Jump to content
mitsugirly

Very extensive 9/11 Spirit Review

Recommended Posts

I'm going to start by saying my reviews are probably as detailed as they get. (hehe) and I try to be thorough as possible.

 

I'm going to break my reviews into sections and post accordingly so that if others ever have questions in another thread that I might have the answer in my review, I will be able to direct them to that section of the review.

 

We just returned Sunday from our 9/11 Spirit cruise, so I'm still downloading pictures, putting them in files according to where they were taking and trying to get my thoughts together.

 

I will start by saying I love NCL, but I'm not a cheerleader for them, I only post MY experience each time I've cruised with them (my first was back in the 80's). I have only cruised with NCL and Royal Caribbean before. Each time the staff on NCL has gone above and beyond what I could ever imagine. Therefore, I will continue to praise them for our experiences with them, but will call it like I see it on every cruise, good or bad. :)

 

With this being said...I'm starting my first review with our pre-cruise stay at the Drury Inn in New Orleans.

 

(Please allow me time over the next week to try to get my full review completed. It's a lot of work. :D)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our stay prior to our cruise started by flying down to NOLA and arriving around noon. We had picked the Drury Inn due to other cc members recommending the place, plus they offered free hot food, drinks, soda, popcorn and hot breakfast. We figured you couldn’t beat that deal! We managed to get the “cruise” deal they offered and the room was only $93.49 plus tax.

 

https://druryhotels.com/PropertyMapsAndDirections.aspx?Property=0004

 

Upon arriving at this place, I thought wow, this is really nice. Everything is done up in marble and chandeliers everywhere. Very nice! We made it to our room, wow again. Very nice. Once again, marble bathroom from floor to ceiling, elegantly decorated in the room (I thought at least for the price) and a really nice high dresser that had doors that opened up with drawers behind them, a microwave and a small refrigerator. The night stands were nice wood and also the tops were marble. Great place for the price.

 

IMG4782-M.jpg

 

IMG4775-M.jpg

 

We went up to the roof to see the swimming pool and hot tub on the roof…um, not so great that day. Although the water was clear, the bottom was dirty (and not dirty like stuff in it, more like green film dirty and needed vacuumed). Needless to say, we did not swim or get in the hot tub after seeing this. Prior to checking out, I went up there to take some pictures and there were several people up there sun bathing, but I don’t know if they actually got into the water. (We also managed to catch the whale tail of a Carnival ship in port from up there as well).

 

IMG4779-M.jpg

 

IMG4780-M.jpg

 

 

After checking in and getting situated in our room, we took off on foot to explore the city. Beautiful place with a lot going on. I guess they were having a sea food fest while we were there. There was a lot of live entertainment going on. We walked down to the Riverfront, encountered a real train (which scared the heebie jeebies outta my 3 year old) and multiple trolleys. We stopped to take pictures at Jackson Square (the castle, horse carriage rides, fountains) and strolled along the streets looking at all of the arts being sold by the vendors. There were tons of people posing (really still) for long periods of time, dressed up weird ways, and looking like a statue. Every once in a while one would move and scare someone passing by. Hilarious! Of course, they wanted tips.

 

 

IMG4793-M.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

IMG4788-M.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

IMG4809-M.jpg

 

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

 

We caught the street car

 

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States_of_America/Louisiana/New_Orleans-793014/Transportation-New_Orleans-Riverfront_Line_Streetcar-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/gg2/mitsubishigirl19/trolley.jpg

 

IMG4811-M.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.

 

IMG4816-M.jpg

 

IMG4819-M.jpg

 

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/cruises_building_webcam.htm

 

A few pictures around NOLA are located here: (some already included in this thread)

The train

 

Link to Drury Inn pictures:

The train

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to reading your review -- I love how you're adding pictures! We also stayed at the Drury Inn and were very pleased with our two room suite. The front desk staff were the best!

 

When we arrived back in NOLA after our cruise we went to St. Louis Cathedral (the "castle" in your photo) and attended Mass -- mostly because it was HOT and the church was air conditioned LOL! It is a beautiful church and the Mass was very nice.

 

Surprised about the pool and hot tub -- it was spotless when we were there, and I enjoyed both!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Looking forward to reading your review -- I love how you're adding pictures! We also stayed at the Drury Inn and were very pleased with our two room suite. The front desk staff were the best!

 

When we arrived back in NOLA after our cruise we went to St. Louis Cathedral (the "castle" in your photo) and attended Mass -- mostly because it was HOT and the church was air conditioned LOL! It is a beautiful church and the Mass was very nice.

