Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: Bluebonnet Miata Club goes to the Caribbean IV

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canyon Lake, TX
    Posts
    281
    Blog Entries
    4

    Bluebonnet Miata Club goes to the Caribbean IV

    This will be the 4th Caribbean trip for the Bluebonnet Club but the 5th cruise trip including Alaska.
    We will be joining the Royal Caribbean - Liberty of the Seas on February 18th, 2018.
    This is one of the newer ships in the Freedom class.


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	LB-perfect-storm.jpg 
Views:	156 
Size:	96.7 KB 
ID:	1295

    If you haven't signed up yet there is still time if you are interested in going. There are over 100 excursions for the 3 ports. We are visiting Cozumel, Grand Caymen and Jamaica. The best ports for fun.
    You can always join the cruise up to a time when the rooms are all gone you just won't get the group pricing.

    You can drive a jeep, dune buggy, swim with dolphins, zipline, snorkel, snuba, scuba or just about anything you can imagine and the prices are not too bad. It is a chance of a lifetime if you don't cruise much.
    Enjoy your winter by going back into summer again, the weather is much warmer in the Caribbean and the prices are much cheaper.

    Here is a brochure of all of the excursions and much of the itinerary of the cruise. At the top is a cost listing of the excursions then a more in depth explanation of the excursions. As you can tell there is something for everyone.

    If you are interested check with Marilyn Hamilton about our Travel Agent.

    Our Club members that are going -

    1. Dave and Marilyn Hamilton
    2. Paul and Wanda Begnoche
    3. Craig and Lisa Martin
    4. Rohm and Barbara Thompson
    5. George Lucas and Marilyn McCullen
    6. Rich and Gayle Sandenaw
    7. Jim and Freda Treat
    8. Joe and Cheryl Knight
    9. Dave and Margaret Swartz
    10. Joe and Pat Krypciak
    11. Dan and Betty Hicks
    12. Larry and Pam Stivers
    13. Fred and Beth Still
    14. Don and Judi Privett


    There is a forum that has each cruising ship for each week so you can converse with people that will be on that cruise with us. It is sponsored by Cruise Critic and if we have enough people sign up then they will host a get together on the second day of the cruise to meet the other people you have been talking with. You can meet people that you relate to for the rest of the cruise. We have the Meet & Greet all set so just sign up and get your invitation.

    http://www.cruisecritic.com/rollcall...ruary-18-2018/

    You will need to join the Cruise Critic forum so that you can post, just like this forum. Once you are in, mark it and follow it each week as the cruise gets closer.

    Don Privett

  2. #2

    Passport Information

    Check out this site if you need information on Passports: https://www.usa.gov/passport

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canyon Lake, TX
    Posts
    281
    Blog Entries
    4
    That's great info Dave. If you need a passport or need one renewed make sure you do it soon so you don't have to expedite it later because it will take up to a month normally.

