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Old September 24th, 2009, 01:13 PM
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Default Is Antigua in Trouble ?

Is Carnival removing Antigua from its cruise itinerary?? What have you heard about this??
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Old September 24th, 2009, 04:58 PM
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Interesting, I just looked at a Victory itinerary for Feb 2010. it has dropped Antigua for St. Maarten. Regardless of issues with taxi cabs I would support that switch, thought I'd rather swap St. Kitt's for St. Maarten.

About 18 months ago they switched the southern itinerary from stopping at St. Maarten to St. Lucia. I think because it is such a long haul to and from Barbados. When we did that cruise it felt like the captain was giving it all he could on those two nights.
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Old September 24th, 2009, 09:16 PM
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I don't know if it's in trouble, however, having been there once I don't care if I ever return. One of the worst port stops I have ever had, and that includes Jamaica.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 12:17 PM
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I love Antigua.

Carnival wouldn't pull out because some idiots got in trouble. If that were the case, they would have to pull out of every port city including the ports of embarkation in the United States.

Look for Carnival to return to Antigua, and for that matter Aruba!
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Old September 25th, 2009, 12:20 PM
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Zydeco is correct.

If Carnival pulled out over things like those 6 acting like idiots....it would have pulled out of Costa Rica with 4 thugs attacked a group of senior cruisers....and as we know...Carnival still goes to Costa Rica.

This has more to do with the new pier that Carnival paid for in St Maarten!!

I am glad we will be getting to go to Antigua in December before they make the change.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 12:46 PM
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We are booked to cruise Antigua in April 2010. Still says antigua. i hope it stays the same. I have never been there. i like to make up my own mind to whether I like it or not. I keep watching it. Also would love to cruise to Aruba but want to stay on Carnival lines. So I hope they start going there again soon too. I have been to St Maarten. It was ok. But I prefer to go somewhere new.
Thats why I chose this cruise. It had 2 new places to go to.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 08:18 PM
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cruzinlass,what did you find troublesome about this port, would you mind sharing? Thanks.....
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Old September 25th, 2009, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zydecocruiser
I love Antigua.

Carnival wouldn't pull out because some idiots got in trouble. If that were the case, they would have to pull out of every port city including the ports of embarkation in the United States.

Look for Carnival to return to Antigua, and for that matter Aruba!
Hey Z educate yourself on the story of the Antigua Six before calling these kids idiots. There are no reason for police anywhere in the world to use violence to solve any problem. Just think if this was a member of your family. Learn the whole story on the net.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip
cruzinlass,what did you find troublesome about this port, would you mind sharing? Thanks.....
From my memory bank, I remember the port area being very run down, with little to do there. We had booked an excursion to what was supposed to be a beautiful beach, which was far from the truth. When we returned to the ship, we voiced our concerns to the Shore Excursion desk, and they promptly refunded our money.

I will say, it has been many years (probably around 8) since we have been there. If it has changed, or if my memory is not correct (which happens from time to time), I would gladly rethink my position. I do remember it was on a So. Caribbean itinerary, and there were several ports I was not happy with besides this one; Guadalope and Martinique (we ported in an industrial area). I DO remember enjoying Barbados and Aruba.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecru
Quote:
Originally Posted by zydecocruiser
I love Antigua.

Carnival wouldn't pull out because some idiots got in trouble. If that were the case, they would have to pull out of every port city including the ports of embarkation in the United States.

Look for Carnival to return to Antigua, and for that matter Aruba!
Hey Z educate yourself on the story of the Antigua Six before calling these kids idiots. There are no reason for police anywhere in the world to use violence to solve any problem. Just think if this was a member of your family. Learn the whole story on the net.
It is unbelievable how many people think anything found on the Internet must be true.

If the idiots were from Antigua and the event happened in the United States, the police would have shot the thugs 300 or 400 times before bringing out the batons.

You have to be beyond stupid to attack police, especially in a foreign country.

