Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
nm
Old 10-10-2004, 07:47 AM   #1
 
Posts: n/a
nm

nm
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-11-2004, 04:29 AM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
BUM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mid Hudson Valley
Posts: 1,778
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

CT Its no wonder you want to go back to Alaska...cool things off a bit.
__________________

__________________
In a panamax down by the river.
BUM is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-11-2004, 06:39 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Historic Florida
Posts: 1,645
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

Quote:
Understand some of the beaches on the French side are so HOT, the bottoms are optional too...
I have lived for some time in St. Maarten in Marigot Bay on our friends CAT. We are going back again this year as the Island is completely DUTY FREE in the true sense of the words. The French side as mentioned above, has a clothing Optional Beach at Orient Bay, but it gets old after a while. Most of the MEN on the Resort side seem to enjoy being nude more than the ladies. Most of the French Side beaches are Topless.

You can see some pics on my web site at www.impconcepts.com Click on Cruising the Caribbean and look around.

Any way, St. Maarten as mentioned has 2 sides. When you land on the Cruise ship dock, which is in Phillipsburgh on the Dutch side, you will enjoy Premium Vodka for $6.95 a 1L bottle, and top perfumes at a very reasonable price. Along with all those tacky trinkets, and fake Rolexes that all of us enjoy. Some minor haggling for merchandise is acceptable. The Dutch side uses Guilders but everything is marked in US Dollars and you do not need to convert. Do not shop on the French side though, it is more expensive and they use Euros which are at a 20% premium. We found that the same items were priced in Dollars on the Duch side as opposed to Euros on the French side, (Dollar for Euro) There is also a 3% sales tax. When you decide to go over to the French side for a look, as most tourists do, DO NOT TAKE A CAB. It will cost $25 to go 5 Miles and there is a local bus which is very easy to see and use that cost $1.25. Each way. You walk into Phillipsburgh to Front or Back street and look for a bus going to Marigot, when returning you do the same but in reverse, just remember where the bus drops you off, and go back to the same area to get back to the Phillipsburg. Each bus is clearly marked with the destination on the front. You could even circumnavigate the Island for about $5.00 per head on the busses. It is safe and easy to do during the day. The French Quarter gets a little dodgy at night though. Grande Case on the french side is excellent for a nice meal and sports some of the island's best eateries. Marigot is expensive. We always stock the boat up at the Costco equivelent in Phillipsburgh as it is the cheapest in the Caribbean.

SWR

__________________
"Arguing with an Engineer is like rolling in the mud with a pig. Just remember that the pig likes it."
ShokWaveRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-11-2004, 02:13 PM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 218
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

Finally, I topic I know somehting about :P St. Martin is our favorite place in the world (haven't been to 'em all yet though). We haven't lived there, but have thought about it. We have spent about 6 weeks there this year and have been there several times on cruises.

Purchase any liquor, cigs and Jewelry in Phillipsburg (I never pay attention to the allowances for liquor, I once carried 12 liters through customs without a problem and the duty is only 10% anyway (it was for friends ).

My suggestion (although the buses, which are really vans work ok) is to rent a small car. They are readily available at the port for about $40 to $50 bucks. I do this everytime we go there on a cruise with friends. I give them a tour of the Island and it is the hit of the cruise.

If you do the car tour. Here is my suggested route: Start out going to Dawn Beach, have a Guavaberry Colada. Then off to Orient Beach (check out www.orientbeach.com), don't take the first turn that is a dirt road, go to the top of the hill and go through the subdivision, it will wind it's way down to the beach and there are some great "kodak" moments to be had. Turn right when the paved road ends and drive all the way to Pedros and find somewhere to park. Walk orient beach. The nude end is basically all the way right, past "Pedros", the rest is mostly tops optional. Best places for a drink, IMHO, Boo Boo Jams (a long walk) for a "painkiller" and Bikini Beach for a "BBC" or Bailey's Banana Colada. Have lunch at Baywatch (near Pedros), say hello to Cheryl and Andy.

OK, now that you are full, head to Grand Case, go down to the waterfront and look at all the 5 star restaurants that you don't have time to eat at (but it is amazing how many are there). Continue on to Marigot, where you can stop and do some shopping. Be sure to leave an hour or so for your final stop, the Sunset Beach Bar located at the end of the airport (see www.sunsetbeachbar.com), have a drink and watch the planes land and takeoff, pay close attention to the "tourists" behind the planes as the big 757s (747 if you are luckY) take off. Great kodak moments here. Oh, and topless women drink for free!!!

