My husband and I are are taking the March 21, 2004 Souther Carribean Cruise with Princess. I have been on two previous RCL cruises (Eastern & Western). We will be visiting St. Thomas (want to take an excusion to St. John), St. Kitts, Grenada, La Guaira, and Aruba. Any suggestions on the shore excusions?
Dawn is my favorite ship (have been on 2 other Princess, 1 Celebrity and 6 HAL ships). This itinerary, IMHO, is not the best though. The islands, at least, are beautiful but the poverty depressing. On St Kitts not much to do except beach, or Brimstone Hill which is quite interesting. Island very very poor. Grenada beautiful but also very very poor and you will encounter some begging, and some can be fairly aggressive. Would proably just beach here too. LaGuaira - do not get off the ship to wander here, or tour except on a ship-arranged shore excursion. Did the Colonial Museum and Murano glass factory; the drive to Caracas while nice scenery is depressing when you see how the people live. When we got to the city and driver showed us "where the nice houses are" (all walled with razor wire or broken glass on tops of the walls) I could nearly have thrown up. But the Museum was interesting and drive to glass factory beautiful and the prices on glassware are fabulous. Haven't done Aruba but I know many who have and say it's a favorite. Other than St Thomas it probably will be your best stop. You will love Dawn though, she's gorgeous IMHO. Enjoy your cruise.
Last time we did this cruise on Nov. 16., 2003.
On St. Kitts we did the Sail&Snorkel tour and it was the best snorkeltour we ever did. We drove with a big catamaran 45 minutes along the coastline (they set sails). Snorkeling was one hour. After that we sailed back and got free drinks (beer and alcoholic drinks included). The crew was very friendly and we had a lot of fun. On an other cruise we already did a tour to Brimstone Hill and and Romney Manor, which was interessing too. But we prefer water related tours.
Grenada (one of my favourite islands) - We went with a watertaxi (2 $p/P) to the Grand Anse beach. It is beautiful and do have all facilities you need. On an earlierer cruise we made a tour Scenes of Grenada & Grand Anse beach, which was fine to get an short overview, but we now prefer only the beach.
La Guaira - Due to security reasons Princess cancelled this port. We went to Isla Margarita. We did not took a tour. We went to the beach which is in walking distance from the ship and were surprised how nice it was. Alongside the footpath to the beach there were stalls from local vendors and the best: they did not push (like in Greneda) and were very friendly. At the beginning of the beach there was a restaurant/bar and they played live latin american music. There were all facilities you need, like chairs, sunshade, showers, restrooms .., you even could rent quads, boats or take a massage there. The water was clear and easy to walk in. The ship left at 12:45. When we stopped there in 2000 with the DAWN we took a tour to Playa del Agua. Our tour guide wanted to show us his island, so it was more sightseeing than beach-tour an we liked it.
Aruba - The best choice in Aruba is to go the beach (Palm or Eagle) or to do some shopping.