Which So Caribbean Cruise Itinerary?

Dec 22nd, 2012, 06:25 AM
  #1  
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Which So Caribbean Cruise Itinerary?

I'm all about the best ports of call and no mega size ships. Minimal At Sea Days, beautiful islands and beaches and interesting culture. Hate shopping. In our 60's. Only the second cruise of our lives. Which of these 4 would you choose and why for a 7 night departing San Juan in February (these are on RC or Celebrity)? I must admit St. Thomas sounds too crowded to me (I don't like shopping) and I've always wanted to see Barbados. Don't know any of these other ports except San Juan:

Option 1:
St. Thomas
St. Lucia
Guadaloupe
Antiqua
St. Croix

Option 2:
St. Lucia
Antigua
St Croix
St. Maarten
Barbados

Option 3:
St. Thomas
St. Croix
St. Kitts
Dominica
Grenada

Option 4:
Tortola
St. Maarten
St. Kitts
Guadaloupe
Babados
LeslieC is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 07:35 AM
  #2  
 
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Well either #2 or #4 if Barbados is a must. If you like less crowded places I am not sure about this as this is high season so likely all ports will be busy. I don't think you can wrong with either choice but # 4 has places that are likely to be a bit less visited that # 2 so thats why I say go for #4.
jacketwatch is online now  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 07:42 AM
  #3  
 
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I would recommend option 4. Definitly avoid St Thomas - if you don't like shopping especially having to elbow your way around stay away from there. Its nice to see some of the smaller islands that the megaships don't visit. We have done so many Caribbean cruises and don't want to do another one due to the crowds. Tortola is one of our favourites. It is small, has lovely beaches and you can use a taxi to get around. Their fares are regulated and posted so you don'thave to worry about getting ripped off. We also like St Kitts and Guadaloupe.
traveller69 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 09:34 AM
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Hello T69. Happy holidays!
jacketwatch is online now  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 09:53 AM
  #5  
 
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Hi Larry same to you. We have to find out Percy's facebook page so we can keep an eye on him!!!
traveller69 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 10:30 AM
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Him and Eschew too S:-
jacketwatch is online now  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 12:00 PM
  #7  
 
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I did optional No. 3 on Celebrity Summit, and I think it would work for you. The ports were amazing, great beaches, and the ship (Celebrity Summit) was excellent -- big but not too big and recently refurbished. Food onboard was very good, too.
andrews98682 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 12:59 PM
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I would have picked #3 for no particular reasons ... it is also the only one that offers Dominica and Grenada.

It all depends what you want to do, fight crowd or have soem peace and quite. Most Caribbean ports are over crowded and over ran by tourists (cruise passenegers).

If you can somehow find out how many ships are in port on the day that you are in port, that's the way to go. Less ship in port for the day = better service.

1 ship in port versus 6 ships in port is a big difference.
Eschew is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 01:14 PM
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Traveller69, are you back home in the cold snowy north for the holidays or still down south? Haven't heard too much from you lately.
Eschew is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 05:45 PM
  #10  
 
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Eschew - do you mean rainy, windy Victoria?? No, we left there a few weeks ago back to sunny Arizona. I didn't hear your report on the Americas Cup - did you do the Canadians proud???
Sounds like its not too nice in your part of the country. Had a call from my brother in Calgary. After their Hawaiian vacation they were greeted in Calgary by -20.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

and you too Percy - hope the old girlfriends don't frequent this board!!
traveller69 is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2012, 09:51 AM
  #11  
 
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Do not go knocking down St. Thomas if you like beautiful beaches. Magens Bay in St. Thomas is frequently listed as one of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World...and it sure deserves the spot. Calm, warm, clean, huge coastline, exquisite. I have been to St. Thomas more than once and I hate shopping; Can't wait to go back.

I have been to most of the islands you listed and I would not miss St. Lucia, Antigua, an Barbados. Take it from there.
Viajero2 is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2012, 10:10 AM
  #12  
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Eschew - How do you find out which ships are in which port on any given day?
LeslieC is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2012, 07:13 PM
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LeslieC,

Here is some info that you may find helpful.

Cruise ship calendar:
http://www.cruisecal.com/portal/Cale...5/Default.aspx
Note: You may need to register to get full usage.

Live crusie ship tracker. This is probbaly not too useful for what you are lookig for at this point but is a pretty good site to look through.
http://www.thecruisevillage.com/live...-tracker.phtml

You can also use the individual port's "port schedule" and find out how many ships is in which port in which day. Each port publish their own calendar. You will have to look through each port though. Some may not be as up to date or far into the future. But, the cruise ship's schedule is on a cycle so you can just work the math and project.

