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About WorkerBee74

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  1. Being from Florida you will be used to hot weather, but layers are the best. It can be anywhere from 50-80 in Montreal at that time, so be prepared for anything. Unless you are out at night you probably won't see 40 but 60 is very likely.
  2. If I had a dime for every Irish pub claiming their bar was "built in Ireland and rebuilt piece by piece in (INSERT NORTH AMERICAN CITY HERE)", I'd be rich. Usually blarney in the truest sense. 😄
  3. Chez Gaston. Hole in the wall but absolutely the best. It's in Saint-Roch so you'd have to taxi there (less than 10 mins from port) though. It's next to a wonderful bar called Le Korrigane as well... https://www.yelp.ca/biz/chez-gaston-québec https://www.korrigane.ca/en/ https://www.quebec-cite.com/en/neighbourhoods/saint-roch/
  4. PS - I know customs and immigration are technically different, but let’s call them the same in terms of “standing in line to see some government official” of which there are few and we are many. 😂
  5. I’m sure I’ll have to go through immigration as a Canadian at some point to be allowed off the ship for good in the US at the end of the cruise - it is a one-way 😉 Bar Harbour was canceled due to port congestion- there were 3 other ships in port already the day we were due there. Looks like you have 3 too (Sept 8?) but maybe they are smaller ships?
  6. We are on the Adventure OTS Canada/New England September 16 sailing, and due to the cancellation of our Bar Harbour stop we’ve ended up with a crazy itinerary which leaves Canada to the US, then goes BACK to Canada before returning again to the US (and ending in the US). Itinerary starts in Quebec City, visits Charlottetown, Sydney and Halifax, Canada, then Portland, Maine. Then it returns to Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, THEN back to Boston before ending in NYC. What is is going to happen with customs? Do we have to clear US Customs twice (Portland/Boston) along with Canadian customs in Saint John? Sounds like a nightmare if so. I only wanted one customs experience, not THREE. Ugh. My mother is 85 so standing in line for customs 3x is not the best. Also, what is clearing customs like in Saint John/Portland/Boston ports for those who have experienced it? I’m Canadian if that matters, not sure if we are cleared differently than Americans.
  7. Well all, I didn't have the chance to get San Juan completely done last night and I know a few folks are going on this cruise on Saturday... hopefully I've given enough info so far! Going to try to finish San Juan in a bit but I've got a busy weekend ahead so may not get to Grand Turk until next week - thanks for reading!
  8. Wednesday, May 8th - San Juan - Part 4 We took tons of pics at Castillo del Morro - only $7 to get in, it's actually a US national park - and if you make it over to the other fort, keep your receipt because it covers both! If only we could get rid of the Instagrammers though.... ugh. It's like every girl has to make a duck-face and get her pic taken here.... how many times do the rangers have to blow their whistles at people standing up on the walls? Far too many. But I digress, enjoy the photos: My very favourite pic of the whole trip - Mr. Iguana
  9. Wednesday, May 8th - San Juan - Part 2 A big pile of pics... enjoy. Street scenes, street kitties (there are lots of them), San Juan Cathedral and Ponce de Leon's tomb! Wow, I didn't even know that was here!
  10. Wednesday, May 8th - San Juan I loved San Juan. After the hurricane and seeing the awful 'response' to the crisis, I knew that some day I had to go there and help out with my tourist dollars - and today was that day. In fact, that's the reason I chose this itinerary, because we had a stop in San Juan. I will definitely be back! In fact I'd love to do a trip just to San Juan, not even on a cruise next time. We'd decided to walk around old San Juan on our own vs doing a tour... and it was definitely a good decision. I really want to see it at night though! I can say so much about the atmosphere, but I'd rather just post a pile of pictures with a few comments. I strongly suggest that anyone going to San Juan spends time just exploring old San Juan - it's compact and easy to walk around, and there are so many little treasures and things to see. It's also very safe! We had two definites on our list - one being Castillo del Morro, and the other being El Batey, but other than that, we just explored! San Juan airport? Our friend, the Symphony Of The Seas was already in port. Wow, just when we thought the Breeze was big... OMG Some views from the 'secret deck' at the bow of the ship And a view back at the Breeze after we got off: We followed the route laid out in this article and it was great. These pics are along Paseo de la Princesa, it was beautiful shaded tree-lined walk with lots of art, fountains and interesting buildings: Continuing the walk along the water to the San Juan Gate ... more to come
  11. Ah heck, I can't remember his name - it wasn't Johnny though for sure. He was good. Matt? Mark maybe?
  12. Great to hear your perspective - I am taking my first RC cruise in September (on Adventure) so we'll see what that's like... I think Adam was speaking more about Carnival's ships but you're right.... I should consider RC to be a different experience entirely, and now you have me rethinking doing a mega-ship in previously-visited ports... I may not have to!
