questions about Destiny/San Juan
My husband and I are cruising on the Destiny at the end of March. I had a couple of questions:
Can anyone recommend an affordable hotel to stay in near the cruise port in San Juan? I am currently considering Ho Jo's Inn Plaza de Armas .
The reviews I am reading say it's clean. We just want to eat dinner, have a drink and go to bed. Don't need much. It looks like we will even be able to walk to the port?
The itinerary: this is our sixth Carnival cruise and there are four islands we've never seen, that is why I chose this cruise. Any recommendations for Dominica, Barbados, St Kitts and Antigua? On some of them I'd like to just take a taxi to the beach. (like many, we are on a budget). I love to snorkel but my husband just can't get the hang of it. A beach that has snorkeling available would be great. Taxi prices would be helpful too.
Any advice on these two things would be appreciated.
We are on Destiny March 30th so I am interested in the same info.
Long but thorough
Hotels in San Juan are expensive. I have never stayed at one but will be on the Destiny in June and was doing some research re: hotels in SJ. I found the cheapest hotel was approximately $150 a night. However, you get what you pay for. Staying near the ship's terminal will also cost you, especially the night before the ship pulls out. Try tripadvisor.com. They have loads of customer reviews and you should be able to find something that fits your budget.
The only island I have strong recommendations on is Barbados. When I went on the Destiny in 2006, I went to Boatyard Beach in Barbados. It was and still is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. I did not know that sea water could be that clear and calm. It was like standing in a giant bathtub. The sand is truly of the texture of talc power. There are loads of free water toys to play with (trampoline, swing rope, floating climbing triangle, kayaks, etc.). There is a bar/restaurant that sells very reasonable and really good food and music playing by the bar/restaurant. There are also several other restaurants up and down the beach but they are decidedly more expensive (lobster was around $40 at one restaurant). There will be people walking up and down the beach offering to take you out to snorkel. I don't snorkel but after a while I hired a glass bottom boat to take me out to see the "sunken ships". It was pretty cool. The young man driving the boat took me out pretty far and then gave me some bread to hold in my fist in the water. A whole bunch fish came and ate the bread out of my hand. This was pretty cool for a gal hailing from Brooklyn, NY. The admission for this day in paradise was around $15-20 which included a ride back to the ship (glass bottom boat was another $15).
St. Thomas has Megan's Bay which is also lovely not as pretty as Boatyard but wonderful none the less. Make sure you make time to go downtown to wonder up and down streets and alleys to look in the shops. It was wonderful and I never felt threatened or unsafe.
Loved Dominica and plan to do the river tubing excursion (didn't do it last time). This is such a wonderful unspoiled island. Many people said the people were poor on this island but I think poor is a relative term. I think their lives was more simple than poor. I didn't see poverty as much as I saw blessed simplicity. :) After my tour, I wandered alone through the downtonw area near the ship's terminal and never felt unsafe and everyone was very nice and pleasant.
On Antigua went to Turner's Point Beach. It is a very simple beach with nothing but a small restaurant and a few thatch shelters for your lounge chairs ($5). This must be one of the beaches that was used for those Corona commercials because this is exactly what it looks like -- a scene from a Corona commercial. Very simple but very very nice. Next time around I will try another beach but I can honestly recommend this one. The food at the restaurant was very good and cheap.
Can't remember the other islands you will visit but I have never been to St. Kitt, St. Croix or the DR.
You have picked a awsome cruise. I went in September and am planning on going again on it at the end of august.
We stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan, it was $184 a night. It is right across from the terminal and you can walk around and see a lot of stuff.
Dominica we went with Fredos Peltier of Fredos tours. We went all over the place and into the rain forrest. Very interesting and he was $50 pp for the day. His webstie is: http://freddy536.tripod.com/index.html
Check him out.
In Barbados we went on a Cataram and is was so much fun. It was Tiami Catamaran and we booked it from the ship. It was $95 pp but taxi, breakfast, all drinks alcohol and non alcohol, and a very good buffet lunch was included. Even if your husband didn't want to snorkel I think he would still love this!
I'd like recommend in St Lucia Shal of Jungle Tours, this was in a open air land rover and it was a lot of fun. Again we went everywhere and saw some interesting things, like being in a active volcano. He was $90 pp and lunch at a nice place was included. His webstie is: www.jungletoursstlucia.com
I loved Antigua to!! We went ziplining @ $115 pp. Then we went to Dickerson Beach, it's a free beach and is beautiful. We paid $5 for a chair and were parked in front of Sandles resort. (can't go in there for drinks) but there is a restaurant you go thru to get to beach, they have the best pizza I have ever eaten!! I don't know if I was getting tired of the ships food or what, but I still dream about that pizza!! It was a little pricey, $14 for 4 slices but worth every penny. At this beach they have all sorts of stuff you can rent, boat, horses, etc. My next trip I will skip the ziplining and stay at this beach all day.
St Kitts wasn't a stop when we went but am looking forward to it on my next trip.
Wish I was going with you!! This has been my favorite cruise todate.
Oh yeah, you CAN buy booze at the terminal and take it on with you, can save you bunch of money there and also can take cokes and water. I didn't do it in San Juan but loaded up on cokes in St Thomas.
This really helps. Thanks to everyone who responded. The tip about buying some alcohol is great. We always bring a little on board along with some cokes but what a pain that is to put it in the checked bags.
This is our 6th cruise and the only one without days at sea. I really like to try to eat lunch on the ship because we already paid for it but I am guessing that won't be the case at some of these ports. Our very first cruise on the Sensation stopped at Old San Juan but I remember everything closing down very early in the evening. It was so quiet. Maybe things have changed since then. That was 10 years ago
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