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jewels64

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About jewels64

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  1. jewels64

    3/13/05

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  2. Click here to view the cruise review
  3. Well, I have been back in Canada for almost a month now, but I have been so busy that I actually FORGOT to post a review. I was checking in with all of you every day before we left on our first cruise on March 13th, and now it seems I have a TONNE to catch up on! March 13th<] We flew American Airlines from Toronto to Chicago and then on to Orlando on Sunday. All flights were on time and we were in Orlando by 1:00 p.m. The Royal Caribbean guides were standing near the luggage carrousels to greet us and show us the way to the bus that would take us to Port Canavral and Mariner of the Seas. We were on our way very quickly. I was impressed with the organization to this point. When we first got a glimpse of the ships in Port, we could hardly speak. I had never imagined anything so HUGE!!!! We boarded quickly and our paperwork was processed in about 3 minutes. Again, I was very impressed. We found our stateroom first, took a few photos and hung out on our balcony drinking cocktails until it was time for the lifeboat drill. This was the only negative part of the day. It was way too hot to stand for 20 minutes with a life jacket on, but I totally understand why they do it. After that, we found our way up to the very front of the ship while she pulled out of Port. As we went by an outdoor patio bar at the pier, the patrons at the bar began singing "Love Boat"....we were all laughing on board. Since our group was on the cruise for a friend's wedding, it was very appropriate. The ship was AMAZING. Everything was so clean and well organized. The meals were fantastic and the service made it all even better. We had late seating and all those involved in the wedding were sitting in the same area. We chose to eat in the dining room every night rather than pay extra for the specialty restaurants or dress down at the buffet. We really enjoyed dressing for dinner each night and taking our time to savour all the delicious courses. Our waiters were so accomodating that they often brought us a second appetizer or dessert just to "try". All the meals were exceptional. We ate lunch in the dining room as well (not many did) because we found the meals much better there than in the buffet (Windjammer). It was so nice to be waited on for lunch and dinner. We ate at the buffet for breakfast on 3 mornings, but all other mornings we ordered room service in our cabin. It was great to have coffee and fruit out on our balcony each morning. The first morning we ordered coffee for 2, but quickly realized that we needed to write down LARGE beside the coffee so we would get more than one cup each. By the end of the third day, all of us were saying "I would just like to remember what it feels like to be hungry!". This is another reason for ordering room service for breakfast...the portions are much smaller. We had no problem getting deck chairs whenever we wanted them. We are early risers but the deck didn't really fill up until 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. I enjoyed ordering all of my drinks from the servers rather than at the bar. It just felt like total luxury! We all got a little too much sun the first day so let that be a warning to all of you! Even though it is windy and cool on the deck, the sun is burning! I will just go through a few other highlights for us, as I see this is getting a little long! -we enjoyed having our pictures taken before going into port and in the dining room. It gave us something to do while waiting for dinner...go around and hunt for everyone's photos. You do not have to buy them, but if you are like us, you will want to purchase a few as keepsakes. -Our first stop was Labadee, RCI's own private area. Since we had had too much sun the day before, we stayed in the water for most of the day and snorkled. Take your own snorkling stuff if you have it as it costs $12.00 to use theirs. There were tonnes of chairs to sit on and lunch on the island was quite good and it was included. No extra costs except for drinks. -Jamaica was nice. We did a boat tour but wished we had skipped the Falls. There were too many people there!!!!! -We stayed on the ship at Grand Cayman because that was the wedding day and we were afraid we would be late if we went on shore. The port was VERY rough and they had a difficult time tendering people in. Just as well too. We were told by everyone who went ashore that, because there were SEVEN ships in port that day, the streets were so busy it was hard to walk. The wedding was BEAUTIFUL in the chapel on the 15th floor. -Cozumel was FANTASTIC but next time, instead of a pre-arranged tour, we will rent our own car and drive around the island ourselves. That is one place to which I will definitely return. -All of our extras.....alcohol, souveniers, pictures and tours cost us an additional $1200. When compared to an All inclusive resort, this seemed like a lot, but we did enjoy it. There is definitely no shortage of things to do and it is neat to see so many ports of call. When we go to an AI Resort, we don't spend anything extra except for a few souveniers, as the drinks and wine are all included. We are big wine drinkers so, for us, this is kind of a "down" point to the cruise. We had a bottle of wine each night with dinner, and we would have liked to have more but the cost kept us from doing so. All in all, we had a great time, took fantastic digital photos that we will be able to enjoy forever, had a blast with our friends who were all there for the wedding and spent some great alone time together too. The highlight of every day was dinner in the dining room. Our servers, Amardeep and Edinson, made our cruise special. They were the best. We will likely go back to an All Inclusive for the next few years, but we won't rule out cruising in the future. I think the ultimate holiday would be a week golfing in Florida followed by a cruise leaving from Port Canavral or Miami and then, after the cruise, staying for a week at one of the Ports you cruise to. Maybe when I win the lotter! Thanks for all your help before the cruise. Your advice and answers were so valuable and helped make our holiday even better. Jewels
