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Everything posted by DavidsNana

  1. @jbrinkmYep, we saw you docked at Coxen Hole as we sailed by to Mahogany Bay. I was out on our balcony and was pretty sure we weren't going to make it into the port. I must say that the captain did start to go in so gave it a good try but the wind was just too high. So you were unable to dock at Costa Maya too! I have done this exact cruise a few times before also and had never experienced the seemingly constant winds like on this one. For the life of me, I still don't understand why Carnival Corp built that port on Roatan given the difficulties in docking there in strong winds. Same for Costa Maya. Glad that you were able to still do your snorkeling excursion.
  2. This is strange. On the Sky Princess in early March I asked one of the bartenders at one of the bars for 3 cans of coke and told him that I realized that I would be charged, I had the Plus Pkg. Never charged. I thought it was a mistake when I got my bill online. Then on the Caribbean Princess 4-1 through 4-8, I called room service and asked for the can coke pkg that has always been 6 cans for the price of 5. The guy kept asking me if I had the drink package I kept telling him yes. He left and came back and said OK. When I got my bill for the end of the cruise, I was again not charged. Wonder why some are being charged and some not. Are the canned sodas indeed included in the drink packages now.
  3. Me too. I have done 3 cruises with it now and I find it works for me and my family too. Now, they have not been B2B cruises so maybe that makes a difference.
  4. @wrongwaywatsonSmall world!! Glad that you felt the same way about the experience. @JimmyVWineYes, I have been to Roatan several times and have enjoyed it very much. This time we had such fun plans and neither my grandson nor his wife had ever been there. In fact, it was my grandson's wife's very first cruise so extra disappointing to miss two ports. But we respect the judgement of the captain totally. I knew before it was announced that we were not going to be able to port in Roatan or Costa Maya. I was out on my balcony several times during the very early morning and knew that the winds were too high. We actually missed Costa Maya on my 2/25-3/4 Sky Princess cruise too.
  5. Me, 75, my grandson 27 and his wife 25 in balcony cabins C618 and C622. Were on this cruise. I stayed at the Renaissance Hotel 2 nights prior and family joined me one night before. I had read bad things about the staff and the rooms and almost cancelled shortly before the cruise but since I used points, decided to stick with it. Glad I did. The rooms are dated and do need updates but all was clean and comfortable. The negative reports that I read about the staff were totally opposite from what I encountered. All the staff that I dealt with were smiling, helpful and efficient. I used a cab from airport to hotel and used Uber for other short trips. When my family arrived on 31 March, I wanted to take them somewhere on the water and had eaten at 15th Street Fisheries years ago and it was good. The atmosphere was just what I wanted with outdoor dining and the boats and yachts pulling up to fuel and then the large tarpon at the doc to watch. The service was excellent but the food and drinks were mediocre at best. Boarding the ship was fast and efficient and everyone happy and eager to please. Our cabins were clean and everything as it should have been. Only problem we encountered was that the cabin, C622 that my grandson was in, was not cold enough for him but then he likes things fridged. Maintenance came twice and were able to adjust things more to his liking. The day we were in Belize the toilet in their cabin stuck in the flush mode. Called Guest Services as couldn't locate our cabin steward and it was fixed when we got back onboard. I made dining reservations for each night on the app in the DMW section in the Island Dining Room. The only glitch that I had was that I made them for a private table and about a week prior to the cruise, I checked and all had been changed to a shared table. I went back and changed them back to private table with no problem. We ate in the dining room 4 out of the 7 nights and never had a problem. I cancelled the other 3 nights as we went along deciding not to eat in the dining room that night. We did not request the same table but all 4 tables that we had were in a nice location and all the dining staff were great. Fernando the HW in that dining room assisted my grandson each night with his choices as he has an allergy to red meat. All the food we had was great except for the Mahi Mahi that I had one night and it was mostly the dark part and very fishy tasting. I did not send it back as I had enough to eat with the appetizer and the sides. We ate at slice pizza, the grill, buffet and the international cafe. All were good. The drink service in the buffet was a little slow due to a full ship but nothing to complain about. My granddaughter-in-law likes special coffee and she found the best at the Coffee and