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Old August 11th, 2010, 04:49 AM
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Default Exploring ports on your own

Share your stories! I'd like to see suggestions on things to do in different ports by exploring on your own (not with a pricey ship's excursion). Where you just got a cab and went to a beach or tourist site, and saved $$$
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Old August 11th, 2010, 04:56 AM
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I will start. I did Nassau on my own 3 times. First time rented scooter (my friend drove), went to Cabbage beach. 2nd time hopped a bus to the Fish Fry/Arawak Caye then walked to Ardastra Gardens and Zoo took a cab back to save time. Last trip got a water taxi to Paradise Island and went to see The Cloisters, then took a cab back to Nassau to see Fort Fincastle and the Queens Staircase.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 06:49 AM
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My D/W and I went to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, got a cab and went to Couples Resorts San Souci. The cab fair was $20 each round trip, with a stop at an out of the way place to buy souvenirs, and $50 each for a day pass to the resort.

Couples is an all inclusive resort for adult couples only. All drinks and eats were included in the price and the 2 beaches, one a nude beach, and all resort amenities were available to us during our time there.

We had a great time and highly recommend it to anyone going to Ocho Rios on a cruise!

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Tim
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Old August 11th, 2010, 11:59 AM
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Going to an all inclusive in Jamaica, is a great way to enjoy this port. I hate to have to inject the subject of safety into posts now, but one really needs to be vacation smart.

So many times we have just walked off the ship,and gotten into a cab or bus,and been taken all over for a personal tour of the cabbie's hometown. If you grab a cab, you can decide where you go,and, for how long you want to stay.

If you decide to go just the two of you...make sure the price of the ride is determined, and is clear...and the pick up time as well, if it's a beach you want to go to. We had a wonderful tour in Barbados,with a cab driver who was just so gracious,and pointed out us, places and things, we may not have seen..
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Old August 11th, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Like Trip: We have done many taxi tours that have been great and more informative than ship's tours. The locals really know the area. Trip gave you the best advice on what to do before you get in the cab.

We also negotiate private tours with people at the pier. Sometimes I will go through two or three tour people before I find one that is right. It isn't just price but vehicle, driver, what we will do and the feeling you get from the driver.

We also research before we go and will pre-book private excursions to places that require long travel or are more "history" orientated. Recommendations from Meet on Board and here on the CM message boards are a great way to find good and reputable guides. Just make sure the recommendation isn't coming from the guide under the guise of a message board poster.

I have taken a few cruise line tours and overall I haven't been too excited over them. I had one where we spent a couple of hours on the side of the road when our Jeep broke down and the driver "went ahead" to get help. We finally flagged down a tour, from another ship, and got back to the ship. On another tour, in Spain, we had to endure hours of political babbling from the tour guide until I finally couldn't take it anymore and asked him to stop. After that he didn't say much of anything.

The best thing is to make sure you know what you are getting before you start your tour or give someone any money. You can be "taken for a ride" but you more than likely will have a good tour at a reasonable price.

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Old August 11th, 2010, 12:43 PM
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60 cruises, 100's of ports and never a ships tour! (a bloggers once)

I personally think ports are for exploring on your own!! I've had some great discoveries. Never any real problems, some I would do again and some I would not, but no regrets.

That being said I'm about to book my first ships excursion. It's a specialty evening dinner thing and for once the price is about the same as booking it locally. The advantage of ships tour is transport direct to/from ship.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 03:52 PM
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all good an valid points, safety is and should always be an utmost concern, just because you are on vacation doesn't mean leave your brain at home. When in St. Thomas we always do a hop over to St. John for beach and snorkeling. On our last cruise we had a stop in MoBay we werent' sure what we wanted to do, we were docked, standing out on our balcony wondering,got to talking to our neighbor who happend to have been born there and he gave us a great suggestion as where to go to spend the day, we grabbed a cab to Dr's Cove Beach and are so glad that we did that.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 04:02 PM
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I just thought about, how, in St Thomas, no matter how crowded with people, there is almost a dividing line on the main street, [less shops, less people] where, I had like a red flag go up,and, thought, we better turn around and go back to the crowds...
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Old August 11th, 2010, 05:07 PM
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Cabo San Lucas we hired a glass bottom boat that took us passed the Arch and pelican rock. We saw lots of fish. The boat dropped us over at Medano Beach we get chairs and beers at the roped off area for Baja Cantina. Had a nice swim in the Sea of Cortez. Then boat picked us uip and back to the ship. Nice relaxing day.

Mazaltan we took a pulmonia (open air taxi) to the aquarium. Yes the bird show was in Spanish and all the exhibits were in Spanish. The aquarium is mainly for the Mexican people and it's a small aquarium. However, the cost was only 75 peso at a 10 to 1 exchange rate that is only $7.50 and for the price you got a lot for you money.


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