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arby70

The NCL Sun

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will be tendering in at Playa del Carmen (not Calica) this fall when she sails out of NOLA. I was wondering where Senor Frog's is from where we will be tendering in. Will we tender in at the ferry dock? Anybody ever tender in at Playa before and can help me out? Thanks!:confused:

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wow. I am cruising on the Sun this November 6th out of NOLA as well!! Will await the response to your question as well! But thank you for letting me know that tendering is the mode at this port..Have never been to Playa Del and so lots of curious questions tug at my mind!

I, also, am hoping that these other questions can be answered at this time!! Looking to see more about the excursions at each of the ports; on-board or off booking. Would like to know if anyone out there has had gifts delivered to the NCL Sun and if so, which company out of New Orleans did they use? would like to know if there will be any scuba divers on this cruise?

see thread: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?threadid=143449

as I am traveling in the Zydeco dance group that at least encompasses the ship board activities.. but off ship I truly hope to be either diving, snorkling and possibly something totally new ... according to the excursions listed for these ports. Thank you for opening this thread ! Looking forward to new adventures!:)

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I am also taking the Sun out of NOLA

 

I'm still wondering about Calica. I worried that when NCL says "Playa Del Carmen" that they don't really mean "Calica".

Can anyone confirm this port.

 

I downloaded the pdf file from NCL for shore excursions, and they have nothing out of Playa Del Carmen.

 

My big question is about Xel Ha. It seems a great place to go, but for the 3 of us, I am worried about transportation to and from. It seems like the choices are as follows:

 

1.) Take the ship offered tour, and get like 1 hour at Xel-Ha after 3 hours on the bus and 1 hour looking at some boring stone buildings that are roped off (Tulum, I think).

 

2.) Rent a car ... Get lots of time at Xel Ha, but get pulled over by the police on the way back and robbed.

 

3.) Grab a Taxi... Pay about $65 to ride there (and back), get the nightmare car ride of our lives, and worry the whole time about getting back to the ship.

 

4.) Some kind of communal van that we have to flag down (hitchhike?) to get us there ... this idea even scares me, so when I mentioned it to my wife and daughter it was just for laughs.

 

5.) grab a taxi to take a bus to be dropped off like 1.5 miles from Xel Ha, then try to catch the bus back to try and catch a taxi to get back to port on time.

 

Anyway, I don't mean to be negative, but every time I try to find a way to Xel Ha, it seems like someone's saying that it's not the right way. Maybe we could have a poll on the "least incorrect way" to get there:D

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I called NCL a few months ago to ask when the Playa del Carmen shore excursions will be listed on the NCL site. The woman told me that they would probably be out mid-summer.

 

Can't wait!

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I am also taking the Sun out of NOLA

 

I'm still wondering about Calica. I worried that when NCL says "Playa Del Carmen" that they don't really mean "Calica".

Can anyone confirm this port.

 

I downloaded the pdf file from NCL for shore excursions, and they have nothing out of Playa Del Carmen.

 

My big question is about Xel Ha. It seems a great place to go, but for the 3 of us, I am worried about transportation to and from. It seems like the choices are as follows:

 

1.) Take the ship offered tour, and get like 1 hour at Xel-Ha after 3 hours on the bus and 1 hour looking at some boring stone buildings that are roped off (Tulum, I think).

 

2.) Rent a car ... Get lots of time at Xel Ha, but get pulled over by the police on the way back and robbed.

 

3.) Grab a Taxi... Pay about $65 to ride there (and back), get the nightmare car ride of our lives, and worry the whole time about getting back to the ship.

 

4.) Some kind of communal van that we have to flag down (hitchhike?) to get us there ... this idea even scares me, so when I mentioned it to my wife and daughter it was just for laughs.

 

5.) grab a taxi to take a bus to be dropped off like 1.5 miles from Xel Ha, then try to catch the bus back to try and catch a taxi to get back to port on time.

 

Anyway, I don't mean to be negative, but every time I try to find a way to Xel Ha, it seems like someone's saying that it's not the right way. Maybe we could have a poll on the "least incorrect way" to get there:D

 

 

 

Dear David.. that was so very funny ... in a realistic sense of the situation, I mean.. Well, I am researching other threads on the Sun to see what excursions were chosen and why.. so far, none were taken to the ruins.. must be a reason so I am looking into it further, I must have missed something.

thankyou for the laughs tho!

you are out of nOLA.. we chose the Grenoble house.. and you?

