Very extensive 9/11 Spirit Review

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#21
OH
24,622 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I also forgot to mention (as most know), Maya Chan offers free internet service. They do have a laptop sitting at the bar that you can use. We did bring our own (a small 10" that I use for school) with us and others brought theirs too.

It was a great way to check up on my adult children and grandchildren at home while we were gone (along with posting to my previous cc friends online and giving them an update). We also managed to jump in front of the web cam there at Maya Chan and David took our picture from their computer and we posted. So neat to be watching their web cam from home for so many months and then to actually be standing in front of it. I know someone mentioned that they seen my daughter playing in the sand on the web cam that day. How neat is that???



My husband owns his own shop and orders don't get filled unless he has computer access...so he took this opportunity to catch up and Zak joked around with him about being on vacation and it's not work time. Zak is hilarious and the beach "clown". You'll love him!
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NCL:
EPIC SPIRIT PEARL STAR JEWEL GETAWAY SUN SKY DAWN BREAKAWAY JADE EPIC
CARNIVAL:
Dream Pride Breeze Fascination Conquest Magic
ARUBA: Arashi Beaches Animals Sites
BAHAMAS:Great Stirrup Cay Half Moon Cay Blue Lagoon Melia Junkanoo Paradise
BARBADOS:Boatyard
BELIZE:Cavetubing Cavetubing Bannister Shark Ray Alley Goffs Rendezvous
BERMUDA: Horseshoe Snorkel Park Tobacco St Catherines Achilles Jet Ski/boat rental Warwick-Horseshoe Long Bay-Clearwater Tobacco Snorkel Park
COSTA MAYA:Almaplena Maya Chan Nohoch Blue KayBlueKay
COZUMEL:Chankanaab Dolphin Swim Chankanaab Nachi Playa Mia Sanchos Passion Island Palancar Money Bar Paradise
CURACAO Diving
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:Saona
GRAND CAYMAN:Stingray Sandbar Stingrays, Rum Point
GRAND TURK:BohioGovernorsGibbs
ROATAN: LFKey LFK Maya Key West Bay ZiplineLFK scuba
SAN JUAN:Pamelas
ST KITTS:Reggae Carambola
ST LUCIA: Jalousie
ST MAARTEN:Orient & Maho Mullet Maho Divi Pinel
ST THOMAS:Saphhire Coki Linquist Coki
TORTOLA: Baths
#22
Tucson, AZ
254 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
My wife and I are taking our 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter on the Spirit 10/9. I'd be interested in any details about what your 3 year old enjoyed.

In no particular order:

Did she use the children's program at all? Did you use the late night baby sitting? How were the counselors? Kind of a port intensive cruise for the program, still not sure how much we'll be able or want to use it.

Were there many children on board?

Aside from mosquitoes (big problem) was there enough shade for a child at Maya Chan? Sounds like there was and the bed sounds nice, but was that a typical palapa or did you luck out?

Is the water cold in that kids pool? I'm a wimp and I know I will have to stand there to catch them! - note to kid police, yes the 2 year old is potty trained, so she can go in the pool.

Any other child related thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

Greg
#23
OH
24,622 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Breaking our next stop (Roatan) up into 2 categories: The zip and then the dip!

ROATAN, HONDURAS

http://www.boddentours.com/bestofroatan.htm

We decided to do the Zip & Dip with Victor Bodden Tours because they come highly recommended on cc. After reading sdmikes review from last year, I knew that I just had to go. I was well aware that this zip line is not the biggest or tallest, but that was ok because it was our first time zip lining and we also had our 3 ½ year old with us that was going to tandem with one of us. She is very outgoing and adventurous, but we didn’t know how she was going to react being up that high and hanging from a rope.


The port was nice (as they all are when you arrive). Lots of shopping and people there to take pictures with. They had people on the pier playing music (drums) and dancers.



http://www.portofroatan.com/

Victors crew was waiting outside for us when we arrived. Easy to locate. Our group got in the van and away we went. They were having some type of parade that all the children were in, marching in the streets, so the traffic was tied up for a while. Once we arrived at Victors house (yes, this is on his property where he lives), we used the restroom facilities and purchased some drinks. I found it really strange that they charged $1.00 for a bottle of Coke, but it was $2.00 for a diet Coke??? I’m still trying to understand that one.

We went over to be fitted for our harness and equipment then away we went climbing the steps…whew. Did I mention I hate going up stairs? Down is fine, but up…huff, puff. We made it to the first platform. I decided to go first, since I had the camera and I wanted to get pictures and videos of my husband and little one coming across the zip line. Easy Peasy! It was fun! So, I’m waiting….and here comes JUST MY DAUGHTER!! ALONE!! WOW…I couldn’t believe it. We were all cheering her on for being such a brave little girl (especially on the first zip). When my husband arrived after her, he said she refused to go with him and wanted to go by herself (“my turn!”) and jumped off. That’s my girl!