 

Surprised about the pool and hot tub -- it was spotless when we were there, and I enjoyed both!

 

I am just speculating at this point, but prior to our arrival there was this big storm (I'm forgetting the name at the moment...was it Lee or Nate?) that hit NOLA. Maybe all the rain they received turned it dirty (which I'm sure, I use to be a pool owner and know the rain can bring havoc to pools) and they might have not had enough chemicals in it or it didn't have enough time to clear up all the way yet. I'm not sure. But will give them the benefit of doubt. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mitsugirl,

 

Loving your review so far. I love reading people's reviews of New Orleans. Since I've lived here all my life, I like hearing people's reactions of the city and their thoughts. I have to agree with you whole-heartedly about the rudeness of the workers at Cafe du Monde. Yes, they are some McCrabs over there! Always have been!

 

As far as the pool and the ants, I'm afraid you encountered some good old fashioned Louisiana goodness...LOL!!! I'm sure both the ants and the yucky pool were the result of Tropical Storm Lee. We had rain here for days and like you said that rain did wreak havoc on the pools. And don't even get me started on the ants...my poor feet have encountered more of those little stinging suckers than I care to admit! It's going to take time for my yard to recover from all the ant mounds that popped up after that storm.

 

I look forward to reading the rest of your review....GREAT JOB so far!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to the rest of your review. Love New Orleans!! I was down there the year after Katrina. Almost to the day. I didnt go to CD just because of that reason. Rude people. But every where else I went I couldnt get over how friendly everybody was. Thanking me for being there. It really took me by surprise. However I will never ever ever go back in Aug again!!!! Hot hot hot!!!! To hot!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mitsugirl,

 

Loving your review so far. I love reading people's reviews of New Orleans. Since I've lived here all my life, I like hearing people's reactions of the city and their thoughts. I have to agree with you whole-heartedly about the rudeness of the workers at Cafe du Monde. Yes, they are some McCrabs over there! Always have been!

 

As far as the pool and the ants, I'm afraid you encountered some good old fashioned Louisiana goodness...LOL!!! I'm sure both the ants and the yucky pool were the result of Tropical Storm Lee. We had rain here for days and like you said that rain did wreak havoc on the pools. And don't even get me started on the ants...my poor feet have encountered more of those little stinging suckers than I care to admit! It's going to take time for my yard to recover from all the ant mounds that popped up after that storm.

 

I look forward to reading the rest of your review....GREAT JOB so far!

 

I can tell you this much about the ants, it was only in our room. No one else had this problem, including our neighbors in the room next to us, who was backed up against our room. We were on a high floor and I did see them going in a hole in the corner off the wall (VERY TINY), which means they have to be traveling somewhere else as well. Maybe they are just not discovered yet. I'm not sure. All is well though and we are recovered from the bites.

 

 

I warned you to go to the Metairie Cafe du Monde! *laughing*

 

Loving your review! :D

 

haha, I know, I know. :D

 

Working on my Maya Chan, Costa Maya report now with pictures. :)

 

Thanks for all the comments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MAYA CHAN, COSTA MAYA

 

 

What a day. It was a little cloudy here and there and it didn’t start to sprinkle until we were on our way back to the ship and then stopped before we arrived at the port (typical Caribbean weather). I’m sorry to say that we missed Mark, because he had to fly home due to family illness (which we were aware of prior to the cruise), but still missed meeting him. Not to worry though, Zak and David was an EXCELLENT host.

 

 

We had a wonderful day. Our palapa was HUGE and situated back in a little secluded area equipped with 4 chairs, a hammock, and a bed. WOW. It was wonderful! The food was beyond excellent…couldn’t get enough even after getting full I wanted to keep going. The appetizers were served shortly after arrival with chips and salsa and guacamole salsa. It was so yummy!!! Chicken, fish and steak tacos were so good.

 

IMG5070-M.jpg

 

 

 

Zak took us out snorkeling shortly after finishing our appetizers. If you are an avid snorkeler, this is not going to impress you. I heard that they had rain prior to us being there, so the water was a little stirred up and they wouldn’t be taking us out to the reef in the canoes. But that was ok, we were prepared to have a great day no matter what. So Zak gathered everyone to do a tour out from the beach area and in a U shape. Even though there really wasn’t any coral and very few fish, we did come across a star fish (which was my goal to find on this cruise since I haven’t had any luck on any previous cruises-but thought I would find one at West Bay-which I didn’t due to visibility) and we all got to hold it while he gave us the description of the starfish (it’s eyes, mouth and so on). Then on the way back in we ran across a cute little sting ray, which we got to hold as well. It looked like some leopard type of sting ray. They did provide all the snorkeling equipment that you need and the snorkel tubes are brand new in the bag and yours to keep when you are done snorkeling.

