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Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by Broadway Matt 2004-07-12 22:34:56

Starting Wednesday I will be away from the board for about 2 weeks because I will be going on my first ever cruise! I'm taking a 10-day Royal Caribbean cruise from Florida that hits Cozumel Mexico, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. I'm really excited for this and am hoping to hit all the right activites and events. I was wondering if anyone here has been on the same or a similar cruise and can give me some tips as to what I should skip and what not to miss. The boat's name is Mariner of the Seas. I'd appreciate any comments about this particular cruise or any cruise advice in general would be great. PM me or post if you can help!

re: Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by ckeaton 2004-07-12 22:43:19

When in Jamaica if you don't do a RC shore excursion, stay on the boat. It's more hassle than it's worth.

I enjoy RC, taking a 7-day Mediterranean cruise in October.

re: Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by FindingNamo 2004-07-12 22:44:47

I was on the exact same route, just in the winter. I was on the Explorer of the Seas. My longtime hunch that I am not a "cruise person" as opposed to a person who cruises, proved correct. But I only went to help out a friend who needed somebody to escort his elderly father to and fro Miami and my friend threw in the cruise for free. Frankly, I thought I would go MAD.

Cozumel was lovely. And I enjoyed a submarine tour of the reef in the Grand Caymans.

PS Don't -- DO NOT -- book any excursions through the helpful people on the boat. Just step off the dock, particularly in Grand Cayman, and book whatever excursion you want right there and save yourself about 30-50 bucks. No matter how much Royal Carribean tells you they are going to sell out so you better book on board.

Also. The shows are bad.

re: Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by Broadway Matt 2004-07-12 23:21:29

Namo or ckeaton. thanks for the tips. what did you do in Jamaica? we're only there for a day so I wanna make sure I make the most of it. are the waterfalls worth it?

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by etoile 2004-07-12 23:44:08

Namo, I can't believe you enjoyed Cozumel. Of course we do often have different interest.

Matt, if you get off the ship anywhere but the US or the RC private island, don't drink anything unless it straight from a sealed container.

Hope you have a wonderful time. And, Namo, if your friend ever needs another escort for his father please keep me in mind.

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by FindingNamo 2004-07-12 23:52:10

I guess context is everything. In Cozumel, my friend and his dad were gone before I woke up and disembarked and I took a cab by myself to a restaurant that had the freshest food I had encountered (cuz the stuff on the ship gets kinda old by day four). At lunch, the waiter asked if I wanted the "delicious" margarita and he pointed across the restaurant to one somebody else was drinking. I guess it looked delicious enough so I said, sure. Well, he brings me this gigantic drink, and only when I got the bill did I realize he had said "fishbowl margarita." From far away it had looked normal sized to me. And it was mostly tequila. So I kept saying to myself, "Namo, NO MORE THAN HALF." 3/4 of the way through I pushed the thing away from me.

I wasn't actually sure if I would be able to walk like my normal self when I was done with lunch. But I was. And attached to the restaurant was an actual artists co-op shop that sold things at fair trade rates. And I just loved the place.

Meanwhile, my friend had dropped his dad back at the boat and went snorkeling, which he just raved about there.

So, I managed to eke out a pleasant memory (no doubt fueled by the fishbowl) in Cozumel. OH, and I got a tasteful and politically correct refrigerator magnet of a face down drunken man with his pants pulled below his cheeks that says "I had fun in Cozumel."

Good times.

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by Broadway Matt 2004-07-12 23:59:32

ooh what's the restaurant called? i think I may need to attempt the fishbowl.

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by etoile 2004-07-13 00:00:25

Now I like to bring a book back from every place I visit. I ask, realizing I sound like such a geek, did you see one bookstore in Cozumel? Not even a recipe book for margaritas. And reading a magnet doesn't quite count.

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by FindingNamo 2004-07-13 00:01:33

You take a cab to the main drag and JUST ABOUT at the end of the area where the touristy shops ends is a big white stucco building that I believe used to be a factory. And then for a while a great big house. And THAT is the place with the margarita and the co-op. Incredible fresh tortillas and guac.

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by ckeaton 2004-07-13 09:23:06

At the Ocho Rios stop we took the River Rafting shore excursion. It was very peaceful floating down a tropical river just you and your friend, and a guide. The falls scared me, because I pictured 200 tourists standing up to their waists in dirty water, and a little kid saying "Mommie, I just went".

Grand Cayman is somewhere you can enjoy on your own (especially if it isn't raining!). I recommend a cab to the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman Resort for lunch and drinks at "Hemingway's" an amazing restaurant on the beach. It's breathtaking, and the cuisine is all award winning Caribbean fresh creations. Give a call before you leave on your trip to make a reservation if you want to go, because it could be tough to get in...

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by secret-soul 2004-07-13 09:43:47

I'm going on the Carribean Princess next week for a 7-day cruise. I've never been but my whole family has....I'm probably gonna be seasick the entire time...bleh.

