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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 26th, 2005, 01:22 PM
katco
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Default We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please!

My family is already booked on the Opera easter week. Please help us make the most of this week. If anyone has sailed this route and can give us tips to better enjoy the ship and good restaurant sitting locations and crew please help. Also input on shore excursions and great snorkeling beaches would be great! Thanks katco
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old February 28th, 2005, 06:58 AM
jackieL
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Default Re: We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please!

Hi, we are also booked Easter week on that same cruise. We are bringing two of our kids ages 19 and 16. any chance you are also bringing teens?
Jackie
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Old February 28th, 2005, 05:38 PM
katco
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Default Re: Re: We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please!

Sorry, my kids are 9 & 12. Hope to see you on the ship! We are hoping to have a great time . Do you have any good suggests for the ports of call? Kat
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Old February 28th, 2005, 07:03 PM
wayne lannon
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Default Re: We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please!

We are also on the same cruise and are interested in receiving answers to the same questions. We are a family of five which includes children 16, 12, & 10. From what I have read, there should be plenty of kids.
Looking forward to warm weather!
Wayne
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Old March 1st, 2005, 07:06 AM
jackieL
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Default Re: We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please!

Reading on various message boards suggests Maegens Bay or Coki Beach in St Thomas. If with a family there is a place called Coral World (paid admission) next to Coki Beach. A coupon is available at their web site. Snorkeling and water sports at both. San Juan it is suggested that people simply take in the town and visit a fort at night. Looking forward to the trip and yes warm weather!
Jackie
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 09:47 AM
HW22
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Default Re: Re: We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please!

My wife and I, and son (8) will be on this cruise. Don't think the fort will be open in San Jaun at night while we are there. I've been doing a lot of research and it looks like a day trip to Cinnamon Bay looks to be the best bet while in St. Thomas/St. John (that is if you are into snorkeling and laying on a beach with the family). The Atlantis resort/Blue Lagoon in Nassau looks good too. While in St. Croix I think my wife and I will rent a jeep and drive around the island, check out a few beaches (Cane Bay I hear is nice), etc. Don't think there will be much time to do much else while there.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 06:45 PM
jackieL
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Default Re: We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please!

Thanks for that information. I also read that Atlantis resort is a good stop as well as Cane Bay. Hadn't heard of Cinnamon Bay but sounds like a winner!
Jackie
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Old March 4th, 2005, 12:42 AM
William Alford
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Default Re: We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please!

In St Thomas the St John Beach Tour is what I suggest. You take a ferry over to St John and then spend a few hours at Trunk Bay. For Pictures of Trunk Bay please see my pictures at this link http://www.cruise-forums.com/gallery/view.php?id=2292. Trunk Bay is much nicer than Meagans Bay or Cinnamon Bay. Meagans Bay is incredibly crowded almost all the time. Cinnamon Bay is nice but Trunk bay is really the Best! If you have any questions feel free to ask.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 08:15 PM
funtraveler
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Default Re: We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please!

Those looking for tour info for MSC Opera, please check your email. The second transmission has the list.
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Old March 6th, 2005, 08:30 AM
jackieL
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Default Re: We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please!

Thanks for the information via email -it was very helpful!
Does anyone know if you can order a taxi from the ship if you want to venture out on your own or are there taxi's waiting at the ports? Seeing as this is our first cruise we feel at a loss for these details. Any recommendations on early or late seating? If we do late seating will we still be able to attend evening shows?
Someone mentioned renting a jeep, how much does that run for the day?
Thanks,
Jackie
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Old March 6th, 2005, 12:34 PM
jcohen
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Default Re: We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please!

Taxis are readily available at every port. If you decide to take a taxi make sure you negiotate the rate before you leave for your destination make sure it is very clear what you will pay before you get into that taxi. Early or late seating is a matter of personal preference. The advantage to late seating is that you arent rushed to get ready for dinner after a day in port. Either way you will see the shows because they do each show 2 times each evening, one for early seating at around 8:45PM and then another show for late seating at around 10:45PM. Renting a vehicle in the Caribbean can be very expensive. Often times you will see a rate quoted that seems reasonable but the insurance down there can at times exceed the daily rental rate. If you decide to rent a vehicle please be aware of the fact that the rules of the road are very different down there, basically there are no rules. People drive absolutely crazy down there and most of the roads are 2 lanes, and depending on the island winding roads are very common. Tourists are often involved in accidents down there. When I was in St John I saw a jeep that had driven off the road and fallen down a very steep hill about 300 ft straight down. No word on the fate of the passengers but im sure it wasnt good.
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Old March 9th, 2005, 09:28 AM
Debra
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Default Re: We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please!

