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DreamingofMaui

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About DreamingofMaui

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    Cool Cruiser

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    New Jersey
  1. DreamingofMaui

    Two Gordons???

    Okay, I'm hesitating to write this reply....and please read all of it to get the whole drift, ok? I booked with Gordon after reading lots of positive reviews on CC. I was excited to think that a local guy would be showing us all the local places, etc. I booked for five people during the week of 3/8. A couple weeks prior, I went to email him to make sure we were all set to go. His website was down and I was checking it as well as CC for any updates. At this point, I was considering just rebooking with the cruiseline as I didn't want any issues (and didn't want to let my family down either if he was a no-show). The day before Antigua, I called Gordon and he assured me that the tour was still on. I was fine with that. He gave me directions on where to meet him (Exotic Antigua--a store) and he'd be holding up a sign. My parents found him first and then the rest of our group. He said that since his website went down, he had lost all of his reservations and that before he took us, he wanted to make sure that he didn't leave anyone else behind. I thought that was good, because I wouldn't want to be left behind either. However, another group did come up and had their printed reservations. He advised us that he'd be taking THAT group and he'd put us with one of his other drivers, Valentine. Okay, at this point, I felt like this was a bait and switch type of thing, but just tried to enjoy the day anyhow. Valentine was really wonderful and showed us all of the sights that we would have seen with Gordon, however, I just couldn't get past the fact that I thought we'd be going with the guy that everyone had raved about and that perhaps we were missing out on something. The place he took us for lunch, Ojay's, was horrendous. He actually left us there and gave us his card to call him when we were done. The waitress seemed like we were putting her out to take our order, first of all. My brother, dad and mom ordered hamburgers--the mayo was spoiled so bad that it made them all sick and they only had a couple of bites. I ordered shrimp--for $31.00--and received 5 small shrimp. My mom ordered vegetable soup--and beware---it was like pumpkin and squash pureed--not a typical American vegetable soup. She couldn't eat it. The bill came to over $100 plus we left a $20 tip even though the service was abysmal. (I realize this isn't much for five people--but if we had enjoyed the food, it would have been worth it)for three burgers, a chicken sandwich, and my shrimp and none of it was even edible. We kind of joked that the guy must owe these people some money or something, so he dropped us off there. Now, we did see the sights that we were supposed to see, we were in an air-conditioned vehicle, our driver was kind and knowledgeable, and we made it back to the boat on time. He was a good tour guide. I just want people to be informed that if you're booking with Gordon, you may not necessarily get "Gordon" and may want to consider that prior to booking. I hesitated writing this post because I know the economy isn't great in Antigua and I know that these people rely on tourism and that Cruise Critic probably has enough members to either really boost someone's business or reduce it or even eliminate it. Trust me, I have thought long and hard on this. I'm definitely not trying to ruin their business, but I am trying to make sure that people are INFORMED as to what to expect. I'd appreciate any input that anyone has on this--especially if you've been in my situation where you are struggling whether or not to post difficult experiences you've been in.
  2. DreamingofMaui

    Is Orient Beach ENTIRELY clothing optional??

    I was on Orient Beach the week of 3/8 and was in the water mostly, but I only ran across one topless sunbather--and my mom saw a guy in a thong bikini which she claimed was "just wrong!" but unless you're watching with binoculars or something, I don't think it's that obvious that it's a nude beach.
  3. DreamingofMaui

    Soda cards and lobster

    You do NOT have to use the same cup all week long. You can just go to any bar or dining room and they will give you cups. From my experience, you get a souvenir logo (Royal Caribbean) cup when you purchase the soda card, but you absolutely do not have to carry it around with you. My soda card was about $51 with tax for a one-week cruise (3/8/08). We did NOT have lobster on formal night. I was pretty disappointed actually.
  4. DreamingofMaui

    Shore Trips.com

    I used shore trips three years ago and just booked two excursions for five people on them for a cruise in March. I used them for a swim with the dolphin excursion in Cozumel. The funny thing was....I ate breakfast with a couple and they were talking about how they had booked their dolphin swim through Carnival and (at that time) it was $199 a person. I told them that I booked through Shoretrips.com and I got it for $99 per person. They insisted that their trip was different. I'm sure they were probably feeling bad that they blew an extra $100 a person. That afternoon, they were in the SAME exact group of dolphin swimmers with me, using the same equipment, spending the same amount of time. I was so happy that I used Shoretrips. They're really friendly too. I just booked an ATV trip with Shoretrips in St. Maarten because there was no weight limit, unlike Royal Caribbean. And, I booked a Natural Wonders tour in Barbados with them as well. I wouldn't hesitate using them.
  5. DreamingofMaui

    RCCL St. John Beach and Snorkel Tour

    I just don't get the whole point of having weight limits on these tours. Okay, let me clarify this. I get having a weight limit on an ATV. I don't get having a weight limit on a huge catamaran or a Van ride. Maybe I'm being silly, but I would think that having one or two overweight passengers on board would be counteracted by having one or two underweight individuals. There are a lot of tours that I'd like to go on but my family is all shapes and sizes, and we can't all do the same tour because of one's weight?!?!?! Come on, Royal Caribbean.
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