I am going on a Freedom of the Seas trip to the Eastern Caribbean next week. I have never been before, but would be very interested in some active adventure-type activities - whether through the cruise line or through locals.
I was wondering if anyone had personal experience or suggestions for anything like this? I'm really open to new experiences, as long as they are fun! I am interested in almost anything, except for bungie jumping and sky diving ; ) I am going with a few others, so I could potentially bring folks with (or not!) if that opens any doors.
Our times in port are as follows:
18-Jul ~ Cococay, Bahamas ~ Arrive @ 7:00 AM ~ Depart @ 4:00 PM
20-Jul ~ Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas ~ Arrive @ 11:00 AM ~ Depart @ 7:00 PM
21-Jul ~ Philipsburg, St. Maarten ~ Arrive @ 8:00 AM ~ Depart @ 5:00 PM
I have already signed up for the multi-day PADI scuba diving certification course through the cruise line. I am looking at things like surfing (board or wind surfing) lessons, hourly moped/scooter rentals, strenuous hikes, cliff-diving, deep sea fishing, awesome out-of-the-way views, cool kayaking spots etc.
I am ALSO looking for great local hole-in-the-wall places for food. Or any local foods/drinks I should try while there. I am a huge fan of food and drink ; ) Just hope the metabolism holds up over the trip!!
You didn't mention parasailing, you may find that available in most of the ports you listed. They also have a fun jet ski excursion in Coco Cay.. Actually the snorkeling is pretty good there too. In St. Maarten they offer the AMerica's Cup Regatta, which is also a lot of fun and work if you wish.
I'd suggest going through the list of excursions on their web-site and it gives you an idea of what is available at the ports.
You may welcome days at sea after your rigorous days in port In St Maarten, The America's Cup Regatta, might be the only extreme excursion, that will get your jib going You may be so good at it, they will want to hire you, so moving to the islands could be in your future!!
Also in this port, check out the Sunset Beach Bar, right near the airport. Lots of excitement there, with the planes landing!!
just as a follow-up, I did sign up for the PADI course. it was a great course, and there was an (otherwise unadvertised?) option to "upgrade" the cert for $100 to a full-blown open water cert with another day of classroom training and pool dives. This "upgrade" allowed us to check off all additional requirements except for two additional instructional dives (out of 4 total) - so I will need to do two more dives at home.
I was told on the western carribean itinerary, they are able to complete those two additional dives and you can get the fll-blown open water PADI cert since it has additional time in port (1 additional stop?), but I'd expect it would be more than $100.
The course did take a lot more time than I anticipated, but in my situation where I am strapped for time at home it was worth doing onboard.