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check this out for NOLA places to stay

http://www.nomcvb.com/travelagent/cruisepackages05.html

(this is from another post ... Thank you "Bottledred"

 

I'm staying at the Maison St. Charles because of the Limo ride to the Cruise ship. It's like $119.00 plus 14.00 parking the first day, and $5.00 every day you're on the cruise. The extra cost is worth the Limo and the beautiful hotel. My daughter has never been on a Limo (she's 12).

 

By the way, in case anyone out there wants to surprise their "special someone" with a cruise on the Sun, here's what I did ( I thought it was cool):cool:

 

I went to Wal-mart and had them print a really nice picture of the Sun I got off the internet. (the cruise ship)

 

Went home, and printed a Clip-art of the sun (in the sky)

 

Made a card that had 3 pages. The first page said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"For our vacation this year, I wanted to take you for a trip on the sun"

 

 

 

 

The second page said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No, not that sun.

and had the clipart of the sun (with little crayon people on it)

 

 

 

The third page:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one:

and had the nice picture of the Sun(cruise ship)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, this went over very well.:p

 

 

(BTW .. I would have posted the picture of the "sun" and the "Sun", and this would have been a much cooler post, but the people who run this web site can't seem to fix the picture posting problem (please let us know something!!))

I have a really fun Avatar I can't use, either.

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I think that was very KewL!! as for the lodgings. we stayed at the Grenoble Hse last year for 2 days after our cruise. It was a wonderful stay. so I booked it again but this time for the 3 days prior and 2 days after. It is a suite with living rm, full kitchen large bedroom walk in closet and bath. for $129 and continental breakfast. We thought the suite would be better $$ so we could enjoy our own meals instead of eating out for 2 meals a day for 3 days like we did last year. Parking was extra at $10 a day. WE use a rental and while we are on cruise dont need parking during that time period. I was hoping Grenoble would have given us some discount for return guests but he said its packed due to several conventions happening in town same time period. As for getting to terminal .. our rental company sends us in van. I liked the link you sent. I would love all the Extra goodies too. I think I am greedy... :p

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Alabama_cruisin thanks for the laugh. But, you hit the nail on the head. We want to go to Zel-ha but there are transportation issues. We are leaving in 2 weeks on the Holiday. We will probably chicken out and go to Xcaret.

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Shecat

 

I think you should definately rent a car out of Playa Del Carmen to go see Xel Ha. All of the posts say that the snorkeling is way better there than it is at Xcaret.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After all ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4146448.jpg aren't Guinea Pigs much cuter than chickens?

 

chicken2.gif

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wow.. your laughter reaches great heights!! I have been researching the ruins excursions and it seems mixed. some say the trek by bus was long and bumpy and the time spent at the ruins not long enough. Some say it was fine. any other takes on that.. ?

So far I am also gathering that the tubing in Belize is physically not as fun with "bottoms" hiting rocks and major paddling on quiet waters. So Whats to do in Belize.. ? I think I will be looking into diving/snorkling in Roatan.. That leaves Cozumel and Playa as well as Belize open.

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Alabama_Cruisin, I get it, you want to see if we get stopped by the crooked police and robbed. We just might be yall's Guinea Pig.

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Yep, that's was I meant.

yellcarb.gif

 

 

I hope whatever you choose you have a great time. Actually, I'm kind of leaning toward hiring this taxi driver everyone's raving about, and maybe he could just take us to Xel Ha, and that lagoon nearby (Akumal?). It might be worth the extra money, and would still be less than the cruise ship excursions. Good luck & God bless.

scuba_dive_lg_nwm.gif

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Hello Arby 70 and Samdham.. hopefully soon they will be announcing the excursions to Playa.. i just received updated info from State dept re: Cancun and it mentions troubles and police. see link: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_2243.html

hmm

well, the world keeps changing. hopefully by the time we get there.. it will be quieter.:cool:

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The taxi driver and police thing bothers me a bit. I already booked an Atlantis sub tour on my own, and planned to take a taxi there. Hopefully things straighten out by then. In Playa I plan to go to Xcaret and I believe a taxi is the mode of transportation we'll be taking (we're too chicken to take the collectivos; not as adventurous as we once were). We're planning the Lumanai/New River excursion through NCL in Belize. I had NCL send me an excursion book for the Western Caribbean for 2004-2005. I know some of the excursions may change, but it gave me a general idea of what to expect. I will not book my NCL excursion until the new one comes out (she said about 3 to 4 months before my trip). Roatan is the only one I have not commited myself to for an excursion, and there are several that interest me for sightseeing. I'd kind of like to go through the mangrove tunnels, but I can't find one that will do this tour without a pre-registered group. But, we still haven't heard from anybody as to where we might be tendering in at PDC. Anybody know?

