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Martinique: Shore excursions vs. car rental

Martinique: Shore excursions vs. car rental

Nov 9th, 2004, 05:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34
Martinique: Shore excursions vs. car rental

We are taking a Caribbean cruise in late November, and will anchor in Martinique for one long day (8a to 11p). I'm excited about going, having read about Mt. Pelee and Martinique years ago. We're most interested in land sights: the rain forest, the botanical garden, a distillery, and St. Pierre. Our cruise line's longest shore excursion only makes some of these stops (and perhaps, only briefly). Has anyone rented a car at the cruise terminal? (I read Budget has an office there. But is the traffic in Fort-de-France too nuts?) We're on a big ship. Dare we wait until are there, and see what we can arrange at the tourist office? Thanks!
jcnyc is offline  
Nov 10th, 2004, 05:21 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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We had a port stop there before and raher than rent a car we hired a taxi for the day. The cost was very reasonable, around $40.00 I think. There will be plenty of cabbies just waiting at the dock. We stopped at a tour desk and made the arrangement w/i minutes. No problems. BTW the roads wind and twist alot so if motion sickness can be a problem just be aware to bring dramamine. My wife wishes we had. You may hear some speak of the locals in less than flattering , i.e. inre to rudeness. All I can say is we did fine and saw none of that. Bon Voyage.
jacketwatch is offline  
Nov 10th, 2004, 06:40 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34
Thank you 'jacketwatch'. The price for hiring a taxi is better than I thought it would be. (The shore excursions are @ $60 per person, so we would break even at way above $40, or even E40.)
jcnyc is offline  
Nov 11th, 2004, 06:49 AM
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You're welcome. I think you are almost always better off doing it on your own. There are 3 of us and we saved $210.00 at one stop alone (Rome) doing it on our own. Also you have more privacy and you are on your own time. Good luck, Larry
jacketwatch is offline  
Nov 12th, 2004, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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if you go to the Cruise Critic website and post this question, people will literally give you the names,email addys and phone numbers of guides to which ever island you want..

We got a van in St Lucia-planned our own itinerary ( along with the guides suggestions ) and even stopped for lunch in this wonderful restaurant..

Go and post this and ask about Martinque and I am sure people will give you tons of names...
andy is offline  
Nov 12th, 2004, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
We drove from the top to the bottom.

1- It is a long way from here to there.

2- It is easy to get lost.

Get a car and driver.
Jed is offline  
Nov 12th, 2004, 02:07 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34
Thanks to all. We're used to doing our own exploring on land-based vacations, but with short time and unfamiliar roads, we will go with a driver.
You have helped us decide to forego the cruise's excursions at this port.
At some of the other islands, the cruise line's shore excursions are a better match to what we want to do, so we'll give them a try at those stops for variety.
jcnyc is offline  
Nov 18th, 2004, 09:26 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 53
We did a shore tour on a Carnival Cruise which included Mt.Pelee / Rainforest and the distillery. We abosolutley hated it!! It was very very dull and long. It was also a bit scary as the roads going into the rainforest are very narrow and you are up very high, one wrong move and the bus goes down the side! I would recommend a taxi if you really want to go, but if you are also going to Puerto Rico, their rainforest tour is a lot fun!! We really enjoyed it.
rananda is offline  

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