There were a total of 12 platforms to zip to. We had a blast. It was about the 7th or 8th I decided to try hanging upside down. Wow that was fun. The second time around upside down, I videotaped myself flying in the air upside down. hehe



There is a “swinging type” bridge that you do have to climb and the wood is pretty far apart. This was one of my worries with my little one because we knew it would be hard to hold her and walk it while trying to hold on ourselves. She took it really slow and did great. (They do have you attached to a line for safety; however, the distance between each, if her foot missed it, her entire legs would have made it through the holes).

Now comes the beginning of the bad parts to zip lining. After arriving at each platform, they are supposed to unclip you from the zip line and clip you to another line wrapped around the tree for safety while you are standing there to wait on your turn. I found that this was not happening every time. So, I found myself constantly holding onto my daughter and drilling my husband to do the same while we were standing there.

Next, I feel that safety may be compromised and an issue at this place. First the swinging bridge (which anyone could fall on), then the lack of clipping you to the safety lines and now…. The next to very last platform, I had decided to tandem with my daughter (she only weights about 34 pounds so some of them she didn’t go fast enough to make it to the end and they would bounce her a little or hang on the end so she would come in fast enough to be grabbed). Well, once the both of us arrived to the platform, the worker took her off and handed her off to daddy and was then releasing mine from the line and all of a sudden the worker from the platform we just came from had already went and he slammed into me with full force. I was slammed into the tree, hit my chest pretty hard and knocked the breath out of me, my head hit the tree (thank goodness for the helmet or I probably would have been knocked out) and my leg went into the tree and was all scraped up. I didn’t know what hit me and I don’t even recall the guy slamming into me asking if I was ok and he took off zipping on the next. Another helper that was already there yelled at him and that was about it. There should be a little more safety concerns when it comes to this to make sure that everyone is out of the way and unhooked. They did yell back and forth, so this could have easily been relayed that it was not all clear yet. I broke my hand on my cruise last year in the first port (my fault) and vowed that this cruise I was coming home "hurt free" darn-it!


Next on to the animals. They had various monkeys in cages, different types of birds (parrots, toucans), squirrels and others that you could feed them carrots. The tour guide handed my little one carrots to feed each of them. I did not discover until almost at the end how these carrots were coming to her other than being handed to her by the guide. I hadn’t really paid much attention since I was looking at the animals myself and trying to take pictures. Then I discovered it…he had a full carrot and was biting pieces off of the carrot and handing them to her after removing it from his mouth!! WTH? Like I want someone having it in their mouth with their saliva all over it and putting it into my child’s hand. I just thought that was gross. I mean come on, can’t you have these pre-sliced, diced, whatever for everyone to use? Of course I was planning on my daughter washing her hands and I brought sanitizer (from touching the animals) but still, why add to the possibilities of contracting something?

On to another issue…being inside the cages with the monkeys. They were cute, but for some reason seemed just a little aggressive to me. However, they loved my husband and they all seem to flock to him (as most animals do for some reason). I tried to get one on my arm and it snapped at me, then I turned around just in time to see my little one getting bit on the arm by one (caught it on video) and she screamed so he tried to come at her again and was holding onto her arm. My husband was there to pull her away and he swatted at the monkey and the tour guy grabbed ahold of him. He tried coming back down and the tour guide blocked him while we hurried out of the cage. It left a mark and swelled up by the end of the day. One of the tour guides came to us later and ask how she was and told us that they do “inject them so they don’t have a disease”. I assume this means they have their shots. Needless to say, my daughter is scared of monkeys now.



Our tour guide kept leaving us and we were pretty much left to explore on our own with the rest of the animals. (It’s not a big area, so that was no problem for us).

All in all, I’m a little leery of this place now and although it was fun, I do have some issues with the way things are run with the zip lining and I will not be a returning customer if we go back to Roatan.


Link to Pictures: http://kimbakersphotography.smugmug....186746_vhff9F9
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NCL:
EPIC SPIRIT PEARL STAR JEWEL GETAWAY SUN SKY DAWN BREAKAWAY JADE EPIC
CARNIVAL:
Dream Pride Breeze Fascination Conquest Magic
ARUBA: Arashi Beaches Animals Sites
BAHAMAS:Great Stirrup Cay Half Moon Cay Blue Lagoon Melia Junkanoo Paradise
BARBADOS:Boatyard
BELIZE:Cavetubing Cavetubing Bannister Shark Ray Alley Goffs Rendezvous
BERMUDA: Horseshoe Snorkel Park Tobacco St Catherines Achilles Jet Ski/boat rental Warwick-Horseshoe Long Bay-Clearwater Tobacco Snorkel Park
COSTA MAYA:Almaplena Maya Chan Nohoch Blue KayBlueKay
COZUMEL:Chankanaab Dolphin Swim Chankanaab Nachi Playa Mia Sanchos Passion Island Palancar Money Bar Paradise
CURACAO Diving
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:Saona
GRAND CAYMAN:Stingray Sandbar Stingrays, Rum Point
GRAND TURK:BohioGovernorsGibbs
ROATAN: LFKey LFK Maya Key West Bay ZiplineLFK scuba
SAN JUAN:Pamelas
ST KITTS:Reggae Carambola
ST LUCIA: Jalousie
ST MAARTEN:Orient & Maho Mullet Maho Divi Pinel
ST THOMAS:Saphhire Coki Linquist Coki
TORTOLA: Baths
#24
OH
24,622 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
WEST BAY, ROATAN, HONDURAS

