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Everything posted by princeton123211

  1. Honestly it doesn't really matter either way. Personally I would do a little bit of both and space it out a bit so you aren't stopping repeatedly in one direction. Would highly recommend downloading GuideAlong which has a great guided tour of the Hana Road that will narrate and tell you where you can stop. Keep in mind that the road beyond Hana is currently closed so everyone who is headed out will be returning on the same road back later in the afternoon (vs some who would have driven all the way around). That includes a bunch of larger mini busses that did tours all the way around so it will be a bit more congested than usual.
  2. I'm through HNL several times a year with tons of overnights there over the years and I literally have never heard of them. It looks like they mainly cater to large group bookings. If I read the same reviews you did when I looked them up, I think I would still just forget about the transfer and get my own Uber but thats obviously up to you. If the ship shuttle is significantly less than $25 for two people (which I'm getting it won't be unless you throw a bunch of on board credit against it) then by all means. But the cruise shuttles will wait until full of passengers which can take time, especially loading and unloading luggage. I would just take an Uber-- you'll get there much faster, less hassled, and most likely for a bunch less $$ than the cruise shuttle.
  3. There are plenty of tour options that are mentioned on the boards but keep in mind that Seattle is pretty easy to do on your own. Consider their Port Valet service which will pick up your bags at the pier and deliver them to the airport. Its free and they check your bags through. Personally I would walk around Pike Place area and find someplace fun for some drinks and a meal before you head to the airport. https://www.portseattle.org/page/port-valet-enjoy-seattle-luggage-free You could but you'd give up a day you could be spending downtown. The area around Seatac is pretty bland. If you do spend the day at a hotel take a look at the Cedarbrook Lodge which sort of defies logic in terms of how nice and fitting its location an airport hotel can be.
  4. You're not going to have much Beltway traffic on a Saturday into Sunday-- not something I would factor in given the days you are there. The benefit of DC is that it is on your way to Baltimore (vs Annapolis which really isn't). From a safety standpoint you are quite safe in the downtown core and government areas-- actually you are safer there with the plethora of Federal and local law enforcement overlapping each other than you are in most major cities right now. Weekends in DC tend to be fairly inexpensive so there are some deals to be had even at luxury hotels that can go for hundreds during the week. I wouldn't rule it out. An alternative that is still on the way is Old Town Alexandria which is charming and doesn't feel like DC is immediately adjacent. Lots of nice places to stay (except I would avoid The Alexandrian on King Street-- its getting a bit run down last time I was there a few weeks ago). The Morrison House is a favorite and the Sheraton Suites is another option thats a little better priced. Annapolis is great and highly recommended but keep in mind you are already on an 8+ hour drive that day and Annapolis is another 45 minute drive sort of out of the way beyond Alexandria/DC that you really don't have to do to find somewhere nice to stay the night.
  5. No- but its super easy to just grab an Uber outside the terminal. No reason to start a vacation off on a bad foot when you can just have a quick private transfer for $25.
  6. Very rarely do I Uber to/from Manhattan to Philly-- Amtrak is much easier and generally more cost effective for 1. But I will from JFK and it's consistently around $200 for the past few years. A full blown black car car service will be more like $350-400 so it's not a bad deal (although you're not in the same level of car). Mile for mile Uber is much more expensive within Manhattan. I asked one of the drivers once and a NYC based Uber driver doesn't mind heading to Philly because they are allowed to pick up another ride right after they cross back into New Jersey so not much repositioning for them which starts to make more sense.
  7. It's not a bad deal-- I had lunch at Eden Rock (at the casual Sand Bar on the beach) and 4 drinks, large bottle of Pellegrino, personal sized pizza, gazpacho, and tuna tartare were maybe $500 US for comparison. Just be prepared for the costs, unlike anywhere in the Caribbean-- the short ride from Gustavia to Eden Rock cost about $75 US and takes about 10 minutes-- Le Barthelemy is about double that in time and price each way. Which is the small stretch of beach it is on-- not the greater island of St Barths itself. Don't get me wrong-- super nice place but didn't want the expectation set that this was the top place in the Caribbean. #5 on the island. It is the nicest by far that offers day pass access so from that perspective it's a great deal. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g147338-a_sort.POPULARITY-St_Barthelemy-Hotels.html
  8. It's gorgeous-- was there once years ago. Extremely secluded feeling. But there is zero there-- no rentals, bars, etc. There is a parking lot. Very quiet because of that which is part of the charm. Keep in mind that part of the beach is fully nude (or seemed to be when we were there).
  9. I don't know about best hotel in the Caribbean-- even on the island of St Barths I would put Eden Rock and The Rosewood significantly ahead of it. All of St Barths is breathtakingly expensive so don't let the room rates be a judge of quality. If you want hype and a great scene Eden Rock is where it's at but they don't allow day visitors-- you can just visit the restaurant and bars and the beach is free to use. Put pool and other facilities off limits. That being said Le Barthelemy is a nice place. We went there to eat at their restaurant Amis for lunch one day so can't speak to the rooms or pool but the location on the beach is nice and the food is good. Just keep in mind that, like any other top resort on the island, if you do a day pass you are going to be captive to $25-35 cocktails and a lunch tab for two that will well exceed $300-400. Everything is in Euros.
  10. They are adjacent to each other within the Royal Naval Dockyard-- literally along the same access arm from the shore. Think of it as one long pier with two different names at each end.
