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Old 09-25-2002, 02:49 PM
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Hi -- We're booked for the HAL Maasdam for our first Cruise. We're going to the Western Carib.
I'd like some info/suggestion about side trips, stops, buying, etc. Practically any suggestions given in good spirit are welcome.

Thanks in Advance,

Ernie
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Old 09-25-2002, 02:49 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
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Hi -- We're booked for the HAL Maasdam for our first Cruise. We're going to the Western Carib.
I'd like some info/suggestion about side trips, stops, buying, etc. Practically any suggestions given in good spirit are welcome.

Thanks in Advance,

Ernie
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 09-25-2002, 05:40 PM
Sue Sue is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Beverly Hills, FL
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While we haven't sailed HAL, we have done Western Caribbean several times. Where are you going and when? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif[/img] I'm sure I can give some suggestions, as I'm sure many others can, but need more details.
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Old 09-26-2002, 04:49 AM
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Appreciate the offer:

Cozumel; Georgetown, Grand Cayman;
Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and, finally, Half Moon Cay

E
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Old 09-26-2002, 09:29 AM
Sue Sue is offline
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Never have been to Orco Rios. It's known to be very unsafe. Travel agents have warnings on it, as well as State Department web site. I've never been there, know people that did, and said they would never go back due to feeling so uncomfortable. Have never been to Grand Cayman, nor do we do any of the private islands. While some people love the beaches, we prefer to stay aboard the ship at the pool or Jacuzzi. Cozumel is very different. They advertise that cabs are available at the pier, where they're supposed to hold 4 people, maybe 4-10 year olds. 2 adults were even cramped. I did a boat where you go and sit about 10 feet underwater. It's a regular boat, but you're closed in. Beautiful scenery, and if you're lucky, you'll get to see schools of fish, turtles, or even eels. Don't actually know where you'll be coming in, as several ships can be in port at the same time. Also, don't know what Isidore did for damage there. Don't stick with the recommended ship shopping. They'll lead you to believe these are the only "reputable" places to buy from. Not the case. There are some that will try to get you in by giving you something, but "bait & switch" tactics are common place. Another big tour there are the Mayan Ruins. It was offered from the ship, and it took a 30-40 minute ferry ride to get you there, with a lot of people getting sick. Very mixed reviews on that, as well as the people that did it on their own when they got off the ship. Cozumel could be a tender port. There were 7 ships in there the day we were there, making for very crowded everything. We were lucky and got the pier. Roads are in very poor condition. Be careful if you decide to rent a car like our friends did. First one they took back after 1/2 mile because of a bad transmission, and second one broke down near a almost deserted beach. For this reason, we always do ship excursions, though a lot of people will disagree, saying they're too costly. Cost vs. safety, and safety wins out for me. Hopefully this is a little help. Be sure to check out the state department about Jamaica. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]
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Old 09-30-2002, 01:34 PM
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Location: Illinois
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We just got back from sailing the Maasdam (e. Carib.) last week. Fortunately all the hurricanes missed us, though weather was HOT! I found the ship comfortable, the crew and most passengers friendly, but not overbearing. Food was very good, to my taste; desserts were fantastic! (This can be both good & bad...) Shows were entertaining, though if you have sailed on other cruise lines you may notice not quite the same quality of song & dance performers. The shows are family friendly, though, nothing R-rated, which I loved. Clientele tends to be older, but the mix will depend on when you are going.
I plan to write a cruise review in the near future, and will post it on this site (cruisereviews.com).
Karen
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Old 09-30-2002, 04:41 PM
Sue Sue is offline
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Hi Karen!
Glad you're back safe and sound. Knew you were going someplace, but couldn't remember where, but when you didn't show up, was worried you were in hurricane territory.
Again, welcome back. Sue [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
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Old 09-30-2002, 05:37 PM
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Location: Illinois
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Thanks, Sue! Of course, if cruise ships encounter hurricanes, they steer away from them (which is usually possible). Wonder how Maasdam will fare this week, with Lili doing additional damage to Jamaica and the Caymans?
Karen [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img]
 
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