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Everything posted by swelch

  1. This will be my first "cold weather cruise" and I am not sure what to expect and pack. We will be on the Caribbean Princess. If it is cold will they heat the pools and/or hot tubs? If it is raining will they close them? What about the outdoor movie nights? Is there a dome or cover to protect from rain or do they just cancel the shows? If it's not rainy but cold do they allow you to bring a blanket from stateroom? Also I have a question about anytime dining. We are a group of six, so will that likely make it more difficult to get a table together nightly? Will they break us up? When I tried to sign up for traditional dining, it said the 5:00 was full but the 7:15 had a wait list. If we do go with the 7:15 dining time, if there is room, do we need to let the waiter know ahead of time when we try the specialty restaurants, which we plan to do each of them. Thanks so much for any help!
  2. swelch

    New England/Canada cruise questions

    Thank you SO MUCH! Very helpful for packing and being prepared for any weather. What an adventure this may turn out to be! Hopefully no hurricanes. The rest I can handle!
  3. I thought Mont Saint-Michel would be the main focus of the Cherbourg port of call!! RCCL is not even offering it from here!! They, instead, offer it from Le Havre. Which presents a dilemma. I was planning on seeing the Normandy Beaches from Le Havre, assuming it was the best launch pad for Normandy Beach tours. So on RCCL's website they do offer one Normandy Beach excursion from Cherbourg, but it is only a 5 hour tour as opposed to the tours offered from Le Havre, which are 8 hours. The whole reason we chose this cruise was to visit both Mont Saint-Michel AND Normandy Beaches. Does anyone have any advice or guidance for me? There are six of us. We are Americans, so would like to include the American beaches, if that is the appropriate term. Thank You!!
  4. swelch

    Flavors of san juan

    Has anyone done this tour? I did a search before I posted this, and I didn't find anything, which surprised me since it's highly rated on Tripadvisor! Anyways, I have this booked in March and I will write in and review when I get back!
  5. swelch

    Typical evening departure time? Dinner in port?

    Well it sure helped me!! I am trying to do a search for specifics on itineries, with little luck. This is EXACTLY the type of information I am trying to obtain! Any suggestions on "key words" for more info like this? I really want to try a river cruise, but a deal-breaker for me is if we are on the boat too much and not enough time in port! Really looking forward to evenings in ports. Thanks again!
  6. swelch

    Catamaran tour to Pitons - motion sickness?

    I just got back from a tour to Jalousie Beach and ended up taking a catamaran for the hour-plus ride back to the ship, and I experienced absolutely no motion sickness at all, and I am a rather prone. It was smooth, but not too smooth. I will bet you will be just fine!
  7. swelch

    Flavors of san juan

    Wow, wow, wow!!!!! That absolutely sums it up!! We had a party of 14. Every single last one of us were so overwhelmed with the quality of this tour! The food was absolutely phenomenal and our tour guide/director Paulina was energetic, informative, and as charming as is humanly possible! We had a red-eye flight out of SFO and had very little to no sleep, but I decided to book this tour anyway, figuring we would just go straight to bed and waste our first night in San Juan if we didn't. Plus, it was a great way to learn about the City and how to navigate it so we could use that knowledge the next full day we had to explore. I am so very, very glad I did exactly that. Every one of us used the knowledge gained from the tour on Friday night to get the most out of San Juan for our precious Saturday in this fabulous city! We all did separate things but felt confident about what we were doing, and all of us re-visited at least one if not more of the establishments that Paulina introduced us to. Our group ranged in age from 25 to 71 years old. We started at an out-of-the-way place that there is no way in heck I ever would have found on my own. It was very hidden, classy and absolutely delicious!! I am not going to give details unless you specifically ask me because I think it would kind of spoil the fun a bit. Next we had the best mojito I have ever had in my life paired with a very satisfying and delicious food pairing. Again, I will not divulge details on the food unless you specifically ask me, but I don't think you should spoil the surprise. Next we walked to another quaint out-of-the-way establishment to try Puerto Rican specialties such as mofongo and beans and rice. Now I have had mofongo before, but I thought it was rather bland. Well, let me tell you, there was NOTHING bland about this mofongo!!!!!! And the beans and rice were spectacular!!! YUMMMMMMM!!! Last but certainly not least we walked to a cozy little bar/tavern type place and had dessert with coffee. Again, delicious!! En route we were treated to a walking tour explaining the City's history and the buildings were were walking past. It was absolutely magical!!! And, remember, we were completely exhausted from our flight, and sometimes it was pouring down rain. Yet every single one of us were completely thrilled! We even had some extremely picky eaters in our group, and they were very satisfied with this tour as well!! I know I am using way too many exclamation points in this review, but I guarantee you, if you take this tour you will find yourself doing the same! Guaranteed!!!!! Bless you, Paulina!!!!
  8. swelch

    flavours of san juan or segway tour?

