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Everything posted by SKSMIKE5

  1. We did the cabana's on Columbus Cove. We got two of them so technically they would hold 16. We had 22 in our group and the attendants gave everyone a wrist band. They dragged extra chairs out for us and we shared the float mats... We really enjoyed the proximity to the bar and food too!! Great day. We tipped them extra cash and all was good.
  2. We did that tour and went to the mud baths. We enjoyed the whole day. The boat had an issue so they picked us up in a different boat but it was still great day. The baths were not exactly what we expected. Thought we would submerge in a pit of mud. That doesn't happen. You go into hot water then come out and they have buckets of mud that you put all over your body. Then once it's dry you go back into the natural hot water and rinse off. Skin felt awesome afterward and we loved the total excursion. The beach stop is beautiful. Have fun!
  3. Thanks. It seemed odd that only a few would be posted and thought maybe it was because they gave us the port credit and wanted to wait until we got closer. This is only our 2nd NCL cruise and we usually DIY . I don't want to go book DIY if the port credit and excursion option offered by them is just as good/better. I know the ship excursions are usually more expensive but would still like to compare. Thanks for the response.
  4. When does NCL post the excursions? Our Southern Caribbean on Epic in Feb 2020 only has 3 stops posted out of 9.
  5. Saw some reviews for Land Sailing in Bonaire that look pretty fun. Has anyone been there lately? Is it close to the Port? We will be there on the NCL EPIC in Feb 2020 but only from 7 AM to 1 PM so we don't have a lot of time and don't want to go too far away. It looks like the excursion is from 9 AM - 11 AM so it seems like it would work.
  6. Just off Allure in June and my daughter in law has a dairy allergy. They were extremely accommodating. Gave her the next days menu every night and she picked what she wanted and they made it dairy free. When we told them we had reservation at Chops they called ahead and told them too. She was very impressed and LOVED everything they made for her.
  7. There were 22 of us on Allure earlier in June and we ate at Chops Grille and had a GREAT meal. No one had any complaints. We had one vegetarian with us and they made sure he had plenty of options!
  8. After Jamaica we had a day at sea and the second formal night. Followed that with a stop at Cozumel. We went snorkeling with Go H2O. Reserved the boat for the 18 of us that were going and made stops at 4 different locations. It was overcast that day but it was still beautiful. Saw star fish, turtles, barracudas, and lots of colorful fish. Our first time snorkelers loved it! The company was very helpful and responsive to all my questions while I was planning. Would go with them again. Since our excursion was over around noon we took taxi's downtown for lunch and shopping. The skies opened up after lunch and absolutely poured on us but it was still a great day. That was our last stop, and the next day, Saturday, was a day at sea. It was a sunny day and the pool was jamming! Packing is always sad! The week just flew by. Having the Grand Suite was AWESOME! Will definitely be looking to do that again!! When we disembarked it was a breeze. Had no problem getting off the ship, through customs and to the air port for the flight home. That's it for this trip. Next one is with NCL on EPIC in Feb 2020.
