Shows were also better than the last trip. One night there was a comedian not bad but family oriented. One night they had the Drifters. One night Ben Vereen, two nights of the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers. Another comedian/singer from Branson. Two days of the Ice under the Big Top. Two on Wednesday and two on Friday. You have to get tickets but no one checks them. It is just to stop everyone going to the first show. By Friday it is not crowded.
Still a cover charge at Johnny Rockets. 3.95
On the excursions we had already done this before (eastern). We just rented taxis in all the ports and did Island tours. Shopping In St Marteen was cheaper than St Thomas. Vodka 5.00.
If you have been before I think you will find the food better. The dining room food seemed to be much hotter when you got it. The deserts were good. Also the Windjammer had improved although I am not a great fan of buffets it seemed better. They were actually bringing out a new lunch menu on our last day which they said had more variety. In St Thomas I think we paid about 60 dollars. We always just do a local taxi - no waiting in lines. Megans bay was very crowded. Wanted to go to St Johns but we were late getting in as we had to turn around after we left Nassau to take a sick crew member back so that ran us about 3 hours late and I am always paranoid about missing the ship.
There doesn't seem to be much to do in Nassau, and we're paranoid about being left behind if we do our own excursions (esp on the first day!), given the crazy times in port of 7 am - 2 pm... So we were thinking of the RCCL powerboat excursion in Nassau - any thoughts if you heard any feedback?
And we were planning on finding nice beaches with water sports availble in St. T and St M - any suggestions? thanks!
p.s. on which islands do we change the time?
pps - also - did you notice which car rental agencies are at the port? we're renting a car from Orlando and then staying at a hotel in Port C. the night before and I couldn't figure out which car rental agencies would be more convenient....
Can't believe it's almost here!
We rented from Budget. The return location is across the street from the port and they are very nice and friendly. We dropped the car off at 9 a.m., thinking we'd have to wait for a shuttle bus to fill up. Since we were the first ones there, they asked us if we wanted to go early because they were on their way to the port to pick up people. We got to the port at 9:30 a.m
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
7 night Eastern Caribbean
It wasn't rough leaving PC but on the way back it was a little rough crossing the Gulf Stream. We had bad weather when we arrived at PC so that did not help. It was actually a very smooth trip. In Nassau you can do a whole tour of the Island in an hour. They will take you to Atlantis and you can see the sights there at the same time. There isn't much time to do anything and the shopping isn't great.
Thanks for answering, another cruise site had me thinking we were going to be hanging on for dear life leaving Port Canaveral. Being that we have only been on two other cruises and the fact that I have two kids had me ready to bring the contents of CVS with me.
We went to Megans Bay on St Thomas. Only a $6.00 cab ride from the boat. It was very crowded with all the cruise ships being in. The last time we went to Sapphire beach which was a little further I think an 8 dollar ride. That was not quite so crowded.
St Marteen we really just went to the beach in the town although I know there are some good beaches Orient etc. It would just be nice to find one with no one on it and feel like you were in the Caribbean!!! I know when I have not been on a cruise ship and rented a car you can find some great secluded places. St Thomas they drive on the left so makes it a bit more challenging with the narrow roads!! I guess the further you go from the port the more likely you can get aways from the crowds. I think there were 7 boats in the day we were there thats a lot of people hitting the beaches.
About the Thriller power boat tour in Nassau: my dad, brother and husband all did it and it was a nasty rough day (it was 2 days after Christmas, the town was closed due to Boxing Day, and it was cold, dreary and windy). The seas were very rough, but they had a great time! They managed to score a spot up front so they were able to stay dry, unlike some people! I believe they toured the harbour, around Atlantis and not sure where else. I wouldve gone ( we are all boaters) but someone had to watch the 3 yr old and I won being pregnant!
thanks for the info! waht time are the ice shows? if we have late seating and Friday night is formal night but we want to go to the ice show can we see the show nad have time to change before the late seating? assuming the ice shows are on the earlier side (before or during late dinner?) or should we try to go another night? and what time do they usually have the other shows? whne you were in Nassau dock time says 8-2 so what time did you actually get off the ship and what time do you need to be back?
Ice shows were on 7.00 and 9.00 on Wednesday and at 5.00 and 7.00 on Friday. You have to get tickets I believe they offered them at 2.00 on Monday outside the Studio B. We also went to the guest relations desk and got some there too. No one collects them when you go in. We went 3 times as my daugher loves it. On Friday no crowds. The other shows are 9.00 for early sitting and 10.30 for late. On two nights they had the shows at 7.00 for late sitting people. Nassau you can get off at just after eight and have to be back on at 1.30.
Thanks so much for all of this great info, everyone! We are headed off on the Mariner on May 1 and have never been on a cruise before...I have a few questions if you don't mind...
On another post, you mentioned that you had a balcony stateroom. How was the space, comfortable enough for three people? Was the balcony worth the cost? Also, any tips, shortcuts, good things to know for first timers for this particular ship and ports?
We realy enjoy the balcony. Our kids have an inside room opposite us and they always sleep in as you can't tell if its night or day.. It is nice to take binoculars and look at all the islands as you sail up to them. Also to look at the ships you are next to in port. You get to hear the sea all night if you leave your door open and eat breakfast out there. It is hard to get a chair by the pool on sea days unless you get there early and if you are not a sunbather you can always enjoy the good weather on your balcony. It is extra money and a personal choce but we love it. We had a D2 which I believe is a little bigger than an E. I think the sofa seats 3 instead of 2. I believe for 3 people in a balcony cabin you have a bunk over the main bed or a pull out sofa. The cabin is not huge but well laid out and if you are tidy it is fine.
