We are cruising Dec 11, E. Caribbean. 3 kids, 15yr m, 13yr f, 9 yr m. We are all extremely excited!!
First, I can't get my clock set right... feeling rather stupid about that one.
We have arranged our own transportation. We fly in 1 day prior to ship sailing. The hotel provides shuttle service to/from airport and dock. Will we know what we are doing when we get there?? Is it easily marked?? Bag check etc??
What should we be looking at as far as excursions?? What Islands can we "tour" on our own?? Itinerary: San Juan, Carlotte Amalie, Phillipsburg, Nassau...
Any hints and suggestions would be welcomed with open arms!! I am starting to stress out!!
We just received our travel documents, it states that passports should not expire within 6months of cruise, ours expire Jan 2005! Is this a problem??
Well obviously Jan 05 is less then six months away..so may be if you get a guy( immigration) in a good mood no problem, but if you get a stickler for rules, could be an issue, get your passports updated, or at least make sure you bring alternate forms of id, your birth cert and driving licences.
St Thomas and ''St Martin are very doable on your own( I have been to those ports twice but never to the other two) .
There are taxis available right at the docks. On St Thomas there are tons of open air trucks that will take you to many of the well known spots/ beaches. Choose a beach ahead of time, ( by reading these boards( try ports boards) and head off for some fun. For a family of five choose excursions very wisely, you will be charged for 4 adults and one child rate, and that will make it very exspensive to do ships tours.
Going on your own is way cheaper, and quite frankly we prefer it. Mind you we are " beach folks " so we just like to go to a nice beach and snorkle.The open air trucks do give yu a lovely view as you travel though.
We do often stop in the towns for a bit of shopping, but we try to do that in the afternoon, in both St Thomas and St Martin the towns are very close to the piers( you could walk but it is at least a mile in to St Martin and it is hot, so just grab a water taxi ) So after shopping you are close to the ship.In St Thomas the ship actaully has a shopping centre right at the pier.
You should read the article I wrote, "Port Guide for Kids" which gives suggestions of what do in Eastern Caribbean ports. Feel free to ask any add'l questions.
Luisa Frey GAynor
Family Cruise Editor
take a laundry marker (permanant pen)-great for having their friends autograph an inexpensive t-shirt from one of the ports as a souvineer.
invest in an over the door shoe holder-great for holding everyones individual items in the bathroom (never enough counter space).
if you have anything that you need to take but don't want to lug on the plane-call the hotel and see if they will let you mail it to yourself (in care of the hotel) ahead of time (we did this with our shoes to save luggage space)-just bring the box unopened on board with you-you can either check it in for the return trip or make a quick stop at mail boxes etc. on the way back to the airport.
take a roll of bubble wrap (my kids always end up with some type of breakable souvineer).
if anyone takes any medication ask the pharmacist to make up small travel size bottles for you (mine made them with the perscription info. like the regular bottles but in a more compact size so I could just fill them with the number of pills needed for the trip). if anyone has summer alergies-take their meds with you (incl. otc-they cost a fortune if you can find them on board).
i don't know what airport you're using but in my experience all are well marked with cruise line info. to direct you to the right place.