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Southeren Caribbean - ports of call - Your suggestions????

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Jul 26th, 2008, 06:01 AM
  #1
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Southeren Caribbean - ports of call - Your suggestions????

Hi there,
we will be taking the 10 night Southern Caribbean cruise on Noordam in January. We will be visiting the following ports:
St Thomas USVI
Roseau Dominica
St George's Grenada
Fort de france Martinique
Phillipsburg St Maarten
Half Moon Cay Bahamas

What are your suggestions for each port?
Any shore excursions in particular that need to be pre booked?
We are from Australia and have only been to Nassau before, so are unfamiliar with most of the ports.
Thanks in advance
Donna Lord
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Jul 26th, 2008, 06:53 AM
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Donna - If you have not checked out cruisecritic.com, I would recommend you go there for answers. In addition to discussion boards for various cruiselines, there are port discussions that will answer your questions and give you ideas on what to do. Also, there is a "roll call" section where you can look for others who will be on the same Noordam sailing.

Quick ideas:

St Thomas: most people do an island tour en route to a beach (usually Magens Bay) on their first visit. (You can joing one of the regular departures when you get off the ship.) Other options would include strolling downtown for shopping; going to Coki Beach or Sapphire Beach for snorkeling; taking the ferry to St John to tour the island and go snorkeling at Trunk Bay.

Dominica: we did a whale watching/snorkeling tour which was good.

St Maarten: we walked into town (via the beach), strolled around for a while, and then arranged for a private taxi tour of the island, with a stop at Ft Louis (very nice views). We then spent several hours at Kakao Beach - had lunch and just enjoyed the beach. Be aware that some of the spots in the Orient Beach area are clothing-optional.

Half Moon: this is HAL's private island. We rented a clamshell (for shade) and enjoyed the beach. There is snorkeling (which you can do on your own if you have your own equipment or you can rent through HAL). Also other water activities.

Enjoy your cruise.
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Jul 26th, 2008, 07:54 AM
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St Thomas: We liked taking a cab to Coral World, spending several hours there, then going to Coki Beach, right next door, and ending the day with a self guided historical walking tour in Charlotee Amalie. We also liked taking the ferry to St. John, going on a jitney island tour, and snorkeling at Trunk Bay.

St George's Grenada: We engaged a cab driver to take us to a tour of a spice plantation, the volcanic lake, some botanical gardens, and the university.

Fort de france Martinique: Along with some friends we met online, we rented a car to go to the Gaugin Museum, the town destroyed by a volcano, a replica of a Paris cathedral, and some scenic drives.

Phillipsburg St Maarten: We rented a motor scotter and went into Phillipsburg to see a small mueseum, then to Marigot for their excellent history museum and lunch, then to Orient Beach for some fun in the sun.

My overal recommendations are to google the same of the place tourism to get lots of information, as well as checking some guide books out of the library--that way you'll get a general idea of what you want to see and do.

The boards at www.cruisecritic.com are very usefeul--you can find others on your cruise to share excrusions with on the Roll Call board, and learn about each place on the Ports of Call boards. Good luck!
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Jul 26th, 2008, 11:28 AM
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In Martinique consider going through the rain forest, seeing a town (buried by a volcano, excavated) whose name I don't recall that is referred to as the Caribbeans Pompei and maybe touring the De Paz distillery. In St. Maarten consider getting a tour. There is afellow there named bernard who gets rave reviews for his tours. I am sure you can get his name and email address from the St. Maarten board on cruisecritic. As this is high season so I would recommend booking ahead of time. There are many reputable private tour operators in all ports and they will be less expensive than what the ship offers. Its likely you can get a cab as you get off but in high season I wopuld book aheasd of time just to be sure.
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Aug 4th, 2008, 05:41 PM
  #5
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Thanks for your interesting suggestions.
I am definitely looking forward to visiting all the ports.
Donna
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Aug 8th, 2008, 05:14 AM
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Lordy,

Definately check out the port of call threads on Cruisecritic.com They are full of great ideas and reviews.

Here are my suggestions:

St. Thomas - you may want to book an excursion or take a ferry on your own to St. John's. Trunk Bay is a beautiful beach with great snorkeling.

St. Maarten - the America's Cup excursion is a lot of fun and usually sells out.

Dominica - Last time we went we did the zipline tour with Wacky Rollers. This year we are taking a river tubing tour with Antours.

Half Moon Cay - rent a raft and enjoy a great beach day.

Have a great cruise!
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