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Team K's 14 night Holiday on Explorer Review!


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Moving onto dinner, I must add that tonight was Country & Western night. I tried and tried and tried to find this info out before we left and I have to say I could NOT find it anywhere on any cruise critic post. Well, here it is! If you like to play dress-up [as I do and others do], there IS a Country/Western night, feel free to pack your Cowgirl or Cowboy boots N stuff ! Jeans n spurs are okay on this night if you’re okay wearing ‘em!

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The breaded mushrooms were just okay, the smoked salmon appetizer was good [you can go on overload on lox on explorer. Note in Windjammer at breakfast, the folks who pile their plates high with the smoked salmon, I thought there was so much on their plates that they were packing it to take home, my gosh!]

 

The duck, the Pork Medallions and the Cheese Cannelloni were all very good. Every night the “Alternative Selections” are: Spaghetti with Marinara, Filet of Salmon, Chicken Breast, and Sirloin.

 

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From 10pm – 11pm tonight there was a Hoedown @ the Chamber with line dancing and all! The usual music venues and at 10:15pm at Maharajas was The Weakest Link game show.

NOTE: DO NOT Wear Camouflage ANYTHING on Barbados; shorts, bathing attire, hats, etc.

[& if you were that guy cursing in front of your kids on the pool deck when the announcement was made the day before, you should be ashamed of yourself! It’s really not a big deal to not wear camo on an island, heck, we don’t even pack any camo-wear knowing it’s not acceptable on Barbados, why wear it on any other island.]

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Day 9

Ahhhh, Dominica! So much to do and so much to see, DON’T MISS OUT! Do your homework before you go.

 

This is not a beach port. There are only 3 white sand beaches here on Dominica and they are far from Roseau being at the most northern tip of the Island. We have been here before and would recommend seeing Trafalgar falls and the Sulphur springs. This time we booked an excursion through RCI because we knew we wanted to now go to the Emerald Pool and we definitely wanted to go Tubing down the Layou River.

 

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We got off Explorer, headed down the short pier to excursion attendant’s holding their signs; we looked for Emerald Pool and Layou Tubing and found our tour guide easily. We boarded a small bus, there were about 15 of us maybe? There is a REASON this is called Nature Island. If you are able, you really must see the inner island to understand the natural beauty of Dominica and why it is unlike any other island you will ever visit. Our tour guide was excellent and the Emerald Pool did NOT disappoint, but it was on the cold side!

 

 

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Tubing on the Layou was excellent as well. There are 3 tour guides that go down the river with you and boy oh boy do they know exactly what they are doing. They know when to stop and wait, and tey gather the group together off to the side of the river where it slows down, they go ahead of you quickly when they know they will want to stop the group again, I have to say, these boys sure know the river and ever move it makes! The rapids were so much fun! Excellently run tour, I would encourage it.

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We got back to Explorer around 1:30, back on board, cleaned up and went back out to walk Roseau. Since our visit in 2007 there are now many street vendors under tents right along the pier. Hmmm, I wanted to buy stuff, we enjoy leaving some $$$ to those who work hard for it and wait for the cruise ships. There wasn’t much to buy, all these outdoor markets have the same stuff, tourist stuff- all the same…the same, the same. Lol Bought a small Caribbean photo album, I think. I put my business card under the door at the local Real Estate Agency b/c Dominica was celebrating “boxing day” a day late and they were closed! It was too hot to just walk outside, my son went back to the ship, I followed behind him while my husband and daughter went to stroll Fort Young. Ive been there before and the heat was unbearable, I had to go back to the ship to cool off. [we left Dominica late because in the afternoon a girl fell on the pool deck and broke her ankle and needed medical care the ship couldn’t provide. What a nice girl. We were talking while we were looking over photos a few days later]

 

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It was crazy to see an ambulance on the pier.

 

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We left a little later. Dominica even looks beautiful at night.

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...>>>SNIP<<<...

 

 

 

 

More Tubing---

 

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and in between Tubing and our drive to Emerald Pol we stopped off for rum punch at a lovely lovely home with beautiful scenery. [nextpost]

 

The waterproof cameras really come into their own on stuff like river tubing. What kind of fastener does Olympus use to tie the camera to your body during rough stuff like tubing?