  4. Well, I have been back in Canada for almost a month now, but I have been so busy that I actually FORGOT to post a review. I was checking in with all of you every day before we left on our first cruise on March 13th, and now it seems I have a TONNE to catch up on! March 13th<] We flew American Airlines from Toronto to Chicago and then on to Orlando on Sunday. All flights were on time and we were in Orlando by 1:00 p.m. The Royal Caribbean guides were standing near the luggage carrousels to greet us and show us the way to the bus that would take us to Port Canavral and Mariner of the Seas. We were on our way very quickly. I was impressed with the organization to this point. When we first got a glimpse of the ships in Port, we could hardly speak. I had never imagined anything so HUGE!!!! We boarded quickly and our paperwork was processed in about 3 minutes. Again, I was very impressed. We found our stateroom first, took a few photos and hung out on our balcony drinking cocktails until it was time for the lifeboat drill. This was the only negative part of the day. It was way too hot to stand for 20 minutes with a life jacket on, but I totally understand why they do it. After that, we found our way up to the very front of the ship while she pulled out of Port. As we went by an outdoor patio bar at the pier, the patrons at the bar began singing "Love Boat"....we were all laughing on board. Since our group was on the cruise for a friend's wedding, it was very appropriate. The ship was AMAZING. Everything was so clean and well organized. The meals were fantastic and the service made it all even better. We had late seating and all those involved in the wedding were sitting in the same area. We chose to eat in the dining room every night rather than pay extra for the specialty restaurants or dress down at the buffet. We really enjoyed dressing for dinner each night and taking our time to savour all the delicious courses. Our waiters were so accomodating that they often brought us a second appetizer or dessert just to "try". All the meals were exceptional. We ate lunch in the dining room as well (not many did) because we found the meals much better there than in the buffet (Windjammer). It was so nice to be waited on for lunch and dinner. We ate at the buffet for breakfast on 3 mornings, but all other mornings we ordered room service in our cabin. It was great to have coffee and fruit out on our balcony each morning. The first morning we ordered coffee for 2, but quickly realized that we needed to write down LARGE beside the coffee so we would get more than one cup each. By the end of the third day, all of us were saying "I would just like to remember what it feels like to be hungry!". This is another reason for ordering room service for breakfast...the portions are much smaller. We had no problem getting deck chairs whenever we wanted them. We are early risers but the deck didn't really fill up until 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. I enjoyed ordering all of my drinks from the servers rather than at the bar. It just felt like total luxury! We all got a little too much sun the first day so let that be a warning to all of you! Even though it is windy and cool on the deck, the sun is burning! I will just go through a few other highlights for us, as I see this is getting a little long! -we enjoyed having our pictures taken before going into port and in the dining room. It gave us something to do while waiting for dinner...go around and hunt for everyone's photos. You do not have to buy them, but if you are like us, you will want to purchase a few as keepsakes. -Our first stop was Labadee, RCI's own private area. Since we had had too much sun the day before, we stayed in the water for most of the day and snorkled. Take your own snorkling stuff if you have it as it costs $12.00 to use theirs. There were tonnes of chairs to sit on and lunch on the island was quite good and it was included. No extra costs except for drinks. -Jamaica was nice. We did a boat tour but wished we had skipped the Falls. There were too many people there!!!!! -We stayed on the ship at Grand Cayman because that was the wedding day and we were afraid we would be late if we went on shore. The port was VERY rough and they had a difficult time tendering people in. Just as well too. We were told by everyone who went ashore that, because there were SEVEN ships in port that day, the streets were so busy it was hard to walk. The wedding was BEAUTIFUL in the chapel on the 15th floor. -Cozumel was FANTASTIC but next time, instead of a pre-arranged tour, we will rent our own car and drive around the island ourselves. That is one place to which I will definitely return. -All of our extras.....alcohol, souveniers, pictures and tours cost us an additional $1200. When compared to an All inclusive resort, this seemed like a lot, but we did enjoy it. There is definitely no shortage of things to do and it is neat to see so many ports of call. When we go to an AI Resort, we don't spend anything extra except for a few souveniers, as the drinks and wine are all included. We are big wine drinkers so, for us, this is kind of a "down" point to the cruise. We had a bottle of wine each night with dinner, and we would have liked to have more but the cost kept us from doing so. All in all, we had a great time, took fantastic digital photos that we will be able to enjoy forever, had a blast with our friends who were all there for the wedding and spent some great alone time together too. The highlight of every day was dinner in the dining room. Our servers, Amardeep and Edinson, made our cruise special. They were the best. We will likely go back to an All Inclusive for the next few years, but we won't rule out cruising in the future. I think the ultimate holiday would be a week golfing in Florida followed by a cruise leaving from Port Canavral or Miami and then, after the cruise, staying for a week at one of the Ports you cruise to. Maybe when I win the lotter! Thanks for all your help before the cruise. Your advice and answers were so valuable and helped make our holiday even better. Jewels