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Well Arby, have not heard any info on this port yet.. i believe with the police action the cruise line is laying low..

i didnt realize there was a brousure on excursions. so i will ck into that.So far i have only decided to dive while at Roatan.. all else. not sure.:confused:

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I'm not worried about what is going on in Cancun - unless - the Sun goes to Cancun insteand of PDC.

 

Rumors-R-Us - Earlier this year, there was talk that Cancun and not PDC would be the port where the Sun would stop, but I haven't checked into that recently.

 

I didn't see any ships listed for Calica the day we will be there, so I assume docking is still a possiblity.

 

When ships do tender at PDC, the ferry terminal is the normal tender location.

 

It will be interesting to see the early reviews of the cruise once the Sun repositions to New Orleans.

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Just returnes from PDC today and our original plan was also to take a cab to Xel-Ha. Then when we got off the boat and were faced with forking over $65 (from Calica) for cab fare versus $45 for car rental, we decided to go ahead and rent the car so we could have more freedom to do what we wanted.

 

THANK GOODNESS:)

 

We drove straight to Tulum ruins and it was about 99 degrees so we did the very quick look at 'em, take pics, and find the shade thing while there.

 

While there we learned about a WONDERFUL snorkeling lagoon named Yal-Ku (sp?) Very secluded, absolutely beautiful sheltered lagoon near Akumal. You drive down the Akumal beach road past the dive shop at Akumal and continue on for what seems forever. Watch out or you'll miss it on your left. They had food, snorkel gear, bathrooms, lots of private shaded areas, just really the kind of place you dream of. After snorkeling we packed up and went down to Akumal beach for awhile. Another postcard perfect beach on a small inlet; beautiful white sand beach!

 

We had to return our rental car by 7:00 so we did that and then took a cab into PDC for dinner and shopping. All in all, a fabulous day in port:D

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Hello ClownPhish.. so glad your time was so fun and spontaneous. Have questions if I may? . ** see all remarks in Blue..

$45 for car rental, we decided to go ahead and rent the car so we could have more freedom to do what we wanted.< any concerns regarding travel on the roads, safety or ~ police ? >

What was name of dive shop? We drove straight to Tulum ruins and it was about 99 degrees so we did the very quick look at 'em, < did you like, would you recommend or go straight to snorkle? > take pics, and find the shade thing while there.

 

While there we learned about a WONDERFUL snorkeling lagoon named Yal-Ku (sp?) Very secluded, absolutely beautiful sheltered lagoon near Akumal. You drive down the Akumal beach road past the dive shop at Akumal and continue on for what seems forever. Watch out or you'll miss it on your left. They had < who had ? >food, snorkel gear, bathrooms, lots of private shaded areas, just really the kind of place you dream of. After snorkeling we packed up and went down to Akumal beach < was there a cost for this beach? >for awhile. Another postcard perfect beach on a small inlet; beautiful white sand beach!

 

We had to return our rental car by 7:00 so we did that and then took a cab into PDC for dinner < where did you eat? Was it expensive? Was it worth it? What did you choose to eat? > and shopping < how were the stores? could you haggle? Were the prices good? > . All in all, a fabulous day in port:)

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I'm not worried about what is going on in Cancun - unless - the Sun goes to Cancun insteand of PDC.

 

Rumors-R-Us - Earlier this year, there was talk that Cancun and not PDC would be the port where the Sun would stop, but I haven't checked into that recently.

 

I didn't see any ships listed for Calica the day we will be there, so I assume docking is still a possiblity.

 

When ships do tender at PDC, the ferry terminal is the normal tender location.

 

It will be interesting to see the early reviews of the cruise once the Sun repositions to New Orleans.

 

I agreed wholeheartedly with you; I am not going to sit and "stew" about something that hasn't even affected our port of PDC. There always is a bit of a risk when you leave your house on any given day, so this will be no different. Thanks for the info on where they tender at PDC; I figured the ferry terminal was the logical place, but could not find anything on line to back up my suspicion. Docking at Calica would be great if it would happen. Tendering is just another factor one must throw in to the mix when making plans for the port.

