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Old July 17th, 2008, 08:09 PM
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Default Solstice ports

This will be our 2nd cruise (Nov 30,08). We were on Disney this past Jan. -I enjoyed Disney however the ports -Cozumel and Georgetown- weren't that great. In fact we rented a car in Cozumel and the whole experience was so uncomfortable for me I made my husband turn it right back in. We didn't do any shore excursions and I was wondering if that makes a big difference. St Kitts looks intimidating to me and I know San Jaun is beautiful-but have NO idea what to do there. Are there excursions that a good for a 2yr old? Can we get the in room babysitting during the day? At any of the ports on this cruise are the immediate areas off the ship any good-or do you have to go into town?
Sorry so many questions. I was always afraid to cruise but after my first one, I was hooked! Now if I can just have more fun in the ports
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Old July 18th, 2008, 08:06 PM
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In San Juan, chances are your pier will be downtown in old San Juan. The streets are cobbled there, so if you have a carriage, it will be tough to
push... You can walk to shopping,and the fort from there

depending on your port time:

A city tour, the forts, the Bacardi tour, I did think that was boring..they give out samples.. Vist the Hard Rock, shop Forteleza Street...Very pretty city, with friendly people.

Sorry, I have never been to St Kitts..what was so uncomfortable in Grand Caymanif I might ask?
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Old July 18th, 2008, 08:57 PM
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Thanks for the info. I was thinking about doing the Bacardi tour, maybe I'll skip that.
Cayman wasn't bad, it was Cozumel. There's a 2 story shopping mall outside the port. We were talking w/a man outside one of the stores about where to go for quite a while, then we realized he was trying to book us on a sort of timeshare or sales tour. No big deal, that happens in the states all the time. He wanted to drive us to some beach/resort location-we said we'd just rent a car. So he immediately took us a few doors down to a rental agency I'd never heard of, spoke in Spanish with the guys behind the desk and left. My husband doesn't get flustered easily so started the rental process but I felt weird about it. No one smiled or was friendly at all and they kept talking in Spanish to each other while booking us. Anyway we were sent out back to wait for the car-kind of deserted looking parking lot. We'd rented a Jeep-we saw a Jeep in the lot and figured that was it. Didn't like it too much but it was OK. Then a guy comes out and laughs-oh no -that's not it--and really old Jeep pulls up with a yucky car seat in the back. Then I finally told my husband forget it-and he took the key back and asked for a refund.
So... I'm not trying to be prissy or anything-it wasn't just that the car was old and gross and I couldn't imagine putting my baby in that seat-although that was part of it. But with the whole "pitch" thing starting it all and the weird attitudes at the agency and all the Spanish that I didn't understand--I didn't know if these guys were working together or what. But I've heard some pretty unbelieveable stories about timeshare tours in the US (people getting left, kicked out of the car and such) and I didn't want to see what might happen in Mexico.
Ok now people can blast me for being paranoid I can't help it--but sometimes it's good to listen to your gut-better safe than sorry.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 11:31 PM
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In Cozumel, do the Passion Island beach tour, I have been there twice.

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Old July 20th, 2008, 05:01 PM
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Default Ports of Call Solstice

Solstice Ports of Call
Nov. 30, 2008 Sailing


San Juan Puerto Rico
History, Weather, Public Metro and Bus System and Culture
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Juan,_Puerto_Rico

Attractions and Entertainment
http://www.gotopuertorico.com/puerto-rico-attractions.php

Main Attractions and museums around the Port in San Juan
http://www.gotopuertorico.com/cruiseweb/san-juan-main-attractions.php

St. Kitts
History, Weather, Public BUS System and Culture
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basseterre

Shopping and Dining
http://www.stkittstourism.kn/

Most Popular Beaches to visit in St. Kitts
http://www.stkittstourism.kn/EnjoyStKitts/Beaches.asp

Getting around St. Kitts
http://www.stkittstourism.kn/DiscoverStKitts/GettingAround_Taxi.asp

Most popular beach bars on St. Kitts
http://www.stkittstourism.kn/EnjoyStKitts/strip.asp

St. Maarten (Dutch)
Common History, Geography, Culture and Tourism, Weather, & Shopping.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Martin

