Truly, it is a fantastic trip for my first cruise vacation. We have a family of 4 from Toronto, Ontarion, Canada.
Navigator of the Seas by Royal Caribbean: The ship are loaded with every activities for every age group. It is so calm and stable on the sea. My daughter (11 age) loves the kid adventure activities. My son (16 age) loves the Teen activities. We love every activities (show, game, food, dinner & room service etc). Except one thing is the smoking arear is not enclosed. We have to smoke the 2nd hand as we pass the Bar on deck 3 & 4. Also on the deck 11 near the pool, all the smorkers are gather there.
Labadee (Royal's own port): Not much to see but just relax on the beach. Be sure to negotiate the price from the local reseller.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica: As we travel on the West Caribbean route, I will recommend the local tour guide - Trevor Hudlin for Ocho Rios, Jamaica. He is not only provided the lower price but the best service. He introduces us the local drink - fresh coconut drink and famous Jamaica food - Jeck Chicken. We have visited the Dunne River Fall. It is fun and much visit. You can reach him by: http://trevorhudlintours.com Be sure to negotiate the price if you want to buy anything from any local store. You can buy Jamaica Rum on the store at the port. They sell for much less than in the town.
Grand Cayman Island: I will also recommend the local tour:- snorkeling with stingrays at Stingray City Sandbar on Grand Cayman Island by Captain Marvin. They provide the best service and lower price. Don't miss the tour. The staffs are very helpful for non-swimmer (my wife). We saw a lot of beautiful different fishes because they feed the fish. Also they hand over some stingray to us to touch. At the end they provide fresh water to wash the salt water. You can reach Captain Marvin by www.captainmarvins.com. Also be sure to visit the store 'Del Sol" which sell any items will change color under the sun.
Cozumel, Mexico: I will recommend to visit the Chankanaab National Park on Cozumel, Mexico. The park provides every water activities you can spend for a whole day. Thus the local snuba & snorkeling service we used is not that great by Mayan Paradise Tours - Zorro 3 Reef Snorkel & Snuba Trip-Special Sept/Oct. No fish feeding and no fresh water to wash the salt water. Even it is the great price included with drink and fruit. We don't see a lot of different fishes. Be sure to negotiate the price for everything including taxi in Cozumel. They are always over price. I recommend to buy from the store with price tag on each item. I suggest to buy from the stores at the port. The items are labeled with price tag.
Miami, Florida: Be sure to negotiate the price for Taxi, don't take the meter. South Beach is the Shopping paradise. Be sure to ride on local shuttle bus. It charges only $0.25 per person.
Conclusion: For sure, we will choose the cruise ship from Royal Caribbean again especially the new big ship such as Freedom of the Seas. Be aware to carry light hand carry or back pack, it may take a long time (2 hrs) leaving the ship to the US Immigration Dept. Hope this info will help the first time cruisers.
Edwin Lai and Family. September 2005
P.S. You can only bring 1.5 litre of alochol per adult into Canada.