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About richard1s

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    Cool Cruiser
  1. richard1s

    Excursions & Safety in ports

    I truly believe that the possibility of violence any cruise ship passenger may experience, or witness while in any Mexican port is highly unlikely and very improbable. I would probably be more concerned about the brakes on that taxi or bus you may take, or just crossing a street. Still, it is important to keep in mind that Cabo has the highest per capita murder rate in the world, a rather astonishing statistic, and that last year it was reported in Forbes that more Americans are murdered in Mexico than in all other countries combined. And on our first and only visit to Acapulco, our tourist van came upon a very fresh murder scene on the city’s coastal avenue in the middle of the day. Mexico is a charming, beautiful place but like anywhere, good sense and good choices need to prevail. It’s unfortunate that so many ordinary hard working citizens are victims of criminal behavior and an incredibly corrupt government and police system.
  2. richard1s

    Q: July 2019 cruiser with new Breast Cancer

    Last year my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and we were in a similar situation. Her doctor advised that we should go on our cruise and she should do her best to have a good time under the circumstances. We went, she tried her best to be rationalize it all and we (most importantly she) had a great time. I love and admire my wife for her courage and attitude. Upon return, her prognosis was good - outpatient surgery, about 33 days of radiation treatment and finally she was declared "cancer free". I wish you the very best and hope for the exact same outcome (or even better)!
  3. richard1s

    No excursion, just walk around with family

    An enthusiastic second for Panchos; for any excursion to town, this is a wonderful starting point. We have enjoyed many great Mexican lunches there while listening to the marimba music in the open air patio. The shopping adjacent to the restaurant carries a full range of excellent products from mexico - clothes, jewelry, tequilas etc. They are probably a little more expensive than some places but the products they carry are very high quality. About a block from Poncho's, in the direction of town, is a small "pharmacia" that carries reliable products available in Mexico without a prescription, along with skin care products at greatly reduced prices compared to the US (no knock-offs). From there, continuing to walk in the direction of the piers, there are many other shopping venues and great places to cool off with a drink and experience some lively Mexican music. The island is small enough to do both a town tour and a visit to the ruins. The only negative we have ever experienced is a Sunday port stop - when everything is pretty much closed and the downtown is absolutely dead.
  4. richard1s

    Question-Travel Advisory for Mexico

    I have been traveling to this part of Mexico since the mid 1980’s; while crime on the mainland has certainly increased dramatically over the years, I firmly believe that this is still a relatively safe area to travel to when combined with common sense precautions. In particular, Cozumel is very safe and a fun place to visit. For anyone concerned, always exercise good judgment, stay in higher traffic areas and keep in reasonable control when drinking. On the downside, driving is a much higher risk experience than what most US citizens are used to so it is best to stay with experienced tour operators and taxi drivers. Also, about 95% of all crimes in Mexico are not solved and most are not even reported. The legal system is incompetent and pretty corrupt; very sad for the vast majority of Mexican citizens who are law abiding and honest. Enjoy your trip.
  5. richard1s


    I am also a fan of the game. On our December 2 Equinox cruise the minimum was $10 per bet the entire cruise. As you know, that can equate to $30 per hand playing all three bets. That is a bit pricey. As luck would have it, in my first session I hit 3 of a kind after only 4 or 5 hands and quit - for the rest of the week. I would have enjoyed more play but the minimum was too steep; you can burn thru a lot of money on a week long cruise. Only about half the table games in the casino had a dealer in attendance all week. I am not sure why.Good luck.
  6. richard1s

    Disgusting Sapphire Beach excursion

    How is such an absurd and idiotic question helpful or pertinent? Someone took the time to communicate their experience, why don't you try to refrain from some feeble put down?
  7. richard1s

    Casino Minimums

    We sailed on the Equinox several months ago; casino time is one of the things we look forward to on our cruises but I was very disappointed with the casino on the ship. BJ minimum all week was $15 a hand; 3 card poker minimum was $10 for Pairs Plus, Ante and Play bets respectively. For BJ that was more than I was willing to play per hand since on a cruise, you can burn thru a lot on a 7 day cruise. I played 3 card once and after a few hands hit 3 of a kind and quit. What was unfortunate was that at least half of the tables did not have a dealer in attendance all week. I am not sure what the reason for this was and can only assume it's a form of staff cut-back and cost cutting. The casino was rarely active. I had some decent video poker play and even a few fairly good slot sessions. But overall, Celebrity has taken the fun out of the casino experience.
  8. This is a very accurate observation; I have noticed the exact same thing. There obviously are variables that passengers are not privy too but that most definitely affect the finished product. You would hope for consistency within the cruise line but this is not the case. We are not picky eaters but we have also experienced MDR food that was inedible - a piece of meat that is mostly grizzle, or food way undercooked etc. But this has only happened to us on one cruise out of over 30.
  9. richard1s


