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Old April 10th, 2007, 12:04 AM
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Default Back From the Liberty March 31st and This Is My Review

Background...Cruised with 8 family members (myself, husband, both sets of Grandparents, 2 daughters, ages 16 & 13 plus Friend, her daughters 16, 14 and another 14 year old.) All are past Carnival guests, with 6 of the family members being Platinum. For me this was cruise # 14 with Carnival. Never had a bad cruise. This is my review of the Liberty March 31st sailing.

We had a limo pick us up at 10:00 with a stop at my parents house on the way and arrived at the Port by 11:30. Thank goodness for Platinum VIP Priority boarding as the line was in the building around the ropes and outside. VIP for those interested is the first line you come upon or the first one on the right. We got in line behind around 200 Travel Agents who were touring the ship that day. They must have started boarding just as we got there because the TAs were the first to board and we were right behind them. Port Everglades Platinum was ok but Miami is much nicer. Here they just have a separate line for you to stand on. Yes, we did get on much faster than the regular line (some people said they were on the boarding line for 90 minutes) but it wasn't as nice as the private room with chairs/sofas like Miami has.

The Liberty is by far the prettiest of all the Carnival ships we've been on. Crew was cleaning all the time. Ship is beautiful. The entire crew is the best we've ever had. Almost everyone of them had a smile, a hello, how are you etc. Todd is the Cruise Director and was terrific and funny. Saw him all over the ship and didn't hog the intercom system. James is the Social Host, with spiked blonde hair, cute and definitely had the younger kids in the palm of his hands. My 16 year old personally liked Alex, he was the young guy on deck 5 who made her what she described as the best chocolate milk shakes she's ever had!!!

We are gamblers and the Casino Staff was also very friendly. Always joking around and smiling. Scott Reynolds is the current Casino Host and not only is he nice to look at, but also a doll. Walked around, made sure everyone was ok, everyone was happy and smiling. The complaints I did hear in the Casino was that the Texas Hold Em players absolutely HATE the electronic table that they now have fleetwide. The other complaint was that they had automatic shuffle machines at the blackjack table. I don't play either one so it didn't bother me either way. They had machines from .01 (which you had to play a minimum of .09) up to $5. The tables on the first night only was a minimum of $3 but from the 2nd night on went up to $5. There was a minimum of two tables for each table game but only one Crap Table in this casino. I play 3 Card Poker and the tables were usually full but I didn't have to wait for a seat.

The Staff....We had the best room steward to date, Ahpit from India. Not only was the room made up every day and the towel animals/people made each night, but he knew us by name, was very friendly and always smiling. Lauren, our 13 year old got sick the first two days out and Ahpit told us that he would be in the cabins for the next couple of hours and that if she needed anything, to find him. Our waitor Jose was very good, didn't make any mistakes on the orders but definitely needs to take a course in personality, zero, zilch, none. Thank goodness for Beatrix, his help, she was wonderful, friendly, great personality. We told her to give Jose lessons!! Dad had his rye bread every night waiting for him, the girls and myself had the glasses filled with ice waiting for us, etc.

Dinner... We ate in the Golden Dining Room 6:15 and loved the location (right in the middle of the ship). The only thing that we didn't like is that we were on the 2nd floor and if you enjoy watching/joining in with the Staff when they sing and dance, you can't see them because it's all performed on the 1st floor... So, next time, I request 1st floor seating.

The food was good, with some of it being delicious. What I never knew and learned this week is that every Carnival ship has the same menu as far as the 1st day, 2nd day etc. Doesn't matter what day of the week your ship leaves. And YES, I had the chocolate melting cake every single night (it was sooooooo delicious). The 3rd night they served the filet mignon and veal parmigiana. Well the 3rd night for us was San Juan and we didn't eat in the dining room. When I asked the Maitre'd why they did that, it was then that he explained it was the meal of the day. But, the next night guess what we had for dinner... YUP, the Maitre'd delivered 6 veal parmigiana dinners to us and they were delicious.... And it was a good night too because we didn't like what was being served that night.


