Written on: 20/02/2009 by scottdavid
No bad points regrding the cruise. We thought the flight over from Manchester to the Domincan Republic was disapointing as we boarded at 9.30am and considering you have to be at the airport 2 hours before and some people had travelled many miles no food was served until 1.30pm. People were really hungry by this time and we were constantly asking the staff when it was going to be served. The flight back although delayed by 1.30 hours was fine and we were fed straight away!
The Thomson Destiny, Coral Islands and Caribbean gems cruise just exceeded all our expectations. As a group of seven, five of us had cruised before, with two novices! It was great not having to go into the airport in the Dominican as we walked round the side and all boarded coaches (no arrival or departure tax is payable for cruise passengers) There was a delay as the coaches were staggered and with no one to explain why, it seemed to me like some people were getting irriated. However this was apparently done so there was not a queue on the quay side. On board our cases were delivered straight to our cabin.
The ports of call were fantastic with the ship docking straight into the resorts. This meant you could just have a wander and stretch your legs even if you did not want to go on an ordinary tour. I was a bit worried when other reviews had said there were mini van drivers waiting to offer trips, but i needn't have been. All were professional and offered much better value for money than the offical ship trips. We went on an island tour in St Lucia which cost the seven of us 25 dollars each. I'd advise people to be aware of the extras though such as 5 dollars each to go into the volcano and 2 dollars to get close to the waterfalls. Still it was cheaper than the ships tour and he took us where we wanted to go. Barbados - go to the boatyard. You can walk as its not to far from the ship or get a taxi. I didn't go but two from our group did and the pictures were amazing. In st Kitts we went Quad Biking, a tour from the ship. Expensive at 100 pound for two but well worth it. The guide was really good and took us up in the mountains and kept stopping to point out interesting things. Dominica. Walk along the front through the town to the next port - much more refined than where the destiny docked. All the rest of the stops were great except when we came back to the dominican Republic to pick up people for the second week - I thought the place looked like a dump and I certainly didn't feel safe. If you do venture out, there are government guides who will take you on a short tour. They don't ask for money but most seemed to give them about 10 dollars. My advice would be to either go on a ships tour or stop on the ship. Of all the islands we visited l would say St Maarten was all our favourites. When you leave the ship there are water taxis which take you across to the beach and all the shops. It costs 6 dollars and you can go back and too to the ship as many times as you want. Here the prices are the cheapest of all the islands and the shops are amazing. For 5 dollars you also get a sunbed and umbrella and these are looked after whilst you go off and explore. Its just a beautiful place.
We were on level 3 and had an outside cabin. I'd recommend to be sure to book your cabin away from the engines as they can be very noisy. We were in cabin 3084 and it was great. The staff are fantasic and certainly added to our enjoyment. The cruise director is suberb and the shows we saw were the best we've ever seen (this is our 5th cruise). The food in the Seven Seas Restaurant could not be bettered and the dining room waiters made the evening meal into such an exiciting event we looked forward to it every night. What a great way to spend a cold and snowy February! - can't wait for the next cruise!
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