I just returned from the Feb. 26- Mar.5 Opera sailing and I can tell you it was wonderful! The ship is beautiful and clean, well maintained. The crew is mostly Italian and they interact with passengers well. I did not encounter any significant language problems. Our table was in L'Approdo, which we found to have a great staff that gave us excellent service. I hear you can fax the maitre'd a table request a couple of days before you sail and they are very accommodating. Just specify where you would like - windows starboard or window table in the fantail, as well as the size of table. The food is great - we ordered from all course selections to get a taste of everything.

Ports of Call - San Juan: We arrived in the evening on a Monday when a lot of things were closed. We didn't do any offered excursions - we wandered around the plaza and ended up having a great dinner at a place called Mojito's then made a stop at Seņor Frogs. We browsed a few shops before returning to the ship, where we found a flamenco show going on at the pool with the midnight buffet following.

St. Thomas: shopping is great but I recommend the island tour. If you can get there early in the day, spend $20 to go around the island and stop at Magan's Bay or Sapphire Beach - should be great snorkeling. Also you will be able to plunk down $3 and get a ferry from Red Hook over to St. John. Just as a sidenote - if you want to pick up some less expensive sodas or other grocery items for the ship - have a taxi drop you at the Pueblo (local grocery market) on the way back to the ship. Prices are very reasonable and I walked back to the ship which was in sight the whole time.

St. Croix - I got there late into our alotted time so all I did was check out a couple of towels outside the ship and took the bus ride from the ship to the end of the pier then paid $3 to take a taxi to Rainbow Beach. It was not crowded at all and they had live music and a beach bar, some lounge chairs on the beach. Bring water shoes here - the hurricanes have taken away some sand at the shoreline and it is a little rocky but that didn't deter anyone from having a lot of fun in the water!

The shows on the ship are great - try to catch Enrico Scotto. There was a piano/violin performance that was outstanding too. So much to do and so little time! The whole experience was an A+ in my book. I traveled with 3 girlfriends so if you have any more questions, one of us will surely be able to answer them. --D
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Old March 9th, 2005, 02:39 PM
katco
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Default Re: Re: We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please!

Thank you D! I feel better hearing some details on the ship and ports of calls. Can you give me any more advise about the ferry to St. Johns. Do we have plenty of time to do that.? My family loves to snorkel and I have heard this is a great beach for that . Also have you experienced the ship spa? / massage? I would rather not use the ships excursions and want to find the easiliest way to the best beaches. Any help is appreciated! Thanks kat
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Old March 9th, 2005, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Re: We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please!

I just got back from the Opera cruise and I wanted to let you know that transportation is always waiting at the ship to take you into town. I think the average cost was 3.50 each and in St. Croix there was no charge from the ship to the town which was only at the end of the long pier.
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Old March 9th, 2005, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please

If you want to go to Atlantis, negotiate with a registered tourguide who will be waiting outside the customs/immigration area next to the ship. For $20 each we got a 2 hour plus tour which included Atlantis. I heard that someone decided to go on their own and they paid $29 just to see the Atlantis Aquarium. I can't verify this but we felt we got a good deal the tourguide was really cool. His name was Innocent.
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Old March 11th, 2005, 04:36 PM
wayneL
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Default Re: We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please!

I have two questions that I hope someone can help me with.
I read that people have faxed their restaurant requests in advance of boarding. Does anyone know if this works, and if so, would you share the fax number.
What is your best advice for renting snorkeling equipment for a day at Trunk Bay?
Any help would be appreciated.
Wayne
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old March 11th, 2005, 09:08 PM
jcohen
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Default Re: We need input on eastern caribean cruise, please!

The snorkeling eqipment is rented right there at trunk bay by a park service concession. A park ranger gives you a very informative lecture before getting in the water and doing the underwater marked trail. Not sure of the cost because it was included in the price of the tour. Cant help with the fax number...didnt use it.
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