The big screen on the Lido deck.... amazing. We got to watch the Basketball finals, and of course, being from Florida, how could it not be great to watch your team win 10xs larger???? Lots of Florida/Ohio fans out that night and it was really loads of fun. Watching movies/concerts on the sea on a big screen is great. They also sold bags of popcorn for $1. Was told they had the charge so that the kids wouldn't take the popcorn and throw it all over the place.

We had great weather the entire week, and yes, the chair hogs were out...But, when the girls were out looking for lounge chairs, a Carnival employee just took towels off of 4 lounge chairs, told them to sit down and that if anyone came to claim the towels, tell them to see him... So they are trying to work with passengers and weed out the chair hogs.

The ship had 3400 passengers this week, with 1800 of them being past Carnival cruisers and only 30 Platinum members. There were over 900 kids on board, but being that we were in the Casino after midnight every night we personally never had or saw any problem with the kids. Even during the day, although we saw the kids, I never saw them doing anything wrong.

San Juan ( 5pm - 12midnight). Got off the ship as soon as we were allowed and went over to the Dooney & Bourke & Coach outlet stores. D & B closes at 6 so we shopped there first, then went directly across the street and continued shopping at the Coach store, which now stays open until 7pm. Between myself and the girls, the employees were thanking us by the time we left. Spent a lot of $$$$$s in both, but saved lots too. After that the girls decided to get back on the ship and my husband & I played in the casino right across the street from the Port.

St Thomas (8am - 6pm). Got off the ship around 10 and went shopping to the stores right at the Port. Some of the others took the tram up to Paradise Point ($18. per person). The pictures they got were beautiful and they loved it up there. Around 1:00 we hoped into a taxi ($5. per person for 10 of us) and went over to Bolongo Bay Beach. The cab driver left us off at the end of the beach by Iggys Restaurant/Bar and we didn't have to pay for the lounge chairs. Very relaxing, not crowded at all. The same driver who took us there picked us up at 5:00 and took us back to the ship.

Antigua..... Oh my goodness.... We "rented" the Tiami Cataraman prior to cruising for 16 of us and I wanted to take the Catarman and the Crew back home with me.... It was amazing and I would recommend this one to everyone. It is the same company that owns the Excellence Catarman that Carnival charges $99 per person for and squeezes everyone in. We were charged $75 per person and had 16 people with 3 Crew!!! The food and crew were excellent, and of course, the open bar didn't hurt either... Definitely a great tour and very relaxing day.

Tortola... We were at the Baths last time we were there so this year we decided to just "wing it". At around 1:00 we got off the ship, found a guy from "Captain Friendly" taxi service who offered us a 2 hour tour for $15 per person.... WOW..... didn't even try to bargain him down.... that's a great price. He was a history major so we got a great tour, great information and great price.....

Days at sea.... The usual chair hogs, the trivia contests, the bingo, Newlywed Game, blackjack tournaments, slot tournaments, art auction, etc.


We all agreed that this was one of the best cruises we have had, the Staff on the Liberty was fantastic, the food was overall very good, the weather was terrific and the Liberty is beautiful.



Some trivia/interesting things to know...

For those cruisers wondering what was happening with soda smugglers, we are one of them... We had a large duffle bag filled with 3 six packs of diet coke bottles, 1 six pack of Sprite and a case of water all packed into a large plastic garbage bag (just in case one of the bottles opened). Made it to our cabin with no problem at all. The room steward emptied the refrigerator for us and we put the soda and water in there all week.

Platinum.... a couple of weeks ago this was asked..... We got four (4) Carnival Tote Bags in our cabin. So either they changed the one (1) per cabin policy, our room steward didn't read the new "rules" or he liked us but we each got a tote bag. My parents also got two (2) in their cabin. Of course, we also got the other "perks" i.e., personalized stationary, key chains, pens, a basket of fruit, canapys etc. We did use the free laundry service (wash and fold) three times. For those that are not platinum, it is $15 per bag.

Another think I learned this week.... Platinum/VIP Members were signed in with their credit card/sign n sail info right at the check in line. Other passengers were checked in here but then had to proceed to the Lounge to set up their Sign n Sail cards there. The Carnival Representative told us that it helped speed up the boarding line and they did have until the 2nd day to set up their Sign n Sail account so it wasn't like it had to be done immediately.