As for tips - you can get on board at 11.00 so get there early and enjoy the first day. Don't buy any photographs until the last day. The first time we bought all of them as soon as we saw them. This time we waited and just chose the best. They will be outside Studio B until the last day. We always take bottled water. I think I read that on these boards and it was a good tip - it is good for the islands and just to keep in your room. They charge 2 dollars for water on board. If you are flying its not an option but we drive so don't worry about weight. We also find that you meet the most people at breakfast and lunch when you eat in the main dining room. Always enjoyed lunch in the main dining room over the Windjammer. We don't do the casino or Bingo so can't give you any tips there apart from its 35 dollars for card to play bingo and no one ever seems wins the jackpot until the last day. Maybe thats why we can afford a balcony!!!!
Anyway if you can think of anything else and I can answer I will be happy to.
We left on the Mariner out of PC last April and tho I'm prone to
being seasick, did not notice that is was rough at all...leaving
or coming back...it was a pretty smooth...our 11 yr. old granddaughter
was with us, and she had no problem, either.
in being a johnny rockets fan, i wanted to know exactly what the cover charge means. does is just cover food and shakes? can you use your drink card in johnny rockets? and is it worht the $3.95 service charge? i am going may 22 and i love johny rockets at home and prbly will love it on the cruise.
You can get anything to eat - except shakes for the cover charge. Yes you can use your drink card for Sodas. If you are a Crown and Anchor member you will get one coupon in your booklet to use in JR to waive the cover charge.
Looks like you are starting your 1st cruise on the right foot by picking a ship (a floating resort actually) with all the bells and whistles. As for Port Canaveral it's one of my favorite ports to embark on - lovely place, If when disembarking from the ship and your flight is past 4PM you might consider a land tour sponsored by the ship which takes you on a guided tour to the Canaveral Space Shuttle Exhibit which is just down the road apiece. From there the bus will take you to the airport; this excursion I believe will cost about $70. Not bad considering it would cost you about $30 one way (55 miles to Orlando Airport).
Another tour worth taking and about the only one interesting in Nassau is a tour to Atlantis which is only about 1-2 miles from the port. You don't really have to take the ship's tour since there are plenty of reliable port tour vendors - this should cost about $25 - fairly inexpensive. Save your shopping for St Thomas or St Marten. In some instances the ship itself is the destination - lots to do. By the way, reserving an outside balconey cabin is not a bad idea especially for a first time cruise.....nothing like having room service coffee and whatever on your balconey while watching the sun rise or set on the ocean. Oh yeah , you can also dry your clothes out there. My sister and I got a real good promotional deal for an outside balconey on the Mariner sailing May 1-8 which is the same sailing you are taking.
Some tips I might offer having taken 27 cruises on all the major cruise lines big ships/small ships from a great many ports (Canaveral is one of the better ones) to many diverse destinations are these:
Water: Take your bottles of water and "refill them" at the water coolers; why pay $2-$4
for water when you don't have to. Besides if you were to dine on land while in
port contrary to public opinion drinking water is safe in reputable restaurants.
Dining: You might like to try some of the local dining establishments while in port, but I can tell you for a fact that with few exceptions dining and service doesn't get any better than on the ship plus it's already paid for - save your money for souvenirers. You can take your lunch break on the ship easily enough then continue your sightseeing/shopping back on shore. The port cities are very close to the ships in all three port stops. It might be a good idea to tour the ship and especially the theatre to see how long it takes you to get somewhere (they have maps of the ship) and to visualize where you might want to sit in the theatre which appears to have good visuals.
You might want to get to the theatre a bit early for choice seating; take something to read.
Liquor: I believe a lot of the ships allow you to take bottles of wine on board however don't try to take liquor on board in an open bag; you won't see it until you depart the ship.
Soooo you might want to cushion it inside your suitcase and nobody will give you a problem. If for some reason you want to buy booze in say St Thomas then you might buy say Gator Aid,dump the contents,refill it with whatever then sail past the people who will check your shopping bags before you reenter the ship. In the same vein keep track of how much beverage you consume because there is a hefty service charge which will show up on you billing statement the end of the cruise. Then of course you may not drink.
Tours: Ask about these from "seasoned" fellow travelers on the ship; what tips they may have.
One other thing call Royal Caribbean and ask them about "Express Check-In. This. will expedite the boarding process for you - it can be done on your computer. And lastly have a blast on this cruise because I know I will. Maybe my sister and I might meet you on the Mariner - who knows?...............Tom Mark
We just did Carnival's new Valor and visited St. Thomas. We booked a Godfrey tour, on our own. He was awsome. Everyone on the tour had heard of him through CC. He charges $20 per person collected at the end of the tour. He meets you at your boat, ship time, either 9, 10, or 11. Takes you into town to do your shopping, pick you up there at noon to start the tour. You get a full island tour, the highest point on the island, and then either back to your boat or you get 2 hours beach time at your choice of Magens Bay, Coki or Sapphire Bay. He then picks you up and still gives you a bit of a tour on your way back to the boat. Back around 4pm, and all this for $20.
Check his website: firstname.lastname@example.org