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MITSUGIRLY has a JEWEL of a time on my 1st RC cruise in years!

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My first ever cruise is in five days, on a ship you've done before (Carnival Conquest). Starting to read this review now and I'm sure I'll enjoy it and will get me excited for my vacation. Even though it's a completely different line.... you always have such great reviews.

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Well, there's late to the review, and then, there's LATE to the review.

 

Today, the fam was all out. Extra shift for daughter, husband and son off to a friend's. I swear it's the first time I've had three hours alone since... Easter? And I was flipping through Cruise Critic and all of a sudden, I said, 'Hold the phone, Kim must have been on her spring cruise by now...."

 

And I poured another coffee, and started the review. And I just finished it. You made my Saturday, even if it is six weeks later. Lots of islands I'd really like to see, and courage to branch out from NCL. I really enjoyed it.

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Kim, we just got back from our Harmony cruise. We had booked a Discover Scuba Diving excursion with H2O Cozumel. Unfortunately, the weather was really horrible that morning so they had to cancel. We were so bummed!

 

We don’t have another cruise booked. (Unusual for us.) (I told my hubby I want to go back to Hawaii.) So, don’t know when we will get to try it.

 

Thanks for answering my questions!

 

 

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Thanks for asking about Grand Cayman. We had a great time. Dive conditions were not quite as good as I've experienced there previously, but still really good. We did a lot better driving on the wrong side of the road this time than we did the last time we were there!

 

We flew Cayman Airways out of Tampa on both of our GC trips. I think Southwest does fly there, too, but Cayman Airways worked out better for us. Relatively short drive to Tampa for us, good flight times and prices, and a short flight with no stops. Oh, two free checked bags per person plus carry on! That really helps when bringing dive gear!

 

I'm sure Kendra will bring up your senior moment at some point, but you've got a lot more on her than she has on you, and you did make your flight home! Besides, she is way too young to be having senior moments! Actually, you're still a bit too young for those yourself!

 

Thanks for the info on Cayman Airways. I didn't know about them. I will have to check them out and see if it's a better deal to fly to Tampa and then on with Cayman if we ever decide to go there.

 

 

My first ever cruise is in five days, on a ship you've done before (Carnival Conquest). Starting to read this review now and I'm sure I'll enjoy it and will get me excited for my vacation. Even though it's a completely different line.... you always have such great reviews.

 

I hope you had a wonderful cruise!!

 

Well, there's late to the review, and then, there's LATE to the review.

 

Today, the fam was all out. Extra shift for daughter, husband and son off to a friend's. I swear it's the first time I've had three hours alone since... Easter? And I was flipping through Cruise Critic and all of a sudden, I said, 'Hold the phone, Kim must have been on her spring cruise by now...."

 

And I poured another coffee, and started the review. And I just finished it. You made my Saturday, even if it is six weeks later. Lots of islands I'd really like to see, and courage to branch out from NCL. I really enjoyed it.

 

Haha...late is still good enough. Thanks for the comments and glad you enjoyed the review. It's always good to branch out. I like branching clear.png?emoji-grin-1677

 

Love your reviews! Always excited to dig in!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Thanks so much. I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

 

Kim, we just got back from our Harmony cruise. We had booked a Discover Scuba Diving excursion with H2O Cozumel. Unfortunately, the weather was really horrible that morning so they had to cancel. We were so bummed!

 

We don’t have another cruise booked. (Unusual for us.) (I told my hubby I want to go back to Hawaii.) So, don’t know when we will get to try it.

 

Thanks for answering my questions!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Aww, it always sucks when the weather doesn't cooperate. We've had that experience before too (when we did a land vacation last year to Aruba...while the weather was good, the diving conditions wasn't and I'm still shocked that they took us out. It was not worth it!).

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I always enjoy your reviews. The pictures were awesome as usual. The pictures you took on St. Maarten made me very sad. It will years before those islands are as beautiful as they use to be. Feel so sorry for the people who live there. Thanks again for sharing a wonderful review.

