaki is a must go for the group of eight then I highly recommend making reservations. It is a smaller venue than most and has specific dining times due to nature of cooking in front of guests. Also, if planning on going or reserving for certain shows then once you know the times, your group may wish to consider making MDR reservations to fit in dining and entertainment without conflict (particularly on sea days). Additional information on Manhattan room is the Burn The Floor troupe (if still on ship during your sailing) performs there on occasion, and if there are ballroom dancers in your group there is live music (and plenty of room) to dance while waiting for the next course. Cheers! Roehl
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