View Full Version : Our day in Guadeloupe!

July 13th, 2010, 03:16 PM
We docked in Point a Pitre, Guadeloupe aboard the Celebrity Summit. Despite all of the Unfavorable reviews of this port, this was one of my favorite stops. It was so difficult to find activities in this port that I wanted to share my research with future cruisers. Ironically this was a port where booking an excursion of some kind is necessary. There wasn’t much to do within walking distance of the ship. The nicer shore excursions where quite a haul from the pier. Although I did see a few taxi’s lined up to do tours, I didn’t inquire about where they went or the cost. I can see why so many cruisers dislike this port. The area where the ship docked was run down (rumor has it that a lady was robbed from our sailing) kind of like the inner city in most metropolitan US cities. If you don’t venture off, it likely wouldn’t be a good experience.

We pre-arranged a private excursion with Darryl Brody of nature Experience. http://www.nature-experience.fr/ Their email address is info@nature-experience.fr. The cost was 300.00€/ for a group of 2 to 6. Over that amount, the price would be 45.00€/person (inclusive of taxes, insurance and a little snack for the road). So it was to your advantage to have more people hike to reduce the pp cost of the trip. The booking phase was a little rocky. He was slow returning e-mails. It took many emails to finalize all of the details. (I even had to call a few times) The pre excursion experience was frustrating but in the end it was worth it, as the excursion was awesome.

We hiked La Soufriere volcano with another couple we met up with from Cruise Critic. It took nearly the entire day. (We were docked from 8am-6pm) Darryl picked us up at the pier around 8am and we were returned about 4pm. We traveled nearly 2 hours to the base of the volcano. This excursion is not for anyone with mobility issues. I also wouldn’t recommend it for small children (although we saw a few with their parents backs in back carriers) or those who are out of shape. My husband and I work out frequently and there were points that we found tough. The terrain was uneven, muddy, rocky, and at points almost a vertical incline. On the way down, it rained, making for very slippery footing. Unfortunately, I had caught a cold from my daughter, so I wasn’t at 100%. That said, it still would not have been an easy hike. Along the way, the scenery was gorgeous, lots of beautiful flora and fauna. It was fascinating to see how the land changed at the various elevations and as you got closer to the summit. It took about 2 hours to reach the summit. It was one of the best volcano hikes I’ve ever been on and well worth the time, money and aggravation to plan.
We had planned to hike Chutes of Corbet if time permitted, but it didn’t. Besides, the hike was exhausting. I don’t think any of us would have had the energy. If you are looking for an active excursion, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this one.
The tourist board recommended many different types of excursions and tour guides
Comité du Tourisme des Iles de la Guadeloupe,
Tél.: +590-(0)5 90 82.09.30, Fax: +590-(0)5 90 83.89.22
http://www.antilles-info-tourisme.com/ (web site)
info@lesilesdeguadeloupe.com (Email address)

Other tour companies I found

Evasion et Loisirs Tours
Bd H. Ibéné,
97180 Sainte Anne
Tel : 05 90 88 19 80
Fax : 05 90 85 36 19

Georges Marie Gabrielle Voyages
21 Rue Alexandre Isaac
97110 Pointe a Pitre
Tel: +590-(0)5 90 21 08 08
Fax: +590-(0)5 90 21 08 00

Gerville Reache
97100 Basse Terre
Tel: +590-(0)5 90 81 10 00
Fax: +590-(0)5 90 81 18 69
E-Mail: commercial@gerville-reache-voyage.com

Caraib Recept
Pointe de la Verdure, 97190 Gosier
Tel: +590-(0)5 90 84 86 56
Fax: +590-(0)5 90 84 86 57
E-Mail: guadeloupe@carirecept.com

Hopefully this will make it easier for the next person planning their trip to Guadeloupe.

