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Old September 19th, 2011, 11:31 AM
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Default Do you ever not get off in Port?

After perusing the "new posts" I saw many requests for what to do in Port.

Maybe its because I have young kids and and I'm not looking to spend a lot of money ( and I have a bit of a seen one island, seen em all mentality) .... we prefer to just let everybody else get off the ship and enjoy the solitude.

On Eurodam last year, we had the entire pool to ourselves for a few hours.

We usually get off in the afternoon just to walk around the shops right at the port, but is been years since we've done an excursion of any kind.

Now if there is a beach close by, we will visit the beach, but that is about it.


Do you feel obligated to do something in each port or you confortable just enjoying the ship?
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Old September 19th, 2011, 11:41 AM
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Not yet but I bet we will someday, should have stayed on one year on the QE2 & experienced the ship instead of wandering around Blankenberg.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 11:45 AM
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We like visiting the different ports. I think it has a lot to do with what you like to do.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 11:57 AM
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I think seeing the different cultures, topography, architecture, and, mingling with the locals, is an important part of travel. I would hate to have someone ask me, what did yiou see and do,and have to say we stayed on the ship, I can't tell you a thing. Each island has their own personality. I want to see it all.

If you have been to the same ports over and over, well, that's a different story, but the interaction for me, is an integral part of being a traveler.

I did stay onboard in Dominica, beacuse I was quite ill that day. Also, I have been to Jamaica three times now, and while the island is lush and lovely, I just will not be getting off again. We toured the island, met the people, saw the highlights, and,now it would be ship time.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 12:43 PM
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I guess it has a lot to do with why we cruise (I think I may have asked this question recently).

If I wanted to see Costa Rica, I'd visit Costa Rica. I don't expect to get to know a locale in a four-hour excursion.

And if someone asked me what I did on a cruise .... i'd respond with all the things we did on ship .... which for me, is my reason for cruising.


I guess my post was prompted out of the thread "Grand Turk what to do". For me, I'd got to the Beach, and if not, I'd be just as happy to be on board. I might be getting the impression that people feel obligated to take excursions.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 12:57 PM
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This has all to do with each of our wants, and expectations. For me, the means to get me to where I want to visit, is a fabulous cruise. So, when not in port, I have the very best of everything a ship can offer.

With my type A personality, I would get bored, with staying a week, "almost" anywhere. Getting cliff notes on a port, is for me a happy day

I remember when we went to Caracas, and people didn't want to even touch a toe in South America, I was amazed.

But, the ability to do what you want, when you want, or nothing at al,l is fabulous, and, we each do it our own way...perfecto!
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Old September 19th, 2011, 02:09 PM
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So far we have only cruised the Caribbean and there is only port that if we ever go to again we might not get off. And that is Costa Maya. The closest town is nothing to speak of and the beach there is not that nice. The excursions from the ship have not interested us as we have done the best from Cozumel.

We have done a number of tours on our own with getting them at the dock and some were ones that others on the cruise took thru the ship and while we paid a lot less we had beter tours.

We like to snorkel and while we have been to Grand Cayman a number of times we have found one place a short walk from the dock where the snorkeling is really good and the only cost is $5 for a locker unless we decide to get a drink or something to eat.

With the cost of ship excursions for a family I can understand not doing them, but in most all ports you can find a taxi at least for a good price to get a tour of the island.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 03:06 PM
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The only port I no longer care about getting off is Grand Cayman. We've been there a number of times and the last time it was just my wife and I we stayed onboard.

When we have cruised with family and friends we do get off and do a snorkel excursion and visit Stingray City. Otherwise there isn't too much that interests us. I do enjoy going to Kirk's jewelry and looking at the watches but the prices are as much, or more, than here in the U.S..

Staying onboard does have it's positives. The pools, pool areas, buffets and other areas are not crowded and can make for a very relaxing day.

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Old September 19th, 2011, 07:57 PM
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There are some ports where we don't get off just because we don't like it (Grand Cayman), been there multiple times (Grand Cayman), or just need a sea day.

