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About Gatordad815

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  1. Sorry I can’t help there. The menu was standard Mexican and prices were reasonable (prices were in pesos and after doing the conversion nothing seemed overpriced), but I don’t have a photo. There were no tickets-the server kept track of everything and our check showed $0 charge for 2 of my drinks and 2 of my wife’s drinks. I’m not sure what they’d do if you switch up drinks, as I’m pretty sure we had 3-4 drinks each but mine were all beer and hers were all vodka and we got 2 of each at no charge. At the end of the day I’m pretty sure our bill was between $40 and $50 for 2 lunches, 7-8 alcoholic drinks and 3-4 bottles of water. That plus the $12 each to enter felt well worth the cost for the day we had there! It was definitely our least expensive port day.
  2. Yes I should have mentioned in the review that they let us select our lounger location (plenty of shady spots and sunny spots to choose from early in the day) and they brought a mat for all four loungers (even for the small kids they didn’t charge). The photos I took that show the wooden loungers were early in the day before people arrived, but yes everyone who was there that day got a mat for the lounger.
  3. Blue Kay was a very nice beach with great service. Below is the Blue Kay review copied and pasted from our Spring Break Trip report (first week of April): COSTA MAYA – BLUE KAY As we were exiting the ship in Costa Maya, my kids were chanting “We love Mexico!” over and over again without prompting from us. For some reason, they really, really were excited to be back in Mexico. I had read several reviews of Blue Kay with conflicting reports of the cost and set-up and I almost chose not to go there because I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I am so glad we chose to go there as it was fantastic! The cabs are $8 each to go to the beach and it was a quick ride. Upon arrival, we paid $12 for each adult for entry and chairs (both kids were free) and that included 2 drinks for each of us – what a great deal!  The beach was very pretty. There was some seaweed, but they were keeping it very clean and it did not impact our day there at all. You could see on the other side of Blue Kay how much seaweed piled up on in the areas that were not attended to, so it was apparent to me that they really do a nice job keeping it clean. The service was GREAT! Just so friendly and efficient. The food and drinks were incredibly reasonably priced. The vibe was soooooooo relaxed…. After spending the day at West Bay the day before being harassed by aggressive vendors all day, it was so nice to see friendly low-key vendors – it was no hassle at all when they approached us.  I would highly recommend Blue Kay if you are in Costa Maya – everything about it was great! When it was time to leave, the kids were lollygagging as usual and I was eager to get them out of the sun so I was trying to hurry them along. I finally give my 3 year old son an ultimatum: Dad (kind of sternly): “Son – you need to get your shoes on so we can get back to the ship because we are running late and if we miss the ship you aren’t going to be able to go home and you are going to have to live in Mexico!” Son (sincerely smiling): “Yay – I LOVE MEXICO!!!” Sigh…I guess that one backfired on me….
  4. This is a topic of interest to me as our 6 year old daughter has Celiac Disease so safe GF is a must for any family vacation trip for us. We have done 3 Royal Caribbean Oasis class sailings, though are considering expanding our horizons and trying Carnival Breeze. My biggest reluctance, however, is I already know the drill on RC for every food option. As a parent, my biggest stress on a trip is making sure she can eat GF without feeling “left out” and with as little inconvenience as possible, so since I know exactly how it’ll be on RC, I can make it easier with just a little prior planning. If anyone could comment on how Carnival compares to RC for Gluten Free options (particularly for children with Celiac), I’d sincerely appreciate it. Thanks!
  5. When we were there for spring break, Roatan was 2 hours behind Ship time. I believe the ship was to arrive at 8 according to RC’s itinerary, which was 6AM local time. The gangway was down about 30 minutes after arrival at this stop (and all stops). We were finishing breakfast when the ship was cleared. We were off the ship by 7AM Roatan time, so it was 9AM Ship time. So to specifically answer your question, in our experience last month the time on the itinerary was ship’s time, not local time. I suspect if you tell the transport you’ll meet them 30 minutes after the gangway is down, they’d know when to get you. Everyone in town showed up when our ship arrived-they knew what time we would be there! Enjoy your trip!
