Jump to content

scubaran

Members
  • Posts

    2,321
  • Joined

Posts posted by scubaran

  1. I literally just got off the phone with Celebrity. They have modified their drone policy fleet-wide to allow drones in the ports that allow them.

     

    Upon boarding you surrender the drone (you can keep the charger and batteries with you), and upon exiting the ship in ports that allow drones, you can pick it up at the gangway. Upon returning to the ship you would then surrender it back to security until the next port. Seemed a reasonable compromise....

     

     

    Sent from my iPhone using Forums

  2. scubaran - I had no idea that Barrachina opened at 9 for bag check! Thanks so much! I had looked at their website and saw they opened at 11, so thought that wasn't an option.

     

    We could do that on the Saturday when we return, so we wouldn't be dealing with the festival crowds. We were planning to self-disembark anyway. We could drop our bags at Barrachina at 9, tour OSJ, and then taxi to the airport. Oh, and of course getting a pina colada - yum. :D Even though we will just have carry-ons, I don't want to roll those around OSJ.

     

    monicajay - Normally we would just get to the airport an hour ahead. I've heard such horror stories about San Juan though. I'm happy to know it's not really 2.5 hours - I got that off a thread here somewhere. We're on Southwest and paid extra for the auto-check-in so all we have to do is find a kiosk to print boarding passes when we get to the airport. I know we have to go through an agriculture check though. It sounds like 1.5 hours ahead would be okay?

     

    Mr. Boston - I'd actually be okay checking our bags at the airport then going to OSJ, but I had read they don't let you check bags more than 2 hours before your flight in San Juan. Do you remember how early you checked yours?

     

    I will look into the Segways - that sounds like fun.

     

    Thanks everyone!!

     

    No problem, that's what these boards are for (I learned of the baggage drop like you, I asked around on the CC boards). The miracle here is that I remembered they did it. :0)

     

    Happy cruising,

    Randall

  3. We're sailing in AQ on deck 9, so I'm very glad to hear it was quiet! I was worried, as we usually book with cabins above & below. I think we're under the spa area, so hoping it will stay quiet! Otherwise, since I don't need to hear an alarm clock, there are always earplugs! :p

     

    Hi,

     

    You should be fine. We were in 9106 between the pool and the lido restaurant and except for those few "mouse in the attic" sounds, the room was perfectly quiet. Have a great cruise.

     

    Randall

  4. Another alternative is to do #2 and check your bags in Old San Juan. The restaurant Barrachina allows cruise passengers to check their bags at the restaurant for free (http://www.barrachina.com/html/free2.php) starting at 9am. After checking in, take a taxi from the ship to the restaurant, drop the bags, go sightseeing (they're right in the middle of old San Juan), return to the restaurant and have a piña colada (the restaurant is where the piña was invented) while they order you a cab and return to the ship for sail away.

     

    Sorry, forgot to mention Barrachina is a very nice restaurant. I've personally eaten there several times while wandering around old San Juan and would not have any worries dropping off my luggage there. They are very nice people and provide this service as an extension of the excellent service they offer (and no I have no relationship with them :0) ).

  5. Hi. This has been bothering me for weeks and I thought maybe you all might like a question that's not related to dress code or drink packages. ;-)

     

    We are on the Summit in January, and everyone says we should absolutely see Old San Juan. I would love to, but here's the deal -

     

    We arrive late Friday night - 11 pm, and we'll be exhausted after flying all day, so I don't think that night is an option. We're not as young as we once were. :eek: We're staying at a hotel out by the airport. The Saturday our cruise departs is the weekend of the San Sebastian festival. I've read that - while fun - it will be an absolute zoo. Then the Saturday we return, our flight out is at 1:10 pm. I've only found tours available if your flight leaves later than that.

     

    I'm considering the following options:

     

    1. Not seeing OSJ at all

     

    2. Dropping our bags off at the port at 11 am, then taking our carry-on bags with us to OSJ by taxi. However, due to the festival, I've heard that taxis can't get in and out of OSJ and it could be a nightmare getting a taxi back to the ship. And we'd have the hassle of carrying our necessary items with us that we don't want to check with Celebrity.

