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Starlight Durban Cruising

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Everything posted by Starlight Durban Cruising

  1. CruiserBruce and the others are right on this point; it looks close but really are far out from the coast, and very little in terms of towns and towers in between the main places like Ensenada and Cabo. Below are some non-zoomed pictures - closest to coast was as we came back up past Cabo, and that is still far out.
  2. the Walmart across the street from the cruise port in Puerto Vallarta does sell some Mexican tourist items (coffee mugs, fridge magnets, keyrings, etc.). Prices obviously in Pesos, and no negotiating the price, lol. The section is right in the front of the store near the self-pay cash registers.
  3. Yeah, $8 was reasonable, considering last year a Pulmonia driver charged us $10 back to the port in Mazatlan. Uber worked out cheaper as it was ~$2 per trip, plus the Verizon day-charge of $5 for MX, and at least it then pulled all my VMs and Texts at the same time when I connected.
  4. Augustina, is it this place: Legado Zapoteco Oaxacan Weavers 1313 Calle Carnaval, Mazatlan?
  5. I would agree, probably closed, as this would be a case of being in Panama's territorial waters.
  6. 1. Uber works in PV. 2. If you wish to catch the bus then yes, you will need small change/coins in Pesos. A few years ago we caught the bus from downtown back to the ship and it cost Pesos 23 at the time per person. They were not making change on the bus but then we did have coins from earlier shopping, and we had 3 people riding so we reached bank-note amount pretty quickly. 3. From town to the port - take the bus that says "Walmart". You will have to cross the street to get into the cruise port. 4. From port to town, the busses will stop right outside on the main street (almost opposite Walmart) as they head South, and I think you would take a bus that says "Centro". Google it, or look at other posts for PV bus routes. Just note that the busses turn left at the north end of the Malecon area and skirt around the area as they head south, so you would want to exit at that point. There are maps online.
  7. Two weeks ago we came in through Carnival's Long Beach CA terminal and it was also: "Passports left lane, birth certificates right lane..." instructions from right as we came into the building. Sure, the right lane was super short as we snaked through the terminal to get through a doorway into the "Immigration Zone", but here is where I think the difference kicks in: - (We were in the left lane as we all had passports [US and non-US] or Green Cards in our group); Anyway, as we came through the doorway there was a bank of turnstiles with glass-doors (think NYC city Underground turnstiles)... and all you did was stand in front of the camera/screen and it took your picture/scan and then a green-light lit to allow the person to pass when the turnstile slid open. There were no counters with agents like in the past in that zone. There were a few agents walking up and down to tell you which turnstile to take e.g. my son was under 18 and when I told the "roving" agent he said "Take these two next to each other as he is a minor". - I think that the right lane for the birth certificates might have gone to a desk with live agents so that they could check the paperwork manually. If you have the time and capacity I would consider getting your child a passport. Mine is on his second passport already. I adopted from foster-care, and I had promised him that "Once you are adopted then I will get you a passport and we can travel...". Two months after adoption the envelope arrived with the passport. I saw the remnants of the envelope when I got home and was told about the excitement when he had opened the envelope earlier!!! Two months later first cruise with his passport, and he is now a well-season traveler with a passport.
  8. I see that no one has responded yet, so let me try to help. Looking at a map it looks like it is waaaay out of the city - 45 mins approx. I realize that you may WANT TO visit the aviary, but not sure if you are aware that there is a small park and aviary right there in the port - next the the port exit. My review is as follows from a few years ago:
  9. Our family was on the Carnival New Year's cruise that went to Mazatlan three weeks ago. Uber worked fine for segment of Cruise Port (OK OXXO across the street) to Liverpool Street for the Beatles statues (which is near the Divers), then another segment from there to the Mercado in Centro. Each trip was about US$2 charged by Uber to my US Credit Card. Unfortunately the phone lost internet service later once we were in Downtown so we could not Uber back to the port. However the Pulmonia charged us US$8 for 3 people back to the port. I obviously also had my Verizon fee to use my phone service plan in Mexico for the day.
  10. thanks everyone for the advice. We are looking forward to this cruise when we go in Feb next year. (Some years back I did a repositioning cruise from San Diego to Vancouver in April, and it was "pretty wild" sea activity so there were bags taped in all the passages the last few nights as we headed north; and most passengers were not out-and-about the ship while I am walking around checking the waves, checking the pool sloshing up and down, and it was just fine. So I am looking forward to a-bit-O-Drake-Shake. 🙂 LOL).
  11. Also, the west end of Casa de colores street is the yellow building right there behind Liverpool street as per attached rough-map.
