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Posts posted by kimberlym322

  1. 7 hours ago, Homosassa said:

    Little known fact - the blue crab population in the Chesapeake has been overfished to the extent that local demand can not be met by local supply.


    Many of those crabs sold by the bushel or used in Maryland crab cakes actually are caught and shipped to Maryland from the  waters of the Gulf of Mexico


    I think it depends on where you get them from.  The places I go to for bushels of crabs and crab cakes, the crabs come right off the local waters of Maryland and Virginia fresh every morning and afternoon.  

    I guess I am just lucky to live on the water to be able to get them fresh like that!

    • Like 1
  2. 3 hours ago, vadersprincess12 said:

    This must be specific to Royal because we have sailed Carnival out of Baltimore (most recently in August) and the casino opens once we pass the Key Bridge which is only about 45 minutes from sail away.


    Carnival must be paying the state to be able to do that.  I know in 2018 they (Carnival) did not open the casino until day 2 once we were out of the bay and into international waters.

    • Like 1
  3. 11 hours ago, Nessa1dc said:

    Thank you.


    Isn't it the same for all cruises?  Have to get out a certain distance...but normally it takes 2 hours...is it the same for Baltimore?

    You have to be in international waters for it to open.   From Baltimore to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay it takes about 7 to 10 hours.  From Baltimore to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is 3 hours alone...then the rest of the time is from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel.


    • Like 2
  4. I love my TA.  She has helped a lot in a few situations I have had over the years.  So I guess it is a matter of if you want to or not.


    I would suggest calling your car insurance company to see if they offer travel insurance.  Nationwide offers travel insurance....last time I checked it was like 20.00 for a year I believe.

  5. 9 hours ago, donaldsc said:

    I would just tell her.  No need to go through elaborate shenanigans.  After all she is 13 and not 5.




    My sister was 44 and 45 when I did it for her and she loved it.  It just drove her crazy trying to figure out what was in the box both years.  It is just something fun to do to get out of the oh by the way don't want to see the joy/surprise/reaction you will have for years to come in video or photos, but we are taking a cruise.  Kids don't stay kids forever to enjoy the joy/surprise on their face for a surprise like that.  


    Basically your idea would just be toss the kids Christmas gifts under the tree unwrapped and say merry Christmas here's your gifts, your too old for the wrapping paper shenanigans!  Let a child be a child and have fun...this makes them creative as adults and will be able to have fun with their kids when they have them.

    • Like 1
  6. 14 hours ago, mikaula said:

    I’m very excited to be able to take our 13 year old granddaughter on her 1st cruise. She’s also never been on a plane. Our cruise is in April but I need to tell her soon. She has an appointment to get a passport in a few weeks, she doesn’t know about it yet . I’m trying to think up a creative reveal or some type of scavenger hunt. Maybe even a clue game of some kind. I did a search already but most of the ideas are for kids that live with you, like packing a suitcase and driving to the port. That won’t work for us. I’d appreciate any ideas you have. Thanks in advance. 


    This is an easy one.  You can tell the granddaughter that she is getting the passport for ID reasons because she is not old enough to get a state issued ID and it is always good to have an ID and it will make it easier later in life when she is ready to travel. That is what a friend of mine did for her daughter when she went to get a passport for her to surprise her with a trip to Europe for 3 weeks.  This way you will have more time to surprise her with the trip for Christmas or birthday.


    IF you can put her off telling her until Christmas or her birthday you can do the following:


