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Old February 14th, 2011, 11:26 AM
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Default Excersions... HELP

Going on first cruise. My wife and my 3 kids (11,12,15) are looking throught the excersions and it looks like I will need to take a second mortgage out on my house to pay for them. We are on the Princess Ruby in April.. Going to St. Martain, St. Thomas, Turks and Cacous, and Princess Cay.. Was looking for advise on what Excersions are well worth $ and which to avoid.. and any other ideas that you might think we would like...
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Old February 14th, 2011, 11:47 AM
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You can just get off the ship at all those & walk about the town & shops with beaches nearby, except St Thomas but even there there are shops & the cable car within easy walking distance.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 11:49 AM
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Princess Cay and Turks, will cost you little as they are beach/pool days..if you choose to do water sports on Princess Cay, that will really be your only expense.

On St Maarten, you could do the America's Cup..I think your kids would really enjoy this excursion...St Maarten 12 Metre Challenge - America’s Cup Sailing
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Last edited by Trip; February 14th, 2011 at 03:47 PM.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 01:12 PM
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Talking Excursions

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Originally Posted by kennyt View Post
Going on first cruise. My wife and my 3 kids (11,12,15) are looking throught the excersions and it looks like I will need to take a second mortgage out on my house to pay for them. We are on the Princess Ruby in April.. Going to St. Martain, St. Thomas, Turks and Cacous, and Princess Cay.. Was looking for advise on what Excersions are well worth $ and which to avoid.. and any other ideas that you might think we would like...
Well, to be honest with you, none of those ports have anything that I would really consider MUST DO. That itinerary is basically a beach and shopping trip. If that is your thing then you will have a great time.

St. Thomas has some very nice scenery and it might be worth taking a trip that goes to some of the scenic sites. Or you can just make it another beach day at world famous Megan's Bay. OR -- good luck on keeping your wife out of the shopping!

St. Martin is another pretty place. A drive to the other side of the island and the semi submersible was fun for us. Be prepared to hold on tight as the driver hurtles over the mountain roads!

Private excursions are available in all those ports. With your family group you might better with your own van and driver, and it is probably no more expensive than the ship's large group tours. Shoretrips.com has some reliable guides and good excursions in those ports.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 02:59 PM
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If you dock at Crown Bay it's about a 25 minute easy walk to Emerald beach which is free to swim at. There are some shade trees so you don't have to rent a chair & umbrella.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 10:48 AM
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St. Thomas has some of the most beautiful beaches here is a link to the board of tourism that might be helpful www.vinow.com. If you and your family snorkel or want to try it,i would highly recommend taking the ferry over to St. John Island and hit any of the beaches. If you aren't into snorkeling then i would recommend Sapphire or Coki Beach on St. Thomas. I agree with Trips recommendation on St. Maarten, the America's Cup Regatta
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 04:44 PM
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Kenny,

I just got off the same cruise (as a first timer), same ship, same itinerary, and yes I too was overwhelmed. Went with wife and 2 kids 16, 14. We thought excursions looked expensive so did not pre-book, and am happy to report that worked out fine.

We like snorkeling, so bought snorkles and goggles on e-bay and packed them, rather than rent for 3 hours at $29/person. We snorkeled at Princess cays, which was pretty good. At st. marteen we had a family connection drive us all over the place, so no advice for you there (beware the nudist beach, topless stuff pretty common). At St. thomas caught a taxi to Mageens bay, swam and snorkeled, taxi back to town, and walked to ship. Doing this independently was cheaper than the package tour that had the same itinerary, and gave us some more flexibility in timing. Another family went to pirate castle and found it to be interesting, but maybe not worth the money. Just catching a taxi on these islands gives you a good tour of the place. Even just a taxi ride to St.Mageens bay and back would be good. Beautiful views, open air "tourist taxis give a great view and some commentary from the driver. Fares are pre-determined and posted at the port. Easy!

Grand Turks is very similar to princess cays. Most people did not leave the immediate landing area where there were shops, pool, beach and swimming. The town it self is quite run down and poor. Best part for us was taking a walk around the point of the island. On the other side of the island the beach was very quiet, very picturesque, wild donkeys, conch shells, etc. That side is where the excursions (horseback riding, SNUBA diving occured). We jumped in with our snorkels where my brother in law was snuba diving at $129/person and had the exact same experience at no cost!! Beautiful coral, fish etc. Best snorkeling of the trip. The snorkeling on the main beach by the dock and ships was not good at all.

Great first time cruise. Overwhelming when you first get to port and get on-board, but you quickly settle in to cruise life.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 06:02 PM
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I agree on booking with locals once you get off the ship, much cheaper. Be ready to be bombarded with locals luring you to their tour, there will be many. The main thing to remember doing this, is if you are not back in time, the ship will leave without you. If you book on the ship and if there's a delay on their sponsored tour, the ship will wait for you.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 06:12 PM
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Because of my built in clock...I just cannot be late for anything, so I tend to book excursion in the morning, get back on the ship and relax..I would have a nervous breakdown, and I have seen people running to the ship as we are about to leave!! Oh my!
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 09:18 AM
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i totally agree with you Trip, do my excursions in the am, so that leaves the afternoon to shop! lol
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Old February 28th, 2011, 08:58 AM
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Emerald Beach.


The ship docks at Crown Bay located behind the water tower seen at the top of the picture.
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