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Old February 1st, 2006, 12:14 AM
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Default ever missed the departure?

anyone ever had a close call or missed the ship all together when they came back from an excursion with a non-cruise line company? i'd like to book independently but want to steer clear of any company who may be having issues with getting people back in time. we're going to roatan, grand cayman, belize, and costa maya.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 11:09 AM
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We have never missed or almost missed a sailing after an excursion ( knock on wood) we always figure in more than enough "wiggle" room to be back on the ship on time. If you can book a morning excursion or a very early afternoon excursion you should be ok. I would not book an excursion that takes more than 3 hours with an independant tour company. I would not book an independant tour if it involved a long commute to get to your destination, or if i had to travel a lengthy distance by boat to get to my destination ( Sting Ray City in Grand Caymen being the exception- there are many, many really good reputable local tour companies to choose from on this island)
We have seen our share of people running down the docks as the ropes are being taken off the posts.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 02:15 PM
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No, but we have missed an excursion because the ship was late docking. The company didn't care if they missed us or not, they didn't have to deal with us, so they didn't wait. That is one good thing about doing it through the ship. If you really want to do it.
In Belize we did it independently with a great company. We did the cave tubing and saved a lot of $$. We got back in plenty of time to even shop.
Have a nice time.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 05:47 PM
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sunlover, can you please let me know who you used in belize for the cave tubing? that was one of the ports i was looking at to book one of the independent excursions. i've heard some of the independent companies can be pretty lame and their "rides" only last about 20 minutes. what were their vests/helmets/etc like?
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Old February 1st, 2006, 11:01 PM
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this is the reason we only take excursion from the cruiseline we don,t want to miss the ship
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Old February 1st, 2006, 11:07 PM
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In Costa Maya we took a wonderful excursion on David and Ivan's Chacchoben Mayan Ruins tour. Do a search for Chacchoben Mayan Ruins on google and it is the first one that comes up. (elimanate the "Mayan" and it is the web address.)

We spent the rest of the day at the little fishing village of Majahual just south of the pier.

Here is a link to our pictures: http://community.webshots.com/album/527685047YCNWgf

Have a great cruise, no matter what you do!
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 06:47 AM
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We used X-Stream inBleize for the cave tubing and were very happy with them. Our guide made sure he knew when we had to be back and was very good about keeping track of the time. We made it back before the ship's excursion did.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 09:05 PM
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Default Knock on wood::



We as yet have not missed getting back aboard even with our own journeys.. KNOCK on wood well not a many more hulls of wood eh? (\ 8)/)





One place we love and go a few times a year is Bermuda... there with three ports yet only having to pay Port Charges once as per the Bermudian Government.. ( One line we know sailing out of the East Coast to there charges the passengers THREE Times..so check your Port Charges against other lines))) Bermuda missing the sialing while there is fun and catching the Ferry or private lauch getting photos of your ship sailing away is fun there... get the FERRY/BUS Passes and try it...


A few times we have seen people left at the docks in places especially after the Cruise lines told people to be at the dock prior to a certain time and the ship left early...


One time at our table were newlyweds in Grand Cayman I had to do some business with the firms there and saw our friend going to her place then did one visit to the sting ray city and back to the docks... but the newlyweds were left there and had to go back to Miami and then Key West... they did get back on board after the two stops.. but WHEW.... what an experience they will have had for telling there (hopefully) children about that adventure on the honeymoon...

SO yes be careful and arrive well ahead of time back to board the ship ...
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Old February 5th, 2006, 12:13 AM
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Once In Ensenada Mexico the taxi driver did not get a couple of friends of mine back to the ship on time and so a tug boat took them and they had to jump from the tug boat onto the ship and they said that it was very scary.

I have not really had trouble with the tours getting me back to the ship on time. The only advantage to taking tours with the ships company is that if they are late the ship will waite. A couple of times in Canada the tour company's were late but the ship waited for us to get back to the ship and left later.

