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I came across a website which showed which cruise ships would be visiting which caribbean port on any given day. I have been unable to find it again. Please can anyone give me the web address?
Hi! I've done all these places except Dominica. In none of the places did I feel the slightest threatened in any way. All the places mentioned are well catered for with taxis, mainly van or open pick up truck style. I'll cover half the places , others can do the others for you. These are my suggestions, for what they are worth. St Thomas: Take the RCI shuttle bus into town & crash your credit card on the diamond & jewelery shops then grab a cab/van/truck to Magens Bay, a very famous beach, one among many. The driver will wait for the afternoon & take you back to the ship. St Marteen: Take the ferry/shuttle across the bay for more jewelery shops, just in case you missed something in St Thomas. Personally if your looking to relax on the beach, I would step on to the recently 'recovered' beach in front of the shops/bar area. The main beach where the cabs take you was everything I hate, paragliding, banana rides, pedelo's & crowds of people. Antigua: the popular trip is Nelsons Dockyard, Shirley Heights,(you look down on Eric Claptons house)& then stop at one of the 365 beaches to die for for the rest of the afternoon. Tortola: Most itineraries only do a short stay there as there is little to see. The 'Town' is a couple of hundred yards from the dock & has little to offer for the retail therapists. So after the 20 mins it takes to see the town, grab a cab to Long Bay Beach, it's only about 15 mins ride. If you find a better beach in the world please let know. In all these cases the drivers stay with you for the whole trip.
BARBADOS: Turtle and Shipwreck Tour was fantastic. Swim and snorkel with wild turtles was the best experience and seeing the shipwreck was awesome.
DOMINICA: Never been but a passenger on our ship who was on his second week went river tubing. If you want a really silly but fun excursion do this! We did it in Grenada and we still laugh about it! You're put in doughnut rings, with helmet and jacket and pushed down a river. Some of it calm and relaxing, others mini rapids. Guides are with you all the time and the river is never more than waist deep. They have guides at points down the river and ropes across to stop until everyone catches up. It's perfectly safe.
ANTIGUA: Yep, long Bay Beach is good. Quiet and relaxing. There's a small bar that serves good food. My partner had parrot fish and I fancied chicken nuggets as hadn't had these in years. Don't go to Dickenson Bay. It's crowded and noisy.
ST. MAARTEN: Oh my god the bluest waters ever! Shops are varied and is a good place to part with cash. The beach is fantastic. A water taxi will take you to the town. It's cheap and you can travel as often as you wish.
ST. THOMAS: Lots of jewellery shops. But I preferred shopping in St. Maarten. If you don't fancy shopping try Coco Bay. It's where the aquarium is. It's a small beach with a little bar. But it's quiet and relaxing. Good snorkelling - better than Antigua and you can gaze across the bay at a little island. Magen's Bay is crowded. Although named in top ten beaches of the world by national geographic apparently.
Apart from Grenada/Dominica and Barbados our tours were independent. If you want a scenic drive/tour of the islands do this yuorself with taxis otherwise other types of trips (turtles and river tubing) are best done through your cruise line. Our cruise tours were with Princess Cruises.
Dominica is relatively unspoilt, I went on the whale and dolphin watch and saw these impressive animals. Also went on the ariel cable car ride in the rain forest but although wasn't bad you don't see very much wildlife, a gentle hike into the rain forest is also fun (remember if you choice the latter two options take stout shoes or trainers, a raincoat coat and insect repellant. In Antigua the "must do" trip is to Nelson's Dockyard although I have also done do the sail to Pigeon Island and the snorkelling which is relaxing. In Tortola I would consider the trip to Vigin Gorda Baths, it involves a boat ride, followed by a short bus ride and walk down a fairly rough path to the beach (if you are reasonably mobile this shouln't be a problem) the reward are one of the best beaches and settings in the whole Caribbean. In San Juan I have taken the city tour but I would just recommend to take a stroll from the cruise terminal to the old fort. St. Thomas and St. Maarten are shopping islands but as I have no interest in this pastime (I'm male) so I would go to Magens Bay in St Thomas (mini buses run from the cruise terminal). In St. Maarten an island tour isn't too bad you at least least get to see the French side of the island (the cruise terminal is on the Dutch side). In Barbados an island trip is intersting, we have visited Gun Hill Fort, planatation houses and an orchid garden in the past. Please note that most of these tours can be arranged independantly and at must lower costs by using local taxis and mini buses and I have found them reliable and helpful. The exception, however, is the trip to Vigin Gorda.
As you get of th ships most islands will have open bus type things waiting, they are safe to use and hoards of tourist do. We discovered if you take your swimming things with you they often stop at a beautiful beach, they gae us the option of staying and collecting us later, we had a great time as we took our own snorkelling gear. Look on trip advisor (put in your search engine) you'll get loads of ideas as you've had on here (well done guys, brill as usual) But be warned about pre booking. WE nearly booked a sailboat in St John's ready for us arriving. It had great reviews however we decided not to book and take chances when we arrived. About 5 days prior to departing we had a change of itinery and never called at St John's, lessons to be learned. However if we do go again we will do that particular trip. Hope you have a fab time.