My husband, Alan and I are taking this fabulous cruise on the Solstice with the CM group. In this case. for us, the ship will be the "destination"! as we've already visited these three islands several times. This will be our first time sailing on a ship this new. We so excited to look around this ship.
This will also be my first time joining in a Cruise Mates cruise.
I've been a member for several years and have enjoyed reading all the informative posts and articles, but couldn't work one of the CM cruises into our schedule. This seemed like the perfect time to jump in.
Paul, if I can help with anything, please don't hesitate to contact me.
My e-mail is email@example.com.
Right now I am considering a pre-cruise party the night before we leave. I am think the Embassy Suites, because they run about $30 cheaper than the place we used to use, the former Marriot, now the Hilton Grande.
Any thoughts on this?
BTW: since we arwe still 5 months out, I am just getting strated on things, but the action will pick up soon.
I just found the Cruisemate web site and am very excited about it! We will be on the Nov. 30th Solstice Cruise (Jim and Genevieve Schreck...my nickname is Gene).
I ordered a booklet directly from Celebrity on the Solstice and received it in about 5 days... it is full of info!! AND, yesterday I was reading comments on another board and found lots of info and pictures from a VIP party Celebrity hosted this week...check it out: www.preismans.com and click on Solstice!! Tentative menus, daily newsletters, etc. can be seen in the photos!!
My husband and I are excited about our 1st cruisemate cruise. We have been on lots of cruises and lots of Celebrity Cruises, but not with a group. We are from the Seattle area. Our names are Judy and Denny Matsudaira, and look forward to meeting everyone from here. Can't wait!
We would like some suggestions on where to stay overnight pre-cruise. Where are all of you who are getting there the day before staying, and how do I get the best price.
All bus fees are $2.50 EC for a trip 5 miles and under, $3.00 EC for a trip 5 to 10 miles, and $3.75 EC for a trip over 10 miles. Rates from Nov. 2005. ($1 US = $2.7 EC) Eastern Caribbean $
No public buses travel southwards to the main resort areas in Frigate Bay and the South East Peninsula.
St. Maarten (Dutch) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Martin
History, Geography, Culture and Tourism, Weather, & Shopping. Taxis:
Taxis are widely available on the island. They have no meters, but all carry government-issued rate sheets with the prices for destinations throughout the island, based on two passengers per trip. The minimum rate is US$4 for one or two persons. An extra charge of US$2 will be added for each additional passenger. Rates rise 25 percent after 10pm and 50 percent after midnight. It is customary to tip drivers 10 to 15 percent. There are taxi stations at Wathey Square and Princess Juliana International Airport on the Dutch side, and near the tourist information bureau on the French side........................................... Buses:
Regular public transportation runs between the island's two capitals and minibuses serve some of the more popular island routes--Mullet Bay, Simpson Bay, Cole Bay, and Grand Case--from 7 am to midnight. Fares range from US$0.85 to $2.
Location: A Southern Gentleman (Southern California)
Bus Service, Sun Trolley, Water Taxi service
[b]AIRPORT BUS SERVICE http://www.broward.org/
Broward County Transit = (BCT)
Links to interactive maps/schedules, fares and routs..
FORT LAUDERDALE/HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
(BCT) Route # 1 Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. The bus stops on the ground level at Arrival Terminal #1, 2 and 3. Service is available 7 days a week including holidays [b][color=red]
Sun Trolley does not operate at the airport. When you get to the route of operation for Sun Trolleys, Just wave to the Sun Trolley Driver, [color=red]they will stop for you.
The Sun Trolley has a stop 1-block from Port Everglades North enterance, Celebrity Solstice is Mid Port about 3-blocks from Sun Trolley Stop at Convention Center.......[color=red] http://www.suntrolley.com/
Regular One-Way Fare $1.25
All day pass $3.25
10-ride pass $11.50 (expires on 10th ride).
WATER TAXI SERVICE http://www.watertaxi.com/FortLauderdale/FLLHome.Asp
(Effective May 5, 2008)
Family All-Day Pass $48.00
Includes 2 regular fares and up to 3 youth/senior tickets.
Regular All-Day Pass $13.00 Unlimited rides all day.
Senior/Youth/Disabled All-Day Pass $ 10.00
Seniors 65 and over, Youth 12 and under.
Proof of age / disability is required.
After 7pm Pass $ 7.00 Must be purchased on board after 7pm.
Web Site has complete datails on operations including Maps and stops.