July 13th, 2010, 03:25 PM
Also, don't be intimidated by the websites in French. Google has a translate page feature that will convert the text of the website into English. Some of the websites will translate if you click the proper icon.

airlink diva
July 13th, 2010, 07:10 PM
Thanks for the review on your port stop in Guadeloupe QueenL!
Like you, it was difficult to find info on tours and the ship offering was very limited. I was able to find some things on my own and booked a full day tour with shoretrips.com.
I also heard alot of negative from other cruisers about Guadeloupe, but wanted to form my own opinion.
I will say that the tourist office need to really push their wonderful island to cruisers. Outside the city you find true wonderment. For example in the port area they had a booth set up, but the info was only in French. The vendors only had pricing in Euros without a working ATM. Also, the area around the port is not a great area to walk around.
But outside the city I discovered a lush wonderful island that was not commercialize like others. I went to beaches that only locals knew about, ate fresh local foods, visiting small towns,etc. My fave moment was standing in the middle of a sugarcane field with the mountain range as the backdrop.
I want to visit Guadeloupe again and encourage others to discover this less visited gem!

September 9th, 2010, 07:43 AM
Thanks for sharing.

September 11th, 2010, 12:18 PM
What I like about Guadeloupe is that it's a big double-island
pretty much in the shape of a butterfly, joined by a small isthmus of land between them.

The Western half, Basseterre (with the volcano) is mountainous,lush rain forest
-quite different from the much-flatter Grande Terre to the East.

Two quite different islands geologically
that have been thrust together by Nature's forces to make one big island.

October 6th, 2010, 10:54 PM
Honestly glad to hear someone enjoyed Guadeloupe because we had hoped to do the same.

Unfortunately, we were met with protesters with signs: GO BACK TO SHIP & NO CRUISERS WANTED. :o

Your post gives me hope that things aren't always like that there.

airlink diva
October 7th, 2010, 06:09 PM
Honestly glad to hear someone enjoyed Guadeloupe because we had hoped to do the same.

Unfortunately, we were met with protesters with signs: GO BACK TO SHIP & NO CRUISERS WANTED. :o

Your post gives me hope that things aren't always like that there.

When did this happen???
You think that overall that ships equal money.
But I will say this about Guadeloupe. I feel that the tourist board and some cruiselines don't do enough to promote and highlight this wonderful island.
Prior to my 2008 cruise, it was alot of effort to find English info on tours and vendors. I have a translator program and sent inquires.
I had a few vendors who did reply. Most did state it took a while longer due to finding someone who could give me the info in English. I never heard back from the tourist board on any on my inquires. I manage to find about four or five tours. However, my cruiseline didn't offer anything until we sailed and even then it was just one tour.
In the port area, there was a tourist board booth. However, the info was only in French. Research by anyone in the tourist board should had resulted in info in several languages to assist in planning things.
All the vendors in the port area prices were in Euro only and the only ATM in the port area was out of order. This resulted in limited spending. I understand that the island is a department of France and the Euro is the primary currency, access to exchange was not offerred.
I happen to book a great tour and had one of the best times of my cruises here in Guadeloupe and desire to return again. But better effort is need by both the tourist board and cruiseline to assist others in seeing .
The island is a true gem that every cruiser needs to visit

October 7th, 2010, 08:20 PM
When did this happen???

On Veendam in February 2005 on a 14 day out of Tampa.

That's why we were :) happy to hear others have enjoy going there since.

October 7th, 2010, 09:17 PM
Unfortunately, we were met with protesters with signs: GO BACK TO SHIP & NO CRUISERS WANTED. :oFor many years now, there's been a local malcontent commie faction on the island
(and in Martinique too)
who see themselves breaking away from colonial France, and doing the independent thing.

Sounds like you may have met a protest march of theirs?

October 29th, 2010, 09:45 AM
I spent a wonderful vacation on Guadeloupe many, many years ago and was happy to return on our cruise in January 2010. Since our trip into the rainforest was canceled due to lack of interest, we went downtown, an easy walking distance from the ship.

Pointe-a-Pitre may look seedy, but it is a vibrant town with great shopping if you like French merchandise. We bought a tropical print tablecloth, spices, and an acrylic painting.

On the pier, we were greeted by two lovely dancers and a local band as well as young ladies handing out street maps. In town, young people in yellow polo shirts helped tourists. These young people spoke English. We met them at the flower market and at the spice market. I liked the regular fish and vegetable market best. The fishermen had just come in with that morning's catch.