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Which of these ports are "must sees"?

Discussion in 'Caribbean Ports' started by stufus, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. stufus

    stufus Guest

    Thiis is our itinery for our cruise on the Golden princess in September

    San Juan, St Thomas, St Kitts, Grenada, Margarita, Aruba, Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten

    We only intend to get off ship four or five times max. Which of these ports are must sees? All opinions welcome. Thankyou
     
  2. If you haven't been to any of them, I would say all.
     
  3. Mbandy

    Mbandy Guest

    I have to aggree with suer. This is a FABULOUS itinerary. IMHO no woulda coulda shouldas when you cruise. Wouldn't it be a shame for you to hear from another passenger of something really neat that you missed because you stayed on the ship that day? Don't go home regretting that you missed something great by staying on the ship.

    Happy Cruising,

    Michael
     
  4. maw

    maw Guest

    I can understand the posters problem with that intensive a port schedule. Can someone give her some hints . Many of us have times we can not get off at every port.
     
  5. Natalia

    Natalia Guest

    Im wondering why would you book such a port-intensive cruise if you could not (or didnt want to) see all those islands?? Ok, I know thats none of my business..... but why not take a shorter 7 day which is obviously less $$.... then see the rest another time? Sorry cant help you yet with the originaly question. Looking forward to seeing those places next year.
     
  6. joeyancho

    joeyancho Guest

    I have been to 6 of these ports. They all have something unique to offer. Unless you are physically unable, why wouldn't you want to get off the ship? Even if you don't take an excursion, at least walk around town. Each stop is a different country. Interacting with the locals is always fun. Ask people questions about their island. They are proud of where they live. You get to experience a little bit of their culture. But a local handicraft. It will always rmind you of the good time you had there and the local economy could use the money. If you are really brave, go to a restaurant that the locals recommend or try some exotic fruit from a local market. I have had some of the best meals of my life this way. Good Luck and Bon Voyage.
     
  7. Raven

    Raven Guest

    Seeing as nobody else has tried to directly answer your question............

    Definitely see St. Kitts and Barbados. Next on my list would be Antigua, Aruba and Grenada.

    Forget about St Maarten and Isle Margarita. San Juan is a very busy metropolis. St Thomas has nice excursions but the cruise ship "traffic jams" with the huge influx of people can be a pain.

    Just my opinion :)
     
  8. Parrot Mom

    Parrot Mom Guest

    It is very port intensive...if you really want to drop a port I'd drop St. thomas, because after spending a week there a few years ago it was wall to wall cruisers, storesmand the best thing we liked about St. Thomas was going over to St. John's.. Since my priorities are different than most cruisers I'd avoi St. Maarten and go to Margarita (there are a few great excursions), St Lucia and the rest.. It sounds like a wonderful cruise... I've never been to St. Kitts or Antigua..oh yes.. Aruba...very boring...a trip to the other side an the coral bridge is about exciting as it gets..lol.... very Americanized.
     
  9. stufus

    stufus Guest

    Thakyou Raven .
    We had to think long and hard before deciding not to get off at every port. There are alot of opinionated people on these boards who do no not stop to think that perhaps circumstances change. We booked our cruise over six months ago and were looking forward to visiting all the ports. However, without going into personal details we are no longer physically upto doing so. Thus we asked for advice. You are the only person to actually give this. Once again thankyou.
     
  10. Cruise cutie

    Cruise cutie Guest

    I would definitely say see Aruba..I'm partial as we have a time share there.it's safe,clean easily gotten around..taxi's are reasonable and going to "Eagle Beach", "Malmok Beach or just walking around town is nice..there are 2 casino's, multitudes of shops, and the people are wonderful..Have a great cruise..I'm on the Golden in February doing this on a back to back..Enjoy..=bigwave..:)..Joanne
     
  11. stufus

    stufus Guest

    Cheers Parrot Mom and Joanne
     
  12. yankfan

    yankfan Guest

    I have not been to all the ports - but a suggestion would be to do some research on the ports and see what they have to offer that you enjoy doing/seeing. A possibility is looking at a guide book on the caribbean in the library, read up, prioritize the sights and pick the islands you vist that way.
    Either way - enjoy your trip!
     
  13. Got2Cruise

    Got2Cruise Guest

    I think it depends what type of activities you enjoy doing. Some places have great cultural value. Others have gorgeous beaches, and not much else, while others have great shopping opportunities. I would look over the excursions offered by the cruiseline and see if any of these jump out at you. Also, you know what your physical limitations are, and that needs to be taken into consideration also.

    Old San Juan is usually on everyone's must-see. I think Aruba is an interesting place because it is in sharp contrast to the usual tropical islands. Yes, St. Thomas can get crowded, but the scenery is breathtaking. The duty free limit is advantageous if you are doing serious shopping. You can easily go on a ship's tour, or arrange a private taxi tour on these three islands to customize it to your interests and level of activity. There are also sailing charters that are very relaxing that sail around the Virgin Islands.
     
  14. Natalia

    Natalia Guest

    Stufus...