And for those curious about the Topless Deck, not Topless anymore ... Just a bunch of lounge chairs up there now but no sign and the only time I went up there it was empty.

I emailed the Casino Host prior to boarding and the room was made up in the Bon Voyage decorations courtesy of the Casino. Don't know if they do that for all but it was definitely worth the email. To be honest, we are big gamblers and spent every night after the show in the casino. That is something that we enjoy doing.

Definitely pack a light sweater or jacket. The Casino was always cold as was the Dining Room and Show Rooms.

We also tipped our Room Steward and Asst Waitress and both of them told me after I asked them is that they have to split any extra tips with help, i.e, Ahpit has one helper he has to split any extra tip with and unfortunately Beatrix has to split with Jose

If I've left anything out, I will add it and if anyone has any questions, please ask. Even after so many cruises, you guys still help me out and I would love to do the same for you....
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Old April 10th, 2007, 12:49 AM
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Your great review just makes me that much more excited for our cruise on the Liberty!

Did you go to any of the evening entertainment?
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Old April 10th, 2007, 01:11 AM
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Old April 10th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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Wow, that sounds great! I am so excited. I leave on the Liberty 5/26 along with my family which includes an almost 14 year old. So were there enough things to do for the young teenagers on board?
This is our first Carnival cruise but we're registered as VIP because of the suite that we got. I am glad I wont be standing in that longgggg line.
Is it true that if you dont like what they're serving that night for dinner, you can ask for almost anything and they'll get it??
I've heard alot about these chair hogs, what time do you suggest that I get out there to at least get one for myself?
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Old April 10th, 2007, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brittany
Your great review just makes me that much more excited for our cruise on the Liberty!

Did you go to any of the evening entertainment?
Brittany,

I always go see the Carnival dancers because I just love them and this time they didn't let me down.

Went to see the comedian Jim Brick both shows.... the 1st one was great, the 2nd one was terrible.... go figure....

Do not miss the Carnival Legends show where the passengers dress up as stars and sing.... much better than the usual Carnival Talent Guest Show. Also do not miss "If I Were Not Upon the Sea" which if I remember correctly followed the comedian's 1st show....Saw this one about 5 times already and always laugh our butts off
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Old April 10th, 2007, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pisces68
Wow, that sounds great! I am so excited. I leave on the Liberty 5/26 along with my family which includes an almost 14 year old. So were there enough things to do for the young teenagers on board?
This is our first Carnival cruise but we're registered as VIP because of the suite that we got. I am glad I wont be standing in that longgggg line.
Is it true that if you dont like what they're serving that night for dinner, you can ask for almost anything and they'll get it??
I've heard alot about these chair hogs, what time do you suggest that I get out there to at least get one for myself?

To be quite honest with you, the kids were fine up until midnight when they closed the Club02. After that they had nothing to do so we would see lots of kids either hanging outside the Disco just talking or up on the Lido Deck. My 13 year old just hung out with her new friends and loved it. My 16 year old loved the scavenger hunt that the Carnival Teen Camp sponsored and won a 14K Gold Plated 1st Place Medal!!!

Yes, please, if you see 2/3 things that you want to try, order them all... If you love what you're eating and want another one, order it again. I had the chocolate melting cake PLUS other deserts at least 3xs this week.... Just joined the gym!!!

Chair Hogs.... I don't really get involved in that because I don't sit out by the pool but if you really want to get lounge chairs, my oldest one told me you need to be out before 9am.... I will tell you that if location is not a big deal, there were always lounge chairs on the upper decks to be found.

I'm also thinking that based on the date of your cruise, the chair hogs might not be out in full force... Remember, I cruised Spring Break Week with over 900 kids on-board. In May most schools are still open.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 01:33 PM
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This is one of the best and most thorough reviews I have ever read. I could almost see everything you described.

Thank you so much. I too am on the 05/26/070 Liberty and this review just makes me so excited and recount the minutes until I walk on the ship. Unfortunately, I am not quite Platinum yet. I have a few more cruises to go but I am excelt just the same.

I am soooo glad you enjoyed yourself.