  13. Tuesday, May 7th - St Thomas - Part 2 More pics: They had a change house so we we changed out of our wet suits and then Micky took us to Sapphire Beach/Bar - a great little place you wouldn't even know existed. It was quiet when we got there too, but soon a group of about 30 people arrived - we recognized some from our ship so yes, it was another excursion which was probably twice the price of ours. This is a pic of the condos which can be rented at Sapphire if you took a land vacation here - Micky told us that the roofs were all destroyed and these are all new post-hurricane. You can also see how destroyed the vegetation is too but they are recovering. Here's a link to the bar's website so you can get an idea of food prices, food/drinks weren't included in our excursion but we spent another hour or so here and had a couple local beers and some really good fish tacos.... and yes, as you'll see shortly, the water is as blue as the photos! The building is also new too, had to be rebuilt post hurricane. It's a lovely spot, and I can only imagine how awesome it would be at night... Drink menu at Sapphire Beach Bar: And here was the view of the beach about 3 ft away from our barstools. I kind of wanted to live here.... Some beer photoshoots (we are on the Untappd app and like to take pictures of our beers in the unique locals we drink them in sometimes... yeah, I know. Lame. :P) And by the way, Carib is terrible. Have the local one, it was really good! We left the bar with a pleasant buzz and full tummies (again did I say those fish tacos were great?!) for some more driving around the island. Some local wildlife - chickens are everywhere in the Caribbean, aren't they... Our jeep Can you imagine the views from these houses? Those gas prices tho..... 😮 Here's my favourite pic from St Thomas. The brand new post-hurricane Pizza Hut.... and coconut man. Thus is life on the USVI... You can see how the lush green hills are pretty brown after being deforested post-hurricane... Next Micky took us up to Paradise Point. This is where the tram ride takes you (and it's $21 each - by the time you pay for that, you may as well do this excursion - I forgot to say that the jeep tour was $90 each for 4 hours). Since he knows people he is allowed to take a secret back road up there, but it's the same view. The view is incredible and there's an (expensive) bar/restaurant at the top, but we decided to stick to Micky's suggestion and check out a craft beer place closer to port next. As well, Liverpool and Barcelona were playing in Champions League so we wanted to try to catch the last half on TV too. (We did, and they won, and my husband was very very happy). Here's some pics of the view. If you weren't going to do anything else, I'd say definitely spend the $21 to get up here! The craft beer place was called Tap & Still. Their website isn't the greatest but it was a great little place... and sure enough not long after we got there, it got packed with cruise ship passengers. Micky was again ahead of the game! We got a spot at the bar to watch Liverpool and had a couple of nice local beers, chatted with some really lovely older British people who were also on our cruise too. Laughed at the story of where "Dumpster ***** IPA" got its name... The area around the port (Havensight Mall and Yacht Haven Grand) has a few nice little shops, boutiques and bars/restaurants, so technically you could spend the day here if you weren't a beach person or interested in other parts of the island. I recommend you get out and see some of the beaches though for sure, but if you want to stay close to the ship, this area is right there, no taxis required! Time to go back to the ship, the nice thing about this port is how close you are to the ship if you want to linger a bit and board closer to cutoff time without rushing back. We still always board with 15-20 mins to spare at the VERY least, but this is a great port to do it in if you don't want to worry. We can see our cabin from here.... Looking back at St Thomas from our cabin, again you can see the deforestation quite strikingly here: The red roofs are where all the shops are, see how close it is? Pulling out of St Thomas at dusk was really pretty Back to the Red Frog for a few more rums... meet Anthony (the HardestWorkingManOnTheShipTM) ...and Jay (the man who would never leave me with an empty Flor De Cana!) And last but not least, tonight's towel animal: Accessorized.... Next up, beautiful San Juan! I plan to post this and Grand Turk tonight... in time for the folks leaving Saturday on the same itinerary 😉
