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Everything posted by RCVoyager

  1. You'll be fine. That port is in the business of getting people on and off of ships.
  2. I think as long as you make name changes before final payment, you are fine. As mentioned above, you don't want to add/remove the number of people in your reservation because it will screw up your stateroom assignments. If you are booked into a room for two, you would have to change cabins to make room for 3. If you have 3 and go to 4 people, you may be ok. There are only so many cabins that have 3rd or 4th berths.
  3. While I have not been there for a few years, I always liked cruising out of Miami. I like all the ships and all the activity. To me it puts electricity in the air. I don't recall it taking longer than other ports, but as I said its been a few years. I also like South Beach. I think it's a pretty crazy place late at night, but I'm not a late night guy. You should hold on to your wallet, but it's a cool place.
  4. There is a nice beach with everything you need right in front of the ships on the town's waterfront. It's inexpensive to get to. You can rent chairs and shade. Probably not very good snorkeling though. We were in St. Maarten last April. We went to Orient Beach. It is nice, but they had a seaweed problem that kept us out of the water.
  5. We are also interested in beaches where we can search for sea glass.
  6. Sheraton Old San Juan is great for access to one of the great pieces of history in the hemisphere. The pool is not great and there is no beach there, but it has awesome access to the old city. I believe you can get it for less than $200 per night.
  7. My family of 5 and extended family of 5 more is going on the Adventure of the Seas in June. We're visiting St. Maarten, and the ABCs. I'm looking for advice for beaches, forts, and other interesting things to do in the ABCs. You can read internet sites, guide books, and RCCL's available tours. But it seems to me that when you get to the island, confusion reigns and the cabbies on shore have their own "best beaches" to take you to. A case in point to me is St. Maarten. We were there last year. We read the books and internet. Orient Beach was THE place to go. We went to the time and expense to rent a car and drive there. We could see it was a nice beach, but it didn't have all the stuff to do as the beach right off the ship in town... and it was full of seaweed so the water was not nice. I'm a seasoned cruiser, but still appreciate advise.
  8. It's like America, but South... sorry I couldn't resist.
  9. If the new $15 minimum wage does pass in CA, it will be even more out of reach. Other cruise companies may move out of CA... and rightly so.
  10. Got it. I think I misread you. Happy Easter!
  11. There won't be less activities on a music cruise. the live music will start at about 10:00 AM and go until 3:00 AM. That's one of the real beauties of it. I don't want to bore anyone with a personal story, but below I will report some of the highlights on the first BNL cruise in 2007. First, the boarding process was really long, and we didn't know why. It turns out we finally came to a door. When it was our turn the door opened, our party of 4 walked in. There was the all 5 members of BNL. They posed for a complementary 8 X 10 photo with each group as the boarded. A copy for everyone was delivered to the stateroom a couple of days later. The band performed a sail away concert on the Lido Deck that afternoon. They asked the fans that if we saw the band together on board to approach and chat or pose for a photo. They asked for privacy if they were with their family. They performed 2 full length shows during the 5 night cruise. They had tons of appearances with the fans over the 5 days. There was at least 20 other acts of similar genres on board. Some we had heard of. Most we had not. On about the second night, the four of us were playing Blackjack together in the casino. A band started playing in the casino. At first, we wished they would stop because of the noise and distraction. But, as the minutes went on, we all four started to like it. After about 20 minutes, we abandoned the Blackjack table to join the gathering crowd around this unknown band. They were amazing musicians. They were very entertaining. They were funny. They music was great and not the normal "cookie cutter" music of today. They loved performing for the gathering group. The band is Gaelic Storm. They are for me, the single best best band there is anywhere. I have seen them at least 20 times in concert since that night in January of 2007. They still play small venues. They still meet and greet their fans after the show. They know many of us by name. In meet and greets they ask about my family. On the last day at sea, at about 10:00 am, we were invited to go to our stateroom, remove all of our clothing, put on a robe, and come out on deck. Not knowing what was about to happen, and unable to resist temptation, the four of us complied. We arrived on deck at about 10:20 am. We were lined up for a large photo. On the count of 3, we ALL dropped our robes for about 5 seconds. It is estimated there are 1000 barenaked people in that photo, and you can find it on the internet. It was original, amazing, fun, and not dirty like many would think. There are beautiful women in it. There are children in it. There are men in it. BNL is in it. It was a highlight of an amazing cruise, and as you can imagine, not like any other cruise I've been on.
