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#1TravelMom

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  1. You will be glad you chose Rony. We've been touring with him for years. We spent 8 days at the Mayan Princess. That whole area of West Bay is beautiful. The snorkeling down towards Infinity is amazing. We really liked having the pool. Bananarama has good food if you go somewhere that doesn't include food.
  2. I always recommend Rony. I'm not sure if you can find a cheaper way to get there, but we trust him. We've used him many times - he's an awesome guy. Yes, we've done the horseback riding at LFK. It's okay - nothing amazing. They lead you the entire time. You just make a big oval out into the ocean.
  3. I'm so sorry to hear you didn't get to tour with Rony or one of his drivers. He's a great guy. We've toured with him for more than 10 years - at least once a year. He's always been prompt. Coxen Hole can be a mess with traffic. I'm sure he is sincerely sorry. His business if very important to him. He values every person that books with him.
  4. Daniel's and Manawakie will be about the same distance. For a quick visit, I'd choose Daniel's. For a more thorough history and details of the islands, as well as animals, you could spend an hour +/- at Manawakie.
  5. Sounds like you went to Daniel's. We always tour with Ronystours.com. He can take you to any of the locations that have monkeys and sloths. If you plan on going to West Bay for beautiful beaches and snorkeling - Daniel's is in the opposite direction.
  6. We've used cool Dave Tours 3 times. Felt very safe. I highly recommend him. He will make sure you have a great day!
  7. We've gone with them at least 6 times. Top-notch trip every time. They have a beautiful boat. They limit the number of guests so you never feel crowded. When you get to the sandbar and see the large boats packed with cruisers, you will be so glad you booked with Stingray Sailing. Also, they have great snorkeling equipment. Such a fun and relaxing day!
  8. I think Mayan Jungle is the name of the zipline at Victor's. We like South Shore canopy zipline. It isn't far from Victor's monkeys and it is very close to beautiful West Bay with fabulous snorkeling right from shore. Daniel's would be and the other direction. I'm not sure which suspension bridge you are speaking of. There is one at South Shore Zipline and 1 at Gumbalimba. I'm not sure if there is another or not. You can email Rony with questions as well. He will be glad to answer them for you. He will make sure you have a great day!
  9. We have been there at least 10 times, including an 8-day stay at a resort. We have always toured with Rony and have always felt safe. We have never been in any situation where we were concerned. It is a beautuful island with lots to do - definitely do not stay on the ship.
  10. I suggest West Bay. You can choose a resort based on your preferences prices will vary if you would like to eat, use the pool, or use lounge chairs. The beach is absolutely beautiful and you can easily walk right on to a fabulous reef. Rony or his driver will be able to make suggestions for other stops along the way if you like.
  11. So great to hear you had a wonderful day. We have been using Rony's every year for more than 10 years. Spectacular day every time!
  12. Totally agree with bearette. When our kids were younger, we would take them to the buffet and then to kids club. We'd enjoy a nice dinner - everyone happy!!!
  13. #1TravelMom

