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Everything posted by TraceyP

  1. We paid $35 each for four persons on a private tour. It was a small car just FYI. A bit tight but fine for us.
  2. My Facebook Check-in tells me it was called Tacos Neto. It was pretty close to the ship, but not a short walk.
  3. We toured with Juan Antonio in PV two weeks ago. He's a great guy and a great guide. We had been to PV before, so he took us to some different spots. We really enjoyed the Tequila tour, the scenic stops and the "locals only" taco spot we went to for lunch. Juan Antonio is very flexible and will do whatever you want. He knows the good spots and offers a great tour at a great price. :)
  4. We ended up using Robtad's for a tour of the Gatun Locks, a visit to Ft San Lorenzo and then a stop at the new locks observation center. We didn't get Roberto as our guide; we had "Miller Time" who did a good job. We really enjoyed the stop at Gatun to get the full perspective on the locks. Ft San Lorenzo was good, but not anything too unique as compared to a lot of the other Caribbean forts. But it is a pretty setting and interesting. Unfortunately we didn't see much wild life because we stopped at Gatun first and were later in the day to Ft San Lorenzo. But we did get to see a big tanker going through the locks so it was a tradeoff. I didn't think the new locks observation center was that great, or worth the extra $15 admission. It is interesting, but Miller Time showed us the new locks from a different location and that was probably enough for most people. There was some confusion at the end about the cost of the tour, so be sure to have your e-mail confirmation with pricing with you. Overall I recommend Robtad's tours.
  5. We just went through the canal and did a tour of the locks while in Colon. To me, it was best to see the locks from off of the ship beforehand. For one thing--the ship is really crowded with everyone trying to see and get their pictures, so you'll miss some of the action while you're going through on board. Also we found the observation deck at Gatun a very good perspective on the locks and operations. A totally different perspective on the process, and helped me appreciate what was happening while we went through on board the next day. I really recommend it.
  6. We had a tour with Chris (Christian) from Gio Tours two weeks ago. It was wonderful! Chris did a great job, and we really enjoyed our day. We started off visiting the capuchin monkeys and catamundis. We got to hand feed several of the monkeys, including a momma with a small baby on her back. Really cute! The catamundis were cute too. We then went to a local village with some great colonial architecture and observed local children dancing. A very nice show. Then off to the bridge to see the crocs and a stop at the fruit stand. Great smoothies to enjoy while walking on the bridge to see the crocs. Really cool. Then we did a river cruise to see the crocs closer up, as well as plenty of bird life and the super fun Jesus Christ lizards. The cruise was the highlight of a great day. Then lunch which was very tasty and a nice time to relax and use the free wifi. All in all, a wonderful day with Chris from Gio Tours.
  7. TraceyP

    Go with Gus

    We "tried" to use Gus in Puerto Quetzal, but my reservation somehow got lost. I e-mailed Gus and set up the tour to Antigua. He confirmed my reservation and I sent my deposit in a few weeks in advance. When we arrived--the people at his stand didn't have me listed that day. I had my e-mail confirmation, but confusion ensued. They ended up putting my group of four with a taxi driver and sending us on our way. I was nervous given everything I had read about the traffic and crime in Guatemala. However, it turned out great. Our taxi/guide Hugo was great, and it was nice to have a small group. Hugo drove us to a coffee plantation for a quick intro to coffee, then we had a more in depth tour at a macadamia nut farm (with samples and mac nut oil massages). Then we stopped in Santiago for Mayan crafts on our way to Antigua. Hugo gave a lot of history and information along the way and in Antigua. We had a great lunch too. And traffic was not an issue at all. I meant to get Hugo's contact info, but didn't. However, I do highly recommend him if you can track him down through Gus or otherwise. Otherwise, recommend you confirm your trip with Gus just before you travel to make sure you're on the list. Although we had a great tour, I felt we had paid a premium for Gus and didn't get what we paid for. So a little disappointed.
  8. Thanks PENCAT AND Bill. That helps. :)
  9. I'm still hoping to get more information on tours from Colon. My husband is most interested in the canal / locks. So do you recommend we take a tour to the Gatun Locks in conjunction with: Portobelo Ft San Lorenzo Panama City (Colonial City and former canal zone) Also any thoughts on the New Locks Construction site in conjunction with the above? Thank you.
  10. Can someone who's been on the tour with Capt Carl give a little more detail on what the tour includes? It seems like a boat ride, followed by lunch at his hotel, and then water activities afterwards. Is that it? Was it worth $125?
  11. Thanks PCWalton. I'll try both addresses again.
  12. Does anyone have updated contact info for Roberto Whitaker for a tour in Colon? I tried robtads2@hotmail.com and got a bounce back. My internet search links that e-mail to Almiza Tours (which is also My Friend Mario). I am hoping to connect directly to Roberto. If not, how about any info on the best My Friend Mario tour or how does it compare with Capt Carl's tour ($125 pp)? Thank you. Tracey
  13. We were on the Summit the week of Dec 14th. My husband (Select) received a folder in our cabin upon boarding with Select coupons and list of Select events. I (Elite) received a folder with Elite Coupons and list of Elite events. In addition, I had drink coupons in my folder for two persons (6 coupons per day total). One set of the coupons had my last name on them, and the other did not. And they all worked!
  14. TraceyP

    Beach Confusion??