     

    4. Actually boarding the ship, waiting until our room is ready (about 1?) and leaving our bags, then leave ship and return by when you're supposed to be back on ship - 5:30?? This way, we can have lunch on the ship and not worry about taking anything more than we need to OSJ. But again, worried about getting a taxi back out of OSJ.

     

    3. Checking everything at our hotel with the bell captain and taking a taxi to OSJ first thing Saturday morning, then taxi back (same issue getting a taxi in OSJ?), then taxi to the port. We'd be missing out on time on the ship, paying for our own lunch, and paying more in taxi fares than we'd like.

     

    4. Disembark first thing when we return the following Saturday, take a taxi to OSJ? Find a taxi that will keep our bags safe and give us some sort of tour? Barrachina doesn't open until 11 am so that's not an option. I've read we should check in for our flight 2.5 hours ahead, which would be 10:40 am, so not much time, if anything would even be open. We are just planning on having a 21" rolling bag each and a backpack, so potentially we could be dropped off and roll our bags around, but on cobblestone streets, it doesn't sound like much fun. But maybe it would be better than nothing?

     

    I really appreciate any advice. You all are always helpful! I have learned so much for our first cruise. My dh makes fun of me for still reading here every day. He asked me this week - "Haven't you learned everything about the cruise there is to know by now?" I told him that not only am I still learning, it's entertaining too. :D

     

    Thanks so much!

     

    Another alternative is to do #2 and check your bags in Old San Juan. The restaurant Barrachina allows cruise passengers to check their bags at the restaurant for free (http://www.barrachina.com/html/free2.php) starting at 9am. After checking in, take a taxi from the ship to the restaurant, drop the bags, go sightseeing (they're right in the middle of old San Juan), return to the restaurant and have a piña colada (the restaurant is where the piña was invented) while they order you a cab and return to the ship for sail away.

  6. Coming back to one of my favourite cruise lines for a sailing in the Caribbean in late February. This time, instead of sailing on a Solstice Class ship, I am sailing on the Constellation. My questions are that is the Constellation as enjoyable as the Solstice Class were? Also, staying on deck eleven, in Aqua Class (my favourite kind of stateroom), and I notice it's right above the Oceanview Cafe and right by the pool and recreation areas, will it become too noisy? Any other pointers or tips would be very helpful.

     

    TheCruisingQueen

     

    Past Sailings:

    NCL Jewel 2009

    NCL Epic 2011

    RCCL Allure of the seas 2011

    Celebrity Equinox 2012

    Carnival Glory 2012

    Celebrity Reflection 2013

    Celebrity Solstice 2013

     

    Upcoming Cruises:

    Celebrity Constellation (February 2014)

    Cunard Queen Elizabeth (July 2014)

     

    Hi,

     

    We too just got off the Connie and have stayed in the aqua class rooms on deck 9 and 11. Our preference was deck 9 due to the 18 inch cover overhead on 11. Deck 9 has a 5 foot to 8 foot overhead depending on the room location. While it does give sun seekers more sun, it also meant things got soaked when it rained. As far as noise, deck 11 is quieter. On the Connie there are glass "port holes" facing straight down from the lido deck restaurant where it extends over the ship and when people drug their chairs over them when they slid forward to the table we could clearly hear this in our cabin. Though I have to say this was only a 1/2 dozen times or so and wasn't loud enough where it would have awakened us. Blu on the Connie was great and Alex the restaurant manager was friendly and accommodating. We'll be doing Aqua class again on the Connie's sister ship the Summit in April and we can't wait.

