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Old July 20th, 2007, 01:23 PM
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Default Triumph Excursions

Hi all. Here is a list of our ports. If you have been to any and could offer some advice on some excursions that you felt you got your money's worth, we would be appreciative.

Also, do you recommend booking directly through the cruise line, or just waiting to see what's available once you arrive? We've heard you can get far better prices by just going through the locals, however, it would be nice to avoid the haggle.

1. Half Moon Cay
2. St. Thomas
3. San Juan
4. Grand Turks

We are booked for the 102707 sailing.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 04:29 PM
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1. Half Moon Cay - we really intend to just be lazy and play at the beach here, probably rent a float and have fun, maybe take a hike and explore. Super inexpensive
2. St. Thomas - we'll likely take the ferry over to St. John ($10 each round trip) and play at Trunk Bay for a bit, then if time allows when we return to St. Thomas we will take the kids to explore Coral World and Coki beach by cab (under $150 total for the day for four of us) and this will be a lot packed into one day.
3. San Juan - I don't know if your itinerary is during the day or night, ours is during the day, so since last time we were here it was on the Liberty at night, thankfully it was a full moon so we could see some things, but this time we're taking the kids to El Morro (the fort), we'll probably grab a bite, and hit a beach, and explore old San Juan. Super inexpensive
4. Grand Turk - May go to Governor's Beach or Bohio Dive Resort. We'll of course check out Margaritaville we get off the ship, but I doubt we'll spend any time there... too many ppl. Very inexpensive

Whatever you do watch your time schedule and be sure you allow yourself plenty of time to get back to the ship on time. Hope that helps.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 07:49 AM
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Hi CO Cruiser,

I am booked on the Triumph 08/25-09/01 stopping at the same ports as well. So far this is what I have:

1. Half Moon Cay - From what Ive read on other sites this is a private island owned by CCL's parent company, so it doesnt matter when or who you book your shore excursions with since they are the only game in town. They basically offer all the same activities most caribbean ports offer.

2. St Thomas - Since this our first time to St Thomas I booked a day tour with a local vendor I found online including 3 hrs of shopping, 1 1/2 hrs of sightseeing, and appx 2 hrs at any beach of out choice. The cost was only $25 pp including transportation to and from cruise dock. CCL's similar tours start at $55 and have fewer stops, only last a few hrs, and are much more crowded.

I have also read some great reviews on the St John, Trunk Bay tours as well. We'll probably do this one next time we visit...through a local vendor of course.

3. San Juan - Tried to book a catamaran 1/2 day sail...but time was too tight. I am now looking into a couple local vendors I also found online for a jet ski tour. Prices so far have been any where from $65 pp to $120 per jet ski. Most jet skis hold 2-3 people.

4. Grand Turk - I booked a tour to Gibbs Cay through another local vendor I found online. Tour lasts 3-4 hrs and also includes transportation to and from cruise dock, boat ride to island, swimming with stingrays, and snorkling. Cost is $50 pp. CCL's similar tour is $55 pp, but only lasts 1 1/2 hrs and is very crowded.

After the tour we will probably just hand out at the Margaritaville in the Cruise Center.

Hope this helps!
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Old July 26th, 2007, 08:38 AM
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could you list the vendors for st thomas and the turks? thanks
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Old July 26th, 2007, 09:27 AM
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Absolutly!

St Thomas - I booked with Godfrey Tours [www.godfreytoursvi.com]. You can also try Air Force 1 Fun [www.havefunwithus.com]. I originally tried to book the same tour with them, however they were all booked up the day we are scheduled to arv. There is also St Thomas Taxi [saintthomastaxi.com].

Grand Turk - I booked with Blue Water Divers [www.grandturkscuba.com].
You can also try Sea Eye Diving [www.seaeyediving.com]. Carnival uses Oaisis Divers [www.oasisdivers.com], however you cannot book directly through them if on a cruise.

Let me know if you have any further questions.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 01:29 PM
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We are also going to these same ports in November.

Half Moon Cay..We are going to "Hang out" and enjoy a beach day.