After the zip lining, we were taken to West Bay Beach and dropped off at Tabyana. He said they always drop everyone off there because it was the “free access area”. They parked in a parking lot, so you did have to walk to the place to get to the beach. It had rained for days, so it was very muddy!

The area was nice and since we were with a group, everyone had to agree on a time to meet back at Tabyana to leave and go back to the port. Others decided that they wanted to leave at 2pm (which was a little earlier than I wanted to go since snorkeling is MY THING and could spend all day there, but I agreed and I’m not the type to raise a fuss about anything). Everyone does have to agree for the same time (unless you want to pay to get back to the port of course). We had wanted to snorkel a bit and then go get some food at Bite On The Beach, where they have Eels there to view in the water, but we knew after this that our time would be limited and we would not get to do this.

We all took off on our own. I went in front of Infinity hoping to find the “kidney” in the water and get into some serious snorkeling. After talking to several people from the island (and seeing the water for myself), I knew it was not going to be a good snorkeling day. They had multiple days of non-stop rain and bad weather and the water clarity was not good at all. We were told the best area to see anything would be to head to the end of the beach by the rocks because the clarity seemed to be better over that way today (maybe the huge rocks protected a lot of the stir up of the ocean floor??? I don’t know).


See this thread for what we were hoping to accomplish:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1469343

Upon entering…yea, no clarity. We figured we’d just have to bring the fish to the surface to us…out came the fruit loops and out came hundreds of fish. It just still wasn’t easy to get pictures and this is pretty much what you seen:




This was also the first time that my 3 year old had been in the ocean to swim. We were not sure how she was going to react and had figured one of us would stay on the shore while the other snorkeled and then vice versa. Nope, once again, she amazed me and swam right alongside of us. Starring down into the water at the fish and giggling the entire time. Every once in a while we would hear a screech of laughter come from her when a fish touched her legs. I put her mask on her and dipped her head under several times for her to see. But, she hasn’t got the hang of it to actually snorkel on her own yet. Maybe next year.

We did find that the more we went out, the better the clarity. Still not the greatest, but it worked.





We came in several times to rest and explored the rock wall with all the holes in it. I ran into a photographer that had a micro lens and was taking pictures of the crabs in the holes. Wish I had my slr at that point…but oh well.



We also discovered several iguanas baking in the sun on the rocks above. It was such a beautiful site to see those huge rocks and all the flowers and greenery growing on it at the top.






Once it was time to head back to Tabyana, we decided to stop in a little ice cream store and get something to snack on before returning to the ship. We ran into a really nice guy that had just moved there 2 months ago from Nevada. He went on about how cheap things were there on the island and easier to make money. Food and rent was cheap and in several months he would be flying his girlfriend and daughter there to join him. We talked for a long time and we found most on the island to be very friendly.






It was time to head back so we all walked back to the van and it didn’t take long at all to get back to the port. Plenty of time to shop, take pictures, and look around before boarding.

Once we were on board, there were 3 people missing. They kept calling their names, but we never seen them come down the port.

See this link for a lot more pictures: http://kimbakersphotography.smugmug....195463_25sVphp
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NCL:
EPIC SPIRIT PEARL STAR JEWEL GETAWAY SUN SKY DAWN BREAKAWAY JADE EPIC
CARNIVAL:
Dream Pride Breeze Fascination Conquest Magic
ARUBA: Arashi Beaches Animals Sites
BAHAMAS:Great Stirrup Cay Half Moon Cay Blue Lagoon Melia Junkanoo Paradise
BARBADOS:Boatyard
BELIZE:Cavetubing Cavetubing Bannister Shark Ray Alley Goffs Rendezvous
BERMUDA: Horseshoe Snorkel Park Tobacco St Catherines Achilles Jet Ski/boat rental Warwick-Horseshoe Long Bay-Clearwater Tobacco Snorkel Park
COSTA MAYA:Almaplena Maya Chan Nohoch Blue KayBlueKay
COZUMEL:Chankanaab Dolphin Swim Chankanaab Nachi Playa Mia Sanchos Passion Island Palancar Money Bar Paradise
CURACAO Diving
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:Saona
GRAND CAYMAN:Stingray Sandbar Stingrays, Rum Point
GRAND TURK:BohioGovernorsGibbs
ROATAN: LFKey LFK Maya Key West Bay ZiplineLFK scuba
SAN JUAN:Pamelas
ST KITTS:Reggae Carambola
ST LUCIA: Jalousie
ST MAARTEN:Orient & Maho Mullet Maho Divi Pinel
ST THOMAS:Saphhire Coki Linquist Coki
TORTOLA: Baths
#25
Brooklyn
1,670 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by mitsugirly
I tried to get one on my arm and it snapped at me, then I turned around just in time to see my little one getting bit on the arm by one (caught it on video) and she screamed so he tried to come at her again and was holding onto her arm. My husband was there to pull her away and he swatted at the monkey and the tour guy grabbed ahold of him. He tried coming back down and the tour guide blocked him while we hurried out of the cage. It left a mark and swelled up by the end of the day. One of the tour guides came to us later and ask how she was and told us that they do “inject them so they don’t have a disease”. I assume this means they have their shots. Needless to say, my daughter is scared of monkeys now.
WOW - hope she is doing okay! That sounds very traumatic - you'd think the animals would be better-behaved if they're going to let tourists interact with them that closely.
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#26
OH
24,622 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by gcsmith
My wife and I are taking our 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter on the Spirit 10/9. I'd be interested in any details about what your 3 year old enjoyed.

