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mac66

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About mac66

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  1. There is a cruising ducks FB page (a bunch actually). The one called Cruising Ducks-Original group has lots of tag templates on it. Left column-Files
  2. I used Dive Adventures through Aqua Mania on St. Maarten and everything went smoothly. Their shop was a short 10 min walk from the port. Aqua Mania is Dive Adventures booking agent. https://www.stmaarten-activities.com/en/scubadiving They are what the ships use. When I went I booked directly with them which was cheaper. The boat I was on had only 5 divers, the ship's excursion had 10 or 12.
  3. tap water is very good on board. We don't buy water, we bring a water bottle and fill it up.
  4. You're always going to find the Walmart shoppers no matter where you go.😁 It's classy to dress up however.
  5. On the other hand....doing your class/confined water part at home and check out dives in the Caribbean allows you experience a number of different instructors. Every instructor does things a little differently and emphasizes different things. What's relevant in a murky inland lakes may not be relevant in the ocean and vice verses so I guess it depends on where you intend to dive. I did my open water dives on a cruise with two different instructors on two islands on different days. Each instructor one went back through the basics to ensure I knew my stuff. It was interesting to see different instructors do their thing. Doing my check out dives in warm Caribbean waters was actually pretty fun. The first set of dives was off the beach in an exotic location. The second set was off a boat and were real dives. I got my OW certification so I could dive on cruises. Pretty much guided dives in cruise ship ports is all I'm probably ever going to dive so that worked for me. May not work for you. Probably the only thing better would be to go to a Caribbean resort for a week or so and do the whole OW class there at one time. I think I may have done it this way if I'd known about it.
  6. We will be passing a couple ducks along we found on the Allure in Dec. One on the Silhouette in March and on the Summit in Aug. If we find more we will pass them along on other cruises.
  7. I will certainly report back when I get back in March. One thing you could do if you want to get certified is do your preliminary classwork and confined water (pool) dives at home and then do your open water dives on your cruise (called referral dives). You will need 4 open water dives on two separate days. Most dive shops will do referral dives and test you out on the requirements. That's what I did last year. I took the class/pool sessions in the January at home then did my 4 dives on a cruise (2 dives in Curacao and 2 in Aruba) in February. It worked out well. Since you have until Aug (and warm weather) to get certified that may or may not work out best for you.
  8. Been cruising for 40+ years and snorkeled just about everywhere in the Caribbean. Just took up diving last year to see those same ports from under water. Been on 5 dives since then (all on cruises). I'm pretty much just a cruise diver. My criteria for diving is this.... 1. Have I dived there before? 2. Can my wife come along on the boat and go snorkeling? (she doesn't dive) 3. What else is there in port to do that would be fun/adventurous and/or I haven't done before? 4. How many times have I dived or plan to dive on this cruise. (you can only afford so much and I need to do some shore excursions with my wife) 5. What's the cost? It adds up. I'm on a cruise in the southern Caribbean in March. We are on 7 islands in 12 days. I'm only diving on 3 of them. I figure that's enough for one cruise.
  9. We went on this tour in early last December. It is well worth it and got a good deal through the ship. Price includes the ferry and bus ride. Keep an eye on it as the price goes up and down. Don't worry where it is, just go with the flow.
  10. Someone posted this. It includes a list of drinks separated by premium vs. classic booze. It's very helpful.
  11. Boardwalk balcony is like staying in an apartment complex with nothing but other rooms across from you. We stayed in one on Oasis the first time. Never again.
  12. There are also parade tracker apps you can download to find the parades. Very helpful. I think the one we used was from the local TV station. Do a google search.
  13. Buy One Get One half off is just a 25% discount. But 25% off of what? The highest price they dare to charge? The onboard price? (which is the highest price). RC's drink prices are arbitrary and capricious. The only way you're gonna get a deal is to check the drink prices every day by logging into RC.
  14. There are parade apps you can download to follow/locate the parades. We arrived on Sunday night, walked off the ship, went a couple blocks up and ran into the Baccus? parade. Lots of people (mostly friendly locals) watching but we got close enough. Walked down the street during the parade and went into a mostly empty bar for drinks then back out to watch the parade. The next day (Monday) we got off the ship and walked to the WWII museum. It's closed on Fat Tuesday. We walked back to the ship for lunch. After lunch we took the trolley (right outside the ship) up to near Jackson square/French Quarter and walked over to Bourbon St. We walked up Bourbon and collected beads and found another parade to watch on the apps. We took the trolley back to the ship in the afternoon to rest and had dinner on board. We went out that night for another parade and then got back to the ship rather late. Parades sometimes take 3-4 hours. We lounged around Tues morning took the trolley back up to Jackson Sq in the afternoon and walked over to the French Quarter and to the cemetary. It was closed but there was a parade. We watched the parade and then walked over to Bourbon St in the late afternoon. It was considerably more busy on Fat Tuesday than the day before. There were police on every corner. Basically we went bar hoping. Never had a problem finding a drink or food. By evening Bourbon St was packed but we had collected tons of beads and we staggered back to the trolley stop and headed back to the ship. It was a lot of fun. You can buy (expensive) tickets to sit in the grandstands to watch the parades but you can find and watch them from ground level for nothing. We never had a problem finding a place to watch. There are multiple parades every day and night. I think we saw 4 or 5 parades. We did not go to any fancy restaurants or jazz clubs. We just went to the Museum, the French Quarter, Bourbon Street and watched the parades. We missed going to the cemeteries, they were closed on Fat Tuesday. If you want to see them, go on Monday. As was mentioned if you want to see New Orleans don't go during Mardi Gras. If you want to get a taste of Mardi Gras up close then this cruise is a great way to do it.
  15. When we took the mardi gras cruise in 2017 there was trolly stop right in front of the ship dock. You can take it to within a block or two of Bourbon street. It costs a buck but there is a a substantial senior discount.
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