Going the Eastern route: St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, and Nassau. Wondering if anyone has any suggestions of what we MUST SEE? We are looking at doing mostly beach days with some shopping, just wondering if there is anything we shouldn't miss in any of these ports? Best beaches??
If you decide to do something other than a beach day, I would highly recommend a tour of St. John's from St. Thomas or the mini-boat adventure in St. Thomas.....it is so much fun! In St. Maarten, we did a catamaran trip that included snorkeling and a beach stop...it was great also.
Mary Lou Scanlon
NCL Pride of America April 24, 2010
NCL Epic February 12, 2011
RCCL Allure of the Seas - September 18, 2011
Celebrity Eclipse - February 11, 2012:
RCCL Navigator OTS - February 9, 2013
I'm not the best for highlight recommendations but if you are doing some shopping then definitely check out St. Maarten. The island is a great place for some shopping bargains, especially liquor. We have found some of our best liquor deals on St. Maarten.
RCCL Cruises Sailed
- Explorer of the Seas, Dec 2001
- Voyager of the Seas, Dec 2002
- Majesty of the Seas, Mar 2004
- Grandeur of the Seas, Mar 2006
San Juan- walk around Old San Juan (I think most people end up doing this).
St. Maarten- we did the Rhino Rider tour, this was a lot of fun
St. Thomas- I highly recommend Godfrey's Tour. For $20, you get a tour of the entire island and a few hours at a beach of your choice.
St.Thomas & St. Maarten are your "top" beach and shoppping ports. Both have beautiful beaches and really good shopping.
St. Thomas- if you want to take a little extra time and a little extra effort- take the ferry over to St. John Island - beautiful island with totally gorgeous beaches - good snorkeling. IF you want to stay on St. Thomas proper i would check out Sapphire Beach. If you want to check out Coral World there is a nice beach -Coki next door. 2 shopping areas on St. Thomas - Havensight Mall and downtown Charlotte-Amalie. Both have pretty much the same "anchor" stores, downtown has more local vendors.
St. Maarten- we found the shopping to be better here than on St. Thomas.
Orient Beach is a great beach - lots to do, lots of goings on - one section is clothing optional, its on the french side so the beach is topless. If that's not for you check out Dawn Beach.
San Juan - Walk around Old San Juan. Take a tour into the rainforest.
Nassau - check out the Aquarium at Atlantis Resort casino.
In St. Thomas - Try Sunny Liston Tour. Check out his web site! Very reasonably priced and takes you all around the island, shopping and then to Sapphire Beach. This is a BEAUTIFUL beach! He takes you up to highest point on the island and it's a great view!
In St. Maarten we have taken a taxi tour of the island and then did some shopping near the ferry dock. GREAT jewelry prices!
San Juan - depends on what time you're there. Old San Juan is OK during the day but I don't like being there at night. I guess I worry to much. We also went over to see the Flaminco show at night and that was great!
Nassua - Paradise Island is nice! And the Ardastra Gardens with the marching flamingos.
St Thomas- Screamin' Eagle Jet Boat. Absolutely amazing
St. Maarten- The America's Cup
San Juan- Walk around Old San Juan
Sovereign of the Seas 2/03
Navigator of the Seas 2/04
Adventure of the Seas 2/05
Serenade of the Seas 2/06
Monarch of the Seas 7/06
Liberty of the Seas 8/07
Majesty of the Seas 5/08
Godfrey's Tour gets my vote. I found him and his employee to be pleasant and I loved the tour. We learned about the island during our tour, had "the world's famous banana daquari (for a fee), and saw a beautiful beach. The guide took us to the outstand sites on the island. The cost was small compared to other excursions. I would do this excursion again.
This doesn't fall into the category of a "must see", but if you want to see something interesting, check out a store called Butterfly People on Calle Cruz in Old San Juan. It's a 15 minute walk from the ship (depending on where you dock). They have spectacular arrangements of butterflies, all of which are, of course, for sale. We have purchased several from them over the years - when we were in San Juan last month, we got off the ship just to go to this shop.