 

Is that a fish I spotted?? :eek:

IMG5104-M.jpg

 

IMG5131-M.jpg

 

IMG5100-M.jpg

Others went canoeing right after returning from the snorkeling, but I smelled food and that was our priority at the moment LOL. We decided to forego the canoe trip, but later we took a “short” trip out and back, just to say we did it.

 

Others played sand golf (and it seem like they had a blast) but we hung out in the sand building castles, taking pictures, finding some crabs and having some drinks. We did manage to take our picture in front of the web cam they had there (and from what I’ve read, some cc members seen my little one playing in the sand) hehe.

 

There are private little shower stalls with wood around them and the water runs off onto the land. They try to collect all the rain water they can to conserve on water, which was really neat.

 

It was a wonderful day and I highly recommend Maya Chan for a relaxing beach day catered to you in style, good food, friendly people, and more than enough activities to keep you busy if you want. Otherwise, relaxing under the papala works just as good. (A lot of people got the massages and loved it).

 

The ONLY issues we had with our visit and has NOTHING to do with Maya Chan was the mosquitos were TERRIBLE!! We were bitten from head to toe. This started the minute that we got off the ship and was at the port waiting for our van. I had purchased some cactus pear juice something or other (recommended on here by cc members) that was supposed to be 1) a bug repellant and 2) sun screen protection…I’m here to tell you that it DOES NOT work for bugs. Sorry. Maya Chan does have tons of bug spray for you to use, but I here to tell you that if there is 1 mm of it missing on your skin, they will find it!

 

The other issue was all the sea grass. Of course this is natural to the area and the more rain, the more sea grass. This is not something that Maya Chan can do anything about. They did a wonderful job of keeping it cleaned up on the beach and the beach raked and even had someone out in the water gathering some in a canoe. But, step one foot in the water on the sand and everything was completely stirred up and just looked nasty. It didn’t stop the fun, but it’s not the picture perfect “Caribbean blue waters” that you would imagine.

 

For the price they charge and everything that is included…you can’t beat this place!

 

http://www.costamayabeachresort.com/

 

IMG5157-M.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yay! I have been waiting for this one! I have been lurking awhile but now that our countdown is under 2 months I am about living for Spirit TRs. I am still not sure which I am more excited about - NO or the cruise and thanks for providing the link to virtualtourist.com as I had forgotten about that site.

I love Drury Inns - the happy hour and breakfast are both great and talk about customer service - it was great that they comped your stay due to the ants.

I can't wait for the rest of your TR; in the planning stages for shore excursions ect so this will be so appreciated. Thanks for getting started on it so soon after your return.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yay! I have been waiting for this one! I have been lurking awhile but now that our countdown is under 2 months I am about living for Spirit TRs. I am still not sure which I am more excited about - NO or the cruise and thanks for providing the link to virtualtourist.com as I had forgotten about that site.

I love Drury Inns - the happy hour and breakfast are both great and talk about customer service - it was great that they comped your stay due to the ants.

I can't wait for the rest of your TR; in the planning stages for shore excursions ect so this will be so appreciated. Thanks for getting started on it so soon after your return.

 

No problem. I had to take a break tonight and catch up on my 200+ emails while I was gone.

 

I will start back up again tomorrow and try to get more reviews done. When you take hundreds of pictures at each port, as I do, it's really hard to pick and choose which to use and share. LOL :eek: :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I forgot to post the link to all of my pictures:

 

IMG_5028-600x450.jpg

 

Thanks for these excellent pictures. It takes a lot of effort to write a review and post pictures right after a cruise. It usually takes me up to a week to start writing a review. Catching up with stuff post cruise like catching up with work emails, bills etc takes too much time. Also, I tend to egt sad after leaving a cruise which I have read is normal.

 

What type of underwater camera did you use to take these excellent pictures?

 

Wow, those bugs really attacked your daughter. Have never been bit in Costa Maya, Cozumel or Belize. The only place where I got attacked was Roatan due to sand fleas. Luckily, i spent most of my time in the water and didn't get as many as some people who stayed on the beach. I dod have a small spray bottle with 100% deet which I recommend.

 

On your cruise did you have a Cruise Critic Meet & Greet? On my Oct 23rd cruise, we have already planned one and so far have over 30 people. Great way of making new friends at the beginning of the cruise.

