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CarolandNate

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About CarolandNate

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    MA
  • Interests
    Sports, Politics, Music, Food
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Alaska, thus far

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  1. Is that a rule? If so, I did not know that. While I want to get it out there for people in my roll call, would others on the cruise, not necessarily in the roll call, be aware of these excursions. Does posting in the roll call also capture those that are looking more generally
  2. As we approach our cruise date in December, we are trying to get a better take on what we might expect on certain ports of call. We are taking one via the ship, Princess, that begins with a drive to San Felipe Castle. The itinerary says photo stop and further in, it says time at the suite is 15 minutes. Taking that literally, that sounds like we get there, have time to walk around for a few minutes or so, take pictures. Certainly does not seem like enough time to climb to the top or is it. Also how steep is the climb? After that it goes to Los Bovedas (10 minute drive?), but it appears to be drive by, as the itinerary does not say anything about stopping. Then it's 15 more to Casa Nunez, where we pick up a horse and carriage that will apparently take us around the old city for an hour. Given that it is followed by a half hour of free time in the old city, I am assuming that the horse and carriage ride will end at Los Coches near the clock tower. From there, the attractions look like they are very close to one another, the Gold Museum, Bolivar Statue, Inquisition Palace, etc. Very much within walking distance. Also I am guessing that the horse and carriage will go down streets and we will get a view of things that way. I would like to think there are people on Cruise Critic who know the city and these attractions. Hopefully they can reply to this and advise us. I did see some one who very specifically addressed this topic and I would like to reply to them. But I cannot find a way to do so. Perhaps I am missing something. I am also not naming that person in this post, as I am not sure about the protocol on doing that. So any help would be appreciated. An additional part of this is as I said, is that this is a Princess excursion. We are seriously thinking about expanding it and finishing up on our own. The whole excursion is four hours and would get us back to the ship by 12:30. We don't leave until 5:00. Following the carriage ride there is 1/2 hour of free time and then it is another half hour of getting back to meeting point and the trip back to the ship by bus. That sounds like it is about 11:30 when the carriage ride ends. Our master plan is to let them know not to wait for us to get back to the ship. We would use that hour (free time plus travel time) and stick around for an hour or two more and tour on our own, perhaps stop for lunch. The old city is perhaps a mile and a half from the ship and I hear that cabs are plentiful and cheap. I would imagine that as long as we left by 3:00, we would be back with plenty of time to spare. That is also assuming that we could last that long. And we still leave the option of not breaking from the tour and go back with them. So can anyone help?
  3. I have been involved with a roll call for my particular cruise, Panama Canal-LA to FtL and get emails and notifications when one of those people write in. That part is fine. I have also been getting emails and notifications for the one going the other way immediately following. While I appreciate back and forth that I see, it is not quite so relevant. How do I change things. so I don't get email notifications for that trip
  4. It is confusing, isn't it? I have a 15 day in December and I am really thinking that between the two of us, we are going to need more than one anyway. If that's the case, we might just go ahead and order the second one ahead of time, so we each have one and there is no issue. If we have a lot left towards the end, I guess we can indulge or we can treat our new found friends.. I really don't want to be thinking every day, should I or shouldn't I. That's not the point of a cruise.
  5. Sorry if that came out as if you made that comment. I reworded my question using the Princess website info.
  6. Room pass card, medallion, but the same rules apply, right? Ours BTW is not a medallion ship
  7. On the Princess website it says What is Included The package includes the pre-purchase of a specified number of specialty coffees (numbers vary by itinerary) during the voyage of purchase, as well as complimentary brewed coffee and hot chocolate. Package Details and Qualifications Coffee packages cannot be sold or otherwise transferred to any individual. Pre-purchased specialty coffees may be shared, but complimentary brewed coffee, teas and hot chocolate continue to be limited to the purchaser. I took that to mean that if my wife had a package in her name that she can get I can get her beloved chai latte, being a specialty drink and I can also get a drink, say a frappacino, or that package and each would count against the 15. But that something like a fresh brewed coffee, only she could get, but I could not, since I am not the purchaser. Bottom line, that when we went to the IC to get her chai, I could not get a fresh brewed if we had only one package. I was thinking that to be able to get unlimited fresh brewed, I would have to have my own package with a separate 15 specialties. Then the question would be, is it worth it to have a package for each of us, where we would have 30 specialties to work from.