In no particular order:

Did she use the children's program at all? Did you use the late night baby sitting? How were the counselors? Kind of a port intensive cruise for the program, still not sure how much we'll be able or want to use it.

Were there many children on board?

Aside from mosquitoes (big problem) was there enough shade for a child at Maya Chan? Sounds like there was and the bed sounds nice, but was that a typical palapa or did you luck out?

Is the water cold in that kids pool? I'm a wimp and I know I will have to stand there to catch them! - note to kid police, yes the 2 year old is potty trained, so she can go in the pool.

Any other child related thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

Greg
I one word about the kids program YES, YES, YES...well maybe a few words. They will LOVE it. Mine never wanted to leave, but I'll get into that later.

There were plenty enough children on board for lots of playmates for sure, but the ship was definitely not overwhelmed with tons of kids since it's now the off season.

Plenty of shade for a child. If you are bringing children, you will get the big palapa I'm sure. They are covered and VERY nice. The only people I seen with only chairs and an umbrella were single couples.

The water wasn't bad at all IMO for the pools. It was 90 degrees out, so it was very refreshing for sure.
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NCL:
EPIC SPIRIT PEARL STAR JEWEL GETAWAY SUN SKY DAWN BREAKAWAY JADE EPIC
CARNIVAL:
Dream Pride Breeze Fascination Conquest Magic
ARUBA: Arashi Beaches Animals Sites
BAHAMAS:Great Stirrup Cay Half Moon Cay Blue Lagoon Melia Junkanoo Paradise
BARBADOS:Boatyard
BELIZE:Cavetubing Cavetubing Bannister Shark Ray Alley Goffs Rendezvous
BERMUDA: Horseshoe Snorkel Park Tobacco St Catherines Achilles Jet Ski/boat rental Warwick-Horseshoe Long Bay-Clearwater Tobacco Snorkel Park
COSTA MAYA:Almaplena Maya Chan Nohoch Blue KayBlueKay
COZUMEL:Chankanaab Dolphin Swim Chankanaab Nachi Playa Mia Sanchos Passion Island Palancar Money Bar Paradise
CURACAO Diving
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:Saona
GRAND CAYMAN:Stingray Sandbar Stingrays, Rum Point
GRAND TURK:BohioGovernorsGibbs
ROATAN: LFKey LFK Maya Key West Bay ZiplineLFK scuba
SAN JUAN:Pamelas
ST KITTS:Reggae Carambola
ST LUCIA: Jalousie
ST MAARTEN:Orient & Maho Mullet Maho Divi Pinel
ST THOMAS:Saphhire Coki Linquist Coki
TORTOLA: Baths
#27
San Antonio, TX
13 Posts
Joined May 2010
My wife and I were on the very cruise you were on. We did Nohoch Kay in Costa Maya and had a wonderful time. We did the Bodden Island tour with our guide Frankie and had a great time. Bodden is a great company.
#28
OH
24,622 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by gcsmith



Aside from mosquitoes (big problem) was there enough shade for a child at Maya Chan? Sounds like there was and the bed sounds nice, but was that a typical palapa or did you luck out?