From there head back to Philipsburg, allow an hour to get back to the boat, it should only take about 30 minutes if traffic is ok.

Man, I'm tired of typing. Do your snorkeling in St. Thomas, a beautiful place. Have lunch at the Greenhouse and get away from the port in San Juan!

Also, check out the forums at www.traveltalkonline (a lot of info on St Martin) and www.cruisecritic.com

Have a great cruise.
__________________
Life is good.
Beachbumz is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-11-2004, 03:28 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 178
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

Quote:
St. Martin is our favorite place in the world (haven't been to 'em all yet though).
Surely you're joking, Mr. Bumz. St. Martin is the Caribbean equivalent of Atlantic City.

Now tastes vary, of course. Some people like gambling, cheap booze, neon, strip joints, and grimy slums where the darker hued live when they're not swabbing your deck or scrubbing your toilet.

That St. Martin is your favorite is testament to your low standards, not its high quality.
__________________
I'd rather be sailing.
nfs is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-11-2004, 03:54 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 218
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

NFS,
I don't appreciate your comments about my "low standards", but I will take it for what it is worth, since you are obviously an idiot who doesn't know what you are talking about! Hopefully GDER will give your comments the time they are worth, NONE, and go on to enjoy his trip.

"Darker Hued", so you are a RACIST too!!! Exactly what this board doesn't need. I have met some of the nicest people I know, of varying skin color, in St. Martin. Did I mention that you are an Idiot?
__________________
Life is good.
Beachbumz is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-11-2004, 04:06 PM   #7
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

I'll second Beachbum's comments. The post by nfs has got to be the worst post I have seen on this forum. It is racist to the max!

- nfs has proved that he is a loser by anyone's standards. I would take his post as complimentary to the island of St. Maartin. If he did not find his kind there, it is truly paradise!
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-11-2004, 04:43 PM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 178
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

Quote:
It is racist to the max!

- nfs has proved that he is a loser by anyone's standards. I would take his post as complimentary to the island of St. Maartin. If he did not find his kind there, it is truly paradise!
My my my!

Here I thought Cut-Throat was one of the reasonable inhabitants.

I've been on more than twenty islands in the Caribbean and the only ones worth spending any time on are the ones that have overwhelmingly black populations. The places to avoid are the pits like St. Martin (St. Thomas is a distant second), which are built solely to dazzle the eyes of white trash on one main street and a few beach bars while carefully hiding the populace in the backstreets of shitholes like Marigot.

Yeah, I'm a racist. I hate white trash and what pandering to white trash has done to real pieces of paradise.

Quote:
Did I mention that you are an Idiot?
You did but thank you for reminding me.

Quote:
Hopefully GDER will give your comments the time they are worth, NONE, and go on to enjoy his trip.
I do apologize for hijacking the thread. I do hope GDER enjoys whatever trip he takes. Too bad the cruise takes him to three of the worst places in the entire sea. If you want the Caribbean to be fake, plastic, neon, full of timeshare salesmen and gaudy jewelry, then you simply couldn't pick three better places to stop than Philipsburg, St. Thomas, and San Juan. If what you're interested in is fake Rolexes, cheap gin, and Costco, then indulge yourself by all means.

It's just cheaper to climb into your beater and drive to the mall.
__________________
I'd rather be sailing.
nfs is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-11-2004, 04:57 PM   #9
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

nfs says:
Quote:
I've been on more than twenty islands in the Caribbean and the only ones worth spending any time on are the ones that have overwhelmingly black populations.
I love to travel and am always looking for new places to add to my "must see" list. What are some of your favorite Caribbean islands (and why?)

Thanks,

EngrGal
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-11-2004, 10:02 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 174
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

i don't want to hijack this thread but if anyone that was gonna comment on GDER's cruise wants to give me any reccomendations on how a vacation to jamacia would be for $700 which i have in my MM so i wouldn't borrow... but the thing is i'm 21 for those of you that would like to compound that (but have never been anywhere on vacation but florida and new mexico)... is jamacia a good time for $700 for a week? my buddy's parents are gonna pick up the rest of the costs.
__________________
Berkshire_Bull is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-12-2004, 11:22 AM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 178
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

Quote:
Obviously, since I booked a cruise to explore an area of the world I have NOT visited I have NO personal experience to comment on any off-topic discussion. My cruise is non-refundable (NOT that I would even consider cancelling), so comments with alternate suggestion of destinations, etc are NOT helpful or appreciated. BUT, FYI going to a mall is definitely NOT my idea of a good time.
If you find that either St. Maarten or St. Thomas are anything other than I have indicated, please report back and call me deluded to my face. Off a cruise ship, which is likely to sail from port to port overnight, you are going to be at the dock or at anchor in a harbor each morning. You will be told that you have six hours or so to do as you like and then you will be allowed off to run a gauntlet of offers of rides to jewelry stores, casinos, and condos.

