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About WarmWaters

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    Calgary Canada

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  1. Interesting thread you have going here. I want it all and I want a good deal. So I wait patiently. I do like balconies. On this ship the insides are something like 132 sq feet which is tiny and the balconies they start at 187 sq ft approx. So what I do is, wait patiently for the price to drop to where I think its a good deal now and then I book it. This ship does not sell out often. So I book my flights and then I watch and wait. I booked a few days ago a balcony for 13 Dec sailing for $ 830 per person tax in which I thought was about the normal price for the tiny inside room without a window.. which to me sounds really depressing. Patience pays off many a time. I do agree if you want a certain room category and you have deep pockets then book at it the high price. But if you are careful with your money and you like to cruise often, then wait till there is some urgency to fill that ship. On top of this great price, I got $ 150 onboard ship credits. So that is how we go about to make it happen.
  2. WarmWaters

    Pride of America review 11/30/13-12/7/13

    Thank you so much for taking the time to put all this together. It has helped me a lot. Thanks again !
  3. WarmWaters

    Taxi or Walking Access - KAUAI and HILO

    Thank you HiloSunshine for sharing the info. I am collecting info for our upcoming criuse on the POA and yours was very valuable to me. Thank you again. I learn so much. The part about the farmers market I really liked.
  4. WarmWaters

    Nifty & Thrifty Find's

    Very interesting and informative thread, thank you for all the good ideas. Keep them coming. On our last cruise 2 weeks ago, I saw op the open sun deck someone had these es 2 very nifty hard plastic clips holding down their towels on either side of the top part of the deck chair ..it makes that your towel does not crawl down behind your back while laying in the sun in an upwards position. It will also keep your towel in the upwards position when you get up to go somewhere. It can even be used on the balcony to keep sun hats etc from being blown away. The clips were in the shape of a crocodile's mouth holding the towel in position. It was so neat, I have never seen it being sold anywhere. That is something I am now looking for, for my deck chair for our next cruise.
  5. WarmWaters

    Weiner Dog on Carnival?

    Interesting thread. We are just off the Legend and there was a big brown curly standard Poodle onboard, he was beautiful and so well behaved. I think a service dog sail for free as service animals fly for free on airlines as far as I know.
  6. WarmWaters

    Taxi cost at Mahogany Bay?