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Hello Kim, I am a new follower. We have never meet or sailed together. We are Princess cruisers and of the older nature. Your reviews are beyond amazing. When I read them I feel like I am with you on the excursion. Your photos and the detailed information is very helpful. I enjoy you and your husbands come what may attitude when cruising. Saraki is such a beautiful and talented young lady. I just finished your review on Maya Kay when she was 4 years old. Wow has she grown. We are going on a Western Caribbean cruise in August. Based on your review we are going to Blue Kay. I am hoping you can help me make a decision about Roatan. I am considering Little French Key, Maya Kay or Bananarama. I'll give you a little info about us. I am the beach person in the sun and love snorkeling. My wonder husband is not at all a beach person, but will do whatever I would like (how blessed am I?). I usually find him a table in the bar or shady area where he can enjoy a cold one and read. I want to snorkel from the shore and take a guided tour on the reef. I have never snorkeled the wall and want to. Since my husbands stays with our belongings, passport, cash, credit cards and phones, I was concerned after I read your review about the incident with Billy at Bananarama, since my husband will be with the valuables. If you would prefer to discuss the Bananarama incident off of cruise critic, you could email me at deborahlynnmanning at gmail dot com. With what I have indicated, would you give me your very valuable opinion.Thanking you in advance. Deborah

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I always enjoy your reviews. The pictures were awesome as usual. The pictures you took on St. Maarten made me very sad. It will years before those islands are as beautiful as they use to be. Feel so sorry for the people who live there. Thanks again for sharing a wonderful review.

 

Thanks and glad you enjoy them. Yes St Maarten was very sad to see. So much destruction, but they are rebuilding and it is still a beautiful place to go.

 

 

Hello Kim, I am a new follower. We have never meet or sailed together. We are Princess cruisers and of the older nature. Your reviews are beyond amazing. When I read them I feel like I am with you on the excursion. Your photos and the detailed information is very helpful. I enjoy you and your husbands come what may attitude when cruising. Saraki is such a beautiful and talented young lady. I just finished your review on Maya Kay when she was 4 years old. Wow has she grown. We are going on a Western Caribbean cruise in August. Based on your review we are going to Blue Kay. I am hoping you can help me make a decision about Roatan. I am considering Little French Key, Maya Kay or Bananarama. I'll give you a little info about us. I am the beach person in the sun and love snorkeling. My wonder husband is not at all a beach person, but will do whatever I would like (how blessed am I?). I usually find him a table in the bar or shady area where he can enjoy a cold one and read. I want to snorkel from the shore and take a guided tour on the reef. I have never snorkeled the wall and want to. Since my husbands stays with our belongings, passport, cash, credit cards and phones, I was concerned after I read your review about the incident with Billy at Bananarama, since my husband will be with the valuables. If you would prefer to discuss the Bananarama incident off of cruise critic, you could email me at deborahlynnmanning at gmail dot com. With what I have indicated, would you give me your very valuable opinion.Thanking you in advance. Deborah

 

Hi there and welcome to one of my reviews (of many :')). Thank you so much for the comments.

 

 

I think you will be happy with your choice of going to Blue Kay. I personally have had a great experience snorkeling in that area and it's right off the beach and in fairly shallow water. We have been there twice and had a great time.

 

 

In Roatan, West Bay is supposed to have some of the most amazing snorkeling right from the beach...along with the famous wall. We have been here twice and haven't had much luck either time (due to a little one and the water being too rough and the other time storms and the water rough). So, it's really hard for me to comment on if it is the best place to go.

 

 

We did have a great time at Maya Key and the snorkeling is awesome there right from the dock. They do have an animal sanctuary there and replica Mayan Ruins and also a pool that is refreshing after being in the ocean. I do have some personal feelings about going there due to the way they have been involved in treating their competition (Little French Key), which makes it very hard for me to recommend them.

 

 

Little French Key is heaven on earth. An absolute beautiful place to go and relax or swim in various areas they have on the island. They also have the animal sanctuary and the owner is just a sweetheart and very caring. However, you can snorkel around the area, but it won't be awesome snorkeling that you may be looking for. In order to get to the good snorkeling area, you have to take a boat out there. LFK charges $10 for the boat tour out to the reef. Even though I have been to LFK multiple times, I always manage to miss the boat tour. :o Go figure! But I have seen videos and pictures of it and it is AMAZING! We have canoed out that way and from what we have seen, it is absolutely gorgeous! But, price may play a factor on your decision.

 

 

It's just so hard to recommend a place because they are all supposed to have awesome snorkeling and plenty of places in the shade to just hang out at. I guess I would just look at my pictures I have and see what surroundings you think your hubby would like. Yes, West Bay Beach really worries me after Billys experience, although we wouldn't mind heading back because I have yet to get that experience of the reef right from the shore again. The weather (ocean) just doesn't seem to cooperate with me both times we have been there. :(

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Kim, Thank you so much for your valuable information. I really appreciate it. A few more questions. I really want to snorkel from shore and see the reef, but definately do not want to go to Bananarama. Do you recall the names of any restaurants/bars next to Bananarama? The cruise ship has an excursion to Tabyana Beach, my research shows about .1 mile away, do you recall? Also, we are in port from 12N-7PM is that enough time to really enjoy Little French Key and not feel rushed (I will want to snorkel by boat)?