Cones venue. We only ordered food from the app a couple of times and it was pretty prompt and delivered as ordered. Drinks we mostly just got ourselves from the various bars. Service at Good Spirits was exceptional. There was a noro outbreak on the day after Belize. I first noticed no salt and pepper on the tables and told my family what the situation was due to previous experiences. Then that night no bread or butter on the table in the dining room and foods being served in the buffet. Also, no galley tour after the culinary demo. Still surprised at how many people just passed by the hand washing stations as they had been before the outbreak. We did not get sick, we are hand washers. Due to the noro outbreak and the need to sanitize the ship for the next group of passengers, they "kicked" us off the ship extremely early. We had a 9:30 disembarkation time and we were told to disembark at shortly after 8 am. In fact, I have a tracker in my luggage and it was on the pier at about 5:50am (ship arrived at 5:30 or so). Immigration and customs were exceptionally fast and even with us taking our time, we arrived at the airport over 5 hours before our flight. Luckily, the skycap at the American Airlines terminal checked our bags for which I gave him a nice tip! I was very grateful to be able to check them and go through security and on to the gate area to wait it out. As others have stated here, we missed 2 of our 4 ports due to wind and high seas. Missed were Roatan which was a great disappointment to us as my family had not been there before and we had plans to do the sloth hugging and then go to Little French Key. And Costa Maya was also missed which was not as disappointing as we had no firm plans there. I felt that the entertainment crew were very quick in putting together alternate activities but some others might disagree. We made the best of a bad situation that was nothing that anyone could control. It is mother nature after all. We got a letter in our cabin the afternoon that we missed Costa Maya informing us that Princess was giving us each a $75 non-refundable OBC which I felt was very generous as missing the ports was not their fault, was weather related. In Cozumel, we did an independent tour through Trikes-Cozumel. It was fun (especially for my grandson our driver) and well organized. In Belize, we did the cave tubing excursion through the ship. We almost got left ashore years ago in Costa Maya due to the Carnival ship that we were on leaving early rather than the planned 5 pm. We were on an independent tour at that time and were lucky that our guide was informed by another tour guide of the change due to the high seas at the pier. We were on top of the pyramid about an hour away and it was noon. Luckily, we got back to the ship about 15 minutes prior to a bus full of a ships tour people so the ship waited for them. So, I now book tours that are far away from the port through the ship. We really enjoyed the cave tubing. There were a few minor glitches and I put a review of that excursion on the Caribbean Ports/Belize section. The only minor complaint that I have is that Guest Services was extremely busy due to having a full ship and lots of cabins with 3 and 4 people in them due to the number of kids aboard. This was the 2nd cruise I have been on that was full in the last 2 months and there are no structured lines at Guest Services and it makes for a bit of a chaotic situation with people just making lines behind others when there is a long line off to one side. I found that the best time to go was early in the morning around 8 am. Also, I asked that my credit card be used for both of our cabins and the young lady seemed to do what she was supposed to do. However, she neglected to link the two cabins folios so the last day, my family had over $200 non refundable OBC that was going to go back to Princess while I paid a bill that was $200 more than it should have been. Luckily, I checked and got it taken care of. The only charge that we had on one of our bills was a small one which was promptly taken off. Entertainment was very good in our opinion. We had two comedians who each did 2 shows and both were good although one of them was better than the other. The two production shows that we saw were well done and enjoyable. I thought that the singers were excellent. We had no complaints. In summery, we had a wonderful time in spite of missing the 2 ports. Yes, the Caribbean Princess is one of the older ships in the fleet. In fact, my late husband and I took our grandson on his first cruise on it when he was 9 years old, but it is still in good condition and has always been one of my favorite ships. I love the full wide promenade deck even with the two flights of stairs that must be negotiated to go the full time around. I love the two center pools being separated so that the one without the MUTS screen is a little more quiet. The buffet set up is a little crowded and it is true that the newer ship's buffet areas are better layout but I don't find it a problem. I would not hesitate to sail her again anytime.
