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DeanSenecal last won the day on September 10 2011

DeanSenecal had the most liked content!

About DeanSenecal

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  1. Hi Danny, I agree with most of your comments except. Each port has it's own flavor. Jamaica - I have been to Jamaica so many times I can't remember but we also enjoy going to the craft market. You have to be able to haggle but it is a lot of fun. The shopping at the two centers is also enjoyable. The rum factory tour was ok. A bit over priced but something different. I have met some of the most honest shop keepers I have ever run into here. Belize - We did not enjoy Belize the first time we went but then we found the right excursions to go on. Visit the ruins one time for a education on what the Belize think about the Mayans. I don't like the tender ride but don't get rid of the port. Costa Rica - We really looked forward to this port only to be greatly disappointed. We took the Sky tram through the "Rain Forest" we were told we would see lots of strange and exotic animals. We were told we saw the beak of a brown toucan. Just the beak. From the distance I could not tell if it was a beak or a piece of wood. That's it. VERY expensive about 200 each if I remember the price correctly. Long bus ride. Not worth it at all. This is one port you can take off the list. Panama - We got suckered into the Panama Canal tour. 250 dollars each. The boat was way over capacity. No sitting room. Broken PA system. No guides. We only go about halfway down the canal. What a terrible experience. The ship has a video on the making of the Panama Canal but it or watch the Discovery Channel for the Panama Canal series. You will learn more about the canal from those two things than you will on the tour. NOT RECOMMENDED at any cost. The city was different but forget the boat tour. Chichen Itza - This is IMO the best Mayan site I have ever visited. There is so much to do and see here. HIGHLY recommend taking the time to do this one. We did it on our own from Cozumel. Had to take private plane and then bus. about 160.00 each but well worth the money and the time. We still talk about this excursion after 7 years.
  2. I am also on this cruise. Sounds like a great trip. I am very interested in visiting these sites. The cruise ship excursions are just way to expensive. I will send you a PM as soon as I am done. I would like to know how many are in the group and how much it is going to cost. Look forward to hearing back from you .
  3. Ok first some background. I am currently scheduled to take the Oceania Nautica from Athens to Dubai. Nov 4 to 22. We had a RCL cruise set up but when they removed all of Egypt from the itinerary is defeated the reason to take the cruise. Oceania dropped Cairo but that is all. I am disappointed but think that I will be glad I made the switch to Oceania. Here is my problem. The Oceania cruise is one day longer than the RCL. I have airline flights and hotels already set up for Nov 22 in Paris. I do not want to change the rest of my travel plans if possible. We have been told we can get off the ship a day early in Dubai since it is there for two days anyway. Here is the question. Has anyone had any experience getting off the ship early in Dubai. We are thinking of touring the area then returning to the ship, clean up, have dinner, then leave for the airport. We expect this to be about 9PM. Is there any problem getting the locals to let us off the ship? Nov 21, is a Monday in case that matters.
  4. OK here is one I have never run into. I just read in the Princess tour book that I can take a fishing excursion with them and they will prepare my catch and serve it to me on board. I called Princess to confirm this. After about an hour on hold the person I was speaking to confirmed this but I have to be on a Princess fishing excursion. She also told me that they would clean, fillet, freeze and ship the rest of my catch to my home at NO ADDITIONAL COST. This just does not sound right to me. I don't want to book a fishing tour with someone else who is much cheaper than Princess if Princess is going to send my catch home for me. Can anyone confirm this for me. Also my schedule only permits me to go fishing in Ketchikan. We will be there on May 24, 08. Any ideas or thoughts on the cheapest charter and fish processing to use. Approx costs would help. Thanks
  5. Hi Lisa, St Marten can be a little boring. You pretty much know my tastes in beaches. Orient beach does not do it for me. We have taken the ferry over to Pinell island but I really do not consider this big step up. This is not the island to do any extensive snorkeling. I would recommend the Butterfly farm. Especially for your son. The usually have new butterfly's being born every day. The island tour was nice only because it was very warm the day we took the trip. The bus was like new and well air conditioned. They stopped at a small refreshment stand so we could buy drinks and use the bathrooms. Overall, it was a very forgettable tour. We enjoy shopping in St. Marten. The prices are good, in fact I think they are a little better than St. Thomas. Even if you are just looking - visit some of the jewelry stores and enjoy a Heineken or two. Hope this helps P.S. Sorry for the duplicate post. I was tried to edit the post for spelling and accidentally hit my back button.
  6. Hi JPCRUISER, You did not mention if this is your first cruise or not? If this is your first cruise then I suggest you stay with the cruise ships excursions until you learn the lay of the land. I know it may sound silly but you are not in the USA and each of these countries have different laws. You have already received lots of great suggestions. Here are my thoughts. Cozumel, <]the cruise ship will have a list of "approved" shops in each port. Thats fine but as Joanandjoe suggested you can get lots of bargains in the town if you are a little adventurous. If you speak Spanish you will get even better deals. Because of the hurricanes they are really looking for money. Tulum is nice but the ruins are pretty worn down. CHICHEN ITZA is much better but you may have to take a charter flight to make it. It is a little more expense than your regular tours but WELL worth it. If they stop in Costa Maya you may be closer than you would have been from Cozumel. It all depends where they stop. If you are staying in Cozumel past 