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Second *First Timer* Cruise Question regarding seeing so many places!

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Second *First Timer* Cruise Question regarding seeing so many places!

Old Sep 24th, 2005, 07:28 PM
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Second *First Timer* Cruise Question regarding seeing so many places!

I am a travel researcher, meaning I search Fodors and other sites before I go anywhere.

My question is, since I've never cruised before, how do you know where to go on each island to maximize your time on each island? It seems overwelming to figure out each port and where to go on each island. Is it just 2-4 months of surfing websites and printing stuff out?

How do you get ready for a cruise?

Or...do you just get off the boat and wander....

Do I plan to much??
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Old Sep 24th, 2005, 08:30 PM
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I take guide books out of the library, surf the web, and look at what the ship is offering for shore excursions.

Then we pick the things that interest us, and negotiate with a cab driver when we get off the ship to take us where we want to go.

We like history and nature, aren't as interested in beaches (except for srokeling, or brief visits to relax) or mega shopping.
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 02:47 AM
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Abram has good suggestions! Also go to the 'ports' section on cruisecritic.com. And the ports web site. Your cruise line should have their ship's tours listed on their site too (In some caes you can sign up on line.)Let us and cruisecritic.com know where you are going and ask for suggestions as to what you should 'not miss'. I print info from people on this board and cruisecritic and file it according to the port. Then when we are going there, I pull the file out and we decide which tour we'll take if any. Just make sure you are back at the ship in plenty of time or it will leave without you.
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 03:15 AM
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Not a cruise expert, but approach it like you would a trip to anywhere else. Do some research in whatever form you usually use - web, books, etc. Also, check out the "excursions" cruiseline tries to sell you at each port. These may give you some idea what touristy things there are to do at each port - and see if they appeal to you. Then do a Google search or ask here about such activities - location, cost, transportation.

At any port where time is really short, you might consider a cruise ship excursion since ship will not leave if you are out on one of their trips. (For example, we did the cruiselines kayak trip on last day in Bermuda since time was short and it guaranteed we would not be swimming home!)
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 05:04 AM
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I agree, there's so much info that it can get you "crazy" . First,thing though is to RELAX; it's your vacation,not a marathorn. Consider what things you most enjoy, then go to cruisecritics.com and ask for some help. You'll get tons of ideas (some bad, but most very helpful and great!). Most of all just go have a great time and remember; what you miss this cruise, you can try on another !
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 07:16 AM
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Want a quick and easy way to figure it out? Look at what the ship tours offer, where they go and when you disembark hire a private cab to do it on your own. If you want to do a bit of research it really won't take that long at all. I assume you are going to the Caribbean. If so the research won't take that long at all. Most web sites you will find highlight the same attractions. The islands are small and their attractions are primarily geared for relaxation, unlike touring a big city like London. Paris, etc. The research won't be an ovewhelming task. Just have fun.
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 08:51 AM
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ok, thanks for the tips...yes,it is a vacation and I might be overthinking it a bit on planning. I will checkout cruisecritic.

Since I've never been in a different exotic place each day (family car vacations don't count "hey kids today we're in a new state!" LOL)
I just felt like I needed to "maximize".

I will try and take my organization and planning down a notch and go with the island attitude...

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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 10:02 AM
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Yah mon. Dats a good ting.
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 02:09 PM
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Consider booking the cruise ship excursions, island tours, etc. Read the brochure on line discussing the options. We often select the city or island tour to maximize touring in a short amount of time. We usually avoid pricey helicopter flightseeing type trips. Cruise critic port section is also very helpful to see what people enjoy. I would advise getting off the boat and wandering, generally a waste of time if you dont know the area.
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 03:26 PM
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Personally I think ship offered excursions are pricey. We saved $300.00 in Rome alone (for 3) seeing the same sights offered by the ships tour and did it on our own time as well. JM2C.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 12:54 PM
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With the cruise that you've chosen, do they offer ship's excursions?

In general, when taking a ship's excursion, you are safe in that if the excursion runs late, the ship will wait for you. However, if you go off by yourself, keep an eye on the time. If an excursion offered through a private vendor looks like it would be cutting it close timewise, I would book something thru the ship. But that's just me.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 02:05 PM
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Jacketwatch has the best approach. Look at the excursions the ship is offering first. If there's something really cool on the island to see/do, the ship will offer a tour built around it.

See which of these appeals to you. Then go to a popular board like CruiseMates or CruiseCritic, and ask specifically about the things you're interested in. Use descriptive titles so people with the right answers can zero in on your questions.

You may find that there are great tour companies that you can contact directly (usually 30%-50% cheaper than the ship's tours and often less-crowded/better service). You may also find that you're better off taking a cab or renting a car.

Unless the travel time required in the excursion is extreme, I wouldn't be too worried about missing the ship.

Have fun!
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 05:31 PM
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Well, first, you guys are all thinking about a "Real" cruise that has 2,000 people..."Easy Cruise" is on it's Maiden year as a upstart company like it's sister company "easy jet". They haven't docked (I don't think) in the warm waters of the Carib.
SO, the 'tour' option might be a work in progress. I have been trying to figure this out, but they haven't "set sail" yet.

I will keep your tips in mind, and keep researching this.

I did read all about my "ports" on cruisecritic.com. It was good, concise information.

I'm sure as I get closer to the time, I will have more questions!

Stand by!
LOL Thanks everyone!
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