1. Shooter's Waterfront Cafe,Taverna Opa, La Playa Intracoastal Beach
Club & Restaurant, Charley's Crab
2. Gallery One Galleria Mall
3. Seville Street (Beach Access) Sheraton Yankee Trader , Shula's On The Beach
4. Beach Place (Beach Access), Las Olas Marina , Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, Marriott's Beach Place Towers & Beach Place Entertainment Complex.
5. Bahia Mar (Beach Access),Oasis Cafe, Bahia Cabana.
6. Hyatt Pier 66, & Grille 66 (Five star Restaurant)
7. Convention Center Campus, Broward County Convention Center,
Fort Lauderdale Grande Hotel & Yacht Club and Renaissance Hotel.
NOTE: This is about four or five blocks from Solstice Pier.
8. 15th Street Fisheries, Lauderdale Marina.
9. SE 9th Ave., Mango's Restaurant, Shops of Las Olas.
10. Downtowner Saloon .
11. Las Olas Riverfront, River House, SW 2nd St Bars & Clubs
Location: A Southern Gentleman (Southern California)
Taxi cost in Fort Lauderdale
[b][size=7]Taxi Fares in Fort Lauderdale as of July 2008
All information is based on current availible web-sites and google maps.
Your cost may vary depending on all varible circumstances with traffic and street routes traveled.
[size=18]Fuel Surcharge Add $1.00 per passenger
The fees for metered fares are as follows: $4.50 for the first 1/6 mile, (includes the $2.00 airport origination fee) and $.40 each additional 1/6 mile which equals $6.90 for the first mile and $2.40 for each additional mile. Waiting time is $.40 per minute.
[b][color=blue]Ft Lauderdale/Hollywood Int'l Airport To Port Everglades (Solstice Terminal) MID PORT.
This is an approximate 10-minutes taxi ride to security gate.
The Sun Trolley for cruising around Port Everglades. They stop at Shopping Centers, Restaurants, Day Spa's, Bars.
Just wave to the Sun Trolley driver, they will stop for you, $1.25 per person per ride or day pass $3.25
Note: [color=blue]The private shuttle vans at the Airport and Port Everglades charge approximatly the same as taxi's, avoid them, you'll wait while they fill the entire van and load everybodys luggage, same when they unload, if your luggage is buried in the back of the shuttle van, you'll wait again for them to retrive your bags.
If your flight is in the last terminal, you'll wait again while they drop off everybody at the closer terminals.
Location: A Southern Gentleman (Southern California)
UPDATED CHARGES FROM AIRLINES!
Cruise Mates, web-link at bottom is your updated baggage limits and EXTRA cost that Airlines are charging, these charges will change.
1-pound over the weight restriction of (50-lbs) on Delta, will cost $80, Oversized bags are $150
United charges $125.00 for being 1-lb over weight on first bag.
For travel worldwide on United, you may carry on one bag and one personal item such as a purse, briefcase, or laptop computer.
A carry-on bag must fit under your seat or in the overhead bin.
Carry-on bag dimensions should not be more than 9 x 14 x 22 in (22 x 35 x 55 cm) (length x width x height) or 45 linear inches* (112 linear cm).
*linear measurement = length + width + height
United may require that a carry-on item travel as checked baggage if the item cannot be safely stowed on a particular flight.
Charges and fee's on 1st bag, 2nd bag, over-weight bags and over-size bags are from July 2008, these charges will change.
Make sure you meet the airline check-in requirements.
Luggage that does not meet the minumum check-in time may be loaded on another flight.
You can view aircraft and seating on the following web-site http://www.seatguru.com/
Airlines may change aircraft, you should always confirm seating, boarding gates and final departure time 24 hours before your flight and PRINT your boarding PASS the night before.
....thank you for all the GREAT information!! We really appreciate all the info you have been providing for our upcoming cruise......before you know it we'll all be aboard the new X Solstice and having an amazing vacation!