7 pm this one is very do-able. Chankanaab Park is also very nice if you want to snorkel for the day. I speak Spanish but with a "Gringo" accent, my wife is Cuban. While I was trying to deal with one of the local vendors for a pair of sunglasses my wife came up and started talking to me in Spanish. The local vendor apologized for not realizing my wife was a Mexican gave me a better price than I had been bargaining for. We have bought several different Chess Sets and Silver jewelry from the local town shops. Jamaica, <] Many people are turned off by the poverty of this island. Yes you will see lots of beggars. The dock area is fenced off and patrolled very well. Rather than taking a taxi to the falls why not try something a lot more fun. I would recommend taking an excursion from the ship called "Cool Runnings". It is a catamaran ride from the cruise ship to Dunn River Falls. Take your cameras with you. The guides on the falls will take your cameras and will take your picture at several different points along the falls and they will keep your cameras dry. On the way back you will be treated to a dance session and drinks on board the catamaran. They also have two different shopping centers that are guarded and fenced in. They have lots of interesting shops and deals if you know what you are looking for. You will take a short Taxi ride to get to the shopping centers. Relax and enjoy Jamaica it is a lovely place. You will have lots of time to do two different things here in Jamaica. Grand Cayman,<] I have used several different dive operators here. But the best I have found and the most reliable is Bob Soto's. They have very knowledgeable dive masters and first rate boats. Their prices are about half of what they charge on the ship and they last longer. Their Stingray City tour will also include two other snorkel locations. The also do seven mile beach with is very pretty. I was never impressed with the turtle farm but it has been redone after the hurricanes. The center of town has several different jewelry stores that have black coral. And don't forget your Rum Cake. If you are really into the snorkeling you can get two trips into this port. Do Stingray city early and then seven mile beach. Hope this helps
  7. Hi Lindyf OK about the cabin. Here is my humble opinion. An inside cabin is an inside cabin. Fully functional. If you have been in one you have been in all of them. These are great for the budget conscious. If you are on the ship to socialize then these are great rooms for you. Because you will be spending most of your time out of the cabin. Great for the folks who are going to spend the entire night drinking and dancing and then sleep during the day. Outside cabin. These come in three different flavors. 1. Large rectangular window. 2. Small port hole. 3. Obstructed view. Obviously, the best one is the large rectangular window. The small port hole at least allows you to look out side but that is about all. It is a one person at a time event.. The obstructed view can work out sometimes but it usually means a life boat or some other mechanical thing is blocking your view of the ocean. You can not look straight down in any of these rooms. Just out at the horizon. These rooms are great for people who have to have actual light in there rooms. You can not open the windows but you at least know if it is day or night. Rainy or sunny. Balcony cabin. These generally come in four types. 1. Standard balcony. This provides just enough room for two plastic chairs and a small table for drinks. Warning if you are the lucky person to get the corner, the other person will have to get up to let you out. In other words very tight. 2. Extended Balcony. This room give you about an extra couple of feet in depth. This makes it much more comfortable to more around on the balcony. If you have children traveling with you they can fit out side with you. You will still have two plastic chairs and a small table. I have seen a couple of rooms with deck chairs but they are very tight and you have to turn it at an angle. 3. Oversize balcony. This room will be laid out differently than any of the other rooms on board the ship. They make up for the unusual room layout and sometimes smaller room by adding more room to the balcony. I had one once that was 14 feet long by about 5 feet wide. We had two lounge chairs, two plastic chairs and two tables. We even slept out here one night. 4. Aft Balcony. This room will be pretty much the same as the regular rooms except the room is in the aft end of the ship. The balcony will be exposed to more sunlight than must balconies. You are afforded a view from the rear of the ship. Or in other words where you have been. At night this can be very romantic to watch the ships wake. Disadvantage to this room are: . A. Other people from the lido deck can look down and see part of your balcony. No Nude sun bathing here. . B. Some ships have a problem with diesel exhaust blowing little black spec's onto these balconies. Balconies serve many purposes. My wife and I are some what anti social. Don't get me wrong but we don't enjoy going up to the lido deck and find that every chair has a towel on it to reserve it. The ship rules will tell you that you CAN NOT DO THIS. But I have found that most people conveniently forget how to read when it suits their needs. The chairs will go unused for over an hour while the guest is having a late brunch or is in the spa for their treatment. So rather than let this bother me, I try to get a balcony room. Really the Lido deck becomes so crowded that you can not move on it. We can sun bathe and sit and enjoy the view as long as we want. No one is there to bother us. Either side of the ship is fine. I have never found much of an advantage of either side of the ship. If there is something special you wanted to see you can find out which way the ship docks but other than a sea day you are usually going to be out and exploring each day while you are in port. When you get back to your room at night the ship will be moving but it will be dark. So it really does not matter which side you are on. Is it worth 100.00 per person for a balcony upgrade? I would say yes. Is it worth 300.00 per person for a balcony upgrade? I would have to vote no. Hope this helps. :cool:
  8. DeanSenecal


    defenseless - adjudicated
  9. keeping track of the activities - sonar operator
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