my wife and I have booked our first cruise for our 25th anniversary. we are going on a 7 day cruise to St.Smarten, St.Kitts, Antigua, St.Lucia and Barbados on Royal Caribbeans Jewel of the Sea. We are not going till September but I am looking for some advice on excursions?
is it over kill to book an excursion every day? We also want to enjoy the beaches and to be able to shop at some of the local stores and enjoy the local community. any help with recommending excursions or on how many becomes over whelming would be fantastic.
I book an excursion about 90% of the time but don't feel obligated to book now. Read up on what's available online and think about what you like. You can book when on the ship although you risk having something already full and who wants to stress planning when on board. Cut loose and forget about it then
Things with small groups are what tend to sell out like swimming with the dolphins or scuba diving. Beach excursions are easy to get but you can always choose to get off the sihp and just tell the taxi driver to take you to a nice beach. Make sure you negotiate the fare beforehand though.
There are some islands, where it is very easy to use a cab and get to a beach, usually the drivers will know just where to drop you. Being a first time cruiser, I would suggest looking at the cruiseline's web site and see what interests you and if anything, pre-book them. Some do fill up quickly and once you are onboard, just a few time slots available or none at all. No, you don't need to do something in every port, sometimes it is nice to walk around town, do a little shopping and then enjoy a half empty ship...
There's really no reason to take an excursion in any of these ports, unless it's something you really want to do.
For example, in St. Marten when you get off the pier, turn to the right and there are several kiosks where you can rent a car. It's a great and easy way to get around the island and the cost is inexpensive (from $35 - $75 depending on the time of year and type of car). We once rented a jeep for $75 and drove over the mountains on the dirt roads and it was awesome! But you can drive around the whole island (easy to get around) and visit several beautiful beaches.
On other islands, it's just a easy to get off the ship, talk to a few cab drivers to get some prices, and let them take you around the island. St. Lucia is beautiful and is definitely one island to explore.
But all the islands have some awesome beaches.
St. Kitts would be our least favorite as there's not much to do, but you can get around the island using a taxi for not alot of money (if I remember right, it was $25 each for a 3 hour drive).
__________________ Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/12 yrs exp and 47 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!
Welcome to Crusiemates~Do research of what excursions are offered, then decide if there are any must sees, or would a day of beaching, or shopping suit you better, in each port.
We have always taken early excursions,then we have lots of time to do our own thing, eat in town,or back on the ship, possibly, then shop or beach.
One excursion we did, which is very unlike me, but I adored, was Harrisons Caves in Barbados. www.harrisonscave.com. For me a once in a lifetime peek into these fabulous caves . Sandy Lane is a fantastic beach if you love to beach it.
Remember, that ship's excursions are priced higher then what you can find as you walk off the ship. Doing it early in the day, makes getting back to the ship on time, a non issue. Leave time for serendipity in each port. Sometimes the best times are unplanned.
Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator
No it is not overkill to book an excursion on every Island If that's what you want to do. When my wife and I first started cruising we booked excursions on every Island. We wanted to see the Islands and how the people lived and just see the sites. It was wonderful and we enjoyed every minute. Some excursions included some shopping. If you want to do excursions then by all means do them. I might add though if you book your excursions thru a private vendor (that's someone other than the cruise line) just know you are on your own. If that vendor does not get you back to the ship at departure time you may (will) be left and the expense of catching up to the ship at the next port is on you. If you book your excursion thru the cruise line they will wait for you to return. Private vendors are cheaper just leave enough time to get back.
DW and I will be on the Jewel in December. Enjoy your Cruise.
Quantum of the Seas 12/2014
Oasis OTS 6/2015
Serenade OTS 12/2015
The activities in St.Kitts and Nevis is now growing so as time goes more activities has been added to the list. Lately we have introduce Segway Tours. There are much more to do and you can visit sknvacation to see the full list.
Whatever questions you have I am sure you would get it answered. Vacations are meant to be remembered and it is totally to find to do an activity at every island.
Well life is short and you are only in that port for just a short time. I have been to all those ports except for St Kitts.
It looks like a busy cruise and you will feel like you need a vacation afterwards if you are like us when we took our first cruise. We are booked for our 27th cruise in a few months.
I would suggest you learn about each island and learn about all the excursions offered. You'll know what your interests are to help your decision.
But for St Lucia the thing for us to see there was The Pitons. There are several excursions. We chose the one that went by bus going and catamaran back. That gave us the chance to see the country side and then by sea.
Antigua has a beach for every year. So a good beach tour is nice there. But do study up on it. Enjoy yourselves and have a great cruise. Happy Anniversary.