Will be in Antigua in January on the Liberty and I'm not finding alot of info about Antigua where I've looked., (other then Carnival's excursions) as to what would be the thing to do. For those of you who have been there, any and all input would be so much appreciated!!
My husband & I had the best taxi driver. He seemed to not care how long he drove around telling us about the island, sights, best place to eat, shop and stopping at beaches. Of course it helped to share our supply of beer we had purchased with him. I think we paid $40.00 for the whole day, but that was 5 years ago. Enjoy
Caribbean Princes, Southern 12/08
Golden Princess, Alaska 5/07
RCCL Mariner of the Seas, Western 2/07
RCCL Brilliance of the Seas, Panama 12/05
Carnival Valor, Western 1/05
Married on Carnival Destiny, Southern 12/2000
Carnival Fantasy, Bahamas 11/97
We were in Antigua in July on the Destiny as a result of the ship avoiding hurricaine Emily.
I am basing my info on what we did.
Antigua is not visited that often by cruise ships so they are very happy to have you there. The ship literally pulled into port parallel to the pier. We got off the ship and you walk thru a security checkpoint. It is extremely close to shopping and taxi's (we went on & off ship many times.)
Once you are thru security it is fair game to be approached for a taxi. I believe the men with dark pants and white shirts holding a laminated board are the "official taxi company" they will aggressively approach you and try to book a tour. Just politely say no thanks, or I'll come back and find you after I shop. There are also "unofficial" taxi's -private islanders that I think gave a better price they are not allowed to come up front for a taxi. They are further back in shopping area. We were cut a deal of $20 a person for a ride to beach, pick up later and tour of island (he wanted to then give us to his buddy with no a/c) not what we bargained for so he took us in his own a/c mini van. Be specific what you want. We were taken to a beach- across the island (I think called long island it was across the island, as he was avoiding the rain we could see in the distance.) On the way saw them building a stadium for future World Cup Soccer they are hosting. Also saw lots of goats--they run free on island and are owned privately, the goats are smart and return to home at night--the driver seemed to indicate the goats are very loved, and kinda "sacred" no one harms the goats. We arranged for a pick up two hours later, and was given his cell phone if we needed him. We used another taxi driver to call him on cell phone to come back early -as we had gotten cold from some rain that did blow in.
DON'T MISS: On the way back or part of your tour, be sure to see "Devil's Bridge" a natural limestone arch type bridge--much smaller than Aruba's but very neat.
SHOPPING: There is a nice selection of sovenier type shops, liquor store and further down an open market. Our first stop was based on a shop that opened early so received our business-it was down on the left, in an inlet in a courtyard (near the stores that have a stairway going upstairs )- It had a pirate them or maybe even a statue out front if I recall, a small gift shop but found some wonderful watercolor type prints for $16 or so already matted. Further down in the back of the street is another gift shop on right that has acrylic paintings on porch, bright yellow and found some "teak colored" puzzle boxes in all shapes from cats, dog, guitars, heart etc. that made original gifts. There is a secret key piece you lift up and then lid slides to open. Very neat and wonderful store owners, they were very particular to polish my boxes and wrap for thr trip home (a husband & Wife I think). They also had mobiles, coin purses, surely something you'd like to buy. The straw market open area not so thirlled with--nice people, but the t-shirts I bought the appliques want to peel off when I wash them or even use a pressing cloth to iron shirt. As far aas shopping, the area is just at end of pier and my mother (65 years) went in by herself while we went to beach and had no trouble. There is also a post office off to the left near market to get stamps and mail postcards--that area if a female I would't go alone--okay if more than two people or a male with you, it is just near a gazebo hangout and wouldn't feel comfortable alone.
When you return you walk back through security and needed a photo ID half the time other time just the sign & sail was fine.
The only thing I had wish I brought was a rain poncho at beach for a sudden downpour that got us chilled -it had lightening so could not stay in water. Then it went away. Although we were avoiding hurricaine Emily in the area so may not be the usual weather they are used to! Don't forget bottled water and perhaps a small snack of a granola bar etc. while out on a tour.