  6. @llarsenYes, we made the best of it and enjoyed our extra sea days although I too cruise for the ports. The only thing that made this less disappointing was that I was spending time with my grandson and his wife and I don't get to see them often. So the time whether in port (which we would have rather had) or onboard was precious time. I agree maybe some day we will meet again on a cruise or in the airport as before. Yes, we all love cruising and will keep doing it. Thanks again and enjoy the better weather that we are having now.
  7. My family of 3 were on the Caribbean Princess cruise 4/1-4/8 that had the noro breakout towards the end of the cruise. None of us got it but we are hand washers. I have to say that I noticed early on in this cruise how many people were just passing by the hand washing stations and not washing their hands. And yes, I agree about being served in the buffet. I would much prefer it so as to hopefully avoid these noro outbreaks or the increased threat of them possibly occurring. When my son and I took our first cruise after the start up, it was also on the Caribbean Princess and it was nice having the crew serve everything. Of course, we only had 1400 passengers on that sailing. I would imagine it would take a lot more crew to serve 3200 + in the buffet. But they seemed to be doing it pretty well last week after the noro cases were breaking out. Sometimes people just don't have a clue as even 2 days after they started serving in the buffet, I saw a lady picking up tongs to serve herself when the server standing there was busy with another passenger. And people still passing the washing station even though there was a crew member there telling them to wash their hands.
  8. Took the Princess Cruises Cave Tubing excursion on 4/4/23 as the river is so far away from the port that after almost being left ashore years ago I am leery of doing an independent excursion when an hour or more away. We were taken in large buses to the river. It was about an hour away from the port. When we got to the area where the excursions start, it was pretty chaotic as there were many people there. We needed to rent a locker for our things that we could not take on the tubing. Lockers were $10 each. They had water shoes for rental if you needed them (sorry that I did not note the price). No flip flops are allowed so you need some kind of footwear that will stay on your feel. We had water shoes of various kinds but the rest of our group of 7 had either crocs or wore their athletic shoes. Warning, there are about 99% rocks of various sizes on the walk down to the river and when crossing and getting out of the river. I would advise the crocs or athletic shoes as it was uncomfortable walking on the rocks wearing just water shoes. I had kind of thin soled water shoes and I actually got stone bruises on the bottom of my feet. Also there are stairs (approx. 20-25) to get down to the river and also when getting out. Lunch was included and consisted of chicken, rice and beans and coleslaw. No drinks were provided with the lunch, not even water so you need to buy drinks or take your own water. Cokes were $5, did not notice what bottles of water were. Fresh made blended drinks were $16 each. One problem we had was that we did lunch first before the tubing and we were told to rent our lockers first and put everything in them then go get lunch but were not told that there were no drinks provided. So all our money was locked up so had to go back and get money out for drinks. Just a miss communication. The guides were great and this excursion was fun inspite of not having the best footwear and the small miss communication about the money for drinks with lunch. There were lines for everything though so just be prepared. A line for the lockers and for lunch and for drinks. Lines don't bother me so it was not a problem. The water was very refreshing and the tubing fun and interesting. The guide stopped and pointed out plants along the walk down to the river and gave a running commentary while we were in the caves about what we were seeing and the history and folklore. You do need to be able to walk over the uneven path down to and from the river which probably took us 45 minutes down and less back out of the river and climb the stairs. I would do this again in a heartbeat but I would definitely either wear the crocs or old athletic shoes with sturdy thick soles.
  9. @llarsenHi, I would love to be able to give a review of Little French Key but we were unable to dock in Roatan due to high winds and seas. We were very very disappointed as it was the port that we were most looking forward to. I know that Larissa monitors the ships so she knew that we weren't docking but called her on Whatsapp anyway to make sure and to express our disappointment. She was very gracious and sympathetic. Said she hoped to see us in the future and I assured her that when we are able to get to Roatan in the that we would definitely be visiting LFK. Thanks again for all your great information and I will use it for a future visit. We also were unable to dock in Costa Maya so only made 2 of our 4 ports. In 38 cruises I have never missed a port before. Now missed Roatan and Costa Maya on this cruise and Costa Maya on our Sky Princess Cruise. Considering the experience we had at Costa Maya years ago, I'm wondering if we should even plan to make that port on future cruises that include it. Princess did give us a $75 per person non-refundable onboard credit. I felt it was very generous as the missed ports were due to weather and not under their control. We put it to good use!! Thanks again for your kindness in answering all my questions.