St Thomas.. We are planning to rent a car at the port in St. Thomas ($68.00) and drive to Red Hook, Catch a car Ferry (under $50 for car and all passengers) to St. John and drive to Trunk Bay ($4/adult) and snorkel. We priced going without the rental car and it was going to be around $300 for a family of 6 after all the ferries and taxi fares. (BEWARE THE TAXI FARES CAN ADD UP)We can do the road trip of St. Thomas and St. John at our own pace and make whatever stops we like. Frommers.com gives you a road map and info to go buy on both islands.

San Juan...We are planning the walking tour on our on...Again Frommer.com gives you step by step instructions on the walking tour adn information about the city. It cost $5/pp to tour the fort. Again we will be at our own pace.

Grand Turk...We are again going to rent a car. ($95) and tour the entire island. We understand it is a very laidback island and traffic is not a problem. We also want to visit Bohio resor to do the kayaking.($25/2 people) Bohioresort.com. They also have diving, snorkeling and other water activities. I have read this is the best beach on the island.

Hope this helps some.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 07:58 AM
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Wow that sounds great! Have you been to any of these ports in the past? I never considered renting a car myself in any port. I didnt want to get lost and miss the boat (literally)! I'm gonna check out Frommer.com and seriously consider renting a car for next time. I already purchased a mini Fodor's travel guide for each island, but I havent check out their website. How did you find the car rental company's? Are the requirements to rent a car in these ports any different than renting a car in the US?
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Old July 27th, 2007, 09:51 AM
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Glad the info helped. We have never been to any of the ports before and are really excited. I do a lot of research before a cruise, it drives my kids crazy. I like to have everything mapped out so I don't get back and think I missed something. The rental car requirments are the same as in the US. The only thing to check for in St. Thomas is to make sure they allow you to ferry it to St. John. We called serveral companies who do not allow it and some who allow it but do not provide insurance on the ferry or roadside assistance while in St. John. (That worried me) We are going through Budget. We usually travel on a budget and want to see and get the most for our $$. If you have any other questions I will do my best to help.
Have a great trip.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 10:32 AM
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I just seen your posting, and perhaps someone else has already replied.

Just in case either of you like jewelry..... , you can really get some GOOD buys in St. Thomas. The nice part about it, there are so many dealers, that you really can look/choose from a big variety of jewelry. Also another plus, you pay NO tax on the jewelry.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 10:56 AM
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Thanks. Thats good to know.

I have a charm bracelet and I always get at least one charm from each port or vacation destination. I plan to buy my daughter her first charm bracelet for x-mas this year and this cruise would be the perfect time to start collecting charms for her...possibly even get the charm bracelet...if I can find a good deal.

Do you know if silver & tanzanite are as popular in these ports as in Mexico? Or is it primairly gold?
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Old July 27th, 2007, 11:00 AM
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That sounds neat. I have two girls that would love that. Thanks for the idea. I don't have any idea about the tanzanite.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 11:07 AM
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I see you've cruised primarily on CCL. How did you like RCCL when you cruised with them?
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Old July 27th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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We were not crazy about RCCL. It was not a memorable cruise at all. Small ship and not many activities. Cabins were smaller than carnival. The guests and staff just seemed to be a little up tight. Maybe we are not up to the "class" of people they were. We like to just go and have fun, not nec. party but have a good time. We just had an overall bad experience. I am sure the bigger ships are much better. Big ship, small ship, short itenarary, long one, we have always had fun on Carnival.
Also, I have contacted RCCL directly for some info and it was impossible to get any information form them, I finally gave up.
I am sure RCCL is great for some families, just not ours.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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Our 1st cruise was with RCCL and it wasnt very memorable either. The room was smaller than my walk in closet! :o To make matters worse, our shower was broken and needed to be "riged" every time we took a shower, and it still kept falling off the wall! When we turned it over to our room steward, of course he acted suprised, and stated he would adv maintainence. Needless to say our shower was never repaired. When we returned from the cruise I contacted their complaint dept to let them know about the issue and how it was handled. They offered a $200 onboard credit to use on our next cruise...but it had an expiration date!

We also felt the staff and fellow passengers seemed a bit stuffy.