Greg
Also, I found a video showing the palapa and the area we had that I'm currently uploading at the moment (it is taking forever) that I'll share with you so you can have a good idea of what they are like. No worries.
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NCL:
EPIC SPIRIT PEARL STAR JEWEL GETAWAY SUN SKY DAWN BREAKAWAY JADE EPIC
CARNIVAL:
Dream Pride Breeze Fascination Conquest Magic
ARUBA: Arashi Beaches Animals Sites
BAHAMAS:Great Stirrup Cay Half Moon Cay Blue Lagoon Melia Junkanoo Paradise
BARBADOS:Boatyard
BELIZE:Cavetubing Cavetubing Bannister Shark Ray Alley Goffs Rendezvous
BERMUDA: Horseshoe Snorkel Park Tobacco St Catherines Achilles Jet Ski/boat rental Warwick-Horseshoe Long Bay-Clearwater Tobacco Snorkel Park
COSTA MAYA:Almaplena Maya Chan Nohoch Blue KayBlueKay
COZUMEL:Chankanaab Dolphin Swim Chankanaab Nachi Playa Mia Sanchos Passion Island Palancar Money Bar Paradise
CURACAO Diving
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:Saona
GRAND CAYMAN:Stingray Sandbar Stingrays, Rum Point
GRAND TURK:BohioGovernorsGibbs
ROATAN: LFKey LFK Maya Key West Bay ZiplineLFK scuba
SAN JUAN:Pamelas
ST KITTS:Reggae Carambola
ST LUCIA: Jalousie
ST MAARTEN:Orient & Maho Mullet Maho Divi Pinel
ST THOMAS:Saphhire Coki Linquist Coki
TORTOLA: Baths
#29
OH
24,622 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Hopefully this link will work for you:

http://kimbakersphotography.smugmug..../MVI5178-M.jpg


EDIT: Ok, after clicking on it, it only took me to the picture. So, go to my account and it's the very last photo, which is a video. Hope this helps.

http://kimbakersphotography.smugmug....373274_QDFHPNN
Expand Signature
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NCL:
EPIC SPIRIT PEARL STAR JEWEL GETAWAY SUN SKY DAWN BREAKAWAY JADE EPIC
CARNIVAL:
Dream Pride Breeze Fascination Conquest Magic
ARUBA: Arashi Beaches Animals Sites
BAHAMAS:Great Stirrup Cay Half Moon Cay Blue Lagoon Melia Junkanoo Paradise
BARBADOS:Boatyard
BELIZE:Cavetubing Cavetubing Bannister Shark Ray Alley Goffs Rendezvous
BERMUDA: Horseshoe Snorkel Park Tobacco St Catherines Achilles Jet Ski/boat rental Warwick-Horseshoe Long Bay-Clearwater Tobacco Snorkel Park
COSTA MAYA:Almaplena Maya Chan Nohoch Blue KayBlueKay
COZUMEL:Chankanaab Dolphin Swim Chankanaab Nachi Playa Mia Sanchos Passion Island Palancar Money Bar Paradise
CURACAO Diving
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:Saona
GRAND CAYMAN:Stingray Sandbar Stingrays, Rum Point
GRAND TURK:BohioGovernorsGibbs
ROATAN: LFKey LFK Maya Key West Bay ZiplineLFK scuba
SAN JUAN:Pamelas
ST KITTS:Reggae Carambola
ST LUCIA: Jalousie
ST MAARTEN:Orient & Maho Mullet Maho Divi Pinel
ST THOMAS:Saphhire Coki Linquist Coki
TORTOLA: Baths
#30
Kansas
216 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
who was your guide from Bodden tours? We used them back in August, and Texx was awesome, with biting humor. Even took us to his house, that if you are standing in the back yard, you're looking at a beach with dolphins swimming around.

If your guide abandoned you, then let Victor know.

The monkeys, well, for intents and purposes they are wild, but with that said, Im sorry your daughter got bit.

Joyride37
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03-05-1997 Carnival Ecstacy just us
07-31-2011 Norwegian Spirit family
03-03-2012 Norwegian Sun just us
01-06-2014 Carnival Elation entire family
#31
Arkansas
30,898 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by mitsugirly
We made it to Café Du Monde and had their beignets. I was having trouble understanding our waitress (and obviously she didn’t understand me either because she didn’t bring us the right order). For $2.49 (I think it was) you get 3 small beignets LOADED with powdered sugar. Everyone raved how great these were, but to me, they are the same thing as what you get at any fair from the vendors (funnel cakes), however, I found the beignets to not be as good as a funnel cake. Ours were a little harder than what I’m use to and the amount of powdered sugar they loaded on it made you a white sticky mess. The people there didn’t seem too friendly, but the place was so busy it was VERY hard to even find a seat. When going inside to use the restroom, it was in this small cubby hole in the back in the SMALL kitchen area and there was a line. The workers were rude and kept telling people to move, bumping into everyone and didn’t bother to say excuse me or anything. At one point they took the door and slammed it shut leaving some inside waiting on the restroom and others standing along a wall waiting. If they thought this made more room, they completely misjudged that because now there were more people moving around due to having to move out of the way for the door to open every time.



