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Old March 15th, 2004, 06:51 AM
Robert R.
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Default Re: Re: Lirica and other MSC ships

We were on the Feb. 28th sailing and a GREAT time. We took a ship sponsored shore excursion in each of the ports with the exception of St. Barth's. I will give you a quick review of each.

SAN JUAN-Rain forest tour. Great tour. We had already been to the El Morro Fort and Old San Juan. If you have never been to San Juan I would recommend that you take the city tour instead. We had a great rour of the El Yunque rain forest but the city tour would probably give you a better taste of Puerto Rico. Be sure you see El Morro. It looks as though the city tour doesn't take you there but it is very close to the ship.

ANTIGUA-Historical Antigua. Average tour in fact the low end of average. Nelson's dockyard, in which I was most interested, was a BIG dissapointment. I read a lot about it and it ended up being little more than a bunch of old buildings filled with gift shops, bars, motel rooms and restaurants.

GRENADA-Island tour-Great tour-Got to see much of the island and learn about the agriculture (spices), saw some nice scenery, history, etc.

ST. LUCIA-Soufriere-Great tour. We went by catamaran to the samll town of Soufriere which is close to the famous Pitons. We stopped at one beautiful harbor where you could swim or walk around and shop. On the boat, they had good music and some dancing, plus drinks. You had to pay for mixed drinks and beer. Driving through the volcano was a worthwhile experience. The drive back was hair raising. Narrow winding roads over changing elevations-fun and pretty. On the way back, we stopped at a small fishing village do some shopping at a local market.

ST. BARTHS-no ship sponsored tour. Right at the pier, you can get a van with about 4 other people for a tour of the island that lasts for about an hour. The tour costs $12.00 per person. The vans will be lined up and waiting for you and separating you by language. I was impressed with the island but the guide we got was close to worthless. This, I think, was just the "luck of the draw". She gave us nothing about the history, we never got out of her car. She gave us a very poor 45 minute tour of what is a very pretty island. I gave her a cheap, obligatory $2.00 tip (for my wife and myself) which was $2.00 too much!!! I would recommend the tour but just hope you get a good guide.

TORTOLA-The Baths of Virgin Gorda-Great tour. 1/2 hour uneventful boat ride to the island of Virgin Gorda. You then get on a modified pick up truck (the bed has been modified to hold about 20 passengers) that takes you across a small part of the island to the baths. After a short orientation talk you walk down a steep, but manageable, trail for about 200 yards. You may then enter the baths or go to a beach. We entered the baths (bunch of large boulders that you crawl in, over, around, and through to get to the next beach.) A really fun and different experience. The baths led to one of the most beautiful beaches that I have seen. Nice sand surrounded by huge boulders. Here we had an hour or so to go swimming or snorkeling. We then had a 1/4 mile walk back to our meeting place where complementary rum punch and soft drinks were available. We returned to the ship the same we we arrived.

NASSAU-The Pirates of Nassau- Average tour. The tour didn't start until 2:00 P.M.. We went to 2 forts, and went through an interactive pirate museum where they had a replica of part of a pirate ship. I felt the tour got a little long-maybe it was the time of the day. We had more fun in the moring, on our own. Bought a few things at the famous straw market (an easy walk). We took a cab to the famous Atlantas Hotel and Casino ($4.00 each one way). You can also get there by water taxi for $6.00 each round trip. Well worth the cost.

Some of the tours do get sold out early so once you make up your mind be sure that you get them booked. You don't learn the exact departue time and duration of the tour until the night before. One of them left at 7:20 A.M. Hope this helped. HAVE FUN!!!!!!!
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