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hawkeyefan99

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About hawkeyefan99

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    Indiana
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Carnival
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

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  1. Here is a great video of a packing / to do list before leaving on a cruise. https://youtu.be/bU-1PpttmYY
  2. We were on Carnival (but I don't think the cruise line matters) and "Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout" picked us up just outside of the port area. The first picture in the video shows you where you meet all of the locals picking up cruisers for excursions that were not bought through the ship. https://youtu.be/VaKMLYNNaJI When we booked directly through Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout via Facebook, I'm sure I told him the date we would be there and the cruise ship, just so they knew where to pick us up, but again, I really don't think the cruise line itself matters. They just need to know the date you will be there and where the ship is docked, which I would think they could figure out if you don't know, just by telling them the date and cruise ship. It is my understanding that all local excursions not associated with the ships have to stay outside of the port area. When DJ M&SH confirms your excursion with them, they will provide the details of where to meet them, which appeared to be the same place as all of the other non-ship excursions were meeting cruisers (see above video link), and they are all holding signs so you would just need to look for the sign with Daniel Johnson's Monkey & Sloth Hangout. DJ M&SH gave us excellent instructions on where to go and it was super easy to find them. (I had read they give good instructions and it was easy to find them on other reviews before I went, and they were right.) You can probably just follow others out of the port because most, if not all will be heading to the same place. One thing to note: the confirmation also said to meet one hour after the ship docks, but we got off the ship right away and went to the meeting location and didn't have to wait to start the excursion. But, you could check with them during your Facebook correspondence. Make sure you check with DJ M&SH about the different excursion packages they offer. We did the island tour, snorkeling, and monkey/sloth/other animals, which I highly recommend, but you may prefer a different package they offer.
  3. I recommend going to Pinel Island. Here's a video of Pinel Island, which focuses more on the island itself. https://youtu.be/nVazZZTUUiw Subscribe to KD Travel Adventures for more videos. We went to the taxi terminal when we got off the ship and told them we wanted to go to Pinel Island. We ended up sharing a taxi with a couple that wanted to go to Orient Beach. It was on the way to our drop off to take the "ferry" (small boat that holds maybe 30 to 40 people) to Pinel Island. Check times because the first ferry of the day depends on the time of the year. But, we got off the ship right away and just got there early. We did wait a little bit. I've heard good things about the beach, but we didn't spend much time there, as we walked on the trail around the island, which has gorgeous views in all directions. I also tried the snorkeling area (for a fee), and have heard great things about this too, but my experience wasn't the greatest because the water was really choppy and stirred up due to a tropical storm 150 miles away. But, I would go back to Pinel Island in a heartbeat and even try the snorkeling again. HOWEVER, one very important note to make, make sure you tell your taxi to pick you up at a certain time and give yourself enough time to get back. We asked the taxi driver that dropped us off to pick us back up at a specific time and he was right on time. But, there isn't really a place to call for a taxi, so its important to schedule it ahead of time.
  4. I recommend going to Pinel Island. We went to the taxi terminal when we got off the ship and told them we wanted to go to Pinel Island. We ended up sharing a taxi with a couple that wanted to go to Orient Beach. It was on the way to our drop off to take the "ferry" (small boat that holds maybe 30 to 40 people) to Pinel Island. Check times because the first ferry of the day depends on the time of the year. But, we got off the ship right away and just got there early. We did wait a little bit. I've heard good things about the beach, but we didn't spend much time there, as we walked on the trail around the island, which has gorgeous views in all directions. I also tried the snorkeling area (for a fee), and have heard great things about this too, but my experience wasn't the greatest because the water was really choppy and stirred up due to a tropical storm 150 miles away. But, I would go back to Pinel Island in a heartbeat and even try the snorkeling again. HOWEVER, one very important note to make, make sure you tell your taxi to pick you up at a certain time and give yourself enough time to get back. We asked the taxi driver that dropped us off to pick us back up at a specific time and he was right on time. But, there isn't really a place to call for a taxi, so its important to schedule it ahead of time. Here's a video of Pinel Island, which focuses more on the island itself. https://youtu.be/nVazZZTUUiw Subscribe to KD Travel Adventures for more videos.
