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Eastern Car. Shopping and Excursions???

Discussion in 'Caribbean Ports' started by Hersheys, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. Hersheys

    Hersheys Guest

    We will be sailing on September and will be going to Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten...I have a few questions....

    1. At any of these ports, do you have to take a tender to get to the port or do they pull up right to the port?

    2. How is the shopping like in these ports...I am not too much into jewelry but love purchasing knick knacks and souveneirs? is it fairly inexpensive like Cozumel, Mexico?

    3. Now with excursions, I like looking at scenic views and taking tons of pictures. Any places you would recommend and will it be cheaper if I take a cab? is it safe to do it alone?

    Would love to hear any suggestions....

    Thanks a bunch!!!!!!!
     
  2. Hi Hersheys,
    We will be sailing to the same ports as you in August. You have some great questions and I can't wait to see what the answers are. I know we are doing the Dolphin Encounter in Nassau and we 've picked out some other excursions for the other two ports but would love to hear feed back from the others. Looks like we like the same things. We also love scenic views(especially waterfalls) and take tons of pictures. Have a great trip. By the way what ship are you sailing on?
     
  3. Hersheys

    Hersheys Guest

    We will be sailing on the Glory.
     
  4. That's great! We are too. :)



    Post Edited (07-24-03 13:59)
     
  5. chelle

    chelle Guest

    All the ports you are going to are ports and not tenders. I have done the eastern caribbean 5 times now and it is my favorite.

    St. Maarten is very inexpensive and they have lots of knick knack things that do not include jewelry, though my FAVORITE jewelry store of all time is on St. Maarten...Venentian Jewelers: there are two, the one I prefer is across the street from the Guava Juice Bar which is a little red building that is famous in St. Maarten on Front Street... if you go ask for ASH!! and tell him Michelle sent you in!!!!! It is absolutely beautiful in St. Maarten, the Island tour is lots of fun!

    Nassau I do not care for, its run down and kinda scary to me, we usually do an excursion here or go to Paradise Island to the Atlantis hotel which you can get a cab for at the end of the pier for about $6.00 per person...an Island tour here is also good because it gets you out of the downtown area which is not that pretty, you can also book this on your own with a cab driver...I never book island tours through the cruise ships, all the islands have cabbies who are locals and they are much much cheaper and better than the ship excursions.... the shopping to me is not great, lots of junk and lots of people milling about which kind of makes me nervous and I am just outside of New York City!!!

    St. Thomas is very populated and a little loud and not very island like I think, I definitely would do the Island tour here which you can book on your own by getting a cab into the town center from the ship about $3.00 each ask to be let off at the market right behind the market you'll see all kinds of open top trucks, vans etc...approach and they will come to you, we did this in March and it was $50 dollars for the 4 of us, lasts about 3 or 4 hours and they take you to the whole island included mountain top and a view of Megans Bay...some even have cold drinks available though if not you make enough stops to get something on your own. The shopping is good here too, the market is a great bargin center and St. Thomas is known for its fine linens...

    overall the islands on the eastern are safe and friendly and there is no need to be wary, just be careful and watchful in Nassua, though according to some of my friends who just happen to be crew on the Enchantment of the Seas (3 times sailing) Nassua is safe, just a little run down...

    I can't wait to go back, we are booked onboard the Radiance of the Seas for 11/23 Eastern and 11/30 for the western...

    hope you have loads of fun!!!

    Happy Cruising!!!
    "I work so I can cruise!"
    119 days left to back to back on Radiance!!!!!!!!!!
    Michelle the cruise junkie!
     
  6. Dean

    Dean Guest

    In St. Thomas I recommend taking a tour with Godfrey. For $20 per person he picks you up at the ship, takes you to the shopping center.... then picks you up for a COMPLETE tour of the island. He then drops you off at the beach of your choice for 2 hours, then returns you to the ship!!!! You can't beat this tour!!!! He narrates during the tour and relays interesting information about St. Thomas and the surrounding islands. Read my review for a detailed explanation with his website.

    <http://www.cruise-addicts.com/reviews/readreview.php?id=0000002311>

    Godfrey is absolutely awesome!!!

    <http://www.godfreytoursvi.com>


    Dean
     
  7. ginny

    ginny Guest

    St. Thomas is one of my favorite ports, there is just so much to do and see there that it would take many cruise visits or several weeks to be able to see most of it. The beaches are really nice and if you like snorkeling, a ferry ride over to St. John will put you are in snorkelers heaven. Trunk or Cinnamon bay are two of the most popular snorklers destinations. Have fun deciding on your day there.

    In St. Martin you could spend some time at Everything Cool beach and the trinkets will come to you while you enjoy the sun, sand, blue water and ice cold drinks. The vendors come up and down the beach selling their treasures to anyone interested just about any trinket you might desire will be available here, giving you some time to just check out the fine jewelry stores and take a tour of the island. Cabs are available and waiting to give you either a quick or full day tour of the island.

    Nassau is probably my least favorite island, Atlantis is nice to spend some time at but just not all that appealing to me to spend the day. I like to take a sailing trip whenever we are there and spend the day just enjoying the blue water and cool drinks with an occasional swim or snorkle from one of the many catamaran boats for hire.

