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The Gipper

My First Cruise

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In all my travels I have never been on a cruise.  I have always   considered  to be a Spam in a Can situation.  Plus I always assume that they are usually going to be way overpriced.

But, I am now forced to book my first cruise.   My daughter is getting married next summer, and the ceremonies are going to take place aboard a cruise ship.  It will take place in port in Galveston,  and people will be allowed aboard for the ceremony and reception, but then will have to disembark before the ship departs.  Also, my daughter and her fiance's plans are to have the whole family go with them on the cruise!  I originally thought this would be awkward for us to "go along" on the honeymoon.....but apparently because of the size of the ship....which holds over 4000 guests, it is not a big thing.  Plus, they have been living together for quite some time, so it is not like they really need there "alone time".  They will still get plenty of it.  But, apparently there is going to be like 40-50 of us going....mostly on his side of the family.  It will be aboard the Royal Carribean's Liberty of the Seas. We get a group rate, but after a lot of checking out....it ain't all that and a bag of chips. Saves us only about a hundred bucks per person.   Price is going to be about 1300-1400 for a balcony, per person. Not including extras, like drinks.  Ports of call are to Cozumel, Costa Maya, Roatan.      This would not have been my choice of cruise...but I was not doing the choosing, so I am just going with the flow. 

My view is that I could have gotten a huge 2-3BR condo....perhaps somewhere in the cool mountains in July,(rather than the sweat box/hurricane magnet that is the Gulf of Mexico)  ...for a lot less money...rather than the sardine can quarters we will have for like 3 times the price. 

Anyway, there it is.  Any cruise stories/advice?

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We've been on three cruises - western and eastern caribbean and the Inside Passage cruise up along Alaska.

Cruises - hope you all have great weather. Don't know where all you are going - a young married couple got killed years ago, ...they rented one of those scooters on Cozumel and got hit.

The cab drivers drive crazy. Not fun. I don't believe they have any traffic laws. Cozumel has a beautiful national park - a beach protected by reefs. I would not go to mainland mexico, that's just me.

On Jamaica - we were all told NEVER go outside of the approved area - the town square. and NEVER get into a cab that is not an official government cab. Way too much crime.  back then, years ago, cruise ships stopped landing at Kingston - way too much violent crime. They switched to Ocho Rios on the other side of the island.

A gal from Jamaica told me NEVER try to go sight seeing. And never go into Blue Mountain coffee areas - you could die, as in be murdered. Jamaica looks like a little island West Virginia....

Grand Cayman - kinda rich touristy and boring. A bunch of us went on an adventure tour. It was snorkeling over 15' of water over an ancient boat wreck. within swimming distance of the dock.

St. Thomas/St. John  - Really nice places, great for shopping - it might be pretty safe for touring. Trunk Bay is so freaking beautiful. The water was crystal clear.

Puerto Rico - saw the dire poverty back then, saw the rain forest. Went up a lookout tower. not impressed.

Things have surely changed a lot from many years ago.

Don't drink and lean over the railing, or you could dive. I hope none of you gets seasick in rough waters. On a big ship, you should be fine unless it really gets rough. Cabins we've seen tend to be pretty small. I hope at least one night you have slight ocean swells while you try to get to sleep. That is fun, to a point.

  The food is magnificent. Fancy stuff - if you don't like an entree' - just order something else. I ordered frog legs one time, and all our friends, including my Wife, were laughing - they came steamed, white, with the flippers on, and attached at the hip.

egad. I wouldn't touch those with a fork.

More than anything else - stay SAFE. Watch out for each other, keep kids with you at all times.

One cruise - there were teenagers graduated from hs next door to us. They tended to be loud. and party. One evening, I got out of the shower, we were all going to go to dinner, my Wife and the other Wives were at bingo.... and three of the hs graduate ladies next door had gotten drunk. I know that because I heard laughing at our door, then knocking on our door, trying to open our door with their key.

I wrapped a towel around myself and cracked it open, and one of the gals who was really drunk had been leaning on the door, it flew open, she landed in my arms, and her two friends were laughing, one sat to the floor, laughing because I lost my towel.

They were wondering why their pass key wouldn't unlock "their door". Yes, they had the wrong room.

So, the gal I caught pretty much passed out, I sat her in a nearby chair until I threw on some shorts, and I carried her to her room. Her two friends were still laughing when they hugged me and thanked me. Everybody at our dinner table had a great time laughing when I was telling the story.

dammit, that was before they brought me the frog legs.

