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About caribbean2000

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Falmouth, MA USA
  • Interests
    professional guitarist/teacher, snorkeling, TRAVEL!!!
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  1. The first small ferry/launch to Pinel does not leave until 10 a.m. It's easy to get a taxi to the ferry at the taxi station near where you will dock but try to be at the ferry dock no later than 9:30 as there will be a lot of people wanting to go over and the next launch doesn't leave for at least a half hour, maybe longer. We have been to Pinel many times and it continues to be our favorite destination when visiting SXM. We will be returning next March. Both beach bar/restaurants are very expensive so be prepared.
  2. Re: Take Five lounge. We are booked on the Sky for March 7, 2020. We were on the Regal a couple months ago and I had a long and great conversation with the Princess Orchestra leader. I asked him about that lounge as I am a professional musician and my wife and I love jazz and are very psyched about the new venue. He lit right up when asked about it and said that he was going to be the leader on the Sky when we are sailing and that he's very excited about it too! It will feature a full size grand piano and most of the entertainment will be jazz for listening and dancing. We are also so excited about the Retreat Pool! This will be our 21st cruise with Princess and have sailed most of the ships, some many times. A big deficiency of the Regal and Royal in our opinion (along with the lack a a true outer promenade deck is the lack of a stern pool beyond a small splash pool (which is dominated by the smokers who congregate in that area, sorry smokers). This new Retreat Pool looks just great! Can't wait to cruise on the Sky!
  3. We did the Chef's Table on the Royal and it was fantastic. However, if you want a slightly less Over-the-top experience for a bit less money we highly, highly recommend the Wine Maker's Dinner, which we had on the Regal last March. We did not even know such a thing existed and we've cruised Princess 20 times (and will be on the Sky next March, woohoo!!!). It is similar to Chef's Table in that you are in a special area with your own waiter and asst. waiter. Four amazing courses with unlimited Silverado wines (!!). The steak I had was the absolute best I've ever tasted and I have eaten in virtually all the high end steak houses in Vegas and elsewhere. The cost was $45 pp. We found out about while sitting on deck and someone came by trying to get sign-ups. As it turned out, even though they can seat 16 (on the Regal, no idea about other ships), only 6 including us had signed up, one couple cancelled at the last minute and the other never showed up! So we had positively the most romantic and delicious meal ever on a cruise ship, complete with our own waiter. It was heavenly and we are really hoping it will be offered on the Sky next year. Gene & Kathy from Cape Cod
  4. This incident was on the REGAL the first week of April. The captain was great about keeping everyone informed about the incident. Facts: smoke was seen in one of the incinerator rooms. Fire control team immediately dispatched. A battery somehow was not found in the sorting process before items were put in the incinerator; this is what caused the smoke. Any fire in the incinerator was immediately put out. At no time were passengers or crew in any danger. Kudos to the captain (and of course the crew) for frequent updates after the initial notice came over the PA system. I thought it was important to post this as false rumors can take on a life of their own on internet forums!
  5. We are elite level and in the past one of the first things we do when boarding is call the purser's desk and ask that the free mini bar be removed and two coffee cards be given instead. Now, with the medallion being used on our cruise on the Regal next week we are wondering if the same procedure is in place, i.e., can the purser's desk people apply the equivalent of the old coffee cards to our accounts via the medallion immediately? thanks!
  6. Looks like we'll have to get there early. I thought this cruise was on March 31! ;~) <sorry, couldn't resist>
  7. Agree, to a point. Cinnamon is our favorite beach for snorkeling on that side of STJ (much better might be a bit of an exaggeration however, but it is definitely better is you know where to go). If you had the time to rent a jeep and go over to the other side, Salt Pond Bay and Lamshur have excellent snorkeling). We will be heading over to Cinnamon in less than two weeks when we visit off the Regal Princess. But - and this is a big but - if the wind is strong and onshore none of the beaches on the south side of STJ - Trunk, Hawksnest, Cinnamon, others.... - will have good snorkeling because the water will be churned up and you won't be able to see much of anything. It is a real bummer if you make the effort to get over to STJ and find the snorkeling poor. If you do go to Cinnamon and water is calm, walk all the way down the beach to the right and snorkel along the rocks out to the point, this is where you'll see the most fish. Or swim out to the small island off the beach and make your way around it, you'll see fish out there. But so check the wind direction and force when you dock in STT, if it's brisk from the south or SW, Secret Harbor is still your best bet for good snorkeling. Have fun!! Gene & Kathy from Cape Cod
  8. We've done this twice and will sign up for it immediately when we board the Regal in less than two weeks. Love it! (pun intended)
  9. Forgot to mention - you can usually sign up for an excursion out to Buck Island in the dive shop if you want better snorkeling. It is primarily for scuba divers but the boat anchors close enough to shore that you can make the short swim in to the rocks along the shore where there is plenty to see. Not sure of the cost, we did it a few years ago. Just inquire at the dive shop to see if space is available. I believe they go twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. It was a 3 - 4 hour excursion.
