Question about Nassau, St Maarten and St Thomas bus tours
Well, it's a little depressing to know that I would have been on my 4-night Fascination cruise to Key West/Cozumel right now, but of course I had to take the time off to move last week, instead. We are all settled into our new (rental) townhouse and love it!
Of course, to get over the disappointment, I'm booked for a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise on Valor NEXT June (2009). It's cabin 2211 on Main deck, a Cat. 1A with 2 porthole windows! I'm so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Because of a damaged nerve in my left leg, I can't do a lot of walking. The Atlantis tour last summer almost killed me....
For those of you who have taken the Carnival bus tour excursions below:
What did you like best about the tours?
What did you HATE about them?
Did you have a bathroom on the bus?
If not, did you make frequent restroom stops?
Were you able to take good photos/movies while you were on the bus?
Do you recommend sitting on one side of the bus to get better photos? If so, which side?
What other advice do you have for me?
I'm going to book these:
Nassau: Historical Highlights Tour (2 hours)
St Thomas: Ultimate Island Experience (6 hours)
St Maarten: Best of St. Maarten Island & Beach Combo (4.5 hours)
Michelle, we did the same ports last year while aboard the Glory. I can't remember exactly which tours we took ( I will have to look when I get home) but I will get back with you and let you know. I'm sure you will get lots of suggestions, everyone has their favorite. Most all bus tours end up dropping you off in some shopping venue and then you are responsible for getting back to the ship from there. I think Nassau was a short walk, St. Thomas was much longer, but they have open air taxi's you can take back for like a dollar. You will love St. Thomas, be sure and go to Paradise Point. I will let you know what we did later.
Carnival legend November 2009
Carnival Glory October 2007
Carnival Elation November 2006
In Nassau we did the Pirates of Nassau and Historical tour, it was a bus tour of the city, queen staircase, a couple of the old forts, govenors mansion, etc. The tour ended downtown at the Pirates Museum. We really enjoyed the tour and especially the Pirate Museum. It's a short walk from the museum back to port.
In St. Thomas we did the Blackbeards Castle and Island Tour. It was an open air bus tours of some the highlights of St. Thomas, beautiful scenery and then to Blackbeards castle where there are houses to tour, 3 swimming pools you can use, rum factory to sample rum punch. From there you can either walk downtown or catch another open air taxi back to the shopping area at the pier. The tour actually ends at Blackbeards.
If you have time go to Paradise Point and have a Bushwacker.
St. Maarten we did the Sea and See tour which is another bus tour of the city and an underwater sub tour of the coral. I was not impressed with it or with St. Maarten, but I have read many people liked St. Maarten so I believe we just picked the wrong excursion.
We took a bus tour in St Maartin. In Porto Rico we had found a taxi driver that gave a great 1 hour tour to 5 of us for $35 and we ended up tipping him another $35 so we hoped to find a similar deal in St Maatin. No luck there. All the Taxis and busses seem to be heavily regulated or at least organized where the prices were all the same and I think all the tour busses were owned by the same company.
So we ended up going out to the edge of the ports shopping area and buying a tour then getting put on a bus with a guide that hardly said anything. No problem because the island is so beautiful that we had a really good time. All the drivers are different and I heard some of the other guides really made the tours special.
The best photo ops and views were on the left side of the bus. We drove clockwise around the island so the ocean views were almost always on the left. There were several scenic stops where we got some great photos. The bus stopped in a shopping district that had both a locals bazaar and a high scale shopping mall, (where it cost 1 euro to use the bathroom). They kept talking about the European side so my 11 year old neice decided that it ment if you paid a $1 then your-a-peein' otherwise your not. That was on the Dutch side so everything was priced in euros but they took dollars with no problem.
About half way through there is a beach stop for 30-45 minutes. You could sit in the shade or if you bring your swimsuit play in the water for a while. Be fore warned that Tops are optional on that beach, but the view is about 40 years younger on South Beach.
The group on the bus can choose to either be dropped off in the shopping district across the bay from the port or be taken back to the ship. If you can handle the walking the shopping area is very nice. It’s then a short taxi or water taxi ride back to the ship. I don’t remember how much that cost but it wasn’t much and every taxi had the same price.
We just came back from The Glory this past May. We didn't take the tours you are asking about so we can't give you input on any. We paid 25.00 each and did it on our own with Sonny Liston Tours. It was way to much fun.