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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-21-2006, 04:25 PM
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I really am excited! I just booked my family (5 of us) on a Christmas cruise through the Western Caribbean leaving December 23 for 7 days on The Navigator of the Seas! We have 2 staterooms with balconies. We haven't had the opportunity for a lot of family vacations and my children are now 21 19 and 15 so this may be the last for just the 5 of us. I figure we'd do it with a bang! I hope I'm right! Any tips would be appriciated. As we are coming from Canada, and at Christmas, this is very expensive so at this point we are not planning on any excursions but if there is anything that you would say "you cannot go there without doing this" please let me know. Thanks so much!
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Old 04-21-2006, 06:23 PM
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What a great idea for a Christmas family vacation! Good for you. I do suggest you save some money for a few excursions - depending on some of your ports, you may want to do that, but others you will be able to just hang out at a beach or walk around and window shop.

I strongly advise that you plan to fly down a day or two before the cruise, in case of weather delays!
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Old 04-21-2006, 07:03 PM
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You did the right thing
Your Itinerary won't cost you a lot for excursions. Labadee is Royal Caribbean's "private paradise". I wish I could be there on Christmas Day. I would recommend Dunn's river falls in Ocho Rios. In Grand Cayman I strongly suggest the Stingray city tour. We always book with Captain Marvin's. I was $35 per person last year.
www.captainmarvins.com
In Cozumel I like Chankanaab National Marine Park. I think it will be open by June. It was $12 per person when we were last there.
On 12/9/06 my wife and I are taking our 3 Grandkids and their mom and dad on a pre-Christmas cruise on the Voyager of the Seas. So, I'm not quite as jealous as every one else
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Old 04-23-2006, 09:25 AM
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Thanks so much for your tips! I will try to look into some of the excursions. I really can't believe I'm acctually doing this! I guess it will sink in more when the bill comes!!!
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Old 04-24-2006, 09:38 PM
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Hi Senglish,

I agree with Karen...definitely consider flying down a day early and leaving a day later! I live in Michigan and last February, for my first cruise, we were totally stressed out because our flights were delayed. It all worked okay but it's definitely a load off your mind to just get down there and be ready to go. We also waited in a gigantic line outside the Ft. Lauderdale airport and almost missed our plane. So if you can swing it, I'd definitely vouch for the extra day before and after...we did that this time, going down to Texas for the Conquest, and we're soooo happy we did!

If you're hitting Grand Cayman, I'd definitely recomend the sting rays, as Sonny mentioned!

Cort


P.S. You did the right thing!
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Old 04-25-2006, 05:22 AM
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WOW! u did a right thing! u and the kids will have a great time! we're going on the Navigator with the whole family for the 3rd time this July! and everyone loves it! My kids (23, 16, and 5) have tons of things to do and my husband and I are enjoying all the activities, shows, and just relaxation! just make sure u'll fly in a day before since its winter time, u don't want to miss the ship because of the snow storm and also u might want to take an insurance just in case; i always use CSA Travel Protection u can get a quote on-line its very reasonable and they do take care of u if something happens (unfortunately I had a claim and they didn't give me any problems!) Have lots of fun!
Quote:
Originally posted by senglish:
I really am excited! I just booked my family (5 of us) on a Christmas cruise through the Western Caribbean leaving December 23 for 7 days on The Navigator of the Seas! We have 2 staterooms with balconies. We haven't had the opportunity for a lot of family vacations and my children are now 21 19 and 15 so this may be the last for just the 5 of us. I figure we'd do it with a bang! I hope I'm right! Any tips would be appriciated. As we are coming from Canada, and at Christmas, this is very expensive so at this point we are not planning on any excursions but if there is anything that you would say "you cannot go there without doing this" please let me know. Thanks so much!
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Old 04-25-2006, 06:06 AM
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Wow! You guys are really making me excited! Yes, I bit the bullet and we are flying in the day before. Now I just need you all to pray that neither of my boys, both in university, have an exam schedlued for Dec 22. It's the last day of their exams for the fall semester. We won't get their actual schedule until November and Dec 22 is the day we fly to Miami! Fingers crossed everyone! Now, if you had to choose between swimming with the dolphins or the Stingray city tour, which would you choose?
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Old 04-25-2006, 07:56 AM
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You did the right thing - no doubt at all! And welcome to cruising: it's a whole new way of vacationing!

Enjoy it all and most important, enjoy the family time. You will have a blast no matter what you chose to do or not do. And with a group like yours arranging tours on your own will be much cheaper than having the cruise line do it and buying excursion tickets.
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Old 04-25-2006, 08:20 AM
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I hope your sons will finish on time, if not, maybe they will have an understanding professor. I would do the swim with the dolphins!!! My husband and I did it in Chanakaab in Cozumel. It was totally awesome, not long enough, but awesome. They are extraordinary creatures and extremely intelligent. We've done both the stingrays and the dolphins, dolphins rule!! We'll be on the Costa Magica for Christmas. Enjoy your cruise, you did the best thing ever!!
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Old 04-25-2006, 07:20 PM
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Unfortunately, when we went, the dolphin park Carnival usually uses was still closed due to the hurricanes. They said they were told it would be fixed by March 2005 but a few weeks after we booked in February, they emailed us and cancelled it. They did offer a replacement excursion to Puerto Aventura but it was more expensive and farther away. Long story short, we didn't end up swimming with the dolphins in Cozumel. But we did love the sting rays, they are mind-blowingly big! But from what I've heard, the dolphin excursion is the best!
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Booked on NCL Breakaway, Feb. 2014
Carnival Conquest, Feb. 2012
NCL Gem, Sept. 2011
NCL Jewel, Feb. 2011
NCL Dawn, Sept. 2010
NCL Spirit, Feb. 2010
NCL Gem, March 2009
RCCL Explorer of the Seas, Feb. 2008
Carnival Miracle, May 2007
Carnival Conquest, April 2006
Caribbean Princess, Feb. 2005
 
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