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chocolatemaniac2

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About chocolatemaniac2

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    Glenwood, Minnesota
  1. chocolatemaniac2

    Shopping In Cabo!

    Thanks to both of you for your replys and the info on shopping and other things. I've never heard of knockoffs being taken away but it is something to consider, I guess. I go to NY every year and bring back about 6 or more for friends as gifts and havent had a problem, but I suppose with customs they have to do a more thorough search. Thanks for the compliments on the screen name! I used to be just chocolatemaniac, but then I forgot my password and so had to re-register and so now I am chocolatemaniac2 - oh well! Leave for Cabo March 6-13 and am really looking forward to getting out of the Minnesota cold. The high today is -13, with a -25 windchill......... so dreaming of lying on the beach gets me through!
  2. chocolatemaniac2

    Shopping In Cabo!

    Hi eveyone! We will be in Cabo for the first time for a week in early March. Going with 4 other couples. The guys will golf and fish, and the girls want to SHOP! (And tan and drink foo-foo umbrella drinks by the pool!) Where do we shop? What is there unique to buy? We have been on cruises before to the Carribbean and know their wares. Are there FAKE purses to be had, and if so, where? Any info would be appreciated! Thanks!
  3. chocolatemaniac2

    BVI Islands - Need Info!

    Unfortunately due to vacation time restrictions, we are not able to spend any time on Tortola before or after our cruise. In fact, we have to spend the first night in St Thomas, as our flight lands late and we will have missed the last ferry. And we have to fly out the same day that we return the boat to Inner Marbour Marina in Road Town. We plan to snorkel every day and so thanks for the additional site recommendations. Although we live on a lake in Minnesota, it's not the same snorkeling to see walleye or northerns as it is the beautiful tropical fish, sea turtle and other sea life in the beautiful turquoise waters of the Caribbean! Our charter company recommended Ample Hamper for provisioning - they will have everything delivered to our boat by the time our captain's checkout is over. The food selection looks great and can be tailored to our personal tastes. We have a 39 foot Beneteau 393 reserved - looks like quite a vessel from the pics we were given. The hard part will be what to drink while on board! Our licquor order alone might take a few trips to deliver! HAHA We are even renting a blender for the week, as to make margaritas or pina coladas! It's snowing outside as I type this..........and the high tomorrow will be 9 above. Take me to Tortola NOW!!!!!!:)
  4. chocolatemaniac2

    BVI Islands - Need Info!

    WOW, what a wealth of information! Thanks so much for your time and trouble! It's great to get it "first hand" (so to speak) from someone who's experienced the places themselves......... guide books just arent the same! I cut and pasted and printed all of your comments and have tucked it away in my crusing guidebook. We will be sure and take your suggestions. I remember Cow Wreck beach from your photos - it really did look like paradise. Hopefully the conditions are right so that we can stop there. If my husband had his way, we'd be on the boat sailing all of the time! I'll keep readimg the boards until we leave,and upon returning, will try and post our comments on dos and donts. So, keep those comments coming, everyone! Ruth:)
  5. chocolatemaniac2

    BVI Islands - Need Info!

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words............and they are so right! Pyrate, I had time to read some of the other threads on this board, and saw were you had posted some of your favorite BVI websites, including your own Wedshots site. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at both of your 2004 BVI sailing albums!!! It was like I was in the islands myself! Thanks for all of the great pics, and for the great labeling so that I knew exactly where the pic was taken. Cant wait for our trip - March 3-10 2007. Ruth
  6. chocolatemaniac2

    A Few More??'s Re:The Baths

    Hi! We are chartering a sailboat and exploring the BVI's on our own. I have a question on the baths........ Those of you who are on cruise ships please answer........ what time are the ship's tours to the Baths? Are they usually in the am, pm, or does it vary? We can plan to arrive at any time and are hoping to plan our stop so that we can miss the crowds. Thanks for you info! Ruth
  7. chocolatemaniac2

    BVI Islands - Need Info!

    Thanks for your response, Pyrate 13! Do you live in the BVI's? Your posts are very thoughtout and knowledgeable. My dh is from a sailing family and so very experienced. This is our first venture to the islands, however. We leave from Tortola, just the 4 of us, and have a week to explore the islands. I am sure we will want to explore Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anageda, Norman Island and Jost Van Dyke for sure. We have a dinghy so will be able to get ashore at most places. Our book lists the anchorages, etc. There seem to be several by each island. I'd like to know, from someone who's familiar to the islands, things to definately try and see, sites for great snorkeling, restaurants not to miss as we plan to eat some of our meals onshore so we can soak up the local culture, things like that. Like I said, our book gives us tons of information, but a personal pespective is what I guess I am after. Thanks for helping! Ruth
  8. chocolatemaniac2

    BVI Islands - Need Info!

