My husband and I will be in St. Thomas and St. Martin for the first time. We're looking for one excursion in each port that will give us a taste of each island, including beach, culture, shopping, etc. Any suggestions? We're going on the Grand on 4/22.
I notice in the excersion book from Princess that there is a "best of St. Thomas island tour" that kind of has all that you are looking for, it ends in downtown St.
Thomas, so you can do the shopping there or go back to the pier and shop at the shops there. Most of the shops also have a store downtown. Seems to me there was a simular tour in St. Maarten also. You can also get a cab by the pier and have the driver take you around to see the sights. Have a wonderful cruise.
For St. Maarten, my wife and I really enjoyed the Golden Eagle Out-Island Sail last year. (See page 58) It is a huge catamaran with an excellent, attentive staff. You can sit out in the sun or under a large covered area with tables and a bar. They take you out to a private secluded island for swimming, snorkeling or lounging on the beach. The serve soft drinks, beer and other adult beverages as well as some nice baked goods.
If you are prone to sea-sickness, you may want to stay away from this one or take some Dramamine. The boat can roll a bit if there are some swells. However, should you get sick (as my wife did), the staff is very helpful with cold ice packs, fresh water and lots of TLC... you even get a special place to sit on the back. <grins> Seriously, it was great fun and my wife even said that she wants to go again.
You will LOVE this cruise and the Grand Princess. We are heading on the Grand in nine days for the second time.
I agree on the Golden Eagle catamaran snorkeling for St. Maarten. I've done this TWICE. However, I always wish I were there more than one day, as I'd love to try Regatta sailboat races they have. I've heard that is amazing.
St. Thomas....depends on how much you enjoy shopping. I don't care to shop much...I'm much more into the sailing or snorkeling opportunities. On St. Thomas, Magens Bay is a beautiful place to spend if you just want a lovely beach. Otherwise, I would a) take the ferry to St. John and spend your time at Trunk Bay to enjoy the beach and the snorkeling, or, my last trip, we tried a private sailboat charter that left from St. Thomas, sailed to St. John, took us snorkeling, and provided food and drinks. That was also wonderful. Email me if you'd like the link for the sailboat excursion.
They are all beautiful islands (St T, St. J, and St. M). Enjoy your cruise! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
St. Thomas is no contest. Spring for the "Champagne Catamaran Sailaway to St. John" (Tour STT-R1). It's worth every penny of the price, and it returns to the pier in plenty of time for some shopping before the ship leaves.
My boyfriend and I will also be on the Grand 4/22 sailing. This is our first cruise so we are extremely excited. We decided to try the St. Thomas Sailboat & Snorkel Adventure. Sounds like fun, we both LOVE the ocean. We are undecided about what to do in St. Marteen, we might just relax on the beach and enjoy the day! We were thinking of going to the Everyt'ing Cool Beach Break. Does anyone recommend this?
Raffy, if this is what you do choose to do, you do not have to pay "tour" price. You can go there on your own. It is right in the bay, downtown in St. Martin. It may be a lot of fun for you younger folks; drinks, volleyball, lounges w/ colorful umbrellas, but it is not a "good deal". Beer sells for $1 in St. Martin. Try Orient Beach which will incude lunch and transportaion, lounges and a drink if purchased on board as a tour. Now this is more typical St. Martin French style and on one of the most beautiful stretches of beach. The scenary may be good too. (Clothing optional - them not you!) You will have plenty of time for shopping when you return to town. St. Maarten is really nice so you should try to get out of the Shopping mecca of the Caribbean to experience two totally different countries on one island.