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Cary177

Home From First Cruise

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Hi everyone, we are home from our RC Navigator Of The Seas cruise which took us to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Labadee (Haiti) and Nassau. The cabin was nice, and included a balcony. The staff was friendly and many times we felt like we were the only ones they worked for, it was that personal! The ship was stunningly beautiful, and so big I found myself getting lost right up until the day we sailed home.

However, I must say, I was taken aback by the poverty of the locals on the islands, especially Jamaica, where we had elected to take a bicycle tour into the country, and saw first hand how some people lived and how desperately they begged us to buy their hand made goods. Here we were having a midnight buffet with Bahama Mamas flowing after mingling with the local people living in shacks with dirt floors. I understand it is their way of life, it's how they live, etc. etc. We visited a community school where the children sat on benches in classrooms with no doors in the 100 degree heat, all happy and noisy and wearing uniforms. School is not free, the parents must pay for their children to attend! We take so much for granted in our lives, we don't realize how fortunate we are.

Also, we were not aware of all the 'tipping' required, we were even given a printed, recommended schedule as to who to tip and how much. That in itself ran into hundreds. We were not aware that the initial cruise payment was only the beginning! Not to mention the $6 drinks!

Anyway, it's good to be home, the cruise was an education on many levels.

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Welcome home, Glad your experience was "educational".

And welcome to the ongoing discussion of cruiseline squeezing nickels and dimes, I know the shock of realization that the cruise price isn't the only expense, but when you sit down and "crunch" the numbers it still comes back as a good "all inclusive" value.

I have been a long time advocate of firming up cruise prices to include tips, and extras like sodas and specialty coffees.

Paying one price makes it easier, and then if a crew member deserved extra it would definitely mean more to them than a "pre-arranged" tip.

Cary177, remember just because they hand you a piece of paper that says you "should "tip a certain amount in no way means YOU HAVE GOT to pay that amount, you can always adjust it to meet the standard of service that was delivered.

However by your own account that wasn’t an issue, glad you was treated so wonderful, and once again welcome back to reality!

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Hi Cary177 - Welcome home (back to luxury)

Glad you liked the Navigator. I agree its hard to justify our standard of living when so many people seem worse off - but then ask yourself who is the happier person & I bet it would be a close call... :wink:

Hope you get chance to do a review if not hope to still see you posting regularly :grin:

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Cary177,

Welcome back.

I'm glad that you had such a great time and were treated so nicely by the crew.

In regards to the poverty that you witnessed on the islands it is true that some areas are very poverty stricken and some areas are very beautiful, not unlike some places in the United States or in Europe. What helps the people in the poverty stricken areas is that we purchase souvenir items from them, if we wish. This helps to provide some tourist dollars that will help to feed their families. Tourism is very important to some of the islanders and it was good that you observed a need and possibly did something to alleviate their poverty.

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I'm so glad you enjoyed your cruise!

Yes, poverty is rampant in the islands, with few exceptions (one of them being Grand Cayman).

Yet, despite the povery, most of the people have a fantastic attitude.

I remember the first time I visited the Dominican Republic, one of the poorest naytions in the Caribbean. I hires a young boy, about 18, to guide me through his town, Puerto Plata, and agreed, in advance, to give him $5.00 per hour. We spent 2 hours touring the town, and returned to the ship. I handed him $15.00, and I thouight he was going to cry....

"Oh, Senor," he said, "My papa only makes $15.00 a week!"

He asked me if I liked his town and I told him that it was a little depressing to see such poverty. His reply? "Oh, Senor, you should see the other side of the island (Haiti)."

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Thanks for the post. If you have never traveled then you don't know how good things are here. It gives you an appreciation for what you hae in your own life. I am glad you seem to be past this "initiation" and are not teken too far aback by it all. Its all part of our world. Best of luck, Larry :smiley:

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