We've heard and read such good things about CCL we're pretty excited about this cruise. We booked an OVG and received an upgrade to a balcony cabin on the Panorama deck! :o So if you ask me we're already off to a good start!
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Old July 27th, 2007, 01:32 PM
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I think you will love Carnival. Let me know how the balcony is. We haven't gotten a balcony yet. We get our two teenagers their own room across from us and we haven't gotten bumped to a balcony (yet). Maybe we can splurge and get one next time.. , Please let me know when you post your revew. Can't wait to read it...
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Old July 27th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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Thanks everyone for your information. It will come in very useful for us. This is our first cruise and we are excited, but also a bit clueless.

A question for you Iram07....

You said you booked an OVG...which I believe is "Ocean View Guarantee" right? How were you upgraded to a balcony? When did the upgrade happen?

I've been thinking about bumping up to a balcony reservation, but I won't if there is a chance our OVG could get upgraded anyway.
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Old July 29th, 2007, 09:15 AM
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We just got back from Triump on 7-14 sail.

Half moon cay is one of the prettiest beaches I have seen. It is clean soft sand.
One recomendation if you are not on an excursion. Get down to the staging area early to get in line for the tender. If you wait to long you will not have enough time to visit. We were ont the #8 tender. We walked the beach for a while, ate and went back to the ship to beat the crowd. As we were going back to the ship #23 teneder was come to shore. The stop is not very long and when you are on #23 you do not have time to do anything.
The tender process takes a long time with a big ship.

St. John's
We booked the Champagne Catamaran tour to St. John's through the ship. It was nice ride over and we had a good time. The water was rough coming back. If you get motion sickness take something. This was a first time for either of us snorkling. The snacks were pretty good. The pain killer drink they fixed was good. I would do it again. When we got back we went to down town shopping. Liberty Jewelers is a good place to stop downtown. The man that runs the place is first class all the way. It is in one of the side alleys. Just ask someone and they will direct you.

San Juan
We took the Bacarrdi factory and fort tour. I was disappointed with the Bacarrdi tour. They did give you 2 free drinks per person. I was hoping to get to see the inside of the factory like you do on a Makers Mark tour in Loretta, Ky. That does not happen. You get a history lesson, look at a few rooms set up for the tour, and a delightful man at the bar explaining the correct way to use the rum in drinks.
The fort is interesting but the tour guide does not show you much. They want to get you on to the shopping areas as quickly as possible. The climb in the steep ramps into the fort is not for the weak of heart.

Grand Turks
The Views at the light house were nice. If you take the city tour it is a hope on and hope off tour. You stay as long as you like get on the next busthat comes along. Every 15 minutes or so. The prison tour is not a great thing but a good history lesson. One place you need to stop is the SAND BAR and get the Conch bites. John the bartender is a nice guy. The bar is on the beach where you can swim if you like. If you are taking the city tour get off at the first stop for the beach. The bus has 3 stops. Beach, Light house and prison. Walk across the stree to Robertss street. Go down to street that runs parrallel to the beach, turn right and the sand bar is about 100 yards on the left. It is worth the time for lunch.

Margaritaville was so crowded we did not go into the pool or resturant area.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CO_Cruiser
Thanks everyone for your information. It will come in very useful for us. This is our first cruise and we are excited, but also a bit clueless.

A question for you Iram07....

You said you booked an OVG...which I believe is "Ocean View Guarantee" right? How were you upgraded to a balcony? When did the upgrade happen?

I've been thinking about bumping up to a balcony reservation, but I won't if there is a chance our OVG could get upgraded anyway.

Yes, thats correct...OVG stands for Ocean View Guarantee which means your are guaranteed a minimum of an ocean view cabin or greater. I contacted CCL to see if I had been upgraded after reading several posts for a roll call of this cruise on another site stating they had all been upgraded to either a higher deck or a higher grade room altogether! But I found out later you can also check by loging onto Carnival.com and go to view cruise details, then modify booking and scroll down to stateroom details. The CCL rep advised me the earlier you booked, the better your upgrade will be! I believe they started assigning cabins at least a couple of weeks ago, because thats when I started reading about everyone getting upgraded.