  12. It might be better to Taxi or Uber to the Cliff Divers (to get there before the tour crowds!!!) as that appears furtherest; then walk round the bend to Liverpool pedestrian street, then walk past the Casas de colores into Centro. Thereafter either Uber/Pulmonia/walk back to the ship after Centro/Mercado/Panama). Just depends how much shopping you have, or if you've just eaten. We were there 2 weeks ago and Ubered from Oxxo across the street from the cruise terminal to Liverpool, spent about 10 minutes there, then Ubered along Casas de colores road into Centro. Let's just say we did not have "walkers" in our group. We wanted to Uber back to the ship after Centro, but at that time my cell lost data connection and I was unable to connect again in order to get an Uber back. We just got a Pulmonia a block or so further. The Pulmonia back to ship was about US$8 for 3 ppl. Sometimes they will push for US$10. The Uber rides were about $2 each segment that we did. At that price we just tip generously for the convenience that they offer. (OK, I did tip the Pulmonia guy too). Probably also important to check what time the cliff divers are there. As you can see from my pix, these were taken at Liverpool street (literally a 360 degree on all these photos so it is not a long pit-stop). Not sure if you are aware, but "Liverpool" is a department store in most MX cities, so just be carefully what you select in Uber, or tell a taxi driver for locations. Enjoy your trip.
  13. We enjoyed Panama - the one right by the cathedral. (Note there is another Panama restaurant further north, away from Centro). The only issue is wait-time for a table at Panama Centro - and the fact that you have to wait outside on the street "till they call you on your cell phone". [They assume all customers are local and have a local number!!]. Last year we were there around 12.00PM on a weekday and there was about a 20-30 minute wait till we got a table. (As we did not have a local number they just took our names and called us when a table was avail). It was BUSY. This year we were not there to eat at the restaurant, but walked past at about 10,30AM on a weekday and it already had ppl waiting to get in. Hope the line is not too long if you do go there. If you are going to their bakery then walk to the door right on the corner and you will not need to wait in the restaurant's wait-line.
  14. I agree with TheSmiths. Check for emails/correspondence. Another place to look is at your online bank statements as such purchases usually require a check payment or electronic debit from your bank account. You may not have time to search through those, but if your husband is able to at least give you a hint that might help to fine tune your search. Also what I have found is sometimes you may lose your log-in info for certain accounts. I know, it's difficult today where we have dozens of profiles for shopping/electricity/water/gas etc... anyway a few years ago I wanted to to shop at a certain big-box warehouse store. I knew I had shopped there some years before and had a profile way back. Couldn't find the log-in so I clicked on the FORGOT PASSWORD link, typed in my email addresses, and Bingo, there was a Reset-PW email in my one email inbox a few minutes later. I reset the password and found I had last been a "member" 15 years before. (They kept my profile all those years!!!!) Problem solved, shopping available again. If you can figure out the company, then that may be an option to tracing an online profile.
  15. Out of the 4 regional stops (Cabo, La Paz, PV and Mazatlan), Mazatlan is the most organized when it comes to at-the-dock (in-port) shopping and activities. OK, I will give La Paz a pass as it is newer and smaller!!! In Mazatlan we've done the central market and downtown, and found that a lot of the products there can also be found in the market/stalls at the dock. Something that I would not typically do is sit and people watch, however the Mazatlan dock certainly does provide a nice venue in the open courtyard to do so, and we did sit-and-chill with a light meal and refreshments last week in between perusing the various stalls and getting a foot massage. On the Google image below #1 is the indoor market area as you come in from the tram, #2 is the open courtyard area for meals, drinks and shopping as you walk through to the transport pickup and drop-off, and #3 is the shopping warehouse on the far side of the transport zone for more market stalls. Going into town can be different for non-tourist items e.g. we have a family member who does sewing and the fabric stores on the streets next to the mercado are a great shopping opportunity with reasonable prices.
  16. We used Uber on 2 out of our 3 trips when we were there a week back. The 3rd one was a no-go because the cell phone lost the internet connection and would not reconnect. Other than that it worked great for Uber.
  17. Attached are the shuttle details for Carnival Cruise's La Paz docking (opposite side of the port from the ferry terminal) - from our cruise last week. This shuttle was from the port into town and it was scenic. Things can change, but hope this helps someone. Shuttle was airconditioned and comfortable. The "end of the line" is at the bus terminal in La Paz right on the Malecon, corner of Independencia and Paseo Alvaro Obregon. Its a regular bus terminal and can be crowded at times with other bus services so don't just get on the first bus you see. Make sure that it has your cruise line sign in the front window of the bus🙂(although there will be cruise line staff there to check your cruise-card). The photo of the dock shows the cruise terminal on the left side and the market stalls. They had a wide range of products for sale, and there was even a small taco stand, although we did not each anything there as we had just eaten ice-creams at La Michoacana on the Malecon.