    We just got back this week from our cruise, and our party of 14 did the Flavors of San Juan Tour with Pauline and it was absolutely the best tour that I have ever taken! Great food in unique places that we never would have found on our own, and the walking tour gave us all a great introduction on how to navigate Old San Juan. Next day the couples set out on their own to explore some more based on what we learned. I just cannot recommend Flavors of San Juan more! All 14 of us that the tour was excellent
  9. swelch

    custom tour recommendations?

    I want to do a land and sea tour so badly, but we have two people in our group who are prone to car-sickness. I am wondering if it's possible to book a tour that is not so lengthy and car-ride intensive and still hit the top spots? And if that is possible, what would be your recommendations? I love local cuisine and culture first and foremost, secondly sites such as Pitons and waterfall with a short swim and possibly volcano, and lastly snorkeling and swimming. We do love those stops as well, but we have a few people who wouldn't necessarily swim but relax on beach instead. If we take the ship's 7 hour excursion, are they large busses and would that perhaps alleviate the motion sickness problem? What is the lunch like on the ship's excursion, I wonder? Thanks for any and all advice!
  10. swelch

    Can you book aerial tram tour online?

    Thank you so much for your help, Reedprincess! We will definitely book a tour, and it will definitely be a private tour, no matter what!
  11. I am sorry if I am repeating this question, but I think it warrants its own thread. I tried to book tickets for the aerial tram on the website and it says something to the effect that cruise ship passengers must book through their ship. Not worded exactly like that, though. How in the world would they know if I was on a ship or not? Are there stories of people being turned away? This seems like a ludicrous rule, to me. I was hoping to incorporate the aerial tram with some sights of St. Lucia with a private tour! Boo!! And since I am at it, do you think the rainforest tour via aerial tram (no ziplining) is a good way to spend the entire day in St. Lucia? Or is the private tour better, and why? Thanks!
  12. swelch

    Gecko Tours ATV

    It's an independent tour. I think the ship had some 4X4 tours, but no ATVs. And they only have three openings for cruise ship passengers per day, 5 ATVs, 2 person max per ATV (obviously). The first is I think at 9:00, second one at 12:00, and last one at 2:00 if I recall correctly They book quickly. For my March cruise two time slots are already filled up! I think the tour was 1 1/2 to 2 hours and the tour ends at Rainbow Beach. You are responsible for your transportation back to beach, which I think I read is like a mile. And it's 125 dollars per ATV. http://www.geckosislandadventures.com/
  13. swelch

    Flavors of san juan

    Just learned how to do a google search!!! Wow, where have I been???? Thanks so much for posting! I can't believe how much better the results are than the way I have been doing it in the past! Thanks!!!
  14. swelch

    Gecko Tours ATV

    Thanks for this information!! We will be on this tour in March. I was going to wear clod-hoppers, but now I will wear my flip flops or sandals instead. I read somewhere that one group went to the Domino Club with the beer-guzzling pigs. Did you do that? Was it hard getting a cab ride back to the ship from Rainbow Beach? Is there a restaurant for lunch or a bar or music there? Was it extremely crowded? Thanks again!
  15. swelch

    Can you book aerial tram tour online?

    I have been informed that the aerial tram tours do indeed need to be booked through the ship. Weird, though, that it only mentions Carnival. My frustration is the tour through the ship is only 3-4 hours and I don't want to have to book another tour to get a real "flavor" of St. Lucia since the ship's tours generally have "no heart," IMO. There are exceptions of course! So we have decided not to do the tram after all. We will save it for when we return to St. Lucia on a land tour. Maybe we'll just go into Castries.
  16. swelch

    custom tour recommendations?

