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Everything posted by CJDepew

  1. Thanks for the link. As February creeps closer, I'm getting more excited. Our only other RCI cruise was our first, on the Enchantment. We loved that ship, but it's much smaller.
  2. KmomChicago, I've gotta tell you, I edit books professionally and I don't get manuscripts sent to me that are as well written and clever as your review. My hubby and I are booked into JS 1624 for a six-day Western Caribbean itinerary in February. We've been to all the ports before, so no surprises there, but it was great to hear your glowing review of that cabin. If you have any other photos of it, I'd love to see them.
  3. So we're in Costa Maya on Feb. 26, 2020 and Maya Chan just told me we can't make reservations because they didn't realize it was Nudie Cruise day when we originally corresponded. Almaplena looks like a nice alternative. I've been to Maya Chan before and that's the all-inclusive atmosphere we're looking for. Any other suggestions? Thanks
  4. Our upcoming cruise is only our second RCI, but I agree with you wholeheartedly. Several years ago we were on the NCL Epic, which holds 4.5k. Embarkation was a nightmare, the ship did feel crowded, and reservations were needed for just about everything. We're on vacation and our schedule is a seat-of-the-pants sort of thing. What we have planned for our evening many times changes with how our day has gone and how tired we are. I much prefer the older ships that max out at 3.5k and under passengers.
  5. We arrive on Friday, 2/22, so we should be in good shape.
  6. What time is your ship in port? We were at the Barcelo for an afternoon day pass with a 1pm arrival. Shade was nearly impossible to come by.
  7. I have had multiple bad experiences with Cocoa Beach Shuttle. I asked Jaime from Cortrans for a recommendation after booking our return trip with them because we always arrive in the afternoon and he suggest Smart-two.com shuttle service. They were a little pricey at $80 but the service and the vehicle were both well worth it.
  8. I know it's early days but hoping for suggestions. Our flight won't land until a little after 10pm the night before our cruise in Feb of 2020. Am looking for something clean and safe that has a shuttle to the port, but it doesn't have to be anything exciting because we're just going to crash in bed and get up early the next morning. My guess is that it's going to be at least $200, but hoping not to break the bank for less than 12 hours.
  9. We were there a month ago today. Because the weather was kind of crazy, we decided to just walk the beach, and ended up turning right at the end of the pier. The beach is somewhat rocky in places so I'd recommend water shoes. There were plenty of seating and clam shells available, but we were the only ship in port that morning. There are restrooms available on that side of the pier, and you can purchase food and drink as well.
  10. Sorry...missed this. I think I posted a review, but not on this thread. Let me look for it and if I didn't, I'll get some photos posted tonight. It was a very nice day. Just found it...I'd posted the review on a different thread. Here you go.
  11. In 2016 we booked it through Viator and had a great time. Looks like they are still offering it. https://www.viator.com/Cayman-Islands-attractions/Cayman-Spirits-Co/d31-a26200
  12. I'm guessing it's because you didn't check in sooner. I believe you can do this 90 days prior to sailing. Most likely that was the earliest spot left.
  13. Booking this itinerary on the Adventure for Feb. 2020. Don't have questions but following along for the ride. Enjoy your cruise!
  14. Just got off the Sunshine two weeks ago. She was rocking, but that's not unexpected in the Southern Caribbean during "westerly" season and 50+knot winds. I suspect you'll be sailing in calmer seas. I loved the Sunshine and there's plenty to do during days at sea.
  15. Occasionally I see the Hilton mentioned here so wanted to do a quick review for anyone possibly interested. We ported at the older port, not under the bridge, and took a cab to the location. Cost was $20 for four of us. The staff was very welcoming, but the facility is looking a bit worn. Once we checked in and got our towels, we headed to the beach. It's even smaller than any of the YouTube videos make it out to be, and the sand was full of cigarette butts and rocks. We decided to make our way up one level, to an area that was in front of the swimming pool, but still had a great view of the water. It rained intermittently during the first hour and a half of our visit, so some of the photos are not as bright as I'd like. We never did go into the water from the beach, but used the pool. We received a $25/pp food and beverage credit and found both food and drink to be a decent value. There's also a small historical site, the remains of Ft. Piscaderabay, on the property. I included a few photos of that area. All in all, I would probably not recommend this outing if you're someone who likes a nice beach. We just didn't want to take the time the ride to Santa Barbara would have taken, because we wanted to see some of Willemstad too.
  16. We were at the Barcelo two weeks ago on a day pass. It's very nice and clean. Towel service is provided. We were there on the afternoon pass because of being in port 1-10 pm. It was difficult finding chairs, much less any with shade. Drink service on the beach is spotty. There is a swim-up bar at the pool but it appeared they were taking care of those with AI hotel guest wristbands more quickly than the day pass wristbands. We ate dinner at their buffet, and I have to say, I've eaten better at Golden Corral, which was a disappointment. The beach and water were definitely worth it to us, though.
  17. Was there on Monday, Feb 18. We were in port from 1-10, so it was an afternoon pass. The beach was extremely crowded by the time we arrived, but I suspect that even in the morning, the "chair hogs" have their towels on the chairs, just like on the ships. It's very easy to access via taxi, and the front desk staff was very polite. Drink service on the beach was spotty, but there is a swim-up bar at the pool, which was beautiful. Your wristband color identifies you as a day-pass visitor, and in some cases it appeared that our services was not a fast as hotel guests. We didn't eat in the restaurant for lunch, since we didn't want to waste any beach time, so we hit the buffet at dinner. In all honesty, I've had better buffet food at Golden Corral. I will say the beach itself was very clean and the sand very fine. Even if it was an average day in Aruba, it was way better than February in Pittsburgh!
  18. That's exactly what I want to see while I'm there. I've heard mixed results about taking a conch back, as long as there is no living organism inside.
  19. We're on the Feb 15 sailing...not sure if you'll be along with us. We've never been there, but it was my intention to go to the right because in photos it appears much less crowded. Thanks for the info.
  20. Hitting the Barcelo for an afternoon day pass in less than two weeks. Will report back when I return.
  21. Great review so far, NWA Cruiser. Glad you had a wonderful birthday!
  22. Looking forward to the remainder of your review. We board the Sunshine next week and I can't wait.
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