since i'm so cruise obsessed that i'm reading a dozen different chat sites like this one, i might as well start the "who's going" chain here.
my husband and i will be cruising the legend on 9/6. its our 4th cruise, 1st on carnival. we love disney cruises. weren't so impressed with royal carib (small, old boat, cold weekend so maybe not their best try).
we're celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary.
i'm so excited i can't wait! tivo'd every cruise show on the travel channel i can find. bought an out of date cruise travel guide at the library book sale.
My husband & I are cruising (first time) on this ship... Looking forward to it. It's a little "late honeymoon" (we never took one) & an "early anniversary" for us. Should be fun! Looking for all the info I can find..
there are a lot of us anniversary types on the ship, so it should be a good time! my husband, paul, and i are celebrating our 5th and are planning on hanging out a bit with another couple who we've met on cruisecritic message boards. (i think we're all fairly young...late 20s to mid 30s)
we're doing fins n flippers in roatan, xtreme cave tubing in belize and the same company's jet ski to stingray city excursion. we've got nothing planned for cozumel. we figure that will be an easy place to 'wing it'.
there is a group of people on cruisecritic who have one of those major tom excursions booked and they're looking for more people to join in. that board seems a little more active, although it also seems that the majority of participants there know each other from other cruises.
this is our first time on carnival. we did royal in february for a 3 day cruise and i was not impressed. have done disney cruise twice and LOVE it!
We haven't booked our excursions yet... I've been told from various people (1) book in advance, (2) book on board, and (3) book at the port on location. Not sure which to follow, but we were lucky enough to get the onboard credit when we booked our trip, so we may use that toward some of it (though I suspect going through an "outside" company might be cheaper, in the long run). What has been your experience with the other cruise companies?
We've been looking at the various excursions in each port. I'd REALLY love to do the cave float & zip line adventure in Belize, but my husband equally wants to do the Mayan ruins tour. I think we may go with the latter there since I, undoubtedly, will "get my way" on the other stops.
In Grand Cayman, I want to do Stingray City for sure (have only heard great things about it from people I know who have gone). There's another option to combine that with the dolphin encounter, so that may be a possibility - sounds wonderful & it's only another $20 or something like that.
In Roatan, I'm not 100% yet.. I've heard it's really beautiful there for snorkling, etc., so I may try to get a snorkling or snuba trip planned (I heard from a girl at my work who just got back over the weekend from all but Roatan that snuba - part scuba/part snorkling, but you don't have to be scuba certified, is really fun). Might be worth trying.
As far as Cozumel goes, there's the dolphin encounter there, too, so that might happen if we don't end up doing it in G.C. However, the girl from my work who just got back said they went to a beach there (I have the info on where, exactly, at home) & that it was a lot of fun. She said it was $40, but that included use of the beach, chairs, rafts, kayaks, etc., and all you could drink (alcohol). The ride there in a cab was apparently $30 for her cab, which was a van w/ 7 ppl in it, so it might be cheaper in a smaller cab.. that was each way. But, she said this was very relaxing, allowed them to explore a little bit & was overall really fun. I kind of wanted to do something a little more "involved" that I couldn't do elsewhere if not on the cruise, but I'm just not certain yet. Relaxing one of the days sounds good, too, since I checked again last night & it appears that we get into most of the ports at 7 or 8 in the morning... I am NOT an early riser!!! (especially after the night activities which we, undoubtedly, will have to partake in!)
We're in our early 30's too. Only our 1st anniversary as married, but we've been together closer to 10 yrs. We tried to get some of our friends to come with us on the cruise, but no one would commit, so it looks like it is just us. :-) Hopefully we'll find some people who are cool w/ similar interests onboard to hang out with. :-)
I've heard the Disney cruises are a LOT of fun. I actually heard RC ones are good, too, but they seemed kind of overpriced compared to the Carnival ones (hence why we booked this one). Hopefully this will be a great time! I'm SO looking forward to it! :-)
the excursions are generally cheaper if you book them on your own. you want to make sure you use a company that has good reviews on tripadvisor or cruisecritic. the excursion companies with good reps will make sure you get back to the boat on time. i don't think i would book anything stepping off the boat. it always seems so chaotic and high pressure. of course, the cruise line excursions are great, but i think the group size when booking on your own turns out to be a little smaller.
i have done the dolphin encounter in nassau and it was fun, but i did a dolphin SWIM in freeport and it was a near religious experience. i absolutely love dolphins. amazing animals. so if you can swing a swim, i would highly recommend it!
husbands are such a pain. that's why we're doing stingray city on jet skis. he's got no interest in stingrays. and i have no interest in holding onto him while he blasts over waves on a jet ski. compromise! he doesn't want to cave tube AT ALL, but i questioned his masculinity, so he's going.
i've also heard snuba is fun. i think that would scare the pants of my husband. he's not the best swimmer. we'll just snorkel off the fins and flippers island. i think roatan is your safest bet for booking an excursion with carnival. that country's a little unstable right now! finsandflippers.com
cozumel is our "wander through town" day. i will undoubtedly buy something silver. and if i can find a place like in nassau where i can buy a good knock off bag, i'm in! i've seen a lot of recommendations for cab-able destinations there, too. places like mr. sanchos or the money bar with step in snorkel spots and a good beer bar......