  10. Just got back from Caribbean Princess Cruise 4/1-4/8 and we missed Roatan/Mahagony Bay and Costa Maya ports due to high winds and seas. So we only made Cozumel and Belize out of the 4 ports. We also were lucky to get to go ashore in Belize due to rough seas for the tenders. We were waiting in the theater for our Cave Tubing excursion to be called to tender. One group left and then we waited and waited for over an hour before we were taken to the tenders. Found out later from one of the ships officers that I spoke to ashore, that the wait was due to the seas kicking up and that it was touch and go as to whether or not we would be allowed to tender. We finally make it but everyone was so late that the tours were delayed so instead of the ship sailing at 5 pm, we sailed at 7:30pm as the tender line was so long that it took that long to get everyone back aboard. A Royal Caribbean ship was docked at Cozen Hole on Roatan while we sailed by! Princess did give everyone a $75 non-refundable credit to use as a goodwill gesture for us missing the two ports even though it was not in their control.
  11. Based on a recommendation from a post here a few months ago, we decided to take this excursion 4/3/23 on our Caribbean Princess cruise. It was easily booked online via email on their website. A $30 deposit needed to be made ahead of time and was required to be paid via Zelle. I had never used Zelle before but found it easy to use once set up via my bank account. The remainder of the excursion $95 per person was paid the day of the excursion. We exited the port and crossed the street and walked a short distance (maybe 1/4 block) to the Pemex station and 7/11 store. We were met by the Trikes Cozumel rep and were taken by cab to a place just a short ride away where the trikes were waiting where we paid the balance and the driver (or drivers) were given instructions on how to operate the Trike. We then got on and were lead by the guide and his photographer/assistant around the island. The assistant took lots of photos with her cellphone which are posted to their Facebook page and are free for the downloading which was very nice as most places make you pay for pics. Also, they would take pictures of us using our own cellphones. We made several stops to rest or switch out drivers if you wanted. One stop was at a place on the wild side of the island where they had drinks to purchase that were made from all fresh ingredients. We had a virgin pina colada and it was delicious. These drinks were $8 each. It was a very pretty beach area. We also stopped for the included lunch at a beach and ate at a prearranged place across the street from the beach with a nice view. There was a choice of beef, chicken or fish fajitas which came with rice and beans (black bean puree) and corn tortillas. The fajitas were piping hot but the beans and rice were just warm and could have been warmer but everything was delicious and the portion of fajitas was more than most of us could eat. Water was provided by Trikes Cozumel but other drinks had to be purchased. There were 3 in our party, we had 2 cokes, an extra bottle of water, guacamole and chips and salsa and it was $20. Again, everything was very tasty. The only caution I would advise is that there were probably 30 stairs to get up to the lunch pavilion. Helmets were provided and required to be worn during the ride. The staff were great, very safety conscious, warm, welcoming and accommodating. Part of this tour includes tequila tasting and none of us were interested in that so we bypassed it and just had a little longer to ride. We were dropped off at the end of the tour about a block from where you cross the street at the port. My adult grandson was our driver and the reason we took this excursion as he loves vehicles of all kinds and wanted to do this. It was something other than the beach to do and was fun.
  12. I had forgotten all about the lobster claws. They were delicious. Those were the days!!
  13. @ThrakI'm sailing on the Caribbean Princess again on 4/1. Now watch, since I opened my big mouth and said it worked for me on the last two cruises, I probably jinxed myself and it won't work this time!! LOL I can only hope.
  14. I had a different experience than Thrak. Just got off the Sky Princess on March 4th and I was able to see my son moving around the areas that he was in such as the buffet one morning and the shops area one afternoon. And on the Caribbean Princess in March 2022 I was also able to see him moving along his route coming from the shops down to deck 5 Piazza. Now on the other hand, he was not able to track me at all for some reason or another. Maybe I was just lucky in being able to track him the way I did. I was using a relatively new IPhone SE and I am far far from being tech savvy.
