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Old January 9th, 2012, 10:39 PM
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Default Excursions or tour on own?

Sailing on the Liberty in June...is it walking distance from dock to towns(sites) in Grand Turk, St Thomas & San Juan? Also, has anyone taken the mountain tram at St Thomas? That looks interesting to us. I am so excited:razz: about San Jaun..would welcome any suggestions on all. Trying to get away from as many paid excursions as possible, that way I can spend more or less money on other things. 1st cruise to eastern carib.
Thanks, Daphne
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Old January 10th, 2012, 06:34 AM
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In those ports, it depends on where you dock. Last trip to St. Thomas, we were at a farther dock and needed to take bus into town just to shop. The tram is also there, a short walk, once by the shopping area. You can walk around Old San Juan, again, if you dock right in town, no problem. I would look at all the excursions offered and see if there is anything of interest to you and go from there.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 09:37 AM
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I sailed the Liberty,and had a wonderful cruise,and I know you will too.

In Grand Turk, you just walk off the ship,and down the pier,and you will see the beach. Through the enclosure, there is a nice pool, shopping options,with a big terminal filled with all the things the ship sells onboard, but, in larger quantities. There is a nice Margaritaville as well.

In St Thomas, you will cab to the shopping area downtown. There is a flea market in the taxi area. I have gotten some good deals there. If you want to ferry over to St John, there is great snorkeling. If you look on chit chat,check out rollerdonnas' review on the Equinox, she has shot of the tram going up the mountain.

Is San Juan, I would check out doing a city tour...you really get a great overview of this great city. JUst walking off the ship at the pier, you can select form many tours.You would still have time to shop at Forteleza St. the main shopping area. If you are in on a Saturday, there used to be a craft fair at the visitors center by the fountain.

If you are into history, you can check out the forts. Hope this helped a bit.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 12:10 PM
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than x for the information....
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Old January 10th, 2012, 04:10 PM
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Thanks for the information. It has been 8 long yrs since last cruise, I am getting really excited!! Probably have more ?? closer 2 sailing date since not familiar with these ports. Thanks again, I knew I could count on y'all.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 03:33 PM
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Default Caution

You probably have heard this, but if not-----. Be careful of the time when touring on your own. If you are on a ship's tour and delayed (happened to us twice-a flat tire in St Marteen and a HUGE traffic jam in Panama) the ship will wait for the tour. If you are on your own and late the ship will leave (the word is you can get a beautiful picture as it departs). Someone at our table had this happen, and had to pay for a flight to our next port. Just plan to be back early.

Here is a look at what happens if you are late

MISSED THE BOAT
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Old January 12th, 2012, 03:37 PM
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I think a lot of us has seen that happen, I know I have....Yep, it does happen, and in some ports more than others. I saw it in Cozumel, I bet that happens a lot there...Thanks for sharing the video.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 04:46 PM
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Default Not me...I hope!!!

OMG!! I have heard about people missing ship, but when I watched the video it showed me that a ship tour is the way to go for me!! That would be absolutely awful. Thanks for sharing video...I will show it to all my traveling companions. Daphne
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Old January 12th, 2012, 05:09 PM
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Misssing the ship, does happen, but I bet you in many cases, it's NOT the fault of the tour operator, it's the passengers fault. Ignorance of time, laziness, it won't happen to me, etc, are a few reasons to add to the mix.

Most people who book off ship, have no issues at all, and save money to boot. If you are wary, just book an early morning excursion.

Usually first time cruisers, book, exclusively with the ship...More experienced cruisers look at other options.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 05:21 PM
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It happened to a couple in Key West this past November; they were part of a wedding party that took place in Key West. They were the only ones who missed the boat. We hadn’t left port yet but the gangway was already up. Talk about two people being mad…… the guy was swearing up a storm. I would almost bet she got beat up that night as he was screaming at her that it was her fault. Our next day was a sea day!!!
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Old January 13th, 2012, 03:10 PM
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I totally agree, don't book thru the cruise line. You will find the same exact tour for about 1/3 the cost once you get off the ship. Trust me they will try to sell you anything. All you have to do is have a watch and don't get stupid (drunk) and you will be alright. As far a being late and the ship waiting for a tour that they sold, they will only wait a short while. There's the tides and pilot's and port visit fee's that they pay. But they will fly you to the next port and put you up in a hotel. seen that happen once.
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