Local Excursion Companies

Nov 17th, 2009, 09:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 149
Local Excursion Companies

We finally booked our Southern Carribean Cruise on RCL....The ports are Curacao, Aruba, Roseau, Charlotte, St Thomas and San Juan. From cruising many years ago to Alaska, it was suggested we book tours through local companies rather than the cruise line. Has anyone taken this cruise and have suggestions as to what local tour companies to contact? Any land excursions not to be missed on this itinerary? Thank you so much!
MyBailey is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 351
Maybe you don't really need to book tours at all stops. You can read the guides and see if there is something interesting outside the port and then decide. Usually a cab or van near the dock will take you where you want to go inexpensively. On Aruba, we rented a jeep with another couple and had a great time.
Aristotle is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 460
In San Juan there is a free local bus right across from the pier. They have two routes and you can get on and off as you want. The first one we got on was a longer route. It went past El Moro and that area. You can get off here for a great tour of the fort but its a long walk now to the fort.We got off that bus and went back to the ship for lunch. Then we got on the other that went right into the real town. We had done El Moro, really soemthing to see!!, San Cristobal, the rain forest, etc. so this was a nice relaxing way to see San Juan!
Go to cruisecritic.com and look at the information they have on these ports. They have a lot of good info on all the ports and a very good message board.
bonniejns is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 06:04 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 651
Check out Viator.com. They consolidate tours from a bunch of different companies.

I agree with bonnienjns. If you haven't been to San Juan before, a walking tour of Old San Juan is the way to go. In St. Thomas, there's nice snorkelling at Trunk Bay. (you need to take a boat there--I'm sure you can find one other than via the ship's tour). In Aruba, I'd suggest you take a taxi to Baby Beach. Great snorkelling there (better than Trunk Bay) and just a nice place to relax. Not a lot else to see in Aruba (the natural bridge--which wasn't all that exciting to begin with--collapsed a couple of years ago).
triathlete is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 06:58 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,085
I'm with everyone else ... I just don't know why cruisers seem to think they can't do things on their own. It's a much more pleasant way to see the scenery and sights, and if you band together with a group of like-minded travelers, it's almost always going to be more pleasant to do things at your own pace and hit places you are interested in.

Of these ports, only Dominica (Roseau) is a must-do for tours. The island's big and difficult to navigate, though taxi drivers can take you anywhere you want to go if you get a group together. But because of bad signage and generally poor roads, this is the one place where it really benefits you to have a local do the driving as opposed to yourself.

I would also consider booking a tour in St. Thomas since there are so many different activities, and if you want to see the rain forest or do something out on the island, then a tour in San Juan is a definite possibility. All these can be booked either in advance or once you step off the ship. But if you want to shop or take the tram to see the sights, you can do that on your own.

Even St. John is very easy to reach on your own; hop on a cab to Red Hook, board the ferry, then hop in another cab on arrival in St. John, and you'll be taken directly to one of the Caribbean's most lovely beaches (there's a fee for the beach though).

However, in Aruba and Curacao, I think you're almost always better doing things on your own. It's easy to drive around if you want to rent a car, or you can shop and stroll in town in Curacao and hit the beach in Aruba (where you can sign up for any number of water sports activities).
doug_stallings is offline  

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