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ETBee

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About ETBee

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  1. We will be on the Aug 29th Caribbean Princess cruise to Norway out of Southampton. During the day in Olden we'd like to do the Briksdal Glacier hike. The price of the excursion through Princess is a little high and I understand the same trip can be booked without going through the cruise line. I would like to find a link to one of these tour providers so I can book in advance. Does anyone know of a specific provider I can contact?
  2. ETBee

    Port or Starboard??

    We just went to those 3 ports and had a cabin on the port side. In Cozumel we had a view of the island...until another ship docked next to us. Then we had a great view of the other ship. On Grand Caymen you have to tender in so I don't think it matters. In Ocho Rios we docked with the starboard side facing the island. Even in Miami it was a toss-up. When leaving, the port side was to the terminal and had views of downtown. The starboard side had more picturesque views of marinas and mansions. But the ship did a 180 degree turn before going to sea, so the port side probably had the better view as we left Miami. On the return to Miami at the end of the cruise, they docked facing the opposite way they were docked when we boarded. I guess you can't predict it and the chances are it doesn't matter.
  3. ETBee

    Sushi Bar on the Triumph?

    No fish & chips place on the Triumph. :( We really enjoyed the one on Liberty. It was upstairs in the buffet area and it seemed like most passengers didn't realize it was there. Lines were short and the seafood was great.
  4. ETBee

    Cruise Director List 2008

    We just had Matt Ross on the Triumph. Others have posted here that they liked him, but I found him to be nothing special. His jokes were predictable, but I guess that's the norm. I'm still trying to figure out what cartoon character his voice reminds me of. It's something of a cross between Cartman and Woody Woodpecker.
  5. ETBee

    Sushi Bar on the Triumph?

    We were on the Triumph just last week and the sushi bar was open every evening - even before the early dinner seating. It's a "vendor cart" setup located on the main walkway on Deck 5, next to the bar in the casino. The lounge singer/piano player located across the aisle manages to get the word "sushi" into the lyrics of half the songs he sings.
  6. ETBee

    Beware scooter rentals on Cozumel

    There is no recourse with the credit card company because Explora Rentadora absolutely insisted on being paid in cash or traveler's checks. They only took the Visa as a security deposit. At first I thought they just wanted to avoid the fees Visa would charge, but now I realize it was to avoid the possibility of me disputing the charges. I was stupid and trusting. Now I have learned a lesson. I posted this here mainly so others could learn from my mistake and avoid the same problem on their vacation.
  7. We were aboard the Carnival Triumph last week (6/1 - 6/7) cruising to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios. During our stop in Cozumel we decided to rent scooters and ride around the island. We rented from Explora Rentadora, which is located behind the McDonalds. We actually had a great time on the ride and thoroughly enjoyed it. I know...Carnival advises against renting scooters because unskilled riders are in danger from all the traffic in town. Riding in town was not fun but the traffic is nearly non-existent once you get outside. The problem arose when my wife accidently hit the accelerator and bumped her scooter into another one while we were pulling out of a parking space after eating lunch on the far side of the island. The collision caused paint scrapes on both scooters - each about the size of a quarter. I knew we were in for a damage fee but I had no idea what was coming. When we returned the scooters, the rental guy immediately started scanning each one (we rented 5) very carefully. It seemed odd to me that they didn't even check to make sure we had gassed up - but that was only a $5 charge per scooter if we didn't. (We did.) However, they were scanning the scooters for damages as carefully as a jeweler studies a diamond. Upon noticing the small scrapes, they hit us with a demand for $300 and would not back down no matter how much we debated. While we were guilty of damaging the scooters, $300 seems ridiculous for something you know they aren't going to repair anyway. I was mentally prepared to be charged $50 or $100 and I probably would not have been upset by that. What really got me was the way they immediately started inspecting the scooters, looking for damage. It was obvious that was how they made their profit for the day. Rental fees and gas charges are chump change. The likelyhood that inexperienced riders are going to end up with a scrape or two, especially given the congestion in town, is pretty high. That's where the money can be made! If you plan to rent scooters, expect to have a great time but beware that any damage, not matter how small, is going to cost you.
  8. ETBee

    The New Formal......