There were 5 or 6 other passengers who were smart enough to know better and they are back home. The 6 still in Antigua should have kept their mouths shut and shown more respect.
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Old September 26th, 2009, 12:20 PM
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If anyone cares you can follow the true story about the six crusie prople by loging on the the Antigua Times newspaper. It is a well written newspaper with very good english. The articles are written very fair and clear. The newspaper does not pick sides. Some of the posts on this web site are not correct. The Antigua Times is the best sourse for the correct information. OM
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Old September 28th, 2009, 08:47 AM
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The DW remembered that while we were in Antigua our driver and another local were complaining about how the cruise lines expected the government to improvements but didn't pay anything. Of course they were conveniently ignoring port charges, but perhaps there has been some sort of dust up between Antigua and CCL.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 10:25 AM
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Honestly, if Carnival is dropping ports it is most likely due to economic issues with maintaining those ports.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 10:49 AM
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I've been to both islands before and I personally LOVE St.Marteen more than Antigua. I'm going onboard this ship for it's southern caribbean itinerary in Feb. and also received the e-mail stating the change in ports and my wife and I are ecstatic.[/img]
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Old September 29th, 2009, 11:45 AM
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Looks like there are at least some in Antigua that believe the CCL pull out is based on the taxi cab incident.

http://www.antiguasunonline.com/news...visitors-.html
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Old September 29th, 2009, 12:26 PM
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Those things can easily happen when people do not try to understand the culture they are temporarily hosted in. I feel a more plausible reason is the economic downturn that is hitting the travel industry, as evidenced in the constant stories about new fees or cruise lines changing their approach in the ASTA(American Society of Travel Agents) SmartBrief e-newsletter, it makes sense for them to drop Antigua since it is one of their least visited ports if you look at the itineraries. If anyone wants to see some of my archived copies of this e-newsletter, you can pm me with your e-mail address and I will be happy to forward you a couple of copies so you can understand what I mean.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 01:40 PM
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Last year (or the year b4) when the retired marine killed the would-be robber in Costa Rico, the authorities initially allowed the man to return to the ship. A few days later when the locals made a stink about the "poor" robber being "murdered" by an American, the authorities tried to have the man returned to Costa Rica to face charges. Carnival immediately cancelled ALL port stops in Costa Rica. The decision to press charges against the man was reversed. Carnival reinstated the original port stops in that country.

Regardless of what the true facts are in this current case, Carnival knows full well that they are transporting travel novices to far off lands without any type of forewarning as to culture and social do's and don't's. It is in the interest of Carnival to have each and every passenger back on the ship at the end of a port stop in the same condition that they left the ship (except sunburns, of course). It does Carnival too much bad press to have passengers arrested and detained.

For many many people, traveling by mega-cruiseliner is the only time they have ever, and will ever leave the U.S. Carnival is responsible for them. Maybe not legally but morally and physically.

For Antigua's sake, this may just be another Carnival ploy to get them to speed up the conclusion of this unfortunate incident. It is getting a good amount of news time/space up here in NYC.

It doesn't help any of the cruiselines for this story to continue.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 02:34 PM
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The crooked taxi driver started all of this. It's going to cost Antigua over 5 million dollars in lost tourist money. Why can not the Antigua gov. see this and get their cab drivers in line and make them be honest?? OM
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Old September 29th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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Old Man: without sounding nasty or attacking you, were you there in the cab when the original discussion started? If not, how can you simply state "the crooked taxi driver started this?" It appears that a simple misunderstanding on taxi fares (or at least that is what the accused would have you believe) got out of hand and escalated to the current situation. Again I say, let's await the outcome of the court sessions before we make decisions.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 04:02 PM
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we are going on the caribbean princess in feb. 2010 and I wish they would change antigua for St. Marteen
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Old September 29th, 2009, 10:40 PM
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Just another case of people projecting their emotions based on Internet hearsay and absolutely no facts.

I've been to St Martin/St Maarten enough; I'll take Antigua, thank you.

Once again, the Carnival pullout had absolutely nothing to do with thugs trying to rip off the taxi driver and then starting a fight with the police.

Carnival is investing tons of money in new facilities on a number of islands and Carnival is going to use them. They invested heavily in a new complex in Roatan that will open in November, and they will use it - it really doesn't matter what is going on in mainland Honduras.