Good luck! Let me know what you find out.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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That's good news. We booked approximately a little over 3 months in advance.....which I'm sure is not soon enough. I see a lot of people on here that book over a year in advance. Do you remember how long ago you booked?
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Old July 30th, 2007, 12:16 PM
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We booked ours in Apr. I think 3 mos should be far enough in advance to get some kind of upgrade...at least deck wise if not cabin wise. Let me know when you find out.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 02:29 PM
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Does this UPGRADE ONLY happen with a gurantee cabin? We have a balcony cabin 8a on the Triumph, but we picked a cabin number because there are 3 of us and we had to make sure we got 3 beds. Other posts that I have read show that only a guarantee (which is cheaper than ours) are the ones picked for upgrades......doesn't seem fair that a nicer cabin could come avail and we wouldn't be considered. Being upgraded to me means nicer cabin NOT just a higher level on the ship with same cabin type. Not sure HOW people book OV or balconies and end up in a suite....that would be nice........this is our 4th Carnival cruise and never saw an upgrade yet.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 05:57 PM
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Yes, in reference the charm bracelet, that would be a good idea. Tanzanite you can buy (good buy) in St. Thomas.

Also, if you really want to save money, I just buy magnets from all the islands that I have visited. So when people visit my home, they will see all the places I have been on my refrigerator.

We just got back from RCCL big ship in April. It is nice, bigger ship that is, but personally, I could be wrong, but I think CCL has bigger rooms, or it seems to me. I have 3 ships that I am thinking of going on next year, but since it is my friends frist trip, I'm going to let her pick. Hopefully she will pick CCL.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joie
Does this UPGRADE ONLY happen with a gurantee cabin? We have a balcony cabin 8a on the Triumph, but we picked a cabin number because there are 3 of us and we had to make sure we got 3 beds. Other posts that I have read show that only a guarantee (which is cheaper than ours) are the ones picked for upgrades......doesn't seem fair that a nicer cabin could come avail and we wouldn't be considered. Being upgraded to me means nicer cabin NOT just a higher level on the ship with same cabin type. Not sure HOW people book OV or balconies and end up in a suite....that would be nice........this is our 4th Carnival cruise and never saw an upgrade yet.

I not certain about upgrades on bookings when a specific cabin has already been locked in...Ive never heard of it being done, but that doesnt mean it doesnt happen.

From my understanding "Guaranteed" cabins are available for every category and deck...For example, you can book a "Guaranteed" interier cabin on the Upper deck...Which guarantees you an interier cabin (or better) on the Upper deck (or higher). We booked an OVG on the Riveria deck and there is 4 of us (me, my boyfriend, plus my son, & daughter)...Which means we also needed 3 beds...Even with an OVG we were guaranteed a cabin that would accomidate all four of us.

I would contact who ever you booked your cruise with and inquire about any upgrades you may qualify for. Let me know how it goes...Im sure there are others who have come across the same issue.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brneyes
Yes, in reference the charm bracelet, that would be a good idea. Tanzanite you can buy (good buy) in St. Thomas.

Also, if you really want to save money, I just buy magnets from all the islands that I have visited. So when people visit my home, they will see all the places I have been on my refrigerator.

We just got back from RCCL big ship in April. It is nice, bigger ship that is, but personally, I could be wrong, but I think CCL has bigger rooms, or it seems to me. I have 3 ships that I am thinking of going on next year, but since it is my friends frist trip, I'm going to let her pick. Hopefully she will pick CCL.

Magnets are a good idea too...I usually buy family and friends shot glasses or tshirts.

I have also heard CCL has larger cabins that RCCL. Our last cruise was with RCCL and out interior cabin was the size of my walkin closet!
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Old August 1st, 2007, 10:24 AM
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Yes, comparing my room on the RCCL and CCL, I found I had to store the luggage under the bed, where on the CCL, I was able to stand it upright in the closets. (I think if you look on each ships website, you will find the size of the cabins in feet. I think you will find CCL is about 4 feet more )

I also found that their toiletries were larger in size than the other ships I have been on.
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