Edited by thescot123

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mitsugirly: Thanks for the review. Can't wait to read it all.

 

What about boarding the ship and sail away? When you get a chance pls. tell how that experience was. Good I hope......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mitsugirly - The storm you are referring to is the storm that kept me out to sea for 2 additional days on the Spirit. It was Tropical Storm Lee! :D Just saw you were scratching your head for the name and that'd be his name! :)

 

Liking the review so far... looking forward to more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for these excellent pictures. It takes a lot of effort to write a review and post pictures right after a cruise. It usually takes me up to a week to start writing a review. Catching up with stuff post cruise like catching up with work emails, bills etc takes too much time. Also, I tend to egt sad after leaving a cruise which I have read is normal.

 

What type of underwater camera did you use to take these excellent pictures?

 

Wow, those bugs really attacked your daughter. Have never been bit in Costa Maya, Cozumel or Belize. The only place where I got attacked was Roatan due to sand fleas. Luckily, i spent most of my time in the water and didn't get as many as some people who stayed on the beach. I dod have a small spray bottle with 100% deet which I recommend.

 

On your cruise did you have a Cruise Critic Meet & Greet? On my Oct 23rd cruise, we have already planned one and so far have over 30 people. Great way of making new friends at the beginning of the cruise.

 

Yea, I'm writing reviews and processing pictures in between laundry. I don't go back to work until Saturday, but start my first day back to school this quarter tomorrow. So trying to get this done as soon as I can. There's no telling how much homework I'll have on the first day. LOL

 

I use a Canon D10 point and shoot. I decided to leave my expensive slr camera home this time. It's a lot easier with the p&s because it does everything...land, water, and video. :D

 

We did not make it to the meet and greet. With a 3 year old (and her first cruise), we kinda had to cater to her needs first. She wanted to go swimming in the kiddie pool area and slides. I knew that once she seen it she would be so excited and not want to leave. :eek: We were constantly running into everyone though and people seem to know who I was right off the bat due to my pictures. hehe

 

Mitsugirly: Thanks for the review. Can't wait to read it all.

 

What about boarding the ship and sail away? When you get a chance pls. tell how that experience was. Good I hope......

 

I will go into full detail on that, but it was EXTREMELY FAST....EXTREMELY...on both. I was really impressed with the way NCL handled the Epic last year. Well, this was even more smoother!

 

 

Mitsugirly - The storm you are referring to is the storm that kept me out to sea for 2 additional days on the Spirit. It was Tropical Storm Lee! :D Just saw you were scratching your head for the name and that'd be his name! :)

 

Liking the review so far... looking forward to more.

 

I knew it was one of those. hehe We were watching so many right before I left, so knew it was one of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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???

 

320789_10150361627501772_792226771_7790700_406309442_n.jpg

 

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Breaking our next stop (Roatan) up into 2 categories: The zip and then the dip! :D

 

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.

 

IMG5486-M.jpg

 

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!

 

IMG5226-M.jpg

 

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

 

IMG5250-M.jpg

 

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.

 

IMG5286-M.jpg

 

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.com/Other/Roatan-Honduras/19124374_4J3hKg#1489186746_vhff9F9

Edited by mitsugirly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

 

IMG5349-M.jpg

 

 

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.

 

IMG5389-M.jpg

 

 

 

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.

 

IMG5330-M.jpg

 

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.

 

IMG5333-M.jpg

 

IMG5327-M.jpg

 

 

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.

 

 

 

IMG5442-M.jpg

 

 

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.com/Other/West-Bay-Beach-Roatan-Hondurs/19125489_S4njMc#1489195463_25sVphp

Edited by mitsugirly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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. :mad:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

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. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopefully this link will work for you:

 

http://kimbakersphotography.smugmug.com/Other/Maya-Chan-Costa-Maya/i-QDFHPNN/0/M/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.

 

Edited by mitsugirly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

IMG4809-M.jpg

 

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

 

We caught the street car

 

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States_of_America/Louisiana/New_Orleans-793014/Transportation-New_Orleans-Riverfront_Line_Streetcar-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/gg2/mitsubishigirl19/trolley.jpg

 

IMG4811-M.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.

 

IMG4816-M.jpg

 

IMG4819-M.jpg

 

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/cruises_building_webcam.htm

 

A few pictures around NOLA are located here: (some already included in this thread)

The train

 

Link to Drury Inn pictures:

The train

 

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

Edited by newmexicoNita

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Edited by Kingcake

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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 :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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....

Edited by slycruiser61

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Victory Cruise Lines Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win a free 9-night cruise on Victory II
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2018
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×