If I never got off the ship, I think I would stop cruising and just book a beach vacation. I cruise to see the world. I like lots of sea days but still need port visits.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 08:59 PM
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I cruise to see the ports and embark on shore adventures .
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Old September 19th, 2011, 09:28 PM
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Queen of Oakville,

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Originally Posted by You View Post
Maybe its because I have young kids and and I'm not looking to spend a lot of money ( and I have a bit of a seen one island, seen em all mentality) .... we prefer to just let everybody else get off the ship and enjoy the solitude.
In my experience, "seen one island, seen 'em all" is not an accurate description of the Caribbean at all. Each island has unique attractions, from Brimstone Fortress (the "Gibraltar of the Caribbean") and the Batik Factory on St. Kitts to the world's only Sea Turtle Farm and Stingray City on Grand Cayman to the Dutch architecture on Curacao to Nelson's Dockyard on Antigua to Prospect Plantation and Dunn's River Falls on Jamaica, to the botannical gardens and Orchid World on Barbados, are of which well worth a visit. And there's nothing like the sailboat outings that include time for swimming or snorkeling and lunch, too! Dominca is about the only Caribbean island where I would remain aboard the ship, and only because I have seen most of its attractions.

And if you are travelling with children or grandchildren, these attractions are a phenomenal educational opportunity! Children will learn as much in a week of well chosen shore excursions as they will learn in several weeks in a classroom. Don't hesitate to take children to attractions that you have visited before but they have not, as it will be their first time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Do you feel obligated to do something in each port or you confortable just enjoying the ship?
No, I don't feel obligated to do something in each port, but the other reality is that one must see the attractions that each port has to offer when one has the opportunity.

OTOH, there are a few ports of call where I had pretty much seen what I wanted to see on my first two or three visits, and thus subequently have opted to stay on the ship. I think that Acapulco and Mazatlan, both on the Mexican Riviera, and Roseau, Dominica, are the only ports on my "let's stay onboard" list right now, and only because I have been to each of them several times. And actually, even in Mazatlan, I'll leave the ship for long enough to wander through the "flea market" at the end of the pier.

Bear in mind that the local tour operators are constantly developing new shore excursions as they identify new attractions in or near each of the ports of call that might be of interest to visitors. Thus, it's always good to look through the list of shore excursions to see if there might be something new in a port where you previously had exhausted the attractions that were of interest to you.

But if you really like time on the ship, consider a transatlantic cruise or a cruise to Hawai'i round trip from either San Diego or Los Angeles.

Norm.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 09:38 PM
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Nancy,


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Originally Posted by nlb1050 View Post
So far we have only cruised the Caribbean and there is only port that if we ever go to again we might not get off. And that is Costa Maya. The closest town is nothing to speak of and the beach there is not that nice. The excursions from the ship have not interested us as we have done the best from Cozumel.
Bear in mind that "Costa Maya" is a relatively new region that's still under development. Whenever you return there, you probably will find that it has a lot more to offer. This is especially true if a few years have lapsed since your last visit.

But if you have only cruised the Caribbean, I highly recommend putting a cruise to Alaska on your favorite cruise line at the top of your "short list." Alaska is not cold in the summertime, which is when the ships are there.

Norm.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 09:42 PM
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I always get off the ship, even if it is only for a short time, just to walk around town if we aren't doing an excursion. I enjoy seeing the different islands, even though I may have been there a few times before...I must also agree, it is nice onboard if you choose to not get off..
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Old September 19th, 2011, 09:44 PM
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Queen of Oakville,

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If I wanted to see Costa Rica, I'd visit Costa Rica. I don't expect to get to know a locale in a four-hour excursion.
It's a question of scale. The only way that you will ever see Costa Rica in four hours is from an airplane.

But you can see Puntarenas or a pretty good chunk of Puerto Limon in four hours quite easily, and have plenty of time to chat with some of the locals.

Actually, from Puntarenas, I have found the shore excursion to Sarchi and Grecia to be quite interesting. What you see is reasonable for the time that you have, both towns have unique attractions, and the countryside en route on the motorcoaches also is pretty interesting.

Norm.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 10:08 PM
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Nancy,




Bear in mind that "Costa Maya" is a relatively new region that's still under development. Whenever you return there, you probably will find that it has a lot more to offer. This is especially true if a few years have lapsed since your last visit.

But if you have only cruised the Caribbean, I highly recommend putting a cruise to Alaska on your favorite cruise line at the top of your "short list." Alaska is not cold in the summertime, which is when the ships are there.

Norm.
Costa May was built by Carnival and the area is not that great, mainly jungle. I know they were hit hard by a hurricane a few years ago between our times being there and not much had been done in the general area mainly because the govt of Mexico had to spend money in areas that tourists actually go to and have for years.

