While in St. Thomas, be sure to take a cab over the Red Hook Ferry and spend a few hours in St. JOhns, great snorkeling and beautiful beach. If you go early enough in the AM you can avoid all the cruise ship tours there and still have time to shop back in St. Thomas. In Aruba, we did an island tour, but you can just rent a car or a jeep and tour the island yourself, be sure to catch the natural bridge, quite a sight. In Curacao, we once did a really good snorkeling excersion through the ship, but this last time we just wandered around town. No one bothers you and the people are friendly. In San Juan you can walk to El Morro and see the old fort, really neat and the view from there is wonderful. Haven't been to St. Lucia, but I'm sure you will find something interesting to do. Have a great cruise.
We hired a cab in St. Lucia two years ago. Thomas our driver, (pronounced to MAS), drove us around for about four hours showing us the sights and stopping wherever we wanted for as long as we wanted. We went up to the sulphur springs, he took us to get a close-up view of the Pitons, the twin mountain peaks that are in all the pictures you see of the island, to a town called Vieux Fort. There's beautiful scenery all along the way. Lots and lots of palm trees as well as bamboo and other plant life. The roads are in very good condition. It was a very enjoyable day. I think it costs me like $60.00 for my wife and myself. I gave him a $20.00 tip on top of that because he was very friendly and knowledgable. Before you hire anyone, agree on a price. Don't be afraid to haggle with them either if the price seems too high, they want your fare and don't want to see you walk away. Hope this helps.
Was just reading your message on the message board asking for shore excursion ideas... Your itinerary sounds the same as ours... so I am curious when you are sailing and what ship? We are booked on the Carnival Destiny Feb 18-25; when we get to Aruba my sister and her husband will be vacationing there and plan to give us the grand tour of the island... that solved the decision making for one day! Hope you have a great trip!
The only ship's excursion we took was in St. Lucia. It was a land/sea excursion that was wonderful. A bus tour with a guide in the morning--then a stop for lunch--then return on a catamaran. Worth the money. On the other islands we took a cab to a beach and relaxed.
I will be leaving Sunday, Feb 4th, on the Carnival Destiny - Will be back in town on the 14th and post i reply around the 15th - I am also going to all the above mentioned ports of call with a 4 day stay in San Juan tacked on the end. Will definetly post the ideas we find.
In Aruba take the Off-Road Adventure! 4-person Suzuki open vehicles, in a caravan. Great sights, scenic, comfortable, and you don't have to keep track of a route using a map. Beware: wear layers and layers of sunscreen and take along a strong-bristled hairbrush for afterwards. Island is rather barren but still charming although extremely windy. California Lighthouse is beautiful as is Natural Bridge and shoreline. Casibari Rock an interesting rock formation for panoramic view. Nice but short beach stop, among other sites. Tour group furnishes tea or lemonade.