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Everything posted by reedprincess

  1. Excursions. Pitons, volcano, mud baths, waterfalls, hikes, plantation tours, botanical gardens, ruins, and so forth.. Depends how active you want to be. A popular tour is boat trip to Soufriere for Pitons, volcano and mud baths, waterfall dip, lunch, beach time.. Safe travels
  2. Anse Cochon, where Ti Kaye is located.. Same for virtually all the beaches along the west coast.. Marigot, Anse Chastanet, Anse Mamin, Jalousie, Soufriere Beach Park, Anse Ivornge, Sabwicha, etc.
  3. Well, old topic - but to sun up - minimal affects in St Lucia back in April when it erupted. You wouldn't even know it had done so by now in St Lucia. In December 2021, there will be even less traces. St Vincent, on the other hand, will be years recovering..
  4. Mystic Man Hackshaw's Bateau Mygo Carnival Sailing Endless Summer SeaSpray Cruises Just Sail Serenity TVL And so forth... All have options.
  5. Hackshaw's Mystic Man Bateau Mygo Carnival Sailing SeaSpray Cruises Endless Summer Spencer Ambrose Joy's Ocean Angel And so forth.. all have different boat trips to the Pitons.
  6. It's impossible to get lost. Turn left out of the port areas onto the highway, follow it to the airport, turn right, go around the airport and back down the side on the beach. Boardwalk with restaurants and bars is down by the airport entrance. 20-35 or so minutes walk, 10 minutes cab ride, tops.
  7. Glad to help. The cruise port is up north, in Castries, the capital. The Pitons are southwest. Vieux Fort, the town you'll fly into, is south/southeast. Rodney Bay, the main "tourist" village, so t speak, with loads of restaurants and bars, etc is north of Castries. VF is much closer to Soufriere then the Cruise port, and points north. When Cosol is talking 'up north" they're meaning anywhere from the cruise port north, as that's where they're based. Taking their your from the south is counterproductive as you're already where the tour ends up. There's other absolutely outstanding operators in the south that can provide an excellent your heading north, to show off the few sights up there, if passing through the banana plantation, the view point in Castries and view stop of Marigot Bay is a must do... Staying in the south saves a load of time in a vehicle traveling to the sights - which can translate to a fee more activities in the day versus a day from the north. Soufriere is home to Pitons, Volcano and mud baths, waterfalls, plantation tours, mineral baths, hikes, snorkeling, diving, fishing, beach parks, zip line, botanical gardens and so forth. And around the rest of the south adds horseback riding, ATV, more zip line courses, more waterfalls, boat trips and so forth.. the north doesn't have anywhere near as much of the activities and sights that make St Lucia what it is - but does have zip line, beach, Segway, horseback riding, Pigeon Island.. Is there a particular reason you absolutely must do Cosol's tour specifically? I mean, his company does a fantastic tour, no doubt about that at all - I just can't picture planning my entire stay simply based in where you could start that tour versus where may be actually more suitable for the entire trip, particularly as there's excellent operators all around the island, who can provide a very similar, or even more comprehensive tour.. not disparaging Cosol at all, his company's tour is excellent... Windjammer Landings may be a solid fit, given your group size you could do a villa and have some self catering options, plus there is a solid add-on AI. Food and drink, with eating out and such, can be fairly expensive (and expect next year will be worse given the trickle down effects of the pandemic on supplies, availability, demand, etc), figure - easily - $30-75usd or more per person for dinners, and higher if there's a couple drinks, $15-25 for lunch, $10-25 for breakfast.. beers run $2-4usd in most bars, hotel bars and higher end places, $4-8, mixed drinks average around $3-8, etc. self catering can obviously bring this down, but adds to the work load of a vacation! Lol. With big appetites or decent drinkers, AI can make a bit of economical sense - although, if you're going to be out and about most days, the going AI is counterproductive.. Coconut Bay would be a great fit, but it is down south, making Cosol's tour counterproductive...but, you're much closer to the Pitons, volcano and mud baths, Jalousie Beach, Anse Chastanet beach, plantations, hikes, snorkeling and diving, and so forth.... Good luck with the research. Safe travels
  8. Are you looking for anything in particular from your AI - beyond it being in the north, so you can take Cosol's tour?? One of the best large family friendly AIs, if not the best, is in the south, in Vieux Fort. 5 minutes from airport, 45 minutes from Soufriere with the Pitons, volcano, mud baths, waterfalls, hikes, snorkeling, and so forth.. Coconut Bay Resort and Spa. Excellent staff, food, top shelf booze, multiple pools, mile stretch of beach, great entertainment, solid adult only section, etc. Up north, Royalton is solid chain family AI. They're occasionally plagued by staffing and supply issues - but spacious modern rooms, good food, solid staff (let down by management), small cove beach, great pools, good entertainment, decent booze, etc. St James Morgan Bay is a solid 3* family AI. Clean, comfortable, very middle of the road. Great staff, good food, pretty beach, very much 3*. Windjammer Landings, while not actually an AI resort, has an excellent AI add-on plan, wide selection of accommodation (you can get full fledged villas through regular hotel rooms, great cove beach, etc. How many people? Ages? Length of stay? Any wants/needs? There's outstanding tours available all around the island, or easily hire a driver and car for a private excursion... www.stlucia.org/covid-19 for Travel info, requirements, forms, properties available and so forth.. check out TripAdvisor forums for more details on land based stays (sister site to Cruise Critic)... Safe travels!