    If her birthday is between Dec. 26th and the time you leave turn it into a fun combined gift (I did this for my sisters 46th Christmas/45th birthday...she opened her birthday present and Christmas presents together.).  With it being my sisters 45th birthday gift and her 46th Christmas present...the cruise...I got her 45 things that she would need on the cruise. First I gave her a letter that basically said Merry 46th Christmas happy 45th birthday to find out what your birthday present is you have to open all your Christmas gifts.  The stuff ranged from new tooth brush to makeup to sun glasses.  I wrapped everything by itself and in each one I put a funny little note in there...like with toothbrush I put something like...its never good to have bad breath, then I gave her a thing of deodorant with a note that said now that you don't have bad breath your pits wont smell either.  Each gift was numbered so she would open it in order.  The 46th gift was was a letter telling her something like now that you have opened your 45 gifts put them in your luggage so you don't lose the stuff, you will need them on Feb. X when you take your first cruise for your 45th birthday.  I put everything in a BIG box wrapped up and as soon as the Christmas tree was put up I put the box under the tree.  Everyday for a little over a month I would mess with her that she would have to wait however many more days until Christmas before she could open the box.  It drove her crazy because she wanted to know what was in the box because she hates surprises.  Her sons would yell at her if she even tried to pick the box up. This went over so much that she went and locked herself in her bedroom and cried for 10 minutes that I would do something like that for her. It was all in fun...I did it for her 46th birthday/47th Christmas also when I surprised her with a trip to TX to see family there.


    But there is also so many other ways to do it also.

    • Like 4
  7. 6 hours ago, dolittle said:

    After this latest brawl on the Carnival Sunshine it is passed time to have a No Sail list for ALL lines. Thugs like this should have no where or no one who wants them on board any ship anywhere. They are giving Carnival (and all cruising) a bad name . I hope all of them are banned from cruising for ever.



    In theory a No Sail list would be a great idea.  HOWEVER for it to work a lot of things would have to be looked at and changed across the board on all cruise lines.  All cruise lines would have to use the same operating system that they are all hooked to, they would have to keep up with each person on the list because of name changes, names being spelled wrong to get around the list, the fact that there is not just one person in the world with a name (I had 2 other girls in my high school with the same name as me), people move and can get around the list and such.  


    Choice Hotels has a National DO NOT RENT LIST and people get around it all the time.  So even though a NO SAIL list sounds like a great idea it would not work out.

  8. 13 hours ago, aururab said:

    Love this! My own version - I avoid using cash at all costs and put everything on a points credit that I use for travel! 🙂 


    Do both.  Use the points credit cards for big things....like gas, grocery shopping...things like that.  Then do the change with small buys like going to McDonalds for lunch, running in to the store to get a candy bar or such.  Also look at your bank for Christmas club and vacation club.  Use coupons and your bonus cards at stores....whatever you save using them put away also.  


    I save in so many ways that way I have more money for vacation.

  9. 1 hour ago, jean87510 said:

    i should clarify that for a family of 6 lunch can be expensive which is why I suggested bringing supplements.  And factor in drinks as well.  We just spent $550 in Bermuda at a beach bar for the day with 6 adults.  The least expensive meal was $18.  Granted these are kids but sodas and waters add up.  


    I guess living in a tourist town to me 18.00 is cheap for a meal a person.  550.00 for 6 to me is on the cheap side because of where I live...for 3 of us to eat a few weeks ago it was 400.00!  


    But I understand where you are coming from.

  10. 5 hours ago, jubejubes said:

    Where is this store in St. Martinique?

    Where did you get the jam/jelly/spices.  These are the things that I am looking for.

    Will be in St. Lucia on Christmas day and I don't know if the batiqt fabric place will be open 



    The best fabric store I found was in Martinique.  But all islands have a fabric store somewhere, just ask a local if they know where one is.  Our drivers when we did privet tours knew where to find them.  Romney Mannion in St Kitts has hand stamped fabric.


    Jam/jelly and Tea I got in Antiqua.  But again with them you can go to any grocery store and see what they have to get them....I even brought extract back to bake with that is not offered in the USA.  


    Spices again on the privet tour I get the driver to stop at a local grocery store.  I could live in the grocery stores on the islands, they have so much different things from chips and cookies to cake mixes and so on.  When I went to a store on St Kitts, my mom was yelling at me because I was buying too much stuff...but then yelled back on the ship because I didn't buy enough of this chips or that candy or cookies (i was like hello you were yelling that I was buying too much!), I spent so much time in there the driver was like your cutting it close to the time you want to be back to the ship.  If you go to the grocery store don't be shocked if some of the spices are in plastic bags.  I always get small things of spice for my nephew because I don't know what he will like, then after a week he yells at me that I didn't get him enough.  You can get them sometimes at the stores at the pier.