  5. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe they told us we could add the snorkeling package when we arrived. I would email them to be certain. We just enjoyed it so much right at the resort that we just decided to stay there all day. I had my own snorkeling gear, and while its definitely not the greatest snorkeling right off the beach (and I've heard some people say they don't see any fish), I was pleasantly surprised at times (although I'm sure you would see a lot more adding their snorkeling package). Here is a video from pics of Nachi Cocom, which includes some snorkeling pics. https://youtu.be/HWVhLuEm46o
  6. While its not exclusive to snorkeling, I'm going to recommend Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout. We bought the excursion directly through their Facebook page that included the island tour, snorkeling and the animals. While I don't remember the exact amount of time we had to snorkel, I felt like it was one of the longest times I've been able to snorkel on an excursion. And, the only reason we stopped when we did was because of thunderstorms. They also took us to two locations. One was fairly shallow and at times could stand up, which I thought would be great for beginners to get their bearings, but still interesting for someone who has snorkeled many ties. Then they took us to another area, which is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest reef system in the world behind the Great Barrier Reef. The fish and drop off were amazing. Below are two videos; one is taken from pictures of just some of the island tour, animals and snorkeling, and the other is compiled videos of the snorkeling portion of the excursion. Subscribe to KJ Travel Adventures for more videos. Pictures made into a video of the island tour, animals, snorkeling form the Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout Excursion https://youtu.be/VaKMLYNNaJI Videos of snorkeling portion of Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout excursion https://youtu.be/y35gWkjS2ho
  7. I highly recommend Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout. It will cover the monkey/sloths and snorkeling. We booked the excursion directly through Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout on Facebook that included the island tour, snorkeling and the animals. When we booked the had different packages, so if you only wanted to do the monkeys/sloths/macaws and snorkeling, and not do the island tour that was an option. Below are two videos; one is taken from pictures of just some of the island tour, animals and snorkeling, and the other is compiled videos of the snorkeling portion of the excursion. Subscribe to KJ Travel Adventures for more videos. Pictures made into a video of the island tour, animals, snorkeling form the Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout Excursion https://youtu.be/VaKMLYNNaJI Videos of snorkeling portion of Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout excursion https://youtu.be/y35gWkjS2ho
  8. It has already been mentioned, but I recommend Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout. We bought the excursion directly through their Facebook page that included the island tour, snorkeling and the animals. But, I agree with another poster...you are probably not going to be able to hold the monkeys. Although I didn't see any sitting on top of heads, there was a curious one playing in someone's hair, but she didn't seem to mind. The monkeys will usually just sit on your arm. The macaws are a different story. They landed on your head. And, holding the sloth was so cool! It just seemed so sweet and loveable. If interested, I also recommend the snorkeling excursion they offer. Below are two videos; one is taken from pictures of just some of the island tour, animals and snorkeling, and the other is compiled videos of the snorkeling portion of the excursion. Subscribe to KJ Travel Adventures for more videos. Pictures made into a video of the island tour, animals, snorkeling form the Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout Excursion https://youtu.be/VaKMLYNNaJI Videos of snorkeling portion of Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout excursion https://youtu.be/y35gWkjS2ho
  9. Thank you! How many people do they allow for the tour. The cost is very reasonable, but I'm hoping to keep it to just us four, but we would be okay with a few others. I just don't want it to be too large of a group. Do you know what beach they gave the option to stay at after the tour. We were in Aruba six years ago and went to Eagle Beach by the low rise hotels and loved it. This time my parents will be with us and I would love it if they could see Eagle Beach, but maybe the one they take you to is even better. Thanks in advance.
  10. Does anyone have experience getting an island tour after getting off the ship in Aruba? I'm not looking to book anything prior to arriving in port, but just want this option if available. If you did this: How much did it cost per person (there will be 4 of us)? Was there any walking involved (one of us has limited walking capabilities)? Do you recommend the island tour? What did you see and where did you go? Where do you go once you get off the ship to find someone/a tour company to give you the island tour? How long was the tour? Thanks in advance for any information provided.