    On our cruise last week we had two formal nights. I saw everything from tuxes to t-shirts in the dining room. What are they going to do, throw you out if you aren't dressed nicely enough?
  9. We were aboard the Carnival Triumph last week (6/1 - 6/7) cruising to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios. During our stop in Cozumel we decided to rent scooters and ride around the island. We rented from Explora Rentadora, which is located behind the McDonalds. We actually had a great time on the ride and thoroughly enjoyed it. I know...Carnival advises against renting scooters because unskilled riders are in danger from all the traffic in town. Riding in town was not fun but the traffic is nearly non-existent once you get outside. The problem arose when my wife accidently hit the accelerator and bumped her scooter into another one while we were pulling out of a parking space after eating lunch on the far side of the island. The collision caused paint scrapes on both scooters - each about the size of a quarter. I knew we were in for a damage fee but I had no idea what was coming. When we returned the scooters, the rental guy immediately started scanning each one (we rented 5) very carefully. It seemed odd to me that they didn't even check to make sure we had gassed up - but that was only a $5 charge per scooter if we didn't. (We did.) However, they were scanning the scooters for damages as carefully as a jeweler studies a diamond. Upon noticing the small scrapes, they hit us with a demand for $300 and would not back down no matter how much we debated. While we were guilty of damaging the scooters, $300 seems ridiculous for something you know they aren't going to repair anyway. I was mentally prepared to be charged $50 or $100 and I probably would not have been upset by that. What really got me was the way they immediately started inspecting the scooters, looking for damage. It was obvious that was how they made their profit for the day. Rental fees and gas charges are chump change. The likelyhood that inexperienced riders are going to end up with a scrape or two, especially given the congestion in town, is pretty high. That's where the money can be made! If you plan to rent scooters, expect to have a great time but beware that any damage, not matter how small, is going to cost you.
  10. ETBee

    beverage be-fuddlement

    Yes, the "kids" drink package is a booklet of tear-out "coupons" that can be used for soft drinks or virgin frozen drinks. Any number of people can share a booklet. I think our cruisemates did the math and figured out it was cheaper to buy a Coke than to use the coupons, so they used the drink package to buy virgin frozen drinks for their two kids. Make sure you don't get the coupon booklet wet. It's just paper, so your drinks could dissolve in the hot tub if you aren't careful.
  11. ETBee

    Looking for details about the X1 drink package

    When we embarked on the Magica 3/18, I thought the X1 package was going to be awesome. I went to the pool bar and ordered a Carlsburg draft and got it without hassle. It was downhill from there. First of all, they will only give you a tiny little glass of draft beer. I'd say it takes at least 2 and maybe 3 of these glasses to constitute a "beer". Patrons without the X1 card got a glass twice as large. Second, I gave a nice tip to the bartender right away, hoping to grease the skids for the remainder of the week. It was just my luck that I never saw that particular bartender again. Third, starting with the second day of the cruise, the bartenders at the pool bar insisted I have a plate of food before they would pour me a beer. I don't recall reading anything that said beer would only be served with a plate of food, but whatever. That particular day I had already eaten lunch at the buffet before going out to get a beer. I went to the buffet, loaded up a plate with $10 worth of food, got my 75 cents worth of beer, and threw the plate of food away. The remainder of the cruise I remembered to make the trek out to get my beer before sitting down to eat. Fourth, I ordered wine in the dining room with dinner. Neither the white nor the red was very good. Barely drinkable. After 3 nights of hoping it might get better I switched to Carlsburg draft at dinner, which was an improvement. At least they brought a full sized glass. Each evening I had to give my card to the assistant waiter before he would bring my first glass. Subsequent glasses did not require the card. I have no idea why I had to repeat the ritual every night. I probably got my money's worth out of the X1, but it was not really a pleasurable experience.
  12. ETBee

    Catalina Island Question

    We took the Catalina Island shore excursion during our 3/18 - 3/25 cruise on the Magica. The island did not appear to be exclusive to Costa, as other groups arrived during our stay. However, there seemed to be no local inhabitants either. Everyone there was either on vacation or an employee. There was a large buffet pavilion and I could smell BBQ, but I never saw anyone serving food or eating. Our stay on the island included lunchtime, but apparently not lunch. I saw masks and snorkels for rent, but nothing like jetskis or banana boat rides. There are some shops on the beach, but I didn't do any shopping. Hair braiding and massages are available for purchase, as are drinks.
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