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Everything posted by Ladyarli

  1. Hello, I've been to Hawaii 4 times: The first was 3 nights on Oahu and 3 nights on the Big Island, the second was on a 10 day trip - 4 nights Oahu, 1 night Kauai, 3 nights Big Island (1 Hilo, 2 Kona), and 2 nights Maui. The third was 3 nights in Oahu and the 7 night cruise, and the fourth was 8 nights on Oahu. We love all of the 4 main islands, but our favorites are Oahu and the Big Island. There is so much to do on Oahu, we still haven't seen everything! In my opinion, if you are doing a land vacation you should try to stay 5-7 nights on any one island. My reason is that driving to and from the airports and checking in and out of hotels eats up valuable time, and can be stressful. My second trip was on a land tour. We saw and did a lot, but it was a blur! My husband and I loved the cruise so much that we want to go again. We have it booked for next summer, with a 4 night pre-stay on Oahu at a hotel. The Pride of America is a beautiful ship. We can't wait to go again. As others have said, you need to decide what is important to you on your vacation. If Hawaiian culture and history are important, there is a lot on Oahu, and some good things on the other 3 islands as well. Oahu also has Pearl Harbor, the Polynesian Cultural Center, great scenery, beaches, and more. Maui has great scenery, beaches, and Haleakala. The Big Island has the volcanos, the Place of Refuge, and the Hilton Waikoloa Resort is really nice. Kauai has great scenery, beaches, and three (at least) botanical gardens. Personally, I recommend the option of spending several days on Oahu, taking the cruise, and then the day at the end after you get back. Whatever you decide, I hope you have a great vacation!
  2. Yes, Charry is still onboard, and I agree. She is wonderful and does a great job!
  3. Hello, What is the procedure for putting together a Meet and Mingle on Royal Caribbean? The NCL board had a sticky with instructions, but I don't see anything like that on the Royal Caribbean board. Thanks for your help and advice. Ladyarli
  4. Hello, We were on the Norwegian Escape on the 2/17 sailing out of New York. Our meet and mingle was on 2/18 from Noon to 1 PM in the District Brew House. Boy, did NCL go all out! We had about 45-50 people show up. They gave us generous samples of different kinds of beer, soft drinks for the children and non-drinkers, and servers passed three kinds of hot hors d'oeuvres. They had a duo playing piano and singing, and several of the officers came and mingled with us! They gave out business cards, and said if you need anything, call me, etc. All I could say was, wow! On other cruise lines we were lucky to get a room and a pitcher of water, LOL.
  5. We did the excursion from Port Canaveral last Tuesday when we were on the Norwegian Escape. Our tour time was 1:30. We were told to meet in the Manhattan Room at 1:00. ALL of the tours met in the Manhattan Room at 1. We were about the 5th tour group to leave. We walked down two flights to the gangway, and walked off the ship and across the street to where the buses were parked. There were two buses for Universal. The bus took an hour and a half each way. The "tour guide" seemed like a teenage boy with Asberger's. I thought he was one of the passengers, and that the bus driver was being nice about letting him collect our tickets. He never introduced himself or said much of anything. When he did talk, he would say something we really needed to know, but mumbled into the microphone so softly I could barely hear him, and we were near the front of the bus! Before we got off the bus, he gave everyone on HIS side of the bus a lanyard with a printed card on it, and said we would leave "about 7-ish." We asked the young man what the lanyards were for. He said they were the name and phone number of the bus company in case we were running late, or had an emergency. (At this point everyone had gotten off the bus.) We said no one on our side of the bus got one. He said that we could always "borrow one from someone and take a picture with your phone so you have the information." We got off the bus at 3:00. It took us about a half hour to walk through CityWalk and to the entrance of the park, go through security and enter. I had already purchased tickets, which were 1 day park-to-park, and more than I would have liked to pay. We only wanted to see the new Harry Potter area, which is all the way on the other side of USF from the entrance. We took pictures, walked around a bit, got a bottle of Gillywater (mistake), and looked at the posted wait for the Gringotts ride. 110 minutes. Yikes, we wouldn't have time. We shopped a little, heard one song by Celestina Warbeck, and got on the Hogwarts Express. It was a one hour wait, and the ride was a really good 5 minute ride. We shopped in Hogsmeade for a bit, then started walking back to the bus. We got back to the bus at 6:30. They left at 7:15, and we ran back on the ship just in time for our dinner and show at the Supper Club at 8:30. When we arrived back at the ship, the "tour guide" muttered something about gratuities, and my only thought was "You've got to be kidding." Needless to say, we will go back to Universal some day in the future when we can spend at least one whole day in the park, and not as a shore excursion from a ship that isn't even supposed to dock until 1 PM. I'm not blaming anyone but myself. I should have realized that we just wouldn't have enough time. The crowd level in the parks was 7 out of 10, and we didn't have quite as much time as I thought we would have. Live and learn.
  6. Hello, I volunteered to organize a Meet and Mingle for our sailing. I thought a few folks might be interested in a slot pull. How do you do this? I participated in one on a Carnival cruise about 10 years ago and I just paid my money, took my pulls at the machine, and left when it was done. I understand the concept. Everyone pays a set amount of money, and gets X number of pulls on the machine. Can someone who has run one or more of them successfully please give me advice on how to set one up? Thanks in advance. Ladyarli
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