  5. Well, I have been back in Canada for almost a month now, but I have been so busy that I actually FORGOT to post a review. I was checking in with all of you every day before we left on our first cruise on March 13th, and now it seems I have a TONNE to catch up on! March 13th<] We flew American Airlines from Toronto to Chicago and then on to Orlando on Sunday. All flights were on time and we were in Orlando by 1:00 p.m. The Royal Caribbean guides were standing near the luggage carrousels to greet us and show us the way to the bus that would take us to Port Canavral and Mariner of the Seas. We were on our way very quickly. I was impressed with the organization to this point. When we first got a glimpse of the ships in Port, we could hardly speak. I had never imagined anything so HUGE!!!! We boarded quickly and our paperwork was processed in about 3 minutes. Again, I was very impressed. We found our stateroom first, took a few photos and hung out on our balcony drinking cocktails until it was time for the lifeboat drill. This was the only negative part of the day. It was way too hot to stand for 20 minutes with a life jacket on, but I totally understand why they do it. After that, we found our way up to the very front of the ship while she pulled out of Port. As we went by an outdoor patio bar at the pier, the patrons at the bar began singing "Love Boat"....we were all laughing on board. Since our group was on the cruise for a friend's wedding, it was very appropriate. The ship was AMAZING. Everything was so clean and well organized. The meals were fantastic and the service made it all even better. We had late seating and all those involved in the wedding were sitting in the same area. We chose to eat in the dining room every night rather than pay extra for the specialty restaurants or dress down at the buffet. We really enjoyed dressing for dinner each night and taking our time to savour all the delicious courses. Our waiters were so accomodating that they often brought us a second appetizer or dessert just to "try". All the meals were exceptional. We ate lunch in the dining room as well (not many did) because we found the meals much better there than in the buffet (Windjammer). It was so nice to be waited on for lunch and dinner. We ate at the buffet for breakfast on 3 mornings, but all other mornings we ordered room service in our cabin. It was great to have coffee and fruit out on our balcony each morning. The first morning we ordered coffee for 2, but quickly realized that we needed to write down LARGE beside the coffee so we would get more than one cup each. By the end of the third day, all of us were saying "I would just like to remember what it feels like to be hungry!". This is another reason for ordering room service for breakfast...the portions are much smaller. We had no problem getting deck chairs whenever we wanted them. We are early risers but the deck didn't really fill up until 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. I enjoyed ordering all of my drinks from the servers rather than at the bar. It just felt like total luxury! We all got a little too much sun the first day so let that be a warning to all of you! Even though it is windy and cool on the deck, the sun is burning! I will just go through a few other highlights for us, as I see this is getting a little long! -we enjoyed having our pictures taken before going into port and in the dining room. It gave us something to do while waiting for dinner...go around and hunt for everyone's photos. You do not have to buy them, but if you are like us, you will want to purchase a few as keepsakes. -Our first stop was Labadee, RCI's own private area. Since we had had too much sun the day before, we stayed in the water for most of the day and snorkled. Take your own snorkling stuff if you have it as it costs $12.00 to use theirs. There were tonnes of chairs to sit on and lunch on the island was quite good and it was included. No extra costs except for drinks. -Jamaica was nice. We did a boat tour but wished we had skipped the Falls. There were too many people there!!!!! -We stayed on the ship at Grand Cayman because that was the wedding day and we were afraid we would be late if we went on shore. The port was VERY rough and they had a difficult time tendering people in. Just as well too. We were told by everyone who went ashore that, because there were SEVEN ships in port that day, the streets were so busy it was hard to walk. The wedding was BEAUTIFUL in the chapel on the 15th floor. -Cozumel was FANTASTIC but next time, instead of a pre-arranged tour, we will rent our own car and drive around the island ourselves. That is one place to which I will definitely return. -All of our extras.....alcohol, souveniers, pictures and tours cost us an additional $1200. When compared to an All inclusive resort, this seemed like a lot, but we did enjoy it. There is definitely no shortage of things to do and it is neat to see so many ports of call. When we go to an AI Resort, we don't spend anything extra except for a few souveniers, as the drinks and wine are all included. We are big wine drinkers so, for us, this is kind of a "down" point to the cruise. We had a bottle of wine each night with dinner, and we would have liked to have more but the cost kept us from doing so. All in all, we had a great time, took fantastic digital photos that we will be able to enjoy forever, had a blast with our friends who were all there for the wedding and spent some great alone time together too. The highlight of every day was dinner in the dining room. Our servers, Amardeep and Edinson, made our cruise special. They were the best. We will likely go back to an All Inclusive for the next few years, but we won't rule out cruising in the future. I think the ultimate holiday would be a week golfing in Florida followed by a cruise leaving from Port Canavral or Miami and then, after the cruise, staying for a week at one of the Ports you cruise to. Maybe when I win the lotter! Thanks for all your help before the cruise. Your advice and answers were so valuable and helped make our holiday even better. Jewels
  6. Cold weather......YUCK!!!!! Here in Ontario we went from 5 degrees C yesterday to -20 degrees C<] last night!!!! My husband and I will be arriving in Florida on Sunday to board our first cruise. Hope it warms up by then!!!!