  9. Wednesday we were in Falmouth Jamaica and all 22 of us were off to Ocho Rios - Dunns River Falls. I booked in advance with Cool Dave based on reviews I read here on CC and on TripAdvisor. The directions we got in advance from Cool Dave on location pickup and trip details were spot on. They met us at the prespecified location with two vans and after a short wait we were loaded into the vans and off to the falls. We made a few stops on the drive over for some pictures and once we got to the Falls Cool Dave took all our money and went to get our tickets. We breezed in, got our tour guide and proceeded with the tour up the falls. It was a little crowded but our guide was good about keeping us together and making progress. We all had a great time! After the falls we had arranged for Cool Dave to take us to Scotchies for lunch. It was close to the falls and was very good. Just got the bill today for that meal and it was only $26 for three of us and our drinks! Planned to go river tubing after lunch but ran out of time so we just went to a small shop that folks in the group wanted to stop at that was close to the ship and then we headed back to the ship. Unfortunately after the first van pulled away from the shops we discovered our van had a flat tire! YIKES! We were about 70 minutes from "all aboard" and I was not happy! We insisted our driver call Cool Dave in the other van to tell him to come back immediately to get us after dropping the first group off at the ship. In the meantime the guys in our van went into Pit Crew mode and changed that tire in record time! Needless to say we made it back to the ship with time to spare!! In the end the ship didn't leave on time anyway. It appeared there were about 3 RCCL tours that were delayed getting back to the ship so we left about 90 minutes after posted time. There was also an ambulance at the pier around departure time so that probably contributed to the late departure. Since we were going to be in port until 7pm we decided to forgo dinner in the MDR and made reservations for all 22 of us at Chops. We thought the meal was excellent. The steaks were tender and HUGE and all the sides were very good! All in all it was a great day -- even with the stress from the flat tire!
  10. Nalatrixie 74 I did see the drink card offered. I know I saw it for sure on our second day at sea which was Thursday, but it could have been offered before that and I didn't see it.
  11. Tuesday was Labadee. Two families rented Cabana's on Columbus Cove and we were glad we did, they were lovely! They came with wristbands for 8, a cooler full of iced bottled water, two float mats and 2 cushion lounge chairs. We asked for some additional loungers and the attendant brought them out and placed them in front of our Cabana. The beach was very sandy and had a great view of the ship across the water (attached below). There are only 6 (maybe 8 I forget) Cabana's so it's not crowded at all. They have a lunch buffet set up right behind the Cabana area as well as a bar close by. The bathrooms and bus shuttle stop is a few steps away. The Cabana staff was awesome and actually let our other 6 friends join us. The Labadoozle drink was terrific! Had it for the first time two years ago when we visited Labadee on the Oasis. Very refreshing frozen drink! Lunch was served from 1130-1 but I think it was still open at 1:30. I can remember salads, hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ ribs and Jerk chicken. There was fruit and assorted desserts along with water, tea and lemonade. There was plenty of covered seating for lunch so that wasn't an issue for anyone. After lunch a group wandered over to the market area to look for souvenirs. If you've been to Labadee you know there are two market areas. One on the RCCL section that is a very nice market with crafts, clothes, trinkets, etc. Then there is the market area outside the RCCL section where the locals are very, very aggressive! The folks that have never been before we shocked at the aggressiveness in the market area and ended up not buying anything there and left after just a few minutes. Some people like the "adventure" of that sort of environment, it's not for me so I stayed back at the Cabana. We spent most of the day relaxing and then walked back to the ship. They do have shuttles but the lines were fairly long by now as we were only about an hour away from "all aboard." When we got close to the dock there was a massive group of people. At first we couldn't figure out what was going on but then quickly realized they were lines of people waiting to go through security to get out of Labadee and on to the dock. Once you pass through this area you walk down the dock to the gangways and get back on board. Headed to the Schooner Bar before dinner for trivia and won a keychain! Headed down to dinner and then had reservations for the Comedy show at 1030. The show was really good. We had read some reviews where the people thought the comics were too crude, the two we saw were very good, didn't cus through the whole thing or drop the "F" bomb every other word. Yes, it was adult humor but it was not vulgar or crude. All in all it was a great day!
  12. Walterluv - we didn't participate in the Prohibition Party so I can't tell you anything! Sorry. Crown Loft sounds wonderful. If you haven't been on the Allure I think I saw all the Loft Suites on Deck 17 right by the Coastal Kitchen and Concierges Lounge! I'm ready to go back but will have to wait until February 2020. We're booked on NCL EPIC for a friends "retirement cruise". Group of us doing the 10 day Southern Caribbean out of San Juan. Enjoy your cruise on the 25th!