  18. Just be aware that exchange rates offered at flea markets and street merchants can vary wildly on the same day. We experienced the following rates this last week in Cabo, Mazatlan and PV: 20/US$1, 17.5/US$1, 16/US$1, in random locations.
  19. We were on MX cruise again this week and sometimes we had success with local cell and internet service and sometimes not. In Mazatlan specifically (as with PV last year), on this trip we were able to connect to internet for Uber on 2 of the 3 trips that day, but the final one to get from downtown back to cruise ship it was repeatedly not getting an internet connection so we could not order Uber back to the ship. Gave up eventually and just got a Pulmonia for US$8.00 for 3 ppl back to the ship.
  20. I am on Verizon and have used my US service on land trips and cruises (in the ports!!) in Mexico, so hopefully I can help guide you in a slightly different way. For a land trip to Guadalajara two years ago I turned the phone on as we left GDL airport (and turned airplane mode off). It needed to be on so it could connect to the local cellular service. Verizon immediately sent me a message via the local service to say "Cellular and data is now active for the next 24 hours in MX", and they charged the US$5 day's plan fee to my account. [Before I left the US I had activated the relevant international service plan of $5 per day for MX on my Verizon account which allowed me to use my US call and data plan there]. We made calls locally to the apartment host, and used data occasionally to order Uber service around the city. It worked really well. As soon as I was at the apartment I would put the phone in Airplane mode, and connect on the apartment's free wi-fi. That would avoid my daily service auto-renewing 24 hours later on the Verizon account. During the 7 day period I only had 5 days of $5 charges from Verizon. Those fewer days were only because when leaving the apartment we would order the Uber via the apartment's wifi and then as soon as car was close we would go down to the street. In that way the phone was already in airplane mode so if the prev day's 24 hour cycle had already expired, then it would only "renew" if we needed to catch a car back later in the day from another part of the city; then we would turn airplane mode off, activate the daily plan, and use the cellular or data until we got back to the apartment, thereafter put phone back on airplane mode and turn wifi back on again... As I say it worked well. Last year's cruise to Puerto Vallarta MX, on the main road outside the port, the phone struggled to connect to the local cellular service for data (Uber) or calls when I turned airplane mode off, so we used a regular taxi to get into downtown instead. Strangely once we were in downtown it connected just fine to the local service, and we were able to use data to order Uber around the downtown (Malecon) area and back to ship. Once back at the ship, it is crucial to put the phone back in airplane mode so it does not auto-connect to the ships service !!! If you turn your phone off, or put it in the safe once back onboard, then make sure to check the next morning when you next need it onboard that it has not done an auto-restart overnight and automatically turned your airplane mode OFF. I've hear of that happening to some ppl !!! Onboard ship it's Airplane mode ON, and WIFI mode ON - well that's unless you want to connect to cellular service onboard although that will be pricey. Please also remember that if you connect to the ship's wifi and you purchased an "X minutes plan", then you should log-out of their service as soon as done so you can save your minutes.. You don't want to turn on a 300 minute plan, use it for 10 minutes and then the next day find that the other 290 minutes have run out because the ship's clock was live all that time. I don't watch movies online, but did use Skype/Zoom/Teams and work email on the ship last year and it worked perfectly fine. Enjoy the cruise.
  21. Usually if the reservations are connected in the system then they can see all the "connections" - you would usually notice that with dinner reservations where connected bookings would all be seated at the same table. Avoids complaints from people who say "we are one booking and don't want to sit with other people...". You said that the child is your son's child so if they got her a passport then she should have the same last name on that document as you do on yours; that match to your last name might make it easier to swipe and go from the ship with the ship's boarding card. When my son was younger I would always just carry his passport when we went through places that might ask for ID - Lets just say I was quite "gray" for my age LOL. So it avoided the "Is he yours looks of scepticism in airports and port control points". Anyway, it may be that they allow you to get off with the grandchild with no problems, but I agree with the others to check with the cruise line and have some paperwork with you. If it gets complex then your son may just need to walk down to the gangway with you, show his card, and 3 go off and he goes back to spend time with his wife.
  22. For those who have done one of the (sail-by) cruises on a larger ship e.g. Norwegian or similar, I have a few questions about Cabin Location and Drake SHAKE. 1. Were you in a cabin towards the front of the ship when you experienced Drake Shake? 2. Did it feel more "extreme" in such a cabin location in relation to rather being towards the middle of the ship (at time when not in cabin and perhaps elsewhere on the ship)? We are a family of sea dogs (sailors) - the rougher the water the better - LOL, so haven't had "unwell" experiences in a range of sea conditions over the years. But I know that Drake Passage is in a league of its own if it turns to Drake Shake time. (We're going in February month, and have the same cabin booked as regular on NCL Star... (front - near casino - Don't ask !!! LOL).
