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momof4blessings

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About momof4blessings

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    SC
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

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  1. We just got back from our cruise yesterday. We rented a UTV from Justin's. They were the only ones I could find who had availability for a 6-passenger. It cost a bit more than a Jeep, but the kids thought it was fun! They picked us up from a spot near the port and took us to their location at one of the hotels. From there we got the UTV and were on our way. It was an 8 hr rental, but we pulled out at 10am and had to return it at 5pm. We went up to one of the northern beaches first and snorkeled a bit, then drove down the east coast, visiting the lighthouse, church, and mill ruins on the way to the Natural bridge. After that we headed to the Natural pool, making a wrong turn along the way to add some extra excitement. When we got back on the right path and entered the national park (it was $11 for adults and kids were free, even our 17 yr old!) I was a little surprised that the "official" path was as bad and worse in places than off roading to the bridge and even the wrong path we took. 😳 I started second guessing my planning, and was praying we'd make it! Thankfully we did, but it's not for everyone. If we had managed our time a little better, I would have liked to use another hour to go to the caves. There are quite a few steps down to the natural pool. We saw some older people there (with tours) who had to wait at the top. Then I was surprised how many people were just swimming without snorkel gear. IMO, you're missing half the experience if you're only seeing what's out of the water. The snorkeling is just average, but still pretty cool. We saw a lot of fish and crabs, as well as an eel. The water was also average wrt roughness, so we didn't get any amazing pictures of the waves crashing over the rocks. But when it is rough, it is more dangerous too, so that was fine with me. (It is still very slippery and you need to be careful getting in and out.) Oh, one thing that was different...we passed several homemade signs deriding ATV/UTV renters for 'contributing to the destruction of Aruba's nature'. I'm not really sure why the locals feel that way? We were respectful of the countryside. The only places I saw ATVs/UTVs/Jeeps driving was on the rocky paths, and I don't see how that hurts anything. Certainly not like the idiot we saw in Bonaire walking on the coral reef. 😖🤦‍♀️ Idk! Overall, it was fun and I don't regret it, but if we get the opportunity to go back to Aruba on another cruise, we will probably opt to do some of the beaches and experience the western half of the island as opposed to the wild side!
  2. That's what I was thinking, not sure why they even offer that option (to bring all your bags onboard yourself) but the fact that they do made me question if I was missing something! Good idea on the swimsuits.
  3. Well, I had everything planned and now our port days were switched and we will only be in Curacao until 4pm! I switched our rental cars (decided to get 2 from Advance) but I'm nervous about the timeline for the snorkel tour. If we go out with Capt Goodlife from 1:00-2:30, then there is a 42 minute drive according to google maps from there back to the port...that only leaves us with a 48 minute margin for getting from the snorkel to the car, traffic, getting lost, returning the rental cars (getting gas?), and walking back to the ship! The risk-averse side of me is anxious that something goes wrong and we miss the boat. And since we're "on our own" the boat won't wait. Was Capt Goodlife pretty prompt getting back by 2:30 (or do you think if I told him we can't be late he'd make sure to get us back in time)? And is it pretty straightforward to return the rental car and get back on the ship? Does 'depart at 4' mean you're ok getting on the ship at 3:55 or is it like a flight takes off at 4 and you need to board an hour earlier? I really want to do that snorkel excursion, as the blue room sounds amazing to view! But obviously I don't want to miss our boat!!
  4. It's been 5+ years since we cruised, and our first in 20 years with Royal Caribbean. We have 2 interior connected staterooms on Adventure of the Seas, leaving this Saturday (yay!!). Trying to pack and hoping yall can help me with some questions! 1. I know that the rooms have closets...do they have hangers? I'm going to want to hang a lot of our clothes and wondering if that's something I need to pack or if I can ask for some onboard if there aren't enough. Also any tricks for hanging wet towels/swimsuits? 2. I see that you can check your luggage or carry it onboard yourself. Is there any reason not to check it? Is the tip for delivering it to your room included in the general $14.50/day/person gratuities? 3. RC says you can bring up to 12 cans/bottles non-alcoholic drinks per stateroom as "carry-on items". Does this mean you have to actually carry it on as opposed to putting it in your suitcase? TIA! 😄🚢🎉
  5. Don, did any of your snorkel locations include seeing seaturtles? That is pretty high on our list of things we'd like to see while we're there. I contacted Celestino but unfortunately he only has midsize vehicles available the day we're in Curacao. Trying to decide if we should rent 2 (for our family of 6) or find another option. (Different rental agency, taxi, etc.)
  6. MudShark, that sounds amazing and incredibly economical for a family...I might steal your exact itinerary. 🤔😎 Did you reserve your snorkel excursion in advance or just sign up at the beach?
  7. Did you end up going with Woodwind or take the ferry? We usually prefer snorkeling on our own but only if the quality is as good as where the tour would take you.
  8. Me three... I know we did it 20 years ago when we spent a week in Aruba but obviously would like to know about it from the aspect of a cruise passenger, who's done it recently. My 20 year old 2 cents is that it was a highlight of our week and the way I would like to spend our 1 day on the island!
  9. Would you recommend booking a tour or trying to go it ourselves to snorkel in Bonaire/Curacao? I think in Aruba we're going to rent a jeep and hit some different spots for sightseeing/beaches/snorkeling but I've been there before so I know there's decent snorkeling from shore.
  10. I'm surprised it was cheaper in the first place to book 2 rooms! I think the trouble was being rushed to book instead of having time to shop sales and price compare. We just booked 2 connecting cabins (we have 4 kids) and were able to take advantage of the 'kids under 12 sail free' promotion, so that the room with 4 only cost a few dollars more (due to taxes/fees) than the room with 2. But even without that special, the 3rd/4th passengers are usually cheaper than the 1st/2nd! Also in our case, 2 gty rooms were going to be $3450 total, vs $3550 to be able to choose our rooms. Obviously we paid the extra $100, and were able to select connected rooms, on the deck I chose (8...not too high, not too low), in the proximity to the elevators that I wanted, etc. Anyway, sorry you have to start off your cruise on a sour note, but hopefully you can just be satisfied that you got what you initially wanted (a room for 4 at a decent cost) and be able to put it behind you and enjoy your cruise! But yeah, I would have been irritated if I were you too.
  11. Thanks! Slides are very near the top of my girls' "wish list" so I think I'm leaning toward Adventure of the Seas for this winter. Plus, we'd get an extra day and it's about 15% cheaper. 😊
  12. Sorry to ask a dumb question, but I'm trying to plan a cruise, and I'm confused if the Allure has water slides or not? There are some photos of amazing slides, but I'm not sure if those are currently there or being added next year. TIA!!
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