    • Like 1
  11. 12 hours ago, jean87510 said:

     Lunch can be really expensive on the islands. 


    I would have to disagree with you to a point.  On all the islands the one that I found most expensive to eat was St. Martin....That cost for 2 of us 80.00, it was small portions and to me food was subpar.  For me the other islands most I paid was 15.00 a person, the food on those islands were great, good portion size.  I really think the cost of food all depends on where you go.  We like to eat off the "beaten path" so to speak, where the locals would go to eat.

    • Like 2
  12. 1 hour ago, firefighter4u said:

     Now its the challenge of having the most fun but not breaking the bank!


    I use to say the same thing.  However, I figured out how to have fun without breaking the bank.  I save change...you just have to get in the mind set that change is NOT money until you turn it into paper money.  On January 1st I start a new.  I have developed money charts for change for the year.  Each day I put x amount away in a jar (on take the weeks total and get change on Friday and put in the jar).  If I go into the store and the bill is say 10.17....I give them 11.00 and the other .83  in the change jar.  


    My first cruise in 2016 everything from the cruise it's self to spending money to money to cover the excursions was paid for using change.  The bank liked to of killed me when I carted 1200.00 (just the cruise part) in the bank for them to count but it was a good laugh. 

    • Like 2
  13. 8 hours ago, aururab said:

    This thread was definitely the most helpful! The roll call both here and on the site not to be named hasn't been much help! ha 

    That said, I'm still at a loss of what island would be best to just wander around and window shop, go to a local beach etc! I can't afford excursions every day! ha 



    I would say St Thomas for window shopping and beach.  I myself did not find the excursions all that on that island.

  14. Yes you could do B2B's.  longer cruises are going to be out of like New York (NJ) or Baltimore.  You could look into these two ports and look for a cruise that goes to the Caribbean and then one to the Bahamas or the other way around.  Northern ports holidays are not a good time to go because of schools being out.  If going out of FL that is a hit and miss because you have people from everywhere cruising out of there.

    • Like 1
  15. 11 minutes ago, mets123 said:

    Royal shopping talks are  not what they used to me. They very rarely talk about the ports bring visited. The last two we attended in May and June ONLY spoke about Effy jewelry for the entire hour. It was a complete waste of time.


    That sucks...the ones that I had been to 2016-2019 it was a woman that always wore a striped dress and she was good.  After the talks I would go talk to her about the different ports we were stopping in to see if she had any recommendations for "local to the Island" stuff.  Sometimes she would have recommendations and others she would be honest and say I don't know.  I would take stuff back to her so that if people would ask the same question she would know.  One port I found a shop with homemade jelly I brought her back some with where I got it, In St Martinique I told here where a local fabric store was if someone asked.


    So it is sad that all they talk about now is Effy's....I find Effy's expensive myself.

  16. 9 hours ago, aururab said:

    Would it be good for the young kids?



    Yes Thenford Grey Tours are good for all ages.  The first time I was on St. Kitts I did the Grand Tour of St. Kitts with them...great tour, however we felt rushed...where my mom and I would of liked more time at Romney Manor and the Caribelle Batik Shop others did not want to be there long and while my mom and I would have liked less time at Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park while others wanted to spend an hour or more there.  That is why the next year and each year after we paid the extra to do a privet tour with the company.  With the privet tour what I did was find the things on the island we wanted to do.  SO this is what one years privet tour looked like:


    Meet driver at meeting spot, let the driver know at this point what all aboard time is and let them know be back 1-1 1/2 hours       before to shop on the pier.

    Stop somewhere for a to go breakfast to eat on the drive

    Romney Manor so that we could look around more at the gardens and buy some hand died fabric

    A fabric store that locals would shop at (mom and I do crafts and we have found so good fabric on the island)

    Lunch where you can get local food.  Had some great food doing this stop...if you do this and they stop along the road and the place looks like a shack don't think twice about it the food will be good.

    A stop at a grocery store (my nephew is a cook so I take local spices to him from all the islands I go to)

    A hour or so at the beach.