We would like to go to Alaska some year just not sure when that will be.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17 View Post
Queen of Oakville,



In my experience, "seen one island, seen 'em all" is not an accurate description of the Caribbean at all. Each island has unique attractions, from Brimstone Fortress (the "Gibraltar of the Caribbean") and the Batik Factory on St. Kitts to the world's only Sea Turtle Farm and Stingray City on Grand Cayman to the Dutch architecture on Curacao to Nelson's Dockyard on Antigua to Prospect Plantation and Dunn's River Falls on Jamaica, to the botannical gardens and Orchid World on Barbados, are of which well worth a visit. And there's nothing like the sailboat outings that include time for swimming or snorkeling and lunch, too! Dominca is about the only Caribbean island where I would remain aboard the ship, and only because I have seen most of its attractions.

And if you are travelling with children or grandchildren, these attractions are a phenomenal educational opportunity! Children will learn as much in a week of well chosen shore excursions as they will learn in several weeks in a classroom. Don't hesitate to take children to attractions that you have visited before but they have not, as it will be their first time.



No, I don't feel obligated to do something in each port, but the other reality is that one must see the attractions that each port has to offer when one has the opportunity.

OTOH, there are a few ports of call where I had pretty much seen what I wanted to see on my first two or three visits, and thus subequently have opted to stay on the ship. I think that Acapulco and Mazatlan, both on the Mexican Riviera, and Roseau, Dominica, are the only ports on my "let's stay onboard" list right now, and only because I have been to each of them several times. And actually, even in Mazatlan, I'll leave the ship for long enough to wander through the "flea market" at the end of the pier.

Bear in mind that the local tour operators are constantly developing new shore excursions as they identify new attractions in or near each of the ports of call that might be of interest to visitors. Thus, it's always good to look through the list of shore excursions to see if there might be something new in a port where you previously had exhausted the attractions that were of interest to you.

But if you really like time on the ship, consider a transatlantic cruise or a cruise to Hawai'i round trip from either San Diego or Los Angeles.

Norm.
Rev,
I agree with most of what you've said. But, my kids are young. With the cost of (ship) excursions, it makes no sense at their age, as they will not remember it. When the are older, perhaps 8 or so, we will definitely partake in excursions. DH and I (right or wrong) now put of things that we might only want to do once with the intention to wait until the kids are older so we can do it with them. I do want to show my kids the world, but not when they are 4 and 5.
I would LOVE to do a transatlantic .... but for us, the flights to florida make cruising reasonable. Unless I am wrong, I think you fly home from Europe, do you not? The only way we would do a transatlantic is if we could do a back to back. Or have enough time that we could add a stay in the european country before flying home. Unfortunately, we just dont' have the luxury of taking more than a week off work.
I was hoping for freedom 45 .... but we need to sock away a little more, so freedom 50 it is.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 11:01 AM
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Apart from a few things we regard the Caribbean as mostly beach stops...but then we like beach stops.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 04:06 PM
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In 15 cruises, we've never stayed onboard for any port. We almost did last year for Princess Cays, we just figured we'd hang by the pool instead and enjoy a quiet day onboard. PC ended up getting cancelled because of the weather. We cruise for the ports, not the ship.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 04:49 PM
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On our first visit to a port we will normally pay out for a 'familiarisation' style tour, then if we visit that port again will normally have done a bit of research on the web, and either dig deeper into the local customs and life, or head off further afield by local transport.

There are a couple of places where we feel no desire to explore further, and on those occaissions we love the feel of havnig our own 'empty' ship.

Alan & Katrina
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Old September 20th, 2011, 06:46 PM
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There has been a port or two, I wondered why we bothered to get off the ship???
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Old September 20th, 2011, 10:17 PM
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I try to plan each day we are in port. Beach day, shopping day, grand adventure day. Leaving a lot of wiggle room I try to do one thing that I can't do at home so it makes the trip special. Like zip lining in Belize is something I'll never forget. I didn't like Roatan but it was getting off the ship, now that they built a pier I would like to try it again.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 09:23 AM
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I believe our Epic cruise stops at Nassau. Given all of the Dengue fever running rampant in that city, I doubt seriously if I'll leave the ship that day preferring to remain in the airconditioning inside. There is so much to see and do on that vessel that I don't think I'll miss that much.

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Old September 21st, 2011, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
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I believe our Epic cruise stops at Nassau. Given all of the Dengue fever running rampant in that city, I doubt seriously if I'll leave the ship that day preferring to remain in the airconditioning inside. There is so much to see and do on that vessel that I don't think I'll miss that much.

