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About Bem15963

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Chester County, Pennsylvania
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    watching soccer, reading, traveling, enjoying my kids
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  1. That is even if you book multiple cabins. You only get points for the cabin you stayed in.
  2. Even though you booked the reservation you only get one set of points for the cruise. All other people in the cabins have their own C and A number attached to them.
  3. Just got off Harmony last week - Did freedom four years ago. I loved all the activities on Harmony. The Water slides and dry slides, zip lines which Freedom doesn't have are nice. There were always teenage boys on the sports court and the youth programs were always full. Just my opinion. They did show several different movies but they are down by the dive show where as Freedom does movies up by the pool.
  4. On the 7/7 sailing the headliner was comedian/juggler.... was a good show but not a great show in my opinion.
  5. Pictures from our Dolphin royal Swim at Chankanuub Park.... Pictures from our Dolphin royal Swim at Chankanuub Park....
  6. Excursion #4 - Dolphin Royal Swim and Lunch We pulled into Cozumel at 8:00.... To find two carnival cruises, The RCCL Liberty of the Seas (I think) and a Norweigen Cruise also in Port. Norweigen was docked down the coast line a bit. Again we had easy debarkation and got right off and down to find our meeting point. The Dolphin Excursions are always popular and there are several different ones. We found our sign and met our guide "Diego". He gave us wrist bands and told us to wait under Tiki Hut #1. We had a few minutes to walk around and look at the shops before we made our way to the meeting point. After a few Minutes Diego joined us - a large group of over forty I believe all from Harmony. He told us that we would follow him and he would put us all in taxis and when we got there we were to meet him again at a certain location. We followed his directions and walked out of port to the taxi area. He started loading groups on vans that held about 16. We were able to get on one of the first ones. After a short ride we entered into what was Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park. We went under the big Hut like area and waited for about 15 minutes till Diego arrived. We then had to wait to move into another area where Diego would give us more information about the park and what we were to do. Once he did this we were directed to go in so he could show us where the restrooms and lockers were and we spend another 10 minutes while he gave us more information about what we could do and see there. Finally we were given the ok to go explore but to be back at a certain time for our Dolphin experience. We went immediately to find two lockers. There are not a whole lot of them so getting them quickly is recommended. We had the all you can eat and open bar wrist band (again legal drinks for the two oldest kids)... There were other options you could choose. We decided to walk around first - we left our shoes in the lockers and that was a big mistake. The deck area was hot as was the sand. We wandered to the "lagoon pool" which had a swim up bar but wanted to see the crocodiles they say were in their natural habitat. Along the way we saw a beach area with stores and a hut that had a parrot and an iguana where you would pet and hold them and get your picture taken. The three kids did this but we ran out of time to go back and get the pictures so just have the memories. We ran back to the main area to eat and have a "drink". They did card the kids but will say that I think the drinks were very watered down. The Food here was not really worth eating, they had the normal fare of hamburgers and hot dogs, what looked like some meat for soft shelled tacos , french fire and chips with cheese, refried beans or salsa. We ate some but most passed. It was then time for us to meet for our dolphin experience. A little background -in 2015 we were scheduled to do this same excursion on Freedom of the Sea however as we left Grand Cayman there was a medical emergency and half way there the boat turned around to go back to Cayman... Needless to say the 14 year old at the time was heartbroken. So, The 18 and 20 year old had a dolphin experience at Discovery Cove In Florida - let me tell you that the experience in Florida can't hold a candle to what this experience was like. Here is where I wasn't happy about this excursion - we met Diego again and he immediately divides us up by color of wrist bands and sends us to get life vest. Some people are doing the Manatee experience, some just the Dolphin swim and we were doing the Royal Dolphin Swim . We stood in groups for a good 20 minutes before they came and took us down the dock. It just felt that for a good hour at some point this excursion we were standing in a group waiting for direction. However, that was the only thing I really can complain about. There seemed to be confusion because our group had too many people so they ended up splitting our group up. We ended up with about 9-10 in our group. We walked down into the water on a metal platform that was next to the dock. You were standing waist high in water. Inside our area were two dolphins. Our guide introduced us to them and we had multiple opportunities to touch and pat and see them up close. Each person was able to meet the dolphin individually and get kisses - dance with them holding their flippers and then give them a command to come up and touch you hand. All of this done while you are being photographed (no personal cameras allowed). Inbetween these individual