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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 22nd, 2009, 09:19 PM
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Default maybe...just maybe Carnival Freedom

I think I'm deciding on a Carnival Freedom July cruise that goes to Key West (dying to go back) Grand Cayman (whatev) and Ocho Rios (never been to Jamaica). And I have wanted to cruise the Freedom since she came out.

My friend can cruise with me on this itinerary so I think that we're going to book it...keep your digits and bits crossed for me!
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 10:15 PM
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The Freedom is a great ship!
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 10:21 PM
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I loved the Freedom when I cruised her in April. The fish and chips is really good.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 10:24 PM
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Default is it me or what?

Spencer, why can't I view your pics?
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: is it me or what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by imshirlee
Spencer, why can't I view your pics?
I haven't put them up yet. I'll get them put up in the next few days. I have to get them all together. I have some from my camera and 2 other people's cameras.

So they will be up with the rest of the capers in a few days.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 08:00 AM
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Default Let me know...

Cutiecat,
Let me know how it is because im going in January 2010.... I would love to hear the scoop. Thanks
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 10:19 AM
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We just got back from the Freedom western a week ago.....

GREAT ship.

Excellent having a LONG day in Key West.

Grand Cayman was unbelievably gorgeous.
Can't wait to go back there.

Ocho Rios was exactly like advertised.
Either stay on the ship or book an excursion and get away from the city.
We thought the pushiness of the vendors and cabbies might have been exagerated like we always find it to be in Nassau.
Nope.....
We got off the ship and tried to walk around a bit and were hassled repeatedly so much, we were back on the Freedom in less than 2 hours, watching Iron Man at the poolside theater.

The 3 new Mystic Mountain excursions seemed to be the most popular among the 20-30 people we talked to that night and the next sea day.

Most who took one of the 50-60 various Dunn's River Falls and ______
excursions, stated that it was crowded most of their time at the falss.

If Carnival would switch a better port like Cozumel for Ocho Rios, this itinerary would be a home run in my book.

Bill
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Inspiration - Jan. 10, 2010- Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Freedom - February 8th, 2009 - Key West, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios Jamaica
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 11:06 AM
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Ocho Rios is the only "new" port to us on our upcoming cruise and was surprised when I read your disappointment with this stop. We've been to all the others many times and were looking forward to seeing this place we'd never seen. We'll probably get off the ship for a brief look around but it doesn't sound like something I'll like.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 11:11 AM
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Default September and October

Don't know when you were looking to go, but there are some great rates in Sept. and Oct. with Carnival's Early Saver program. Seen a balcony listed for approx. 540/person. Been looking at the Freedom too for that time of the year because of the price. Depending on cabin you select, you can go for about $100/day, which is darn good in my book. Going to western Caribbean in May with my kids, but like you want to go back to Key West. Went in December on the Destiny, but would like a full day there. Been on the Freedom before too, she is a great ship and very clean, and the crew was awesome.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 11:14 AM
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Silly me, I just seen that you said you were going in July.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 06:10 PM
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We took that cruise early last December and had a great time. The Freedom and her crew were great and we enjoyed all the ports of call.

The Ft Lauderdale port gets really busy after about 11:00 or so. Try to get their shortly after 10:00. They were letting people check in then seating them in the order they checked in for boarding. About 11:00 they cut off checkin and moved it to a bigger room and the smaller room was made VIP only. About 11:30 they started boarding starting with everyone that checked in before 11:00.

I agree that the vendors in Ocho Rios are pushy, even in the high scale jewelry stores in the mall, but it wasn’t that annoying. We didn’t want to climb the falls, but thought seeing it would be nice. A tour operator at the gates to the port kept trying to sell us a package but we didn’t want to go to the falls and wait for everyone to climb it. She ended up giving us a minivan, driver, and tour guide that took us to the falls, waited until we were done then gave us a tour of the city and dropped us off at the shopping malls close enough to walk back to the ship. Total with tips and admission to the park containing the falls, $60.

