This was our 9th cruise and we love cruising more and more with each one. We had an inside cabin on the 11th floor and are only there to sleep and shower so it really doesn't bother us being inside. I am afraid of heights so we'll never have a balcony, however, I would love to have a front of the ship balcony because when you look down you see the lower levels and not water....someday when we can afford it.
We have had 4 inside cabins and 5 port hole cabins. The disadvantage of inside is not knowing the weather when you wake up...however, you turn the tv on to the channel that shows the front of the ship and wa-la...it acts as our porthole without paying extra for it.
We got away from excursions because we really just like to go to beachs and any cab/water taxi/bus can do this...however, some of the islands do not have close beaches and so it could take a considerable amount of your day time in traveling to/from one.
We decided this cruise that we really More
don't need to go back to the western caribbean again (our 2nd time there). The ports do not offer local white sand beaches rather coral beaches with seaweed and none really close. We've never gone southern caribbean so that will be our next one. Eastern Caribbean and Bermuda are great.
We are gamblers so we spend every evening going to the casinos and we have a blast. Our last 4 cruises have been with NCL through the casinos in Atlantic City, NJ. Since we pay minimal fees (~$300/pp + flights if we so choose) we opt to have dinner in the special restaurants every night which cost between $10 - $25/pp....our favorites, Cagney's Steakhouse and Le Bistro.
The best thing about cruises is you can do as much as you want or as little as you want...the older we get and the more we've taken, the less we do and are really starting to enjoy the relaxation of lounging daily by the pool or on a beach. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
We hadn't planned anything for Belize and figured we'd decide that morning if we wanted to take the 45 min. water taxi to the nearest beach...when we saw how far off shore we were and would have to tender ~20 minutes to shore, we decided to not even get off the ship...very disappointed. I guess because of the coral in the western Caribbean, the ships can't get too close to land unless there is a dock. We were bummed that the tender ride looked like a long time and figured 20 minutes to land and 45 minutes in another boat to a beach...both ways...was not worth it. So, I have no idea how nice or not Belize is.
We didn't have an excursion planned for this island either. We got off the ship, paid $5 each for a cab (mini van) ride to the nearest beach which was only 10 minutes away. Two of our waiters on the ship told us where to go once we got to the beach....it was equivalent to approx. a 10 block walk...well, there are vendors the entire length trying to sell you stuff and it freaked my husband out...I just kept walking looking for the sign of where we were told to lounge. Once we got there, we lounged and swam and it was nice. My husband was uncomfortable even leaving our stuff to go in the water which was right by our loungers but he was still uneasy.
We stayed about 1 hour and I suggested we walk along the water to get back to where the cabs are and that was much better as the only vendors that bothered us at that point were the massage therapists who wanted to give us a 1 hour message for $30/both. MUCH cheaper than on the ship and we did talk to some women who took advantage of it and said the messages they received for $30 were GREAT and under palm trees looking out at the ocean, etc.
Cab rides back to the ports are only $2./pp. The port has lots of shopping and also restaurants and a really neat huge pool and lounge chairs and sand and all of it is free....you can swim up to Senor Frogs and order a drink right in the pool...the water was a little cool and the sun was in and out so we chose to eat in Carlos & Charlies and had lots of fun sitting upstairs looking out to the ships, down to the 3 dolphin tanks where you can see everything for free. The food and drinks were good and lunch cost us $70...because my husband had 2 "yard" mojitos which were $15.each.
We aren't into the historical points like the Mayan Temples so we were good with the beach on this island.
This was a fun excursion. Unfortunately Jan. & Feb. are their rainy season so most of the ~2 hrs. we were on the water, the sun wasn't out. When we returned to the small resort, we had a simple Mexican lunch and lounged by the pool for ~2 hrs....again, the sun wasn't out so it was a little disappointing. The resort was not a lodging one, just for day time activities but wasn't busy at all. Would do this again if the sun is out and we could have lounged on the beach when we returned. Limited # of spots so book this before you cruise!
We wanted beach and so we decided to choose the "South Beach Experience". Since it was raining when we arrived, the excursion staff offered us to instead go on a different excursion which is a 2 hour tour of Roatan and then 2 hours on a different beach. Since it did rain on the first 2 hours, it wasn't that great. When we got to the beach, the sun was out and the next two hours were fun...however, we were told the South Beach beach is beautiful so we were a little disappointed that we didn't get to go there.
2 days after we left Honduras, I discovered that someone was trying to use my credit card...my mistake, I should have paid cash for my purchase in an Honduras gift shop...luckily I hadn't notified Chase that I would be out of the country and they turned down the 3 possible ~$300. charges.