    Any places I found in my research that I would like to go to

    Back to the pier for some shopping

    On the boat before all aboard time to make it up to watch to see if there is any pier runners. 🤪

    • Like 1
  17. 11 hours ago, aururab said:



    Alternatively, which island is best for a bit of shopping? 🙂 Nothing specific or high end in mind... 




    Each island has a lot of shopping and each has something different to offer.  If Royal still does them on sea day(s) they have port talks that talk about shopping.  Something good to do is get the information for the free charm bracelet and charms from each port.  They are not high quality but it would be something nice for the kids to collect and remember the trip by.  There is also coupons they give out for free ear rings and such.  Again not high quality, but FREE is the first best 4 letter word there is.  All the ports will have Del Sol in it....want the men to behave themselves?...stop in and get what the one shopping lady on Royal calls "revenge in a bottle"  it is nail polish, it goes on clear and then when in the sun it turns cherry red...best part ya paint the nails while they are asleep and they wont know until they go outside.  🤣  I would also talk to the kids about something they would like to collect so that they can look for somethin to fit that collection on each island.  A good family souvenir is to collect Christmas tree ornaments.  

  18. 1 hour ago, aururab said:

    You seriously solved all of my issues! 🙂





    LOL.  I am an over planner so I research while sitting at work doing nothing in the summer.  I always have a plan because of that and then 2 back up plans after that no matter where I go.  


    I suggest taking the kids on the rum tour also....it will turn them off of rum for life.  😁  At the very least they will learn something new.

  19. 8 hours ago, aururab said:


    SUN, FEB 19    San Juan, Puerto Rico        

    MON, FEB 20    St. Thomas, USV

    * private snorkel full day boat tour confirmed

    TUE, FEB 21    St. Croix, USVI    

    * snorkel Buck island half day
    * Beach day on ??? not sure which beach! ha Maybe Cane Bay where some people can SCUBA from the beach

    WED, FEB 22    Philipsburg, St. Maarten

    * free day, window shop and beach 
    * A few people might go on a one tank dive who are not interested in shopping! 🙂

    THU, FEB 23    St. Lucia    
    * Probably a land/sea combo tour... Still having a hard time on this one

    FRI, FEB 24    Barbados

    * Still torn... The adults ALL want to go rum tasting, and the Boatyard looks amazing for the kids! 

    SAT, FEB 25    St. Kitts, Kitts and Nevis    
    * 4x4 - Maybe Gregg's tours

    * Beach Day at ??? 

    SUN, FEB 26    San Juan, Puerto Rico   



    May I suggest that you all do Cruzan Rum Tour and beach day in St Croix?  At the end of the pier in St Croix you can walk down and book a tour to Cruzan Rum and they will bring you back to the pier and the beach is right there.  Doing that would leave so much more open to do in Barbados.  


    If you can zip line in San Juan I would do it there because you have more time there to explore and such then you do on the other islands.


    St Lucia I am telling you go with Cosol tours.  you will enjoy it.  Also one stop they do is at a banana plantain type place that has a road side stand with things you can buy.  You can buy a bottle that has everything except the sugar and white rum to make your spiced rum at home.  each bottle if i remember right you can use to make spiced rum 4 or 6 times.  Was a big hit as a souvenir for some friends.

    • Like 1
  20. 14 hours ago, 2chiefs said:

    Have you considered a cruise out of San Juan and flying in a day or two early?

    The advantage of a San Juan cruise is that it's almost always a nice Southern Caribbean cruise as opposed to a Western or Eastern itinerary which can get monotonous. Also, most of the cruises out of there have only one or two SEA days max! Very port intensive if that interests you.


    We've taken a couple cruises out of there and really enjoy them. Avoid cruises during school breaks and holidays however if you don't want to cruise with a bunch of kids.


    Additionally, the cruises from San Jaun seem to be a little less expensive which helps offset the price of flying there. We usually do a B2B out of there to save on transportation costs.


    Most of the time I do the 12 night cruise out of Baltimore.  I live 3 hours from the port there, so it is easier to get to.  With that cruise ya get 3 days down, 5 days in the islands and 3 days back.  That gives me time to leave the real world behind, 5 days of seeing and learning new things and places, and 3 days to get ready to go back to the real world.

    • Like 1
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