    How absurd that you would jump to any conclusions about a total stranger. But just so you know - I have traveled extensively throughout most of Latin America for 36 years. I have been to all but one country in South America and have accumulated years of temporary residence in countries such as Colombia, Brasil and Venezuela - some reasonably dangerous places. I have also travelled extensively all over the interior of Mexico, most of it by car. From 1999 to 2016, I was a director for a major Mexican multi-national and one of my main responsibilities was border security and compliance with CTPAT procedures. You know nothing about me but jump to some lame conclusion. Continue to promote some little car rental company and as well as yourself as some expert on travel in Mexico. So so lame.
  10. richard1s


    OMG how sad sad sad that you have nothing better to do than to sit around with "friends" and discuss your rant with an anonymous person on the internet. I am actually embarrassed for you. How absurd to react like this because someone challenged your opinion. If you live in Mexico, even part of the year, there are many impoverished people - step away from your computer and volunteer some time to actually help someone in need. As I mentioned before, anyone considering driving in Mexico should be aware that there are rules, laws and customs that are very different from what you're used to and could be dangerous for you if you are involved in a serious accident. Be mindful of this.
  11. richard1s


    This confusing rambling makes no sense - sorry. Name calling, insulting and I guess the need to have the last word. You're "not going to respond", but you do anyway - LOL. Good luck!
  12. richard1s


    As I wrote, this is totally correct."blue_waterYou are quite mistaken amigo". Not sure exactly what your problem is "amigo", aside from always thinking you are right but the comments and warnings about driving in Mexico should be a concern to everyone considering it. As I mentioned in my example, my friend's experience is common. If you are in an accident, you can find yourself in a world of hurt even if you have insurance and are not at fault. There is a protocol to follow an I doubt that you, or most tourists, have any idea what it is. Misinformation is what gets other people in trouble.
  13. richard1s


    You are quite mistaken - these comments are very accurate. The customs and the laws in Mexico are quite illogical. I have a friend' date=' a US citizen, who lives in a US border town who was T-boned by a driver running a stop sign in Nuevo Laredo. He was badly injured and unable to move however the negligent driver approached the police first with a story. He was allowed to leave, but my seriously injured friend was taken to the hospital AND arrested. After a week and with the intervention of a Mexican attorney along with pay-offs, he was allowed to return to the US. Insurance or no insurance, fault or no fault, US citizen or not - if you are in any automobile accident in Mexico, you could be in a world of hurt if there is an accident. That is not a "gross exaggeration".[/color']
  14. richard1s

    Is Acapulco safe and what to do there?

    On our last visit to Acapulco about 10 years ago, our tour happened upon a shooting right on Ave Costera Aleman that happened just minutes before in broad daylight. Bodies of the dead and injured in two cars, in the north and south bound lanes had been removed, but the carnage was apparent. This is a very very dangerous place; whether you are on a ship tour or a private tour is not a factor. If the bullets start flying, no one cares how you booked the tour. This is a beautiful, scenic place with so much history and culture. It is a shame what has happened. Chances are nothing will occur, but do not be lulled into a false sense of security just because you booked some ship excursion.
  15. richard1s

    Richard Spacey

    Thank you for clarifying that; I was not aware that they had that much control over the entertainment process. It partially explains why we were so dissatisfied on our last Celebrity cruise in December. As I mentioned, this Spacey guy was departing the ship at the end of our cruise. He was never around, and this was from the staff when I discussed the pitiful entertainment onboard with them. It was their observation, not mine. It was the first time we ever felt that way in over 30 cruises. I could care less about the CD's ability as a performer, but I expect and hope that they will put some effort into presenting a decent entertainment program for the guests. I don't need to be entertained 24/7, far from it; but I do expect more than promoting overpriced products and services as daily "activities". I don't want to guess the art value, instead I prefer to listen to some live music and have a beer on deck on a warm, breezy sea day. I guess that is now a thing of the past.