1st Time Crusiers to the Southern Caribbean

Old Aug 10th, 2004, 05:51 PM
  #1  
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1st Time Crusiers to the Southern Caribbean

My wife and I are taking a Princess Cruise to the Southern Caribbean in Sept. and I was wondering what the pro's might suggest in regards to "can't miss" restaurants for lunch
or day trips. We'll be stopping in St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Marteen, and St. Thomas. We're pretty adventurous and we'll be scuba diving at a couple of the spots, so any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Also do you guys think it's better, or easier, or cheaper, to book the shore excursions thru the ship or just try to do it on our own?
ashevegas is offline  
Old Aug 10th, 2004, 07:23 PM
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For a day trip I would highly suggest jungletoursstlucia.com These people were great, took you places where ordinary tours cannot go. You can go in a open jeep. Very scenic island, lush, and tropical. Try to go to St. Johns while on St. Thomas. Take the ferry for some snorkeling. Barbados has a great terminal and you can see the island and hire someone once you are off the ship. Very reasonable, do it on your own do not take shore excursions. They are everywhere after you disembark. We just went to a nice beach in Barbados.
diann is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2004, 04:06 AM
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diann, can you tell me why it is better to do excursions on your own vs. doing them through the cruise? Is it price, or convenience, etc.? I am leaning towards not going through the cruise line but I'm not sure. Thanks for any info you provide.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2004, 04:48 AM
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In St. Lucia I think I'd go with the ship's excursion. We did a land and sea excursion which was great. Saw the sights on land and then took a catamaran back. Sailing by the Pitons was great. St. Lucia is VERY poor and had some pretty bad roads. In Barbados and St. Marteen and St. Thomas, we usually just grab a taxi on our own and go to a beach. That way you can spend as much time there as you want. I usually do some research first or just ask a taxi driver for a nice beach where we can rent chairs and get something to eat. Have a "flying fish" sandwich in Barbados!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2004, 05:07 AM
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We haven't cruised for several years, but we usually explored the islands ourselves-- we love to check out each island's beaches and most of the taxi drivers would give us a little tour of the island and then drop us at a beach. We went with a couple who were scuba divers and they arranged their diving trips themselves. I found that Kay Showker's book, Caribbean Ports of Call had great suggestions.
The excursions are cheaper if you book them yourself---you just have to make sure you get back to the ship before it sails.
LindainOhio is offline  
Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 07:57 PM
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Thanks for the response!
lovelasvegas is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2004, 09:21 AM
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In answer to loveslasvegas, we too always book our own excursions. The pro's are that you usually travel in smaller groups, to places that are not swarmed by your fellow cruisemates, for much lower price. The only con I can think of is that you have to be vigilant about your timing...the ship will wait on its own excursions if they are late, but not on individual travelers, as a rule.
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Old Dec 4th, 2004, 03:01 PM
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Well I would have to say st. lucia is the one place I would avoid the beaches and opt for touring the island. This is a lush tropical island but beaches are not one the strongpoints. Touring on your own is far more economical, and as others have pointed out you avoid the mass market of travelers. Once you disembark you will see how easy it is to find a tour, share a cab, or get a ride to the beach.You can even split the time between a 4 hour tour, then go to a beach the remainder of the time you have. As pointed out you must get back to the ship on time. We have never had a problem with that happening. They will not wait for anyone unless it is there own tour.
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