  7. Steve and I are leaving on our first cruise in one week (YIPPEEEEEE!!!!!) and I have one final question: While we are on our excursions (both have snorkling at some point), do we keep our cash and credit cards with us? Is there some sort of waterproof container we should be looking for so that we can carry valuables with us while snorkling? During both excursions, there are opportunities for shopping, etc., so we didn't want to leave all our money on the ship. Thanks in advance!
  8. I am going on my first cruise, Western Caribbean, on March 13th as well. We are on Royal Caribbean but will be stopping at almost all the same places as you. We will have to compare notes upon our return! Have a great time!
  9. When Susan fell through the floor of Mike's bathroom after leaving all the money and his gun in the sink...I just about died laughing. I only watch two t.v. shows now that hockey isn't on...Desperate Housewives and West Wing.... one is for the laughs and the other for the fantasy (I will let you guess which is which!). Every year I scrape together $200.00 so hubby and I can go to a Leaf's game in Toronto the night before we leave on our holiday in March. With no hockey this year, I figure I will blow my $200 bucks in the casino on the cruise...but I am not sure that will give me nearly the excitement as a hockey game does. Thank goodness both my kids play hockey so I can go cheer them on!
  10. We are Steve and Julie from Ontario. This year will be our first cruise to the Western Caribbean.....three more weeks!!!! We have been doing the all-inclusive thing for the past few years and decided to try something new. We have been married for 16 years and we have 2 kids, Hilary (12) and Joel (10). I am a high school teacher and Steve installs pools and services hot tubs so I am a SUMMER TIME WIDOW. That is why we try to take a holiday by ourselves every winter during March Break. This forum is terrific...thanks to all who contribute.
  11. We are also stopping in Cozumel in mid-March and have been looking at the same dune buggy and snorkling tour. Has anyone taken it? We are also curious about the "wreck and reef snorkling tour" in Grand Cayman.
  12. Thanks, everyone, for your replies. Rye, by the way, is "Canadian" for what many of you call "whiskey", I think. Canadian Club and Crown Royal are the most popular brand names. Now that I know how reasonable the prices are, I can relax and buy my drinks on board :grin: . I still may need that little bottle of Bailey's though! Thanks, again.
  13. Hi everyone. I did a little search for this topic, but I really couldn't find anything that would answer my specific questions. We are first-time cruisers, sailing on Mariner of the Seas in March. We will likely buy our fruity cocktails and beer during the day while out and about on the ship, but we both enjoy a glass of wine or rye and coke after we have come in out of the sun and are getting cleaned up in our cabin. Tradionally, at All Inclusives we have been to, we have a Bailey's on ice before going to bed or added some to our coffees in the morning. If we were to bring along a bottle of rye and a bottle of baily's in our luggage, is there going to be a problem? I also read that the "pop" (you guys may call it "soda"?) must be paid for on board....how much would it be? Also, friends who have cruised before have told us they bought their wine in each port they visited and then paid a corkage fee at dinner. Is this true for Royal Caribbean? How much is a bottle of "house wine" on a ship at dinner? Hmmmmm.....I sound like an alcoholic or something...LOL....well, it is a holiday, right!?! :rolleyes:
  14. Our FIRST cruise is March 13th on the Mariner of the Seas!!!! :shocked: Anyone else on this one?
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