http://www.cafedumonde.com/locations.html

We caught the street car

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel...tcar-BR-1.html

back to our street that the hotel was on and decided to catch the free hot food (Kickers Meal) the hotel was offering. We did not think it was bad at all, not gourmet food, but definitely something you can make a meal out of and be satisfied. If it was bad food, you sure wouldn’t be able to tell by how many people were there eating that night. It was crazy. They offered you 3 free alcoholic drinks, per person…and they WERE STRONG! Whew! They had hot dogs, mac and cheese, nacho bar, baked potato (with fixings), veggies and dip, salads, snacks, popcorn, and a soda fountain for drinks.

http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/g...19/trolley.jpg



We went back up to the room, visited with our 9/11 roll call online for a while chatting, then went to bed. We didn’t sleep too well though. I thought it was the excitement of the cruise the next day, but felt like I was scratching all night. Well, when we woke in the morning, we found out why. Our room was infested with red biting ants!! There were hundreds of them forming a line across the threshold from the bathroom to the sink area. Upon a little more inspection, we found lines of them going up the night stands and onto the bed. WOW! I immediately went down to let the front desk know about the room. These people were more than kind about it and very apologetic as well. They offered let me do all of my laundry there (which we did not have time for that prior to leaving, so I just made sure I shook everything out hoping we would not take any hitch hikers with us), they offered to get us a cab to the airport and pay (which we met a very nice guy on our roll call the night before and he stopped and gave us a ride) and THEY FULLY REFUNDED MY ENTIRE AMOUNT OF THE ROOM! Wow, now that was service! They told us to stay as long as we would like, however, we wanted out of that room because we were being bitten and ended up just coming down to the lobby to wait for our ride. I was not at all expecting any of this and just wanted to inform them of the situation, but they went above and beyond and we would definitely stay with them again.





I forgot to mention the free hot breakfast (eggs, sausage, biscuits/gravy etc.). It was pretty good as well. Definitely editable and filled us up prior to getting on the ship. They also had the regular cold food too (bagels, toast, muffins, cereal and so on).



We sat in the lobby, said our last goodbyes to our friends on facebook, cc, our roll call and texting while watching our girl (The Spirit) at the port until it was time to leave for our week long adventure.

http://www.nola.com/bridgecam/

http://www.nola.com/rivercam/

http://www.portno.com/pno_pages/crui...ing_webcam.htm

A few pictures around NOLA are located here: (some already included in this thread)
http://kimbakersphotography.smugmug....675873_wwHtmfH

Link to Drury Inn pictures:
http://kimbakersphotography.smugmug....675873_wwHtmfH
so far wonderful review: I too, do not see the excitement about beignets..
I have read what you have posted so far: I agree about the Monkey farm or whatever: I was unempressed to be honest. They can be mean, and it just wasn't quite what we expected.
Nita
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Commodore 1984, Costa 1985, RCL 1987, Chandris 1989, NCL 1989, Commodore, 1991, NCL 1997, Carnival 1997, Carnival 1998,NCL 1998, NCL 1999, RCL 2000, RCL 2000,HAL 2001, NCL 2002,NCL 2003, Celebrity 2003, NCL 2004, NCL 2005, Celebrity 2005.NCL 2006, Celebrity 2006, HAL 2006, NCL 2007.Princess, 2008. NCL 2008, RCI 2008,Princess 2009, NCL 2009. NCL 2010, NCL 2011, Princess 2011, NCL 2012, NCL 2013, NCL again 2013, Princess 2014, NCL 2014, again 2014, 2015; about 2 do another NCL.
#32
OH
24,622 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by Joyride37
who was your guide from Bodden tours? We used them back in August, and Texx was awesome, with biting humor. Even took us to his house, that if you are standing in the back yard, you're looking at a beach with dolphins swimming around.

If your guide abandoned you, then let Victor know.

The monkeys, well, for intents and purposes they are wild, but with that said, Im sorry your daughter got bit.

Joyride37
I don't even remember hearing him tell us his name. I know they didn't have much to say...on the ride there, while we were there, or the ride back. They told us we could ask questions on the ride there and a bunch of ladies were asking questions about the different fruits and flowers on the trees and they didn't seem to know the answer to a lot of them. I do know there wasn't any humor to any of these guys for sure.

As for the zip lining...there were A LOT of guys with us going back and forth. We were never with just one. They were entertaining doing spins and flips and such on the lines, but never really said anything. The only thing they would say when we came in on the line is "are you doing ok?" and that was about it.