  15. @llarsenThanks so much again for all this wonderful firsthand information. My granddaughter-in-law saw her orthopedic doctor this morning and he says that he wants her to go and have a good time and they will do an MRI when we return from the cruise. He gave her a brace to use that she can lock in place while walking and unlock when sitting. He says that she should be fine with it and that the swimming is good and that using the brace will protect the knee from any more damage. Still not sure just what the problem is until the MRI. We are very grateful for this as she has never been on a ship before and is so excited that she has been pretty much packed for a month!! I so much appreciate your information and the time you have taken to relay it. I will write a review of our time at LFK and the sloths etc. when we get back and tag you so you will know how it works out. Thanks for the info about not taking the Princess 2 hour Scenic Wildlife River cruise. I just might have considered it on a future trip. I book a combo of Princess tours and independent ones. However, we were almost left in Costa Maya when we took my grandson on his 2nd cruise. He wanted to try Carnival so we did, he decided even at age 10 that he preferred Princess. Well, we booked an independent tour to Chacchoben Ruins with Native Way tours. They were wonderful but we were on top of one of the pyramids and another guide came running up and yelled to our guide that the ship was leaving early. We were supposed to leave at 5 pm and it was only noon. We scurried down from the top and the van driver drove as fast as he could back to the port. We were lucky as there was a big bus of Princess people on a ship's excursion that were still out so we made it 15 minutes before they did. They actually drove the big bus out on the pier as the ship was ready to cast off the last line and sail. If it hadn't been for that bus, we would have been left. The seas and wind had come up and the captain had decided that it wasn't safe to keep the ship tied up any longer than possible. So I wasn't surprised that we miss Costa Maya on our cruise. Since then, if the place we are going to visit is a distance away from the port, I go ahead and book through the ship. Thanks again for all your help. I think we are to have a reasonably nice day on Monday and I'm going to take full advantage of it. Enjoy! And yes, maybe we will meet again on a cruise or maybe in another airport.
  16. @llarsenIt is entirely possible that we met in the Dallas airport during flight delays since you live in Murrieta and I live in San Diego. I wore my mask and met two very nice people in the Dallas airport who were also wearing masks. Might that have been you? If that is the case, yes it is a small world!! Thanks for the info on the snorkeling. Unfortunately, our plans may have to be changed. My grandson's wife slipped going to her car the other day and while she did not fall, she twisted a knee that she has had surgery on in the past. She is determined to go on this cruise, but we will see what the orthopedic doc says on Thursday. We may have to cancel (thank heavens for insurance) or at the very best, she will have to either use crutches, be in a knee brace and or we will have to rent her a wheelchair. Not sure how LFK will work with any of those, need to do some investigation. We were to cave tube in Belize but that is totally out at this point. As luck would have it, later in life, my late husband walked with a cane but needed wheelchair assistance for long distances and we travelled quite a bit. So, I am well versed in traveling with someone with limited mobility. I'm crossing my fingers that it is a minor injury that will only require a knee support. I have done the cruise line beach at Mahagony Bay and it can get very hot. When I have done it, I have pretty much stayed in the water and one time when there were 4 of us, we rented one of the bungalows and they have shade and if necessary, they have a/c inside. But that was pre-pandemic and the price was much less expensive than it is now. Not sure I could justify that higher price. Thank you for your continued help and info. If we can't get to LFK this time, then I'm determined to get there in the future and will put your great info to good use. I agree, I am so tired of this weather. I'm so looking forward to summer. Many thanks again for your help.
  17. Had the same thing happen to me on our upcoming Caribbean Princess cruise. Booked private table for every night and everything was fine for months. Then one day checked as I always do every couple of days and everything was changed to shared table. Luckily, I was able to reinstate all our reservations for the same time except one night and had to make it earlier than originally did.