    Check your date, they expire after 10 years and need renewal. Everyone now needs one if you are traveling out of the country.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canyon Lake, TX
    Posts
    281
    Blog Entries
    4
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1This is just some ideas that I came up with to help with upcoming problems that we can foresee.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	bagtags.jpg 
Views:	29 
Size:	46.2 KB 
ID:	1323
    Royal Caribbean and Celebrity luggage tag holders so you don't have to use a stapler and tape.
    These are really nice. Just slide your printed bag tag into the holder and attach it to your bag. Use it over and over.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	snorkelmaks_.jpg 
Views:	29 
Size:	30.6 KB 
ID:	1324
    The full face swim mask for snorkeling which is much easier to use than the traditional mask and snorkel especially if you have a beard or mustache.
    If you like to snorkel but don't like trying to breath from a tube this is the next step up, just put it on and breath like normal plus it doesn't fog up.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	snorkel vest.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	71.2 KB 
ID:	1348
    Just so we don't forget anything here is a Snorkel Vest like you usually get on a snorkel excursion.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	webgloves.jpg 
Views:	25 
Size:	32.5 KB 
ID:	1325
    Webbed paddle gloves for snorkeling when you can't kick because coral reefs are too close. They do come in handy and take very little room when packing.
    Kind of dorky but they work.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	blockingsleeves.jpg 
Views:	27 
Size:	40.6 KB 
ID:	1327
    RFID blocking sleeves for your credit cards and passports. They keeps people from stealing your credit card information. These are good to use all the time.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	selphystick_.jpg 
Views:	29 
Size:	79.5 KB 
ID:	1326
    A selphy stick that works with all phones for lots of photos with everyone together. Phones today are much better at photography than most cameras. I just got one in today and it works great on my android phone. There isn't any Bluetooth to worry about, just press the button the handle and it takes a picture. Simple.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Bluetooth selphie stick.jpg 
Views:	7 
Size:	70.5 KB 
ID:	1349
    Here is a Bluetooth selphy stick that has a built in tripod.
    The selphy stick may seem weird but when you are traveling alone or as a couple it makes it very easy to get a photo with a background and allows you do take photos over and over again without asking someone else to take your picture. It makes you very independent. Also it can shoot forward and reach two and a half feet higher where you normally can't like over people's heads or further out than you can normally reach. The remote on the handle makes it easy to take the picture quickly.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	USB plug.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	18.2 KB 
ID:	1341
    How about an intelligent charger for all of your USB devices so you only take up one plug. It charges my phone in about 2 hours.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	vacuum bags.jpg 
Views:	9 
Size:	44.6 KB 
ID:	1350 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Cubes.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	42.8 KB 
ID:	1342
    The vacuum bags also make it easier to pack for an extended trip or the packing cubes. Just do a search on Amazon, there are many to chose from. Here are some packing cubes.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TSA lock.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	31.2 KB 
ID:	1343
    How about some programmable TSA locks for your luggage. That way you and your spouse can open them without a key. Pick a common number you always remember.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Water socks.jpg 
Views:	17 
Size:	19.5 KB 
ID:	1344 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TravelFins copy.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	96.2 KB 
ID:	1347
    If you like to snorkel and get blisters or just don't feel comfortable wearing fins when you swim maybe these water socks will help. I do use them with my US Diver travel swim fins, they are smaller than the long fins but still work well.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CarryOnBags copy.jpg 
Views:	9 
Size:	50.1 KB 
ID:	1346 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CarryonBagsOpen copy.jpg 
Views:	9 
Size:	54.0 KB 
ID:	1345
    We did find some nice carry on bags that will fit under an airline seat very easily and have pockets for all kinds of things.
    Having now used the bag on a long trip I can really recommend the bag for carrying all your gadgets and having them available during the flight and when you arrive. It's a really good travel bag with around 20 compartments for batteries, chargers, memory, etc. It also has plenty of room for a jacket, snacks and lots of other things you may need on a 24 hour airplane trip to Australia or anywhere else. Don't overstuff and it will work just fine.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Tiny Flashlight.jpg 
Views:	6 
Size:	53.1 KB 
ID:	1351
    Tiny Flashlight contributed by Dan Hicks at the meeting. 120 Lumen, great for carrying all the time.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ear Plugs.jpg 
Views:	5 
Size:	21.9 KB 
ID:	1352
    I was watching a video and heard something that I thought was a really good suggestion. Ear Plugs for sleeping. How often has a party been going on or loud talking in the hallway so you couldn't sleep. Put in some ear plugs and no more noise.

    Let us know if you have any other ideas to consider.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Fair Oaks Ranch
    Posts
    11

    Passports

    Quote Originally Posted by windwalker View Post
    That's great info Dave. If you need a passport or need one renewed make sure you do it soon so you don't have to expedite it later because it will take up to a month normally.

    Check your date, they expire after 10 years and need renewal. Everyone now needs one if you are traveling out of the country.
    And your passports must be valid for 6 months after we get back.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canyon Lake, TX
    Posts
    281
    Blog Entries
    4
    In case you want to leave your car indoors while you cruise there is a parking garage right across the street from the Royal Caribbean terminal. We just carry our bags to and from the parking garage to the baggage handlers. Of course you can always go through the lines first and drop your luggage off. Just prepay and you have a reserved parking spot for the week.

    I take my truck and they help guide me into my parking spot, then they take us and our luggage in a golf cart close to the street next to the terminal. Very nice people.

    http://www.galvestonparkncruise.com/

    It also offers outside parking if you don't mind the salt air and dirt on your car.