our experience with royal caribbean was probably just an unlucky one. the boat we booked was TINY. and a little dingy. (monarch of the seas) the food was mediocre at best. the staff was unenthusiastic. our day on their private island was canceled because the sea was too rough to tender in. so then they set up day activities which were PAINFULLY lame. the highlight was a crew vs. guest dodgeball game where the guests really took out their aggression on the cruise director and his assistant. oh, and the entertainment was TERRIBLE! the main show was a juggler. just one guy and three balls. seriously. the dance club was sad. the other club was for the older crowd, but if you like music 1940-1960, the band was good.
disney was absolute perfection. there is literally NOTHING i could even nit pic! super clean. great food. awesome shows. big room, big bathroom. private island was gorgeous. disney style, friendly staff. we went once with kid, once without. on the without, we could absolutely plan our day without running into any kids at all. and with the kid, my daughter was EAGER to ditch us to go to the kids club. they had several clubs in a cluster that were all fun, although they did tend to wrap up around 12:30 or 1. the friends we took the royal cruise with made it a drinking game that whenever i said "on the disney cruise...."
I agree with your cruisecritic post. We are DEFINITELY gonna have to meet up! It sounds like you & I will have a lot in common (ie the husbands!!!!) Mine is not too enthusiastic about any type of tubing adventure. We (a friend & I) convinced him to go on a "float trip" with us maybe 6 years ago & it wasn't the funnest float trip I'd been on (it was kind of cold, he had to pee in the water for lack of any place to really stop - which he absolutely refused to do!!! - and he got a sunburn - he's blonde & fair skinned)... so, ever since then, he's not been at all interested in any type of repeat experience. I LOVE float trips. In fact, my girlfriends & I went on one for my bachelorette party & it was a ton of fun (drunken fun, but fun nonetheless!). So, I'm gonna work on him to do the cave float in Belize if I can figure out where to alternatively do the ruins tour with him (sigh - compromise, right???). He wants nothing to do with the stingrays (he's afraid of a steve irwin repeat, i think), but wants to do the dolphin encounter (or swim).. so, the dual one is my compromise (kind of... I really want to go see the dolphins, too)! :-)
i like a float trip that doesn't involve camping! i've done the niangua river in missouri. we also go to lake of the ozarks a couple times a year (my dad lives there).
is he okay to pee in the ocean?
if you're interested this is the cave tubing we're doing http://www.belizecruiseexcursions.co...CaveTubing.htm
also in attendance will be mike and michelle from the cruise critic site. haven't actually met them, but what the heck! that's the one with the same bday as your hubby (or you?).
paul is also afraid of a steve irwin repeat!!! what is that all about??! one guy in a zillion who was likely messin' with the stingray dies and the ocean is suddenly off limits. i've shown paul pictures of toddlers playing with the stingrays and he's still whining about it!
haha Yeah, he'll probably complain about peein' in the ocean, too, but what the heck?!?! I think the float itself is only like 40 minutes (a little different than the typical 8 hrs down the river toting coolers of beer). :-)
I second the no camping. I kinda got over that when I was 10 or so. lol
We (meaning my friends and I, not the hubby - he won't go) stay in a hotel or a fully equipped cabin w/ electricity & AC when we go on float trips! :-)
I'll definitely talk to him about the floating. I think he'll like it - although he's a little apprehensive about the zip lining given that someone apparently fell from a broken cable last year & died. gotta love adventure in 3rd world countries!! (it was actually in Honduras, not Belize). I'm terrified of heights, but I figure, what the heck, I'll only live once... might as well try it all! :-)
The one w/ the same bday is my husband's bday.. (9/22). Mine's just after xmas (booo!)
I'm REALLY excited about the Stingray City thing. I think it will be great! If I get stabbed by a barb, hopefully I'll go fast! lol (I told my hubby the barbs were removed on these stingrays... hehe)
wait. i can still tote a cooler of beer in belize, right?
don't tell him someone drowned on the cave tubing, then. you will also want to avoid 'samantha brown's weekend in belize.' she did the cave tubing and had the nerve to say 'some caves are so large, you may be in total darkness for up to 15 minutes.' paul was like 'HAIL NO!'. i knew i should have previewed that show!! then she goes wandering into some grimy off the beaten path restaurant that served cow foot soup. ew. fortunately she wrapped the show by swimming with sharks in their coral reef with some hunky local. i offered swimming with the sharks as an alternate and the lazy river raft somehow looked better. don't know if it was that samantha truly was afraid to get in the water or that she grabbed the hunk when he finally coaxed her in, or the fact that the sharks were about 4 ft long.......
heights are not for me. i did the arch in st louis when i was about 13. i got off that elevator and literally could not move. i laid down on the floor until my mom and brother were ready to leave. we live outside chicago now and i've never been in the sears tower or the hancock bldg. there's just no way. there are clouds up there! that's just not right.
haha - I agree on the clouds thing! :-) I hit the bottom when I cliff dove when I was 17 or 18 (hit with my feet - I actually "dove" straight down, feet first)... ever since then, I've had "issues" with heights. But, I used to skydive (had to be pushed out of the rickety old planes), so I figure I can probably force myself to zip line.. probably. Though, I might end up stuck in the Belizian jungle on a platform too scared to move! :-)
Apparently not on Major Tom....
(the booze, that is... at least until AFTER the tour)