Oh - on our cruises, we tipped the person who cleaned our room, etc. Tipped the waiter. etc. This tipping takes a good bit of cash.

I hope you are instructed to not tip - it's much simpler that way.

Never take your safety for granted on ship, or on shore. Never ever. Have fun, but stay alert to your surroundings and people who approach you.

  

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Roatan-do the snorkel side trip. Purty fishys.

Costa Maya-which port is that? What excursions are offered?

Cozumel-if a bus trip for the day to Chichen Itza is available-well worth it! Otherwise the one to Coba isn't too bad. Make sure a guide is included.

Cheaper to get an interior room. You end up barely using the balcony anyway since there are plenty of places to watch the sea and ports up top or on various decks.

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and if you get seasick, a room on a lower deck rocks less...

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23 minutes ago, calfoxwc said:

and if you get seasick, a room on a lower deck rocks less...

At this point, we have an aft cabin, though that may change to a mid-ship cabin.  My son was going to be in our room with us, but now he wants a room of his own.  He will just get an interior.

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3 hours ago, TexasAg1969 said:

Roatan-do the snorkel side trip. Purty fishys.

Costa Maya-which port is that? What excursions are offered?

Haven't gotten that far yet.

Cozumel-if a bus trip for the day to Chichen Itza is available-well worth it! Otherwise the one to Coba isn't too bad. Make sure a guide is included.

Will have to keep my eye open for that. 

Cheaper to get an interior room. You end up barely using the balcony anyway since there are plenty of places to watch the sea and ports up top or on various decks.

 

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I have been on cruises and loved them. 

Even my wife and her friends went on a western Caribbean cruise from Lauderdale to Key West to Cozumel to Belize and back and loved it. NOTE I booked their air fares and land trips way early for the best prices and times in the mornings it can get blazing hot mid and late day down there.

Bon voyage!

 

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1 hour ago, LenScewly said:

Now that the WFR course is over I am rethinking my first aid kit. Id like to hear what everyone carries and if anyone is considering changing what they carry. SOP note? Handbook? etc.

I carry my dick in a dump truck.   Fuck off out of it.

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Typical 12 year old troll ignore them.

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Have moved out cabin from the aft to midship....hopefully less roll there, plus it is less expensive.  Total cost on group rate for the two of us is going to be about 3K.   About triple ..or at least double what I usually spend on a trip. 

Have not decided on excursions.  Wife does not want snorkeling...but then I will also be with my son and daughter and her new hubby....and his parents.  So, I could go one way while she goes another. I think she wants just shopping and a "beach day".

We do plan to do some Mayan ruins...but not necessarily the ones you all describe above.

So  TBD.

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13 hours ago, The Gipper said:

Have moved out cabin from the aft to midship....hopefully less roll there, plus it is less expensive.  Total cost on group rate for the two of us is going to be about 3K.   About triple ..or at least double what I usually spend on a trip. 

Have not decided on excursions.  Wife does not want snorkeling...but then I will also be with my son and daughter and her new hubby....and his parents.  So, I could go one way while she goes another. I think she wants just shopping and a "beach day".

We do plan to do some Mayan ruins...but not necessarily the ones you all describe above.

So  TBD.

When we took the grandkids on a Disney cruise my wife and daughter took the grandkids to see and play with the dolphins while my son in law and I went on the sailing/snorkel trip to St. John, USVI. My wife is not a snorkel person and this was a first for my son in law. We were treated to a facemask full of the biggest damn Great Barracuda I have ever seen live or even in pictures/movies. I had always seen them as relatively sleek fish until this bulky thing drifted in next to us. I told my daughter that the one I had taken her to see snorkeling St. John 20 years before had grown up & filled out. Wikipedia says the record caught on rod & reel was 5.6 ft. and weighed over 100 lbs. This one was all of that even in the magnified views of snorkeling.

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Cozumel - has a national park/beach. Real nice, safe swimming, has reef around it I think.

I wouldn't miss Trunk Bay at ST. John... there is a crack between the two little islands that you can swim up into, and see a huge bunch of small fish staying away from the open ocean. I found, at least when we were there, the water was clearer than in Hawaii.

667579a0-d353-11e6-a9c4-0242ac11000a.jpg

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4 hours ago, calfoxwc said:

Cozumel - has a national park/beach. Real nice, safe swimming, has reef around it I think.

I wouldn't miss Trunk Bay at ST. John... there is a crack between the two little islands that you can swim up into, and see a huge bunch of small fish staying away from the open ocean. I found, at least when we were there, the water was clearer than in Hawaii.

