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-   -   Shore excursion recommendations (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/carnival-cruise-lines/391354-shore-excursion-recommendations.html)

cathy31 August 21st, 2012 02:05 AM

Shore excursion recommendations
 
My husband and I and our adult daughter will be going on a cruise on the Valor to Grand Turk, San Juan, Puerto Rico, St Maartan and St. Thomas in November. Please tell us about excursions you may have taken at these ports and what you liked or didn't like about them.
My husband and I are 60, in fairly good health, and we are on a limited budget.
Thanks,
Catherine

Donna August 21st, 2012 06:42 AM

In San Juan you can easily visit El Morro, it is a great piece of history and is not far from the pier, even walkable if you enjoy walking.

As for St. Thomas and St. Maarten, there are many to choose from, what kinds of things do you like to do?

green_rd August 21st, 2012 08:03 AM

Hi Cathy,
We may be cruising with you. Not sure if we will do any formal excursions this time around. Like Donna indicates Old San Juan is right at the pier, beaches the rest of the time. There seems to be a good beach right at the pier area in Grand Turk - doesn't seem to be much to do on land there, water sports looks like the rule.

Trip August 21st, 2012 09:08 AM

I am a big fan of island tours...you get a taste of many sites.I have done this in SJ, St T,and SM....You can walk off the ship,and there are taxis and vans,and the price will be lower than ships tours. Also, beach tours, if you are so inclined, will be budget friendly..take a cab, arrange with the driver to pick you up at a certain time,and plunk yourself down for the day.

In Grand Turk, your ship docks up close,and you walk off, to either the beach, or walk through the gates to the huge pool, Margarittaville, and the shops.

Cruznut2 August 22nd, 2012 04:40 AM

I like the idea of an organised tour but the ones offered by the cruise line can be pricey. I know that there is that guarantee from the cruise line that you will not be left behind on one of the tours booked through them. Many travel agencies use outside vendors at lower rates. At least one vendor has a guarantee to get you back on time or they will pay to get you to the next port and all expenses included. In the years that they have been selling tours they have never had to honor this guarantee. It might be a good thing to ask your travel agent about this.

Laura

tobytovar August 23rd, 2012 03:05 PM

Grand Turk
 
I have not been to the other ports yet but at Grand Turk the ship docks so close to the shore that it is a short walk to the beach. They have an incredible cruise center there and the beach, beach chairs are all free. Walk just 50 feet or so away from the beach and you are at a huge pool ( also free) and drink waiters ( drinks not free). Margaritaville is a two story building with some of the best conch chowder I have ever eaten. It has sweet potatoes in it. Gift shops etc. Great inexpensive day off the ship.

bulldogsrus August 24th, 2012 06:13 PM

In St Thomas I would pick a catamaran tour that offers beach and snorkeling.

snorklr45 August 25th, 2012 02:39 AM

Either St Maarten or St Thomas (I forget which one but ship guide should show you).

Snorkel trip to Trunk Bay St John Island

It's a lovely day trip and not to be missed!! If you want to swim too far from shore though, you need to be a good swimmer..Water is gorgeous!! Scenery awesome. Be sure and take your own snacks and drinks from the ship.

zydecocruiser August 25th, 2012 11:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snorklr45 (Post 1443524)
Either St Maarten or St Thomas (I forget which one but ship guide should show you).

Snorkel trip to Trunk Bay St John Island

It's a lovely day trip and not to be missed!! If you want to swim too far from shore though, you need to be a good swimmer..Water is gorgeous!! Scenery awesome. Be sure and take your own snacks and drinks from the ship.

St John is next to St Thomas.

Best liquor prices will be on St Maarten.

Deni August 25th, 2012 08:38 PM

If you want a little adventure...in Grand Turk we did the dune buggy excursion from Carnival. It was a lot of fun and we saw some cool stuff.

D~

Ontario September 5th, 2012 09:07 AM

Grand Turk
 
:?:
Quote:

Originally Posted by Deni (Post 1443666)
If you want a little adventure...in Grand Turk we did the dune buggy excursion from Carnival. It was a lot of fun and we saw some cool stuff.

D~

That sounds interesting, does it go to adifferent part of the island? We have been to the cruise port 3 times now and need something different to do there. What spots does itvisit?

Deni September 5th, 2012 06:26 PM

They took us to the top of this ridge and it was beautiful. Gave us a bit of history lesson and then we went clear across to the other side to an old lighthouse. My friend drove on the way out and I drove back so we both had a chance to look around . We got some great photos.

Ontario September 5th, 2012 10:56 PM

Thanks a bunch, will have totry it!

Real Batman September 7th, 2012 10:20 AM

On St. Maarten, we rented a car and drove around the island. Enjoyed seeing France, and chased down a few Geocaches along the way.

But without doubt.... the best part was sitting on the beach at Maho Bay watching the airplanes landing! The final approach course is directly over your head, :roll: and you will be only feet away from the aircraft! A terrific thrill, and great pictures! (Google Maho Bay to see what I mean!)

We enjoyed it so much, we are going back in February (same cruise/ship as you!)

Gentleone September 24th, 2012 11:33 AM

Belize Cruise Port
 
The idea of creating your own shore excursion packages is a great advantage. I would recommend activities in Belize. Belize has so much to offer. We did cave tubing and zip line with www.actionboysbelize.com and it was a blast.

Queen of Diamonds September 24th, 2012 03:56 PM

The best excursion on St Maarten is the America's cup race trip.

12 Metre Regatta, America's Cup Racing, Philipsburg, St. Martin - YouTube
this is our boat and our Captain, but the video is not from my trip.
It is thrilling and a lot of fun.

Once we were done, we took a taxi over to Maho Beach to watch the planes
come in, and had lunch at the Sunset beach bar.
Sunset Beach Bar St Martin.wmv - YouTube or you can get a taxi over to Orient Beach for the day.

On St Thomas we taxi'd over to Emerald Beach resort - All About The Emerald Beach Resort in St Thomas, Virgin Islands - YouTube no charge to use their pool or beach - we sat at the beach bar and had a super day.
We have also taken one of those tours of St Thomas in the past, in a safari bus that takes you over the island. IIRC it was around $25 each via the cruise line and well worth it. Then of course there is shopping downtown.

Donna September 24th, 2012 04:49 PM

Having done the America's Cup in St. Maaten, I would also recommend this one, lots of fun and work if you want an actual job..


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