  10. We will be sailing in three weeks, 2nd time on the Regal, also sailed the Royal and many other Princess ships (this will be our 19th overall with Princess - yes, we love Princess!!!) Do you happen to have a list or can recall the production shows? Was Beatlemania one of them (hope so!). thanks
  11. Cab fare should be about $12 pp each way. Chair and umbrella rental, about $8 per chair and the same for an umbrella, may be a discount for a combo. Rentals are handled at the dive shop and you will have to drag the loungers to where you want to go. Know that the area for non-customers of the resort is quite small and fills in quickly so get there as early as possible to claim your turf. The snorkeling is quite good everywhere off the beach and also if you hug the shore around the small point to the right you will see plenty. SH is a great option for snorkeling because the bay is almost always protected from the wind that can make snorkeling pretty disappointing on the south side beaches over on St. John. We almost always go to SH off ships and have also stayed there for a week. Not the "wild beauty" of St. John but still very nice.
  12. Excellent job on the review, concise and with many important points. I can't stand reviews that go on forever and include pictures of the burger someone had at the Dennys the day before the cruise ;~) We've sailed on the Caribbean Princess four times, the last being a year ago and yes, the little things are disappearing but frankly as long as cruising remains such a bargain compared to all other types of vacations I'll live with that.... to a point.... We're back on the Regal in a little over three weeks, can't wait!!!
  13. I doubt it, it's a pretty loose set-up there. You pay for the chairs (which have seen their duty, if you know what I mean!) at the dive shop and then drag them to where you want to be. But..... a party of seven may be a bit cramped there as the beach area for day-trippers to use is only maybe 100 or so feet long and not very deep. It's likely that it will be crowded with you arriving in early afternoon. All beaches on St. Thomas are open to the public - below the high water line. Which means you can enter the water wherever you like but in the case of SH, cannot lay down in the larger area reserved for guests of the resort. You may want to reconsider the other ones you asked about so you're not disappointed. Or go over to St. John assuming you can get the 12:00 noon ferry from Red Hook. You then take a taxi/jitney to the south side beach you select - there are taxis running all the time. But keep in mind that the traffic from Red Hook back to your ship can be pretty heavy in the late afternoon especially if there are a lot of ships in port. We've had it take 45 minutes; a little less from Secret Harbour. There is always at least one taxi waiting at SH.
  14. Secret Harbour: Better in our experience than the other two and almost always calm water due to its orientation and the fact that it's in a bay protected on three sides. Also, no strong currents to deal with as can be the case at Sapphire. And because it is a resort you won't be hassled by beach vendors. Only issue could be with you arriving so late in the day beach space may be at a premium; the majority of the beach is reserved for people staying at the resort but there is a smaller area to sit to the right as you face the water. FWIW, the dive shop there also runs snorkeling excursions on their boat (moored right there) that go out to Buck Island. Not too expensive, good snorkeling (although you'll be in fairly deep water along the edge of the island. It's primarily for scuba people). We love Secret Harbour, have stayed there for a week and returned many times off ships. It's our go-to destination if the wind direction promises to make the conditions murky off the south side beaches on St. John. Have fun!!
  15. Yes, you would have enough time if you do your best to make the 9 a.m. ferry from Red Hook. But the south facing beaches (Hawksnest, Oppenheimer, Trunk, Cinnamon) are totally at there mercy of the wind direction as far as the snorkeling is concerned. Strong on-shore winds make the water very murky and you won't see much of anything. A better bet may be to stay on St. Thomas and go to Secret Harbour. Nice little resort with above average snorkeling right off the beach, plus a great little beach bar/restaurant and chairs and rental snorkel gear available through the dive shop.
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