    This March my dh and I, and another couple are doing a different kind of "cruise" - we are chartering a sailboat and the 4 of us will be cruising the BVI's on our own! We have done many cruises in the past and even though I know I will miss the pampering of a large ship, we are excited about this adventure. So, ANY INFO on Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anageda, or the other BVI's would be appreciated! We have a cruising guide book on the islands, but there's nothing like first hand experience. We love to snorkel, dine, shop, etc. What sites should be not missed? What's overrated? Thanks in advance for any replys to my post! I have gotten lots of great information from fellow cruisers on past cruises so I am hopeful you guys wont let me down! Ruth
  9. chocolatemaniac2

    Destiny Dinner

    Just back from the Destiny 12/25/05 - 1/1/06. We had the early seating in the Universe Dining Room at 5:45. This dining room is in the back of the ship, so spectacular views with windows all around. We had our last breakfast in the Galaxy dining room the day we disembarked and it is located in the middle of the ship, so just windows on the sides. My opinion - Universe was much nicer, although food is the same in both. Have fun!
  10. chocolatemaniac2

    Just back Destiny 12/25/05-1/1/06

    Hi! Snuba is a combo between snorkeling and scuba diving. Basically, you have a snorkel mask (without the breathing tube) and an air regulator, like a scuba diver. The regulator is attached to a 20 ft hose, which is connected to air tanks that float on the surface on a raft (looks like a big wakeboard). So you don't have the heavy tanks to wear on your back. You do, however, have to wear the weights to keep you from floating up to the surface. So, you can go down and stay down just like diving, but now as far. We did this because only one in our group is a certified diver and we thought we coulnd't try diving, but I guess down in the islands the rules are very relaxed and if we would have signed up to dive, we would have gotten a crash course and started diving that same day! So maybe next time. Try Snuba - it was a blast!
  11. chocolatemaniac2

    Just back Destiny 12/25/05-1/1/06

    Ok, here goes......... ST THOMAS - a great place to buy jewelry, if you are not going to St Maarten, which I have found on our past 2 cruises that St Maarten has better selection and prices, however, the duty free allowance is much higher in St Thomas. I love this island! Clean, friendly. We did the SNUBA excursion in the AM and shopped in the PM. We loved Snuba, if you like to snorkel you should try this!!!!! All excursion were booked months before online at Carnival. DOMINICA - what a poor, icky island. I know that on most islands there are poor areas, but usually by the Dock they are nice and clean and builtup. NOT Dominica. No shopping, except handmade stuff and cheap souvenier stuff that the locals must buy from a supplier as it was all the same. We saw a rat scurry under the drainage grid on the main street. My family did the Champagne Snorkel excursion, which was fun, lots of fish, beautiful boat ride to the site. The island is known for it's nature, I guess. Other group of ours did a tour that had a hike to a Falls, which they said was beautiful. However, they rode the bus past really poor houses and lots of thin, starving dogs in the streets............... This was my least favorite island of any I have ever been to and will make sure it is not on any itinerary for me in the future. BARABADOS - been here twice before, larger town than the other islands have, pretty good shopping. We did a shipwreck snorkel thing, which was fun, kinda crowded, and the guides didn't get you just snorkel on your own, they insisted you stay in the group, so we had some fins in our faces at times! But the crew was nice, served us the infamous rum punch afterwards. ARUBA - I love this island! First time to Aruba for me, nice downtown area, cool shops and bars and restaurants. We did the Rhino Riders, which are kind like jetskies but inflatable boats with a 25 hs Mercury on the back. Have to be 18 to drive. Rode 2 to a boat. Drove quite a ways, to a platform by a reef where we tied up the board. Some of the BEST snorkeling ever! Wonderful coral formations, brain coral, other kinds, tons of colorful fish!!!!! The guides let me do our own thing. Then we rode the Rhino boats back. Sugar sand beaches, tons of shells, it was GREAT!!!! I could spend a week in Aruba, the people were very friendly. Ok did I miss anything? I'll be happy to answer questions, so just ask! OVERALL - Destiny is a nice ship, the ports were great (other than Dominica), the food was overall good, and we had a great time.
  12. chocolatemaniac2