For the rest of you, if you are on the 05/26/07, go to the MOB forum and post so we can smile at each other on the Lido Deck after the Mustard Drill.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 01:37 PM
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Elaine,
How early were you off the ship, compared to the other guests, and did you get a special room to sit in and wait and was it with or without your luggage.


Thanks
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Old April 10th, 2007, 04:07 PM
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Glad to hear that you had a great cruise Elaine. And thanks for the full review. Hope you post it in member's reviews as well... so it will be archived for others to read later on.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gail F
Elaine,
How early were you off the ship, compared to the other guests, and did you get a special room to sit in and wait and was it with or without your luggage.


Thanks

Gail,

Believe it or not the first passengers were allowed off the ship @ 7:30 and then the regular/rest of the passengers were allowed off at 8:30.... For whatever reason, the early birds got off on deck zero and from 8:30 on the rest of us left from the Atrium Lobby, deck three.

BUT, compared to the other guests, we were the last ones off the ship!!! Well, ok, almost last. Our limo picked us up at 10:00. We live only 40 minutes North of the Port and are in noooooooooooo hurry to get off!!!
We strive for being the last ones off.....

The nice thing about Platinum, no matter what time you get off the ship, is that there is a special area for luggage just for Platinum Cruisers.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
Glad to hear that you had a great cruise Elaine. And thanks for the full review. Hope you post it in member's reviews as well... so it will be archived for others to read later on.

OK Kuki done.... Didnt even know there was a thread for reviews other than here so thanks for the thumbs up. Obviously, if its too long or needs to be cut, go for it...

Enjoy your last night onboard and I have enjoyed your review once again.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
Glad to hear that you had a great cruise Elaine. And thanks for the full review. Hope you post it in member's reviews as well... so it will be archived for others to read later on.
Hi Kuki;

Speaking of reader reviews and I am sorry to go a little off topic but I have a question for you or anbody else who might be able to help me.

I posted a review of the Carnival Miracle for my Feb 11th cruise and it was pointed out to me recently by someone in the group that I with went that I used the wrong name of a staff member when I was praising the job he did. I wrongly used the name Ramon when it was actually Rolando Aquino. Is there a way to edit this or could you maybe pass that info on to someone that could correct it?

Thanks.

It is the review by Mark A 2/11/07 Carnival Miracle.

Mark

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Great review Elaine!! I wish I was there too. Your review made me feel like I was.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 11:05 PM
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WOW
What a great review... The detail was fantastic...
I am searching for my next cruise and it might just be on the Liberty.. Are you on commission? You should be if not..
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Old April 11th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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Hi Elaine,
Great review. We are on the Liberty 7/15/07.....so excited!
Would you mind posting pictures of the liberty if you have any.
Thanks
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Old April 11th, 2007, 12:16 PM
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Thanks for the review. I enjoyed hearing all of the details. I was most pleased to hear about your "soda" experience. However, I'm wondering if your special embarkation area had anything to do with it.

Melody
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Old April 11th, 2007, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstill
Thanks for the review. I enjoyed hearing all of the details. I was most pleased to hear about your "soda" experience. However, I'm wondering if your special embarkation area had anything to do with it.

Melody

Melody,

Upon arriving at the terminal, we did with the luggage exactly what every other passenger did, removed it from the limo (ok, almost exactly!!) and gave the luggage to a Porter. At that time, I don't believe Platinum Status had anything to do with it.... I don't think anyone even knew we were Platinum until we actually got onto the VIP Line and by that time, the luggage was long gone... Hope that helps...
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Old April 11th, 2007, 01:31 PM
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Hi Elaine,

Thanks for the information. I have a group of 50 traveling in May. We've been discussing Carnival's policy because some of the group prefer soft drinks not offered by Carnival. Some of the group are previous cruisers and some are newbies. We're trying to get all possible mishaps ironed out before we leave.

