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About megr1125

  • Rank
    10,000+ Club

About Me

  • Interests
    Cruising, photography and rock n roll
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Where ever the ship goes
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
  1. megr1125

    How safe is the food in Cuba?

    I sailed with Royal and I *NEVER* do ship tours.. NEVER EVER! I despise the crowds and the high prices. You DO NOT have to book through the cruise line, any cruise line, regardless of what they say. The pier agents for Royal (who do NOT work directly for Royal) gave me a hard time about marking Support for the Cuban People and rather than waste time, I had a set of OFAC forms completed with People to People to placate them... but I digress... I used FoodToursHavana.com and booked ahead, prepaying the cost ($79) in USD on line (they are based in, or owned by a company based in, the USA that's why the USD payment was permitted.) The tour was AWESOME and I was stuffed by the end of the tour, so much so that I skipped the final stop (for ice cream) and went back to the ship.
  2. megr1125

    Allure 10:15 flight.

    What luggage program?? Your flight is too early if you're thinking of using luggage valet. Flights have to be after noonish from FLL and after 2 or so from MIA. Self debark with 6 people? Um. No.
  3. megr1125

    Cuba currency question

    A few merchants may accept USD or EUR or CAD but it's easier to just have CUCs
  4. No free breakfast at Courtyard. And I really did NOT like it when I stayed there. The hotel was in need of renovation and any hotel bar in Miami that uses a mix for mojitos has no business selling them!
  5. megr1125

    Best Western Airport West

    It's fine, NOTHING nearby and if you're not paying attention, you'll miss it. The drive is not bad but in order to get to the turnpike, and actually to the hotel, it's a circuitous route and IMO if you're not familiar with the area, you're better off at a hotel by 13A. Trust us. As for how much to pay, since you don't want to provide us with dates, we really can't offer any other suggestions. We're not stalkers, we are just trying to give you good advice.
  6. megr1125

    Renaissance (Newark) it is....

    OP, be sure you go to the EWR station with Amtrak, NOT Newark Penn! The airtrain only goes to the EWR airport rail station. The restaurant AT the hotel is called Ironbound....AND there is also a section of downtown Newark CALLED the Ironbound district where there are a number of restaurants. The hotel's food is decent, albeit somewhat expensive. (It's an airport hotel close to NYC....:D ) If the hotel isn't too busy, the restaurant itself is not open for dinner BUT the full menu is offered in the bar area adjacent. There is NOTHING close to the hotel...you'll need a cab or Uber to get to a liquor store. You may be able to get your rideshare to stop at the liquor store in the shopping center adjacent to the pier on your way BUT some rideshare drivers do NOT like to make stops. (they get paid by the trip...one driver scolded me about setting up an en route stop. Technically I think he was wrong. But he was also rude and didn't get a very good rating...I digress) I just stayed at the Renaissance in late August and it was fine. It's an older hotel. It IS clean but they are constantly repairing stuff too. When I was there, a lot of touch up painting was happening, and you can see where the wear and tear takes a toll. The staff was nice, the room was comfortable and fairly quiet and I got a good night's sleep.
  7. megr1125


    I used oldcarshavana.com...they were excellent. And for the food tour, I used foodtourshavana.com. With the food tour, I did have to pay ahead, via Paypal (I think) and it was $79 USD. There were a total of 3 people from my ship on the tour. The limit is, I think 6 or so. Food Tours Havana has a sister company (and/or is owned by-at least in part), a US company which made prepayment in USD possible. For the car tour, I had a hardtop with a/c, and a guide, as well as the driver. I believe it was $105CUC, payable in cash (CUC) at the end of the tour. My guide was Darlene and she was awesome. In each case, the guide was at the appointed location early (I arrived early for each tour, at least 15 minutes, and the guides were waiting. ) For the car tour, Darlene actually called the driver and he arrived in a few minutes so we headed out before the appointed start time. I got my full 3 1/2 tour in and still had time for lunch afterward, and a little shopping!
  8. Google is your friend. Finding good car services is a crap shoot. I'm in an adjacent county but the car service I use in Mercer likely is not going to go to Ocean county
  9. megr1125

    Seas and temps in Oct out of Cape Liberty

    Cold, and 25+ foot seas or hot and smooth as glass.... My crystal ball is broken...pack layering stuff and bring seasick meds.
  10. megr1125

    Best Western Airport West

    There is nothing to eat by the Hilton, aside from their restaurant and it will be overpriced, mediocre hotel food, plus getting there is hard...you have to pay attention. I am up there all the time and even I get screwed up sometimes. You're better at a hotel on International Drive as you have 2 places to eat that are walkable plus a few things in the outlet mall across the road. That mall, though is NOT going to help you if you forgot toothpaste or want to buy a bottle of wine.
  11. megr1125

    Best Western Airport West

    NO to both those places. If you would please provide answers to the questions asked, we can better help you. The Hilton is a pain in the arse to get to and NEVER NEVER NEVER stay in a Best Western in New Jersey, especially in Newark. Trust us. Carol 138 gave you ideas. If you respond, we can give you better info......
  12. megr1125

    recomendations for dinner or breakfast in Havana

    Mojito Mojito or Nao Bar Paladar were great. Nao is about 2-3 blocks, Mojito is maybe 4-6. Both were great...(lunch or dinner) Not sure about breakfast, sorry.
  13. megr1125

    How safe is the food in Cuba?

    Very.. I did a food tour and went back to one of the places for lunch the next day. I had zero issues on the cruise. Of course, now that I'm home, everything bothers my stomach, but in Havana, Cozumel and on the ship, I was fine. I LOVED Nao Bar Paladar....
  14. megr1125

    Exchanging money at or near cruise port in Havana?

    If you change USD to CUC at the pier or another Cadeca you will pay 13%...3% fee plus another 10% 'tax'. I bought 600 CAD for 400something plus 8 bucks at my bank and used CAD. Only paid 3% but there was a conversion fee. I may have come out a.little ahead. I then changed most CUCs back to USD with a vendor at $1CUC for 1 USD, and converted my CAD to US on the ship :o Yikes. But it all worked out. I have a few CUCs left, and some pesos I got in Coz from a merchant. I'll use them in December. Some on-line currency converters will do various currencies into CUC. Google is your friend.
  15. megr1125

    Shore Excursion Required?

    You're welcome... I want to go back to see the stuff I missed. It's RIDICULOUSLY hot!! Take a couple bottles of water with you AND get a really good sunhat.