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Old 01-14-2009, 11:07 AM
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Though I've cruised before (Disney & Carnival), this will be my first Royal Caribbean Cruise. I noticed that they asked what the occassion of my cruise was. It is to celebrate my graduation from college, but my birthday also falls within the days of the cruise. Do they do something special on your birthday? (Aside from the room decorations that you can order) I just can't figure out why else they would ask?

Also, any tips on this ship or its ports? (Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, PR; Labadee) Any MUST SEEs?

Any help is greatly appreciated! I'm super excited!!
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:44 AM
 
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When we were on the Explorer in December my best friend had a birthday. I had to arrange with our waiter, for a cake to be brougt to our table. There was a fee for the cake. The cake was very good.
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:28 PM
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My daughter was celebrating her graduation from college on cruise 2 weeks ago. They have wonderful chocolate cake!
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:02 PM
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Yes, if you request, the wait staff will sing happy birthday and provide the birthday girl or boy with a cake. When in doubt, you can ask the Head waiter/ Maitre D'.

When I was in St. Martin I went to Orient Beach:
It was really beautiful, and worth the long, bumpy ride in a van to get there.
Be warned that you will encounter nude sunbathers on the south end of the beach. But you will be severly dissappointed if you expect to see something nice; as almost all of the nude sunbathers I saw were at least 65 years old or older.
If you are into shoping St. Martin (Maarten) is a great island for that. I hear the best shopping is in downtown Phillipsburg, near the cruiseship dock.
As for shore excursions, I did not have any shore excursion when I was there. I went to Orient Beach instead. However, I heard good things about a shore excursion onboard a Catamarand sailing around the island. I heard good things about a shorex. involving a trip to a butterfly farm in Margot.

I was also in San Juan in 2007. I went on the shorex. titled "Walking Tour of Old San Juan". This shore excursion is for people fascinated with old buildings and places that have been around for 400+ years. It is not for people who can only walk short distances or people who can not walk up LOTS of stairs or uphill.
Another San Juan shore ex. I heard was really good, was the tour of the Bacardi Rum factory.

I never been to Labadee. I heard it is a private resort only for the Royal Caribbean cruise passengers.

I hope this was some help.

Have a great time on your cruise
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:10 AM
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Labadee is owned/leased by RCCL. Any "excursions" are strictly through them. We usually just call this a beach day, sun, sand, rent a floating mat. Sometimes jet-ski (reserve ahead). Use and search function for this site and there are pictures of Labadee, maps, and the zip line there (which is very popular--book the morning if you do this as if the wind comes up in the afternoon they will shut it down--this is usually sold out before the cruise so don't wait if you think it will be your thing).
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Old 01-21-2009, 12:05 PM
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Thanks so much for the info. Anything helps!!

I've read that the entire island of St. Maarten is topless (optional, of course). Am I understanding that right or is it just Orient beach? I just want to know what to expect...

Thanks a bunch!
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Old 01-21-2009, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
I've read that the entire island of St. Maarten is topless
It isn't. Look here for an idea.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:19 PM
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I've only seen topless/bottomless at Orient Beach. Maybe I'm just missing something—must be those darn blinders my wife makes me wear.

Sonny
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:39 AM
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We took the kids of orient--They were not really noticing the little nudity there was (people walk up and down the beach from the nudist area)they were too busy playing in the ocean. However it would serve you well to notice before taking pictures who is strolling around--you probably don't want to preserve someone's posterior for posterity in the cute photo of your beloved posing in the sand.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:54 PM
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haha thanks spoheat! Good call...
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