  11. Does anyone have experience getting an island tour after getting off the ship in Curacao? I'm not looking to book anything prior to arriving in port, but just want this option if available. If you did this: How much did it cost per person (there will be 4 of us)? Was there any walking involved (one of us has limited walking capabilities)? Do you recommend the island tour? Where do you go once you get off the ship to find someone/a tour company to give you the island tour? How long was the tour? Thanks in advance for any information provided.
  12. We were in La Romana, Dominican Republic in September 2013 and went to what was then known as Dreams Resort La Romana. It is now called Hilton La Romana (the new management took over in November 2018). It is a true resort that offers day passes for cruisers. I believe it went under renovation last year (but not positive). We will be in La Romana in October and I contacted them late last year to see if they still had the cruise ship day passes for $65 and they said they did, so I made our reservations. It was $65 per person, and I believe the taxi is about $35 each way (it's about a 25 minute drive, if I remember correctly). The pass included the swim up bar, beach, a huge pool with water sports and just swimming, drinks are all-inclusive, and they had a buffet (I kind think the buffet opened at a specific time for lunch, but can't remember for sure). To be honest, I didn't verify that all of this was still included, but I did mention the day pass as Dreams Resort and they said they were still honoring it. I also brought my own snorkeling gear and while its by no means great snorkeling, I did see some fish and starfish, which I never saw before and haven't seen since while snorkeling (but that's not to say you would see the now). When we were there in September 2013 we felt like we had the beach to ourselves, but some coworkers went in March 2014 and they said it was packed. Keep in mind this was several years ago and it is now under new management, so I'm not sure what to expect. But, my husband and I really enjoyed it, thus the reason we plan to go back this time. There is a downside (in my opinion), at least for us with the time we are in port, which is 9:30am-4:30pm. I think in 2013 we arrived in port at 8:30, so we are losing an hour this time. But, we will probably only have about 4 hours or maybe a little more at the resort. I'm basing this off the time to get off the ship, walk up to the taxis and then get to the resort (hoping to arrive at 10:15 to 10:30. If the ship is leaving La Romana at 4:30, they will probably want us back on the ship at 4pm. We could probably leave the resort at 3:00pm, but I want to give us plenty of time to make sure we are back on the ship. As other cruisers know, it is very bad to miss the ship leaving port. One other important detail, I would rather communicate with people via email because I don't do a lot on Facebook, but I remembered from 2013 that the resort was not responsive to emails, but very responsive to Facebook. I used Facebook again this time, and they responded within 24 hours, and I made my reservations through Facebook for Hilton La Romana.
  13. I'm a little confused by the previous post, because La Romana is in the Dominican Republic, not Dominica (although they are right about them being two different islands). We were in La Romana, Dominican Republic in September 2013 and went to what was then known as Dreams Resort La Romana. It is now called Hilton La Romana (the new management took over in November 2018). It is a true resort that offers day passes for cruisers. I believe it went under renovation last year (but not positive). We will be in La Romana in October and I contacted them late last year to see if they still had the cruise ship day passes for $65 and they said they did, so I made our reservations. It was $65 per person, and I believe the taxi is about $35 each way (it's about a 25 minute drive, if I remember correctly). The pass included the swim up bar, beach, a huge pool with water sports and just swimming, drinks are all-inclusive, and they had a buffet (I kind think the buffet opened at a specific time for lunch, but can't remember for sure). To be honest, I didn't verify that all of this was still included, but I did mention the day pass as Dreams Resort and they said they were still honoring it. I also brought my own snorkeling gear and while its by no means great snorkeling, I did see some fish and starfish, which I never saw before and haven't seen since while snorkeling (but that's not to say you would see the now). When we were there in September 2013 we felt like we had the beach to ourselves, but some coworkers went in March 2014 and they said it was packed. Keep in mind this was several years ago and it is now under new management, so I'm not sure what to expect. But, my husband and I really enjoyed it, thus the reason we plan to go back this time. You mentioned you were in port from 9:30am-4:30pm, which is the same as us later this year. The downside of that is that we will probably only have about 4 hours or maybe a little more at the resort. I'm basing this off the time to get off the ship, walk up to the taxis and then get to the resort (hoping to arrive at 10:15 to 10:30). If the ship is leaving La Romana at 4:30, they will probably want us back on the ship at 4pm. We could probably leave the resort at 3:00pm, but I want to give us plenty of time to make sure we are back on the ship. As other cruisers know, it is very bad to miss the ship leaving port. One other important detail, I would rather communicate with people via email because I don't do a lot on Facebook, but I remembered from 2013 that the resort was not responsive to emails, but very responsive to Facebook. I used Facebook again this time, and they responded within 24 hours, and I made my reservations through Facebook for Hilton La Romana.