{ edited: the above didn't sound quite right - Carnival will NOT jeopardize the safety of the ship or passengers, period, but they are NOT your mother}
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Old September 29th, 2009, 11:28 PM
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I was on RCCL'S Freedom of the Seas last week. We sailed Sunday Sept. 20th. We were a little late in sailing and the the cruise director came on the inter-com and stated we were running a little late because they were having an issue with one of the passengers. I was standing on my balcony and could plainly see the gang plank, parking area, etc. and had my binos to boot. In a few minutes a Sheriff's car came around to the terminal entrance area and I watched as a man was led off in handcuffs, followed by a lady, their luggage, and security. This was all before the ship was even untied from the dock. The man was placed in the Sheriff's car--I don't know where the lady and luggage went.
Would a cruise line quit porting there because someone had a problem before the ship even sailed ? I doubt it, just as I seriously doubt that Carnival is stopping it's call at Antigua because of the incident over the six who fought the law and the law won.
I later in the week asked a security officer what had happened and was told that the people had refused to go to lifeboat drill, had advised their steward they weren't going, wouldn't allow him into the cabin and wouldn't open the door for security when they were called. That was part of the problem but not all, according to the security officer I spoke to. Therefore the Captain had decided that if they were that much trouble before the ship had even been untied, he would be better off getting them off the ship then rather than after they had been aboard a couple of days and really created problems.
Everyone I heard mention it was very much in favor of what the Captain did and appreciated it.
I've expected to see something pop up about how RCCL unfairly threw
some passengers off the ship before it even sailed but so far have seen nothing.
Boarding was also delayed because the immigration officials could not locate one man-- one man holding up clearing the ship for boarding. They finally found him but fortunately for him they didn't identify him to the public, probably for his own safety and welfare !!
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Old September 30th, 2009, 01:30 AM
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I will be going to Antigua on Royal Caribbean in January. Seeing stories like this reinforces my belief to always book excursions through the cruise line.

I have been told from people that you can book the same excursion for half the price if you book on your own.

This is one case where I would happily pay double!


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Old September 30th, 2009, 02:12 AM
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I disagree with booking through the cruise line. I feel it is perfectly fine to book on your own as long as you are aware of what time to be back at the ship and book through a reputable operator(the disreputable ones are fairly easy to spot normally).
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Old September 30th, 2009, 02:40 AM
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Cruise ship tours are nothing more than local tours under contract to the cruise line. So yes, you pay double for usually less than half the trip you can arrange on your own.

Do your research, use a reputable company, and you will be at least as fine as with the cruise ship tours. You may even occasionally be ON the same tour.

I did Eli's Eco tour in Antigua and without a doubt, it is in my top 10, probably top 5 shore excursions, anywhere, period. Not available through any cruise line...


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Old September 30th, 2009, 10:55 AM
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This is just an anecdotal experience.

We booked one of the few cruise line tours I've taken in Antigua. It was a 4x4 tour of the island. Our Jeep broke down about 1/3 of the way through the tour. All of the other Jeeps were almost full so my wife and I told the couple with us to take the last two spots in the other Jeeps. The head driver said that another Jeep would be there to pick us up in a few minutes and we could then catch up.

About an hour later our driver said he was going to get someone to help and flagged down a car. That was the last we saw of him.

Two hours later there was no replacement Jeep and no driver. We were a long way from any phone so when another Jeep convoy came buy I flagged them down. (I stood in the road and blocked them.) They were from a Royal Caribbean ship and we were on Princess. I explained our situation and they found "room" for us. My wife had to sit on the console between the driver and passenger seat. Luckily she isn't wide and fit. The problem was it was 4x4 tour and she ended up with a softball sized bruise on her rear end.

When we returned to the ship we went directly to the shore excursion desk and to our amazement they had no idea the Jeep had broken down and we had been left out there. The rest of the group had returned an hour earlier. We did get our money back and a "free" examination of my wife's bruise from the ship's doctor.

What does this have to do with the current situation. I have nothing against Antigua and would go back but I find it quite irresponsible of the tour company to leave two passengers sitting in the middle of Antiguan nowhere for almost three hours. I wonder if Princess still uses this company.