    All are safe to go it alone except maybe Nassau after dark, I wouldn't do any walking around town there after dark. Atlantis at night is really pretty, but take a cab right from the pier there and after you are though back to the ship. Don't try to walk through town at night.
     
  8. Hersheys

    Hersheys Guest

    Thanks for everyone's input. My main concern right now is that when we stop at those ports, my husband will be doing a lot of scuba diving so I will be doing the shopping and site seeing by myself...now we will be in the ports during daylight, is it still safe for my 5 yr old and I to be catching cabs around town??? I am just really paranoid...but one who loves a good bargain....
     
  9. chelle

    chelle Guest

    All of the stops you are doing are perfectly safe for you and your 5 year old. I do a lot of the Island stuff on my own and have never had a problem. There are tons of people going a shore at the same time you are and the towns are usually full of people and local police so I have never felt unsafe or worried, with the exception like I said above of Nassau, but most people tell me I am just being silly that its fine there too!

    Happy Cruising!!!
    "I work so I can cruise"
    116 days until Radiance back to back 11/23 and 11/30
    chelle
     
  10. Nanatravel

    Nanatravel Guest

    Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten...I have a few questions....

    1. At any of these ports, do you have to take a tender to get to the port or do they pull up right to the port? They all are ports where the ship docks.

    2. How is the shopping like in these ports...I am not too much into jewelry but love purchasing knick knacks and souveneirs? is it fairly inexpensive like Cozumel, Mexico?

    St. Thomas & St. Martin are the best shopping ports - you can bargain with the vendors and shop keepers. Your US customs allowance is $1200 each for St. Thomas, that is why it is a popular jewelry shopping port. Electronics and perfumes are pretty good values too. You will always find lots of "souvenir" shops including t-shirts, beach towels, logo'd items, etc.

    3. Now with excursions, I like looking at scenic views and taking tons of pictures. Any places you would recommend and will it be cheaper if I take a cab? is it safe to do it alone?
    All 3 ports can easily be explored on your own. Nassau, $4pp each way to the Atlantis Resort. Don't miss a tour of the Dig @ $25. We took over 100 pictures and have been to Paradise Island & Nassau before! St. Thomas, you can take a 3-4hr. jitney tour of the island to include Mountain top, Maegen's Bay and other picturesque photo stops @ $30-40 per couple. St. Martin, too there are vans waiting to take you on a tour or to a destination like Orient beach, Dawn beach, Marigot @ French St. Martin, Coupecoy, Grand Case, etc. Bring twice as much film, but don't let it go through airport screening. Have it hand checked.
    bon Voyage
     
  11. Hersheys

    Hersheys Guest

    A couple more questions...

    1. What is the Dig tour?
    2. What is there in Paradise Island, Bahamas...beaches?
    3. Now in St. Thomas, is Skyline Drive the street you go on to get to see the view of the other islands? is the top of the mountain called Paradise Pt?
    4. Where the boat docks, is that the downtown areas for all 3 ports? is that where I could find good shopping deals?

    Think these are all the questions for now...thanks!
     
  12. Nanatravel

    Nanatravel Guest

    Hersheys asks:
    1. What is the Dig tour? At Atlantis Resort & Casino on Paradise Island, they have had a multi-billion dollar renovation that includes a man-made re-creation of Atlantis. This is an Aquarium. To see the entire Dig, you will need to buy the tour. It will take you to many of the outside areas, too. Security is at each door and will not allow non-guests to explore near the pools and beachs.
    2. What is there in Paradise Island, Bahamas...beaches?- Atlantis is now what used to be Merv Griffin's Paradise Island Resort & Casino. If you wish to have entry to the beach, you would have to go to the Sheraton or further for access. Atlantis will not allow beach access. Taxi about $4pp each way.
    3. Now in St. Thomas, is Skyline Drive the street you go on to get to see the view of the other islands? is the top of the mountain called Paradise Pt? I am not sure of the Drive name. We have taken a jitney tour to Mountain Top the home of the Banana daiquiri. To me this is where you can see forever. Paradise Point tramway is right across the street from Havensight where your ship most likely will dock. It is a 5 minute walk $15 adults/$7.50 for children 6-12 yrs., under free.
    4. Where the boat docks, is that the downtown areas for all 3 ports? is that where I could find good shopping deals? Havensight at St. Thomas has many of the same shops that you will find in downtown Charlotte Amalie which is a $3pp taxi ride. You can walk it, but it does get pretty warm. Phillipsburg, is Dutuch St. Maarten's downtown shopping area. There is a $5 RT water taxi, or you could take a 15 minute walk. The watertaxi fare is good for back & forth all day. Now, Marigot is the capitol city of French, St. Martin. Another totally different "downtown" with a historic Fort on top of a hill. Don't miss it if you have never been. Best shopping values is at St. Martin. Liquor @ St. Thomas.

    Hope this helps. All 3 islands are very easy and reasonable to tour on your own with plenty of time for shopping. Tour first, shop last so you can do both.
    Bon Voyage
     
  13. Hersheys

    Hersheys Guest

    Thx...
     

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