 

So looking forward to your next review. Will you post info about your upcoming cruise on this site. I don't want to miss it. Also, you have inspired me to get an underwater camera before this cruise. Thinking about the TG-5 since your photos are amazing (I am sure it the photographer, but I will do my best). Thank you again, Deborah

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There's a beautiful view from up here.

 

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The actual name of the park is Parque De las Palomas. It's located next to Capilla del Cristo at the end of Cristo Street. This is a decent sized park with several shade trees, which make it nice. The trees are very interesting too and they twist and turn. There's several park benches and some walls to sit on...but beware, you won't be able to sit on the ones around the pigeons and I'm sure you can guess why. There is an area, within the park, that says "no feeding the pigeons beyond this point" and there's benches over there too.

 

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These beautiful pictures are making me feel so nostalgic...I'm from PR and moved to the states when I was 8, (just turned 40 this year) I remember so many school and family trips to this place...it's been 10 years (other than a quick day trip on a cruise in 09' I believe it was) since I've visited PR, I really should plan a trip soon, or another cruise would work too! Lol! Love Love your reviews!!! Thank you for writing them!!!

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Kim, Thank you so much for your valuable information. I really appreciate it. A few more questions. I really want to snorkel from shore and see the reef, but definately do not want to go to Bananarama. Do you recall the names of any restaurants/bars next to Bananarama? The cruise ship has an excursion to Tabyana Beach, my research shows about .1 mile away, do you recall? Also, we are in port from 12N-7PM is that enough time to really enjoy Little French Key and not feel rushed (I will want to snorkel by boat)?

 

So looking forward to your next review. Will you post info about your upcoming cruise on this site. I don't want to miss it. Also, you have inspired me to get an underwater camera before this cruise. Thinking about the TG-5 since your photos are amazing (I am sure it the photographer, but I will do my best). Thank you again, Deborah

 

It's probably better to go on the Roatan board and ask for the different places. I know Infinity is mentioned a lot too and a lot of cruisers go to Tabayana and seem to like it and recommend it. If I go back to West Bay, I probably would head there.

 

 

LFK-it's such a small and unique island that I don't think "rushed" is something that goes with that place. :D It's so laid back and relaxing. The snorkeling trip wouldn't take too long out of the day and then you have the rest of the day to just relax on the beach, jump off the platforms, canoe or whatever. So simple to do everything. Usually when you first get off the barge there, they give you a super quick tour of the animals (which is located right as you get off the boat) and then turn you free to pick a beach (there's several) and you can stay at one or move around and experience them all if you want. Like I said VERY small island and easy to do everything or what you want. :)

 

Definitely get you a TG5 if you can. I just love these little amazing cameras.

 

 

We have decided to do a land vacation to Aruba again this summer. So, you will probably only find my posting on the Aruba portion for this summer. I haven't decided what cruise to do for the fall/winter yet.

 

 

These beautiful pictures are making me feel so nostalgic...I'm from PR and moved to the states when I was 8, (just turned 40 this year) I remember so many school and family trips to this place...it's been 10 years (other than a quick day trip on a cruise in 09' I believe it was) since I've visited PR, I really should plan a trip soon, or another cruise would work too! Lol! Love Love your reviews!!! Thank you for writing them!!!

 

Thank you so much. I absolutely LOVE PR! I'm sure so many things have changed since you lived there and visited. Definitely head back...especially if you can squeeze in a vacation.

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Kim, Thank you again for your valuable info. I will check out the Roatan Board. Taybana is ship sponsored (a little more comfort in knowing we will not miss the ship). I would dislike missing the opportunity to go to LFK. There is always a next time. Enjoy your summer land vacation in Aruba (it is fabulous, I don't recall good snorkeling there). Have you ever been to Bonaire? Snorkeling just from the shore was beyond wonderful, definately want to go back and snorkel by boat. Thank you again for all your help. I greatly appreciate it. Please post on this thread when you do your winter cruise. I am now so addicted to your reviews. Enjoy, Deborah

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Kim, Thank you again for your valuable info. I will check out the Roatan Board. Taybana is ship sponsored (a little more comfort in knowing we will not miss the ship). I would dislike missing the opportunity to go to LFK. There is always a next time. Enjoy your summer land vacation in Aruba (it is fabulous, I don't recall good snorkeling there). Have you ever been to Bonaire? Snorkeling just from the shore was beyond wonderful, definately want to go back and snorkel by boat. Thank you again for all your help. I greatly appreciate it. Please post on this thread when you do your winter cruise. I am now so addicted to your reviews. Enjoy, Deborah

 

You are very welcome.

