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Firstin87

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About Firstin87

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    California
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL

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  1. Hi, We are booked on POA''a cruise on Sept. 28. When we did this cruise in 2017, Toby Beau performed and we really enjoyed him. We looked online and found that he is in "Honolulu, HI" from mid-Sept. for a couple months. By any chance, does anyone know if he is performing on POA? Thanks, Cyndy Firstin87
  2. Hi, We are booked on our second Princess cruise in March, going from San Francisco to Victoria and Vancouver. One of our perks is a "cruise night coupon book". We've never heard of that and I cannot find anything about it on this forum. Does anyone know what that is? Thank you, Cyndy
  3. My husband and I went to Cuba on NCL's Sun last Oct. (2018) and I agree with everything above about Raul and Tours by Blexie. It's a great way to see Havana and Raul was an absolutely wonderful guide! Highly recommend doing a private tour through Blexie as you get the most bang for your buck. To us, Cuba was a "one and done" port. As Dar and Bob (and I'm sure others whom I haven't read yet) have noted, the architecture and cars are big attractions. Cuba is not like other cruise ports as the "only" thing to do is tour Havana. The question is how you want to do it - through a cruise ship excursion or a private tour? Our experience with the Cuban people's response to Americans differed from what Dar and Bob noted. We did not feel unwelcome in any way. We, too, did not go out in the evening because we were tired, but we never felt unsafe or had any problems. We were with Raul the entire day, too. I'm sure you'll enjoy Cuba. It is a very interesting country and I suggest doing a bit of historical research before your trip as you'll get more from the experience if you have a general understanding the Cuba's history. Cyndy Firstin87
  4. Excellent plan. If NCL has an excursion that meets your needs and budget, it will make the planning a lot easier. You're smart to research and plan so early. With so much to do in so little time on Grand Cayman, it's not a port to "wing it". Hope you have a great trip! Be sure to post how it goes.
  5. On your way to Capt. Marvin's (who I think is a relative of Jackie's, by the way), you'll drive along Seven Mile Beach, probably past the Governor's House, and other unique buildings. Some sites are just "drive by"s. The tender ride from the ship is very quick. If you've got priority tendering, you'll be on the island in just a few minutes. Even if you're in line to tender, the ride is short and the crew keeps the people and tenders moving. I suggest having an idea in advance what souvenirs you want to bring back to minimize your time shopping around. NCL should be posting shore excursions for Feb. in about August, so be sure to check their site in case there is the perfect excursion for your group. One perk to doing through the ship is that you are guaranteed to return on time. Although, having just done two NCL sponsored shore excursions on our cruise (Jamaica and Cozumel; we had a lot of OBC and a shore ex credit), I discovered that they tend to depart at least an hour earlier than advertised on their site. They both returned at the time noted on the website, so you got more time than advertised. Just keep it in mind as you plan the few hours you have on Grand Cayman.
  6. I'm sorry to reply so late. Very hectic first week home. I concur with most of what Bookbabe wrote. The challenge you have is the stingray excursions. It will take up most of your time on Grand Cayman, so it comes down to your priorities. This is definitely an island that would be great to have an overnight at. Because we had our tour pre-arranged, we did not pay much attention to the specific vendors that were at the port. The day we were there, five ships were in port, which is not uncommon so keep that in mind as you plan. I'd definitely pre-book your day or you may end up not being able to do any of the things you want, and certainly not at an affordable price. To add to Bookbabe's comments - you'll need only about 15 minutes to see Hell. More time is spent in the gift shop than looking at the cool rock formation as it is not very big. If you do want something postmarked "Hell" from the post office, they only accept exact change and I'm not sure what the postage is, but I'm sure you can look it up online. We originally had the Tortuga Rum Cake factory on our list, but ended up skipping it in favor of spending more time at other sites. I don't think we missed anything. If you want to buy rum cakes to bring back, they are sold absolutely everywhere. We bought a six pack of small rum cakes (4 oz. each) for $32.00 (US) made by BlackBeard's (not Tortuga) at a store near the port called, I think, "Premium Souvenirs". Tortuga's rum cakes are a bit more expensive. Hopefully you find a good combo tour that works for you. When do you go? Cyndy Firstin87
