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About helensobol

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    RCL, NCL
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  1. You can drop your bags after 11:30. You can get on and get off immediately... rooms aren’t ready until 1ish.
  2. Unfortunately no. The middle of deck has a stage instead.
  3. You can see a lot of devastation outside the tourism areas. Most islands said they were recovering and were optimistic about things to continue to improve. The rainforest area of PR was were you saw the most devastation.
  4. There were no mailboxes at the rooms. They just placed that above your room tag number. Another shocker for me on this boat was the doors are not metal! All our magnetic door decor didn't work 😞 As far as passengers, it was very disappointing but that isn't Carnival's fault. I'm guessing it was just bad timing. We did our best to ignore it and enjoy ourselves. The hardest part was explaining the behavior when I enforce kindness and respect with my daughter. She kept asking why people would act that way.
  5. Elegant nights were the sea day and the port of St Lucia. Ports: St Thomas - we rented a car from Paradise rentals (100 for a Jeep). We started by going to Paradise Point then we went to Drakes Seat. From there we took a scenic route to Sapphire beach. Sapphire beach was almost empty. We spent about 2 hours there in a cabana for FREE. Then we had lunch near the port that brings you to St Johns. On the way back we drove to 99 steps (not worth going to IMO) and Bluebeards. Barbados: Went to Copacabana. Got there early (10am) and got front row beach seats. Water and sand was beautiful. Best I have ever seen. They have a great deal that you get 2 beach chairs and umbrella for 50 dollars and you get 40 dollars of food credit. Taxi was 5 dollars a person each way. St Lucia: Took spencer ambrose land and sea tour. Great tour, great people. The volcanic mud bath and waterfall were a lot fun esp for my daughter. The beach you go to at the end is very small which would be my only complaint. Definitely worth the money. St Kitts: Took Greyford island tour. The tour was nice but not especially exciting for my daughter. It was a lot car travel. I would recommend going to Cockleshell beach instead. St. Maarten: Our favorite day. We rented kayaks from Caribbean paddling and went over to Pinel Island. on the island there are beach chairs and a restaurant. Great swimming, ok snorkelling and a pier you jump off. Everyone loved this day most. Puerto Rico: If you have time, I highly recommend going to the rainforest and then hitting up the food kiosks in Luquillo. The beach is beautiful there.
  6. The dry dock brought Guy's burger and blue iguana to the outside which we see on most ships. This did eliminate the Mongolian wok altogether. Hope that helps
  7. High Level Overview of my experience on the Fascination sailing on April 14. Feel free to ask me any questions if I missed something. Please remember this is my opinion of the ship and other people's experiences might have been different. Background: I have been about 10 cruises which includes Carnival, NCL and RC. When I booked this cruise, I understood the ship was older and didn't have all the bells and whistles that a lot of other ships have. We picked it for the amazing port stops. I cruise with my family which includes my 10 yr old daughter. Embarkment Process: Fantastic! We arrived at 12:30 and we flew through the lines and got onto the ship in record time. It took us 15 or so minutes which IMO is amazing. I was surprised that you get your room key when you get to your room but that probably assisted with the speed of getting onboard. They notified us that our room would be ready at about 1 and they were correct. We walked down at 1 and everything was set. Note: they didn't announce rooms were ready. Cleanliness: Fantastic! It was always clean. I rarely saw anything lingering on a table for more than 5 minutes before someone would clean it up. I find this is common on most ships. Room: we had an aft balcony that was very loud at docking time but the views and balcony size were amazing. Our room steward was awesome. He filled our cooler every day which was a plus. Food: Average. I never had a bad meal or food item but nothing blew me away with flavors or overall taste. Buffet: The lines were a bit longer in the morning but if you went outside there were 0 waiting time even for the omelette station. We always ate outside but I did see the line 40 people deep inside when going back to my room. MDR: On the first formal night we had to wait about 15 minutes to eat (we had My Time Dining). I don't think 15 minutes is a long time and with the library next door, you could play a quick game before heading to your table. The MDR staff were excellent, all of them were extremely friendly and attentive. I loved that they did a song/dance every night. My daughter loves to participate so she was thrilled. Bars/Drinks: I can't speak to this. I didn't get a drinks package because we were barely on the ship. We had a few drinks and there was never a line. Ports: AMAZING! We loved all of our port stops and had a great time on each of mini-adventures. I can provide more info on what we did if people have questions. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. We didn't ever have to wait in line. Note: They don't announce you can get off the ship. I was surprised about the limited announcements overall. Cruise Director: Honestly I didn't see her much but again this is so port heavy, I can see why. We got off early and came back late each day. Pools/Slides: The pool was crowded but that is to be expected. We had a great time on the slides each day and depending on the time of day, there was almost no line. (especially if you got on 1-2 hours early from a port) I probably went on each slide 10+ times a day. Overall Enjoyment on the ship: Below Average. I have zero complaints about the ship, it's decor or staff, my biggest surprise was the fellow cruise passengers. They were extremely rude and disrespectful. Example 1: The chess board lost a piece a day. Why someone would steal or destroy big chess pieces is beyond me. Example 2: There were lots of screaming and in the hallways or the various public decks. Girls screaming at each other over and over again. Example 3: People felt they could just cut in front of you or throw their dirty plates on your table while you were eating. One morning a man at the table next to us, picked up his dirty plate and dropped it on our table because he was done. Not sure why he couldn't just leave it with his family who was also at their table. There are many more examples but they aren't necessary to go into. I'm not sure why the people acted this way but this is definitely outside the norm of anything I have experienced before on cruise.
  8. I just off the ship last week and had the aft balcony. U230. The views are beautiful but it is very loud. The noise starts about 45 minutes to 1 hour before docking (so it starts at about 5:45/6 am). You hear a lot of engine noises and the ropes pulling. I was honestly very surprised how loud it was. Even given the loudness I wouldn't have change it for the space and views.
  9. All of the trails are label by difficulty and the amount of time it will take. Some are very steep and can be slippery with the rain. I suggest good shoes and a walking stick.
  10. You can do this on your own. Rent a car and drive to the various locations for hikes or view. I wouldn't waste your money with a tour guide.
  11. Can you tell me whereabouts this is? I see a rico's on the beach near Alleynes Bay. This the place?
  12. I'm curious if people have or do try to bring on soda, water, wine on the 2nd departure port. I know we can bring the allowed amounts in San Juan but I'm wondering if someone was able to grab more soda when we dock in Barbados. I normally bring juice boxes for my daughter and it would be a nice option to replenish if I could.
  13. Good Info about the coral. That might be a no go for us. I didn't have a set time to get off. We normally get off fairly early unless my daughter is exhausted. I aim to be off before 9am. I'm never a fan of not having an agenda getting off the ship and we leave next week. I have read so many different reviews on Barbados and can't decide on the best thing for us. I was debating the Boatyard and Copacabana but then I recently read awful reviews of Copa on trip advisor.
  14. Do you feel this beach and location would be good for kids? There will be 4 boats in port when I there and I don't want to go to a place and find no beach chairs/shade... (my worry about going to the boatyard)
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