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  #1 (permalink)  
Old May 24th, 2004, 01:30 PM
Soren and Mike
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Default roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Hi Everyone!
My fiance and I will be honeymooning on the Paradise starting June 27... I've been reading up on the reviews and stuff here, and thought it would be fun to "meet" some people before we get on board.

It's our first cruise-- we'll be doing the wedding on Paradise Island in the Bahamas the week before (starting June 20) with friends and family, and going just us 2 on the ship.

I've heard wonderful things, and I'm still wondering about what to do at each port?

Any ideas? I know for sure I want to see/swim with the rays at Grand Cayman...

Hope to speak/see ya'll soon!
Soren (and Mike)
Montreal QC Canada
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old May 24th, 2004, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

just me, logged in this time!

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Old May 25th, 2004, 08:26 AM
ljrfrm
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Default Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

We'll be on the Paradise that week too - me, my husband and three boys (ages 3, almost 9 and 12). We took a cruise for our honeymoon also...15 years ago. Now we're celebrating our 15 year anniversary (as a family!). It goes fast.
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Old May 25th, 2004, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

That sounds like so much fun!
I heard that this ship really is for everyone, and so far, the reviews I read are great for families with and without kids!
I'm sure you'll all have a blast!

Soren

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Old May 26th, 2004, 07:47 AM
ljrfrm
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Default Re: Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

So what are your plans for each port? Have you decided yet?

We're booked through Nativeways to swim with Stingrays on Grand Cayman

My friend lives in Roatan so we'll hang with her for the day....boys want to go to the Iguana Farm and just hang out and swim...sounds good to me

Cozumel we're going to Paradise Beach...really wanted to to the dolphin swim, but my boys weren't too excited and for that money, if they'd rather go to a free beach....why not?

Belize we're stil a bit up in the air...don't think cave tubing will work. My middle son is too young. They either want to do the shark ray alley excursion or the Thriller Powerboat ride. Belize is the one place where we will leave my 3 yo in camp carnival...so I'd like to take a Carnival tour.....peace of mind knowing the ship won't sail without me with my youngest on board. Not that it will happen, but you know, mom's always think of worst case scenarios.

We were looking at our cruise picturs from our honeymoon the other night...boy, we sure looked young! A cruise is such a great place for a honeymoon. You get a little bit of everything, fun - nightlife - romantic time alone....you'll have a blast.
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Old May 27th, 2004, 12:43 PM
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Default Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Hi Soren and Mike:

We too will be on the Paradise on June 27th! There are ten of us in our group - 6 adults and 4 kids ranging in age from 12 to 17. We are all really looking forward to the trip and really enjoy the non-smoking atmosphere.

We were on the Inspiration last year and did the Stingray excursion through Nativeway Sports. It was awesome and unbelievable when those huge stingrays go swimming past and also up and down your torso if you happen to have something to feed them! It was an incredible experience. We went snokeling in Belize and swam with the dolphins in Cozumel. I think we are going to some kind of snorkeling tour in Belize again and the kids are doing the Dolphin swim at Chankanaab Park.

You should have an awesome honeymoon on board! Hope to see you in the Newlywed Game!!!!
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Old May 27th, 2004, 02:15 PM
ljrfrm
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Default Re: Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Char
Glad to hear you liked Nativeways. I have a question maybe you can answer....did they have a videographer onboard so I can buy either a vcr copy or dvd?

My husband and I did the newlywed game on our cruise 15 years ago.....we didn't make total fools out of ourselves but came close
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Old May 27th, 2004, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

You know, I haven't had a chance to look over all the excursions yet-- but something like what Char did on the Inspiration sounds good-- I want to do some snorkeling, I think (would you believe I've never done it before, not even in a pool?) AND I want to do the rays thing in Grand Cayman-- I've heard for years that it is so cool, so I really want to do that.

Not sure what to do in Roatan, maybe just relax?

We'll be with friends and family the week before in Club Med, so some relaxation may be needed by the time we get to the ship! ;-)

Does anyone have a link to the excursions offered for this cruise?

(newlywed game eh? we should be ringers then... we've been living together for a long time... wonder if there are cash and prizes, or just public embarassment? ;-) )

S.

