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  1. Hi Sullyd! If you have researched Myrtle Beach and find that is something that is important to you to do, certainly go for it. However, I would caution that it's about a 2 hour drive there and back, so you would be spending at least four hours in transit. Not sure how long you are in port. Also, while Myrtle Beach is a popular destination, there's not much to do there...I realize that probably sounds odd, but it's a lot of high rise hotels, mini-golf, touristy souvenir shops...and the beach isn't actually that nice (it is often closed for water pollution issues because the storm water run off from the strip drains onto the beach). I'm not trying to steer you one way or another, but unless you have found something you are very set on doing in MB, you might want to reconsider. I would hate for you guys to miss out on the potential cool stuff in Charleston to spend half your day in a car. Best of luck!
  2. Hi! I cruised in early January and it ended up not being an issue at all. As soon as you get to the terminal (or, the Uber driver gets you to the terminal) there is a ton of signage on where to go. I was confused because the port website makes it seem like you need to be dropped off outside the port area, which is not the case. It was a breeze. From the time I left my house in the uber to the time I was onboard was only 35min! (I live about 15min from the port) Enjoy your vacation!
  3. Hi All, I'm looking into renting a car while in port at the Lofoten Islands for the day. Sailing on Princess, so we will be tendering. From what I gather, the tender dock is about half way between Gravdal and Leknes. It seems that Leknes has a couple of car rental options, but I am hoping to get some logistical advice. How do you get from the dock to Leknes? Are there taxis/buses/shuttles? I believe I saw that someone had arranged for the car to be dropped off at the port, which sounds very convenient...if that's an option, do you do that by calling the rental agency directly? (obviously I know there would be an additional cost associated with that service). Any feedback is appreciated! I travel solo so it's always nice to get insight before heading out. thank you!
  4. Thanks for the additional tips---this is very helpful! Yes, I paid the couple extra dollars for refundable tickets. I try to do that whenever I travel as plans can change unexpectedly. I will check 90 days out to see what the status is...and the best bike rental location (top or bottom). I also realized that if I can't make the train work, I could bike up and both down, starting early in the morning. I realize this would be quite the workout---I'm very fit, it's nothing for me to hike 30+ miles. Lots to consider...I think I will just see how it goes 90 days out and finalize then. Thank you again for all the info, it's really great to have someone that has done it before.
  5. Hi Everyone, Thanks for all the info! I feel a little silly for not just checking google for bike time...duh! I booked the bike rental in Flam, and a spot on the train for the bike, so perhaps that will save a few minutes at the top. I REALLY appreciate the suggestion to see if tickets are available 90 days out--thank you both hallasm and kaisatsu! I will check on that. Thanks again--I'm so excited for this trip. T
  6. Hi All, Wondering if I did a stupid thing here... I want to do the Flam railway while in port, but I would also like to bike back down. Of course, the cruise line offers an excursion for this, but I would really like to have my own time on the way back down via bike. (and of course doing it on your own is about half the price). Here's the problem...The only available time slot for the railway up to Myrdal was 1220...with an arrival at Myrdal of 115. Our ship departs at 5pm, which means I wouldn't want to be on board any later than 4 (I assume 430 will be "all aboard" and I am not a close-cutter with time.) Comfortably, that would give me about two hours to get back down to Flam...arriving around 330 or so. Does this sound reasonable? If booked through the cruise line, the excursion is listed as 3.5hrs...but also looks like you take the train part of the way back down from Myrdal to Berekvam before starting on the bike portion, which they include as 1hr 45 min. I'm now thinking that I basically created a bike race down the mountain...which is of course exactly what I don't want. Has anyone done this on your own or through the cruise line? Thoughts? Thanks much!