    Thank you so much for your detailed reply. We will be there next week and after spending many hours plying this board, I still dont have enough info to be confident that our day in Roatan is well planned for smooth sailing when we get there. Your info was a great help for peace of mind that the taxi's is not a total rip off in Roatan. I read somewhere that the taxi fares every year just go up and up, it seems most tourists just pay any price quoted to get them to West Bay. We just want an inexpensive beach day and we actually prefer to ride in the local jitney / collectivo's to get more of a local flavour. I was looking at maps of the island and the roads and the distances. Here is a good map : http://roatanet.com/travel/roatan-distances.php Mahogany Bay is between Brick Bay and Dixon Cove.
  7. I have hastily compiled all this info from various threads on the net as I was searching for an inexpensive beach day near the pier with beginner snorkeling for a do it yourself low cost excursion close to the pier. I have decided that the Money Bar is the best value for money on Cozumel for someone on a small budget who wants to snorkel from the shore with some food and beer nearby. Getting there - 2.4 kms ( 1.5 miles) south of Puerta Maya, Carnival's main cruise ship dock. Taxi to Money Bar is about $10 for 1-4 passengers one way ( 5 mins drive ) -- pair up with some other cruisers and save $$. Many taxi's and easy to get you back to the ship late afternoon. Or you can walk there - 2.4 kms ( should be about a 20 mins walk from the ship ) and cab it back. It is located just south of the El Presidente Intercontinental hotel. Just walk out from the cruise dock to the main road turn Right - you want to go south. Stay on the main road and walk past a small marina. Then it looks like there is a fork in the road. Get off of the main road heading south out of town where it says "Parque Chankanaab otherwise you will miss the frontage road. Keep to the right here, it will lead to the Interpresidente hotel going We took a cab from the pier for $12 each way. Its too far to walk and the roads are not the best to walk on. I would not walk it. Google Map of the Location : http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&sugexp=les%3B&gs_rn=1&gs_ri=serp&pq=money+bar+&cp=20&gs_id=31&xhr=t&q=money+bar+cozumel+map&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&biw=1280&bih=899&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl Facilites / Food / Drink No entry fee, can order beverages and food from the bar. Decent snorkeling right from shore. This place is perfect for a low cost excursion Safe, no entry charge, good food, cold drinks No charge to use very nice beach with lounge chairs and easy access to water. Rental for snorkeling gear or bring your own They also offer good food and drinks . There were plenty of chaise lounges under the shady palms as well as shaded tables and chairs where you could sit and enjoy food and drinks. . The best thing about this bar is the free access to the snorkeling. is free to use their beach chairs if you buy food and drinks. Bar service was great, prices were fair especially for the view It is a nice place to swim, snorkel and then have a beer, drink and they have yummy nachos. The cab ride from the cruise pier is inexpensive and there is always a cab cruising by to return you to the ship. The bathrooms were very clean, You can get a massage for $50 an hour which is a fraction of what it costs on the ship. The name Money Bar has to do with the owner who collects currency and coins from various countries. You can see it in the bar at the restaurant where its embedded into the bar and table tops, under heavy varnish. Beach - here is not a real beach, just a sandy area for sunning and relaxing. Little sandy area to set the chairs on, but this is not the place if you want to hang out on a beach. They have a nice shady area to enjoy ice cold Cerveza and really tasty nachos. Overall, nice relaxing cheap day. and a sandy area for sunning and relaxing. The beach area was not crowded and was very relaxed. Showers and changing rooms were really handy. The shore was rocky as is common on Cozumel but we had a table just above the water and there were also lounge chairs in the sand for people to sunbathe. Afterwards you can have a drink on the beach or at the patio bar. Snorkeling - You need to wear water shoes. I would suggest you walk down the shore, which is extremely rocky, towards to national park and get in the water and float back towards the Bar.. The shore line here is naturally rocky, which is why the snorkeling is good. You shouldn't walk into the water without shoes or flippers on. 2 things to be aware of......Very slippery going down the steps to the water. Be careful on the steps. Also, there is a strong current right to left.. Ended up exiting the water at the pier to the left. you'll need them for the walk north before you head in to the water. The coast there is rocky and you enter the water via steps, but the lack of sand keeps the water clear and makes for great snorkeling.not sure about the geology of the rocky beach but it will cut your feet up. drift back due to the current- it flows back towards the direction of town. If you want to snorkel from the shore-- no beach, you enter the water via steps and water depth there will not be an issue for you. Decent snorkeling! The water is excellent for first timer snorkelers like kids. want to snorkel right off the bar! there is also a small municipal park beside the bar, where you can just jump in also! The views of the beautiful green and blue waters are nice and it is a relaxing place to spend a few hours. The beach facilities are comfortable and the swimming and snorkeling are good. The free snorkeling is said to be some of the best, with easiest access on the island. Visibility is great and there are many colorful fish. Went snorkeling for the afternoon, head north from the MB there are nice coral formations right along the shore and lots of colorful fish. amazing fish snorkeling right off the beach. Tangs, butterfly, sargent majors, electric ray and many others. Easy access to the water via stairs. This is a great spot for snorkeling! It is an easy spot to get into the water with handrails and some steps in sand in shallow water. . We saw a lot of fish different colors and sizes, beautiful coral and sealife. Probally one of the best shore diving sites fto see lots of eels, rays, fish, etc. Super location, free snorkeling, saw lots of fish, We took snorkel equipment and snorkeled for free. You can also rent it for $10.00. We feed the fish bagels and we saw tons of them. There really is not a beach for kids here. They only have steps and deep water to snorkel. The water is very calm....makes snorkeling very easy! This is a nice place if you are a beginner....nice sandy spot, easy entry, lockers, very nice staff. There were TONS of fish, and the water is really clear. You have plenty of opportunity to swim with all types of beautiful fishhis place is great you can see everything... and we did fish, rays, eels, plants, coral and so much more this is a place to go...easy to no current and not real deep No purchase required to snorkel there just jump right in if you have your own equipment. (best place we snorkeled in Cozumel) . snorkelling, so we didn't drink or eat there but would have stayed if we'd had more time. It's in a lovely spot, quiet and relaxed with gorgeous views. The snorkelling was superb with absolutely amazing visibility all round and to quite a distance. We saw many different types of fish of all shapes, sizes and colours from tiny to really big and got close up to most of them. Pretty gardens and underwater plants add to the experience and of course it's warm and sunny. You can hire snorkelling equipment but not towels so we had to dry off naturally but this wasn't a problem as it was so hot. Brinf your own snorkeling gear, water shoes and a small, light absorbent towel . Check out the fish around the man made reefs. You will see the snorkeling trips arrive by boat and drop their passengers off for snorkeling, so you know it's a good spot for seeing fish. The help are friendly and yet not bothersome. a small beach nextdoor to it that is free. .. If you want to get in the water I would suggest aqua shoes because it is rough rock getting in and there is fire corral. t snorkeling for hours here and the only cost was the $8 cab ride, because we bought our gear (I think that you can rent it there as well). Lots of fish to see and beautiful water. The best part is you can reward yourself with drinks of your choice at the bar afterwards for a reasonable price. . Saw lots of fish only a few yards off the shore. Getting in and out of the water was easy. They rent equipment and offer lessons there as well. We brought our own snorkel stuff. . Man made honey-comb shaped objects chained to ocean floor - this attracts fish We got lounge chairs on the beach and settled in for a great day of relaxing and snorkeling. The drinks are reasonable and there is no pressure. We rented snorkel equipment for $10 each. The fish were colorful and plentiful. It made us feel good to see boat after boat of shore excurions come to the same exact spot. We enjoyed swimming and seeing the fish. There isn't a reef there but there are few things in the water and you do see a nice variety of fish. Only negative was the jellyfish you couldnt see them but you could feel the sting from them. I only felt them when in the current and they may not always be there. I have snorked elsewhere in Cozumel and also encountered the jellyfish. However none of the men in our group ever felt them. We had many theories on that one! M... snorkelling. As you face the water, look to your right. There's a protected 'state park' beach. It is rocky as hell. Wear water socks or you'll shred your feet. Walk to the right, (go about 300 yards or so)... watch out of the anemones... kick out 50 yards and you literally DRIFT over the coral heads. When you start to drift back close to Money Bar, start kicking in and walk up the steps. great snorkeling form the shore (you enter the water via steps) The snorkeling was AMAZING. Even more so if you are confident enough to swim very far from shore For the price of a cab ride, and no entry fee- it cannot be beat. I've never seen so many, and such variety of fish. Maybe 100 yds north of the Money Bar is a public area to enter the water, went swimming there
  8. WarmWaters

