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Gatordad815

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About Gatordad815

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  1. Thanks everyone for the input-all helpful!
  2. Oh you’d better believe we will be stopping everywhere for photos! Embarkation, each port stop, dinner, pools, everywhere! It’ll be good timing too as we typically pay for a photographer for Christmas card photos of the kids, so having lots of these pics to choose from will give us the material we need for cards!
  3. Thank you for pointing me to this-great photos! Now I have to go back and read the whole report-thanks!
  4. Thanks so much-I’d love to read a recent review! Have a great time!
  5. Hi all! Though we have been on 4 RC cruises before, we have never purchased (or even looked into) a photo package. For our fall cruise (7-night Southern on Freedom), we would like to get photos. The cruise planner lists the all digital at $174.99, and the all digital + all prints package for $229.99. My questions: 1) Are these “decent” prices compared to typical prices (seems to me they are but I don’t have a frame of reference to compare)? 2) What size are the prints if we add on the prints? 3) Are the prints worth the $55 more? Seems I’d spend around that printing pics at home anyway, but of course if we get them from RC I’d have to get them home on an airplane without damaging them which may be a challenge. Any thoughts/input appreciated!
  6. Hi all! We will be on the Freedom of the Seas Southern Caribbean itinerary this fall, and for our St. Lucia stop I have come across the “Coastal Cruise to the Pitons” excursion through Royal Caribbean. We are a family of four and our kids will be 5 and 7 at the time. The cost is $74 per adult and $54 per child for a total of $266. We haven’t historically taken ship-sponsored excursions, opting instead to go on our own to the local sights and beaches. But given the distance, maybe a ship excursion would be wise? The excursion has a 4-hour duration and is described as follows: “A leisurely and scenic cruise from the Island's North unfolds the island's beauty as you sail past fishing villages dotted along the coast line and mountain ridges before laying eyes on the majestic volcanic peaks, Gros and Petit Piton. These twin peaks are the most photographed landmark on island. Circle the bay and then head Northbound for a swimming stop at one of the bays. After your swim, cruise into one of the most beautiful bays in the Caribbean - Marigot Bay, before heading back to your ship.“ Can anyone comment on their experiences with this excursion? Given the price, duration and ages of our kids, is this one a good choice or are there other recommendations? I’ve asked on the St. Lucia page and there appears to be very little traffic there, so I’m hoping since it’s a Royal Caribbean excursion I will get more feedback on the Royal Caribbean page. Thanks for any input!
  7. Thank you for the feedback! We have been looking at the Spencer Ambrose Tour as it gets wonderful reviews! My only concern is our daughter has dietary restrictions (Celiac Disease) and 7 hours is a really long day away from the ship and safe food. I’m sure if we bring snacks for her we can make it work though! The cost is also higher at $330 for all of us, though I bet the time at the beach would justify the difference in price.... Decisions, decisions... I’d still love any further input on either of these options (or others that I’m not thinking of that would be worth considering.) Thank you!
  8. Hi all! We will be on the Freedom of the Seas southern Caribbean itinerary this fall, and for our St. Lucia stop I have come across the “Coastal Cruise to the Pitons” excursion through Royal Caribbean. We are a family of four and our kids will be 5 and 7 at the time. The cost is $74 per adult and $54 per child for a total of $266. We haven’t historically taken ship-sponsored excursions, opting instead to go on our own to the local sights and beaches. But given the distance, maybe a ship excursion would be wise? The excursion has a 4hour duration and is described as follows: “A leisurely and scenic cruise from the Island's North unfolds the island's beauty as you sail past fishing villages dotted along the coast line and mountain ridges before laying eyes on the majestic volcanic peaks, Gros and Petit Piton. These twin peaks are the most photographed landmark on island. Circle the bay and then head Northbound for a swimming stop at one of the bays. After your swim, cruise into one of the most beautiful bays in the Caribbean - Marigot Bay, before heading back to your ship.“ Can anyone comment on their experiences with this excursion? Given the price, duration and ages of our kids, is this one a good choice or are there other recommendations? Thanks for any input!