There is a really nice shopping “village” where the road from the pier meets the main road. It has a lot of local atmosphere, some authentic some not, but the vendors there were not pushy. Beware of the flea market just outside of the customs house. They are pushy there and it is the only place I felt I was being offered illicit substances, but they were not overt about it. Just claiming to be able to get you anything you want, regardless of what it might be.

Really good local coffee in beans or already ground is available all over the island, wait until outside of the port area for better prices. The Taj Mahal (sp?) mall has a good mix of gift shops and jewelry stores. One of them was offering a bottle of cold Jamaican Red Strip beer or mixed rum drink to anyone that came in and wished the owner a happy birthday. The salesman said that of course not every day was the owner’s birthday but they had some kind of promotion going all the time to make it more fun there. The shopping director on the ship usually tells what promotions are on during his port talk the day before.

Been to Grand Cayman several times so we just shopped and spent time on 7-mile beach. The new larger dock for the tenders allow more ships to be in port. There were 5 the day we were there. The crowds were not so bad though.

Key West is fun. Make sure to try some key lime pie there. Remember that it’s still part of the US so there are not a lot of price breaks in the shopping. We found the aquarium to be more fun than we expected. It was bundled in with a tour we took. The salvager’s museum was ok, also bundled, but to be clear it's not the Mel Fisher museum. Your time would be better spent there, at the shipwreck museum. There were several jewelry stores that had really good prices on pendants made out of the salvaged coins.

Hope you have a great time CutieCat.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 10:17 PM
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Thanks for the tips everyone.

I've swam with stingrays twice in Grand Cayman, I'd like to do something different this time.

LOVED Key West but didn't have nearly enough time there. Want to find something GREAT to do and buy a drink in a pineapple!

Never been to Jamaica and the Falls may be it. We'll see.

I think it may actually happen, and I AM SO EXCITED! 8 cruises later and I am still thrilled head to toe when I think about leaving on one!
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutiecat
Want to find something GREAT to do and buy a drink in a pineapple!
I know you do!
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Old February 24th, 2009, 08:34 AM
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Hope it all works out CC and you do post a countdown clock shortly. 8)
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Old February 24th, 2009, 09:43 PM
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We sail that intinerary in 40 days!
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Old February 24th, 2009, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: maybe...just maybe Carnival Freedom

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutiecat
I think I'm deciding on a Carnival Freedom July cruise that goes to Key West (dying to go back) Grand Cayman (whatev) and Ocho Rios (never been to Jamaica). And I have wanted to cruise the Freedom since she came out.

My friend can cruise with me on this itinerary so I think that we're going to book it...keep your digits and bits crossed for me!
Great itinerary. Been there many times. You will love it!
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Old February 25th, 2009, 01:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marty30907
We sail that intinerary in 40 days!
let me know how it is!
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Old February 25th, 2009, 01:37 PM
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Default Something nice to do in Jamaica

I heard you say the people are pushy, etc. trying to sell stuff and the Dunns Falls was a litte crowded. My sister's cruise went there on her cruise and they decided to take a tour (not the ship's tour). I think it also included Dunns Falls. She said they had the "absolute best tour there!" Their tour guide/driver was a gentleman named "Peate Taylor". Just ask for him when you get to the dock where the tours are run. Everybody knows him. My sister was unable to get Peate, but was able to get his son. They were "raving" about how great their tour and tour guide he was. She thanked me forever for letting her in on this. Note: not sure if he has a web site or not.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Something nice to do in Jamaica

Quote:
Originally Posted by debra816
I heard you say the people are pushy, etc. trying to sell stuff and the Dunns Falls was a litte crowded. My sister's cruise went there on her cruise and they decided to take a tour (not the ship's tour). I think it also included Dunns Falls. She said they had the "absolute best tour there!" Their tour guide/driver was a gentleman named "Peate Taylor". Just ask for him when you get to the dock where the tours are run. Everybody knows him. My sister was unable to get Peate, but was able to get his son. They were "raving" about how great their tour and tour guide he was. She thanked me forever for letting her in on this. Note: not sure if he has a web site or not.
thanks. he does have a website, if indeed it is the same one. www.peattaylor.com
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Old February 25th, 2009, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imshirlee
Ocho Rios is the only "new" port to us on our upcoming cruise and was surprised when I read your disappointment with this stop. We've been to all the others many times and were looking forward to seeing this place we'd never seen. We'll probably get off the ship for a brief look around but it doesn't sound like something I'll like.
Don't get off the ship and look around.
That was our mistake there.

