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About JRG

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  1. We too did the Rhino excursion in St. Maarten and it was fantastic. It is the closest thing to high speed adult bumper boats you will ever see, but there is no bumping allowed. They are basically 2-person wave runners with big raft like bumpers so it is really hard to tip over and they go fast. You have to maintain the posted speeds as you travel through the harbor/lagoon to the open beaches and you will see dozens of shipwrecked yachts and boats still capsized and stranded in the harbor from the hurricane. The damage to the waterfront homes is unbelievably extensive and some parts seem post-apocalyptic. We too agree it was one of the best excursions we have ever done.
  2. We too discovered this gem on our last visit.....some of the best hot chocolate made on earth and other fine things. It's a great place to stop by before visiting the castle museum nearby , which is a must see. Sometimes early in the morning in the old city there is not much open and this place is worth walking to if you are exploring.
  3. I sympathize with those who may have upcoming cruises and are wondering how it may feel. Here is our feedback. We just experienced this in May on a Princess ship that lost power in one pod and had to limp home to Vancouver. We started in LA and the pod gave out somewhere off the coast of Oregon or Washington... It felt like this..... 1 big jerk to the left....followed by another 1 big jerk to the left....followed by 1 little jerk to the left..... And you kept expecting the jerk back to the right to offset things and create the rocking motion but..... It kept jerking you to the left so it became awkward after a while and affected just about everything on board. Hopefully the Caribbean is smoother sailing and this doesn't happen, but there may be some risk....
  4. I can explain how it works on Celebrity as we just actually took advantage on this new excursion offering 3 weeks ago. We were on the Eclipse disembarking in Santiago Dec 6th early. With a late flight to Miami (9:30 pm) we were able to stay later and avoid a long travel day and still keep all perks alive while having access to much of the ship. It was great. It felt like we had the run of the ship, first access to lunch buffet at 11:30 .Cafe Baccio..etc..etc.. Plenty of peace and quiet too as we got ready for the long flight home by relaxing in an uncrowded Solarium surfing the net or snoozing. What a great way to disembark versus the usual cattle call...... Here are some of the facts... We never stepped off the ship. We were issued Visitor tags and did a u-turn at the gangway. Our baggage was tagged and dropped off at 10pm with all other passengers the night before. Baggage was curbside waiting for us when our airport transfer arrived at the airport. We packed a day bag to get us through the extended stay on the ship. No problem. We asked to meet in the MDR around 9:30 to isolate and check us in, and we had to wait for clearance before we could actually have the run of the ships available areas, including the buffet. We never felt like we were impeding incoming guests as there is plenty of room on the Solstice class ships. It was great to really relax until the coordinated airport transfer bus was ready around 3:00. A very well managed process by Celebrity and we felt it was really worth the small cost. The estimate for 10% of the ship made by a previous poster was very accurate. About two busloads made the trip when all was said and done. It's not practical for every cruise passenger and depends largely on the port location and timing. It seems like a winner and I wouldn't be surprised if other cruiselines follow suit or already do this.
  5. Its a great cabin as we've had it on the Summit. The best perk is that you share the butler with the Penthouse and they are usually the best. You will also get the Hotel Manager attention too as they too like to service the Penthouse guests frequently. It's also nice to have the heated marble floors in the bathroom and the special lighting features. Really a nice cabin if you can get it.
  6. Maybe they found the message in a bottle from the 80's..........
  7. So feel welcome to complain or comment ....but please no venting.....this often comes across like anger management issues. Venting is not an excuse to use CC. Find an intelligent way to make your point or discuss your issue or ask a question.
  8. Many of us have joined for that same noble cause. Unfortunately, the Holland Board is diluted with excess confirmation bias and that makes it counter-productive. Some of the port discussion forums here on CC implement the rule of consideration which asks members to only respond to a post if you have taken the tour or have a relevant point to make. That single rule applied to this forum would be a major step forward.
  9. Lets go with this definition just for ships and giggles.
  10. This is really the best advice for the OP especially since you are planning well in advance.. Stay in Rome 3 days and forget Civitavecchia. We stayed in the historic center as suggested and it paid off. We walked to the ancient city at sunrise before the crowds and heat. Our hotel was 2 blocks from Termini and had a Metro station on the corner so if you are Metro smart you can see alot in Rome and get back to your hotel quickly when need be. We also took the express train from Termini to Civitavecchia on the morning of our cruise and were among the early boarders. It just doesn't make sense to spend part of day 2 preparing for another hotel in Civitavecchia when there is just so much more to see in Rome.
  11. How about a good old Happy Birthday Card..... ............stuffed with lottery scratchers to match his age....
  12. This is cornball to use this quote here. Sorry. Try something from a Simon and Garfunkel song like Mrs. Robinson.
  13. The Marriot Marquis SD Marina is the best choice from this thread. It's location can't be beat. Nice views to the bay or across the street from the Gaslamp, down the street from Kansas City BBQ, and if traveling lightly you could walk with your rollerbag from the hotel to your ship at the Embarcadero along the seawalk. Best of all, it has the best x-large resort lagoon style pool around and serves decent poolside fare. We live locally but we enjoy staying here and going to ballgames across the street. A great place to start or end your cruise. Easy parking too for rental cars, not cheap but ok. Easy Trolley stop in front works great with regional day pass to get around. The Hotel Del is fine and classy but it retains a cape-code feel and you're stuck there. The Zoo and Balboa Park are just a few blocks up Park Blvd. Horton Plaza fizzled out years ago and Seaport Village is on its way out, avoid the recommendations for those two old, old points of interest remnants from 1990. The Trolley gets you to and thru Little Italy and Old Town and we'd much rather visit those places then stay there compared to the Marriott but still they are both definitely worth seeing.
  14. They need to try this again.....with the Rolling Stone Rock Room thing...
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