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About thomas


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  1. My first cruise in 1989 was a Mediterranean aboard - I'm pretty sure I remember this right - the Stella Oceanis. (Sister = the Stella Solaris). This Grecian cruise line was absorbed along with Epirotiki lines to the short lived and now defunct "Royal Olympic" line. Funny thing these cruises now are among the most expensive. Try and take a 7 day Mediterranean (i.e., Athens - Mykonos - Rhodes - Patmos - Kusadasi - and Santorini) nowadays and it is almost twice as much as a comparable Carribean without air! But what a cruise. I had no concept of all you can eat, shore excursions, or really anything. It was so overwhelming. The ship though, by todays standards was a bonafide dump - like the cheapest Vegas hotel you can imagine (the Western?). Indoor outdoor carpeting that was all torn up. One dining room where you ate firehouse style, one bar / lounge area with cheezy Greek disco. It was totally awesome. th
  2. Should one feel particularly economical (= cheap), an inside cabin might be great, but you have to stay clear of crew gangways; i.e., those little sliding doors at either end of the ship through which the crew goes "home". Worst cabin of my life on Nordic Empress was such a situation. Being cheap like me has its advantages and disadvantages. th
  3. Thanks all Can I just say the best food I had - indeed the best cruise ship experience - was the much berated Norwegian Sea (Texarribbean). Definitely the best service I ever had in virtually every way. But you hit the nail on the head when you mention the executive chef - I wish there was some way of finding this out. Case and point: I think I have decided on princess for this summer (mainly for the glacier bay itinerary) - and both the Sun and the Dawn are going. Identical ships. But I wonder what the little differences are, especially between the chefs / crews / dining experience / etc. Maybe I should just not worry about it and know that it will be fine.
  4. OchoRios is an easy port to navigate on foot. Yes you will be approached by many people, most of them friendly, most of them offering you taxi rides etc. If you want to see and / or climb Dunns River Falls, you absolutely do NOT need to pay cruise line prices: For you see, the falls are basically free. It is always suggested that you use a "guide" at the falls - they are everywhere - but you don't NEED to - it's not the law, nor is it particularly dangerous to climb without one. If you are in reasonably good shape, you can just use common sense and do it yourself. To get to the falls, just let one of the cab drivers who stand outside the pier take you there - for about a third of the price (or less if you have several people) of a cruise line excursion. The falls are pretty close, but you can't easily walk there. Other things to do in Ochi include exploring the two straw / artisan markets in town - an easy walk from the pier. The in town beach that is next to the pier is not particularly thrilling or picturesque. It is a locals beach, and that's where you will most likely be offered drugs. In Cozumel, I actually did an excursion (NCL) - one of those party boats to a "private (not really) beach" area. We played volleyball - what a great beach - pure sand, not rocky at all. It was loads of fun and there were lots of beers. Bad sunburn though. Had a great time. best th
  5. As a new member to this board, I'm sure this post has come up. But I am now ready to try a new line, (Alaska summer 05) and food is important. My question is: Would you all say that the food scene is basically the same as say, 4 or 5 years ago? If not, then which lines have improved and which have declined? Specifics: I have cruised Norwegian, HAL, RCI, and Royal Olympic. At this time I am not really considering the Radisson / Crystal level of cruising, but rather am interested in the major players. I think most would seem to agree that Celebrity rules in this category, but is it indeed true that Carnival has made alot of improvement, while Princess is slipping downhill? I was actually very unimpressed with the cuisine aboard the HAL Maasdam two years ago. Looked great, flawlessly presented, but....basically no taste at all. It seems that everything on that ship was toned down for the geriatric set or something (I am a thirty-something) That seems a lousy thing to say - such a stereotype - but I think you know what I mean. Anyway, what do you think about the "new and improved" Carnival? Can RCI still do it? Is Princess a player? Tell all! thomas
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