Here is the port schedule for December for US Vurigin Island.
http://www.vinow.com/general_usvi/cr...p_schedule.php

All the information is out there in the public domain. It will take a little bit of homework though.
Eschew is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2012, 07:19 PM
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Traveller69, snow hit Victoria and Vancouver just a few days ago ... I guess you missed it. It appeards that we will have the coldest Christmas in 40 years. It is projected to be somewhere between -28C to -32C.
Eschew is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2012, 10:52 PM
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Leslie C
Here is a website that will give you the information. Just click on the port and it takes you to a page where you can choose the year and the month. It shows every ship in that port on any specific day.

Eschew - I don't envy you. The locals here are complaining about being cold - it was "ONLY" 68 today. Still waiting to hear about your yacht adventure.
traveller69 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2012, 03:39 PM
  #16  
KVR
 
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We are looking at Option 3 for our vacation in 2013. We want to see Grenada and Dominica. We have already been to St. Thomas on a land vacation, and though it was not one of our favorite Islands and we really didn't want it on an iteniary. Looks like it won't be an option for us to skip it. St. Thomas is not all about shopping. Pick a sail, beach or Island tour excursion or go over to St. John.

We also chose Celebrity over RC because we get the feeling that it has a more mature crowd and won't have as many kids. We've done 2 Princess cruises and enjoyed that line.

My 2nd choice would be Option 2. Have already been to St. Lucia on a land vacation, but not any of the others.
KVR is offline  
Dec 26th, 2012, 08:08 PM
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I did the third option with Celebrity Summit in late January/early February last year, and at 38, I think I was one of the youngest passengers on the ship. There were one or two couples with babies, there was about a 12-year-old who I kinda felt sorry for since there were no other kids on the ship and one family with a few college age/20-somethings. That was it. Other than a few more people in their 30s, the crowd was mostly 40s-60s with a few older people.

And I really liked Grenada and Dominica. Then again, I really liked all the ports.
andrews98682 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2013, 08:54 PM
  #18  
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Thanks folks. We ended up booking Option 2 in January which is on the Celebrity Summit because the reviews sounded slightly better than the other two which are RC-Brilliance and RC-Adventure (the latter is too large a ship) because, honestly, at our age, the fewer kids on board the better. Also liked the ports and we'll find something away from shopping to do on St. Thomas.

Your help was much appreciated. Now, on to planning shore excursions. It's coming up soon!
LeslieC is offline  
Jan 4th, 2013, 10:32 PM
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LeslieC, you better book the excursions (or get a private tour or guide quick) soon or else the really good one would be sold out. Here are some suggetsions:

St. Lucia - the docks are closed to town but the town does not look colonial and is quite mordern. If you are physically fit and enjoy hiking, the hike up to Fort Rodney would be great adventure and away from the crowd. There are always nice sandy beaches, after all, you are in the Caribbean! Some may try to convince you to tour a banana plantation. Resist it. You are better off to see the interior with rainforest, volcanic soufriere, or even a costal boat tour would be nice.

Antigua - beaches, beaches and more beaches. The must see, if you are a history buff, is the historic Nelson's Dockyard. It is a national park and is full of restored buildings from the by gone era when the British uses it as their main naval station from 1700 onward.

St Croix - The coral reef is breath taking. Snorkeling is porbably the best thing you can do here, even if you don't swim. Get a float vest and put your head in the water, that's it! If you do not want to get wet, go to Christiansted. There are many 18th and 19th century Dutch colonial buildings.

St. Maarten - the 12 meters yacht Sailing (America Cup)challenge. The only thing is, it is actually hard work. They may tell you otherwise, but once you get into it, you will work your "rear end" off. If you have any interest in sailing at all, this would be the one. If not, take the tour to Marigot (the French side) or the world famous (over-rated) Orient beach.

Barbados - There are plenty of beaches (what else is new?) and everyone is going to stop at Harrison's Cave. The Rum distillery tour is always interesting (free sample!). If you did not snorkel at St Croix, try the Atlantis submarine here. This will take you down to about 100 feet so you can see all the underwater sights even if you don't scuba dive. Last thing: find a local eatery and sample the flying fish, a tasty local delicacy.
Eschew is offline  
Jan 6th, 2013, 03:00 PM
  #20  
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Funny that I messed up on our ports in my OP. They are in this order: Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten, St. Thomas. We do love history, but also beautiful beaches and calm water. We are in our 60s and can tolerate some snorkeling but not extreme sports.

So far, I've book 6 hour land and beach time (w/ beach snorkeling) tours on Barbados and St. Lucia. For St. Marteen, booked a 6 hour tour that includes 3 on the island (including St.Martin/Marigot) plus 3 hrs relaxing/snorkeling at Pinal Island.

Now, need to consider what we'd like to to on Antigua and St. Thomas. I think my husband would like to go out on a sailing ship and the history of Antiqua is of interest. But there is an amazing Eco Tour on Antinqua too? With St. Thomas our last stop, I was thinking of just a 3 hour tour that drops us at our choice of Coral World, Coki Beach, Magens Bay or Saphirre Beach. Alternatively, we could so a sailing day to St. John's. Opinions? Are we going to be exhausted from all this?
LeslieC is offline  

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