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Tonight we had dinner at Portofino and were joined by our sons good friend Tori & her Dad Fred.

 

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We were so surprised that Simeon was back! On our summer 2010 cruise someone said Simeon went to another ship. Too bad we didn’t request him, we didn’t know he was back! Our wait staff was still excellent of course. Everything was excellent! The lemon-herb tuna Steak, the Rack of Lamb, the shrimp in risotto, pappardelle with mushrooms s was the beef! The Tiramisu as always was everyone’s favorite dessert and my husband and I love our Kioki coffee. [DON’T forget to use your Diamond coupon for this like. We forgot.]

 

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The people here on Dominica are very friendly and they are not pushy to sell like on other islands.

 

Evening Entertainment and music as usual. Tonight was the Fast forward production show, and a Tribute to the 70s and 70s street party on the Promenade beginning at 10:30. Tonight was also Adult ONLY all request music in the Chamber. [i wonder what they meant by “Adult ONLY”, we didn’t go, so not sure of the age requirement.[/size]

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Day 10 St Johns, Antigua: So many beaches, so little time!

Valley Church, Dickenson’s, Jolly?

We decide on Jolly. I have read about jet ski rentals and the kids wanted to jet ski. We hopped a cab that took us to Jolly Harbor [looks like I could live here in these condos with boat slips].

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Uh Huh, I can live here!

 

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If you walk to the right, it is Jolly Harbor, if you walk to the left it is Jolly beach. We heard the beach food was better at Jolly Harbor so that’s where we went.

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When the driver dropped us off, a guy came to the van, asked how many we were, what time we’d like to go back, the drivers name etc. We told him we wanted to rent beach loungers and umbrellas and that we wanted to jet ski. He said he would take care of us, no problem. My son connected with a friend who was on Jolly Beach, they were trying to coordinate jet ski rental times. Well, this is how it apparently works- well sort of; there is a rental shack on Jolly, who apparently is The Boss of the guys who bring the Jet skiis ashore to rent. Long story short, we booked 2 jet skiis for $45 each for 30 minutes. When the jet skiis arrived and we paid, they didn’t have change for us, so we paid $100 instead of $90 and they said they would give the kids extra time, an extra 10 minutes.

[if you rent from these guys, make sure they understand that you're awsare they have tried to rip off travellers and you dont intend to get ripped off!]

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While the kids are out about 10-15 minutes and we’re taking pictures and video, one of the guys we booked the jet skiis with comes over and asks if we’re going to give him a nice tip. My Hubby said to him, maybe, but we already paid you an extra $10 lets see. OM G; with this all of a sudden they have yet another guy starting to wave both my kids in. We ignore this as my kids did, they knew very well that their time was nowhere near up already. One guy sends another out to them, he intimidates my daughter into coming back, pisses off my son, they both come back in [they had at least 20 minutes to still ride]- leaving Momma Bear & Papa Bear (me and my husband) very annoyed. Don’t mess with me. Don’t mess with my kids. And, don’t mess with my $$$. So, we go back to the original guy who said he would “take care of us”, and he was confused about this as well and went on to tell his sister-in-law Joyce, who owns a kiosk and sells the lounge chairs and umbrellas- and I guess also has something to do with promoting and contracting the jet ski folk. She tells us we should call the police to file a theft report that they ripped off our money. We laughed, Im not spending my beach day on my vacation doing this, now YOU make it right, since YOU made promises. Joyce scattered, some time passed, she came back. My husband went with her to some shack on jolly beach to talk to the owner of the jet skiis- who contracts the guys to go out and get customers on the beach. Boy oh boy was he pissed that his boys were making money & they are only supposed to be charging $40 per 30 minutes (or was it $35?) Now I have to ask my husband. In any event, they overcharged, ripped off their boss and the boss refunded hubby $30.00. So I will not bash them by name. [beware of the RED Yamahas] lol He goes to all the beaches over there, not just the Jolly(s). lol This beach was amazing to pick up shells. Beautiful shells. I don’t usual marvel…I had to. The sand was soft and clean and white, the water was gorgeous as was the ocean floor- easy to navigate into the ocean with minimal shell debris. Loved it!!

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I am with you on Dominica. Good to see that it hasn't really changed and gone overly commercial.