  23. Enjoy the cruise. If you do have any unique experiences on the cruise please come back and tell us. This forum can be such a help to another family in the future who are looking for similar guidance and we all learn from what we read on Cruise Critic. (Right now I am planning an Antarctica cruise for an 85 year old parent and myself, and THAT is a whole nother type of planning [and moods and opinions] to figure out .... LOL) Cruise Critic is such a help.
  24. That's an excellent idea - "Lets take a selfie of us on our holiday" each morning so you have it on your phone just in case. If he has a phone then he could take one of you and him each morning too so if he gets lost he can show the crew your photo too and perhaps a scan of his room card on his phone. I know some people say "Don't write your room number on your physical card as someone else could find the card and then go to your cabin for no-good reasons", but only you know if that might be another option for your son and if that would be safe for him.
  25. I'm going to add comment relative to the different responses separately - so much good info on here. Noted what you said above, but it is not only about the room and deck numbers, it is also that the ship is like a maze, and each passage/door looks similar - even I struggle to find my cabin sometimes because all the doors and decorations are so so similar. It takes me a good few days to get my bearings and know where to get somewhere easily (without that map of the ship). Even harder is that sometimes to get from point A to Z is complex such as when you have to go up a deck to cross over the dining room and then down a deck or two to get to YOUR dining room, that is so confusing at the best of times. Can you ask the reception desk once you are onboard for one of those paper maps and then mark your cabin number on there so he can show it to a crew member if he gets lost. Also a lanyard with a pouch where he can keep the onboard card and the map might help. Your cabin attendant will also introduce himself/herself to you on the day that you board so it might be good to introduce your son on that day. They do a wonderful job of checking on their allocated guests if they see them in the passage. If your attendant sees your son in the passage I am sure they would direct him back to cabin door if he is in that general area in the passage. Another aspect on Carnival (well all cruise lines that I've been on), is that they don't just take your photo before you board for no reason. It is also used for when you attempt to get on and off the ship, and they swipe your card and look at your photo on the screen to match the face to the person leaving the ship. Like wise if a minor child appears at the gangway and attempts to get off unaccompanied, it will immediately warn the crew with 'where are the parents, block exit if unaccompanied". I think that the parents photos would flash up there too but I stand to be corrected on that one. I realize your son is over 18 as you said, and so normally it would not flag him for any attempt to exit (as with a minor), but can you check with Carnival if they can tag his guest card to block unaccompanied exit at the gangway due to a special needs requirement for him to be accompanied at gangway. That photo they take also appears on each screen when the card is swiped at the shop, bar, etc, and they check the face to see it is the same person - probably to reduce problems of "spend and dispute" later... If you had to report your son as missing on the ship then they have that photo available for any staff member who has a terminal or an iPad-type unit on them. There are also cameras all over the ship so they can trace pretty quickly where a person is or has been if they need to start searching in an emergency situation. You said that your son can't read. An issue that may not be exactly the same but let me give you an example: We took my son on a cruise when he was 12 and there were very few kids (a Panama cruise during school time). Most cruise lines allow you to block spend on minors' cards, but on that cruise line I had to leave his guest card unblocked for onboard spend because even though he had an unlimited games-room package it would not work if the spend-card was blocked - yes SMH, but anyway.... SO I unblocked the card !!!! Welll, every other day I go past reception and pull a statement of all cabin charges and on the one day I nearly fainted right there at reception. (This is a cruise line with drinks and specialty meals package included so no need for charges such as that to be on account). Anyway, right there in front of my eyes is a $600 charge on the account - one charge. My son had just purchased a watch in the shop onboard. Anyway they sent me up to the shop and they said that my son had just been there, and they had asked him if his parents were ok with him purchasing such an (expensive) item. At the end of it all they took the watch back and credited my account, and I blocked his spend card. Thereafter if he wanted to go to the games arcade then I had to go to reception, unblock the card, accompany him for dad and son game time in the arcade, and then go back to reception afterwards to block the spend card again. My son came from foster so the meaning (value) of money is to this day difficult for him as his young days consisted of survival with no money, food, and if you had something and someone took it away then "no problem, survival is what counts most". (He's doing a lot better now, but that was an eye-popping day for me). Luckily on Carnival it should be a lot easier to block spend or to have his account changed to a cash-only spend-card (ie. NOT Linked to your credit card), just be aware ...
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