  18. @llarsenI Think we were on the same Sky Princess Cruise 2/25-3/4. I was with my son and his girlfriend on that one. We did a private excursion and visited a sloth park on that one. It was really special to be able to hold them. the monkeys were fun but very high energy. So after hearing about them, my grandson and his wife decided they wanted to do the sloths on this cruise. I would recommend it if you like animals. Thanks for the snorkeling info and conditions that your husband experienced. The Sloth Pkg includes the snorkeling equipment so they will snorkel around the lagoon areas but I will tell them to not be expecting too much. I do have snacks with me that my grandson can eat but they do not allow outside food at LFK but seeing the pic of your husband's civiche and chips, I'm confident that we can order him something a la carte if they won't substitute something. Thanks again for all your firsthand information. It is invaluable.
  19. @llarsenOh thanks so much for your detailed review and the pictures. I have contacted Larissa and made our reservations. We will be doing the Sloth and Island Pkg with the mini pigs for sure and then my grandson and his wife are tentatively planning on doing the snorkeling tour. They are going to wait until we get there and see how the seas and wind are that day before they decide. I'm looking forward to it and hope that the weather is reasonably clear that day. Glad that the island plate was good as our package includes that. However, my grandson is allergic to beef products (has to carry epi pens with him) and while Larissa said that they can keep the beef off his plate, I think to be safe, we will be ordering him something a la carte as his food can't even touch any beef products. Thanks so much again. If it were just me going, I would also not purchase the package but do things the way you did.
  20. We were just at Lamanai on March 1st. I agree with ABQrobin no way 7 miles. The boat ride to the ruins is a hoot. It is a very large very fast speed boat, 4 large engines in the back. Lots of fun but not going to see wildlife except for a few white birds. When you get to the ruins, there are quite a few concrete steps to get to the part where you walk over the uneven dirt trail with roots and rocks. The concrete steps are not straight up but slopping. It is not a fast paced walk as the guide stopped to point out things to us. When we got to the first pyramid, Jaguar pyramid, there was a large grassy area that the guide stopped and gave a talk about. We then walked farther to the pyramid of the masks on the same kind of trail. We were then told that if we did not want to continue to the 3rd one which could be climbed we could go back the way we came to the river area with bathrooms and I think there was a museum but we did not have time to go in so I'm not sure about it. My son, his girlfriend and I continued on to the third pyramid which was about another 6 minute walk. I'm 75 and I had no problem with the walk. However, I have fibromyalgia which effects the muscles in my thighs and while I have no problems with regular stairs, I do have trouble with the really high ones. I was only able to climb up to the first level of the 3rd pyramid with a hand from my son on the first 3 steps. It was hot but if you stayed in the shade, it was tolerable. There was one older couple (I am guessing but I think they might have been in their 80's) decided to stop at the first pyramid and go back to the area where the buildings were. I thoroughly enjoyed this excursion except for the bus ride. I didn't mind the length of it but the microphone on our bus kept cutting out and so we only heard about 1/3 of the commentary of the guide on the way to the boat area. The lunch was tasty and everything was very clean. Somewhere on here ABQrobin has videos, I think on Youtube, of their travels. Take a look at them. They are fabulous. She gives lots of great info. I think she has one on Lamanai. Hope this helps anyone thinking about this excursion.
  21. We just missed this port on Sky Princess March 2nd due to high winds 40 knots and heavy seas. I did not notice that the seas were very rough but man that wind was fierce. The captain seemed to hang around and see if it would die down but nope. It was very early in the morning, still dark but I was awake so went out on the balcony and pretty much knew we weren't going to be able to dock even before the announcement.
  22. I might be there before you. We will be in Roatan on 4th. We are going to do the sloth tour, 3 of us do the mini pig encounter and 2 of snorkeling tour. So based on that, it seems that we will have at least a separate person for the snorkel tour and maybe for the mini pigs plus the waiter. That is why I was wondering. That is a lot of separate people to tip if it is individually. Thanks for the info though. Always appreciated.
  23. @cowboymouthLooking forward to your opinion.
  24. @llarsen I have searched the website and cannot find anything about tipping at LFK. There seems to be numerous people helping one throughout the day. May I ask if they have a tip jar/box etc. to leave something to be shared with the entire staff or do you tip each person who helps you individually?
  25. @travelin.sistersI so love the pics of your bears. No matter what has happened in my day, they always bring smiles to my face. So cute and the pics with the various crew members are just too cute.
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