    TURTLE BAY

    We've been there. Ok beach 10 minutes walk+/-. We were constantly being asked to buy marijuana. We didn't feel unsafe. A few dollars to enter the beach.
  14. 65+ cruises. We've never had anything stolen. I often let my jewelry bag out of the safe - nothing extremely valuable. I do have a gold chain and hoops. I never bother to put them away. I never take anything that can't be replaced. However, I understand that having things go missing would be frustrating.
  15. We love ronystours.com Rony and all of the other guides that you can reserve in advance all have the same pricing. We just know Rony has nice vehicles and is very reliable. We've always had a great time with him! If your kids have never seen tropical fish, bring goggles for them. Even if they are not snorkelers, they can easily walk in and put their face in the water and see amazing fish on the reef in Wesr Bay. PS. Victor's and West Bay=perfect day!
  16. I've read so many reviews and comments where someone will swear never to sail on a specific cruise line again based on one experience. We have been cruising since 1987 on all major cruise lines. Over 65 cruises on 45+/- ships. There are ships on each line that we just love and others that will probably wouldn't choose again. I think this can be confusing for new cruisers reading comments. We have had some not-so-great experiences over the years, but don't write off the entire line. We had a bad Carnival experience and skipped them for several years. Later, tried the Breeze and had a great time - tons of trivia(for me) - tons of sports(for hubby). We were just on RCCL Harmony with a group and had a fabulous time. We had one couple who were on the Majesty of the Seas years ago and swore they'd never do RCCL again. They were glad we changed their mind. I just finished reading two reviews where cruisers had trouble - one lost a piece of luggage, the other had a conflict at customer service. They are never cruising with Carnival and NCL again. Bad experiences can make you feel like you don't want to go back. Just keep and open mind - you might be missing a great ship. By the way, I'm a total hypocrite - I just said "I'm NEVER driving through McDonald's again" based on one messed up order. Just ordered 2 plain hamburgers(came with all toppings), ordered chicken tenders(received chicken nuggets), asked for extra ranch(received 6 honey mustard dipping sauces), asked for unsalted fries(received fries loaded with salt). Do they do this on purpose???
  17. Yep - for sure. We went for a week last year. Had a great time.
  18. Monkey Business(Victor's) is the closest. Manawakie is nicer if you want a little "education". I'd highly recommend booking with Ronystours.com. The drivers all offer basically the same prices, but we just think Rony is the best. If he meets you immediately and you go straight to Victor's, you'd probably beat the crowds. Most likely, Manawakie would be less crowded no matter when you go. We love snorkeling at West Bay. If budget is an issue - you can easily throw your towel in the sand for free and enjoy fabulous snorkeling there. You definitely do not need to pay for a boat snorkel tour - just walk right on to a fabulous reef. Have and underwater camera to get great pics.
  19. You can use Ronytours.com or Daniel's tour service. We have used Rony for years. We schedule the freestyle private tour with him because we like the freedom to do everything exactly at the times we would like. If we see something along the way that we'd like to stop and see or photograph, we just ask him to stop. If we want to the stay longer at the beach, etc. we do not have to meet a schedule. LFK Is expensive, so we don't like to go with a tour that cuts the day short. If budget is the main concern, you can schedule with Daniel or Rony and potentially be with a group that has a set schedule, but a slightly cheaper rate. Yes, we have done the horseback ride at LFK. Don't expect anything spectacular. You walk slowly down a small area of beach and then they make a big circle out into the ocean and back while walking with you. It is fun if you've never done it. If you are an avid horseback rider, you will probably not be impressed.
  20. Gumbalimba is only a few minutes from West Bay. Also only a few minutes from South Shore Zipline- super fun!!! The chocolate factory is only about 10 minutes away. Don't expect anything big, it's just a small shop, but interesting. Not sure if this would appeal to you, but we always stop in Rony's neighborhood near the ship and give things to the children. They are so precious and very appreciative of anything you give them.
  21. You're welcome. Of course everyone's opinion is their own. I know I have talked to others, and their main goal is just sitting and relaxing. Our vacations do not even sound like vacations to some families. We are the opposite. We want to get the most out of our vacations. Even though we are 50 ish and not in spectacular physical condition, we try to do as much as we can. I can tell you that we have been to most of the islands many times. After doing hundreds of excursions, there is only a handful of tours and guides that I recommend. I feel like I can save you a lot of time if you are intrested in these excursions. It can be so difficult researching who to tour with. Of course, our family's safety is the most important thing, but we also want to have a guide that is fun and that we can have a great day with. Excursions will make the difference of whether you have a great cruise or not. The private guides that I mention will make sure you have a fabulous time and go home with many precious memories.
  22. Just a few things to think about. If budget is a concern at all, the November choice will be the least expensive. This would allow more money for the best excursions possible. We have done more than 60 cruises. We cruise in June and November every year. We honestly don't even think about it being hurricane season. I wouldn't limit myself to cruising out of Port Canaveral. This would be the closest port if you want to stay in Orlando. I my opinion, the best ships depart from South Florida about 4 to 5 hours from Orlando. You would need to stay in Fort Lauderdale or Miami. There are plenty of things to see and do and South Florida. Our youngest is 15. Will you like ships that have a good mix of activities for everyone. We have been on the following ships in the last 5 years. They are all amazing and we would do any one of them again without hesitation. RCCL Allure, Oasis, Harmony, Symohony. CARNIVAL Breeze. NCL Epic, Breakaway, Getaway. MSC Seaside Currently, the Harmony, Symphony, and Seaside are our 3 favorite. The itinerary is very important if you've never been to the Caribbean. Eastern will tend to be more beaches. The Western will also have great beaches as well as Mayan ruins and incredible animal encounters. The following may or may not appeal to your family but have been some of our favorite excursions. ROATAN - Ronystors.com He's the best on the island. We have toured with him at least 10 times. Playing with the monkeys and holding sloths. Also, incredible reef snorkeling in West Bay with thrilling zipline just a few miles away. COZUMEL. Coba Mayan ruins. How often do you get to climb to the top of a Mayan temple - incredible experience! We rarely book ship tours as we do not like the time constraints and crowds, but I do recommend booking this excursion through your ship. GRAND CAYMAN Stingraysailing.com. Swim with stingrays and relax on board a beautiful catamaran. We love this excursion so much, I think we've done it 6 or 8 times. OCHI RIOS/FALMOUTH. Cooldavetours@yahoo.com. We've also tiured with him several times. We just love going to Dunns River Falls and Secret Falls/Blue Hole. These are incredible natural wonders. I would never do these with a ship tour, only with Cool Dave. The crowds can make the experience miserable. The experience is totally different - Spending your day in a private van stopping where you like or being crowded on a huge coach bus with strict time constraints. I would start by looking at the ports and what type of excursions your family would enjoy. It is great to be on a nice ship, but, in my opinion, incredible excursions make spectacular memories!
  23. Not sure how you ended up with choosing between 2 ships that couldn't be more different- perhaps ports? While I don't write off Carnival completely, it would not be my choice for this itinerary. We just wouldn't be and our cabin enough to make that a deciding factor.
  24. Do not miss this excursion! This is definitely an excursion to muster all your inner courage. But, I can't imagine that you wouldn't be thrilled that you did it afterwards. I never thought we would climb to the top of a Mayan Pyramid. So many of them are being roped off and you cannot even climb one step. The cenotes are also just incredible. We are not getting any younger, so I knew we just needed to do it. What an amazing memory!!!
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