Todd
Good to know! We were there a few weeks ago, and fortunately STAYED ON BOARD! We're contemplating going to cabbage beach in March.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 01:18 PM
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I may just head over to Paradise Island and visit Atlantis if I do get off the ship in Nassau, if not, that is a port I'd stay onboard..
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 02:15 AM
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i like visiting different post




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Old September 22nd, 2011, 11:29 PM
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Being the shopper that I am I would never dream of not getting off in a port that the ship stops at unless I was not feeling well. Besides shopping, I like to try the restaurants and meet the locals. What better way can one shop, try different food, and meet exciting people than getting off the ship when it arrives in a port?
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 12:53 AM
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Out of my 20 cruises there have been maybe 5 where I have not gotten off at any ports.......these were ports that I had been to multiple times previously and really did not want to see anymore of them. I really enjoy those times when almost everyone debarks for a port......and leaves the ship virtually empty and oh so peaceful. To swim in pools and soak in hot tubs that are empty, getting even more exemplary service from the staff on board.....and the peace and quiet are sometimes exactly what I am looking for. People cruise for many different reasons......some cruise to see and do everything; others cruise to relax.
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Old September 27th, 2011, 09:32 PM
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Nancy,

Quote:
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Costa May was built by Carnival and the area is not that great, mainly jungle. I know they were hit hard by a hurricane a few years ago between our times being there and not much had been done in the general area mainly because the govt of Mexico had to spend money in areas that tourists actually go to and have for years.
Carnival's port division built the actual port facilities under a collaborative agreement with the Mexican authorities. Nonetheless, I think it's the Mexican authorities who are promoting development of the attractions in the area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
We would like to go to Alaska some year just not sure when that will be.
I'm trying to encourage you to make it a priority to visit Alaska sooner rather than later. Alaska is definitely a destination to visit while you are able bodied, as many of the attractions in the area are quite active. It's also a place with a lot to see and to do, so most people who go there once -- especially those who do so reluctantly -- decide very quickly, once they get there, that they must return.

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Old September 27th, 2011, 09:52 PM
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Queen of Oakville,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You View Post
I agree with most of what you've said. But, my kids are young. With the cost of (ship) excursions, it makes no sense at their age, as they will not remember it. When the are older, perhaps 8 or so, we will definitely partake in excursions. DH and I (right or wrong) now put of things that we might only want to do once with the intention to wait until the kids are older so we can do it with them. I do want to show my kids the world, but not when they are 4 and 5.
I'll grant you that some excursions may be better choices than others for children at the age of 4 and 5, but even children of that age will remember a surprising amount of detail about a unique and different experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I would LOVE to do a transatlantic .... but for us, the flights to florida make cruising reasonable. Unless I am wrong, I think you fly home from Europe, do you not? The only way we would do a transatlantic is if we could do a back to back. Or have enough time that we could add a stay in the european country before flying home. Unfortunately, we just dont' have the luxury of taking more than a week off work.
I was hoping for freedom 45 .... but we need to sock away a little more, so freedom 50 it is.
I was hoping for freedom at 55, but the current administration's policies are making even freedom ad 70 look doubtful.

Unless, of course, that freedom is because the "furlough" that began last week turns into a full-blown lay-off....

But yes, on a Trans-Atlantic cruise, you fly one way or the other. Most ships that offer these itineraries are repositioning from the Caribbean to Europe in the spring and from Europe to the Caribbean in the fall.

Of course, there's always the option of booking transatlantic cruises in both directions at the same time and buying a single round trip (or "open jaw") airline ticket. Surprisingly, a round trip ticket or "open jaw" airline ticket to/from Europe is often considerably cheaper than a "one way" ticket using the same flights.

JTOL, there are a couple more good options for those of us who like days at sea.

>> Celebrity offers "Panama Canal" cruises that operate between Port Everglades and either Los Angeles or San Diego, so all flights are domestic. These cruises spend about every other day in port. I have not checked to see if other cruise lines offer similar itineraries.

>> Several cruise lines, including Princess and Celebrity, offer cruises to Hawai'i that operate round trip from either Los Angeles or San Diego. These cruises spend about four days at sea, about five days in ports of call in the fiftieth state, and another four or five days at sea. These cruises typically stop for a few hours in Ensenda, Mexico, on the last day, without allowing passengers to go ashore, to meet the legal requirements of the U. S. Passenger Services Act.

Norm.
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