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Old September 30th, 2009, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron
I was on RCCL'S Freedom of the Seas last week. We sailed Sunday Sept. 20th. We were a little late in sailing and the the cruise director came on the inter-com and stated we were running a little late because they were having an issue with one of the passengers. I was standing on my balcony and could plainly see the gang plank, parking area, etc. and had my binos to boot. In a few minutes a Sheriff's car came around to the terminal entrance area and I watched as a man was led off in handcuffs, followed by a lady, their luggage, and security. This was all before the ship was even untied from the dock. The man was placed in the Sheriff's car--I don't know where the lady and luggage went.
Would a cruise line quit porting there because someone had a problem before the ship even sailed ? I doubt it, just as I seriously doubt that Carnival is stopping it's call at Antigua because of the incident over the six who fought the law and the law won.
I later in the week asked a security officer what had happened and was told that the people had refused to go to lifeboat drill, had advised their steward they weren't going, wouldn't allow him into the cabin and wouldn't open the door for security when they were called. That was part of the problem but not all, according to the security officer I spoke to. Therefore the Captain had decided that if they were that much trouble before the ship had even been untied, he would be better off getting them off the ship then rather than after they had been aboard a couple of days and really created problems.
Everyone I heard mention it was very much in favor of what the Captain did and appreciated it.
I've expected to see something pop up about how RCCL unfairly threw
some passengers off the ship before it even sailed but so far have seen nothing.
Boarding was also delayed because the immigration officials could not locate one man-- one man holding up clearing the ship for boarding. They finally found him but fortunately for him they didn't identify him to the public, probably for his own safety and welfare !!
The incident on the Freedom was probably more than just him not wanting to do the drill. A lot of people don't go to the drill. My guess is that he had a warrant for his arrest outstanding. The reason why you can no longer just book a ticket on a cruiseship the day of sailing is b/c the cruiseline checks your information against local/national law enforcement agencies for outstanding warrants, terrorist watchlist, no-fly names, etc.

I bet this guy simply had an outstanding warrant.

Otherwise the sheriff would not have taken him away in handcuffs. That or he had drugs on him that was found before the ship sailed.

If you followed cruising news stories, it is almost without fail that whenever something untoward happens to a cruise passenger on one of these islands and it makes the news, the cruiseline coincidentally decides diverts ships from that port.

This is not the first time these two unrelated events happen at the same time.

As far as building a new terminal on another island, has there been any major news about Carnival adding/removing islands? This change seems to have come along suddenly. Let us just see if Carnival returns to Antigua after a time.

Personally I didn't care for St. Maarten. I found the people to be unfriendly, especially the women who were by and large out and out hostile and resentful of Americans. Not a conviction of the entire island just my observation during the limited hours I spent on this island.

I prefer Antigua. I found the people to be friendly and open.
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Old September 30th, 2009, 11:23 AM
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There has been some buzz about the cruise lines building secretly in Cuba. I would assume that, if it is on the coast, Havana would be the ideal port if they do open up Cuba for Americans to travel to.
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Old September 30th, 2009, 12:27 PM
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Just finished reading the Antigua Sun online.

The general concensus in Antigua is that Carnival pulled the Victory as a direct result of this incident with the 6 passengers. Other islands have special police or liaisons in place to handle disputes that arise involving cruise passengers with the idea that if at all possible get those passengers back to the ship.

According to the local paper, the cab drivers and tour guides of Antigua of all experience a sharp drop in business as a result of this incidnt.

Carnival is not happy that this relatively minor incident has taken on a life of its own. The antiguan tourist ministry flew to Miami and are meeting with Carnival today (Wed) to see if they can convince Carnival not to pull the Victory. Carnival Victory accounts for 80% of Carnival's business to the island.

Message sent. Let's see what happens.
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Old September 30th, 2009, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad813
There has been some buzz about the cruise lines building secretly in Cuba. I would assume that, if it is on the coast, Havana would be the ideal port if they do open up Cuba for Americans to travel to.
I would cruise to Cuba in a heartbeat. They do have small cruise port but would need to expand it. It is amazing how we speak of freedom, yet are the only people on the planet NOT free to visit Cuba.

Pretty much any country except one is free to build port facilities in Cuba, so it may be happening.

On the other hand, Castro was very much against increasing cruise ships in Cuba. He indicated the passengers spend very little money and leave tons of their garbage behind. To support the anti-Castro movement, I think it is our duty to cruise to Cuba!
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