 

 

I'm having a great time planning our Aruba vacation next month. We did so much last time we were there it's a little challenging finding new things to do. I'm sure a lot of things will be a repeat. There is good snorkeling at Boca Catalina-Arashi area and we found good snorkeling at Baby Beach. Mangel Halto outside of the regular swimming area is supposed to be good too, but need to book with someone like Aruba Bob with the power fans to see it (we plan on doing that this time).

 

 

No, haven't been to Bonaire yet. I haven't found a cruise that goes there during the time we can cruise. I have always wanted to go to the ABC islands. I've only managed the A and C so far. :')

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Kim, enjoy your Aruba vacation with your family. Thanks for the Aruba snorkel site info, greatly appreciated. Will you post your Aruba adventures on the Aruba site? Deborah

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Kim, enjoy your Aruba vacation with your family. Thanks for the Aruba snorkel site info, greatly appreciated. Will you post your Aruba adventures on the Aruba site? Deborah

 

Thanks and yes, I usually post our adventure (not actually too much of a review but somewhat lol) over on the Aruba section. I usually post on the actual Aruba boards (not here on cc) when we go for a somewhat full review.

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I got a little lost (due to not being able to follow consistently - my fault), but am LOVING your review. A friend and I will be departing on the Jewel 12/6 for the Southern Caribbean and am SO looking forward to it. I do have a question about the Decanter Hotel. Did you stay in the king or queen? Didn't you say it had a couch that looked to be "sleepable"? We have reservations at a chain hotel on our return night, but your review has me rethinking that. Might as well see Old San Juan for the day/night! Right?

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I got a little lost (due to not being able to follow consistently - my fault), but am LOVING your review. A friend and I will be departing on the Jewel 12/6 for the Southern Caribbean and am SO looking forward to it. I do have a question about the Decanter Hotel. Did you stay in the king or queen? Didn't you say it had a couch that looked to be "sleepable"? We have reservations at a chain hotel on our return night, but your review has me rethinking that. Might as well see Old San Juan for the day/night! Right?

 

 

Hi and glad you are enjoying the review.

 

 

We absolutely loved the Decanter. We booked the "French Balcony Suite" which came with a King sized bed in the bedroom and the sofa couch pulled out into another bed in the living room.

 

 

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Thank you! Unfortunately I guess they are unable to book only 1 weekend night; they said they required a two-night stay when I emailed them. :( Darn! The place looks amazing!!

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Thank you! Unfortunately I guess they are unable to book only 1 weekend night; they said they required a two-night stay when I emailed them. :( Darn! The place looks amazing!!

 

 

Well darn. Maybe next time keep that place in mind if you go longer.

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We are doing ABC+Labadee on a 9-night cruise on the Navigator of the Seas in March. This will be our first on Royal. I have only cruised Princess and Carnival so far.

 

You are very welcome.

 

 

I'm having a great time planning our Aruba vacation next month. We did so much last time we were there it's a little challenging finding new things to do. I'm sure a lot of things will be a repeat. There is good snorkeling at Boca Catalina-Arashi area and we found good snorkeling at Baby Beach. Mangel Halto outside of the regular swimming area is supposed to be good too, but need to book with someone like Aruba Bob with the power fans to see it (we plan on doing that this time).

 

 

No, haven't been to Bonaire yet. I haven't found a cruise that goes there during the time we can cruise. I have always wanted to go to the ABC islands. I've only managed the A and C so far. :')

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Hello Kim, Hope all is well and you had a great Independence celebration. I am the proud owner of a TG-4. Hoping to try it out in a friends pool tomorrow. Can you tell me what settings you usually use for basic underwater shots? Also I know you take photos half in and out of the water. Can you also give me those settings? As always, you knowledge and expertise is greatly appreciated. Deborah

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Well I have FINALLY caught up with your awesome review. Better late than never, I guess! And boy what a ride, this one!!! Thank you for taking the time to once again entertain us as good as you do with your writing and great pictures. I definitely got some pointers for my next cruise out of San Juan. I'm actually starting up on your NCL Epic review, especially for the ship info since I have the Epic booked out of San Juan on March 2020. But that's just too far away still and I'm trying to squeeze another in between. After reading this review, I am almost sold on trying Royal Caribbean for the first time and the Jewel seems like the perfect ship to do so. The bigger, newer Freedom is also sailing from SJ but it's too expensive on the dates DW and I can manage to skip work. Also looking at the NCL Dawn on a November sailing so my mind is far from made.