Philipsburg, NA (Dutch Port)
(Port of Call for Solstice)
http://www.sint-maarten.net/

St. Martin (French side)
http://www.st-martin.org/
When you open link, go to ENTER under photo on right hand side for English.
You can navigate the Web Page then on.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: Solstice ports

dt,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
This will be our 2nd cruise (Nov 30,08). We were on Disney this past Jan. -I enjoyed Disney however the ports -Cozumel and Georgetown- weren't that great. In fact we rented a car in Cozumel and the whole experience was so uncomfortable for me I made my husband turn it right back in. We didn't do any shore excursions and I was wondering if that makes a big difference. St Kitts looks intimidating to me and I know San Jaun is beautiful-but have NO idea what to do there. Are there excursions that a good for a 2yr old? Can we get the in room babysitting during the day? At any of the ports on this cruise are the immediate areas off the ship any good-or do you have to go into town?
Sorry so many questions. I was always afraid to cruise but after my first one, I was hooked! Now if I can just have more fun in the ports
Yes, shore excursions can make a big difference in many of the ports of call.

>> In St. Kitts, I strongly recommend the general island tour that visits Brimstone Fortress, dubbed the "Gibraltar of the Caribbean," and the Batik factory and gardens. These unique attractions are quite interesting!

>> In San Juan, the tour of Old San Juan and El Mauro (one of the city's historic forts, now a museum) is very interesting, but might be challenging with a stroller. The tour of the Bacardi Distillery might be a good option if you have not visited any of the distilleries on some of the other islands.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 07:47 PM
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Wow, thanks for all the great input. The websites listed are giving me lots of info. Still not done reading them all.
I hadn't heard about the Brimstone Hill-gonna check that out.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 11:55 AM
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8) Last time in St. Kitts we did the sugar train. Saw a lot of island and train was fun.
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Old August 16th, 2008, 06:12 PM
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San Juan is one of our favorite ports.We have stayed there 3 days pre-cruise twice. It is a very friendly place, with much to do right in Old San Juan. Old San Juan is walkable. I would recommend a back pack carrier or a stroller with large wheels for your little one. As mentioned above, the streets are cobbled.
St. Kitts was also very nice. What gracious people. Their economy is set up differently from other Caribbean island. They get a piece of the tourist income, they are provided housing and schools so you don't see the extreme poverty of Mexico or other Caribbean islands. We did the Scenic Railway tour while we were there. It was beautiful.
At St. Maarten, we have to go to Maho beach. It is a must, my husband just loves the planes. There is some small shops as you get off the ship, or you can take the water taxi to Philipsburg main shopping area. I have heard the Butterfly Farm is supposed to be a lot of fun. Maybe something you little one would enjoy.





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Old August 16th, 2008, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Solstice ports

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
dt,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
This will be our 2nd cruise (Nov 30,08). We were on Disney this past Jan. -I enjoyed Disney however the ports -Cozumel and Georgetown- weren't that great. In fact we rented a car in Cozumel and the whole experience was so uncomfortable for me I made my husband turn it right back in. We didn't do any shore excursions and I was wondering if that makes a big difference. St Kitts looks intimidating to me and I know San Jaun is beautiful-but have NO idea what to do there. Are there excursions that a good for a 2yr old? Can we get the in room babysitting during the day? At any of the ports on this cruise are the immediate areas off the ship any good-or do you have to go into town?
Sorry so many questions. I was always afraid to cruise but after my first one, I was hooked! Now if I can just have more fun in the ports
Yes, shore excursions can make a big difference in many of the ports of call.

>> In St. Kitts, I strongly recommend the general island tour that visits Brimstone Fortress, dubbed the "Gibraltar of the Caribbean," and the Batik factory and gardens. These unique attractions are quite interesting!

>> In San Juan, the tour of Old San Juan and El Mauro (one of the city's historic forts, now a museum) is very interesting, but might be challenging with a stroller. The tour of the Bacardi Distillery might be a good option if you have not visited any of the distilleries on some of the other islands.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
Just to add I guess to what Norm has to say. I am doing same itinerary on Solstice and I believe we get into San Juan around 2P.M. If you decide to go to the fort go right away as I believe it closes around 4:30 or so. You can still walk around but certain areas are closed. Also, wear something on the head, very hot...

Don
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