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gatour

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About gatour

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About Me

  • Location
    Jacksonville
  • Interests
    Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Royal Caribbean, Disney
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

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  1. gatour

    Tropicante

    We visited Tropicante last Sunday, 15 Sept 2019 Getting out of the port area is definitely the hard part. But thanks to the above and a few other posts, we were able to get out. We ended up taking the tram, but once I saw where the taxis were, next time we would take a taxi instead of the tram. The tram is slow. We did take the taxi back to the port (driver even offered to stop by the lighthouse for pictures, and one of the tequila tasting bars. Anyway our experience with Tropicante was great. I had contacted them beforehand to reserve a couple of loungers which wasn’t really needed as our ship was the only ship in port and was one of RCCL smallest When we got into town and the tram. A few guys came up to the tram. One started to talk, but was hard to understand, I am guessing he was promoting his beach fron bar/restaurant. I just said I wanted to go to Tropicante, Jevan spoke up. He checked us off and led us to Tropicante Since we were first we had the choice of loungers. Except for the row of loungers closest to the water, the rest were in the shade. Under trees and tarps hanging from the trees. We chose a couple, while Jevan pointed out where the restaurant with bathrooms is located. He also said whenever we wanted he would put in a couple of adirondack chairs in the water. I was worried about the seaweed situation, figuring worse case we would have a few drinks and be on our way. While there was some seaweed, not enough to have any concerns. We settled in and enjoyed margaritas and beers during the day that Jevon would bring to us. Periodically getting in the water. While we didn’t order any food, a couple that arrived later had the nachos and seemed to enjoy them. The portion was huge. Looked to be a good cost/value choice. shrimp and enjoy. One lady showed up and Jevon gave her the run-down, while she was checking out the beach area. She said this beach was much better than whatever other part of the beach she had seen. She left to round up her friends and returned. When you pick your loungers, they assign you a number. They just keep a running tab, and when you are ready to leave, you pay the tab. As we were leaving I commented to my wife, I think I actually liked it better than Coco Caye. It had attentive service, didn’t have to hunt down shade, and the $3 beers and $5 sure beats the prices on Coco Caye. I did do some wondering around and had found the taxi stand. If you are on the beach facing the restaurant it is about a block to the right. There were plenty of taxi’s so that should be a concern. Originally, I was thinking of doing one of the AI, in retrospect this was a better option, as my wife is not a drinker. Even if we had ordered food we would still would have come ahead. I can highly recommend Tropicante.
  2. Cheapest wine by the glass on board ship is $11.80 including service fees. Where do you get get a glass of wine for $3.50 on board> While the bottle of wine is shlock. you would still get 4+ glasses out of it, for $47.20. Doing lunch at Jamie's is about a $50 value. An appropriate OBC would be $100. I currently have no skin in the game, but if I booked under the former terms, I would be a bit irked.
  3. gatour

    Pier shuttle

    I had only been to Costa Maya once before, so looked for the construction of a pier, expecting a second pier. However, based on your description... Facing away from the "shopping center" back towards the pier. Past the end of the ship there was a dog leg of the pier to the left. Is this the extension you are referring to? If so, it looked largely complete. There were no cranes on the extension or on barges next to the pier. However, I believe there were barricades in place if you attempted to make a left turn on to the extension. There were barricades around the bollards on the extension, much like on the part of the pier where we docked. So I am thinking it is getting close, if I got the extension part correct.
  4. Yes, getting out to the tram and then to the taxi stand was definitely the hard part. Between the above, and some other postings, I was able make way. We took the tram outbound and a taxi back. Next time, we would take a taxi both ways. The tram was much slower than the taxi. Just walk past the tram pick up towards the gates, once pass the gate, there will be a line of taxis. In the port area, there is hardly any signage.
  5. We were at Tropicante on Sunday, 15 Sept 2019. There was a bit of seaweed but not nearly enough to come even close to not staying. As the ship, was leaving port I did see a bit more seaweed, but I have a feeling it is overall subsiding.
  6. gatour

    Pier shuttle

    It was running on Sunday, 15 Sept 2019, when we were there.
  7. You are correct. Unless you were are in the chain restaurant industry, someone may not understand "holding" companies, thus my reference to Olive Garden as opposed to Darden. Bill Darden established Red Lobster and grew it out. He then established Olive Garden. I remember going to one of the first dozen Olive Gardens when they actually made fresh made pasta near the front hostess stand. The company evolved trying different concepts (bbq, asian) among others some were failures and some with success. He was truly a pioneer in the casual restaurant sector
  8. I don't disagree that casual dining was also a factor. In fact, over 25 years ago, me and a coworker started a casual Friday dress code trend on a Headquarters AF base. I was a GS'er he was a contractor. We stopped wearing suits, and started wearing khaki's with polo's on Fridays.
  9. Bingo, you got one of the points I was trying to make, in one of my first posts. However, it still doesn't negate the fact that their is a potential for cost savings no matter how small and will be taken into account by the bean counters. To give you an example five years ago, a major shareholder of Olive Garden, suggested that the number breadsticks dropped off in the initial basket be reduced by one. Much like why some port stops are shorter than years ago. Allows them to cruise at a slower speed between ports thus saving fuel costs.
  10. Actually no domestic cruises are not cruises that begin and end in an U.S. port. What you are describing are closed loop cruises. A cruise that starts in the US visited some kind of foreign port and ends at the same US port. A domestic cruise is a cruise that starts at a US port, such as Jacksonville heads up the coast stopping at various US ports, and finally ending at a US port such as Baltimore. Vast difference.
  11. From my understanding LNG is less energy "dense" than diesel. I.E. if you have a "tank" that is one foot by one foot by one foot. (1 cubic foot). You fill it with diesel it will drive the ship one foot. To drive the ship the same foot with LNG would take a larger tank. Note the tank number/foot number are made up number. Just trying give an idea that it would take bigger tanks for LNG to get the same range as a diesel powered ship. To answer coevan. Yes the fuel diesel or LNG, supplies the engines which are actually generators. They generate electricity to power the motors that turn the propellers. Not much different that locomative train engines that you see on railroad tracks.
  12. Hmm, so basically you are reclassifying the assistant servers to food runners. Same number of people involved, just with different titles.
  13. When Irma passed by Jacksonville two years ago. while the downtown, Riverside, and San Marco areas flooded when the river breached its banks (for the first time that I can remember). I don't recall their were any flooding affects on the parking lots for the cruise terminal. I am curious why the port remained closed today. The only thing may have been availability of personal.
  14. My point was that mostly likely they weren't replacing a table cloth every four weeks. More likely every six months if not longer. In the meantime, the white tablecloths, are being washed and folded. While they have "folding" machines there are personnel involved. Not just for the actual laundering, feeding them into the folding machines, and transporting them to storage before use. Then the servers have to place the tablecloths on the table. All of this is labor cost. Now add on the cost of detergent along with the maintenance/replacement cost of the laundry machines. The point I was making about the napkins was if they were white, they would still last over six months. We would never throw out the whole batch every month. We would "retire" them when they got worn. Once our "stock" got low, we would purchase replacements from a linen supply company. Why would a cruise company behave differently? You do realize, that there are cost targets. I.E. food cost should be at a certain percentage, labor costs should be at a certain percentage, etc. of sales. A few pennies here and there can add up to real dollars. By dropping the table cloths save these pennies per table cloth and thusly dollars over the the thousands of tablecloths in use without the customers complaining then that will be a factor in the decision making progress.
  15. I think your friend is in need of an intervention. It sounds like they live independently, it may be time for the family to make arrangements for at least a caretaker.
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