  9. Churchill's, portion of the casino, one side of Promenade deck, and one portion of upper deck above pool area. That was before. When sailing resumes - it remains to be seen. The Promenade deck is covered, so even if it's solely outdoor areas - that deck is fairly well covered from elements..
  10. Anyone can order off the Kid's menu (available in main dining, specialty restaurants) - the Volcano Sundae and Cruise Chips (ice cream and cookies, often assembled as an ice cream sandwich) are fantastic. Carnival Corp Stockholders (own 100 shares or more) are eligible for OBC on Princess cruises, anywhere from $50-250 depending on length of cruise. Military Veterans are eligible for OBC from Princess. Princess allows you to "stack" OBC, you could have Stockholders, veterans, from TA, etc all on your booking. Pub Lunch (serves anywhere from once to a couple times a cruise in a specialty venue) is free of charge..
  11. That's a tough one. Snorkeling is excellent in St Lucia, pretty good options in Antigua and some decent options in Barbados. In St Lucia though - you definitely need to take an excursion that takes you down to Soufriere and the Pitons. They're a not to miss experience, and what set St Lucia apart. And there's excellent snorkeling right at the base - so look for a tour that goes to the Pitons and has snorkeling at Sugar Beach or Anse Chastenet. Enjoy, stay safe..
  12. I would book those in a heartbeat. They're massive balconies, not listed as obstructed view (but even the obstruction up there would be either the metal railing, although pretty sure that stops at E110 or E109, or absolutely minimal view of too of lifeboat). They will be partially covered, about the first 4.5 feet are covered with balance open to above. They're massive balconies - I'd snap up in a heartbeat... particularly being deluxe balcony cabin with the sofa. Enjoy..
  13. Which lines supersede US law and requires a passport on US closed loop departures to WHTI countries? Thanks. And FWIW, MSC is neither a premium nor luxury line, and is 100% (or at least has been prior to the halt in operations ) in line with my post..
  14. FWIW - passport is the #1 document of choice. However, currently, it is still local for US citizens on closed loop cruises from a US port that visit solely WHTI countries are still quite fine to use a certified state birth certificate and government issued photo ID, and any bridge docs if one has had a name change. MSC follows the laws in the countries they are ported in, just like other lines. Lots of people have been just fine on various US departures with BC and photo ID. Of course, 100% completely recommended and advised to get a passport. If there is any type of emergency while you're off on your cruise, you'll need to work with the nearest US consulate to get emergency documents issued so you can fly if needed. Enjoy.
  15. Its a completely normal standard mini-suite - looks just like any of the other minis (with the exception of a couple of the forward facing ones on Marina and Lido). Cabin decks above and below, so quiet. And not right next to stairs or elevator, again - quiet. Any photos/video of minis on Regal or Royal will show you what they look like. Set up for sleeping four: Hope that helps...
