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About lisad63

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Conway, Arkansas, USA

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  1. Thanks for the additional details. We hated missing the trip to the Baths, but were able to spend some time in Tortola at Cane Garden Bay beach. Not the views we had anticipated, but still a beautiful day in calmer water. Hopefully we'll be back to try for the Baths again. Lisa
  2. We just returned from our cruise. One of the excursions I was looking forward to the most was a Snorkeling excursion to the Baths by boat. It said we would swim from boat to beach. Unfortunately, due to high winds and rough seas, that particular excursion was cancelled (along with snorkeling excursion to Jost Van Dyke). If this is a must do for you and you plan to book through the cruise line, I would recommend the one where you travel to Virgin Gorda by boat, then are driven on land to the Baths. That excursion went as planned, but was full and we didn't get to go at all.
  3. Thanks for the teaser. I'll be on the Noordam again on January 2!
  4. I've only been on one HAL cruise on Noordam, but I did not feel the least bit uncomfortable asking for a pastry without buying a coffee.
  5. For smart casual, I usually wear nice capris or slacks, and on formal nights have done both dresses and dressy slacks. With luggage weight restrictions, I would definitely wear something that can do double duty on a couple of nights, just changing tops. And - if I'm not comfortable, the whole evening is miserable - so comfort is king!
  6. Thanks for the replies. Still undecided, but DH has sent an email to HAL guest relations to see what they have to say. I'm anxious to see when they answer and what they have to say.
  7. We were on the Noordam a couple of years ago in an extended aft balcony (VA). The only furniture on the extra deep balcony were two chairs, a wooden otteman and a small table. We requested a chaise lounge and were told they were not allowed on the balcony. When we inquired as to why the cabin next door had a lounger, we were later told that they Noordam staff had removed it also. We were very disappointed at the lack of a lounger on the balcony. What a waste! We are currently considering aft VA balcony 5184. Has anyone been in the cabin or one near? If so - what furniture is on the balcony now? If still not a lounger, we'll forgo paying for the extra space.
  8. We've been to Aruba twice, and did excursions that we thoroughly enjoyed both times. First trip - we booked directly with Jolly Pirates for snorkeling. We snorkeled over a sunken ship and two other locations, and there was a rope swing for passengers, plus the guys on the boat did an acrobatics show for us. Very fun! Second trip - booked excursion through the ship. 4x4 off-road Jeep Safari. Different type day, but very fun. It lasted 4 1/2 hours. There were 5 jeeps in a caravan behind our guide, and he was leading us with directions and narration over the radio. We stopped at the Casabiri rock formation, a church, the natural bridge, the California light house and had a 45 min beach break to swim at Arashi Beach before heading back to their offices. They took a photo of us in front of our jeep in front of the rock formation and sold us sovenir photos + 2 T-shirts for a total of $20. We also had time on both trips to walk around the city and do some shopping. Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
  9. I agree that Celebrity caters to a much older crowd. The entertainment didn't really interest us (we're in our 40's). Also, the evenings are more formal. You are expected to stay in the dinner dress for the entire evening. I personally like to go to dinner, then change into something more comfortable, and this is discouraged on Celebrity. Also, if you skipped out on main dining room and the for-fee alternative dining, there were much more limited options on Celebrity (at least there were on Constellation). The service was excellent, though.
  10. We sailed 1/2 on Constellation in CC, and found that it made absolutely no difference at embarkation. We waited in the same chairs as everyone else.
  11. We did the Tiami 5-star catamaran/snorkel/swim with sea turtles. We really enjoyed it. The best excursion on the trip for us was the independent tour from Cosol in St. Lucia. St. Lucia is a beautiful, lush island, and the tour was great.
  12. We also returned yesterday from Constellation. We opted for the CC balcony cabin, but just so we could get the extended aft balcony. Our balcony was approx. 20' deep X 10' wide, had more than enough room for two loungers, two chairs, a small table and larger table used for meals. To me, that is the only thing worth the extra cost. I'm not sure we'd do it again. We only ordered the Concierge breakfast on the balcony once, the canapes were awful (but we did request and received cheese, crackers and grapes instead after the 3rd day), and a thicker bathrobe - so what?
  13. We were on the same cruise (Hi Jer_l). On the second formal night, my husband had the beef wellington and said it was the best piece of beef he'd had in a long time. I had the lobster, and it was ok. We were a little disappointed in the dining options in the evening. We had first seating, and if we missed it, our options were the limited buffet items (pizza, stir-fry, pasta, sushi), make a reservation for casual dining, room service, or pay extra for Oceans dining. Overall, we weren't wowwed by the food. (It was good enough that we both have a few pounds to try to diet off now, though.) What we really booked this cruise for was the itinerary, and it was awesome! We loved the ports and the four sea days.
  14. We never used the dryer on the wall on our hair - only to de-fog the bathroom mirror. The full size 1800-watt dryer under the sink worked great.
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