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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 6th, 2007, 01:03 PM
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Default Too much?!?!?

A friend and I will be taking our first cruise ever in April, 2008 on Carnival Glory. (Nassau, St. Thomas, and St. Maartin) We are as excited as a kid waiting for Christmas...

My biggest concern right now is the shore excursions. We keep looking at them and the time in port, at first trying to cram as much in one day as we can. Now I'm beginning to think we need to chose ONE excursion per port and enjoy it, some shopping, sight seeing, and relax. My friend is saying 'we have 5 and a half hours in Nassau, we can book up 4 and a half to 5 hours and still have a half hour to hour to get to the ship...'

I'm looking for input on what we should expect. I hear that Carnival has lectures about the ports before we get there, but I just think we are taking on more than time really allows.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 02:34 PM
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You may be trying to see too much...you will be the one to decide
Keep in mind that you must be back on board 1/2 hr prior to sailing so if the ship is in port till 6pm you need to be onboard by 5:30pm...they will not wait for you.

Also be sure to account for any problems like traffic when getting back to the ship.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: Too much?!?!?

My rule of thumb is two excursions per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. If you book them up against each other you run the risk that one may be late returning and effect the other. For big excursions, say doing the ruins in Mexico, or a two tank dive trip, one is enough for the day. During the tween time you can freestyle shop or return aboard for lunch or forgotten items. Do the port lectures the first time in person or by room tv. Often a map will be passed out which will be handy. Suggest y'all stick to the recommended shops and tourist areas until you are familiar with a particular port, any safety concerns, etc. Might take the tour of St. Thomas that goes up in the hills, or hop a boat to tour St. John. Party boats are popular in Nassau to see the hotels and luxury homes. An overland tour on St. Maartin will take you over to the French side, but a catamaran trip can also be cool. Watch Speed II Cruise Control for a laugh.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnomelady8
A friend and I will be taking our first cruise ever in April, 2008 on Carnival Glory. (Nassau, St. Thomas, and St. Maartin) We are as excited as a kid waiting for Christmas...

My biggest concern right now is the shore excursions. We keep looking at them and the time in port, at first trying to cram as much in one day as we can. Now I'm beginning to think we need to chose ONE excursion per port and enjoy it, some shopping, sight seeing, and relax. My friend is saying 'we have 5 and a half hours in Nassau, we can book up 4 and a half to 5 hours and still have a half hour to hour to get to the ship...'

I'm looking for input on what we should expect. I hear that Carnival has lectures about the ports before we get there, but I just think we are taking on more than time really allows.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 12:14 PM
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Hello!

You need to pace yourself. It's a vacation and you never know if something else might catch you eye and you might go off on a grand adventure you didn't plan on! Leave some wiggle time so you can stop and look around.

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Old July 11th, 2007, 12:56 PM
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you are right on tract, resist the urge to try to cram in as much as you can into your day. For me 2 excursions per day is too much, i just do 1 excursion per island, usually in the morning, so that leaves my afternoons free to just wander around, shop whatever. Some of my fav excursions:
Nassau - take the tour of the "Dig" the aquarium at Atlantis Resort, its amazing, do it on your own, no need to book a ships tour, just grab a cab -either land or water and head over to Paradise Island.
St.Thomas -if your cruise offers book the Champagne Catamaran Sailway. this is a great tour -you get beautiful sail, beautiful beach & snorkeling.
St. Maarten - America's Cup Regatta or the Golden Eagle Catamaran Sail.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 02:04 PM
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Default If two tours

If two tours a day, a "passive" sailaway party boat, motorcoach/tram tour or the like would be in order for the second tour. Your "active" tour should be in the morning. If you are tendered, one tour a day may be the best route.

BTW, also recommend those catamaran trips. 8)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaK
you are right on tract, resist the urge to try to cram in as much as you can into your day. For me 2 excursions per day is too much, i just do 1 excursion per island, usually in the morning, so that leaves my afternoons free to just wander around, shop whatever. Some of my fav excursions:
Nassau - take the tour of the "Dig" the aquarium at Atlantis Resort, its amazing, do it on your own, no need to book a ships tour, just grab a cab -either land or water and head over to Paradise Island.
St.Thomas -if your cruise offers book the Champagne Catamaran Sailway. this is a great tour -you get beautiful sail, beautiful beach & snorkeling.
St. Maarten - America's Cup Regatta or the Golden Eagle Catamaran Sail.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 05:27 PM
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Yea, I'd say thats a bit much. There are times where I don't book anything in a port and just take a chance, grab a cab, etc. You're on vacation, not a marathon, take it a bit more easy, or at least try to talk your friend into that, relax and enjoy the ports and not be rushing around trying to see everything.

You can narrow the excursions down and do what you really want to and skip the others, who knows, there could always be a next time, and do something different.

Have fun!
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 01:06 PM
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I agree with the other posts, 2 might be a bit much like a work schedule. Also, the difference between the written word descriptions on these tours and the actual tour could be quite different. If you do plan 2 shore exc. on any given day, perhaps consider booking the afternoon excursion through the ship, even if it costs a little more $. We were on a tour where the bus broke down, and were late getting back to the ship. However, since it was booked through our cruise line (Celebrity) our ship did not leave port without us. Enjoy your trip!
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 08:45 PM
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Also, at some of the ports, there is a long walk from the ship to shore where all the transportation is located, i.e., boats, buses, taxis, so plan on walking time to get to your mode of transportation. Some of the ports that have a long pier are Nassau, St. Martin, Costa Maya. Nassau has a complimentary shuttle bus which I use whenever I travel with my elderly mother-in-law but we have waited quite a while for this bus.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 05:34 PM
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One excursion per port is plenty. There's usually time to shop or get a bite to eat too. If you do too much, you'll need a vacation to recover!

Another thing to keep in mind is that it takes time just to get off the ship, especially if you tender in. If you book a ship's excursion, you'd be ok, but no guarantee if you are doing it on your own.
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Old July 29th, 2007, 09:03 PM
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You actually do not have 5 1/2 hours in Nassau.Arrival time is 8:30 AM and departure is 2:00 PM.That means you will not get off the ship until around 9:00 AM.Carnival wants people back on board 1/2 hour before departure.I would get back 1 hour before.So that leaves around 4 hours port time.
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