667579a0-d353-11e6-a9c4-0242ac11000a.jpg

I've been there

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ah ! what did you think?

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14 minutes ago, The Gipper said:

Most beautiful beach I’ve ever been to

Sanibel and Marco island are nice. I've been to Florida both coasts, Texas, the Bahamas, Acapulco but my favorite place is Waikiki with Diamondhead as a backdrop.....if you like hotels on the beach.

Wife and her friends did do Cozumel and Belize they liked it.

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22 hours ago, The Gipper said:

I've been there

I don't know how well St. John has recovered from the hurricane yet, but if you ever stay there be sure to find your way to Waterlemon Cay.

It's a little bit of a hike from roads and a swim out to the Cay, but the snorkeling makes it well worth it.

My other favorite snorkeling place is Anini Beach Kauai. A lot of humahmuanukunukuapua'a fish there. It's a trigger fish.

Humuhumunukunukuapua`a fish in Hawaii

Of course my all time favorite was a half moon island beach with pure white coral sand and best fish for snorkeling in the world. But alas it is in Morrocoy National Park in Venezuela which I would never advise any American to venture to at this point in it's history.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147411-d148000-Reviews-Waterlemon_Cay-Virgin_Islands_National_Park_St_John_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g29218-d207416-Reviews-Anini_Beach-Kauai_Hawaii.html

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10 minutes ago, TexasAg1969 said:

I don't know how well St. John has recovered from the hurricane yet, but if you ever stay there be sure to find your way to Waterlemon Cay.

It's a little bit of a hike from roads and a swim out to the Cay, but the snorkeling makes it well worth it.

My other favorite snorkeling place is Anini Beach Kauai. A lot of humahmuanukunukuapua'a fish there. It's a trigger fish.

Humuhumunukunukuapua`a fish in Hawaii

Of course my all time favorite was a half moon island beach with pure white coral sand and best fish for snorkeling in the world. But alas it is in Morrocoy National Park in Venezuela which I would never advise any American to venture to at this point in it's history.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147411-d148000-Reviews-Waterlemon_Cay-Virgin_Islands_National_Park_St_John_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g29218-d207416-Reviews-Anini_Beach-Kauai_Hawaii.html

Give  them Vens some freedom fries and budweiser and  the y will  be good to go.

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16 minutes ago, DieHardBrownsFan said:

Give  them Vens some freedom fries and budweiser and  the y will  be good to go.

Their Cerveza Polar beats Bud. And they have something called Arepas made out of white corn meal with a bit of salt, an egg, milk and olive oil. Just fry 'em up and eat plain with butter or add anything you want like an arepa sandwich. I have a good friend in Dallas who married a Venezuelan and she makes the best authentic arepas around.

 

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Do they serve those on a cruise ship? Being made of corn meal is not that enticing to me...but I would try one.

In another post I talked about the countries I have been to...which are not that many:  USA, Mexico, Canada, England, France, Ireland.   Also territories of US and UK in the Caribbean.  We will be making a stop in Roatan...which is a part of Honduras.  That is not the next country that I would have expected to visit.

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On 9/1/2019 at 3:45 PM, The Gipper said:

Do they serve those on a cruise ship? Being made of corn meal is not that enticing to me...but I would try one.

In another post I talked about the countries I have been to...which are not that many:  USA, Mexico, Canada, England, France, Ireland.   Also territories of US and UK in the Caribbean.  We will be making a stop in Roatan...which is a part of Honduras.  That is not the next country that I would have expected to visit.

Never had one on a cruise ship, but if they do then make sure you eat it with real butter, not fake whatever. If you snorkel then the side trip to do so on Roatan is worth it. Some really nice tropical fish on that one.

EDIT: Plus clear water.

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one of my favorite memories is our group, well, eight of us, went snorkeling. It was breathtaking - crystal clear water all the way down, and to the left pretty far. The fish are amazing.  The guides on the boat - all of a sudden, hundreds of fish converged on us, bumping into us, and my Wife and the other Wives were screaming in surprise inside their masks, oh, you don't forget that.

The guides tossed bread chunks and fish food etc around closest to the gals and the hundreds of fish converged. lol

The gals laughed about it right afterwards. We had waterproof cameras and had pictures of us and our friends - those will always be favorites.

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On 11/3/2019 at 11:49 AM, TexasAg1969 said:

Never had one on a cruise ship, but if they do then make sure you eat it with real butter, not fake whatever. If you snorkel then the side trip to do so on Roatan is worth it. Some really nice tropical fish on that one.

EDIT: Plus clear water.