  8. So all passengers get medallions and they work off that
  9. I think you are reading the post correctly, given the answer. You mention putting the package on the medallion. Does everyone get a medallion to put it on. Two years ago, as you know, there was a card that was punched and either of us could use it. Pretty simple. There appear to be new rules. I want to be honest and not game the system. I read that the specialty drinks count against the 15 and fresh brewed stuff is free to the person who has the card (account). But that can't be shared. So bottom line assuming there is a medallion. She gets the card (account) in her name with 15 drinks. I can, at the same as we get a specialty drink, get a fresh brewed for myself. Is that what you are saying?
  10. Trying to figure this out, while not skating the system. My wife is a Chai Latte fan and will go through one a day. Thus the package makes sense for her on a 15 day just by itself. I will have a coffee in the morning with breakfast pretty much every day and probably one with dessert after dinner. When we did a 7 day a couple of years ago, the rules were different. She got her chais and I would get a fresh brewed while we were standing there on her card. By the end of the trip, we still had three or four punches left, but that was only on a 7 day. We got the coffee package when we got the breakfast lovers deal, but as I see there is no sharing on the complimentary part, coffee, herbal tea, etc. I am surmising that, were we to go down and get her chai, which would be covered in the 15, I would not be able to get fresh brewed coffee on her card (account). While I am not so much of a coffee aficionado, that I won't drink the free stuff, the comments about dishwater, etc, give me pause. That I might want to have a REAL coffee from time to time, might be enough of a rationale to just spring for it and spend the $36 for my own. Then I just need to find enough times over the 15 days and get frappacinos and things like that to use up the 15. I don't want to keep score and say to myself I don't want to not get this when I'm in the mood because I am going to use up one of the 15. I am probably overthinking this, but am I missing something?
  11. For our port of call. in Huatulco on the Emerald Princess, December 3-18, we were seeking out potential private tours, as opposed to some from the ship. I want to share some with people who may still be looking for an excursion. We are doing Wahaca Cooking, which is a three hour cooking class with restaurateur, Alfredo Ramirez. An ideal way to immerse yourself in Mexican cuisine and culture. In our hands-on classes you’ll learn the techniques to prepare ancestral delicacies that you can. This experience is more then preparing a meal, it is a must activity while in Huatulco for foodies and anyone that loves to get involved in local culture. Alfredo will share his stories and memories from growing up. It is located near the Eco-Arqueológico Copalita Park. It is $75 per person and they pick up at the ship at 9:15. It is limited to 12 in a class. Trip advisor lists it, but their calendar does not show Sunday. If this interests you, let me know and I will get the contact information to you. Our searches also brought out these and again let me know if you are interested and I will give you their email addresses. City & Sightseeing Tour. (w/ Arturo Martinez) 5 Hours $100pp for 2; $50pp for 4-10; $40pp for 10+. We visit some spectacular viewpoints for pictures, what we call the “backyard” of Huatulco; a place to see the elaboration of real corn tortillas, here you can have some quesadillas. Then to Santa Maria, where we explore the town, walk on its main street to see a real Mexican town, visit the market and a 300 year old church, Parroquia de Santa María Huatulco. Then it's back to downtown Huatulco (La Crucecita) to stop at the main square for walking and browsing. Maybe we stop for a drink and a snack at a local restaurant. City Tour (w/ Enrique Pinacho) 4-5 hours $38.00 Up to 14 people Bays and viewpoints, La Bocana beach, Copalita my little village, there we have lunch if you like, La Crucecita town, there we visit the church, textiles, the market and mezcal taste and chocolate. Town & Traditions Tour (w/ Alfonso Gabriel) 5 Hours $55.00pp; $45 Minimum four Tour to Santa Maria Huatulco and visit Piedra de Moros (stone of Moors). Visit a medicinal plant garden where you will know and learn about several that the local people use to cure themselves, Then to a craft workshop where local people make wool carpets on pedal looms and other crafts. Finish at a Mezcal Factory for tasting. Learn to make tortillas and see the brick making process. We gave a lot of serious thought also to a ships tour, Rural Communities and Traditions, before settling on the cooking. It had a lot of tastings and demos, but the cooking being more hands on was more our style. This is $90 and I know they run two trips. Theya lso appear to have a lot of openings even at this time. Good luck