    What I packed and wore for 10 days Seattle/Alaska

    Just back from Alaska, I packed and did not use my swim suit. I will not bring flip flops, its better around the ship to have comfy walking shoes. I brought and wore on formal nights a fancy black pair of pants with an elastic( after day 2 everything is a bit tight and uncomfy of the constant eating ) and just had 2 nice tops to go with that for the formal nights. 1 pair of elastic classy black pants to wear in the evening to the dining room. I brought a few nice classy short sleeve tops to go with that for evenings and a black shaul something ( i forgot now the name ) to go over my shoulders for when its perhaps cold in the dining room or the theathre. 2 pairs of capri's for embarkation and debarkation day and the 1 st day at sea and the last day at sea is nice and warm enough for capri's. I will not bring shorts to Alaska. Bring lots of T shirts as your 1st layer. Bring nice comfy sweat pants and comfy fleece jacket. Bring ball cap if you are wearing glasses for when it rains, its wonderful underneath a hoody to keep the rain out of your eyes. Warm scarf, lightweight cheap gloves ( you can cut of the one finger to operate your camera easily) and fleecy head band to keep forehead and ears warm .. we spend a lot of time on the open decks.
  9. WarmWaters

    Skagway - Train or Rental Car?

    Just back from Alaska, we rented from Avis. Having the car was wonderful. I googled the road to Emerald Lake and got the points of interests for free from the internet and printed that, it was great. 1 st thing after picking up the car, we stopped at the Visitors Centre and asked about the gravel road conditions to Dayiea and they said the road was really good. We then drove to Emerald Lake and on the way back, we decided to go and have a late lunch on the ship. We drove right up to the ship and parked our car 2 mins walk from the ship in the early afternoon and had lunch on the ship, it was so nice. Then we went back to our car and drive the road to Diyea and sightsee around Skagway. Gave back the car around 6 : 30 ish. Money well spent ! Loved our day trip having the car.
  10. WarmWaters

    A must pack item for AK cruise tour???