  9. Thanks to everyone for the feedback. I was able to get a better deal at embassy suites for roughly $200 a night so I booked that. While not a bargain, compared to the going rates at other hotels, it’s a good deal for a nice place to stay. This hotel checks all our boxes (beach access nearby, nice pool, and grocery store), and since we have never been to San Juan, I like the idea of a reputable hotel. So I’m happy with what we ended up with! I still have plenty of time to look at other options, but this is a really good option for our family. Thanks again!
  10. If they let you book it you’ll be fine. It’s just right now for the weekend we are going, they are not allowing stays fewer than 3 nights, so 1 and 2 night stays can’t even be booked on their website or over the phone. But that’s specific to our weekend, not an across the board policy.
  11. Can I ask, is there a specific spot to get a taxi on our own? The only other time we were in St. Thomas, we took the safari taxi to Emerald Beach from Crown Bay because that’s all we saw at the port. My strong preference with the kids would be a vehicle with doors and maybe even a seatbelt! That, plus the ability to stop, would be a big plus! But all we saw last time were the safari taxis. If I can figure out where to look for a regular taxi, I’d definitely do that instead.
  12. Thanks for the tips! I think my wife would prefer less crowded so we are going to try Lindqvist! Now does anyone know where I can get that bottle of wine or 6 pack of beer when I get off the ship? I’m assuming there will be spots near the taxis at Havensight, right?
  13. Thank you both for the help! As far as Emerald goes, the only time we have been to St. Thomas before we docked in Crown Bay and went to Emerald. We enjoyed it very much! But since it’s the only place we have been in St. Thomas and we are docking at Havensight this time, we would like to explore a different beach. Great question on the other ships and whether they skew older-hadn’t really considered that and yes it seems to me they do (though to be fair it is spring break so I’d expect even these ships to have more families than typical). The port schedule is: MSC Seaside: 7:00-5:00 Caribbean Princess: 8:00-10:00 Sky Princess: 8:00-10:00 Carnival Breeze (our ship): 11:30-7:00 We don’t mind a lively beach but don’t love the “sardines” concept so I think I’ll cross SH off the list. That’s the reason I haven’t considered Magen’s either. Loungers are not a requirement, but some sort of shade availability is (whether it’s a tree or an umbrella). So based on the recommendations here I think I’m left choosing between Lindqvist and Sapphire. Any others that come to mind? Between the 2, based on the totality of the circumstances, what do the experts think? Thanks again for for your willingness to share-I genuinely appreciate it!
  14. Thanks for the input! Our kids are 4 and 6. They’re strong swimmers, but we definitely wouldn’t let them swim water that’s not calm. They usually are quite happy at the edge of the water playing in the sand! Unfortunately, the day we are there one ship leaves at 5, but the other two don’t leave until 10PM, so I suspect most passengers will overlap with our late and brief port stop. While the ship leaves at 7, we will likely want to be back by 5 to clean up for dinner at 6, so realistically we have about 3-4 hours of beach time (which should be plenty with the kids). Any thoughts based on this additional info appreciated!
  15. Hi all! I’m looking at beaches for our Spring break cruise, and we will be arriving late (11:30) on a day with 4 ships in port. We have 2 small kids and would like shade availability. We had previously settled on Secret Harbor based on the very helpful info here about being able to reserve umbrellas ahead of time. But in realizing we have 4 ships in port (I previously through the there were 2), I am a little concerned about crowds. I recently came across some great reviews of Lindqvist Beach, and it appears crowding is not as much of an issue there. It also appears there may be natural shade. We will likely eat lunch on the ship before heading out, so the only other concern would be drinks (and I can carry some bottled water off the ship for the kids). My questions: 1) As between these 2 options, which would you choose with kids and a late arrival on a day with 4 ships in port? 2) If we choose Lindqvist, is there a place at the mall I could grab a bottle of wine or 6 pack of cold beer to bring with us since there isn’t a bar/restaurant there? 3) Are there other better options I’m not considering? Thanks for any input and particularly for those of you who consistently share your knowledge-it is greatly appreciated!
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