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Posts posted by jonsmom

  1. Derbie - I am on the 1/24 sailing of the Celebrity Beyond and are stopping in Tortola.  We chose an excursion to Jost Van Dyke for the day using Shore Excursions Group

    • Like 1
  2. On 1/15/2024 at 10:20 AM, cruisenshop said:

    We just returned from a cruise which included Domenica. With very few available shore excursions, we settled on Pepper for a private tour for our party of six. Pepper did a great job taking us to all the natural sights we wanted to see and took us to a great spot for lunch. Highly recommend! askpepper@pepperscottage.com

    We have an excursion booked with Pepper. Just 2 of us.  Booked on Viator.

  3. Good Morning Everyone

    We just returned from an 8 day Southern Caribbean cruise

    We booked a day pass from the Renaissance hotel.

    Honestly just beautiful.  A short walk away.  The infinity beach pool was amazing.  You have an option of a chlorine pool as well.  The beach pool was perfect for small children.  No waves or under toe to whisk you away.  Loved Loved Loved it.


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  4. On 2/26/2024 at 10:49 PM, sunchaser49 said:

    Just found out today that our Ocho Rios port has been changed to Falmouth on our Statendam cruise next month…. Has anyone gone to Doctor’s Cave from this port? If yes do you know the approximate cab cost?

    We just had our Labadee changed to Falmouth.  Did you travel to Doctor's Cave?  Cab cost?


  5. Has anyone used this tour company before?  I am interested in the Beach Break.  $35 per person including transportation to Fryes Beach, chairs, welcome drink and lunch.



  6. 1 hour ago, TTEllis said:

    I've sat under that bus stop a dozen times waiting for the bus . It's the best ticket on Aruba. Never a long wait always reliable never a problem. 


    Tom do you this that Amsterdam Manor is a better choice for the beach vs. Eagle?


  7. 3 hours ago, Cruise till you drop said:

    we just did Celebrity to Harbour Lights and really enjoyed it and paid about $25pp total including transportation, beach access, chairs/umbrella and a drink.  You need to watch for those periodic sales and take advantage of that 



    Question.....the excursion length is listed as 3 .5 hours.  Do you have to leave at a certain time?

  8. 29 minutes ago, PORT ROYAL said:

    Anguilla is a British Territory, so bring one’s Passport.  There is a Custom’s border control, also a small visitor fee is payable in cash (can’t remember the amount but was insignificant).  Passports for foreigners used to be stamped, but don’t know if this is still done.

    Note to self… bring Passport otherwise back on the next ferry (probably the one arrived on).

    Thank you.

  9. 5 hours ago, matymil said:

    Ive had afew days to process our cruise on the Carnival Venezia and I wanted to give my honest thoughts of the whole experience. It seems like the Venezia and departure port of NYC are pretty polarizing amongst cruisers these days so just remember that this is my honest opinion of my experiences. We may not have the same opinion but it doesnt mean that either are wrong 🙂 Quick background; I was on the Venezia sailing leaving on 1/5/24 (HMC/Nassau/Freeport) out of NYC with my wife and 5 year old son. This is my 14th cruise, all with Carnival, 4th out of NYC and 1st on the Venezia.


    The Good:

    The ship: It is absolutely gorgeous. It looks nothing like any other Carnival but at the same time still seems very familiar because it is essentially a Vista ship. The attention to detail is nothing like any other ship in the fleet that's for sure. 

    Nassau: I cant believe it but Nassau is actually a port worth getting off and exploring now. We had been to Nassau a bunch like most cruisers and like most cruisers we knew that unless you were doing an excursion, you really didn't need to get off the ship. After our excursion we came back and explored the new port area and honestly it is 1000% better. We didnt even get harassed after we left the gated port area. Its honestly like night and day.