photo session the guide would then take each person one at a time out in center of the water where you would alternate between a dolphin pull or a dolphin push ride. (see my pictures). Each person got to do both. I have to tell you that the smile on all the people were enough to make the experience worthwhile. We must have been in the water with the dolphins for more than 45 minutes-60 min. After they brought you up out of the water you then got a chance to enter another area and walk around on the metal platform and this time you met and fed three manatees. What amazing creatures... You then were taken out of the water and immediately walked into the area to view your pictures. We ended up buying the downloaded about package ($265.00) because a single picture was $40.00 and I knew everyone wanted at least one of two of them. I will tell you that the pictures were amazing as you can see in my next post. After we took care of this we decided to have another drink - to make use of the open bar even though the drinks were pretty watered down. It was then we realized that it was getting late and we wanted to go back and do some shopping so we grabbed our stuff out of the lockers and met Diego in the main hut. He immediately got us a taxi (Which The tour included except if you choose to tip them) just for us four and we drove back to port. The only confusion here was it dropped us off across the street from the port shopping into another shopping mall so when we started walking we didn't see anything we remembered but we quickly realized we needed to cross the street and we were fine. The girls turned in their free necklace coupons and I decided to upgrade mine for a few more dollars. Again, I didn't plan on doing any shopping for jewelry or other items unless I saw thing I liked. But I do wish I didn't feel so much pressure to purchase if I just want to look. I get its the way they make their living but I might actually buy if I did feel hounded or stalked. We decided to head back to the ship and take advantage of the less crowded areas and get some food in the windjammer. I was really happy with the dolphin experience and do wish we had more time to take advantage of ALL the park had to offer but there just wasn't time and with all the cruise ships in port that day it was super crowded. Next time I would forgo the dolphins and just do the other basic park experience. I will post the dolphin pictures on another post. According to the kids I was 4 for 4 on excursions so in that way the cruise was a success and the money well spent. My last post tomorrow will be my final thoughts on the cruise and the key program. I will post the Dolphin Pictures on another post....
  7. booked ours on June 9th for a July 7th cruise. I checked every day since May for it.
  8. other photos from Tabyana Beach resort More review later.... its 97 degrees here and the pool is calling me..
  9. Second excursion was in Roatan... I struggled with this as I wanted to do the Sloths but I also wanted to spend time snorkeling. I had purchased full face dive masks for all of us and HIGHLY recommend it if you even think you are going. YEs they can be bulky to pack but since we drove and had no luggage limit it was good for us. These mask are so comfortable and you don't get the gag reflex that some people do withy the snorkeling mouth piece. You just breath as normal. We signed up for the Tabyanna Beach Snorkeling and lunch tour. It was shown as 3.5 hours. I researched it on trip advisor and most people were very happy with it. We started by getting off the boat as soon as we were able. Remember we were KEY people but never had to use the KEY special debarkation because there was never a crowd. We walked and than found our line for the excursion and got the appropriate wrist band. We were taken as a large group around the market place to vans. After loading in the vans we drove up into the hills which I found strange as we were going to the beach. The scenery was very interesting and how they built some of the houses on the steep mountain sides was amazing. I was glad I wasn't driving as until we got on the new road (apparently construction was done over the last year) it seemed like it was single lane. the views from the top of the hills was amazing but we were driving so fast I couldn't get many clear pictures, We finally came down the hill and started to see more condos/resort like areas. We finally pulled into this tiny driveway with some tatched roof buildings and started unloading. They separated us by colored wrist bands and sent us over to the snorkeling equipment - after signing waivers again we got just the life vest and fins. They then took us to the beach where we were met by an employee who gave use chairs and told us that all of our stuff would be watched by him at all times. (they do have lockers available). He was right he never strayed from our seats and made very pleasant conversation with us when we were back at the chairs. This place is sandwiched between two resorts that have accommodations. This place is simply a day place with no rooms. It does have lovely bathrooms and a restaurant (didn't look like it would get busy). Once we were settled a guide came up and told us to meet him at the water. We got our masks and equipment and joined him and about six others. He explained where we would go and what to do if we needed help, they have four men in kayaks that sail alongside incase you need to rest or go back to land. We had one woman who thought we would just be on shore and looking into the water and really felt uncomfortable going out. Our guide had a life saving ring and he let her hang on that and he pretty much towed her out and back. As never having snorkeled before (I did