  6. I was on the saiing and heard the Alpha calls. My wife and I also randomly overheard 2 gentlemen in your party talking about the logistics of the Nassau hospital situation a little bit later. I said a quick prayer for your mom, never expecting I’d eventually read the story of what the Alpha call was about. I sincerely hope she made it home ok...
  7. Yes. This. All of this. This was our exact experience 2-3 weeks ago when we arrived and when we left. Prior to the trip I looked up reviews for less costly options thinking along the same lines as you, but across the board the reviews were horrible, so we just parked at the port. I’ve never had such a convenient parking experience with such great service. I hate wasting money on unnecessary stuff, yet I felt like I definitely got my money’s worth for a $154 week of parking. They know how to do it right there & the ease of getting in and out definitely takes the sting out of the expense. Especially the ease of getting out if you have to drive to North Florida tired after a weeklong vacation like we did. We were already in Orlando before noon. I wouldn’t even consider a different option next time we are there. Good luck whatever you end up deciding!
  8. I can’t help with #1 as we haven’t used the arcade cards before, but for #2 I can tell you that at the Aquanauts 3-5 age group (which is where my kids have been for 3 cruises now on Oasis and Allure) they will not take the kids to the arcade, so you won’t have to worry about him being there without you! Hope someone else can assist with your other questions!
  9. I’m pretty sure there was noting to replace Dreamworks, but there was plenty to do for my kids and even though our sailing was the last with the characters, we didn’t go out of our way to see them and our kids didn’t miss them with everything else going on...
  10. I’m glad I could help! I’ve researched as much as I can about pay-as-you-go options on the Western Route (there are so many all-inclusive options), and I think Blue Kay is as good an option as any if you’re not looking for all-inclusive (at least it was for us!). I hope your trip turns out well!
  11. I’m probably not the best person to ask about drinks, as I’m a beer drinker and can’t comment on the mixed drinks. My wife is avoiding sodas, carbs and sugary drinks, so she drank vodka (Absolut) mixed with bottled water. So obviously our drinks weren’t anything exotic, but that was our own choosing. The folks we were with had mojitos and they looked really good, though I never tasted them and they didn’t say anything one way or the other about them. Because of our daughters Celiac disease, all inclusives don’t work for us (just don’t trust the food for her). We always bring plenty of sealed gluten-free snacks for the kids in port and it works out well. As far as pricing goes, it really depends on how much you want to drink and eat, but I found the prices at Blue Kay to be excellent. I had 4 beers, my wife had 3 or 4 Absoluts with bottled water, we ordered 2 bottled waters for the kids, I had a chicken quesadilla (tasty), and my wife had some type of shrimp/guacamole dish which she absolutely loved. The bill for all of that was $43. With tip we spent $55. That plus the $12 entry per adult meant just under $80 at the resort for a great day! Obviously if you plan to eat and drink a LOT an all-inclusive may be better suited for you, but if you want a moderate amount, Blue Kay was a great value!
  12. So there you have it. Another trip complete. Another fantastic memory. Another successful gluten-free week on the high seas. And to think, I almost gave up on cruising for Spring Break when the first 8 people I talked to on the phone at Royal Caribbean told me no rooms were available on the Allure….. Lessons Learned: Be persistent with the people on the phone. Never underestimate the value of calling back 80 times. A family of 4 can fit comfortably in an oceanview balcony room with some prior planning and organization. The Allure of the Seas is AWESOME! The Western Itinerary is really fun and I can’t wait to do it again! I thought I was an Eastern Caribbean guy, but really I love both! Michigan people are the nicest people in America. Who knew??? This was far and away the best of the three cruises we have taken and I am so happy we were able to get ourselves on the Allure after the Oasis cancellation. We were lucky indeed! I’d be happy to answer any questions if I can – thank you to all of you who have posted so much invaluable information here – it really did help me plan the best trip ever and for that I am very grateful! Until next time…Cheers!