  12. Have any of you done a music cruise? Sadly, RCCL is not in this game, because it is awesome. Imagine a cruise where all of the normal entertainment has the week off and you are entertained both in concert and up close and personal by your favorite bands. It's been a few years, but I have done three of these. It is amazing. There is usually a headline band and then 15 or so other acts in similar genres. You will be amazed how many bands are doing it now. There is a company called sixth man doing in on mostly NCL ships, and I think Carnival has it's own version. I was on the Barenaked Ladies cruise twice and it was there that I first heard and saw a band that would turn out to be my all-time favorite band. Anyone who likes music now... or ever has should look in to it. Many bands old and new are taking part. The Rock Boat goes out every year. Kiss has a cruise this year. There's county, rock, old rock, rap... any genre you want. I've had photos taken with BNL, played Blackjack with Gaelic Storm, and seen as many as 5 concerts in a day. Anyone done this?
  13. Last year we went to St. Croix for the first time. It was the island I least looked forward to on our trip. As you can guess, it was out favorite. We loved it. We snorkeled for sea glass. What a blast.
  14. I notice you've done the Adventure of the Seas 4 times. I love that ship. June will be my third sailing on her. My wife once invited me out for dinner. She said she would take me to my favorite restaurant... wherever it was. My answer was that dinner would not cost her a dime because my favorite restaurant was the MDR on the Adventure of the Seas. Obviously the restaurant has little to do with it! I really love San Juan and the Southern Caribbean. In June, we'll go there again with 8 family members who have never been there.
  15. My siblings and I love cruising, and we have been doing it for more than 30 years (I'm a little less because I'm younger). We started a little project to list and then research as many of our cruises as possible. I found that several of my older ships have been sold off, and one actually sunk. It is a cool topic for those of us who love cruising. Anyone have a great old ship stories?
  16. While I have absolutely loved all of my RCCL cruises and I like the idea of cruising with just one cruise line in order to gain a higher standing, I think the lesson in this is to spread yourself around among the cruise line so as to not be taken for granted.
  17. I'm it's true that there just isn't a market to fill ships on a weekly basis in southern California. But it's weird that RCCL keeps a megaship in NY year round because so many people can drive to the port, and nothing in SoCal. I guess it's that SoCal's winters aren't nearly as bad as the NYC's.
  18. OSJ is really great. We are traveling there with 8 family members who have not been in June of this year. The Sheraton is perfectly situated for access to the old city.
  19. If it took you 30 minutes to get there, you must have had traffic or the cabbie worked you over pretty good. It's probably 10 minutes or less. I don't remember the cost, but I don't think it's $25. It's really cool to see the ships right across the street, even if the Adventure is not one of them. However, if you are an early riser, head outside at about 5:15 AM. You may see the Adventure arrive.
  20. In OSJ there is a tradition of flying kites on the grounds of El Morro that is really neat. There is always a breeze. We plan to do it with our kids (18, 15, & 9) when we are there in June. The 18 year old may roll her eyes at her old dad, but I think she will remember doing it with us. The 15 & 9 year-olds will think it's neat. Pretty sure the CVS located by the Sheraton has kites. It's a pretty wholesome thing to do with teens, and maybe one day they'll do it with their kids.
  21. We rented a car and drove to Orient Beach last April. There was a lot of seaweed. We asked and were told it was a recent problem. I don't know if it's cleared up as of now. That was a year ago. Really, there is a nice, but busy, beach right of the ships in St. Marteen. Not many trees, but you can rent shade. Lots of shopping, drinks, food and snacks right there. For families, Orient beach is topless and clothing optional in sections.
  22. I saw it's in the news for having 6 itineraries cancelled. My question is this: This is the age of big, bigger, and biggest ships. Why is RCCL buying an old small ship from Pullmantur to refurbish to its brand? My only guess is there's a specialized need for 3, 4, and 5 night cruises out of Miami. They have the Majesty and recently sold off the Sovereign of the Seas.
  23. Sheraton OSJ is awesome. We are staying there in June before boarding the Adventure. It has great access to OSJ, restaurants, forts, great walking. But it has no beach and an pool isn't that great. I've stayed at the Caribe Hilton which was really nice for beach and pools. It's more expensive, and it's been a few years since I've stayed there. There is also a Sheraton near the Pan American Pier. However, they don't call it the "nothing to do Sheraton" for nothing.
  24. We bring our own gear whenever we are in the Caribbean. However, we don't lug our fins. Just the mask and snorkel. Easily fits in the suitcase, and you don't need fins in most of the Caribbean.
  25. I've been to St Thomas many times, and in fact have vacationed there outside of a cruise. Love the island. In most of the Caribbean you don't need to book a formal excursion. St Thomas is a prime example. You can take a short hike to town to shop a little or grab a cab to go anywhere on the island. Magens Bay is really nice. There is good snorkeling on both ends of the beach. There are options to rent a chair and lots of food and drink options. And it's beautiful. Ask your cabbie to stop on top of the hill so you can get a photo of the ships in port. There may even be a stopping point on the way down to take an over the top photo of Magens Bay. Someone said to allow 3 hours. I really don't think you need that much. If you are uncomfortable with the time back to the ship, you go right to Magens Bay from the ship and then come back early to do some shopping either in town or in the ship area.
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