    The food: Did not have a bad meal on board. Everything from the MDR, lido, guys, etc was all great. La Strata was a great surprise. It takes the place of Guys BBQ on deck 5 outside. Very good quality all the way around (aside from the late-night snacks which basically the same on all ships)

    MarQ: We sailed with him before, but it was back in 2016 when he was part of the Vista fun squad with Cookie, Nono and Matt Mitcham. You can see a blend of Cookie and Matt Mitcham with his energy and quick wit. Everyone in our group and everyone else we talked to all seemed to love him. He is easily our favorite Carnival CD now. 


    The Bad: 

    The staff: Another thing i can't believe because in all of our sailings we've always had awesome staff across the board with very few exceptions. Aside from the fun squad and our room steward it seemed like most of the staff did not want to be there. We never had the same MDR wait staff twice which was weird, i heard multiple people say that they think they may have been training? Some of the MDR staff seemed downright rude. I was used to long waits but afew of the nights our dinner took almost 2 hours which is tough with a 5 year old, plus our friends with us had an 18 month old. We talked to some of the staff and afew of them openly told us that they weren't happy. The casino pitboss openly told my friend "its the worst ship ive ever been on, my contract is done at the end of this cruise and im never coming back". The rest of the staff weren't necessarily rude but I always come off of a Carnival cruise with afew names of staff that I remember so I can praise them in the email survey. Aside from MarQ and afew fun squad members, I could not tell you one name of a staff member. This could very well be because of the clientele that deal with on a regular basis but either way it was the worst service weve ever had from Carnival by far. Not only did the other people in our group share the same opinion but others we talked to on the ship did as well. 

    The layout: After we got settled in and we quickly started to realize that this ship was not designed for us. At first it was little things like there not being any laundry rooms (I was told its more custom for people to send away for laundry in Asian culture, which was the market this ship was meant for). Then we began to notice things like how crowded places like the MDR and lido seemed because of the design. Most lido decks have three tiers, this one has two but it also has a large stage that takes away several rows of deck chairs. Because its only two tiers, the screen is much lower. Not to mention that the second deck of the lido is very sectioned off (same with the MDR). You'll see lots of nice looking marble pillars but when youre trying to watch the screen, it makes it very hard to see and seating at a huge premium. The layout in the gym is also by far the worst I've ever seen. You can tell that the machines are European but if the weight area had more than one person in it, it felt crowded. I even went at off hours and it was still a mess. 

    HMC: Got cancelled because of the rough seas. It is what it is but i can't wait for the pier to be built 🙂 


    The NYC:

    I'm probably going to offend NYC locals but my wife and I agreed that this is the last cruise we ever take out of NYC, no matter the time of year or the price. My last cruise out of NYC was last July and to say that was a disaster is an understatement. About a week after I got back from that cruise, Carnival announced the new curfew and cited the behavior of the kids on the Magic (sailing out of NYC) as being a main reason. 

    First issue: we had was getting into the building. For some reason there was a delay getting us on board and we ended up having to wait outside in the cold, in a 5-block line for over an hour. 

    Second issue: 30 seconds after boarding, we encountered our first (of many) extremely rude people. A lady who filming the atrium bumped into our 5-year-old son without saying anything and then proceeded to give my wife an instant attitude, which lead to a very heated argument. Granted my wife did not handle it the best but we had just got done waiting for almost 2 hours to get on board at this point and my wife gets very defensive when it comes to our son. Our friends saw the same woman later in the cruise with her arm in a sling so may she tried the wrong one🤷‍♂️