  12. Last week I posted about a cooking excursion called Wahaca Cooking. We are planning to do that. I also mentioned Rural Communities and Traditions through Princess that is our back up. There are some that I did not mention, that some may be interested in as well. I had contacted them before settling on the Wahaca Cooking. City & Sightseeing Tour. (w/ Arturo Martinez) 5 Hours $100pp for 2; $50pp for 4-10; $40pp for 10+ We visit some spectacular viewpoints for pictures, what we call the “backyard” of Huatulco; a place to see the elaboration of real corn tortillas, here you can have some quesadillas. Then to Santa Maria, where we explore the town, walk on its main street to see a real Mexican town, visit the market and a 300 year old church, Parroquia de Santa María Huatulco. Then it's back to downtown Huatulco (La Crucecita) to stop at the main square for walking and browsing. Maybe we stop for a drink and a snack at a local restaurant. City Tour (w/ Enrique Pinacho) 4-5 hours $38.00 Up to 14 people Bays and viewpoints, La Bocana beach, Copalita my little village, there we have lunch if you like, La Crucecita town, there we visit the church, textiles, the market and mezcal taste and chocolate. Town & Traditions Tour (w/ Alfonso Gabriel) 5 Hours $55.00pp; $45 Minimum four Tour to Santa Maria Huatulco and visit Piedra de Moros (stone of Moors). Visit a medicinal plant garden where you will know and learn about several that the local people use to cure themselves, Then to a craft workshop where local people make wool carpets on pedal looms and other crafts. Finish at a Mezcal Factory for tasting. Learn to make tortillas and see the brick making process.
  13. You did a helicopter to a glacier? Which one? We did as well at Knik River. We were going to stay in Anchorage our last night after driving from Healy just north of Denali. Then we saw a BOGO for a helicopter ride onto the glacier. We called they gave us a break if we stayed at their lodge and the BOGO. So we canceled the Comfort Inn in Anchorage. The copter stayed on the glacier for 45 minutes, but what a great experience !! We also took a plane right up to Denali, not just a fly by but maybe 10 miles straight on. It was fly out, see the mountain fly to Kantishnu and take the shuttle back.
  14. I assume home means you have a place there. Looking back at Alaska, we actually did all of our tours privately. In Skagway, we went on a 6 1/2 hour private tour to the Yukon. In retrospect, we were probably taking a big chance, had something gone wrong and we got stuck somewhere. It turned out that we got back with hours to spare. And we had the Chef's Table that night. That said, I'm not sure what we were thinking when we set it up.
  15. That would seem to be a good reason to do a tour through the ship. At least you are guaranteed to get back in time, if traffic is bad. The rule of thumb that we are using is that if we are going into the countryside in any port, that we are going to use the ship's tour. In our case that means PV, SJDS, Puntarenas and Panama. If we are close enough like a mile or so, then private or go on our own might work. That would be Cartagena and Huatulco. Then also we leave with hours to spare. When we did Alaska, anywhere we were in Ketchikan, we were within sight of the ship, basically a 10 minute walk. In Juneau, we got back from the Glacier with more than three hours before the ship was leaving and went to the tram, which was basically across the street from the ship. In Panama, we are doing the Embera Indians through the ship. I gets back by 2:30 (ship leaves at 6:00). Even if there were some issues, we have the protection of having done it through the ship.
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