[size=6]To name a few women's outlet stores at Sawgrass Mills:
Ann Taylor Factory Store, Anne Klein, Barneys New York Outlet, BCBGMAXAZRIA, bebe, Bon Worth (VF Outlet), Caché Outlet, Charlotte Russe, Erdos Cashmere, Escada Company Store, Feraud/Rosch, Juicy Couture, Kasper, Kenneth Cole Outlet Store, Nordstrom Rack, Lane Bryant Outlet, (VF Outlet)Liz Claiborne Outlet, Max Mara Outlet, Neiman Marcus Last Call,Ralph Lauren, St. John Company Store, United Colors of Benetton Factory Outlet, Valentino, Vertigo, Victoria's Secret & Lily of France
(Broward County Transit) http://www.broward.org/bct/riderinfo.htm
From Broward Central Terminal, take Routes # 22 to Route # 88 to Sawgrass Mills Mall
THE GALLERIA AT FORT LAUDERDALE
Around 15 minutes from Port Ever Glades
Easy access using the Sun Trolley
Welcome to The Galleria, two levels of shopping & restaurants in a mall setting. http://www.galleriamall-fl.com/
Go to the TOURISM link:
Galleria Welcome Card -- it's worth a free gift! Print the page on web site and present it at Galleria Guest Services located on the upper level near Dillard's to receive a coupon book with offers from many great Galleria stores. Phone : (954) 564-1015
[size=4]Shop & Play Package Includes:
1) Signature Galleria tote bag.
2) Complimentary Signature “Blue Martini” at the Galleria Blue Martini. 8)
3) Complimentary Galleria’s $$$ Coupon Book filled with special offers.
Pre-cruise night party: Nov 29, Fort Laud. Grande Hotel 8:00
Welcome to the first email to come out to the entire CruiseMates group of cruisers going on Celbrity Solstice Novenber 30, 2008. This is the first time I have touched base, so I just want to say "Hi" to all of you and thank you for joining us.
I am the host (Me, Paul Motter, editor of the site CruiseMates) along with my wife Lou Ann. This will be the first cruise we have ever hosted, and we know you are used to Kuki or Mike Mastellar. This is our first time hosting, but we are very willing to give it a try.
We were are staying at the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Hotel (because the room was under $150) but we can have the pre-cruise night get-together at any of the following:
Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Hotel -- 1617 Southeast 17th Street
Embassy Suites at 1100 SE 17th St.
Fort Lauderdale Grande Hotel and Yacht Club - 1881 SE 17th Street **
Normally - the group has their party poolside at the #3 above: 1881 SE 17th St. This is fine with us - we can all meet there. If anyone already has plans to stay there can you please let me know so we know we have al teasy some of the people in our group staying there.
This would be on November 29, Saturday night. - generally about 8:00 p.m. (after dinner). Then we will pass out information on how we can all meet once we get on the ship. I have the email address of almost everypne who has booked.
If you want to email me back - please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you online. PLEASE use the message board as it is the best way to keep in touch with everyone in the group.
Below is where we are staying - because we found a room for under $150/night.
Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Hotel
1617 Southeast 17th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
More hotel information
The reason is that they are cheaper per night than the place we used to meet - at the Crown Marriot (now the Crowne Hilton you can still get rooms there at $199 per person. The Grande Hotel & Yacht club looked to be about $249 per night.
Hi everyone. Elaine and I (Steve) will be going on our first CM trip. We are very excited, Our vote would be the Renaissance for the party. We are planning to book there today.
Any computer nuts or phtographers going? My wife and I are fanatic about those two subjects. We also love to play cards. Tees would b e great as well as laynards. What is with the door picture? I have down loaded it. Why put it on your door?
Looking forward to the trip. See you all soon.
Steve & Elaine email@example.com
Wayne & Trudy wrote to me to ask about a hospitality desk. Here is how i replied...
The number one reason we have for putting CruiseMates group cruises together is to offer our readers the best prices possible; which we certainly accomplished in this case. This means that unlike groups where you pay a premium for extra activities once onboard, our activities don't add anything to the cost of your cruise. We only offer informal get-togethers to allow our readers to meet and greet.
The CruiseMates group won't have a hospitality desk because that is not the kind of group CruiseMates operates. That would cost us extra money (for the space and for people to operate it).
We will try to maintain a presence onboard with a non-official "hospitality desk" on the pool deck (in the shade) during the day on sea days. We will make our phone & cabin number available, plus we will have everyone's cabin numbers and will keep everyone informed of our informal get-togthers by dropping notes and invitation to your stateroom throughout the cruise.
There is one cocktail party planned where we will probably offer some champagne or another beverage, and we will put together other activities onboard and a shoreside event as well, but they won't have open bars or anything like that. Some of the onboard events we will possibly try include karaoke or trivia games. It is up to the crowd to give us ideas and tell is what they might like.
With a CruiseMates cruise you get chances to meet other people before you cruise in our message boards and after you get onboard, but there is no forced socializing. You are free to come and go as you please, to participate fully or not at all. If you don't get involved at all, you still saved plenty of money on the price of your cruise.
Our group rates were about 20% cheaper than what this cruise is selling for now. Too bad we sold it out because we still have people who want to join.