    Third issue: The day that HMC got cancelled, we were up early so we decided to go to the back pool. We found 3 open lounge chairs next to three other chairs that had towels on them. We only took two chairs because my son did not need one. After about 20 mins he wanted to go to the splash pad so my wife took him and left her bag on the open chair. At this point, the open chair to my right was taken now. About another 25 mins past (45ish minutes after we took the chairs) and I hear this nasty lady yell "HEY!!!! YOU TOOK OUR CHAIRS!!!" I looked around, looked to my side and said "me?!?" She yelled back "YEAH!!!! We had 4 chairs saved and now we only have 3!" And this point a lady she was with starts chirping to. Side note; it was extremely windy and items weird blowing around the area including shirts, a flip-flop and.....(wait for it) the almost empty can of sunblock that the woman used to reserve the 4th chair for at least 45 mins. At no point did i move anything for any chair which I told the woman but that did not stop her from yelling so i responded by taking my bag, my other stuff and getting up. I said to her "You know what! Take both chairs because I dont want to sit next to someone like you anyway." I went off to the side, got dressed and texted my wife to not come back to the pool. As i walked back by the scene of the crime a group of people sitting on the other side stopped me and said "Hey! We saw the entire thing. You did nothing wrong. If you want, you can have one of our seats." To which i replied "Thank you but i have to meet with my wife and its not worth it" The lady heard and saw all of this so i really hope her made her feel fantastic. 

    Final straw: Im gonna keep this one as brief as possible because it wasnt my kid in the center of this issue but this is the main reason we arent sailing NYC again because I dont want him around this behavior. I was taking my son to play mini golf when a group of about 15-20 kids came running towards us yelling about how they just beat some girl up. Me and my 5-year-old walked up on a lifeless girl, with her glasses on the ground, laying on the deck (about 13 years old ish) who wasn't responding to me. I ran and got security. When I got back to her, she was sitting up and crying. At this point security had said that they saw her messing around before and were basically blaming her which made her cry even harder but it wasnt my kid, wasnt my business and figured that it was under control. About 20 mins later im with my son in the arcade and the same group of kids come in and they start talking about how they are gonna beat up some other kid so i decide to go to guest services. While waiting i find out that i am standing behind the mother of the daugther who is talking to guest services. I take her off to the side and explain what i saw and give her my information if she needs someone to write a statement. At this point shes in tears and tells me that her daughter is autistic, and she has been getting bullied by these kids for the whole cruise. She told me that even her 9 year old was complaining about getting bullied. After that this is not an environment that i want my kid around. I know you get bad kids on every ship but I don't care what anyone says, there is a huge difference when it comes to sailing out of NYC.

    Thats pretty about it. Thanks if you made it this far 🙂 

    There is a huge difference sailing out of NYC - we did it in 2005 and my husband will NEVER do it again.  

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  10. 1 hour ago, TTEllis said:

    I can help you out with that. 

    When your group of 9(how nice!!) gets off your ship, your going to bottleneck out of port security to your left then go to the right into town. 

    Your not solo like myself. If I were you I would find a minivan taxi never a problem and pay them to take you and pick you up at an agreed upon time to and from Eagle Beach. They'll be a ZILLION taxi drivers as you walk outside of security.

    With a group that size your own taxi van with just your family is the way to go. You can work out a very reasonable fee and time to be picked up. 

    I'm solo for me it's very easy to take city transportation but in your case you can all go together in the same van for a very reasonable price. 


    Nice palapas for rent at Eagle Beach. 

    It's nice. Your group if you get there early you can rent a couple of them right beside each other. With 2 loungers, I'm not sure what they cost a palapa and 2 chairs is around $25 a day. Great deal great beach. 

    Passions at the Beach as you go down the ramp to the beach will be on your right, I recommend you getting palapas close to Passions. Get your palapas BETWEEN Passions and the Beach not on the side, go up front get you a couple of palapas where you can see everything plus if you get thirsty or hungry Passions is right there. GREAT food I found their menu for a beach bar, incredible. Best seat on the beach.


    I don't know if you can rent palapas ahead of time. I've never done that I just get to the beach EARLY find me the nicest palapa, drop my backpack pay the man, and get the party started.  

    I guess you could email Amsterdam Manor and check OR get your group together early and get to Eagle Beach.

    Unless there's a large number of ships in port there really shouldn't be too much of a problem renting a couple of palapas. Have a nice vacation and when you get back please don't forget to give us a review. Take care 


    You are such a great source of info.  Our family party of 5 has become a party of 7 so I think we will do the mini van route as well.  I assume we should plan to bring our car seat.


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