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Old May 28th, 2004, 06:59 AM
ljrfrm
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Default Re: Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Well we didn't win the Newlywed Game....I think we missed a question. They did have cash prizes though. There are a lot of places in roatan to just relax. My friend lives there, so we're lucky. We actually just bought a house there too....next door to my friend. We settle on it next week, so part of our day there we're going to go show it to my boys and surprise them. Our plan is to use the house at times but mostly rent it out. It's right near the beach and has it's own pool.

If you want to to just relax, take a taxi to one of the beaches. You can ask to go to Mayan Princess or Foster's. You will love it. Some charge $5 for beach chair rentals. It's a beautiful island....I was there in April and fell in love with it. The people there are so friendly and helpful.

I have been trying to get an excursion list from Carnival. They promised to fax one but never did. I did however find one at cruisecritics.com - on the Carnival site about 1 week ago...someone posted a link. I don't know how current it is though.

You will have a blast at Club Med too....but yes, it will be nice to relax without the family!
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Old May 28th, 2004, 07:00 AM
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Default Re: Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Hi Lisa - Yes, they had a videographer on the ship...they taped various shows, games, talent show, etc. on the ship. (if you mean a videographer on Nativeway...no they did not). The video that's taped on the ship does run on one of the channels on the TV in your stateroom. And, yes, you can buy the video at the end of the cruise. We didn't but that's because we weren't really in any of the shows etc. Probably would if one of us got picked! (By the way, I sent you an email last night...hope you got it).

Soren - Well, I wouldn't exactly call the prizes terrific for winning games...I think the winner received a bottle of champagne and a Ship on a Stick (at least that's what they gave out on the Inspriation). It was the funniest show and we were hysterical.
For excursions offered by Carnival go to www.carnival.com, then click the link for Shore Excursions. They have a good and fairly detailed listing by port.

The snorkeling is awesome in the Western Caribbean so if you never have tried it, this is the place to do it.

Talk to you both soon! Char
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Old May 28th, 2004, 07:21 AM
ljrfrm
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Default Re: Re: Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Char,
Yes, I got your e-mail a few minutes ago and just wrote you back. Thanks for the video info.....yes, I meant Nativeways. I was thinking if they taped it, I wouldn't bring the cam corder....one less thing to carry. But, it's no big deal to bring it and tape either. Did you like Nativeways? Sharon (I think that was her name) was great in responding with questions and stuff.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old May 28th, 2004, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribea

Lisa - Nativeway was very good...much more reasonable than the ship's tours and a smaller group of people. The groups from the ship were huge! The Nativeway guides actually would catch a hold of the stingrays (smaller ones) and let you hold them in your arms...great photo opportunity. On the tour we took, the boat also stopped at Coral Gardens which is a snorkeling spot...I didn't like this spot as much...kind of murky and not many fish to see. I much preferred the snorkeling in Belize and Cozumel (Roatan is supposed to have wonderful snorkeling so we'll see). We got fruit punch to drink on the way back to shore.

Look forward to reading your email tonight! Char
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Old June 1st, 2004, 10:15 AM
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Default re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

re: Nativeways

How did you book with them? The smaller group for the ray adventure thing sounds interesting?

soren

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  #14 (permalink)  
Old June 1st, 2004, 11:18 AM
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Default Re: re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Hi Soren - Here is their website:
http://www.nativewaywatersports.com/
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old June 1st, 2004, 12:11 PM
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Default re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Thanks Char-- their site is great, and sounds like exactly the experience we were looking for!

I'm running it by my DF now, but I bet we wind up booking that day's excursion with them!
:-) Soren

