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Everything posted by coldweather

  1. Does anyone know the "rules" for the future cruise credit (FCC) for cancelling? Specifically, when you book your future cruise, does it have to be for the same passengers? For example, I am booked (paid in full) on a May cruise with my elderly mother. My mother may not be in a health enough condition to cruise in the future. Would I be able to substitute a different passenger and use the FCC? Since I have time, I don't want to clog the NCL phone lines. I thought someone might have experience with this situation. Thanks!
  2. I am going to reply to bump this up. I was on the Aida Luna cruise ship docked in Montego Bay in early February 2020. That night back on the ship, I met a fellow passenger who said he took the free Hard Rock shuttle at the pier and paid $12 for chairs and an umbrella. Any other experience with this?
  3. We booked from the ship. The buses picked us up directly next to the ship. You are provided with new headphones. You plug in and select the language and listen to a recorded tour as the bus drives along. The ride without getting off is 1.5 hours. A walking tour of the old city area is included. On the bus they will ask you if you want to purchase a ticket to see the fort. That is an extra charge. When you want to return to the ship, you gather at one of the stops (I forget which one but they tell you). At this return-to-the-ship-gathering-stop there is a covered, glass wall fenced waiting area with chairs. This keeps away the very aggressive peddlers. The open air bus was a nice way to see the city. One of the standard hop on /hop off bus stops is the McDonalds in the resort area. We got off here to use the restrooms and wifi. It is a good location if you want to walk around this area. There are many modern shops. It feels like a very safe area. If you don’t want to book with the ship, you can also provide your own transportation to and from the old city and just book the hop on/hop off bus directly once in the city. Booking from the ship eliminates the taxi ride to and from. Note – The peddlers are very aggressive. Take standard precautions and anticipate being approached at the popular stops especially the old city stop. Once the bus was out of the old city area, the quantity of peddlers decreased a lot.
  4. This is the beach you can see from the ship. 20-minute walk from the port area through shop areas to Great Bay Beach. There are also taxis and water taxis available. Walk up and down the beach until you find your location of choice (many to pick from). The going rate seems to be $20 for 2 chairs and an umbrella. Some have been able to negotiate to $15. The chairs are squeezed closely together on the beach. All are in excellent condition. Most include access to bathrooms and wifi. Most have wait staff to bring you drinks. There is no snorkeling here. There were no kayaks or for rent. The beach is on a large promenade with many shops and restaurants. Directly behind the promenade is the main street of the town. You can find just about anything. There are pharmacies/retail stores there if you find yourself in need of some supplies. I have received a lot of good information on these forums. This is my opportunity to help out.
  5. Outstanding! This is a tender port. We took the ship excursion. The boats pull right up to the ship and off you go chasing whales. Samana is the where the Humpback whales give birth and congregate between mid-December and March. We were there in early February 2020. There were a variety of boat styles that we boarded from our ship. My boat had about 40 people in it. It was low to the water. Warning – They are not kidding. In such a small boat on a windy day, the waves/ seas were rocking the boat. A few passengers did get sick. Also, when the boat speeds to get to the whales we were 100% covered in splash from the waves. There was some water rolling around the bottom of the boat. This is NOT an easy, gentle boat ride to watch whales in the distance. I share so you can be prepared. Don’t bring too much stuff. There is no room for it anyway and it will get wet. Note – there were a few other styles of boats but we were loaded in order. You did not get to select your boat style. If you can handle the potential sea sickness, go for this trip. We were only feet away from the whales. The whales were plentiful and it was fun to watch them. It was non stop action once we got near the whales. I share because I have been whale watching were you spend a lot of time staring at the ocean looking for whales. This was very different. The whales are everywhere and active.
  6. I share this because I have seen questions about taxis. I wanted to give back to the board that have been helpful to me. Here goes. The secured port area with shops, bars and taxis is directly at the end of the pier. There will be many taxi drivers in orange uniform shirts asking if you need a ride or a tour. (This is inside the secured area.) Go ahead and talk with any of the taxi drivers. They will walk you to the central taxi kiosk where a dispatcher groups tourist going to the same location and pairs them with a taxi driver. They do wait until the taxi is full or near full. This took less than 10 minutes to get our group together. At first you may feel like you are being pressured by the taxi drivers recruiting fares. Don’t be. Since you are inside the security area it is very highly organized as the taxi driver brings you to the dispatch area. Very safe. Enjoy!
  7. $8pp shared taxi each way. The beach bar staff was very friendly and tried to be helpful. The beach bar is very old and rustic. It is not a modern beach resort with a lot of amenities. There were people trying to sell jet ski rides. I did not see any rentals of kayaks, snorkel equipment or paddle boards. The day we were there I saw beach guests but I didn’t see people buying much at the bar. Not sure if they offered food. There are posted signs $5 per chair, $10 for a fixed wooden umbrella. A staff member sets you up. Expect to provide a few $$ tip. It is a nice sized crowd. There are about 30 fixed umbrellas. There are toilets (rustic) and an outdoor rinse off shower (didn’t use). I saw posts asking about the drop off (visited Feb 2020). Yes, there was a slight drop off. I would never have noticed and thought to mention it but since people were asking, I can confirm there is a slight drop off. You can snorkel from the beach. The water is very shallow where the rocks are. I did not feel comfortable to get to the other side of the rocks so I chose not to snorkel. Next time in Antigua I would choose a different beach.
  8. This was good, not great. Small area with lots of tour boats. Enough snorkelers that you had to pay attention or possibly get kicked. There was coral, fans and fish. I did see an octopus. The cave is small but interesting. I swam in, looked around and swam out. The cave has a narrow opening that many snorkelers were trying to get in and out of.
  9. You dock right in town. You can see McDonalds from the ship. Yes, it has free wifi. At the end of the pier was tourist information to answer questions and provide maps. On the map there are indications where there are free wifi locations. It was a very walkable town. Sharing for those who like to know and prepare.
  10. Although not all of the beaches are listed, I answered my own question. Posting here for others who may be in need of taxi info. http://www.antiguanice.com/v2/page.php?page=25
  11. Hello. Lots of discussion about some fantastic beach choices. I didn't see the cost of cab fare to these beaches. Any cab fare info from the cruise port to: Turners Beach Darkwood Beach Ffryes Beach Runaway Beach Dickenson's Beach TIA
  12. Thanks for the great discussion. Do you recall if there are any restrooms in the walled city?
  13. We can make show reservations 120 days out. Does anyone know what time the reservations open? Midnight eastern time? Sometime else?
  14. Thank you for your review. There is not much action on this board. Nice to see a review. Thank you!
  15. I called the phone number on the Aida website during German business hours. I used Skype. The person answering the phone spoke English and booked our cruise. I had to call back a few times and each time the person answering the phone spoke English. My confirming and follow up emails are in German. I get a weekly email that is in German. It is easy to translate with online tools. So far the emails are about things like making sure your passport is current, booking excursions, etc. I am sure there will be a few surprises but that is all part of the adventure!
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