Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Won’t You Let Me Take You On A Sea Cruise

Ooh, ehh, ooh, ehh Baby…….

We drove to Ft. Lauderdale yesterday morning to “check in” for the cruise. This amounted to a half hour of high pressure time share salesmanship! After saying NO twenty times, they gave us our boarding passes for the ship.

An hour later we arrived in West Palm Beach and the ship. We stood in several lines to board the ship and finally got our tiny cabin. The A/C in ours was cranked up almost to freezing while Paul and Dodies cabin was hot. There was a speaker in the room that had no volume or on-off control talking about all the “services” on the ship that we simply could not miss. It was almost deafening.

We quickly found out that Bahamas “all inclusive” is very different than Cuba “all inclusive”. The rooms on shore are included but we have to pay the taxes of $18 per night. Food and water is free on the ship but pop and booze is not. Drinks are $8.50 each.

They then told us transportation from the ship to the hotel is available for $17 per person. We said no and were glad we did because we negotiated our own taxi/van once we docked for $5 per person.

There was a “gratuities” charge of $48 put on the credit card right away. Many people did not read the fine print and were handing out individual tips as well as paying the $48. Bottled water was on the dresser with a $3.75 price tag on each bottle.

Paul was all apologetic for talking us into the cruise but that is no problem! We have wanted to try cruising and now we have. Sure, it is going to cost more than we thought it would but I had a feeling right from the start….

Dinner was great! We had a choice of many items and I chose Caesar Salad, Gravlox,  conch chowder,  Grouper in jerk sauce and apple crisp. We ordered a not bad glass of wine each from a real sommelier for $8 a glass. Paul says he wants to go back to university and become a sommelier.

It is a valuable experience and we are glad we did it BUT it will be very hard to get us away from our motorhome again!!!

Oh yes, when we checked into the hotel Paul and Dodie were fine but the hotel had no confirmation (and therefore no room) for Norma and I. She said it would not be a problem and after almost an hour of her making phone calls to the travel agent, it was not a problem. She gave us both an upgrade to waterfront rooms in compensation for the trouble.

The hotel has WIFI in the lobby and hard wired ADSL in the rooms. Free – I checked!

More to follow. I need a swim!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Croft,
    Years ago we won a cruise (San Diego - Vancouver), long story short, we realized it wasn't our style. Fast forward a few years, we went to Cozumel for a week and had to deal with cruise ship people, again we realized it's not our style. I just read a great book called "Cruise ship Squeeze" written by a Canadian named Ross Klein, you should check it out. I wondered if you would like cruising, since you loved Cuba and you're an RVer. I'll take my trips to Cuba (bad food great people, lotsa walking) and our summer RV lifestyle. I think cruises may be great for some, just not people who like to and feel comfortable exploring ....on their own. Cuba has very little cruise ship business due to the embargo, suits me just fine, especially after reading that book. Hope you have fun.