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Old September 8th, 2015, 11:36 AM
Hayleyfrtnr Hayleyfrtnr is offline
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Default First Timer Couple, Freedom of the Seas Eastern

My husband and I will be taking our first cruise together on Royal Caribbeans Freedom of the Seas in April 2016, we are really looking forward to it! We want to do at least 2 excursions on the islands, and my husband wants to do official RC ones... Which would you recommend as MUST dos.

We are young and active, so we would love anything from atvs, snuba, kayaking, etc, but it's just so hard to decide! Looking for some "real people" recommendations
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Old September 8th, 2015, 12:12 PM
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In order to give you some ideas, we need to know which itinerary you're going on. The Freedom of the Seas will do the Eastern Caribbean one week and the Western Caribbean the next week.

And I understand many new cruisers feel more secure with booking the shore excursions through the cruise line, but I would definitely consider some of the very reputable independent companies, such as Shore Trips, that offer great excursions for better prices and they are a whole lot less crowded making for a more enjoyable experience.

But let us know your itinerary and we can offer some suggestions and ideas.

Pete
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Old September 8th, 2015, 09:30 PM
Hayleyfrtnr Hayleyfrtnr is offline
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We are doing the Eastern Caribbean, st. Thomas, st. Maarten, coco cay out of orlando.
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Old September 8th, 2015, 10:30 PM
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St. Thomas is mostly known for its shopping. You can buy cameras, watches, jewelry, etc, at really reduced pricing compared to the U.S. mainland. I bought a dive watch there that was $125 less than anywhere I could find back home. Same for a camera and a necklace. They are also known for their watersports; snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, etc. Really don't need any organized excursions there as taxis are everywhere and it's very easy to get around.

St. Maarten is one of our favorite ports. We much prefer to walk off the ship and as you get to the end, off to the right are several rental car kiosks. We rent a car for roughly $35 to $45 for the day and do our own thing. It's easy to get around and you can do what you want when you want. We like to head over to the French side of the island (where the ship docks is on the Dutch side) and we go to Merigot where they have a wonderful outdoor flea market. Then we'll head over to Orient Beach and eat at a wonderful restaurant we like on the beach. And the beach is magnificent; crystal clear water and beautiful white sand. Just be advised that you may see topless on the beaches and if you trek down the beach past the jetty, it's all nude. But the island great for exploring with wonderful people.

And as for Coco Cay, it's a private island owned by RCCL, so anything you want to do outside of just going to the beach you'll have to do it through the cruise line. But it's a very nice beach and you'll thoroughly love your time there.

But in both St. Thomas and St. Maarten you really don't need to consider only excursions offered by the cruise line because they are both safe, easy to get around, and the people are wonderful. We've been to both many many times and have never had any problems.

Pete
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Old September 13th, 2015, 03:38 PM
Hayleyfrtnr Hayleyfrtnr is offline
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Thanks for the information Pete. I appreciate you offering another perspective. Hopefully we will hear more from others in the future who have tried what RCCL has to offer since that is what we are truly interested in learning more about at this time.
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Old September 13th, 2015, 04:34 PM
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Hi Haley,
There are so many good excursions in those ports, plus you get a day at Royal Caribbean's private island, great beach day. Just do your research and look through all the excursions in Royal's site and pick the ones that interest you. I really enjoy the waverunner excursion offered at Laadee, not sure if it is available at Coco Cay??

At least you have plenty of time to narrow your search down by the time you cruise. Keep in mind, some of the more popular ones do sell out, so don't take too much time.
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