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Old January 2nd, 2007, 12:52 PM
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Default Tour help for St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Grenada, Bonaire, Aruba

Heading to our first S. Caribbean. Wouldlike some suggestions for tours. We like beaches, snorhling, and animals. What have you done??? Also, best places to shop--not straw markets,
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 08:42 PM
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rblank28,

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Heading to our first S. Caribbean. Wouldlike some suggestions for tours. We like beaches, snorhling, and animals. What have you done???
In St. Thomas, I highly recommend the Champagne Catamaran Sailaway to St. John if your cruise line offers it. On this excursion, a sail catamran picks you up a thte cruise ship pier and takes you to a very secluded beach on St. John with a reef for snorkeling nearby. Upon arrival, the captain of the catamaran gives a safety briefing while the crew lowers the ladder and breaks out snorkel gear, for those who want to use it, so everybody can go into the water or up onto the beach. A couple hours later, they sound the whistle for lunch onboard the catamaran. After lunch, there's more time for swimming or sunning before the catamarn sets sail to return to the pier around 3:15. The whole time, the crew serves beverages of your choice -- beer, champagne, juices, sodas, and beer. You then have some time for shopping at the shopping center adjancent to the cruise ship pier (and be sure to mail your postcards home from the post office that's there, so they will arrive home before you do), or you can go return to the ship for afternoon tea.

In St. Kitts, I have only done the island highlights tour that includes Brimstone Fortress (known as "the Gibraltar of the West Indies") and the Anabelle Batik Factory and adjacent garden, along with some lesser points of interest. This tour is very worthwhile, but I won't push it since it apparently is not within your interest.

I have been to Grenada several times, but I don't recall going to a beach there. I found the tour around the island to be quite interesting on my first visit, but just went ashore on my own and wandered around the pier and the cruise termianl -- and, of course, to buy spices -- last time I was there. The spices are a great bargain and much better than what you find in your local supermarket, so be sure to stock up if you like to cook.

I have never been to Bonaire, so I can't advise you on that port of call.

In Aruba, I highly recommend the excursion called Sail, Snorkel, Barbecue, and Beach. On this excursion, a sail catamaran picks you up at the cruise ship pier in Oranjestad and takes you up the coast to a couple snorkel areas -- the first near a beach and the second over a wreck that's teaming with all kinds of fish. After that, the catamaran goes to the operator's pier where the operator has a barbecue shack that serves lunch. After lunch, you'll have some time to swim at the beach next to the pier (which is a very good beach) or browse the shops across the street from the pier before reboarding the catamaran to go back to the cruise ship pier. On this excursion, the crew of the catamaran serves beverages throughout but the alcoholic beverages are available only after the last snorkeling stop. When you return, you'll have some time to wander through the downtown shopping area right outside Aruba's cruise terminal.

Hope this helps. Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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