  16. Answers in read. This is our experience with MSC. Others may have had different experiences... Enjoy!
  17. To be completely transparent, yes - you can get into some of the grounds of the resort, even if not staying there, or only visiting for the day. The restaurants and spa are open to the public. You can make spa reservations for during your Beach Break and enjoy the facility (stunning!), have lunch or drinks at the Bayside Beach Bar and Restaurant, etc. You can't use the pool or roam the property at will, obviously, but they're usually more than happy to organize a short tour if you want to check out a couple rooms, and the restaurants/spa are available/open to the public. And yes, as noted in virtually every post about beaches, resorts, etc here on CC - ALL beaches are public beaches in St Lucia, by law and custom, up to a certain amount of feet from the high water mark. Hotel facilities aren't necessarily public, but the beach itself, and water access, absolutely is. Any and all beaches.. Enjoy
  18. They will have a partial covering from deck above. Partial covered, partial uncovered.
  19. Serenity TVL Island Man Taxi and Tours Real St Lucia Experience Cosol Tours Spencer Ambrose Tours There's lots of others, all excellent. All can arrange a private your to fit your wants..
  20. Entirely depends on your family, and wants/desires. For instance - can/will your 3 year old sit in a vehicle for a goodly while in a sightseeing tour - one that has lots of stops along the way, but also lots of vehicle time? Or, are you comfortable taking your 3 year old on a boat trip? Do you want more active or just relaxing beach day? There's lots you could do with a 3 year old, but definitely depends on the actual 3 year old and your family wants for the day... Help us help you - please provide some more info on what you're interested in doing - full day sightseeing, boats, helicopter, beach, hike, what??
  21. First cruise, obviously. Star Princess to Alaska. Cruise where I met my future husband. Regal Princess, 2005, LA to MX Round-trip LA to South Pacific, Emerald 2018. Baltics, Sapphire, 2019 Med and transatlantic, October 2017. 25 days of bliss. Amazing ports and 7 days of relaxation. Celebrity Infinity, March 2006 - first cruise with future hubby where he was a guest also. Amazing suite. Sorbet on parade. Midnight buffet. Gorgeous ship. Oasis of the Seas, transatlantic 2014. Perfect to enjoy all the ship offers with the longer cruise. Solarium Bistro is among the best specialty dining at sea. Ice skating while in the middle of the ocean is pretty darn cool. Family reunion Emerald Princess 2018. Brother's wedding, Caribbean Princess 2015. Alaskan round-trip Seattle on Celebrity Millennium. Most traveled passenger on that sailing, pretty amazing celebration... MSC Seaside, Feb 2019, Yacht Club. Absolutely breathtaking ship and amenities, terrible itinerary but the ship was the destination on this one. And totally totally amazing.. And so on. There's so many amazing memories on ships. 70+ cruises and counting since 2002!
  22. Similar to sailing solo on other lines. Much depends on how sociable you are. Most people are friendly and engaging and looking to have fun, make new friends, welcoming, etc. If you bump into some who aren't, just move on till you meet some friendlier folks. The cruise staff is phenomenal, very good at engaging the guests, etc and will be more than happy to include you in whatever activities if you're interested in participating. If you're Bella or Fantastica, they'll likely assign you to a table with other solos, to help engender conversation, etc. If Aurea or YC, you can ask for a table for 1, or ask to share - and if there's others willing to share, you'll be seated with them.. No worries, I'd sail Seaside solo in a heartbeat!
  23. We did the ATV tour, it was fantastic. The guide was truly a gen, a local man with lots of local color, stories, etc. The drive/ride was loads of fun, up and down the hillside, along the trails around the lodge, out to the edge overlooking the river, etc. We got twice as long as normal as we were the only tour booked - but even the normal time would have been plenty! We had a blast, and still had plenty of time to hike, relax, enjoy the stunning views of Mt Drum, etc. We loved Copper River!
  24. Super easy. There will be authorized taxi drivers right at the gate, happy to take you anywhere you want to go. Or you could arrange a driver/Private tour in advance if you prefer. Cosol, Serenity TVL, Real St Lucia Experience, GemXcursions, etc can all hook you up.
  25. Personally, I'd opt for a land trip, but if that's not doable, then a cruise is a great taster visit..you obviously won't see anywhere near as much, but then - you know that, so it's all good. As for whether it would go for Americans (or any others) in 16 months - who in the world could possibly know? The EU ban will be revised every two weeks - if the US gets their infection rates, etc under control (and probably when they also remove their ban on Schengen/UK travel ) then the EU/Schengen will almost certainly remove theirs.. it's not a permanent thing, at least not yet. If the US doesn't get it under control, or doesn't remove their ban, then all bets are off. If that's the cruise you want to do, out down your deposit and go for it. It's 16+ months away - the world will look very very different then, than it does now. And absolutely no one can predict what that may look like..
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