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Duane

Age: 43

Occupation:Finance

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Grand Princess

Sailing Date: January 16th, 2007

Itinerary: Western Caribbean


I’ll preface this right off to bat and say that my wife and I have never had a bad vacation. We have had some crazy and funny memories, but not a bad vacation ever.

We had been on one other cruise, NCL out of Houston. This one blew it away.

We did the EZ-Parking – We had our baggage tagged and it got on a different bus. But they apparently just dropped it off and the porters take it from there. I was panicked for awhile, but it showed up at my room. I guess it saved me a tip to the porters.

Our room was an interior Queen. We had been on a wait list for a balcony, but didn’t get it. The room was great. Nothing wrong at all. It was a few feet wider than the old NCL ship.

The ship was great. I could go on and on, but I didn’t even do half of the stuff available. The Movies under the Stars was like a drive in movie. We did not watch any movies, but we watched a NFL playoff game and the NCAA national championship game. That was pretty cool. I imagine that they telecast most major sport events on that thing.

Seasickness? I am a diver. Half the time I take a trip to a dive site, I get seasick.

You might have read that this ship rocks and causes seasickness. Dramamine is cheap, so I had enough to double dose me every day of the trip. I didn’t need a one. The ship does roll a little. This only hampered me because during the shows, it would feel like I was being rocked asleep.

Some of the prior reviews mention that you spend two days at sea. Trust me, after 4 ports in 4 days, you’ll look forward to the rest.

Ports:
Costa Maya. Took the bus to Majahaul - $3. Cokes on the beach $4. Super view and super relaxing. We snorkeled for about 2 hours. It was very shallow and difficult to maneuver so we went to a guy with a boat on the beach and got him to take us out to a deeper spot for $15 a piece. We snorkeled- unrestricted for about an hour – hour ½. I liked that. Many snorkel tours play follow the leader. We are very competent and just want to do our own thing. If I could have done one more thing, I would have brought $20 more dollars in ones and just spread them around. That is such a pretty unassuming place, I wish I could have given those people more. We saved our last $4 for the taxi back to the ship- $2 apiece. If you want a budget shore thing, just take the bus to Majahaul. It should be a great time.

Roatan. The best coral I have ever seen! Get there. Don’t touch it. Don’t walk on it. But go see it while it is still the best. We did the dolphin thing at Anthony’s Key resort and Tabyana. I would rather snorkel with Dolphins, but they would not let me for any price. Tabyana is just a pretty beach with great coral. Here’s a funny side note: I kinda wanted a watch to keep track of the time while we were off the boat. Well what do you know? This guy comes up to me on the beach, and he has every kind of watch known to man. I figured it would last the length of our cruise, so I cleverly negotiated him down to $10 from his original $50.Once I got the watch, he was gone. Guess how long a $10 beach bought watch lasts? About 4 hours. When he saw me hitting the water with my new “Dive watch” he probably took off running. Pretty good laugh for $10.

Belize. We had booked Goff’s Cay from the ship but wind, rain and high seas prevented the tour boat from docking. The tender boats could make it so we went ashore and looked for something to do. It didn’t stop raining, so we bought some panchos and took a tour to some mayan ruins. The tour guy was very nice. It was 1.5 hours there and back. As ruins go, if you have been to any of the major ones, these will not impress you. However, our guide's background information kept it interesting.

Now if it’s not raining: We have done Cay Caulker before for the shark ray alley. If you can and the weather is good, go to one of the cays.

Cozumel. We did Chankanaub a few years ago before the hurricane. They have completely rebuilt it. There is not much reef there anymore, though. Not much at all compared to the prior stops. Next time we might try a different beach. FYI, there were 7 ships in port. We thought it would be crowded. It wasn’t.  The snorkeling was still better that most anywhere here in Texas. Taxi was $10 while the entry fee was $16 a piece. We had a very relaxing day.We should have brought our books and even taken a nap.

I wouldn’t have changed much on this trip. FYI – I don’t drink coffee, but my wife tells me that the coffee at the buffet was terrible. So what? They make real coffee at the sit-down restaurants.

Go forth. Have a great trip. Spread your happiness and wealth.


 

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