    Oops! I misunderstood. Cosol tours couldn't take us on the aerial tram. We have to book that through the ship. But they COULD tailor a tour that would fit our needs in addition o the ship's tour!! Point is, they were very helpful and responsive in trying to meet our needs! Great customer service!
  17. swelch

    Flavors of san juan

    Maybe I don't know how to search correctly. I never "google" search. I guess it's about time I learn. What I meant was a search of these boards for "Flavors of San Juan" turned up nothing. I read all about it on tripadvisor, and that is why I indeed booked our private tour. I was hoping to get even more information and jazzed to take this tour through reviews on these boards. I will definitely post my review when I get back for other "google search challenged" old people like myself!
  18. Our group cruised on AOS about 5 years ago and loved it! We wanted to do the Southern Caribbean itinerary, so when we saw AOS we jumped at the opportunity without question! It was a great ship, and I am certain it still is! I read reviews about supposedly unruly Puerto Ricans when I researched my last cruise on AOL, and all I have to say to that is what a bunch of bunk!! I never witnessed anything but cordial, fun and lively people the whole cruise! And what a great place to board the ship! Puerto Rico was like a mini trip to Spain! It felt so much like Sevilla did when I went there. Please don't let these nay-sayers detract you from your excitement! It's a great ship and a GREAT embarkation port!
  19. swelch

    custom tour recommendations?

    I emailed Cosol because of their extremely high rating on these boards. They told me they could do a tour tailored to my needs. Many of the people in my group want to do the aerial tram. Not so thrilled myself. He gave me a great price quote for a ride for us all to the tram (we pay our own tram rides) and then a two hour tour with boat ride for snorkeling, someplace for lunch. Here is the kicker: the website for the aerial tram ride specifically says cruise ship people cannot book tickets online. What is this all about? How do they know I am on a ship? So I am forced to book an overpriced ship's tour?
  20. This is my first time ziplining, and I need some reassurance. It'll be me (45-145 pounds-very scared) hubby (49-175 pounds-not scared) daughter (26-140 pounds-not scared) I am in mediocre shape, go to gym like twice a week on good week. But I AM NOT coordinated. No way! Adrena-line is 3 hrs, 76 dollars, and 25 minutes away from port. It says in the "middle of a true rainforest." And it says, "go out on a limb and take a leap onto the rope web below." WTH? (what the heck?) It also says, "All riggings are on a triple redundancy system so you never have to scrape your knee." Why would I scrape my knees? On the trees? What is that all about? Ultimate Treetop Adventure is 4 hrs, 86 dollars, and it offers no information on how far away from port it is. It offers lunch and a two-part adventure, combining ziplining and a high wire obstacle course. I am trying to decide between the two, and my main concerns are (1) atmosphere-I definitely prefer to have beautiful flora and fauna to distract me while I "fly like a bird" and (2) skill level, for an awkward, unsure beginner, and (3) how long is the bus ride? Not too important, though. Any advice, input or suggestions will be helpful and appreciated!
  21. I've spent considerable time reading these threads, and it is clear that Cosol tours and Spencer Ambrose is absolutely the way to go. So my dumb question is: can you book their tours through RCCL? I have been on nine cruises and I am too afraid not to book through the ship, even though I know I am being an idiot. Help me!
  22. swelch

    culture day or beach day?

    I'm trying to decide between a beach day on a ship's excursion to Dickenson Bay or a do-it-yourself Sandal's Resort -- OR -- stroll the town and eat some true-blue carribean food and listen to some island music. I know there is tons of food on the ship, but I want the real deal. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!
  23. swelch

    Adrena-line or ultimate treetop? Help!

    Wow, ask and you shall receive! Thank you for the links and valuable insight. This really helps so much. I am gathering info for our whole group, actually -- about 20 people. My mother is debating on going zipling with us. She is feisty and spunky but has very bad knees, trouble walking down stairs and hills. Going up, not a problem. She is 68. We will look at the websites together and come to a decision. Thanks again!
  24. About four years ago our group booked this excursion and we LOVED it!! But I believe we were in a little cove area. I recall a few huts behind us and a shack where we had lunch, but I don't remember being able to walk along the beach to hit other bars/restaurants. Did I just not venture far enough? Or does RCCL take you to a secluded cove too far from the main part of Orient Beach? I want to see more this time!!
  25. That is EXACTLY where we were! And although I did love it there, I really would like to wander a bit. You know, I have been on nine cruises, and I have never not taken a ship's tour! I am just too chicken! Maybe this time I will be brave. Thanks so much for the post!