  7. Hi everyone, I am the person whom Vicki mentioned with the allergic reaction to a jellyfish sting. A group of us were on a shore excursion while sailing on the Carnival Dream Feb. 23rd. We booked an excursion to Bananrama resort on Roatan privately, not thru Carnival. We later learned that beach excursions to Roatan booked thru the ship we cancelled due to the jellyfish, but we were not notified as we went on our own. Lesson learned- book thru the ship! A group of us were snorkeling from shore when we saw a few small, at most half dollar sized clear jellyfish. We swam away and enjoyed the reef and wonderful fish. We began to see more jellyfish and were headed in when all in our group were stung. It was not much more than a mosquito bite, and no pain or itching afterwards. I did have a line of four red dots below my wrist. The next morning my hand was a little swollen, but we went to our all day trip to the ruins in Belize. By evening, the swelling was worse, so I went to the ship's infirmary. I was given benadryl and told to ice and elevate the arm, as it looks like an allergy. As I am a RN, the advise given was appropriate. By morning the swelling was farther up the arm, so I went to see the ship's doctor. He also diagnosed an allergy and gave me a steroid shot and pills. Again, appropriate treatment. Each day for the rest of the cruise my arm slowly got bigger and redder. At the end of the cruise we drove home to Michigan, a two day trip. My arm was worse, so I went straight to the ER. Considering it was six days after the sting, I was concerned about some type of infection. I was admitted for four days when it was found that I had extensive blood clots between my wrist and shoulder. The doctors said I had some weird allergy/reaction to the venom of the jellyfish where my blood slowly was clotting. Now, three weeks later my is almost back to normal but I am not allowed to go back to work yet. Will I go snorkeling again? Probably, but I will have my new epipen, make sure no one has seen jellyfish, and maybe have some type of a thin wetsuit. I know what happened to me was extreme, but you never know. I do have allergies to a lot of medications, but not to insects or bees.

     

    Sorry to hear of your health problems you encountered. Sounds like you ran into a school of thimble jellies. I've been stung by them before and it wasn't pleasant but nothing to the extent that you experienced. It sounds like you do have an unusual allergy. Besides getting a "thin skin" wetsuit, I know there are lotions available on the internet that supposedly create a thin film on your skin to minimize jelly, sea lice bites. In no way was I, or anyone else making light of your situation. But again you had a very unusual reaction. I've been diving in the Caribbean for over a decade and yours is the most extreme case I've heard of. I guess it just reflects the fact that each of us are unique with our own strengths and weaknesses. Good luck with your recovery and hope you never experience this problem in the future.

     

    Randall

  8. Just back from Dream trip to Western Caribbean. One in our group had a horrible reaction to jellyfish sting. I don't know which beach stop had jellyfish.

     

    They all had jellyfish. The person in your group was just unfortunate enough to be stung at one of the stops. I hope they're ok. But the ocean doesn't have natural gates and just as squirrels sometimes attack people in parks, jellyfish do occasionally sting. But they're not evil, it's just a natural defensive reaction. They don't come after you. There is some creams you can apply which provide some protection (you can goggle to find them) but getting a "thin skin" one-piece dive suit will provide the most protection (they're lycra based and extremely comfortable in the water).

     

    Randall

  9. Hi,

     

    Sorry, but I find concentrating on the "evils" of jellyfish is like talking about people having accidents using their mobile phones, not mentioning the sandwich in their hand, the cup of coffee in their lap, puffing on a cigarette between bites while talking it up with their passenger with a baby crying in the back seat. Yes there are jellyfish in the ocean. Yes, I've had my fair share of stings snorkeling and scuba diving, but there are sea lice, baracuda, sharks, fire coral, currents, bad boat operators that leave people in the ocean and a whole mirade of other things that can go wrong. Of course the likelihood of any of these occuring are minimal, including jellyfish stings. The best prevention is being comfortable in the water enjoying the fish and reefs but having a good "situational awareness". Jellyfish aren't fast swimmers and they're not out to get you. If you see something translucent and you're not sure what it is (I've picked up a lot of plastic bags off reefs), swim away at a distance and give it a good look or ask someone. Every year millions of people enjoy the beach and water with nary a problem of attack jellyfish. LMPego I hope you have a great time in the water.

     

    Randall

  10. Does anyone know what has caused my mask to discolor - not the part you look through, but all around the edges it has turned orangish. Is it still probably ok, and is there something good to clean it with? I haven't used it in 9 years, and it has been in a bin in the basement. Thanks.