last cruise but husband had issues to I joined him on boat) this was amazing. The fish seem like they are near enough to touch and you basically swam though schools of them, The water was crystal clear and the reefs were amazing. The highlight was getting to see a SEA TURTLE. Our guide says its rare to see them and the last time one was seen was three months ago. He/she just swam under us and then away. I will admit that at one point I got really queasy and joined the woman on the ring but a few minutes of fresh air I was ready to go. It is a lot of swimming with no standing at all so you need to realize your legs will get tired but my kids said it was so worth it. Our guide took us back in and was willing to take anyone out again after they rested a bit. We did not take him up on that we stayed at the waters edge where little fish swam around your feet and eels ventured in every so often . WE did not use our video camera again so no underwater shots - it seemed we were also so busy we never took the time to figure them out as I bought (inexpensive) ones on the way down, we had the all you can eat and they did have bar service. Lunch was an American BBQ with hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled and BBQ chicken, with coleslaw, rice and beans, and fresh fruit, We all got something and everyone ate. Wasn't five star but it was enjoyable. They had music playing with someone playing the guitar which was nice. Yes we had the second set of legal drinks and they were just as strong but again the cost was reasonable, They also had a person giving massages and hair braiding all for additional fees. There were outside vendors who stroll along the shore line but if you say no they leave you alone or your "security" guide will tell them for you. They also have medical personnel on site. Ofcourse they are all looking for tips which I didn't feel bad giving as they really deserved them. They also ran shuttle service back to ship but would only leave when they had enough to fill a van. We decided to leave on the first shuttle as we wanted to do some shopping so we went at 1 but didn't leave until 1:25. A short trip back and we arrived safe. So far I was three for three on our excursions according to the kids so I hoped we would go 4 for 4 in Cozumel.
  10. I paid 19.99 a person and wasn't able to reserve it till almost one month before, For some of the other things I purchased I made sure to check prices every few days so if they went down I cancelled my previous order and rebooked at the lower cost. I saved almost 300.00 doing that. YEs the first legal drink was good.... I also have to admit that I shared a few with the 20 year old as well ....
  11. Since we haven't sailed except Freedom and Oasis we don't have much to judge the entertainment with. For me I was ok with some but not all. We had planned Anthem last year but had to cancel. Am thinking of trying NCL out of New York as it is closer if Anthem doesn't continue to sail out of that port, Loft Suite sounds nice, my daughter had an opportunity to visit one this trip and couldn't stop talking about it. I also agree about being port intensive however we have done the Eastern Itinerary twice and I wanted something new, Wasn't in the cards to fly to a different port so whatever was drivable was it. Since it was just me this trip making the arrangements didn't want to go outside an RCCL excursion but do know you can get some good deals on others, Hope your wedding was enjoyable.... I sat near a group from a wedding party in the Solarium one day might have been yours.
  12. We had the western carribean itinerary so I will share some of the excursions we did at the three ports. First port day was Costa Maya. There is very little to see as you pull into port. In fact there doesn't seem to be much of anything anywhere on the island. We were scheduled for the Mayan Water park and as we pulled in you could see the "created" Mayan Temple off to the side, I wasn't very optimistic just by looking at the island when we were docking. But I had already paid for it and the kids were up and dressed, We have no problem leaving the ship. Again the crowds getting off were slow moving this day. We got off and then walked out to the area where all the excursions met. We had a little time so we decided to walk in to the shopping area and were immediately jumped on to come in and shop at the little huts. Most time when told thank you they respected it. We then left and found our sign for our excursion. They walked us over to a truck like vehicle that was open bench seats with a thatched room like a tiki hut. The group loaded on and after a short ride we pulled up to the park. At first it was a little confusing but after finding out we needed to all sign waivers (more on that later). we were directed to get our wrist bands and I bought a locker here using my credit card. We then entered into the big temple to get out locker and found out we still had to wait in a line where people who were paying cash had to wait. We finally got out locker - they take either your license or sea pass to make sure you return the key... not sure why they think we want to keep they key but it was easy to get it back at the end. If you have a lot of stuff I recommend getting two lockers (5.00 each). There were showers and bathroom which were all clean and attended. We had gotten the package for the whole day which included zip lining and water slides and pools. Again, be prepared for the STAIRS..;... lots of them. They do have elevators but at one point the one for the slides was not working so up 18 flights to the top level. The kids left me fill the locker and they were quickly back down after one slide. They got me up to one of the shorter ones and not