  13. RANDOM THOUGHTS The crowd: One of the reasons I was concerned to sail out of Miami for Spring Break is because I thought it would feel like being in Miami on the cruise. I was kind of concerned the elevators and promenade would feel like being on the Palmetto Expressway during rush hour, and that the people would treat each other kind of like people treat each other on the Palmetto Expressway. I honestly wasn’t looking forward to that. Remember, I am from Miami, so I am allowed to say that…. In actuality, the people on this cruise were SO NICE! I swear like 80% of the people on the ship were from Michigan. What is it with you Michigan people??? Is there something in the water that makes you so polite and friendly and likeable? Or is the human body just predisposed to kindness the first time it thaws from a long northern winter? It was almost nauseating how great you all were… I now love Michigan (even though I have never been there) because you people were awesome to cruise with. Like noticeably awesome. The crowding: I have read before that a Spring Break trip full of kids is noticeably more crowded and there are lines everywhere. I prepared my wife for this. In reality, this cruise was no more crowded than when we were on Oasis the last 2 times (both of which were while school was in session). I continue to be impressed with how much breathing room there is on the Oasis Class Ships. The Family Party on the Boardwalk: If you have kids, do this! It was on our last sea day and they had balloon twisting and face painting and games and a raffle and all kinds of fun. The kids LOVED it – we were out there for like 3 hours. Vintages: We wandered in there one evening while the kids were in Adventure Ocean and it was so relaxing. The service was fantastic and it was just a very quiet and peaceful place to stumble upon. A very adult experience (the opposite of what we are used to in daily life). We didn’t eat anything in there, but what we saw leave the kitchen looked and smelled fantastic! It’s a really nice place to have a drink (or 3! 😉 The Weather: Wow! We lucked out this week…. The weather was PERFECT! ALL WEEK! NOT A DROP OF RAIN!!! The seas were so calm too. Our first 2 cruises we had several days when the ship really rocked and I thought it would always just be like that. But the seas were so calm this cruise. The last day at sea was a bit windy, but that was the worst weather the whole week and it was still a really pleasant day! This trip will be the benchmark for perfect weather for future trips and I can only wish we have another week in the future with such perfect cruising weather. Live Music: We enjoyed live music in several spots. Boleros had a Bob Marley Tribute band one night and they were so fun! The same guys played at the pool on sea days. The Bow and Stern Pub had a great guy singing, though I cannot recall his name. But it was fun and engaging. Central Park always has talented musicians playing and creating a lovely relaxing atmosphere. Seriously, Central Park is just amazing in every way. I love it in there. Overall, the music was just fantastic all around the ship. The Beach Pool: This is the best pool on the ship. It just is. If you can get your kids away from the H20 zone, they may actually love the beach pool. Ours did and it made the adult pool experience so much better. Royal Caribbean: You know, they really do deliver a phenomenal onboard experience. I see why so many people are loyal and come back over and over again. I was so disappointed and upset with the whole cancellation and horrible service to rebook, and their pre-cruise service really does leave a lot to be desired, but they make up for it with an awesome experience on the ship. I guess that’s what really matters the most, huh?
  14. ENTERTAINMENT Ocean Aria - We took the kids to see the Ocean Aria show and it was AMAZING! Our 3 year old boy has a short attention span and he was mesmerized by the entire show. I definitely recommend taking the kids to see this show – it was very fun! Comedy Night – One of the nights the kids went to Adventure Ocean, we went to see the comedy show and it was hilarious – we really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it! Isn’t it awesome how these Oasis class ships have so many different entertainment venues??? Headliner – The headliner was a juggler who told jokes and while my wife and I anticipated he was going to be totally lame based on the description of the show, it was actually a really fun show – it kept the kids’ attention and they loved it. I was really surprised at how much we all enjoyed it! We had reservations to see Mamma Mia, Blue Planet and the Ice show, but alas, it was not meant to be….just too much else going on….maybe next time!
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