    We were by no means trying to insult you and I sincerely apologize if we did. Thats why I suggested maybe changing to a shorter itinerary and saving the rest for another time. Maybe that is not possible, Im not sure when your sail date is. Anyways, I hope you have a marvelous time where ever you go and what ever you see. Im anxious to see all of those places you mentioned so I hope you will write a review when you get back and give us your opinion. As you can see, the above opinions even varried... its so hard to tell another what to do, as our tastes are all so different... happy sailing to you! ;)
     
  15. stufus

    stufus Guest

    Thankyou Natalia
     
  16. stufus

    stufus Guest

    Thankyou everyone who has taken the time to respond. We are off in about 10 days. will def write a review when I come back...on the ship if not the ports. Once again thanks all.
     
  17. Trish1c

    Trish1c Guest

    Stufus:

    I'm sorry to hear that physical circumstances have altered your plans. What ever challange you & your family are facing, I hope you come throught it well & easily, or at the very least, this cruise helps you to cope.

    I haven't been to all of the places you are going. Based upon your use of "physical" limitations, I am going to give you what answers I have based on the ASSUMPTION that there are mobility or stamina issues. My bias is based on the fact that those are the limits I deal with regularly w/ my family. Anyway, here goes:

    San Jaun: This is an old metropolitan city & very HILLY. Walking it yourself is not a good idea. If you can do some walking you may want to take a taxi to Fort Morro & look at the view. If that's not an option, you can still get a pretty good look sailing in & out of the harbor on the ship. Since you have to make choices, I'd skip this port & view it from the ship. Especially if it is your departure point, you need to rest for the other parts of your travels.

    St. Thomas: We went shopping in the city, Charolotte Amolie (I spelled that wrong). The shopping was phenomenal. If you are not into shopping, you can stay aboard. However, there is some shopping right at the dock in Havensight. It's flat & not very strenuous. It may be a way to pass a pleasant hour or two. There is a cable car "ride" up a big hill near the dock. You can take a cab. We walked; it's about a 5 minute walk at a moderate pace. The view from the ride & at the top is magnificent. Again this may be an easy / quick thing to do to get an overview & feel as though you've experienced the island w/o it being too taxing. There are junky souvenier shops up top & a bar if you are having a "good day".

    St. Kitts: We took a lovely tour in a minivan w/ a woman named Mrs. Wallace. She only takes 6-10 people & the price per person varies by the # in your group. Anyway, she picked us up at the dock & took us all over the island in air conditioned comfort. You could see a lot just from the van. We walked through an uncrowded botanical garden (which she said gets crowded later) & then went to Brimstone Hill. This is an amazing fort built in the 1600's by the British & French. It was certainly not built to OSHA or ADA standards. While it is an architectural wonder, you may not enjoy trying to climb its uneven surfaces.

    Barbados: Skip it. It's a very poor country & there will always be somebody trying to sell you something. The vendor will not take no for an answer well. The best things to do are beach excursions. So if you are trying to conserve your energy, hang out by the pool. It's the same sun after all.

    St. Lucia: You MUST do the Pitons (not climb them but at least get to see them). Land & sea may be a bit overwhelming. It's an all day event but the land or sea only (your choice) will give you great views of these amazing twins. If you think you can make it, I was fascinated to go to the volcano. The "problem" is your phsyical limitations may hamper your enjoyment of this part. It was rocky, uneven & steep. It also smells like rotten eggs from the sulfer.

    I have friends who love Aruba & say it's the most beautiful island in the Caribbean. I've always wanted to see the sideways trees & square coins. I understand the local vendors are very polite.

    If you are feeling energetic with a bit of research before you sail, you should be able to find more non-strenuous excursions -- touring from a bus or some such activity-- that will will enable you to get out a bit without over exerting yourselves or your pocketbook.

    Enjoy.
     
  18. stufus

    stufus Guest

    Trish1c............WOW
    Thankyou. How kind and thoughtful of you to take the time to write with all that info. So informative. Will definitley (spelling?) take your advice. Our limitations are not so much physical. Its more a stamina thing. Hubby has a very very stressful job. He so needs a rest. I'm worried once he falls asleep he may not wake up till the end of the fortnight just in time to come home again. So i need to ensure he relaxes and rests properly otherwise he might burn out. Once again a big thankyou.
     
  19. Trish1c

    Trish1c Guest

    You're welcome. I'm actually trying to plan a cruise for and with my 80 year old mobility challanged beach loving parents. Where they are going to sit once there seems to be the big issue for us. On a blanket in the sand won't work; they won't be able to get up again. :-0

    For what it's worth -- he may get more rejuvination out of actually doing something on each island, even if it is simply taking a taxi to a local beach or walking around near the pier. As someone else posted, all of these islands are unique in their own way. If the stress of the vendors hawking things at you -- & they do get persistent -- will elevate his blood pressure, just be careful & keep him away from these people. As long as you don't over schedule yourselves (very easy to do on a cruise) I think everything should be fine. we like not having to be whereever at a set time; just keep an eye on the sailing time.

    Good luck.
     
  20. yankfan

    yankfan Guest

    I am sure you will enjoy whatever you chose to do (or not do)- I understand the stress and you never know - your husband may energize, just being away from his stressful situations and want to get out a bit. So enjoy!
     

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