3 cruise ships in port / 7500 passengers

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#1
Germany
465 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
I found out that there are 3 cruise ships in port with abpout 7500 pax.

I wonder if it is better to do a cruise tour to the beach or go on our own to Valley Church beach.

Any suggestions or experiences?

Thanks!


Summer
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Ute











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#2
Germany
465 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Another question:

will Dickenson beach will be quiet, when the port is overcrowded?
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Have a nice day,


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#3
Lake District, UK
561 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Originally posted by Summer35
Another question:

will Dickenson beach will be quiet, when the port is overcrowded?
I would expect both Dickensons and Valley Church to be busy with three ships in port.

I suggest you look slightly further afield. Darkwood and Turners are only a mile or two from Valley Church and still on the No. 22 bus route, so you could try Valley Church and move on if it's too crowded around the Nest.
#4
Michigan,USA
620 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
I avoid ship excursions, and always book private guides/transportation. Our very first cruise, we didn't have any cruise knowledge/experience, and was afraid to venture out.
So, I booked only ship excursions.

We have taken four more cruises since, and have exclusively arranged for private tours.

One advantage is that you can arrive at the beach BEFORE, the masses of ship passengers.

Start out for the beach, as early as possible. The ship beach excursions are notoriously
slow in their starting time, and the time it takes to handle that many people's transportation.

I have visted approximately 12 southern caribbean ports, and have always found a
private tour/transportation, superior to a ship's more expensive option.
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#5
Maryland
1,652 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Originally posted by Summer35
I found out that there are 3 cruise ships in port with abpout 7500 pax.

I wonder if it is better to do a cruise tour to the beach or go on our own to Valley Church beach.

Any suggestions or experiences?

Thanks!


Summer
I was just in Antigua last Wednesday 02/08/12. There were 3 ships in port, I'm not sure how many passengers. The ships were: RCL's Serenade, Carnival Valor, Caribbean Princess.

We went to Valley Church beach and it was very crowded. We got there around 10:30 and there were still plenty of chairs and umbrellas to be had. However, by the time we left at 2, it was very crowded and loud.

If you walk WAY DOWN the beach to the left (as you face the water) it is much quieter and less people. But, you are farther away from the bar/food/chairs. People were there with their own chairs or on a towel.

If I had to do it over, I would go to Deep Bay and try it. I don't like crowds and noise. There were plenty of people who were drinking heavily and getting rowdy. We did enjoy our day. Valley Church is beautiful.
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#6
Ontario, Canada
1,749 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
You can still take bus #22 but just make sure you are there by early enough. As the other poster said in the afternoon it is crowded. We went mid morning and had no issues but did see the crowds swell after lunch.

Originally posted by Summer35
I found out that there are 3 cruise ships in port with abpout 7500 pax.

I wonder if it is better to do a cruise tour to the beach or go on our own to Valley Church beach.

Any suggestions or experiences?

Thanks!


Summer
#7
virginia
7,233 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Go tothe beach before mid morning. It gets very crowded almost everywhere when there are that many cruisers on shore.

Have you signed up for your ship's Roll Call on CC? If so post a question to your fellow cruisers and see if anyone else wants to go to the same beach. Then you can share a taxi. It costs a little more--but, is not much more if you share it with others. It will be faster than the bus. (I always read CC before a cruise, but never joined the Roll Call or posted before my last cruise. What a difference it made to connect with my fellow cruisers.)
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#8
80,792 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
We were in Antigua last week on Maasdam with two big Costa ships. The island handled the passengers okay. Don't worry about three ships being in.

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#9
suburban MD
3,453 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
There were four ships in port when I was there a few weeks ago. We went straight to Valley Church Beach first thing in the morning. We chose two loungers close to the restaurant and restrooms. When we first got there, we practically had the beach to ourselves, but it did get quite crowded later on, but it never felt overcrowded to me.
We took a taxi and paid $8 each way. That's a bit more than bus fare, but it was the easiest option for us.
We did have to wait a little to fill up a cab for the ride back (maybe 15 minutes or so).
There was definitely wide open spaces and much less crowding if you walked a few hundred feet to the left of the main area, but I wanted to be closer to the facilities so we opted to be close by.

I loved the beach personally and would go back in a heartbeat, but it is definitely not a remote, quiet beach anymore.
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#10
43 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
We went to Valley Church when there were 4 ships in port. It got crowded, but wasn't overcrowded, and as someone else mentioned, you can go down the beach further from the bar to get to a less crowded area. It worked well, taxis easy to get in port, and then waiting there at Valley Church for the ride back. This was our first cruise so I was worried about going places that would not get enough taxi traffic to get back to the ship, so the beach worked for us. Next time, I might try something a little less crowded.
#11
Northern Illinois
4,500 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Hows the snorkeling at Valley Church?
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#12
suburban MD
3,453 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Snorkel Dawg
Hows the snorkeling at Valley Church?
The water is a beautiful, but milky, turquoise blue. Because of the milky color ) it is not clear enough for good snorkelling. I did not notice any reefs close by either. I wouldn't count on snorkelling here (at least where we were parked, near all the action).
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#13
Northern Illinois
4,500 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by MDSue
The water is a beautiful, but milky, turquoise blue. Because of the milky color ) it is not clear enough for good snorkelling. I did not notice any reefs close by either. I wouldn't count on snorkelling here (at least where we were parked, near all the action).


Thanks Sue.
What do you think causes the milky color of the water? White super fine sand?
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#14
suburban MD
3,453 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I believe that is what I read somewhere. I have read many great review about a few tour companies that offer island tours that I believe include a snorkeling stop so there are probably some beaches to snorkel.

This was my view of Valley Church. The color is unbelievably beautiful, just not the crystal clear that is common on other Caribbean islands. This is the only place I've ever seen this color beach





Susan
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http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1813518

Caribbean Princess April 1-8 , 2012 review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1604918
#15
Northern Illinois
4,500 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Susan-Thanks for posting that beautiful pic! I see what you mean about the milky color of the water. Regardless of the snorkeling it looks like a wonderful place to spend a day. Thank you!
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#16
Germany
465 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Thanks for this pic!!! I loved this beach!


We were 4 ships in port and went as early as possible to valley Church beach. I love the beaches in the morning when there are only a few tourists there, but it was too crowded for me later ( not in the water but on the beach).

Snorkeling is not poss, because the water is too milky....
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Have a nice day,


Ute











Sailed:
Serenade of the Seas 04/16/2011 Caribbean Sea
Serenade of the Seas 03/31/2012 Caribbean Sea
Serenade of the Seas 04/07/2012 Caribbean Sea
Rhapsody of the Seas Mediterranean Sea 10/12/2015