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About Moonarino

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  1. The limitation with B2B's (which I was almost desperate to try) is they don't offer the port choices we're getting on the 10-day Sky Princess cruise that we've booked for next fall (eastern Caribbean). With that cruise we're hitting 3 or 4 ports that we've never managed to get to in 13 cruises -- 6 different ports total, not including FLL embark/debark. The only other cruise that took us south of St Kitts (and out of the all-too-typical routes) was an 8-day southern Caribbean on Carnival Breeze. All I'm getting at is that itinerary is what finally drove me to book a Princess cruise. But of course the Med (and beyond) is a completely different thing. So many ports can be hit on a "short" 5-7 day cruise, starting in the middle or on either end -- there's no comparison.
  2. Following, thanks for doing this! Edit (hope you'll catch this): I've gotta ask, considering your screen name: How's the coffee? The complementary plus any gourmet offerings if you've tried them?
  3. Great finding this "live" report on Sky Princess! I booked us for a 10-day Caribbean on Sky for next November -- just days before departing for our 4th RCI cruise, LOL. (Disappointed again, even worse than last time. I'm done with RCCL.) Love the pics! Following . . . been thinking about trying Princess for years, shoulda done it a long time ago.
  4. I just noticed, with the kiddos I'm sure you'll be tipping more for stateroom(s) and dining. You might want to figure $100 plus. But do bear in mind, all of that tipping is optional, your choice, in consideration of the per-day Gratuities you'll get charged by default. I always tip extra for good service, in comparison to the really bad service we sometimes get. And a little extra advice, which others might agree or not: We always slip our room attendant maybe a $10 bill (for one stateroom) no later than Day 2, as incentive to do a good job. Usually by the end of the cruise we'll tip more.
  5. Some folks will say more (maybe a lot more), but for on-ship tips I get by just fine with about $60. That allows $20 for a decent room steward, $20-30 or so for MDR wait staff, and the rest for miscellaneous (drinks, etc), which isn't usually necessary because they automatically add an 18% gratuity for every drink you buy. YES cash for onshore. A lot of people will scream "paranoid" about this, but I've been hit twice with credit card fraud right after a cruise (one was definitely in Mexico, probably a cafe or pharmacy). My card company covered all the fraudulent charges, but it was a pain in the backside. Not to mention a little scary. Maybe you can trust using a credit card at one of the duty-free stores at port (like for larger purchases), but as for many of the shops outside the port area, I highly recommend cash only. For cafe lunches while onshore, you can typically expect prices about the same or maybe a little higher than at home.
  6. Wish I'd had one of those when I got stranded in Spain a few years ago. Lol... sheesh... Thanks from me too, sounds like a must-have from here forward.
  7. Re your last, yeah, that's why I appreciated those older "too-soft" mattresses. They were acceptable compensation for a less-than-optimum platform underneath. On top of chronic sciatica, I was recently informed of a compressed disc in my lumbar. Anticipating a week of back and hip pain from a too-hard mattress is very close to being enough to make me cancel the cruise. I seriously hope RCI does something about these mattresses before our cruise next fall. Acknowledging a problem is one thing, fixing it is another thing.
  8. Thanks for the review Badfinger, Breeze is my (our) #1 favorite ship and will give it another go in the near future. Only one cruise for us on Breeze and that was four years ago, so hopefully no "bordering on routine" for us yet. Same here! Compared to Miami, FLL or NOLA, Port Canaveral is just a hop and a skip for us.
  9. Moonarino

    Grand Turk

    Tram sounds cool. I missed that in all my excursion shopping. I think you can rent several types of personal transportation -- golfcarts as mentioned, also bicycles, jeeps (I think?) ... It's a small island, so no big worries about getting lost. Grand Turk can definitely be a fun/relaxing/do-nothing beach port, so if you can't find an excursion to your liking, I'm betting you'll enjoy the stop anyway. The cruise port: Some good maps (including downloadable PDFs) -- in the bottom map, note the snorkeling spots off the southern tip, very close to the Cruise "Center": https://www.visittci.com/grand-turk/maps
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