  14. We were in La Romana, Dominican Republic in September 2013 and went to what was then known as Dreams Resort La Romana. It is now called Hilton La Romana (the new management took over in November 2018). It is a true resort that offers day passes for cruisers. I believe it went under renovation last year (but not positive). We will be in La Romana in October and I contacted them late last year to see if they still had the cruise ship day passes for $65 and they said they did, so I made our reservations. It was $65 per person, and I believe the taxi is about $35 each way (it's about a 25 minute drive, if I remember correctly). The pass included the swim up bar, beach, a huge pool with water sports and just swimming, drinks are all-inclusive, and they had a buffet (I kind think the buffet opened at a specific time for lunch, but can't remember for sure). To be honest, I didn't verify that all of this was still included, but I did mention the day pass as Dreams Resort and they said they were still honoring it. I also brought my own snorkeling gear and while its by no means great snorkeling, I did see some fish and starfish, which I never saw before and haven't seen since while snorkeling (but that's not to say you would see the now). When we were there in September 2013 we felt like we had the beach to ourselves, but some coworkers went in March 2014 and they said it was packed. Keep in mind this was several years ago and it is now under new management, so I'm not sure what to expect. But, my husband and I really enjoyed it, thus the reason we plan to go back this time. There is a downside (in my opinion), at least for us with the time we are in port, which is 9:30am-4:30pm. I think in 2013 we arrived in port at 8:30, so we are losing an hour this time. But, we will probably only have about 4 hours or maybe a little more at the resort. I'm basing this off the time to get off the ship, walk up to the taxis and then get to the resort (hoping to arrive at 10:15 to 10:30. If the ship is leaving La Romana at 4:30, they will probably want us back on the ship at 4pm. We could probably leave the resort at 3:00pm, but I want to give us plenty of time to make sure we are back on the ship. As other cruisers know, it is very bad to miss the ship leaving port. One other important detail, I would rather communicate with people via email because I don't do a lot on Facebook, but I remembered from 2013 that they were not responsive to emails, but very responsive to Facebook. I used Facebook again this time, and they responded within 24 hours, and I made my reservations through Facebook.
  15. We did the power snorkel excursion in 2013 in Grand Turk. I really enjoyed it, but it didn't seem like everyone did. I think some had difficulty getting used to the machine. The only issue I had was not being able to take pictures because both hands had to be on the machine. While I'm happy any time I'm snorkeling, I will admit that while the fish were big and there were a lot of them, it was basically the same white and yellow fish (either Bar Jack or Yellow Tail Snapper). I would have liked to have seen a variety of fish. Power Snorkeling Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyIWEuiro00&feature=youtu.be There wasn't a lot of coral, but I thought the snorkeling was good right at the cruise terminal beach (based off 2013 and 2014). Here's some videos of what I saw snorkeling at the cruise terminal beach: Snorkeling with a barracuda https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siGqNnjrDd0 Snorkeling with a parrot fish https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y0QOaMk5Sw Snorkeling with flounder (there were a lot of them if you looked and watched close) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnWr1BVtc0U
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