     

    That's caused by the silicon in the skirt drying out or being exposed to prolonged sunlight. Actually it probably means time for a new mask (when the silicon changes it gets stiffer and is a lot more prone to leaking). The good news, masks are a lot more affordable than 9 years ago. :)

     

    Randall

  11. :D I snorkeled every day the past week after cleaning and smoothing the greasy nose creases, and checking the strap position on my head (no smiling either) ....no leaks!

     

    Thanks everyone for all your help! :)

     

    Glad everything's working out. Now to hit those reefs! :D

     

    Randall

  12. Not clear why you can't you wear trunks over them -- they're skin-tight, right? And since they're so tight, wouldn't it make more sense to wear a speedo-type suit under them, rather than trunks?

    :confused:

     

    Sorry if I'm missing something, or misunderstanding...

     

    Hi,

     

    You're thinking of a "thin skin". this is a stretching outfit you can wear for sun protection and underwater stings. The shorty is 3 millimeters (3mm) thick (about 1/8"). It's typically made of neoprene and is worn OVER your swimsuit and/or t-shirt. Check out this link to show you what we've been talking about: http://www.diversdirect.com/group/Shorty_ID167.

     

    Hope this clears up in your mind what we're recommending. :)

     

    Randall

  13.  

    Hi again,

     

    If you're looking for a solid vest, I think I like the jet-pilot the best of the two. It weighs less and looks less bulky (remember you'll want as free of movement as possible). I don't know where you live but you might check out a boat store or surf shop and see what they have and what fits best. Also, as I recommended before the shorty 3mm wetsuit is a good option. I wear my 3mm 'full' suit when I snorkel. I get funny looks at first from novices not realizing what it is, but as I float high in the water and come out nice and warm at least a few people come up afterwards and ask where I got it. Plus, as someone else pointed out, it protects you from sunburn as well.

     

    Randall

  14. Hi again,

     

    I agree, I have a saying, "you don't know what you don't know". That's why I think going with a snorkel excursion with professional snorkel guides might be your best bet.

     

    Also a few other points.. I sink like a rock in fresh water but float like a raft in salt water. The viscosity of salt water is much more dense, thus you float easier. Also just to hedge your bet you might pick up a 3mm "shorty" wet suit (they're readily available at most scuba sites, diversdirect, scuba.com, leisurepro, etc). They fold easily and the neoprene will help keep you floating better, like a personal floating raft (plus they help keeping you warm in the water).

     

    Also in the water you have to have an 'exit strategy' for devices, because they CAN fail. In scuba, 90% of our training is how to handle an emergency in the water. So while the likelihood of your vest failing is very small, the reality is it may, and if it does what do you do? It's not being paranoid, just prepared.

     

    Again, if you feel comfortable in the water that's most of snorkeling. Diving is one of my favorite activities and I love seeing all the life under the water but at no time do I become so enamored with it all that I don't loose my sense of awareness of my environment. Have fun, the reefs are something really to be seen by everyone.

     

    Randall

  15. :D You are so right!

    I was using an underwater camera, and a little fish must have thought I had food because he came straight at me.

    When I put my arms down, he kept comming and his nose thunked on my mask.

    I started to smile..(actually I think I laughed..bad idea), and I had a mask full of water in no time!:)

     

    Hi,

     

    You encountered what I think is one of the most viscous fish on the reef, the damsel fish. Even though they're small, they're VERY territorial. The problem is most of us don't know where their territories are so we unintentionally encroach and they 'attack'. I've laughed when I've been 'attacked' as well (doesn't really hurt and doesn't happen that often). Must really p*ss them off since they're really serious. :) Heck with sharks, most of their attacks are from mistaking us for their normal food, these little puppies are out to get you. :D

    Randall

  16. I don't swim and can't float. I'll be going to the Carribbean (Tortola, St. Thomas, San Juan) in a few weeks, and I'm wondering about how far out it would be safe for me to venture out with my snorkel vest and fins. Last year, my first time snorkeling, I stayed very close to shore -- I'd guess... 15-20 feet or so? Considering I hadn't even been in the ocean in 20 years or so, I felt pretty comfortable, not really nervous at all, but I don't want to do anything stupid. Suggestions?