Thanks again,
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Old April 13th, 2007, 05:08 PM
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Elaine Thanks for the wonderful review. We are sailing on the Liberty on July 1, 2007. This will be my third Carnival Cruise and have loved them all. Your review has me wanting to start packing now. The snow falling as I type might have something to do with that also though. Thanks for making the anticipation a great thing.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 05:21 PM
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Soda is allowed again!
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Old April 15th, 2007, 04:53 PM
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Thanks for the nice review. We will be on the Liberty on 7/31 with 2 families and 5 teens. Can't wait!
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Old April 15th, 2007, 08:36 PM
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Elaine, Who is the cruise director on the Liberty?
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Old April 15th, 2007, 10:11 PM
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Thanks so much for the review. We sail on 4-28 and I was curious about this ship and what to expect on this one. All others have been fun and I really had no reason to expect otherwise from Carnival .
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Old April 16th, 2007, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailgirl
Elaine, Who is the cruise director on the Liberty?

Todd "something" is the cruise director, and in my opinion, one of the best so far. Not only was he entertaining, he also entertained...literally I mean. He sang at some of the shows (and was really good too!!).


The thing I really liked about Todd is that he kept his announcements to a minimum and, more unusual, was always seen walking around the ship and stopping to chat with us passengers.... Very friendly guy...
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Old April 16th, 2007, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlauntz
Thanks so much for the review. We sail on 4-28 and I was curious about this ship and what to expect on this one. All others have been fun and I really had no reason to expect otherwise from Carnival .

I am soooo jealous.... Like you said, "All others have been fun and I really had no reason to expect otherwise from Carnival .

I agree... We have never had a bad cruise.... but I think you'll be especially thrilled with the Liberty. Whoever "put" this staff together did a great job.... It was like everyone worked with everyone....

Enjoy and let us know your thoughts when you get back....
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Old April 16th, 2007, 04:58 PM
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great review Elaine, Thanks
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Old April 16th, 2007, 09:09 PM
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Elaine:

Wow! Awesome review. We are sailing the Liberty in July and are so pumped after reading your review.

Glad to hear there was enough to do with the teens. We have 3 traveling with us.

Wondered if you would be willing to give me a bit more info about the shops in San Juan. Sailing in February with a stop to San Juan. Shopping at Coach with discounted prices would be a nice treat.

Thank you again.

Safe sailing.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefkel22
Elaine:

Wow! Awesome review. We are sailing the Liberty in July and are so pumped after reading your review.

Glad to hear there was enough to do with the teens. We have 3 traveling with us.

Wondered if you would be willing to give me a bit more info about the shops in San Juan. Sailing in February with a stop to San Juan. Shopping at Coach with discounted prices would be a nice treat.

Thank you again.

Safe sailing.


The Coach and Dooney & Bourke outlet stores are directly across the street from each other. If you will be there 5 - 12am then you need to do what we did.... RUN...... ok walk fast and be one of the first off the ship and then turn left and then up the hill (just ask for directions, everyone will point!!!) because Dooney & Bourke closes promptly at 6 then go across the street to Coach which is now open until 7pm.....

We did "investigate" on-line prior to going there for the bags that we really liked and the prices and took the paperwork with us for comparison. I personally purchased a "large Dooney & Bourke IT tote bag" for $159 which was marked $265 in Macys!!! They have a "discount" room up the stairs in the back to the left that I got a bag for my sister and wallet for my mom.

The girls chose the Coach which, in my opinion, is still expensive, even at an outlet store, but again, I know I saved a couple of hundred dollars over the prices here in the States. Also, there is a tiny room up the stairs to the right that have greatly reduced bags in there. Most of the discounted bags are last years models, but who cares....

And to be quite honest, NO, the girls are not allowed to go anytime they want to and buy ridiculous crazy overpriced bags or clothes. It is a once in a while treat only while we're on a cruise and one of the Islands has an outlet store....

Those are the times the kids think I'm a cool Mom!!!
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Old April 18th, 2007, 09:44 PM
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Elaine:

Thanks for the info. We will have to do our homework and be prepared to shop come February when we stop in San Juan.

I understand what you say about being a cool Mom. I have a 12 year old who has rather rich taste. However, she is learning young that she needs to contribute and plan accordingly for the items she would like in her closet.

We are trying to get her away from typical souveniors and save her $ for a nicer item. Last year in St. Marteen we split the price of a nice ring for her. She treats is with such care.

Might have to do the same with a Coach bag next year.

Thanks again and safe sailing.
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