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Old February 13th, 2006, 03:25 PM
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In Grand Cayman we went to Stingray City and used Nativeway Watersports, they were great! We were on a boat with about 20 people, they provided punch for us to drink and they provided all the snorkeling equipment, they also had some squid for us to feed the stingray's. If you google Naitiveway Watersports it should be the first link that comes up.
We paid about 25.00 per person.


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Old March 5th, 2006, 08:09 PM
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We used Nacho for the cave tubing in belize. We had a shorter walk longer tube and ate inside the resort not outside with the bugs. it was wonderful he stopped alongside Sleeping Giant Mountain we were able to get out and take photos. he and his guides escorted us thru Belize city for shopping. We hit the pharmacy and stocked up on antibiotics. If we ever decide on belize again Nacho and cynthia are our only choice. Great people wonderrful storys!
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Old March 15th, 2006, 10:35 PM
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Default cave tubing in Belize

Yhony is wonderful! Very safe if you have little ones.He knows the ins and outs of those caves! A very caring person and helps those from the ship excursions out when they get in trouble (they,the ship, dont have enough guides)
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Old March 16th, 2006, 03:44 PM
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chosen175,

anyone ever had a close call or missed the ship all together when they came back from an excursion with a non-cruise line company? i'd like to book independently but want to steer clear of any company who may be having issues with getting people back in time. we're going to roatan, grand cayman, belize, and costa maya.

I never missed a sailing personally, but I had a tablemate who missed sailing on one cruise. He was lucky that he missed it by "only" a few minutes, so he was still able to catch the pilot boat that goes out to pick up the harbor pilot after the ship clears the entrance to the harbor. He was also quite shocked when he got his shipboard account with the bill (well over $100, and that was in 1998) for the ride out to the ship on the pilot boat.

Seriously, you can book a tour yourself but you might not save all that much.

>> An independent tour probably will not leave from the pier or the cruise terminal, so you will have to get to the starting point. Depending how far it is, you might spend more for taxi rides to the starting point and back to the pier than you save by booking it yourself. If you purchase a shore excursion though the ship, it will begin and end at the pier or the crusie terminal.

>> If the ship is late arriving in port or cancels the port of call completely, you probably forfeit the price of the tour. If you purchase a shore excursion through the ship, the operator will delay the start if the ship arrives late and the cruise line will refund the charge (via credit to your shipboard account) either the tour or the port of call is cancelled.

>> If a tour that you book onl your own gets delayed such that you miss sialing, you are on your own. If a shore excurson gets delayed, the ship will either await its return or make alternate arrangements to bring you back aboard.

On the whole, the risk is not worth the couple dollars that you might save.

Norm.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 07:00 PM
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I watched from the balcony of our cabin as a couple ran full sprint to make the ship. They were pulling up the gang plank but they made it..everyone was cheering! You always know who's late because they announce their names asking them to check in with the percers desk.
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Old March 31st, 2006, 07:21 AM
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Hi,
Talk about a close call!!! We just went through that in Feb - St Thomas.
We shopped, took a taxi from the shopping area to the beach. There were three other couples, but from different ships, ours was docked further down. Well, we did the beach thing and arranged for the taxi to pick us up in plenty of time for all the ships........ (the taxi driver suggested he come back!) All was ok until the other passengers were dropped off at the first dock. About 1/4 a mile down the road to our dock the traffic was at a stand still. The Taxi driver pulled over, informed us that he had bowling to go to and needed to take a shower!!! Told us we would have to get out and it was about a mile to our ship. We both had 'sand covered swimwear' under our shorts! (not good) the walk / run.......... was over three miles. It was really hot and we are both in our 50's. Once we could actually see the ship we couldn't get to it as there was a fence all around and the gates were locked. It was so scary, we had only a few dollars, no passports. But............ I am glad to say Holland America went beyond the call of duty and waited the extra few minutes (about 15). Talk about make you feel like an idiot, running as best as you can - with the extra 'cruise weight', clothes stuck to your body, faces bright red from effort and knowing everyone is watching as you do your best!!! ha ha ha .
Never again! but Thanks Holland America anyway.... turned out that it was a bomb scare in town. But we would have made in in plenty of time if the taxi driver had waited a few more minutes. Hope his bowling ball fell on his toe!
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