    Very helpful thread indeed. We returned 2 weeks ago from Alaska and I did not want to buy a rain proof jacket just for the trip, I might not use it ever again. So I bought identical ponchos from the Dollarstore and cut off the bottom part of poncho no 2 and sew it quickly onto the the bottom of poncho no 1 and whala I had a long poncho that cover my whole body down to my feet for $ 4 total. It rained heavily in Ketchican and my long poncho was fantastic.. it kept my pants and shoes dry and also I had my bag with camera, money, etc over my shoulder and under my poncho. My hubby went and bought an expensive rain coat which kept his top parts dry but his pants and shoes got soaked, while I stayed dry as a bone. its lightweight and packes easily in your bag for when you need it. Its the best $ 4 investment I have made for my Alaska cruise ! For those of you from warm climates, no need to invest in a costly rain jacket, if money is an issue, bring a hooded light jacket that you already have and just layer it underneath with soft nice comfy fleece jacket and a layer or 2 underneath eg short sleeve T shirt and make yourself an inexpensive long poncho and you will save a bundle and be dry all the time. Something that was very handy is to bring a men's ball cap.. its great to wear on rainy days under your hoody if you wear glasses.. it keeps the rain off your glasses. Something I will bring next time, is good detailed maps of the route of the ship..I saw people with Garmin satelite, I forgot the word now, and they were mapping our route as we went.. the ships's map on the TV in our room was not detailed enough. So many channels and islands along the way, I would have love to follow our route a bit better. For the cold days out on deck for the girls, a pair of pantyhose underneath a nice pair or sweats as an extra layer is lightweight and very warm or just wear 2 pairs of pants over one another eg in Glacier Bay. I used my fleecy head band to keep my ears and forehead warm a lot on the outer decks and thin gloves and a nice soft fleecy scarve to keep my neck warm, was things I used a lot. Next time I will pack 5 T shirts for hubby, a T shirt during the day was always his 1st layer as its warm inside the ship .. we packed too many warm things and not enough 1 st layers of short sleeves. Did not use the insulated mugs we packed but used my small alarm clock a lot to see the time during the night. Bring small amount of insect repellant as we had very hungry mozzies on our days out and about.
  11. WarmWaters

    Alaska for 1st cruise

    I would say a cruise is what you make of it. Alaska does have an older crowd, but we found that we were tired at night earlish ( 11 pm ish) and went to bed to be up next morning early to see the fantastic scenery from the ship..so the older crowd did not bother me at all as we did our own thing almost all the time. Also you can spend a ton of money on a cruise and might only have enough saved up again in a few years to cruise again, or you can do the excursions yourself and not buy a lot of stuff on the ship and on land and have very soon again enough money to do it all over again perhaps in the Caribbean. I did find that the ships excursions were very pricey.. eg Zip line $ 186 pp. Is it just me or have they hiked their prices lately big time ?
  12. We are just off the Volendam 4 days ago and its true HAL gets the best docking spots in all the ports we shared with other ships. That alone was great. Volendam was a wonderful experience, out of 7 cruises this was our 2nd best cruise ever. Best one was RC Mariner of the Seas to Mexico. The open dining on the Volendam was great , we never had to wait for a table and the food anywhere on the ship was jummy. Staff was very pleasant and the US park ranger who was onboard the day we were in Glacier Bay commented on how dedicated our captain was about spotting wildlife and sharing his findings in the water and on the shore with the guests over the PA system. I really felt our captain, Peter Bos, was very enthusiastic and motivated to make it a wonderful 1st time cruise to Alaska for us. He went above and beyond his duties spotting wildlife.. the day in Glacier Bay we saw 13 bears from the ship .. all which was announced on the PA. Great overall experience with HAL Volendam. We loved it !!
  13. WarmWaters

    Grumpy or legitimate gripe?

    I also called the HAL call centre about 2 weeks ago and a very rude guy answered the phone. I just had a general question but the way he interacted with me, was very condecending and made me feel inferior and certainly did not made me feel as a valued guest of them. Its not what he said to me that got me it was the way he said it to me that really made me feel HAL does not care. People in their call centre should realise, calling them is our 1st contact with HAL and if it leaves a bad taste in the mouth then that was my 1st impressions of dealing with them and 1st impressions are lasting. Not a good experience for me forsure.
  14. WarmWaters

    Courduroys- Packing for Alaska in August

    its better to avoid getting wet. It was pouring rain in Ketchincan last week and we were out and about for hours and with my long poncho, my shoes were dry.
  15. I forgot to add that a light weight umbrella is nice to have when its pouring rain.. I did not pack one and yet the day in Ketchican when it was raining hard, I envied the people I saw with their umbrellas. About shorts, I would say only pack them if you are going to use the gym a lot. Otherwise if space is a problem, dont pack them and rather go with lighweight cotton thin capri's. Those I wore in Vancouver and also on the ship 1st day up and last day down when it was warmer on the outside decks. Remember to leave empty space in your bag when you leave home for the shopping you are going to do.. even me who is in general not a shopper, brought a few things back and on the way home, packing it all up again, was a real pain.