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-   -   Cruise for very first time! (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/cruise-for-very-first-time-918019/)

allyboy Jan 4th, 2012 12:45 PM

Cruise for very first time!
 
My wife and I will be leaving on our first Cruise out of Miami for a week in the Caribbean stopping in San Juan, St. Maarten and St. Kitt on the Celebrity Eclipse.

I would appreciate any suggestions while on board and when we are in the locales.

We will be celebrating both our 46th wedding anniversary and my birthday so anything to make it really special would be helpful.

Thanks!

schmerl Jan 4th, 2012 01:26 PM

This is the second time you've posted this on this board. You will get a lot more responses on the Cruise board.
The staff of your ship will provide you with suggestions for activities in each place and on board.
You need to also tell us what type of things you enjoy. I like to go to the beach when in port....you may hate that and want to explore historical sites.

qwovadis Jan 4th, 2012 01:45 PM

Welcome Celebrity is nice for me in past your ports are good
cruisecritic.com great reviews for you many different
options.Usually when I cruise I getwith another like minded
couple or 2 and hire a driver/guide at the port to save.
San Juan has the most to do historic rain forest beaches
Bacardi Rum tour can be fun.Your other islands are great too
best food is on the french side of Sint Marteen in Marigot
might try to getover there.St Kitts lots of nice beach
plantation houses nice also.

Congrats!

DavidSXM Jan 5th, 2012 05:33 AM

Hi Allyboy

Front Street in Philipsburg, where your ship will dock in Sint Maarten, is great for duty free shopping for booze, jewelery and watches. If you want to buy any of the latter two, go to one of the larger shops, and don't forget to haggle hard - it is expected !

If you buy electronic items or cameras, you will only save the US State sales tax. I needed a new camera in a hurry, so I bought one from the shop I normally use on Front Street and, as they know me as a resident, I they didn't start with the 'tourist' price, but I still could have bought the same camera for exactly the same price from Best Buy or Adorama in the US, and maybe even cheaper from Walmart !

Sait Martin - the French side of the island - is totally different, and you really should take the short taxi ride to view Orient Beach - even if you don't want to swim - and Marigot, the capital, and probably have lunch there.

Have a great trip.

allyboy Jan 5th, 2012 08:00 AM

I need some advice regarding use of cellphones and either a laptop or Ipad on the ship. My wife is in touch with her elderly parents on a daily basis and will need to do so while on vacation.

BellaClaire Jan 5th, 2012 08:05 AM

Totally agree with DavidSXM for your stop in St. Maarten.

In St. Kitts, take a taxi tour to the end of the island where the caribbean is on one side and the Atlantic on the other...towards Friggate Beach/Friars Bay. The views are incredible!

in San Juan...you'll be walking distance to old San Juan...walking around the fort in the evening is pretty (if you are still in port)

RoamsAround Jan 5th, 2012 10:05 AM

Most ships have internet connections (usually WiFi) in the rooms and in some common areas of the ship. You have to purchase "access time' from the ship - it is usually on the expensive side.

Cell Phone service is also available on board ship when you are in certain areas and depending on your cell phone provider you may be able to use your phone on the different islands you are visiting - it will depend on if your provider has a reciprocal agreement with the cell phone company on the islands you visit. Expect to pay very high Roaming Charges when using your cell phone at sea or in foreign countries.

You should contact the cruise line for more information about internet fees. Talk with your cell phone provider for pricing info.

RoxybytheSea Jan 6th, 2012 01:32 PM

I have spend several months in Sint Maarten and recommend renting a car in advance to Grand Case at Calmos Cafe for lunch, then to Sunset Bar to watch the plane's land (rare opportunity). Great beaches includes Orient Bay or Maho Bay.

St-Maarten also has great jewelery stores in Philipsburg.

For a great city guide of St-Maarten including information on the jewelry stores, check http://www.luxeinacity.com/city-guid..._Sint_Maarten/

As for St-Kitts, the shopping is less interesting, so I would recommend either renting a car in advance to explore or simply going to the beach.

In San Juan, the best thing to do is simply to explore the old part of the city.

Have a great trip!


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