  13. Sorry for the break, work got in the way! First day at Sea (Monday) was relaxing and we needed it after out adventure getting here! Spent the day by the pool listening to music, reading and chilling. For those of you interested in pool chairs we had absolutely no problem finding chairs at 10 or 11 am on the top deck above the pools. We all liked it up there better than on the pool deck itself. We felt there was more breeze and we were right next to the bar but we could still listen to all the activities/music going on at the pool. Tonight was our first formal night. Sixteen of us had the 5:30 seating and six had the 8:30 seating. We noticed lots of people in the dining room with shorts on all week. I didn't see any on formal night and actually saw more floor length dresses than I can remember. Gentlemen had tuxes too. Our guys wore ties and/or suits. Everyone enjoyed the food and our service was great. It's only the second night at dinner and they already know our drink preferences! After dinner we did the Ocean Aria show. We made reservations before we boarded so we didn't have a problem finding seats and the show was really good. I think I might like the Dive show on the Oasis a little better but this was still really good. Hit a bar for some music and a drink after the show and enjoyed the ship. They did make an announcement yesterday that the ship was full to capacity and we commented that we really weren't "feeling it". Yes there were times when there might be a lot of people crowded together but the ship is so large and there are so many venues to eat at we felt if you came across a line and didn't want to wait you could go somewhere else. We only experienced a long line once and that was at lunchtime on a sea day at the Windjammer so we went to Park Cafe. Let me know if you have any questions. Just FYI - I didn't save any of our Cruise Compass's.
  14. Sunday morning we ran into those 20'ish kids we saw the night before in the baggage line. They spent the night at the airport and were trying to go standby on our 0730 flight. Eventually they made it on the flight which was great for them, but also meant someone else didn't make it -- I imagine they got stuck in that mess at check-in/security. Flight was smooth to Ft Lauderdale, our bags were there and we hopped in a cab and headed to the Port. We arrived around 1010 to the Port and met up with the rest of our group who were arriving in their UBERs from the hotel about the same time. Check-in was smooth, really no lines to speak of and we were on the ship by 1115!! We had some first time cruisers with us so we gave them a tour of the ship and tried to point out all the "complimentary" eating establishments, bars, etc. Headed to the Windjammer for lunch around 1145 since we had such a large group. While at lunch we tried to get all of us connected on the RCCL App via the "Chat" feature. If you have the APP downloaded on your phone you can "chat/text" with others who have the APP throughout the cruise. You hook up to their "guest wifi" without having to pay for the internet and it allows you to use their APP and Chat with others. We found that the "Chat/text" had a few bugs and some had to delete the APP and reinstall it but it was still helpful with such a large group on a large ship to keep in touch. Plus the APP will show you deck plans, dining information, scheduled events from the Compass, your scheduled events etc. It did seem to drain our batteries a bit faster than normal but we just got used to recharging it while we got ready for dinner. First night we had reservations to see Mama Mia and it was awesome! They did a fantastic job. The place was packed but if you didn't have a reservation there were a few seats available in the balcony. Tomorrow is a day at sea so we stayed out a bit exploring the ship and checking out the bars!