    The beaches are beautiful in Antigua so yes recommend that for 4 adults. I have been to Jolly Beach and Valley Church. Both are great choices, but can get busy on cruise chip days so be aware. Both have restaurants and facilities, chair rentals, etc. Valley Church has more trees for "natural" shade. Bus vs Taxi. Really personal choice. Both work. I'd go taxi having done the bus last time. While the bus is certainly cheaper, it's also more hassle. Even with great directions there's always some unknowns that can create unnecessary anxiety. But if you're up for an adventure and don't mind taking 20-30 minutes extra time each way, then go for it. I wasn't concerned for my safety on the bus, but it was very crowded and not as comfortable as a taxi. Have a great day!
  15. I think their beaches are beautiful. Not really for snorkeling, but the water is a beautiful shade(s) of blue and nice sand. There's also some interesting sights, like Nelson's dockyard and some scenic ruins. My first time I did a sightseeing tour with a beach trip at the end with Lawrence of Antigua. Overall a good tour, but I was most impressed with the beach. So our second trip we just did the beach. And I'll probably do that again in December.
  16. Yes I read her reply. That's why I am asking if anyone else knows since Budget Queen did not. BQ is clearly an expert, but even experts don't always know everything. :)
  17. Thank you. So does anyone know on the Shuttles from the Princess Denali Lodge to the WAC--can you reserve seats in advance or is it first come, first served? And as Budget Queen pondered--do they run additional shuttles if the first one is full? I'll confirm with Princess Lodge, but better to know what to expect and ask about before I call in May.
  18. I understand that the shuttles from the Princess Denali Lodge to the WAC depart once an hour on the hour from 7 am to 7 pm. Can anyone confirm? Also, how long of a ride is it from the Princess Denali Lodge to the WAC? And then how long should I allow between the shuttle departure from the Deanli Lodge and the tour from the WAC? (I.e., if we take the 7 am shuttle from the Denali Lodge to the WAC, what is the earliest WAC shuttle tour we can take)? Thank you.
  19. I think it was more that the Restaurant just doesn't handle large tables well. We had three tables, and each was served separately (not as one large group), and even with that it seemed difficult for them. I don't think the kitchen was able to handle it well. Don't know why considering that cruise ships handle huge numbers everyday, but for some reason this restaurant wasn't prepared for it.
  20. I'm a Quasi Celebrity bride. We got married in San Juan on departure day before boarding the Celebrity Summit on December 15, 2012. So I can't really comment on anything to do with a wedding on board. I can say that we booked dinner in the specialty restaurant (Normandie) for that night (embarkation), and it didn't go well. I don't recommend the Normandie for a large group (we had 19). It's just not set up for groups, I guess. The food was good, but painfully slow. As in 45 mins to an hour for the first course, and another 45 minutes for the second course. They had called me earlier that day, and asked if we could start dinner at 6, instead of 6:30 because if the lifeboat drill at 7:45. We said no problem. But at 7:45 we still had no entrees, and one of our three tables had just received the second course. Aside from the extremely slow service, it was also a bit inconsistent between the three tables as to what was offered and when. Anyway, I wasn't very happy with it. I wish we had just stayed in the main dining room. It's a big surcharge for such a bad experience. I can add more, but just trust me it wasn't good. But aside from that, our wedding in San Juan was great. I do recommend the Marriott Courtyard Isla Verde for the wedding if anyone is interested in that option. It was very nice, and overall everything turned out really well. :)
  21. So most people will want to know more info abou your cruise to answer your questions. Look like you're on a 5 night from Miami stopping in Falmouth Jamaica and Georgetown, Grand Cayman. Which port are you in conference for? I haven't been to Falmouth, but have enjoyed Grand Cayman a couple of times. I would definitely take an excurion there. My two times there I did excursions which included swimming with the stingrays. There are also some fun places to see on the island. So check out the board on "ports" and read up on that. You might also want to try the "connections" board to see who else is on your same cruise, and may have excursions planned. You may have some new friends to go with. As far as the soda package goes, it just really depends on how much soda you drink. I've only had a soda package once, and didn't feel it was necessary for me. They have "free" ice tea and other non-carbonated beverages available on ship in the buffet area. You should compare how many sodas you think you'll drink per day against the price of the package. It's usually at least 5 sodas per day to warrant the price. Hope you enjoy your cruise!
  22. Yes! I watched Alabama roll to victory last year in the casino bar, and then second half in my room. They also had a large screen viewing in one of the conference rooms. Roll Tide!:)
  23. Only a couple of the cruise lines even offer legal marriages at sea because of legal limitations. Celebrity is one where they do, but there's a lot of paperwork in advance, and $$. I think the best you could do is symbolic as stated above.
  24. I just did the same thing earlier this week no problem/no cost. I substituted my niece for my sister's SO. As long as one person in the cabin remains the same, it's no cost. And you can make the change up to right before you sail. But don't wait too long because all the documentation has to be updated.
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