Definitely look into an excursion there and get away from the city.

Like I said, everyone who went was raving about any of the 3 Mystic Mountain tours offered. (I think it just opened less than a year ago, so it is still pretty new)

Pretty much every other excursion at some point will take you to Dunn's River Falls. (but after counting 20+ excursions on the TV going there, on the first page alone, I quit and we decided to definitely not go there.)
And from the people we spoke to that night, we made the correct choice.

Bill
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Old February 25th, 2009, 09:27 PM
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Default thanks for the help

bguppies, thanks for your input/suggestion. I'm not one who normally enjoys being in the middle of the "masses" so the number of excursions you mentioned is a turn off to me too. I prefer to get off the beaten path to the road less traveled and discover the "real" place. I've done quite a bit of online research about tours offered in Ocho Rios (and our other ports) but not sure yet if I'll get in line with the crowd or do my own thing. These message boards have been a big help with questions I've had about my upcoming cruise.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 09:54 PM
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I really think this is going to happen! YAY!

I'm just waiting on my PVP to call me back with pricing. SO ready to cruise again :0)
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Old February 25th, 2009, 11:32 PM
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That is great!! WooooHoooo!! I see Freedom does the 6 and 8 niters which one are you doing?
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Old February 25th, 2009, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecruisequeen
That is great!! WooooHoooo!! I see Freedom does the 6 and 8 niters which one are you doing?
the 6 nighter my friend can't go any more than that
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Old February 25th, 2009, 11:48 PM
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Yeah it is good because it does Sun to Sat it gives you Sun to relax and catch up before going back to work on Monday.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 12:31 AM
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Just got back from the Freedom. Had room 6487 and it was awesome! The captain was a wonderful person and we talked to him a few times and the crew was amazing! Our only problem was that on fun days at sea, there were no chairs to sit on around the pools and decks. People were reserving them at 6am by putting stuff on the chairs and the pool attendants did not stop it. We saw a set of chairs with towels on it for over two hours and we moved the towels and laid them aside and here came some people telling us that was their chair and to not move their stuff....ugh. Other than the ship not enforcing the NO RESERVING rule, it was a great ship.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 04:30 PM
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Keep in mind that the Jamaican people tend to have a great sense of humor. Treat the pushy vendors with a bit of courtesy and humor and things will be a tad smoother. I once had a drug dealer really getting pushy with me. I was lying on the beach...not on a cruise, but a 9 day vacation in Ochos Rios. He told me that Mick Jagger bought drugs from him and I replied that Mick Jagger could afford lawyers. He laughed and moved on....finally.
But, shirlee, as much as I love Jamaica, it is NOT a place to get off the beaten path on your own. That is an invitation to crime in Jamaica, as it would be in parts of the US. But, certain Caribbean ports have higher crime rates than others and this one is very high. Not the highest, that honor belongs to Martinique (one of my favorites), but having spent quite a bit of time in Jamaica over many years, I would be more cautious there than most places. Enjoy it...but safely!
Marty
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Old March 9th, 2009, 05:18 PM
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Cutie Cat congrats on your booking. We loved the Freedom. It's a nice big boat. Great entertainment, the Marcus Anthony show was one of the best I have seen at sea.
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: maybe...just maybe Carnival Freedom

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutiecat
I think I'm deciding on a Carnival Freedom July cruise that goes to Key West (dying to go back) Grand Cayman (whatev) and Ocho Rios (never been to Jamaica). And I have wanted to cruise the Freedom since she came out.

My friend can cruise with me on this itinerary so I think that we're going to book it...keep your digits and bits crossed for me!
CutieCat I think we are going on the same trip. Leaving July 26th?? Cant wait.
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