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I agreed wholeheartedly with you; I am not going to sit and "stew" about something that hasn't even affected our port of PDC. There always is a bit of a risk when you leave your house on any given day, so this will be no different. Thanks for the info on where they tender at PDC; I figured the ferry terminal was the logical place, but could not find anything on line to back up my suspicion. Docking at Calica would be great if it would happen. Tendering is just another factor one must throw in to the mix when making plans for the port.

Hello Arby,

not stewing just informing. My last official NCL brochure sent to me from NCL on March 28th, 2005... listed Cancun as the port stop not PDC.. that and only that is the reason I included the info from the US State Dept. Just a FYI. And if we do stop there or elsewhere for that matter, I hope to come to that port prepared, not scared and deal with the power of information! And information is what you got from both myself and from ZydecoCruiser! as they say... before you go.. know!

Looking forward to our cruise, the 4 ports we will travel to and all the fun in-between as much as is humanly possible!! :D

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Thanks for for posting your info. It is hard to come by on this board. I have a few questions for you too. Did you rent your car at the Calica dock? Did that price include insurance and what type of vehicle? Thinking about the Collectivo thing. How far is it to walk out to the main road? How much for cab fare into Playa?

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Hi, ZydeDiver,

When I mentioned stewing, I did not have you in mind at all. I like having any info I can get so I can make the most of my trip. I am glad that you posted the

travel advisory; I have been on that site myself. Glad you let us in on the latest. The only "stewer" on this thread is me. I was just stating that I was not going to succumb to my stewing nature and just go with the flow. After all, we'll be cruising, right? :D

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Arby ... that was very kind of you to say. Thank you!! I just read on a separate thread, mine of course : ) , that the FatCAt Catamaran is out of service during our cruise, for repairs. I didnt see any further info re: other options. Since it is some time away, I will surely keep it in good thoughts for more to be available soon!!

I even emailed my TA saying, Hey what gives, this brochure says Cancun. and they have not responded. I left messages at NCL .. saying Hey What gives.. well .. so far,just me.. ;) .

Hey Arby, the question of She Cat seemed pretty interesting, any take on that?"Did you rent your car at the Calica dock? Did that price include insurance and what type of vehicle? Thinking about the Collectivo thing. How far is it to walk out to the main road? How much for cab fare into Playa?"

I had a question.. did you like the port?

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We rented our car at Executive right at the dock. It was too far down a very dusty road to walk to the highway. Car rental included insurance and was a late 90's Nissan ?Stanza? 4-spd w/ac!

 

Cab fare into PDC was about $8.

 

You just need to watch yourself while driving. IF going from port to Tulum, to lagoon, to beach NOT INTO PDC, you are staying on a main highway. Just obey speed limit and stop signs. We were never worried.

 

The beach (Akumal) and lagoon (Yal-ku) where we went were located down a street off the main highway. We turned off at a large entrance sign that said "Hotel Club Akumal Caribe". Beach area is located 1/4 mile down. We paid nothging to get in here. Parked in front of Dive Shop (Dont remember name). You keep driving past the dive shop for a LONG way to get to the lagoon Yal-ku. It will be on your left. Look closely or you might miss it. There is not a large sign. You can rent snorkel gear here at the entrance. There is also a small snack bar here.

 

As far as the ruins go, it was burning up hot and I would not recommend it if the sun is out. Perhaps on a cloudy day it would be more enjoyable, but as summer fast approaches, temps will rise as well, so I would skip it and go straight to the water!

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Sorry, had to cut the last post short, the boss was lurking......

 

Anyway, our day at Calica port was awesome! Remember one thing, patience is a virtue; everything takes longer than you expect!

 

My recommendation is to rent a car, drive south to snorkel at Yalku, then backtrack to Akumal beach. I wish I could post pictures. I would not driv emy rental car into town. Parking and traffic YIKES!! As far as driving goes, jhust stay to the right on the highway and let everyone pass you. You will get the hang of it pretty quickly. And the road to the lagoon is pretty windy and has lots of speed bumps. Slow and easy does it!

 

I don't remember the name of the places we shopped and ate at. We told the cab driver "Take us to shopping and food" He said "Senor Frogs" I said "NO!" so he dropped us off in this little plaza with lots of nice shops and lots of food and Mexican knick-knack shopping close-by. We haggled for everything we bought (shirts, sarongs, magnets, beaded necklaces, etc)

 

Hope this helps, anybody else have questions? At home I have this Travelguide paper that I picked up somewhere while there. It has lots of info. I'll check and see if they have a website. If they do, I'll post it. Have a good time!

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