  14. Tuesday, May 7th - St Thomas OK. Now here's where it gets exciting - I've got tons of pics from the next ports. Just when I thought the waters of Amber Cove were beautiful, St Thomas comes in and says "LOL Y U SO STUPID" I mean.... really. And it gets better later, this was just pulling into the port (which is the Havensight port, by the way). I'm not sure about that hotel on the right of the first pic, if it's just being built or was damaged by Irma but it had/is going to have a great view... And a panorama (which I soon realized needs to be used extensively - more to come) After having our fill of expensive Carnival excursions in Mexico, we decided to go out on our own for the next 3 ports. Don't get me wrong, we had an absolute blast on our previous excursions (one all-you-can-drink and lunch at private beach in Puerto Vallarta, one mini-speedboat and resort pool in Mazatlan and one sailboat excursion in Cabo St Lucas - our fave of the three), but they are very expensive compared to private excursions. I definitely would be a bit wary of private excursions in say, Mazatlan because of the local cautions, but we felt comfortable in American territories like the USVI (St Thomas) and Puerto Rico, and the tiny easy-to-get around Grand Turk. So my advice would probably be to those cruising for the first time or cruising in ports with questionable safety in places, definitely do a few cruise-line excursions at first. However, if you find a good private one where you have comfortable time to not be freaking out about being 'late' for a departure, definitely go private. We chose to do a half-day jeep tour with Sunfari tours, based on some recommendations here. It was Let me say that I have nothing to say but AMAZING - I definitely DEFINITELY would recommend this tour to anyone, and our guide Micky was wonderful. We had a lot of fun talking to him as well as seeing the sights, it was interesting hearing about how they weathered Hurricane Irma (months without power - no literally... months) and how island life actually is. (Newsflash: It's not all utopia!) Here's the description from the site as it's not really easy to link to with the dynamic calendar, but if you want to see it just click "Book now" and go to "Jeep Tours" --------------------------------------- Whether you're cruising along the back roads of St. Thomas or winding your way up 1500ft above Magens Bay in St. Thomas to world famous Mountain Top, our awesome 4WD Jeeps will get you there safe and comfortably. Drive through natural and exotic landscapes, scouting your way to see unique and pristine Virgin Islands beaches, stunning lookout points, and one of the best off road adventures in the Virgin Islands. Enjoy a combination of off-road and on-road adventure in a luxury safari vehicle driven by our own adventure tour guide. Let us help you create the adventure of your dreams! Snorkle, Kayak, SUP, Wave Runner...An unforgettable adventure of a lifetime. When you visit a new destination do you want to sit on a bus and listen to a tour guide ramble on and on, or do you want your own adventure? With Sunfari Adventures you create your own experience of a lifetime. --------------------------------------- When booking you can specify if you're interested in snorkling, kayaking, stand up paddle board etc.... and Micky (we're quite sure) knows everyone on the island, so he can hook you up with anything you need! He has special access to some back roads to take you to some wicked lookout points, and knows a few really cool bars for beer and food breaks too. We got off the ship and took a brief walk to meet up with our guide, loaded up our beach bag into the jeep and were off. We drove around the island a bit and Micky showed us around where we got an idea of what it would be like to live here. The hurricane hit them pretty hard, and he had plenty of stories about how they got through things and how much damage was caused. After that Micky took us to Koki Beach for snorkeling since we'd invested in some AWESOME full-face snorkel masks. I've tried snorkeling a couple of times but could never get used to breathing in the mask (I always ended up with a nose full of water) but let me just say, these are the greatest. You do, however, have to be careful to not buy the super cheap kind though as some of them are a bit dodgy as far as expelling carbon monoxide which you don't want to mess with, but these (from Subea/Tribord - same company that changed names) are super reputable and we found them on Amazon at $60 each - so they will be worth having for future trips, including our cruise to Hawaii next April!. You truly do just breathe normally in them, and we are now addicted to snorkeling after this. We are probably going to invest in some light, packable fins too, but Micky had them to lend us this time around. So, back to that clear water... here are some of the pics we took at Koki Beach. It was beautiful, we got there just before it got busy and had an hour to snorkel which was a perfect amount of time, and Micky showed us how much fish love.... milkbones. Seriously - like DOG TREAT milkbones. They go crazy for it! We were surrounded by beautiful fish without having to swim out far, and it was a great place to try out our masks for the first time too. I can't believe I'm posting a picture of myself in a bathing suit on the interweb, but here I am with my milkbone and my face mask - it may look ridiculous but I can't say enough about how sweet it is. See how clear the water is and the fish were right around that rock behind me - the water was deep enough to swim there even though it doesn't look like it (probably about 8-10 ft). We had waterproof cases for our phones so I tried to get a few pics, it was a bit awkward though with having to press the button through the plastic and since it was kind of sticking to the screen it wouldn't always fire when I wanted it to, but here's an idea anyway - I just wish I got some fish pics. Trust me, there were tons:
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