    Just back Destiny 12/25/05-1/1/06

    ENTERTAINMENT - The usual Vegas type stuff - singers and dancers were pretty good, had a great magician, 2 comedians which were good. Bands all around the ship, ranging from Raggea to a string quartet, Karaoke, Latin, etc. Something for everyone. A Disco and also a teen only disco. CASINO - Am not a gambler but some in our group went and had fun, my 18 yr old included as at 18 you can gamble. SHOPS - your typical shops, gold by the inch one day, Amber the other, $10 evening purses and cheap watcheas, Duty free perfumes and Lancome or Clinique makeup, booze that you can buy but not take to your room, misc souveniery stuff. PHOTOS - lots of opportunites to get your picture taken, for a price of course! But we posed for lots cause if they didnt turn out, no ogbligation to buy them! Almost a little too many photographers around, taking pics at dinner, by every port. Oh well, that's where they make their money (that and Booze). I will review Ports on my next and final post..........
  13. chocolatemaniac2

    Just back Destiny 12/25/05-1/1/06

    Hi! Ok, I decided to take a minute and write a review cause I have received so much help in the past from others on this board reading reviews and stuff so I thought it was my turn to possibly help someone thinking about taking the Destiny. Here goes...... We were a group of 14, celebrating my inlaws 50th wedding anniversary, so ages ranged fron 14 to 77. We had 4 cabins, 3 Deluxe Balcony and one regular Balcony, on Deck 7 Empress. Flew to San Juan on 12/24, a day early, cause didnt want to fly on Xmas Day. Stayed over night and at 2:30 we were at the Port of San Juan where the Destiny docks. We booked deluxe balcony suites, ours was #7183, because we had our teenagers with us in the same cabin and needed the room. Because of that, we were afforded VIP checkin, so you could skip the line and get your Sign & Sail cards and stuff in a private lounge. However, we STILL had to follow the crowd through the long lines to get through security before we could get on the ship, so maybe not such a big deal, this VIP checkin? Anyway..... Our cabin, #7138 was great! Nice and large, with a queen bed, a twin bed, and a rollaway that the room steward would move to the side every morning so it wasn't really in the way at all. Nice large bath, with whirlpool tub (didn't use), nice large vanity/dressing areas, 2 big closets. Balcony was nice, 3 chairs and a table. Since we travled with family who had cabins adjacent to ours, we had the steward open the dividers between the balconies and created one large balcony, which worked out great. Ship was in drydock and so looked great, decorated wonderfully for the Holidays, both for Christmas and also some Hannukah things in certain areas. Once onboard we dropped our carryons in the room, we wandered the ship and got oriented. The ladies went to the Spa presentation where they gave away 6 treatments and I WON the facial, so not bad for having to sit through a 15 minute presentation. Had to be present to win. OK - by Category now............. FOOD - We were assigned early seating in the Universe Dining Room, which is the one at the rear of the ship, great views, wonderful food, chocolate dessert choice every night, Lobster twice - once tails and once Thermador, the best beef I have had on a ship (usually marginal) but the Chateaubriand was fantastic, lamb was served at least 3 times, as was veal and always a seafood option. Galaxy Dining Room, the other one, was in the center of the ship, so windows on each side by not as nice as the Universe. Also, and this ticked me off, since it took up 2 or 3 stories in the middle of the ship, it was in the way, had to navigate AROUND it, and so the flow of the ship in that area was stupid - my opinion. No specialty restaurants on the Destiny like on larger ships. Sun and Sea Restauarant - the buffet-style one, had marginal food, layout was not good. Two lines formed at each end of a long buffet line, so in order to get just fruit (example) you had to start at the end of the line and wait behind people in order to reach the fruit. We sailed the RC's Serenade and they had many "stations" so if you wanted salad, so to the salad station, burgers - burger station, etc. Several specialty areas - NY Deli had its own line and had good reubens and pastrami. Grille at delicious burgers and hotdogs, sometimes grilled steak sandwiches or chicken breasts. 24 hour Pizza was a hit with my teens! Also was an small buffet by the pool with a portion of the choices in the main buffet area, handy is you just want to stay outside by the pool. Didn't use room service but others in our group did and it was good and free, except you have to tip the delivery person. Will continue.............
  14. chocolatemaniac2

    Legal drinking age question

    I guess my mind is still on vacation, cause the drinking age is 21! Oops! Sorry about that! Been home only 3 days and still affected by that hot Carribbean sun, I guess! HAHA!!
  15. chocolatemaniac2

    Legal drinking age question

    Hi! We were on the Destiny 12/25/05-1/1/06, with my 18 yr old son and 16yr daughter. Gambling age is 18, Drinking age is 21. No exceptions! Dining room bar waiter made NO exceptions. If you ordered a pina cola or whatever from the waiter by the pool, you can order several and then just hand your teen the drink after the waiter leaves, saw that on board a lot. No one checked after the drink was delivered. But, my son could not order a drink himself with his card.
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