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by ckeaton 2004-07-13 09:54:25

You shouldn't be seasick. The ship barely moves, and there are plenty of pharmeceutical and holistic remedies. There is nothing worse than travelling with someone who is seasick.

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by FindingNamo 2004-07-13 11:12:34

Something tells me Ocho Rios is no longer on the itinerary, given the state of Haiti at this time. Also, that's the most offensive stop, totally exploitive when you look at the fencing that keeps the starving locals out of view.

My barber went there years ago and got yelled at for sneaking a hamburger to one of the locals whose job it is to drag the lounge chairs to the beach. The man was too hungry to finish his shift, at the end of which he was to be given a bowl of rice.

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by Broadwaygirl4life 2004-07-13 11:34:51

Wow Mariner is the biggest ship i believe that royal carribean has. I love cruises they are the best. This past summer I went on the Rhapsody or however you spell it. It was s great cruise. We went to the Cayman Islands, Cozumel, and Key West. WHen you go the Grand Caymen check out the rum factories and the turtle farm. My parents have been ob many more cruises then me. Then again I'm just a teen. But when you get off the ship in the Caymens they have all these people standing there with signs for tours. One tour I went on included the rum store, the turtle farm, and a city called "hell" (very interesting) When I went to Cozumel I didn't do that much b/c i got my hair braided but there are many cute little stores for gifts to bring home.

But there is so much to do. I beleive the Mariner has a rock climbing wall. Cruises are the best, you meet so many people and there something to do everynight. Don't miss out on anything!

"get out there"

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by ckeaton 2004-07-13 11:44:22

But Ocho Rios is in Jamaica...

Though the debarkation talk tells of staying only to the cabs with red "government issued" license plates, otherwise you may be driven into the hills, robbed, and abandoned.

I would stay on the ship in Jamaica. It's not worth the hassle.

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by DAME 2004-07-13 13:16:50

I have only done gay cruises. I have a feeling I would go mad in a straight cruise. But; have fun. Just be careful with money. They don't use any on the ship . You sign fr everything. And after a few days once can forget it is money you are spending. Till the morning of check out and then it isn't pretty.

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by Broadway Matt 2004-07-13 15:54:17

thanks everyone for the tips and stories! i can't wait to get on the boat in a few days. i believe Mariner is their biggest ship. i know it has a rock-climbing wall and an ice rink, so I'm pretty excited for that as I've never done either in international waters.

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by sabrelady 2004-07-13 18:46:19

Ginger capsules work well for nausea. So does positive thinking & staring @ the horizon from uptop (has to do w mixed messages between the inner ear Y what yr eye sees) Also take imodium, everthign aboard ship is gropssly inflated in price. bring everything u thing u will want. Finally watch out for drug dealers in Jamaica. They can be persistant & Use sunscreen on tips of ears collarbone backs of knees & ankles. Skin is xtra thin or often forgot. ENJOY PARADISE!!!

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by Thoroughly Modern Cara 2004-07-13 19:08:27

I would go to the doctor and have them perscribe these patches that you put behind your ears to help not getting sick on the boat. I don't remeber what they're called thought. Have a blast and let us know how it goes!

Oh and take it easy on the fish bowl!

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by Broadwaygirl4life 2004-07-13 20:12:19

yes...enjoy and stay away from the water in Mexico.

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by Broadway Matt 2004-07-13 20:21:29

haha yes I know all about the water in Mexico. My first 2 years of college were in San Diego, so much of my time was spent in Tijuana 30 minutes away. i'm not too worried about seasickness, I've got a pretty hearty constitution. one more question to those who've been on RC: what's their policy on passengers bringing their own bottle of wine? I have a bottle I was saving for a special occassion and I'd like to minimize the money I spend on the boat. Do they allow this or will they confiscate?

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by FindingNamo 2004-07-13 20:27:06

They will "hold" the bottle until the end of the cruise and then return it to you. They x-ray all bags, so smuggling is impossible.

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by DAME 2004-07-14 00:31:58

Broadway matt;
Just pack i in your suitcase. Alot of people sneak booze onto the ship.

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by Broadwaygirl4life 2004-07-14 12:23:50

haha yes DAME is right...thats how the people i knew did it.

and always when you board the ship have you sea pass card out, because you are going to have to swip it to enter the ship.

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by bmeonbway2 2004-07-14 12:29:17

We were able to bring on 2 bottles of wine and champagne (packed in our carry on). Also, another way to save money is to bring on bottled water. We brought several bottles, which I did not think we would drink, but I was so happy to have them in our cabin.

Royal Caribbean to Jamaica
Posted by Broadwaygirl4life 2004-07-14 12:58:23

yeah thats true. the soda and drinks on board are soo expensive. The only drinks that are included are ice tea, lemonade, and water. You can always refill the water bottles. They sell water for you to bring when you arrive at the ports but they are so much money. My parents also brought some extra water. We packed some in the suit case. But if you like soda they have this soda package where you buy a cup for like $45 i think mine was and you can refill the soda as much as u want the whole time your on board. Its pretty good. I kept track and got the money's worth!