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About woodside_boomer

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  1. woodside_boomer

    Grand Turk - Dune Buggy and Reef & Rays

    We just got back from a Princess cruise that included Grand Turk. Did the Reef Snorkel & Stingray Safari. I believe it was sold out by the time the cruise started. The reef snorkel was not very good - even though the weather was fine - there just weren't many fish. However, the stingray safari part was great! They take you to Gibb's Cay and you stand in the shallow water off the beach. There were several stingrays swimming around. The tour guide held one in the water and let anyone who wanted a turn holding it. Really cool. Also, a really large stingray brushed up against my leg, almost like a cat. We had brought our own snorkel masks and were able to swim around and see other stingrays. However, the other people in the group who used the tour's masks had to turn them in after the reef snorkel. That was just poor planning on the part of the tour guides. My advice. Book in advance. If you like wildlife, do the Gibb's Cay trip without the reef snorkel. If you can, bring a snorkel mask or see if you can rent one to swim with the rays.
  2. woodside_boomer

    shopping in Eastern Caribbean

    Thanks everyone. Only a few more days til we leave.:)
  3. woodside_boomer

    taking food off ship

    Thanks for all the input. Didn't think this would start such a discussion. Honestly, we don't want to break anyone's agricultural rules - that's why I asked. But now I have to tell you my smuggling story. Hope it gives you a smile. Many years ago, my husband & I went on a trip to Montreal. While there we bought some liqueur filled chocolates in a department store. Had never seen them before & it sounded yummy. On the way back - we were driving - I got bored & started to read all the stuff in the AAA triptick. One of the things was a list of all forbidden item to bring across the Canada - USA border. Had the expected stuff - firearms, explosives, illegal drugs......and LIQUEUR FILLED CHOCOLATES. Oops. Well, we got through the border check with no trouble. On our return, checked and found out they were illegal in the U.S. because some idiot thought children might eat them & get drunk. (In fact, the amount of alcohol was so little, that you'd get a stomach ache from the chocolate before you'd get drunk.) Anyway, the law has since been changed and now you can get them in the U.S. But we still like to say we are international smugglers.
  4. woodside_boomer

    taking food off ship

    Are you allowed to bring food from the ship to Princess Cays? I ask because I am vegetarian and the barbeque doesn't sound like it would have much I could eat. So I thought it might be nice to bring a sandwich or something else from the ship. Read through the compiled info under Ports, but didn't see this question asked. And yes, I tried to post it there, but have gotten no response. This area seems much more active. Thanks for your help.
  5. woodside_boomer

    shopping in Eastern Caribbean

    Thanks. That's just the kind of info I was looking for. Any other suggestions?
  6. Are you allowed to bring food from the ship to the island? I ask because I am vegetarian and the barbeque doesn't sound like it would have much I could eat. So I thought it might be nice to bring a sandwich or something else from the ship. Read through the compiled info, but didn't see this question asked.
  7. woodside_boomer

    shopping in Eastern Caribbean

    Leaving in a week on an Eastern Caribbean cruise on Emerald Princess. We stop at Princess Cays, St. Maarten, St. Thomas & Grand Turk. I am looking for some shopping advice. Note - I intend to spend most of my time in the water or on the beach, not in stores. :) Would like suggestions on small items to get on any of these islands as souvenirs or for gifts. I am NOT interested in buying expensive jewelry or electronics. I'm thinking of things like T-shirts, hats, straw goods, liqueurs or small hand-made items. Are there some things that are unique to a particular island? Is there one place that would have the best deals on standard stuff? What do you recommendt? Look forward to hearing from you experienced cruisers.
  8. woodside_boomer

    booking excursions

    Thanks, Toto. I saw all those '20's and assumed nobody had signed up & there was a max of 20 pp per excursion. Now it makes sense. Or rather, I understand. Still makes no sense, why not post the actual number of vacancies?
  9. woodside_boomer

    booking excursions

    Thanks for the quick replies. Don't know about booking early. Our cruise leaves June 27 & most of the shore excursions don't appear to have anyone signed up for them. Is this unusual? Maybe it means the ship won't be full.
  10. woodside_boomer

    booking excursions

    We are a family of four going on our first Princess cruise in June. We have 2 cabins, each with its own reservation, though they were all booked at the same time. If I want to book a ship excursion, can I make a reservation for 4 on one of the cabins via the cruise personalizer? Or do I have to make two reservations for two - one for each cabin? Thanks for your help.
  11. woodside_boomer

    Soda and Coffee Cards

    If you don't get the soda card, how much does a fountain soda cost? Also, how big is it? Trying to figure out if the card is worth it. Thanks.
  12. I'm a first time cruiser going on this same trip at the end of June. I've been lurking here & on Andy's review. They are both great! Question - did you see many turtles when you went snorkeling at Buck Island? Trying to decide between snorkeling here or going to St. John.
  13. I just reserved my first cruise (Emerald Princess Eastern Caribbean) & have several questions. I eat vegetarian food or fish, but not shellfish. I've heard there are plenty of options for people like me on Princess. When I started filling out the online pre-cruise registration forms, there was a section on special requests & vegetarian was one of them. If there are always vegetarian options, why do I need to indicate this? Also, I'm not exactly vegetarian. Does that make any difference? Maybe they are just trying to get an idea of what to bring. Also, our ship leaves from Ft Lauderdale. How long does it take to get from the airport to the port by taxi? When do you really need to be at the port? On my confirmation document, in one place it says to be there at least 2 hours before departure time and 1 1/2 hours in another place. Related to that, I was looking at insurance policies & was unsure about some of the wording. For instance, one said it protects against trip delay (eg plane late) if it's at least 5 hours but for missed connections if it's 3 hours. I know you aren't all lawyers, but does anyone know what this means? In other words, if my flight is 4 hours late getting into Ft Lauderdale & I miss the boat, am I protected? Thanks so much for your help. Have really gotten a lot of helpful information from these boards.
  14. woodside_boomer

    booking directly through princess...

    I am new to cruises & trying to book my first time. Have decided on the specific cruise already (Princess Eastern Caribbean on Emerald Princess June 27). Lots of people say you can find great deals online, but I'm not finding them. Have checked at least 6 different online cruise specialists, and the best offer is only about $50 less per person. Doesn't really seem worth it for the hassle of not booking directly. I'm wondering if that's because I am looking at the less expensive inside cabins. Any thoughts? I've also noticed that the air deals offered are not nearly as good as what I can book myself. Another question. If you get the cruise through either an agency or Princess, but book the air yourself, does that mean you also have to buy your own travel insurance so it will cover both air & cruise? Or is there some specific insurance to cover is your plane is delayed & you miss the cruise?
  15. woodside_boomer

    Help first time cruiser with cabin choice & meal plan

    Thanks all. Based on what people said, I think we'll go for anytime dining. That brings up another question - do they only have shows at one time in the evening? If so, I guess we'll have to adjust our dinner accordingly. But then why would anyone want late dining if they can't see the shows? I'll have to study the ship plans & figure out which available cabins have other cabins above & below them. (Not good for those of us who are spatially challenged. sigh) In terms of motion, is it more important to be on a lower level or to be near the center of the ship? Also, another unrelated question. When they have the buffet on Princess Cays, is there anything for a vegetarian to eat besides salad? The description I read sounded rather limited. Maybe I should bring something from the ship.