    Parking so close and leaving the ship on your own allows you to leave very early before all the other guests that have to get their luggage from the warehouse. You can be on the road home before 9 am.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Fair Oaks Ranch
    Posts
    11

    Going to Galveston the Saturday before

    Some of us that have done this cruise before often drive into Galveston on Saturday. Stay in a hotel, usually the Hampton Inn, have dinner along the sea wall and enjoy resting until it's time to go the the ship. We can talk later who may be interested in this option. I know we will be doing that.

    Just a reminder, if you are going up the night before be sure and pack a totally separate overnight bag so you don't have to unload all of your luggage for a one night stay or dig through your luggage for a change of clothes. Just leave the overnight bag in your car while on your cruise.

    Paul & Wanda
    1999 Emerald Mica; 2002 Titanium Grey SE, 2007 Copper Red PRHT, 2013 Dauphin Grey PRHT, 2016 Soul Red LE

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canyon Lake, TX
    Posts
    281
    Blog Entries
    4
    So now that is getting closer to the trip and the excursions are released for booking, what do you see that is interesting.

    In case you did not see the link to the excursions above here it is again.

    We have done most of the excursions already so we are constantly looking for something new. Have you swam with dolphins or stingrays, maybe you want to swim in a cave or climb Dunn's River Falls. How about ziplining, 4-wheeling or a dune buggy ride.

    If we can discuss this then maybe we can get some groups together for the excursions. I do realize that most of our members traveling are not so young anymore but there are still adventures available for people at any age.

    It looks like we are going to pick a Jeep tour in Cozumel and 2 beach breaks in Jamaica and Grand Cayman. Something adventurous and then something relaxing.

    Monster Jeep to Hidden Mayan Ruin and Virgin Beach - Exclusive - Cozumel
    The White House, Beach Mansion Escape - Grand Cayman
    Bamboo Beach Club VIP Package - Jamaica
    Join us if you want to be part of the group.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canyon Lake, TX
    Posts
    281
    Blog Entries
    4
    I posted above about the message board that is just for this cruise in February. This is a Royal Caribbean board through Cruise Critic.

    If we can get enough people registered through the Meet & Mingle roll call we will get to have a sponsored by Royal Caribbean "get together" the second morning. On our last cruise it was in the Sky Lounge on the 14th floor overlooking the pool. You will get to meet and talk to the people on the message board. Some people are from Dallas, some are from South Dakota, people come to Galveston from all over the country to cruise the Caribbean.

    Royal Caribbean gave away some prizes to members that showed up.

    Register with Cruise Critic, then go to the link for the Meet & Mingle and sign up. When we have 25 people we will get our event. Right now we have 18 people signed up. Sometimes the people can are pretty interesting, you never know who you will meet. One guy from Australia tried to offer me a job representing his software company in the US. He uses iPads at his restaurant instead of cash registers all tied together through a central server. Quick and efficient. You just never know.

    https://www.cruisecritic.com/rollcal...ruary-18-2018/
    This is the Cruise Critic message board.

    https://secure.royalcaribbean.com/ccRegister.do
    This is the Meet & Mingle registration. It will require your booking number. We have 22 people but need 25 for the Meet & Mingle to happen and you have to be one of the people registered to enjoy the Meet & Mingle.

    Don

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canyon Lake, TX
    Posts
    281
    Blog Entries
    4
    I just got the notice from Royal Caribbean that our Meet & Mingle has the required 25 to make it happen.

    If you have not registered, do so at the link above to register and get invited. You will receive an invitation in your room stating when and where to meet.

    It is just a small party or gathering to meet people on the Cruise Critic web site that are also going. There are usually prizes from Royal Caribbean.

    Talk to the people on the forum and meet them on the cruise. Why not?

    At least register and have the option to go if you feel like it when you are on the ship.

    I saw a post yesterday that we now have 50+ members for the Meet & Mingle party.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    west side of San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    4

    Booking Number ??

    Quote Originally Posted by windwalker View Post
    I posted above about the message board that is just for this cruise in February. This is a Royal Caribbean board through Cruise Critic.

    If we can get enough people registered through the Meet & Mingle roll call we will get to have a sponsored by Royal Caribbean "get together" the second morning. On our last cruise it was in the Sky Lounge on the 14th floor overlooking the pool. You will get to meet and talk to the people on the message board. Some people are from Dallas, some are from South Dakota, people come to Galveston from all over the country to cruise the Caribbean.

    Royal Caribbean gave away some prizes to members that showed up.