 

We're not usually the nature (camping is not in my vocabulary,lol) type of people, but Dominica is truly an island you can look anywhere and find something to marvel over. :)

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Yay, tonight is the Love & Marriage Game Show. Maybe some day. Our kids beg us each and every cruise to audition for it..but the “oh baby, oh baby routine” is so old I just cant! And by the time 10pm rolls around Ive lost my sharp wit! During port days there is lots of Trivia games and movies, stuff going on in the sports court and don’t forget, Mini Golf! Along with a new and improved Sound system in Studio B the miniature golf got an entire make over during dry dock last January.

 

 

Our very own Big Booper and Booperette WON the Love & Marriage Game show!

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Im thinking this very well might have been my favorite beach.

 

That beach looks nice. We are making notes for the next S. Caribbean cruise, I guess on the Silhouette since the Allure is too big to go to Antigua.

 

Stacey, you and Jane have been great with the beaches in the trip reports.

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We are usually on our Balcony for sail away from the islands, this time we went up to meet friends at the Sky Bar! W00T to Troy, you made some fun drinks, although they remain nameless! We had a WONDERFUL time meeting our people up there for sail away! Not sure how any of us made it on time for dinner that night! Mmmm Hmmmm, we are having an amazing time! Its great having pictures, as I recall how some of us danced into WJ for a bite before heading back to our cabins to get ready for dinner.

 

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May I ask, how much did it cost you to rent the car in St Thomas? We are stopping in St Thomas in March and were thinking about renting as opposed to taking a taxi so that we have the freedom to drive to Sapphire beach, then going to another beach if it is too crowded.

Also, are the roads easy to travel on, easy to find your way around???

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That beach looks nice. We are making notes for the next S. Caribbean cruise, I guess on the Silhouette since the Allure is too big to go to Antigua.

 

Stacey, you and Jane have been great with the beaches in the trip reports.

 

 

Dave, if you can get to Jolly Harbor, it was truly an excellent beach on all counts. Easy to navigate, great sand and water, easy access; yes there are shells but they dont get in the way of getting into the water. the food and drinks were good. Chair and umbrella rentals were about the same price as anywhere else. ($8 per chair..$10 umbrella. A little more than other islands)

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May I ask, how much did it cost you to rent the car in St Thomas? We are stopping in St Thomas in March and were thinking about renting as opposed to taking a taxi so that we have the freedom to drive to Sapphire beach, then going to another beach if it is too crowded.

Also, are the roads easy to travel on, easy to find your way around???

 

$103.00 with tax and whatever else. That was the total for the Jeep. A smaller car is about $30 cheaper. It was very conveneient. As long as you're confident the driver can focus on driving on the opposite side of the road then american driving!

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$103.00 with tax and whatever else. That was the total for the Jeep. A smaller car is about $30 cheaper. It was very conveneient. As long as you're confident the driver can focus on driving on the opposite side of the road then american driving!

 

THAT is the issue. I would only rent a car to drive on the "wrong" side if there wasn't a lot of traffic and I could concentrate on keeping in lane, at least until my senses got acclimated to driving left.

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Towel pals are typically on port days. Tonight we had a Swinging Monkey. One night we had an alligator eating the remote! Haha

 

The evening entertainment included Name that Romantic Movie Tune at Schooner 8pm & Gambling with the Cruise Director at 10pm. Romantic dance music from 10p-11p at the Chamber and a Fast Cash $500 Bingo night.

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Day 11 – St Maarten (Phillipsburg) Rain, Rain GO AWAY.....

 

We had a great day planned & we woke up to RAIN. Oh my!

 

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We were hopping an early taxi to breakfast in Marigot across from the beach- FAIL, it was raining. We were going to stroll the markets after breakfast (the markets are talked about a lot), then we were going to take a cab over to Orient for the rest of the day. I don’t think sooo.

 

We watched folks disembark from our balcony only to reboard or to wait for a tour guide in the rain or to hear the news that their excursion was cancelled. Didn’t look like our cup of tea.

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We decided to have breakfast on board and to then take a bus over to Marigot to check out these talked about Markets that are only opened on Wed and Sundays.

 

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This is the Monument marker between the Dutch & French sides of St Maarten.

 

 

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