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drrich

Just back from Golden, 5/30/04 Southern Caribbean

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I'll make this short and sweet. The cruise was awesome. --Some background... Late thirties, two kids, about 5 past cruises,(RCCL, HAL, Celeb, NCL out of NY, Miami and PR.)

 

Firstly, personal choice dining was the greatest thing to hit cruising, I don't know how anyone would want anything else. We sat with different people each night, met many more people than on most of our cruises, and ate at our leisure at different times each night as our moods led us. We had to wait just ten minutes once, and we had a drink at the bar.

 

Sabatini's Restaurant--- A must do. Worth the 20.00. Great food, romantic, just excellent.

 

Soda Cards-- My wife and kids got them, worth the money. No problem with refills, did not feel like we were bothering the waitstaff.

 

Ship rock and roll-- almost none. We were in mini suite (very, very mini by the way) D 205, near the front of the ship, and felt almost nothing. Obviously in rough seas this would not be the case, but I read prior to leaving that there was a lot of movement on the ship---not so.

 

Don't pay extra for a "good location" midship, they are all close to everything.

 

Wait to St. Thomas to do most of your big shopping. The best and least expensive place, also they don't tell you this but to qualify for 1200.00 per person customs exemption, 600.00 of it must be in St. Thomas. They did ask us at customs where we bought our watch and jewelry, so just be aware. If not I think you get 600.00 or 800.00 per person.

 

Bring a guidebook of the islands. The "princess patter" is nothing more than a glorified ad leaflet. They tell you nothing objectively about which is the best beach at each island etc, so you are at the taxi drivers' mercy (read kickback from the beach bars).

 

Fresh water pools-- The greatest. Could have stayed in all day.

 

Excursions-- Stay away from St Lucia catamaran to waterfall, sulfur springs all day excursion. Lots of walking, very hot and catamaran is nothing more than pontoon boat with motor.

 

Antigua-- 4x4 land rover excursion--awesome. Real off roading, great guide, just the right amount of time

 

St. Martin-- 4x4 Jeep- OK, not great. Do not go to Orient beach in St. Martin. It's on the Atlantic side of the island and very rough.

 

Well, so much for short, But I hope sweet. I'll add more as I can, let me know if any Q's I can help with.

 

Rich

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Rich, thank you for the review. How was the CD? Was he fun? Also, do they do a scavenger hunt type game like RC does? (Hopefully you know what I mean?)

 

Aweigh we go

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by drrich:

St. Martin-- 4x4 Jeep- OK, not great. Do not go to Orient beach in St. Martin. It's on the Atlantic side of the island and very rough.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

 

Wow. That comment shocked me. I've been to Orient Beach twice (1999 and 2003) and it was not even close to rough either time. In fact, one of the reasons I chose to go back in 2003 is that it was such a mild and safe place to swim.

 

I am very short and not a good swimmer, so I will rarely even go into the water when it is rough (nearly drowned on a rough beach at Paradise Island in 1996 so I don't tempt fate anymore).

 

For Orient Beach to be called rough, I would imagine it had to have been bad weather or really windy.

 

Golden Princess 5/2004 (Southern)

Golden Princess 3/2003(Eastern)

Grand Princess 5/2002 (Western)

Grand Princess 5/1999 (Eastern)

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We went to Dawn Beach that day and it was also really rough. We had planned on snorkeling, and although others were doing it, we didn't attempt it. The waves were about what you'd find in Myrtle Beach.

 

I'll hopefully have time to write a full review later this week!

Pam

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Great reports lately! icon_smile.gif I am able to use a lot of this while planning my own SoCar cruise in July.

 

BTW - As always, if you would not mind being a contributor, I would love a copy of the Patters and/or menus from your cruise.

 

THANKS,

JON

 

www.geocities.com/pattersandmenus

 

Golden Princess Southern Caribbean-7/11/04

Click to go to the ROLL CALL!

 

Big Red Boat-1993

Celebrity Zenith-1993

 

 

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It was a very windy day at Orient beach and I'm sorry we missed out if it is usually calm. I guess I'd give someone advice to stay away on windy days. The waves were worse than in New York, and I'm used to large waves. They were breaking far from shore and it looked to have a strong undertow.

We stayed on the beach.

 

Rich

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As far as the cruise director goes, I have no idea what his name was, as I didn't see or deal with him all cruise. We didn't participate in any contests, or treasure hunt type activities, I guess if we had booked a cruise with more at-sea days we would have. To us, with a port a day, there was little time for us to do anything but eat, sleep and see the islands, but that's just how we do it.

 

Sorry I cannot help with that one.

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His name is Gavin Chandler and I think he began his new role around 5/16. Seemed okay.

 

Radiance of the Seas

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Thank you so much! I'm leaving on 6/27, and this review was so helpful. Especially with St. Lucia, as I'm still deciding what would be best.

 

Breindel

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drrich, we'll be on the 6/27 Golden & planning on renting a car Barbados, St. Maarten, & St. Thomas and doing our own tour of the islands. Any suggestions on type of car. I thought one of those open jeeps would be ok. Did you get a car on St. Maarten and do the French & Dutch sides. I am still debating on pre-booking a car rather than just walking in and renting. Any suggestions would be appreciated. On St. Lucia & Antigua we'll just get a cab to the beach and spend the day. thanks

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