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Old June 1st, 2004, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Hi there, I did the Paradise last sept. and thought maybe I could pass on my two cents about excursions. By far, the best excursion is Stingray City in Grand Cayman - we used Nativeways and they were excellent (I don't think they have a videographer though). It was an absolutely awesome day!!! In Roatan, we booked the West End Island tour through the ship and WE DID NOT ENJOY IT! We found it very boring - you go to a botanical garden that consisted of walking through and looking at 2000 plants (that all looked the same to me). Then, on to a butterfly farm (again, not too exciting) and then a few minutes to "shop" at the market. Because of the poor choice of tours we took, we really didn't like Roatan - however friends of ours hired a cab driver (from the pier) to take them around for the day. I think they paid $20 for the day and he showed them a lot of the island. They loved it - if I ever get back, that's what I'd do next time. In Belize, we booked a tour through "cbelize.com" - tour of the city and Altun Ha ruins. It was good but if you're prone to car sickness, take a pill, because it's a long drive on winding roads (they drive very fast). the company was great but you don't have to pre-book. When you arrive in Belize, there are a TON of tour guides waiting to sell last minute tours, so if there wasn't something you definitely wanted to do, you could look at what's available at the pier (I think they lower the prices). In Cozumel, I booked a two hour snorkelling trip from the ship - it was good. Then, we shopped the entire strip of Cozumel stores. It was good shopping (cheaper than grand cayman). In terms of the ship - I loved everything about it (except that night life was a little dead!). The staff are very friendly and if something is not right, just ask and they'll fix it for you. I hope this helps a little. Hope you all have a great time - wish I were going again!!
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Old June 1st, 2004, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Thanks for the info, readytogo!

We've booked the Nativeways tour for the grand cayman stop, and we're on for the AM trip.
I'm very happy you've all had good experiences with them, it's really great to get such great recommendations!

I didn't even know till today that we stop in Cozumel! Duh...

So, we're checking out the excursions for the other stops-- I'm thinking of Tulum in cozumel, the altun ha tour of one sort or another in belize, and just bumming in roatan at the beach.

At some point, I'd like to do horseback riding, so wherever they have that, and the tour that looks the best for that, we'll take it in that port (does that make any sense?)

Anyone do anything like that (horesback riding?).

Thanks again! :-D
Soren

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  #18 (permalink)  
Old June 1st, 2004, 05:26 PM
ljrfrm
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Default Re: Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Someone did horseback riding in Belize and said it was good. You can find the info on the ports of call board on Cruise Critic...I can't remember who they did it through, but it looked like a great tour. I think Carnival offers one too.

I've heard many people say they didn't like the West End tour on Roatan. I don't think the Botanical Gardens/Butterfly farm would do it for me either. We're destined to go to the Iguana Farm...the boys saw pictures of kids holding HUGE iguanas, and are feeling they need to do that to make their cruise complete!

Soren - what time is your tour? Are you taking the 11 am tour (central time - meeting at 10:30). If you're going at that time, we'll see you there. They have an earier tour but Sharon (who I booked with )didn't think we'd make it off the ship in time. I picked Nativeway because it's the only tour that fit the Paradise schedule....so I'm glad to hear so many people have had a good experience with them.
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Old June 1st, 2004, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

I'll check out the cruise critic (I tend to get stuck on one website, and forget there are others out there!) for the ports of call thing.

Yep, Sharon hooked us up with the 11am tour for the stingrays also... seems like a good time for it, enough time to get there, not too early... she said the rays don't care what time it is ;-)

I have to say, I'm really starting to be excited for this!
I started out as "DF wants to do a cruise, so let's do that, whatever" , and since we're at club med the week before (and oh, yeah, getting married!) I didn't think much about it.
But then he started checking the sites like this one, and learning that preparation is key... well, here I am!
:-D

What are people bringing for the formal nights? Are there 2 of them? I know a suit is ok for the guys ,so I'm assuming any type of dress, not just long or evening, is ok for women?

S.

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Old June 1st, 2004, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Formal night.....dh is wearing his dark grey suit.....the only one he owns - ha! I have a cream colored dress I wore for my sister's wedding....It's pretty formal and I always wear it for formal occasions (like I do that many...I think I've worn it twice since the wedding!) I might buy another dress for the second night...I have my high school reunion coming up and need something - so I may look. When I went on my honeymoon cruise, I bought two bridesmaids dresses (not the same that mine wore!) that were on sale - they were long and pretty formal looking. They were very nice but I never wore them again...so I hesitate to buy or spend a lot this time. My boys won't be coming to the fomal night dinners.....they hate dressing up and I am actually looking forward to a nice adult dinner.....so I think camp carnival is a great compromise. I would spend a fortune by the time I bought the clothes and shoes for them to dress up - I'd rather same it for port excursion and fun family time!

