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I know, I've asked before, but I'm undecided

I know, I've asked before, but I'm undecided

Dec 8th, 2006, 06:15 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 621
I know, I've asked before, but I'm undecided

Going on a cruise with friends in Jan. Doing the Southern CARIBBEAN Cruise on RC (Adventure of the Seas) Of all the Ports of Call, which should we do a shore excursion and which should we do on our own. We all love to party and to explore, so keep this in mind. Thanks!
Oh- the Ports of call are:
Oranjstad, Aruba
Willemstad,Curacao
Phillipsburg, St. Maarten
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Our friends like to do shore excursions, and I wouldn't mind doinf some of both.
Thanks
mrsd2fan is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 08:07 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,585
Well, if you like to PARTY...take a cab to Orient Beach for the day (clothing optional) It's lined with beach cafes and bars and is quite festive! I try to get out of St Thomas as quickly as possible- we take the ferry over to St John for a more relaxing beach day, or to do some hiking, etc. You can snorkel at one of the beaches if you prefer. Don't know which excursions you are considering and why. If it's to sail and snorkel, St Martin isn't good for that. You get great snorkeling from the beaches in St John. If you want to drive or tour around St Martin, expect a lot of traffic. We took the ferry to Anguilla last time we were there.
LLindaC is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 08:30 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,300
Mrsd2fan
We did this same cruise last month (November 12 departure) and it was excellent, both the ship and all the ports of call. I have posted an extensive review on CruiseCritic, but will recap here for you.

In Aruba, I suggest you rent a car and make sure it has 4 wheel drive. Lots of folks rent Jeeps, which allow you to get off road, but we rented a 4 wheel drive mini-SUV which allowed us to drive around the complete island. The only place we could not get too was the Natural Pool as the access is so rugged that very high ground clearance (like a Jeep) is required. The developed side of Aruba is all paved and easy to drive around. Once you get to California Light House and head on along the undeveloped coast then you need the 4WD as the road for the most part is unpaved and somewhat rough but nothing nasty. It is easy driving. We circled the whole island, ending up at Baby Beach by the town of San Nicolas where we did some water/sun time, then late lunch at Charley's Bar in San Nicolas (NOT to be confused with Carlos and Charley's) - hint the shrimp lunch can easily feed two and the shrimp are as big as small lobsters! Car rental was $60 which seems to be the going rate (I think Jeeps were a bit more). We rented ahead of time but if you are only ship in port haggle with the vendors right at dock for a better price.

Curacao we did the Trolley Tour and it was interesting, but if you are the only ship in port (as we were) do it on your own. Walk into town (about 10 minutes if you lollygag) and go over to the trolley boarding station and pay them $10 for what you pay $32 on the ship for....very same trolley. Other than that we just spent the day walking around and really enjoyed.

St Maarten/St Martin - again rent car and get out and see the island. We rented from Dollar for the grand total of $23 and spent $10 on gas. The areas around the main towns (Philpsburg and Marigot) are busy and congested but once outside of them very open. The driving is quite easy and the island is so small you cover it all quickly. Nice stop is at King Beau Beau's bar at Oyster Pond - good cold beer and he is the most popular singer on island. Nice place.

St Thomas - we have been there before so we did do a quick tour we booked ourself after getting off the ship (tons of drivers selling them) and then did some shopping.

have fun this is one good cruise and the ship is excellent and then some!
Curt is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 11:14 AM
  #4  
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Thanks I can't wait! Is walking an option in some of these places?
mrsd2fan is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 11:50 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,300
Depends on where the ship docks but in our case the walking was:

Aruba - docked right at the base of the main dock which is right down town. Could walk right off ship and into main street. All rental car vendors have stands right at dock. Very easy walking.

Curacao - easy walk into town from dock about 10 minutes. Stroll along waterfront, across the swinging bridge and you are in downtown. Lots to see and do on both sides of water across swinging bridge or use the free ferry.

St Martin - little further to walk from dock to main street of Philipsburg (looks closer than it is as street winds around a bit) but still not bad. Main area of Philipsburg (Front Street) very easy walking that is where all the stores are. Allow about 15 minutes to walk to ship. Shopping is available right at dock as well.

St Thomas - could walk it but long way best to use taxi (they are really more like open air bus that haul several people)to get downtown.

Where you staying in San Juan or are you coming in same day as departure? The ship uses the Pan American dock which is NOT the one at the foot of Old San Juan but rather across the bay at the convention center site.

Curt is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 12:49 PM
  #6  
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We are flying in the same day. How far is the Airport to this dock?
The reason I asked about walking is because I'm a walking fanatic..
P.S.- Thanks for all the great advice.
mrsd2fan is offline  
Dec 11th, 2006, 10:23 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,300
Absolutely impractical to walk from San Juan airport to Pan American Pier...it is miles and miles (note I did not say impossible but I doubt if you would make it there). You can use the transfer service of the cruise line (we paid $15 per person to use it to return to aiport so I assume it is same to ship) or have a taxi take you.
Curt is offline  
Dec 12th, 2006, 03:59 AM
  #8  
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Lol...no I didn't mean we'd walk to the cruise ship, just wanted to see how far it is. Thanks!
mrsd2fan is offline  
Mar 4th, 2007, 05:07 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 8
now that you're back. . .how was the cruise and what would you recommend? See my recent post re: Adventure of the Seas. Hope you had a great time!
pridolfi is offline  

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