  7. Hi Mamabearjp, Our cruise was last week and we did the horseback ride and swim on Wed., April 17. It was wonderful! My favorite part was when my horse galloped through the water. This was my husband's first experience riding a horse and he had a good time. We can do this again sometime. Thank you again for all the information you sent. I used your list when we packed and we had everything we needed. You sure weren't kidding when you said it takes awhile to get the horses ready. They are a bit disorganized, though. They ran out of helmets for everyone and it took awhile to get more. Thanks again, Cyndy Firstin87
  8. We just returned from our cruise to Grand Cayman. It's a beautiful island with something for everyone, so you're sure to enjoy whatever you decide to do. My husband and I did a private all day tour through Jackie's Historical Land Tours. Our driver was Graham and he was very good - pleasant personality, didn't rush you along, and had good suggestions for additional places to see since we had extra time. For the two of us, 5.5 hrs. it cost $420 (cash only). Sounds like a lot, but we saw everything at our own pace and the tour was tailored specifically for us. As you're pricing tours, one thing that you won't realize until you are on Grand Cayman is the price of gas. It is about $6.00 US per gallon - even worse than what we pay in California. Also, since it is a British territory, wages are closer to "western wages" than on some other islands. So when you consider those things, an hourly rate of $40+ makes more sense. Jackie's Historical Land Tours website - http://jackieshistoricallandtours.com/ Enjoy the trip! Cyndy Firstin87
  9. Hi mamabearjp, Thank you for all the details! I appreciate you taking the time to tell me everything I need to know, and adding the list of things to bring. I'm sorry to reply to late. I've been laid up with the flu and am finally getting caught up on emails, etc. I envy you getting to ride horses at home. My husband has never ridden and this looks like a great first experience for him. I haven't ridden in over 30 years, but its been on my "vacation to do" list for some time. Thanks again! Cyndy
  10. Hi Mamabearjp, Thank you for the info. I'm thinking about what we need to pack for that day. Can you change clothes before and after the water portion of the ride? Thanks, Cyndy
  11. Hi, We are going to Ocho Rios in mid-April on NCL and are considering doing the Horseback Ride & Swim excursion. Has anyone done that? Does anyone know what stable it is through - Hooves or Braco Stables? Thanks for any information. Cyndy
  12. Thank you, sleepbestonships, for this post. We were just wondering the same thing and I was about to do the math myself, so I appreciate you doing it for me.
  13. Hi, I posted this question last week, but got no reply as it went far down the forum list quickly. We've done a bit of ship research, and I'm hoping that my more descriptive thread title helps get any information. We're looking to book a Panama Canal cruise in early 2020 - 15 days from Florida to California similar to one that sails in Jan. 2019 that we had to postpone. NCL is only listing 5 cruises for Jan.-Feb. 2020, on the Gem and the Joy. However, the Sun and Star are not listed as being in use during this time. After doing some ship research, we found that both ships dock in Florida in mid-August 2019 and have nothing planned thereafter. I thought the Sun was just in drydock, so can't imagine it would be out of service again just over a year later. Does anyone have any idea what's going on with these ships after next August? Or when NCL will post additional Panama Canal cruises for early 2020? I saw on another thread that there are problems with Nicaragua and I'm wondering if NCL is adjusting their itinerary to skip that port and perhaps that is the delay. Thanks for any info or ideas.
  14. Thanks for posting this thread. We are also using Blexie and have Raul as our guide, and we'd also like to bring something for him and his family. How old is his daughter? Any thoughts on what would be best to bring his wife? We've got some baseball items for him, so that's done.
  15. Firstin87

    Tour with Blexie

    Thank you for posting your itinerary. I'm just starting to research what we want to see on our Blexie tour with Raul as our guide.
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