  15. Just returned last week from a great vacation with family and friends and thought I'd write a quick review since I have used these boards for planning many cruise vacations. I'll start by saying there were 22 of us and we had a blast!!! Six married couples and 10 grown children from 18 - 30'ish. Our trip started out with great news a week before when we heard that our Royal-Up bid for a Grand Suite had been accepted and we were getting upgraded!! We had a Balcony View on the 8th deck and thought it would be fun to have a place large enough to hold all of us for happy hour!!! We've never sailed in a Suite before and this was a splurge for our anniversary. It was WONDERFUL!! There was tons of storage space and the bathroom had two sinks and a bathtub/shower. The kids with inside cabins said their room was only slightly larger than our bathroom! Ha! The larger deck was nice when we had everyone in our room as some chose to drink outside. I should back up and say for anyone who thinks twice about getting to your departure location a day in advance - don't, just do it. We were flying down the Saturday before our Sunday departure from Fort Lauderdale and even then I was afraid we were going to miss the ship!! Saturday the 8th of June was full of major thunderstorms on the East coast so our flights from Ohio to Atlanta were delayed, delayed, delayed. Finally got put on an American Flight through Charlotte with a connection flight to Ft Lauderdale at 1050 PM. Well we sat on the runway in Ohio for 2.5 hours due to storms in Charlotte, we finally got there at 10 PM and sat on runway because there was no gates to be found for us to park at, needless to say we missed our connection. Airport was a zoo, customer service line had at least 300 people in it. Luckily while we were delayed in Ohio I put a hold on three seats Sunday morning from Charlotte at 0730 so I just needed to find an agent to print us new boarding passes for Sunday morning. We tried to get our bags but at 1130 pm they told us it would take until at least 130 AM for them to find them. They assured us they'd be on the morning flight to Ft Lauderdale. A group of 20 somethings were in line with us looking for bags because they were also on the Allure Sunday and they were going to just get a rental car and drive all night. Well... there were NO RENTAL cars to be found. Apparently other travelers throughout the day had the same idea and had already rented all the cars. They got rebooked for a Sunday flight that got them back to Florida around 2pm. So we left without our bags and headed to a hotel for a few hours. In the morning it was a blessing in disguise that we didn't get our bags the night before. The bag check-in was a zoo as was the security line. Thanks goodness we had TSA precheck or we may not have made it though in time for the flight! Here's a picture of the baggage check-in area.
  16. Thanks much everyone. I may reserve the UBER XL ahead of time, or do the taxi...
  17. Hey everyone. I tried to search on this topic but had no luck. We are staying at Springhill Suites in Dania Beach next weekend and was thinking of UBER'ing over to the port. Has anyone done that from there or close? Just worried the demand will be high and we won't get a van. Hotel is $10/pp for their shuttle but thought I'd ask about this. Thanks!
  18. Following this thread as we have similar short stop in Bonaire in Feb 2020.
  19. Thanks everyone this is helpful!
  20. Does anyone know what a taxi for 6 from the cruise dock to Fonatur Harbor would cost? 18 of us are taking a snorkel tour with Go H2O and we need to get there for the tour. Assumed we could take three van sized taxi's just checking on price. Also should we get pesos or just pay w US Dollars? Thanks much!
  21. We are on Allure in June and all 22 of us prebooked our shows. I don't think you got correct information.
  22. I ordered cruise luggage tags on Amazon for our family and friends. They're plastic and reusable and very inexpensive. I added those to towel clips and magnetic hooks. Found them all on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Cruise-Luggage-Holder-Seal-Steel/dp/B01E4SQNLS/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=1TYZFMR1K2UGF&keywords=cruise+luggage+tags+royal+caribbean&qid=1551146051&s=gateway&sprefix=cruise+lu%2Caps%2C155&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1
  23. I've used https://www.cruisetimetables.com/
  24. Thanks for info on the chip in the cup! Good to know!
  25. We did a Transatlantic a few years ago and used Overlord Tours to do Normandy when we stopped at LaHavre. Found a group of folks on the Roll Call who had booked this small van with them and were looking for people interested in the tour. We loved it. The tour company was excellent, the tour was great and we really liked having only 8 of us in the van and not tied to a big bus. They picked us up early, around 8am and we were back before 6, but they'll work with you and the ship's itinerary. We stopped at the Battery of Longues sur Mer, Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery at Coleville sur Mer, Pointe du Hoc, lunch a Saint Mère Eglise, 12th century church at Angoville au Plain, there were a few others stops that we decided on but i forget. We did pay a little extra because it was considered a private tour but we all thought it was one of the best excursions any of us ever took. Some friends of ours took a bus into Paris and regretted it. The bus ride was really long...maybe 3+ hours and then they only had about 4 hours there and were back on the bus.
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