Sam just got back from Panama staying at the recently renovated Secrets Playa Bonita. It was such a beautiful and relaxing resort. Everything was top notch. The only downside was the beach. Most photos have it being beautiful white sand beaches with crystal clear blue waters; however, with the resort located within the path of the ships heading to the Panama Canal the water was murky and the beach limited. The water was not oily just darker in appearance. The hotel has life guards and a set line for swimming. People were swimming in it. The hotel also offers kayaking for those who want to venture out. The rooms were immaculate with a large bathroom. Most of the rooms do NOT have a bathtub as many of the other Secret Resorts do. Nice new tiling throughout. WiFi was available throughout the resort for free of charge. There were four gorgeous pools. The waitstaff around the pools were amazing. They had a drink waiting for you as you sat down on the second day. I cannot say enough about the food. Simply to die for. They had five different restaurants and reservations were not required. The resort staff was extremely accommodating. The ENTIRE staff was visible throughout the whole day, mornings and evenings included. The resort itself is very small and intimate. We took a half day trip to the Panama Canal and Old City. Very worth the money spent. The Panama Canal is a MUST see on your trip to Panama. I highly recommend this adults only resort.
Cathy Cruised with her family on the Norwegian Jade in March of 2016. I sailed out of the Port of Houston with my husband and 2 children, ages 9 and 12. Our balcony cabin was a great choice and both of my kids had their own beds. We visited Cozumel (Mexico), Roatan (Honduras) and Belize City (Belize). The itinerary was fantastic and cruising with my family was a lot of fun too. My husband and I had a free drink package and we took advantage of many top shelf, fun drink options. The food was pretty good, but I was surprised by the surcharges in the main dining room if you wanted a premium cut of meat or a menu item such as lobster. The buffet was wonderful for breakfast, considering the ship was at capacity. We never had long lines for breakfast and I liked that there were several omelet stations. We had to tender in two of the ports, and that seemed to be quite time consuming. Also, it was spring break and there were MANY children on board. This being said, there was only one children's pool (with a small water slide) and on days at sea that was quite full. They also had an adults only pool. The entertainment was great on board. The dancers/acrobats were wonderful and they had an illusionist that my kids enjoyed. They did charge $12/person for yoga and we noticed some of other activities on days at sea also had surcharges!
As far as excursions go, we picked some really good ones. We did Snuba in Cozumel and saw many fish with a great guide. My family enjoyed lunch at Senor Frogs, which is always a fun place. We also visited Gumbalimba Wildlife Park and Tabyana Beach on Roatan. We interacted with monkeys, a variety of birds and iguanas up close and personal. The beach at Tabyana was wonderful...bright blue, with sugar soft sand and there were reefs a short distance from shore that we could all swim out to. On Belize we did a Sharks and Rays excursion that was a bit crowded, but educational. We took a water taxi to Placencia and it was so beautiful. The people on this island are so friendly and the water is an incredible shade of aqua, rich with sea life. We had lunch at a beach side, open air restaurant and we noticed that the prices were quite reasonable. We all want to come back to Belize and explore the island some more! Our cruise experience was a good one and it was a wonderful family vacation. Please call and talk to me if you are interested, I would love to tell you more!
Patti just got back from a 9 night Greek Island cruise. It started in Rome where we spent 2 nights. We purchased the hop on/off 48 hour double decker bus pass and saw the sights from that the first day. The 2nd day we got off at the Vatican and had a skip the line pass to get in. The line was so long, that had we not had that we would have waited forever. We saw all the beautiful mosaics, jewels, and artifacts. We then went to the Sistine Chapel which was much smaller than I anticipated. We stopped at the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Coliseum and many other sites. Then we took a bus to our cruise port which was about an hour from Rome and boarded our Royal Caribbean Cruise, "The Jewel of the Seas". Our first stop was in Chania Crete, where we walked around the harbor, bought pictures from a local artist, selling on the waterfront and had a local lunch. Next we went to Mykonos where we did a wine tour. It is the only winery on that island. The wine was quite good. Our next stop was Kusadasi Turkey which was my favorite. It's a beautiful country. We had a tour of the ruins of Ephedus, then a private runway show of leather jackets, saw beautiful and very expensive handmade rugs being made and did some shopping where I bought a leather jacket. Our next stop was Santorini. We took the tram up to the top to overlook the Aegean sea and the town below. You can also take the almost 600 steps up by walking or riding a donkey. One in our party walked it.
The last stop was Naples, Italy where we took a ferry to the beautiful Isle of Capri. We took another tram up called a funicular, for lovely views of the harbor below. I highly recommend this trip. Call Patti for more details and prices for your Greek Island cruise. 608 258-1600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org