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About sjmbruce

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    Cool Cruiser

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    traveling, kayaking, hiking, camping, shopping, animals

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  1. Thanks so much! Now I can find something else to stress about 😆 😉
  2. My group is compromised of eight people and our cruise embarks on Easter Sunday from Miami. We'll be in hotels by the airport and in Coral Gables. Are Ubers going to be plentiful on a holiday or will we risk being stranded?
  3. Thanks for the suggestions! There's a few hotels in Coral Gables I am interested in staying at, but the distance is definitely the issue as everyone in my group will be flying in from Detroit and not renting a car. We'll need two XL Ubers, which will be about $45 per Uber each way. I will look into private transportation services. Thanks again!
  4. A diverse family group is going on a cruise out of Miami during the week of Easter 2022. I'd prefer to stay away from the beach or wild crowds and I'd really like to get away from the airport. I like a few of the boutique hotels I've seen in Coral Gables. Is that too far away? Will it be a party atmosphere there as well?
  5. Thanks for the advice. The cruise is in mid 2022 so I hope hope hope that it will happen. It will be our second family cruise and it's such a perfect way to travel as a group without being tempted to kill each other. I also am crossing my fingers that excursions won't be limited to the ship sponsored ones. I really dislike their large groups on mega busses and live for independent exploration or local guides. For now I'll hope for the best and enjoy the planning.
  6. I'm planning an excursion for not only me and my husband, but also for my extended family (parents, sister, BIL, niece, cousin). We're going to spend the morning going to a few spots, followed by lunch and the rest of the afternoon on the beach. I'm trying to decide between Rony and Bodden tours. My initial choice was Rony, but I decided to email them both to check availability. Bodden's email was much clearer and more professional than the message from Rony. Rony asked for a deposit, but full payment if we could. Then he asked if we could paypal him the money through friends and
  7. Ooo you just reminded me that our first cruise was in December, so it was also decorated for Christmas. Definitely added to the magic! Our one and only Mexican cruise was to Cabo, but the Mexican Riviera is on my list.
  8. Was it just a truly remarkable cruise? Or was it because it was our first? I don’t know if I care what the answer is. We’ll be chasing that cruising high for a long time. I can’t wait to get back to it. Thanks for letting me relive my first time. What was your first cruise?
  9. Our last stop was in Jamaica, where we decided to get a day pass to an all-inclusive resort and spend the day at the beach.
  10. In Costa Rica, we went to a banana planation, rode a riverboat looking for wildlife, stopped at a beach for lunch, and went to the Jaguar Rescue Center where I met several animals in the middle of rehabilitation. Definitely a highlight!
  11. Panama was a long, amazing day. We of course went through the Canal, up until Gatun Lake. We boarded a bus that took us to canoes which were ready to take us down the river until we reached the Embera village. We met the people of the village, shared lunch, and heard about their lives. I met a five-year-old girl and talked in Spanish about ourselves. Before we left the village for our long canoe and bus ride back to the ship, I learned a traditional dance with the women of the village. It was truly a life changing experience.
  12. Our next stop was Cartagena, Colombia. It was our first time in Southern America. We visited the fort, then headed over to the walled city where we went into churches and museums all day.
  13. We embarked and the ship pulled away from land in the late afternoon. We spent the first two and a half days at sea, doing anything and everything from lounging at the pool to those champagne art auctions. We finally made it to our first stop, Aruba. What a gorgeous island! We hired a private guide, Bully, and drove all over. My favorite part was the donkey sanctuary, where I was able to meet dozens of my favorite animal, the donkey.
  14. So maybe not ruined, but did anyone else get completely spoiled by their first cruise? Now don’t get me wrong, my husband and I have been on some amazing cruises since that initial voyage. We’ve sailed to Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico and all over the Caribbean. Embarking in Puerto Rico was a fantastic experience. But that first one… I think most people start out on a short cruise to the Bahamas or a slightly longer cruise to a few Caribbean islands. We started our addiction on a ten-day Panama Canal voyage aboard the Island Princess. We flew into Miami and spent the night so we would ha
  15. The cruise was in March, but every booked adult in our party voted to cancel. Hope your son is doing well.
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