     

    Yep, this is one of those questions that's hard to reply to. Apparently for a non-swimmer you appear to be comfortable with snorkeling. In diving we never dive alone. You should consider the same with your snorkeling. I'd 'suggest', if you are snorkeling alone or with another person not comfortable handling an in-water situation, then the answer is no deeper than you can stand. If you have someone, then go by their judgement (my wife's not a strong swimmer so when we go snorkeling I try to keep her in an area out of the current with interesting things to see (I'm a certified rescue diver)).

     

    Also you might consider a snorkel tour where they have guides in the water with you. Approach them on the way out and explain what you'd like to do and your skill level and ask if you can stay next to them. I know on the ones I've been on they almost always ask who is new or needs a bit more help and gather these people for extra care.

     

    Hope this helped,

    Randall

  17. We are going out again tomorrow and I will try some Vaseline.

     

    Hi,

     

    Please don't use Vaseline. It may be a short term fix but in the long run will break down the silicon in your mask skirt. From Scuba Diving Magazine:

     

    Seal mask leaks. One solution for a leaky mask is to smear a bit of silicone grease on the skirt. This is especially helpful with facial hair. Don't use Vaseline: it's a petroleum product and will attack the silicone of the mask.

     

    If you already used Vaseline (you said yesterday you were going to try it today, make sure you wash your skirt well).

     

    Randall

  18. richbum and caribbean dreams... You are not getting my point... : ) I asked because I DON'T want to see them ! You guys seem to love the idea... This is becoming too funny. You'll be swimming IN their direction, I'll be swimming like crazy back to the boat. THANKS... (uh.. I think)

     

    Hi,

     

    They're talking about nurse sharks (which I relate closer to catfish than reef sharks). While they do have teeth, their main food are crusteaons and they live most of the time hibernating under ledges in the reef. They're not considered dangerous and in fact are usually quite friendly to humans (as we're clearly out of their food chain). And of course, as a diver myself, they're for your viewing pleasure, not handling pleasure. They are very tolerant but of course don't pick on them or try to do stupid stuff like pull their tails to get them out of the reef.

     

    Randall

     

    And I agree, the safest part of your cruise will be your snorkel trips. The odds are much greater of having an auto accident going to the airport, the plane falling from the sky or the ship sinking before you get attacked by a shark, let alone killed by one (any of these odds are less than if you won the lottery (so I guess lottery winners should not go on a cruise vacation :)). So enjoy the water.

  19. Opps, too late. We leave Saturday! I'll tell him about trimming. We bought our own gear at Costco, US Diver I think. It works pretty well for snorkeling once a year or so!

     

    Hi,

     

    Then I'm sure he'll be fine. Just be aware that if he "duck dives" down into the water to check something out that the additional pressure can cause minor leaks that will be resolved when he gets back to the surface. Have a great time and hope you get to see a lot. BTW, if you want a primer on the type of fish you might see, I have a website of underwater pictures I took and I've really researched names. They're almost all from the Carribean as well so you can show off to your friends and say, "Did you see that {fill in the blank}? It was a juvenile by the looks of it." My website is http://www.randallgamby.com (no spam or ads allowed)

     

    Hope you enjoy,

    Randall

  20. My DH has a beard and mustache. He's threatening to shave before our cruise and I'd rather him not! Previously when he's snorkeled with his mustache he had a hard time getting a good seal with his mask. What can he do? thanks

     

    Hi,

     

    I have a short beard and mustache and snorkel and dive all the time. The secret is to have a mask that fits well. If you go with the "generic" mask they give out on the boat when you go on a snorkel cruise they're small, little skirt around the lenses and usually getting close to brittle. I recommend getting his own mask and making sure it is a good fit. In addition, there are some other things you can do. You can trim about 1/32 to 1/16 inch below the nose and at the top of the mustache. It's not really noticeable and will allow the lower part of the mask to seal better. In addition, you can take just a small amount of vaseline, or even chapstick and "wax" the top of his mustache or beard that may get under the mask to help seal the hairs. In most cases a mustache or beard won't interfer with a mask as it mainly covers the eyes and nose.

     

    Hope this helped,

    Randall

×
×
  • Create New...