    Register with Cruise Critic, then go to the link for the Meet & Mingle and sign up. When we have 25 people we will get our event. Right now we have 18 people signed up. Sometimes the people can are pretty interesting, you never know who you will meet. One guy from Australia tried to offer me a job representing his software company in the US. He uses iPads at his restaurant instead of cash registers all tied together through a central server. Quick and efficient. You just never know.

    https://www.cruisecritic.com/rollcal...ruary-18-2018/
    This is the Cruise Critic message board.

    https://secure.royalcaribbean.com/ccRegister.do
    This is the Meet & Mingle registration. It will require your booking number. We have 22 people but need 25 for the Meet & Mingle to happen and you have to be one of the people registered to enjoy the Meet & Mingle.

    Don
    Yep, I'm a newbie at this cruising business (last cruise in '97). Is the 'booking number' the same as the 'reservation ID'? While I'm at it, Gayle mentioned in a recent email that we should "Please go in and do your immigration online to save you time at the port." Months ago I sent her copies of our new passports and I don't know what more I need to do.

    Thanks to all for your patience
    Larry

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canyon Lake, TX
    Posts
    281
    Blog Entries
    4
    Larry, I know it can be confusing doing everything before the cruise but a lot of things happen a little closer to the cruise after the final payment, etc.

    Marilyn Hamilton is having a get together to discuss these things so that you will not be alone when trying to figure things out. We have been on 21 cruises on multiple cruise lines so we are very familiar with everything that needs to be done. We will be at the meeting also. Most of the people going on this trip have cruised before with the exception of about 5 couples.

    Your booking number is the only number you need to reference your cruise with Royal Caribbean. Once you sign into the Royal Caribbean site and provide your number you should see your cruise information. You can set up your profile and the way you would like things like your bed setup or favorite drink. You will also provide your passport information and next of kin. You have to wait until 90 days before the cruise to complete your Sail and Sign information with your passports and credit card information.

    All of these things can be asked and answered at the get together. Dave agreed to provide a computer to demonstrate what needs to be done.

    As far as the Cruise Critic forum, it is people going on this cruise talking back and forth about things getting to know each other. The Meet & Mingle is something put on by Royal Caribbean in cooperation with Cruise Critic to allow the people who sign up to have a little party at the start of the cruise to see each other face to face. I have been talking to someone in Alaska that is going on this cruise that lives close to a Miata owner we met on the last 2 Alaska cruises we were on. You just never know who will be on this cruise unless you talk to them. We met some really fascinating people on our last cruise.

    The link to Cruise Critic will allow you to register and talk on the forum while the link to the Meet & Mingle will get you an invitation to the party on the ship usually the 2nd morning.

    Once we are within 90 days of the cruise, then you can put in all of your information like passport info and emergency contacts to get your Sail & Sign sheet to take to the port with you showing that all of your information is entered correctly. It cuts down the time at registration to get your Sail & Sign card to enter the ship.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canyon Lake, TX
    Posts
    281
    Blog Entries
    4
    Thank you Dave and Marilyn for hosting the cruise meeting at your house. I think everyone had a great time and we got a lot of questions answered.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canyon Lake, TX
    Posts
    281
    Blog Entries
    4
    We are now 90 days out on 11/20 so we can fill out our online check-in to get our Set Sail Pass.

    90 days to go. Yeah!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    west side of San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    4

    Currency Conversion

    Just before printing my 'Setsail Pass' I noticed a requirement for me to choose between these:
    A
    I choose to pay my onboard charges in the currency of my card. I choose to use Royal Caribbean International's currency conversion program. This currency conversion transaction is based on wholesale exchange rates collected from Bloomberg plus a 3 percent international currency conversion fee. My choice to have charges billed in the currency of my card is final. I accept that the exchange rate used will be the rate in effect at the time the amounts are charged to my card.
    B
    I choose to have my credit card issuer convert my onboard charges to the currency of my card in lieu of participating in the Royal Caribbean International currency conversion program.
    If I opt for my charges to be converted by my credit card issuer, or if my card is not billed in one of the billing currencies listed, my charges will be processed in the onboard currency (USD) and the issuer of my card may charge a service fee for currency conversion.

    Do any of you more experienced cruisers know which of these is more advantageous? Won't the onboard charges be in USD, anyway?

    Larry

    See Page 2!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •