Leaving on Jan. 14 2001 on The Ocean Princess, Ports of call include Aruba, Caracas, Grenda, Dominica, and St. Thomas. Need ideas of fun things to do while in port. Caracas concerns me the most, need the do's and dont's of this Venezulan City. Help?
Is this a new itinary for Ocean Princess. We were on her earlier this year and did one of the itinaries and the other one was also different. There are a few reviews of this ship, but with different islands. Here is a link to a recent one, hope you enjoy reading it. Have a great time on Ocean, truly a beautiful ship, enjoy:
We went to Caracas on the Fasciantion in '96. We took a day long shore excursion that we booked with the cruise line. It was kinda neat to see a different place, but if we went again we would stay on board & have a massage.
Just returned from that cruise (5-12 Nov) and found Caracas to be the worst. The city is filthy and EXTREMELY poverty stricken. The city / glass factory tour takes you through some of the worst parts of town and many felt unsafe/uncomfortable. The tour guide spent the last 45 minutes of the ride letting us know that the American Justice system is one of the worst in the world and what a wonderful partner Cuba has been to Venezuela - I gave him a tip, alright, "Don't lecture Americans about America." If I ever go again, I'll go into their little shops at the pier, then immediately back to the ship. I heard no one say anything great about tours in Caracas.
Aruba - we did the jeep adventure and it was fun.
Grenada - Rhum Runner catamaran - fun
Dominica - Island highlights - interesting but a little rushed
St. Thomas - just shopped
San Juan - on my own (used to live near there).
Ship is great - Disco is fun late (ships staff often hang out there) - Valentine (bartender) is a hoot.
Assistant Cruise Director Ritchie is also hilarious, try to watch the morning show that they produce on-board (6-10 a.m.).
Never had a problem getting a pool-side lounge chair, try the dessert souffle's at dinners, skip the champagne waterfall, all in all a great cruise.
I do remember Ritchie, he was a riot. I usually caught their show later in the day, missed a few, which I was sorry about because he was so funny. Thanks for bringing back some good memories :-)
After being so anxious to visit this South American key capitol city, I have to totally agree with thulex. I was not only scared, but could not wait to get out of Caracas. The day of our visit there were no less than 6 heavily armed police units walking throughout the city proper. There are 2 classes of people; poor and rich.
The port building usually offers some decent local souvenirs. Go for the massage!
When in doubt, it's always safe to take a tour offered by the ship.
I posted comments about three of these ports of call on the "Caribbean" message board, having just returned from a Panama Canal cruise that called there. To summarize, I had no regrets after taking the following shore excursions in those ports:
>> Aruba -- Catamaran Sail, Snorkel, and Beach Barbecue
>> Dominica -- Grand Tour of Dominica
>> St. Thomas -- Champagne Catamaran Sailaway to St. John
Yes, the Champagne Catamaran Sailaway to St. John really is worth the price of $96!
MV Ocean Princess is one of my favorite ships, too. Do have a wonderful cruise!
I will be sailing on the Ocean Princess in April 2001, which has the itinerary in question. Is it also worth it to get off at Dominica and Grenada? After reading this, I defitinely don't want to visit Caracas, but i want to see aruba and st. thomas.
There's no serious safety problem on any of the Caribbean islands. Also, you can drink the tap water anywhere on any Caribbean island. The worst problem that you might have is some vendors or taxi drivers who are a bit agressive in soliciting your business.
I have never been to Grenada, but my parents thoroughly enjoyed their port call there a few years ago. Grenada is known as the spice island, so you might want to take a tour of one of the spice plantations and buy some spices as souvenirs.
Dominica has several unique attractions, including its rain forest and the only remaining tribe of Carib Indians (which owns a reservation in the northeast corner of the island). The "Grand Tour of Dominica" definitely is worthwhile, though it's a full day. There are quite a few other tours, too, so you probably can find one that matches your interests.
Haven't been to Dominica or Grenada, but you're right, you don't want to miss
Aruba or St. Thomas. Actually I've heard the natives in Grenada are super friendly and have heard good things about that island. If you like to snorkel, while in St. Thomas you can go to the Red Hook Ferry and take it over to St. Johns, Trunk Bay. Its absolutely picture postcard beautiful and the snorkeling is good. Its easy to do on your own and if you start out first thing in the AM, you'll still have some time to hunt for those bargains in St. Thomas. We did an island tour in
Aruba which was interesting, went out to the natural bridge, which you have to see. We later got on one of the public transportation busses and checked out a beach, was beautiful. Have a great cruise on Ocean, love that ship. One thing not to miss is the Champagne waterfall, really fun evening.
Here is a members review, think the ports are a little different, but gives you an idea about the ship
We are going to be on the Ocean Princess Jan 14-28 (doing both of her schedules back to back). We are a married couple 50 years old. We have scheduled the all day trip to Carracas with the museum and glass factory tours (lunch included at a hotel I believe). I have heard this is one place where you probably don't want to go and do alot unescorted. Since we would like to see Carraccas we decided to do it this way. Have you cruised Princess before? This will make our 4th & 5th with them. We have also cruised Celebrity.
Terry Sechrest <firstname.lastname@example.org>