 

 

Now on other topics:

 

 

 

I always love when people write about Puerto Rico (for those that don't know I am born, raised and currently live in PR), the places they visit and the experiences they have. Having said that, I am truly ashamed that a place like Da House is actually in business. The place seems in horrible upkeep, they don't seem to be advertising truthfully and the attitude, the excuses, moldy seats, those floors and the broken glass ceiling....really?? I work in the hospitality/gaming industry in PR and places like that give tourism a black eye. The worst part is that not every one has the same "this will not ruin my vacation" attitude you and your family had. Thankfully it didn't ruin yours.

 

 

Loved your ship tour and pictures. The ship looks great! You must've either waited just for the right moment that no one was in view or woke up really early every morning to get an "empty" ship in you pics...lol.

 

 

I would comment on a few other things but I'd probably end up hijacking the thread so I'll just let it be...hahaha.

 

 

 

Is there anyway to send my email privately without posting it here? As I told you elsewhere, I'd love to say "hi" to you guys next time you're in town.

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We are doing ABC+Labadee on a 9-night cruise on the Navigator of the Seas in March. This will be our first on Royal. I have only cruised Princess and Carnival so far.

 

I who you have a wonderful time on RC. We loved it.

 

 

Hello Kim, Hope all is well and you had a great Independence celebration. I am the proud owner of a TG-4. Hoping to try it out in a friends pool tomorrow. Can you tell me what settings you usually use for basic underwater shots? Also I know you take photos half in and out of the water. Can you also give me those settings? As always, you knowledge and expertise is greatly appreciated. Deborah

 

Sorry, I'm a little late. Life is keeping me busy. Hopefully you figured out the setting. Just play around with the underwater settings. I usually use the settings (both on land and water) that will involve any movement so there is no blur. There's no settings for half in and half out of water. That's just basically holding you lens half in and half out. ;) It's really hard to do with the movement of any water and just takes a lot of practice and a lot of luck! :D

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Loving this review....still catching up! Thank you for your detailed info!

 

I hope you are enjoying it.

 

 

Well I have FINALLY caught up with your awesome review. Better late than never, I guess! And boy what a ride, this one!!! Thank you for taking the time to once again entertain us as good as you do with your writing and great pictures. I definitely got some pointers for my next cruise out of San Juan. I'm actually starting up on your NCL Epic review, especially for the ship info since I have the Epic booked out of San Juan on March 2020. But that's just too far away still and I'm trying to squeeze another in between. After reading this review, I am almost sold on trying Royal Caribbean for the first time and the Jewel seems like the perfect ship to do so. The bigger, newer Freedom is also sailing from SJ but it's too expensive on the dates DW and I can manage to skip work. Also looking at the NCL Dawn on a November sailing so my mind is far from made.

 

 

Now on other topics:

 

 

 

I always love when people write about Puerto Rico (for those that don't know I am born, raised and currently live in PR), the places they visit and the experiences they have. Having said that, I am truly ashamed that a place like Da House is actually in business. The place seems in horrible upkeep, they don't seem to be advertising truthfully and the attitude, the excuses, moldy seats, those floors and the broken glass ceiling....really?? I work in the hospitality/gaming industry in PR and places like that give tourism a black eye. The worst part is that not every one has the same "this will not ruin my vacation" attitude you and your family had. Thankfully it didn't ruin yours.

 

 

Loved your ship tour and pictures. The ship looks great! You must've either waited just for the right moment that no one was in view or woke up really early every morning to get an "empty" ship in you pics...lol.

 

 

I would comment on a few other things but I'd probably end up hijacking the thread so I'll just let it be...hahaha.

 

 

 

Is there anyway to send my email privately without posting it here? As I told you elsewhere, I'd love to say "hi" to you guys next time you're in town.

 

Better late than never indeed. :D

 

Puerto Rico is an amazing place and it's probably my favorite place to cruise out of!

 

 

Da House definitely wasn't what we expected, but now we know and it adds to the experience of our trip. Just another story to tell and it was only for one night.

 

 

I have my camera with me at all times. I snap pictures as I walk and when the moment is right (not many people). I DO NOT get up at the crack of dawn EVER to take pictures. haha A lot of them will be take when we first board the ship (most people are swimming or eating...I'm exploring) or the last evening (because most are at shows, gambling and so on). But I still take them throughout the week if I'm passing by a place with no one there. ;)

 

You can contact me mitsubishigirl19 .... hotmail

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