  11. Now that is expensive. JFK to Philly is only about $180-200 so not nearly as bad but much more than I usually will spend on an Uber. Manhattan to Philly is around the $200 mark.
  12. Have done it many times with zero issue. It can be expensive but they're happy to do it. Most of the time I will take an Uber from Philly to or from JFK but would work the same for Manhattan.
  13. Either or-- it won't make a huge difference. Frankly Uber will be easier on the front end from Kahului. Having them call a taxi for you might be easier on the return. Guaranteed is a strong word but they can call one for you just like anywhere else. I don't see you having an issue finding a ride back-- just build in a little time. Everything on Maui happens a little slower than you're most likely used to.
  14. Just fly Hawaiian Airlines-- they do their intra-island flying mainly on very comfortable Boeing 717's (which are basically updated versions of the MD-80)-- large, twin jet airliners you've flown on tons of times in the past domestically. Of course flying a local carrier like Mokulele Airlines on their smaller planes provides dramatically better views (the flight from Kapalua to Honolulu will often provide you with a bonus fly by of Molokai's stunning North coast which folks pay hundreds of dollars for on tourist helicopters). But, for someone who doesnt like small planes, it means flying on a single engine Cessna Caravan.
  15. It's a free baggage handling service much like a bellman in a hotel-- you check in with them and they will deliver you and your bags to the train and help you disembark the same way. It is free but you tip then generously. It is available only at Amtraks busiest stations-- downtown Wilmington does have it (as does Philly, NYC, Boston, Baltimore, etc)
  16. Agree. Also echoing Bruce, Ubers in Maui are much less plentiful than most folks expect but there are still enough of them that it works. Given that Kahului is near the airport (where there is consistently the largest concentration of Ubers) you are generally find getting one there most of the time. Coming back is the issue. Headed back from the Maui Ocean Center you aren't travelling a great distance but you aren't near a major resort area either where they tend to concentrate. During the day I find the more limited number of Ubers are in and around the major resort areas of Wailea and Kaanapali which you'll be nowhere near. Ubers become far more plentiful and available towards the late afternoon into evening. I would say take the Uber over to the MOC and then just be prepared to have them call you a taxi if one isn't available to go back. If you did head down to the beaches in Wailea for example afterwards, by the time the later afternoon rolled around you'd be able to get an Uber from most major resort there.
  17. As others have said, the answer is no. But you can pick up some smaller ships that are going through. Seabourn, Regent, and Silver Sea have often had cruises running through the Hawaiian Islands coming back from Asia or French Polynesia that you can book segments that start/end in Hawaii. That being said most of those only have like 2-3 days at most on the Islands and are not a great way to see Hawaii if that's the goal.
  18. Last time I checked it was $50 an hour for up to 4 passengers with a 3 hour minimum. Plus tip. You can get a bigger car for up to 7 passengers for $70 an hour.
  19. On the way, personally I would stop in Richmond Virginia for the night to break up the ride a bit. South Carolina to Baltimore is potentially an 8 hour drive so stopping in Richmond cuts that down and then the ride into Baltimore the next day is a leisurely little over 2 hour jaunt. In Richmond a favorite hotel is The Jefferson. To be an hour to the port you could stay in Washington DC proper or just outside. Without knowing a hotel budget its hard to make a DC recommandation but happy to do so if you respond with one. Alexandria VA is charming alternative to being right downtown. While it would involve a little bit of extra driving the first day, but put you only 30 min from the port,-- Annapolis is very charming and worth a look.
  20. Agree with everyone whos weighed in on this-- as a fellow Philadelphian, ruling out the train here is just plain silliness. It is by far the best/most efficient/least expensive way of doing this and by taking Amtrak (vs NJ Transit) you will have complimentary baggage assistance on either end. By not flying to Florida with your group of 9 you are most likely saving somewhere between $7000-9000 during that period of time-- $1000 round trip seems like sort of a bargain in that context. I personally wouldn't leave my car unattended at Union's NJ Transit Station for a week. An UberXL (of which you will need at least 2 and possibly 3 for 9 passengers and luggage) will cost about $90-100 each way, per car, to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. It could cost possibly more coming back from the MCT to South Orange. With the great deals Amtrak is running right now you could easily beat that cost with trains from Philadelphia with a LOT less hassle. I agree with most that was written here-- we often cruise from New York for the same reasons you are but by ruling out the train or parking at the cruise terminal you are hobbling yourselves needlessly to find alternatives that are much less efficient, can cost more, and needlessly put your car at risk (like parking at a NJ Transit station for 9 days). It's time to sit the old folks down and explain the benefits of Amtrak.
  21. They're just "tenders"-- "shuttles" tend to be cruise line jargon for busses in ports. As you've said it's a new itinerary so only Princess knows for sure, but typically when a ship is overnighting the gangway and tenders operate 24/7 (although less frequently later and overnight-- sometimes just based on demand).
  22. Also, embarkment or departure? I'm sure it's possible but that seems like a late time to begin boarding at the MCT.
  23. You should be fine- Logan is extremely close. I would disembark with self help at your earliest convenience.
  24. There is more than one pier. Are you boarding or disembarking in San Juan or is San Juan a port stop? If you are boarding/disembarking you'll most likely be at the Pan American Pier which is a ways from the downtown Old San Juan. If it is a port stop you'll dock close to the Sheraton Old San Juan. Pan American Pier no. Cruise pier in Old San Juan is quite close. Again-- I don't know which pier you'll be at but I don't think there is anything close to the downtown pier. The beaches at Condado are not far at all from the Pan American Pier.
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