Since this is the hand you've been dealt, make the best of it. Rent a car per Mr. Bumz or hop a bus per Mr. SWR and get as far from Philipsburg as you can for as long as you can. On St. Thomas, rent a car (if you're game, a scooter or moped) and get away from Charlotte Amalie. You can find a quiet beach, you can get perfectly decent food and drink and conversation at a beach shack, but you are going to work much harder than you would anywhere else in the Caribbean.
__________________
I'd rather be sailing.
nfs is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-12-2004, 11:54 AM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 178
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

Quote:
I love to travel and am always looking for new places to add to my "must see" list. What are some of your favorite Caribbean islands (and why?)
It depends what you want to do. I prefer off the beaten track myself.

In the Dutch Antilles, there are the ABC islands. Everyone knows Aruba and Curacao, but few know that the B is Bonaire. It's not much for scenery but it has fabulous snorkeling and diving and, for birders, a terrific salt flat - mostly flamingos admittedly.

Another Dutch island, just south of St. Maarten, is Saba. Tiny, no beaches, not great diving, but if you like vacations where you do very little, it's great. Stay in The Bottoms if you can - the white parts are deadly dull.

If you've gotten over the French pre-Iraq or it never bothered you to begin with, Martinique is lush and delicious.

St. Lucia and St. Vincent are worth a look (Grenada too, pre-Ivan, but reports are that it's been very demolished) as long as you stay away from the posh spots and Club Meds. Rent a room in Soufriere, go fishing with the locals in a little boat, hike the volcano.

Berkshire_Bull asked about Jamaica. I like Jamaica but, yet again, it's a place that panders to know nothings when it can. Stay away from Negril and Montego Bay and it's a delightful place. When we lived in Jersey, we rented a house on the south coast about 60 miles west of Kingston and it was great. (Given that it was on stilts above the beach, I wouldn't bet that it survived Ivan either.) It took us almost two hours to get there from the airport. There weren't many other tourists around. Groceries, bakeries, restaurants, and bars within walking distance, beach on one side, mango trees on the other, genuinely nice people everywhere. The locals would swim out to the reef, spear fish, and dive for rock lobsters. It was at least a taste of the real Jamaica. It was also 100% black except for us and, contrary to what Beachbumz and Cut-Throat implied, I found it very pleasant indeed.
__________________
I'd rather be sailing.
nfs is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-12-2004, 03:24 PM   #13
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

I am not a world traveler and never have been.
I don't even fly any more. However, I do have some
info. I agree with nfs comments about Jamaica. I have been there.
Neat place. I had a friend who was a world traveler
and his favorite destination was Grenada. Not sure why.

John Galt
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-13-2004, 09:46 AM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 178
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

Quote:

You wouldn't be another incarnation of that inane waste of flesh would you??

IF so, I wouldn''t mind calling you deluded to ALL of your faces.
You've really got me worried. See, a little bird told me that GDER was actually an alias for the selfsame person.

There is evidence, you know. If you treat the vowels as mere filler, then you've got GDR and HCS. Notice that G comes right before H, D right after C, and R right before S? It's no coincidence, I'm sure.

Not only that, if you read the names backward, you've got RED-G and SUCO-H, at first glance not related. But wait! SUCO seems suspiciously close to Italian for squash, and squashes are a little like watermelons, which are RED inside. See what I mean? This can't be mere random chance.

What puzzles me is this. If you're him and you're going to the Caribbean next week, and I'm him too, but next week seems destined to be a fairly endless leaf raking exercise, then ....

Why am I getting the short end of the stick?

__________________
I'd rather be sailing.
nfs is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-13-2004, 01:26 PM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 218
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

GDER,
In spite of certain previous posts, I know you will enjoy the cruise (that is 90% of the vacation anyway) and the ports of call. Cruise ship ports, by there very nature with thousands of cruise ship passengers being dropped off daily, are VERY touristy of course and I would avoid them except for the cheap liquor, if you are so inclined. Although Philisburg is getting better (they are currently doing a multi-million dollar improvement), I would take CTs or my advice and get away from the port and you WILL have a great time.