Here is the description of an excursion in Roatan that I am considering booking:

Experience the ultimate thrill of a lifetime with your own underwater motor scooter. You'll board a 52-foot custom-built power catamaran for a cruise out to one of the most magnificent reefs in the world. Your B.O.S.S., the Breathing Observation Submersible Scooter, explores the aquatic world, and no scuba diving experience is necessary. You can also snorkel if you choose, or simply relax on the boat while sipping a drink and enjoying some snacks.
Highlights:
  • >Scenic Cruise: Absorb beauty of the Caribbean on your cruise to magnificent reefs aboard the 52-foot custom-built power catamaran.
  • >Underwater Motor Scooter: Explore the aquatic world on your B.O.S.S., the Breathing Observation Submersible Scooter.
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1 minute ago, The Gipper said:

Here is the description of an excursion in Roatan that I am considering booking:

Experience the ultimate thrill of a lifetime with your own underwater motor scooter. You'll board a 52-foot custom-built power catamaran for a cruise out to one of the most magnificent reefs in the world. Your B.O.S.S., the Breathing Observation Submersible Scooter, explores the aquatic world, and no scuba diving experience is necessary. You can also snorkel if you choose, or simply relax on the boat while sipping a drink and enjoying some snacks.
Highlights:
  • >Scenic Cruise: Absorb beauty of the Caribbean on your cruise to magnificent reefs aboard the 52-foot custom-built power catamaran.
  • >Underwater Motor Scooter: Explore the aquatic world on your B.O.S.S., the Breathing Observation Submersible Scooter.

I would take that in NY minute. There are some great reefs around that area just like there are near Belize. Stay away from those spiny little Lion fish.😁

https://nortonsafe.search.ask.com/search?chn=1000&cmpgn=&ctype=pictures&doi=2018-11-14&geo=en_US&guid=fb8a051f-0d65-11e0-9cec-1c7508772eaa&o=APN12179&p2=^EQ^fh00us^&page=1&prt=ngc&q=lion+fish+image&tpr=10&trackId=&ver=22.16.2.22

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wow. I have to put that on our list of things to do!

Never heard of those !

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We've taken a number of cruises. The best was probably a Mediterranean cruise. Well, after the flight from Sarasota to Chicago to Frankfurt to Istanbul. They love it when you call it Constantinople ;)  After that nightmare of flights it was a blast!   Mykonos, Athens, Malta, Catania, Salerno, and Rome were the itinerary stops.... We stayed a few days in Rome and need to go back :) This trip was during the World Cup so every bar on the ship was a home bar for a country in the Cup.. AND we had free beverages. ;);)  :D

 

 Down in the Colosseum

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15 hours ago, Axe said:

We've taken a number of cruises. The best was probably a Mediterranean cruise. Well, after the flight from Sarasota to Chicago to Frankfurt to Istanbul. They love it when you call it Constantinople ;)  After that nightmare of flights it was a blast!   Mykonos, Athens, Malta, Catania, Salerno, and Rome were the itinerary stops.... We stayed a few days in Rome and need to go back :) This trip was during the World Cup so every bar on the ship was a home bar for a country in the Cup.. AND we had free beverages. ;);)  :D

 

 Down in the Colosseum

Cruises for sure and trips in general I never regretted going on any of them.

I have wondered later on a few I missed...... like Woodstock 1969, almost went.

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We had a cruise that ended up in Barcelona and then drove to Paris thru Bordeaux. We have also had a driving trip through Belgium, France and then return and another two week tour by train after a week in Rome to Venice and then Florence and a driving/staying trip through Tuscany then back to Rome. Our last was all over Western Spain and back to Madrid where we started. That was great because language was never a barrier. The most surprising to see was the extent of the Roman ruins in Merida. I had no idea it was that extensive that far inland from the Mediterranean Sea.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/06800+Mérida,+Badajoz,+Spain/@38.9235899,-6.3479539,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m8!1e2!3m6!1sAF1QipNMfUJ51XGrGquz2C506iMBQoAxpafcAbtfjchs!2e10!3e12!6shttps:%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipNMfUJ51XGrGquz2C506iMBQoAxpafcAbtfjchs%3Dw205-h120-k-no!7i4304!8i2512!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0xd422997800a3c81:0xc436dec1618c2269!2sMadrid,+Spain!3b1!8m2!3d40.4167754!4d-3.7037902!3m4!1s0xd1426907b023fe7:0xfe5ac25ac22cadde!8m2!3d38.9193527!4d-6.3404846

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