I have the Carnival excursion list and price if you see a tour and need info. I think it is a "beach island", sailing tours and laid back attitude with very hard workig and proud people.
Adventure of the Seas RC April 2008
Carnival Liberty April 2007
Carnival Miracle April 2005
Carnival Destiny June 2001, July 2005
NCL Southward June 1985 Honeymoon!
Personally I highly recommend a tour with Lawrence.
that includes the sites of the National historic park (Nelson's Dockyard, Shirely heights, Dows Hill Interpretation centre and the Blockhouse). The various sites are historically interesting, have great views and photo ops and Lawrence makes sure you get the most out of every site. (He personally made sure we got on any site tours and were there was no tour he took us around himself). We also saw the Natural Bridge and he dropped us at a nice beach and later picked us up and returned us to the ship.
I would recommend Carl.
His website is http://www.antiguapremiertours.com
I visited Antigua in December on Serenade of the Seas. Carl took a group of us on a fantastic tour of the Island. We had a great time and Carl provided complementary Rum punch and fruit punch. At the end of the tour he gave us a few nice local souvenirs.
Can anyone tell me how expensive Antiqua is? We are debating just doing the beach on our own or buying a day pass. We are not big drinkers but depending on how far the US dollar goes it might still be worth it. Any thoughts?
Antigua: Nice port, plenty of taxis waiting when you get off the ship, it's very well organised too. We went to Dickenson Bay Beach in the morning, (we prefered to do the beach early as if you were going to get rain, it usually came in the afternoon) Taxi for 6 of us = $12 per couple. We had 5 sunbeds = $25. The beach was lovely, very safe for children too. Places to eat, and a bar area too (all on the beach) activities available as well, horse riding, jet skiis, banana boat, glass bottom boat. There were quite a few sellers on the beach, but they go away if you say no! The Sandals resort is at the end of this beach. Went round the shops/markets in the afternoon, duty free shop, lots of little shops selling bits and bobs.
We went to Antigua via DCL. We bought a day pass to the Jolly Roger Resort. Forget how much but very very reasonable. All you could eat and drink, 4 or so incredible pools and a stretch of beach to die for. We spent the whole day there and was highlight of trip.
Antigua is my most favorite island in the Caribbean. We loved Nelson's Dockyard...what a beautiful place to see.
Mary Lou Scanlon
NCL Pride of America April 24, 2010
NCL Epic February 12, 2011
RCCL Allure of the Seas - September 18, 2011
Celebrity Eclipse - February 11, 2012:
RCCL Navigator OTS - February 9, 2013
We have booked Eli's Eco tour through adventureantigua. I read about it on another board and many people said it was their favorite Caribbean excursion!
Our friends are going with Lawrence of Antigua for their land based excursion.
Hope this gives you a couple of more things to check out!
Mariner of the Seas 3/30/08
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
I went 2 years ago on the Dawn Princess, and we did a little shopping, and then we swam with the stingrays. Definitly the highpoint of my cruising vacations. Can't wait to go back to Antigua to do it again.
I have a group also sailing the Liberty but in April. Would like to hear wht you end up doing please.
Looking for info on a tour I found call Miguel's Prickly Pear Island. Anyone ever done or been to his Island.
Spirit 8/1/07 Alaska
Spirit 4/6/08 Mexico
Elation 5/14/09 Catalina
Triumph 9/26/09 New England
Miracle 3/27/11 & 4/4/11 B2B
I second the Eli's Eco Tour! We were in Antigua Feb/05, and we loved Eli's tour. It has been one of the best tours we have been on. Eli was raised on the island, and is very knowledgable. You go out in his boat (meet him right at the pier by your ship), snorkle, vist bird island, have a picnic lunch on board and drinks, and it was a great day! The scenery of the island from his boat is spectacular! I would highly recommend his tour.
NCL Dawn (Repo 14 nite) 11-1-09
RCCL Mariner of the Sea (Mexican Riviera) 4-18-10