I got a phone call from one of our group asking me if we had a group rate at any hotel for the pre-cruise night. The answer is, "no, we don't. Sorry!"
We are tentatively planning to have the pre-cruise party at the Crowne Hilton, and if anyone is staying there will you please contact me? If no one is staying there, we may move the location. My wife and I are staying next door at the Renaissance because it was almost 1/2-price.
Anyway, the truth is, I am not the person to be calling with reservation-related questions. The group has a travel agent who is handling all of our details for this cruise, and that is Nancy Bogert. Here is Nancy's contact information for those of you who may need it:
Nancy S. Bogert, MCC
900 Grampian Blvd
Williamsport, Pa 17701
I have just booked a room at the Renaissance and since they do not have a free shuttle, Is CM going to make arrangements for us, even at a cost? From airport and Hotel.
Steve Schillinger firstname.lastname@example.org
I am sorry that we don't have any shuttle plans right now, because people seem to be staying at so many different places. If that changes I will certainly let you know, though.
Taxis to the ship should be very inexpensive as the port is literally across the street. I would expect the taxi fare to be under $10 per ride, which you can share with other cruisers if you want - pretty hard to beat!
Location: A Southern Gentleman (Southern California)
Hotels SOLD OUT!
[b]HOTEL SOLD OUT confirmed on OCT. 26, 2008.
Hyatt Place Ft. Lauderdale Airport-North
1851 SE 10th Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316, USA
Phone: 954 763 7670
Fax: 954 763 6269 http://ftlauderdaleairport.place.hya...lace/index.jsp
AAA Promo Rate
Check-in: Sat 29 Nov, 2008 - Check-out: Sun 30 Nov, 2008
2 Adults 1 Room
$132.09 Includes Taxes
Cancel By 4 PM (EST) Day prior to Arrival.
Located just 3 miles from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and 1.25 miles to Port Everglades (cruise port) (SOLSTICE MID PIER).
Complimentry shuttle Service Airport/Port Everglades 6:30 am to Midnight. Hyatt Place guests will have a guestroom with a 42" flat panel high-definition television, signature Hyatt Grand Bed™, a sofa sleeper that is separated from the sleeping area.
Free access to a public internet linked computer and printer. Hyatt Place cafe has signature hot breakfast entrees for a charge along with Starbucks® specialty coffees or enjoy a free continental breakfast. Hyatt Place cafe also sales made-to-order entrees, sandwiches, soups, salads and pizza which guests can order 24 hours a day, seven days a week via a touch screen menu below. http://ftlauderdaleairport.place.hya...place_menu.pdf
The complimentary Stay Fit® fitness center, the cardio machines let users watch their TV programming while exercising.
Rooms have WiFi, refirgerator and coffee maker
Hyatt guarantees to provide the lowest on-line bookable rate for room reservations at Hyatt Hotels available to the general public on the Internet, subject to the following terms and conditions:
If you find a publicly available and immediately bookable room-only rate on the Internet for a Hyatt Hotel ("Competing Rate") that is lower than the room rate available for the same reservation on http://www.hyatt.com (i.e., same hotel, same type of room, same number of guests, same dates of stay and same length of stay), then prior to or within 24 hours of booking the reservation on http://www.hyatt.com, please call Hyatt Hotels & Resorts at 1-888-96 HYATT (1-888-964-9288) or 402-593-5445.
Once Hyatt confirms the availability of the Competing Rate on the Internet, subject to room availability at the applicable Hyatt Hotel, Hyatt agrees to match the Competing Rate for the same reservation, plus discount an additional twenty percent (20%) off the room rate for the duration of the stay being so reserved.
This Guarantee does not apply to: Priceline and Hotwire. Qualified discount rates including, but not limited to, Government, AAA or Senior Citizen Discounts.
Unpublished, negotiated rates are not publicly available are not included.
This Guarantee applies only to the room rate.
If you have already booked a prepaid stay on Hyatt.com, and find a Competing Rate that meets the Guarantee terms and conditions set forth here, then Hyatt will refund the full amount originally charged to your credit card for the rate booked on Hyatt.com
This Guarantee is subject to change or revocation at anytime.
These restaurants are with-in 5 to15 minutes walking distance of Hyatt Place:
R J Gators Bistro @ 1901 Cordova Rd. FT. Lauderdale, FL. 33316
Phone (954)524-1458 Seafood, chicken, pasta. menu. http://www.rjgators.com/
They have complementry mirmosa's on Sunday's before noon with breakfest.