The animals, I never even heard him tell us any of the types of the animals we were looking at and he lost us several times.
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NCL:
EPIC SPIRIT PEARL STAR JEWEL GETAWAY SUN SKY DAWN BREAKAWAY JADE EPIC
CARNIVAL:
Dream Pride Breeze Fascination Conquest Magic
ARUBA: Arashi Beaches Animals Sites
BAHAMAS:Great Stirrup Cay Half Moon Cay Blue Lagoon Melia Junkanoo Paradise
BARBADOS:Boatyard
BELIZE:Cavetubing Cavetubing Bannister Shark Ray Alley Goffs Rendezvous
BERMUDA: Horseshoe Snorkel Park Tobacco St Catherines Achilles Jet Ski/boat rental Warwick-Horseshoe Long Bay-Clearwater Tobacco Snorkel Park
COSTA MAYA:Almaplena Maya Chan Nohoch Blue KayBlueKay
COZUMEL:Chankanaab Dolphin Swim Chankanaab Nachi Playa Mia Sanchos Passion Island Palancar Money Bar Paradise
CURACAO Diving
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:Saona
GRAND CAYMAN:Stingray Sandbar Stingrays, Rum Point
GRAND TURK:BohioGovernorsGibbs
ROATAN: LFKey LFK Maya Key West Bay ZiplineLFK scuba
SAN JUAN:Pamelas
ST KITTS:Reggae Carambola
ST LUCIA: Jalousie
ST MAARTEN:Orient & Maho Mullet Maho Divi Pinel
ST THOMAS:Saphhire Coki Linquist Coki
TORTOLA: Baths
#33
OH
24,622 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by newmexicoNita
so far wonderful review: I too, do not see the excitement about beignets..

Nita
They were good, don't get me wrong, just not any "wow" factor. I would much rather have have a funnel cake because they are softer.
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NCL:
EPIC SPIRIT PEARL STAR JEWEL GETAWAY SUN SKY DAWN BREAKAWAY JADE EPIC
CARNIVAL:
Dream Pride Breeze Fascination Conquest Magic
ARUBA: Arashi Beaches Animals Sites
BAHAMAS:Great Stirrup Cay Half Moon Cay Blue Lagoon Melia Junkanoo Paradise
BARBADOS:Boatyard
BELIZE:Cavetubing Cavetubing Bannister Shark Ray Alley Goffs Rendezvous
BERMUDA: Horseshoe Snorkel Park Tobacco St Catherines Achilles Jet Ski/boat rental Warwick-Horseshoe Long Bay-Clearwater Tobacco Snorkel Park
COSTA MAYA:Almaplena Maya Chan Nohoch Blue KayBlueKay
COZUMEL:Chankanaab Dolphin Swim Chankanaab Nachi Playa Mia Sanchos Passion Island Palancar Money Bar Paradise
CURACAO Diving
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:Saona
GRAND CAYMAN:Stingray Sandbar Stingrays, Rum Point
GRAND TURK:BohioGovernorsGibbs
ROATAN: LFKey LFK Maya Key West Bay ZiplineLFK scuba
SAN JUAN:Pamelas
ST KITTS:Reggae Carambola
ST LUCIA: Jalousie
ST MAARTEN:Orient & Maho Mullet Maho Divi Pinel
ST THOMAS:Saphhire Coki Linquist Coki
TORTOLA: Baths
#34
Arkansas
30,898 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by gcsmith
My wife and I are taking our 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter on the Spirit 10/9. I'd be interested in any details about what your 3 year old enjoyed.

In no particular order:

Did she use the children's program at all? Did you use the late night baby sitting? How were the counselors? Kind of a port intensive cruise for the program, still not sure how much we'll be able or want to use it.

Were there many children on board?

Aside from mosquitoes (big problem) was there enough shade for a child at Maya Chan? Sounds like there was and the bed sounds nice, but was that a typical palapa or did you luck out?

Is the water cold in that kids pool? I'm a wimp and I know I will have to stand there to catch them! - note to kid police, yes the 2 year old is potty trained, so she can go in the pool.

Any other child related thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

Greg
Greg, our experience last Feb with the kids program: our great grandaughter, who was a week from turning 4 would have lived there for the rest of her life if her mom and dad would have let her. The Palapas are all about the same at the resort and yes, there is shade.
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Commodore 1984, Costa 1985, RCL 1987, Chandris 1989, NCL 1989, Commodore, 1991, NCL 1997, Carnival 1997, Carnival 1998,NCL 1998, NCL 1999, RCL 2000, RCL 2000,HAL 2001, NCL 2002,NCL 2003, Celebrity 2003, NCL 2004, NCL 2005, Celebrity 2005.NCL 2006, Celebrity 2006, HAL 2006, NCL 2007.Princess, 2008. NCL 2008, RCI 2008,Princess 2009, NCL 2009. NCL 2010, NCL 2011, Princess 2011, NCL 2012, NCL 2013, NCL again 2013, Princess 2014, NCL 2014, again 2014, 2015; about 2 do another NCL.
#35
San Antonio, TX
13 Posts
Joined May 2010
Our Bodden guide was Frankie. My wife is a social worker and had plenty of questions and he answered them all. We asked to eat at a local restaurant and he took us to a very good one off the beaten path. Frankie let us know that divorce was just about taboo on the island and that there is very little crime. He said on the mainland it is much different. If someone goes through some hardship his family will take him in. If they have a hospital bill that needs to be paid the family will all pitch in to pay it. Primary religion is Methodist followed by Church of God. We learned a lot because my wife battered him with questions. Great tour. I tipped him well because he was so instructive and was patient with my wife's questions.
#36
Tucson, AZ
254 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by mitsugirly
I one word about the kids program YES, YES, YES...well maybe a few words. They will LOVE it. Mine never wanted to leave, but I'll get into that later.