Soren - We'll see you on Nativeways then....sounds fun, huh?

So when do you leave for Club Med....you must be getting excited. How many family members and friends will be there?
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Hello! My husband and I will also be on the June 27 sailing aboard Paradise. We are so excited! You guys have some really great suggestions, this is our second cruise, the first was with Royal Caribbean and it was awesome! We are hopeful that this one will be just as terrific! I have heard that the excursions booked through Carnival are extremely crowded? Has anyone had any experience?
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Old June 2nd, 2004, 07:20 PM
ljrfrm
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Default Re: Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Welcome to our group

Yes, I heard the excursions are crowded too - no direct experience though. We're only going to do one Carnival excursion in Belize, I'm hoping it won't be too crowded.
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Old June 2nd, 2004, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Hi There!

We came up with the excursions that interest us-- still need to research them, but here's what we're thinking so far:

Belize: shark/ray alley snorkel (more for the snorkel than for the other)
Roatan: horseback riding and beach day, maybe dolphin encounter (if we don't do it at Club Med as an excursion)
Grand Cayman: nativeway ray sandbar tour
Cozumel: beach buggy and snorkel
(nothing in Miami b/c our flight is in the early afternoon)

I was thinking of doing the Tulum trip in Cozumel, but it didn't interest DF in that it seemed a lot of time on the bus, etc.
I'm not really "into" jungles (I have this thing with "critters", which some of the descriptions use... I think it's a euphemism for "insects" or "gigantic spiders"!)...

If anyone's heard anything, do let me know (I try to keep remembering to look these up somewhere too...).

re: dinners-- we're at the 8:30 seating-- I was pleased, as I think then we won't be hungry when/if we're up at midnight!
I'm trying to avoid that 10lbs people gain!!!
;-) s.

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Old June 3rd, 2004, 06:59 AM
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Default Re: Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Soren,
We're also considering the shark ray alley tour - 1st choice is the Thriller Powerboat but if that's full or not offered, the boys picked the shark ray alley. Not sure if I posted this before, but if you do it through Carnival, I called for the price - It's $69 per adult and $54.50 per child.

My friend lives in Roatan and her friend is the one that runs the horseback riding tours - he's really nice and you'll have a fun time.

It's exciting to think that we leave in a little over 3 weeks....I feel like I have tons to do before then.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

We were also thinking of the Powerboats, but I wonder how much you actually get to use them? Also, we heard of another tour company in Cozumel who offers ATV and Jeep tours and we have heard nothing but good things about them. We are still debating on our excursions, my husband doesn't want to go on any really long excursions. Here is the website of the tour company in Cozumel: www.wild-tours.com
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Everyone seems to be going on the Paradise June 27 when I GET OFF! I'll try to keep it nice and neat for you guys, have a great time!

donna

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Old June 4th, 2004, 07:16 AM
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Default Re: Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

Hey Donna,
Save some food for us too, ok? We'll wave to you as we're getting off
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Old June 4th, 2004, 07:17 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

whoops, meant to say as "you're" getting off - haven't had my coffee yet!
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Old June 5th, 2004, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

What is everyone wearing to the formal nights? I really don't want to go out and buy a "formal" dress to wear one time. I was thinking of wearing a pant suit outfit or a regular dress? What does everyone else plan to wear?


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Old June 5th, 2004, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: roll call: Paradise June 27 Western Carribean

For the formal nights, here's what we're thinking--
DF (soon to be DH) is going to wear a suit-- he's brining a linen one for the beach wedding :-) and a blue summer wool one also, for the cruise.

I'm likely going to wear a navy blue flowered one, empire waist sort of-- its' nicer than it sounds, I wore it to my shower, and what else I'm not sure. I think it's going to be a very long, red hawaiian print one, slit on one side, spaghetti straps.

I've heard it's a bit of everything, and also how you accessorize and make up can make a difference between being "dressy" and not...
I got some other dresses too, just for fun.

I do have a nice pantsuit too, ice blue, that I wear to summer weddings... so that's an option too, hmmm...
;-) s.

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