As far as the websites, you mentioned www.cruisecritics.com, the one I use is www.cruisecritic.com without the 'S', they have a great community section on that site. Also for more about the ports, as I mentioned, check out the boards at www.traveltalkonline.com

Have a great time...I wish we were going with you!!!

By the way, please let us know about the Celebrity cruise ship, we have never sailed with them before.

The Bumz
__________________
Life is good.
Beachbumz is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-14-2004, 06:22 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 144
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

GDER, you DOG! Way to rub it in.

Have a great trip!
__________________
Skylark<br />Time flies like an arrow.<br />http://cruisenews.net/independence<br /><br />Poverty is not the absence of goods, but rather the overabundance of desire. <br />- Plato<br />
Skylark is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-14-2004, 07:23 PM   #17
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

I'd go snorkeling in Aruba and Cozumel. We've been on each island a few times and snorkeling the reefs is the best.

Stay away from the town area of Cozumel. Lately it is just folks trying to sell time shares etc. Was there a couple years ago.

Too bad you're not going to Cayman. The snorkleling with the Stingrays is a real kick. Put it on your things to do list someday!
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-14-2004, 09:40 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 218
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

GDER,
We are very jealous!

I am posting this at the risk of further lowering my already low standards , but...We, like CT, have been to both Cozumel and Aruba. We went to Cozumel on a cruise in January and just got back two weeks ago from a week in Aruba.

As far as snorkeling, I will leave that to CT, but I did hear from a local that the hurricane (Ivan?) that came close to Aruba had messed up the snorkeling some how. I didn't ask, 'cuz we were not going.

We are not big on the long bus rides either, so in Cozumel, we took a taxi to "Mr Sanchos" based on some recommendations from the internet. Basically this is a beach about 10 miles from the cruise ship port. It was not crowded at all. There are water sports if you want them, but we just hung out on the beach. There was a waiter that brought us food and drink when we needed it and we had a table on the beach about 20 feet from the water. It was very relaxing, we will go back. (Note: If you choose a different beach, there are several, just be sure they don't charge a 'user' fee) Then we headed to Carlos n Charles down town (the tourist spot, VERY crowded). Twice, now, we have been to Cozumel and twice we {literally} don't know how we got back to the ship . Avoid the local Tequila!

As far as Aruba, I don't know what you could do in such a short time, unless you do snorkel. I'm sure the cruise ship will have other excursions, like to the "caves" or something. Aruba is strange in relation to your other stops. When you get away from the hotels (don't know about the port), it is like being in Arizona, very arid, not tropical, with cactus everywhere. Aruba is much more expensive than some of the other islands (similar to Cayman). They do have some very nice shops and restaurants downtown. The taxis are pretty expensive too. Aruba was a great place to go spend a week on the beach or by the pool relaxing, but as far as land excursions, it is lacking. Beautiful water though.

You mentioned that you are not a crowd person. We aren't either, can't stand them. Which is weird, because we have been on 8 cruises hmmmm. You may consider, at one of these ports, to just remain on the ship. You will have it mostly to yourselves, they are still serving lunch, but there is hardly anyone around. We have done this a few times.

Have fun!
The Bumz
__________________
Life is good.
Beachbumz is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion
Old 10-15-2004, 09:25 AM   #19
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Celebrity Galaxy Caribbean Cruise - suggestion

GDER,

As you asked....

I've been to Aruba several times.

As an OP mentioned, it's very arid in most parts of the island, yet very lush and tropical around the hotel strip.

One thing we did was to go on a day-long 'safari' trip. We were divvied-up into groups of 6 and each group got a Jeep to drive. The Jeep caravan toured the bulk of the island, seeing the parts far away from the hotels and downtown. We even ended the day in the afternoon by taking a short boatride to a private island owned by the tour company -- had a buffet-type lunch with open bar and snorkeling with some of the most amazing large blue fish (parrot fish?) (included in the tour cost).

We also did an organized snorkeling trip off a catamaran which was a lot of fun, too.

I found most of the bars downtown to be very touristy (e.g. 'Carlos and Charlie'- type places), and lots of shops catering to the cruise business, too.

People are typically drawn to Aruba for the perfect weather (they get 5" of rain a year!, the temperature is always around 80 degrees and they are outside of the hurricane belt), no/few bugs (due to the trade winds), the friendly people (60% work in the 'tourist business" os they know who is 'king' and it's also known as "One Happy Island" for the happy-go-lucky attitudes of the natives).

So it's perfect if you're into laying on the beach, relaxing and sipping tropical drinks, as it's a rather laid-back kind of place.







__________________
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:51 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.