knowing what I was in for I went on..... it was a straight drop down..... quite fast and lots of water in the face. Ladies be prepared with what suit you wear as the water is not forgiving. kids were back up doing others and met me down on ground and we decided to so the lazy river.... water didn't look as nice but found out it was salt water pumped in from some where. It was long and rather nice to just float. After that we did a few more slide - this is where the waiver comes in, Although we enjoyed the slides a lot two that I did were a little scary for safety. One called Lord of the Dead had you entered into three barrels like areas, You were sent up the side of one and then the force could tip you over and drop you head first, I happened to not have that but I did get stuck sliding up the other side and had to push myself out, The other slide called the Hurricane had you go fast through the tubes and dropped you and I mean dropped you into a big bowl like area with a hole in the bottom that dropped you atleast four feet into a pool of water. This one is the one that I later realized I got hurt on, The next day I realized I could not roll over in bed and it was excruciating for me to get up. I remember when I came out I landed smack on my butt and must have bruised the tailbone. It is just now better a whole week later. If you After the slides we went to get drinks and something to eat, Well as my daughter turned 18 lately she was excited to have her first legal drink. 7.00 for a drink wasn't bad and it was potent, however the buffet they had was 25.00 a person and didn't look that appeasing. We decided to wait till we got back to the ship. We then went zip lining. Remember how I said I like the Coco kay zip lining harnesses - well this was were I became a little scared. Not that they didn't take the time to make sure you were hooked up it just wasn't the same. There were two different courses you could take and even a zip coaster. WE chose to do just one course and it took a good 40 minutes, Again remember the STAIRS... I wish I had had my watch on that monitors my flights but I didn't. I will say that the zip lining was good,. The first few you do in tandem if you have two people so the boys went and then the girls. These went over lots of vegetation and they are high. the last one you end up going into a pool of water and do get very wet. After we finished the kids wanted to do some slides again and we finished up with the Lord of the Storm with is a mat slide where you race to the bottom. It was very fun and straight down again. We were all exhausted and decide to get a cold drink so we went back to the pool area. They have a pool which is right next to the food area which was really crowded but to the left was another pool which said Botanical gardens that no one was in and was beautiful. We choose to sit in this and drink out beverages before heading out. They also have a small children area called Monkey Island. We did not get to see everything but were ready to head back. They did have shuttle service back to the ship at all times. Overall, we really enjoyed the day. We never waited more than 10 minutes in any line and did have fun. I do think that you do these slides at your own risk as some of them seem a little more dangerous than others. They do have as you enter after the ticket area a place (more like a box) that has bracelets you wear that take pictures as you do some of the events. We had video cameras but of course never got them out. We didn't find out about the bracelets till the left. The staff was friendly and efficient and they are highly recommended on Trip Advisor. Check out their website for more pictures Maya - Lost Mayan Kingdom.
  13. EASCAPE ROOM: One of the activities I signed up for and recommend you sign up for as soon as it comes out on the Cruise Planner was the Escape Room. It sells out quickly and is so hard to get on the ship. When I first told the kids I got a lot of groans and especially when they found out we weren't alone but with a group. When we got to the place..... Adventure Ocean lobby... there were two groups of people. One group with reservations and one without. Obviously the ones without weren't happy when they were told they could not go in. They argued they were told they didn't need reservations by guest services. They went away headed right back to guest services to voice their displeasure. They take you into some back hallways and you enter into this room with all kinds of gadgets on the wall. I think we were a group of about 14. I believe it was three families. You have a staff member who starts the game and then stays with you to observe and to discretely help when you might need it and I do mean discretely. when asked for a team leader no one volunteered until you guessed it the extrovert did. She was the one who groaned the most when told we were going here. You watch a short "story" video to introduce the quest and then you are left to figure it out, It was NOT easy, but I was amazed at how a group of people who didn't know each other broke into smaller groups and worked the room all at the same time. This activity makes you step out of your comfort zone of working with complete strangers and to think way out side the box to solve the puzzle but it was SOOOO much fun. All three of my kids loved it and would do it again on the next cruise. Disclaimer - I signed all of us up on the cruise planner and as I said my grandson is 12 - when we got their the sign said no one under 14 ... we didn't say anything and they didn't ask although they did swipe sea passes.
  14. Yes on this trip walk on bags were dropped in the dining room and so was the CHOPS lunch,
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