So one of the things we are having difficulty with is that the excursions seem to be in the middle of the day!!!! My husband wants to shop a lot as well so this is a problem...does anyone know if they will add more times or anything???
As a general rule your in port for a certain amount of time, say 6 hrs for an example. You will have to choose a excursion that last for a 2 - 3 hours, and use the rest for your shopping. A tour may finish a few minutes early from time to time, and that will give you a few more minutes to sight see.
If the ship leaves at 5.00pm, be back on board by 4.30 at the latest. If all excursions booked through the ship are accounted for,and all systems set for sail, the ship will leave at 5.00 pm with or without you. It has happen on every cruise I've been on.
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Happy sailing and smooth seas;
When we did St. Thomas last year on the Victory, we docked and got off rather quickly and took our long shore excursion to St. John. After returning to the ship, we got back on the ship, changed and took a cab downtown to the shopping area where we spent about and hour and a half, then came back to the pier at the other shops where we browsed and had ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. When we got back on the ship, we took showers and had plenty of time to relax on our balcony before they began to set sail again.
We did the 4/16/05 Eastern Glory. Not enough time in Nassaue to do both shopping and excursion.
In St. Thomas, our deck was second to last called and we were off the ship about 12:15. Just enough time to take a quick taxi into town and shop for about 45 minutes and back for our 1:30 excursion. We were back early enough to do additional shopping, but it was raining, so we just went back to the cabin for a nap.
In St. Maarten, we booked a 1:15 excursion on the Golden Eagle catamaran (love it by the way,) and had a very nice time shopping in Phillipsberg. The deals were very good and the shopping area went on forever it seemed.
So, to sum things up, you have time to shop AND do an excursion in each port except Nassau in my opinion, and there is PLENTY of shopping in St. Thomas and St. Maarten to make up for it.