There were plenty enough children on board for lots of playmates for sure, but the ship was definitely not overwhelmed with tons of kids since it's now the off season.

Plenty of shade for a child. If you are bringing children, you will get the big palapa I'm sure. They are covered and VERY nice. The only people I seen with only chairs and an umbrella were single couples.

The water wasn't bad at all IMO for the pools. It was 90 degrees out, so it was very refreshing for sure.
Ok, I will be patient and wait for your child center review! That is the hardest information to find on cruise lines. As far as the water goes I live in Arizona and don't generally get in my pool unless the pool temp is 88+. I'm sure it will be freezing in the ship pool but I will tough it out for the kids.

Bummer to hear about your ziplining issues. I used Bodden 4 years ago and I'm sure took the same zip line. I did not have any safety issues (and rock climbing is a hobby for me) - what you described are certainly issues. Our guide was wonderful as well.
#37
Pennsylvania
64 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Great review so far...and your photos are wonderful. Sorry your adorable daughter had a couple of mishaps; and you, thank goodness you weren't hurt worse! Glad to see that you didn't let it ruin your trip either. Some people would have made something like that the basis for a lousy review, glad you were able to take in in stride and enjoy your vacation. We are leaving for our trip on the Spirit in 18 days and I can't wait! Thanks again for your in depth review, looking forward to the rest of it.
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#38
OH
24,622 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by slycruiser61
Great review so far...and your photos are wonderful. Sorry your adorable daughter had a couple of mishaps; and you, thank goodness you weren't hurt worse! Glad to see that you didn't let it ruin your trip either. Some people would have made something like that the basis for a lousy review, glad you were able to take in in stride and enjoy your vacation. We are leaving for our trip on the Spirit in 18 days and I can't wait! Thanks again for your in depth review, looking forward to the rest of it.
I don't let much get me down trust me. After falling and breaking my hand at the first port last year, I continued to hobble around, snorkel 2 more ports and made the best of it. I'm not a complainer by any means and I'm pretty tough when it comes to getting hurt. I gathered myself up, took a deep breath and continued. I review my side of what happened, and I'm sure that the guys at Bodden are wonderful (otherwise there would not be so many good reviews), but I can only report what happen to us. I'm an upbeat person that likes to enjoy everything, especially when on vacation. I would not discourage people from going there, I would just not visit again and do something different next time around due to my experiences. Nothings going to ruin my trip darnit. hehe
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NCL:
EPIC SPIRIT PEARL STAR JEWEL GETAWAY SUN SKY DAWN BREAKAWAY JADE EPIC
CARNIVAL:
Dream Pride Breeze Fascination Conquest Magic
ARUBA: Arashi Beaches Animals Sites
BAHAMAS:Great Stirrup Cay Half Moon Cay Blue Lagoon Melia Junkanoo Paradise
BARBADOS:Boatyard
BELIZE:Cavetubing Cavetubing Bannister Shark Ray Alley Goffs Rendezvous
BERMUDA: Horseshoe Snorkel Park Tobacco St Catherines Achilles Jet Ski/boat rental Warwick-Horseshoe Long Bay-Clearwater Tobacco Snorkel Park
COSTA MAYA:Almaplena Maya Chan Nohoch Blue KayBlueKay
COZUMEL:Chankanaab Dolphin Swim Chankanaab Nachi Playa Mia Sanchos Passion Island Palancar Money Bar Paradise
CURACAO Diving
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:Saona
GRAND CAYMAN:Stingray Sandbar Stingrays, Rum Point
GRAND TURK:BohioGovernorsGibbs
ROATAN: LFKey LFK Maya Key West Bay ZiplineLFK scuba
SAN JUAN:Pamelas
ST KITTS:Reggae Carambola
ST LUCIA: Jalousie
ST MAARTEN:Orient & Maho Mullet Maho Divi Pinel
ST THOMAS:Saphhire Coki Linquist Coki
TORTOLA: Baths
#39
1,437 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Sorry to hear that your daughter got bit. Someone told me on another cruise that the ships doctor treats a lot of monkey bites. I have a fear of them and won't go in a cage with them. Even though they are cute they are still wild and unpredictable.

In roatan, i go to maya key where they have animals including monkeys in cages. They warn you not too stick your fingers in the cages.

Rather be in the ocean with it's dangers.
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#40
Pennsylvania
64 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Had a question for you about Roatan...did you have any problem with sand fleas? I know you had mosquito problems in Costa Maya, but I've heard the sand flea problem in Roatan can be really bad. We are doing the Tabayana Beach/Gumbalimba tour and from what I have read in other posts we should bring along some heavy duty bug repellant because of the sand flea problems....
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