  7. Happy to help---and the questions make it easier to give you useful information! First thing...don't be put off by the cruise port when you arrive-it's very industrial. Quick story...the terminal was never planned to be used for cruises, and there is a vocal minority in town that hate the cruise lines and don't want the port improved, so they are doing what they can with the old buildings. Anyway, once you are out of the building, you will be right across the street from Market Street, which logically enough, will bring you straight to City Market! I would say...maybe a 10 minute walk from the ship? Maybe 15, but easy. And walking anywhere downtown during the day is totally safe. I work downtown and walk around alone all the time (female, mid-30s). I like the market even as a local and have found many great gifts there. Yes, there are some touristy cheesy things like shot glasses and mugs that say "Charleston" but there are also some neat local jewelers (the Charleston gate jewelry is based off the old iron work found around Charleston) and the sweetgrass baskets that are hand made (pricey, but very neat to watch them being made). There are a lot of shops around the market as well if you are interested in any shopping...all kinds off stuff from high end to unique and local. Callie's Hot Little Biscuit has a location in City Market---they are locally famous for their biscuits if you need a snack while walking around. I highly recommend the cinnamon. 🙂 I have never tried to download a walking tour, but I would bet that there are some available--great idea! I believe there is a visitor's center near City Market...I'm sure you could easily google it. In fact, I think we have a few scattered throughout downtown. Anyway, I'm sure they would try to sell you a tour, but they will also have free maps if you don't feel like google-mapping the whole time. With a map, downtown is easy to navigate, and again, safe. I just remembered...check out Charleston Museum Mile...they have a website that links you with many of the historic homes/sites in downtown. You could see if you are interested in stopping at any of the homes for a tour; most tours are about an hour or hour and a half. Some are scheduled, some self-guided. If you are just interested in "cruising" by some lovely historic homes, I would recommend a walk down East Bay Street, past Rainbow Row, and along the Battery. The Battery has all the fancy big homes overlooking the water. On your return, get off East Bay and walk through Waterfront park. Nice, lovely walk. Fort Sumter is a fun stop. You can walk to the ferry dock from the cruise terminal. That's maybe about 15-20min walk, not the prettiest walk, but still safe. Tickets can book on days when a ship is in port, so if you are really set on going, you may want to book online in advance (I believe that's an option). While you are waiting for the ferry (and riding the ferry) keep your eyes on the water. We have A LOT of dolphins in the harbor and they are fun to watch. As for the tea plantation...that would have to be a commitment and I think the easiest way to do it would be to rent a car. It's way out on Wadmalaw Island and would probably be about a 45 min drive from downtown. It's a lovely drive, and as a local, I really enjoyed the tour, and go there sometimes to buy tea, but I don't know that I would do it as a cruise passenger...or as a day visitor...there's so much to see in downtown that's easily accessible and you probably want to maximize your time in port. As far as food goes...you will be able to get crabs at most seafood restaurants, but we are really known for our oysters and shrimp. At the end of February, you will be in oyster season, so still good to eat. Shrimp and grits is definitely the "what Charleston is known for" dish. It's a personal favorite too! But really, you can't go wrong with most seafood ordered. My personal favorite restaurant in downtown is Fleet Landing. It's also located directly next to the cruise terminal, literally on the water. I love their food and their outdoor to seating to watch boats and dolphins go by. If you are looking for something a bit fancier, there is Pearlz Oyster Bar and 167 Raw. I haven't been to either, but people rave about the oysters at both locations---they are local and tourist faves. They are both within walking distance of the port. Charleston Crab House is right by City Market and I have never had a bad meal there. They also have rooftop seating, which is fun if the weather is nice. Hank's Seafood is a Charleston institution, been around forever, also very popular with tourists and locals alike. There is almost always a wait there though, so tougher to manage on a cruise day. There are so many amazing places to eat...it's tough. If you want some ridiculous dessert, Kaminsky's (near City Market as well) is phenomenal and there is a small place called Christophe's Artisan Chocolatier on Society Street...sounds excessively fancy, but they have some great desserts and everything is made in house and reasonably priced. (oh dear, now I really want to go on an eating spree downtown!!!) One cool thing about Charleston is that you could get off the ship, wander around town and have a great time without spending a dime, or you could spend tons on food, tours, and souvenirs and also have a great time. There's something for every budget. Phew, hopefully that novel wasn't too much to read! If you have other questions, I'm more than happy to help 🙂
  8. Hi! What interests you? I live in Charleston and am happy to offer suggestions! As a previous poster said, Charleston is a great port because you dock right in the historic district. Very easy walk to anything you would want to see downtown. (or cheap uber ride if mobility is a concern). Tons of historic sites (of course) such as home tours, City Market, museums, etc. There are many tours you can sign up for on site; walking, driving, carriage tours. Please, if you are visiting in the summer, don't take a carriage tour. There is a big issue right now concerning the treatment of the carriage horses in the hot summer months. That's all I will say on that, I don't want to get too preachy! Fort Sumter (as mentioned) is easy to get to on your own via a quick ferry trip. There is also a pretty nice aquarium. Tons of shopping if that interests you. Just about any kind of food you could want. (let me know if you want suggestions, we have some gems) Any of the plantation homes are off the peninsula (downtown historic area) and would require separate transportation if you wanted to pursue that. Enjoy your visit!
  9. No problem, always happy to help. It's tough when you are booking an excursion and all you have is a two sentence description to work from! I honestly can't remember if they had signs or not, but it was quite obvious when the guides showed up. They had polo shirts on, backpacks, and a handful of wristbands to hand out. I arrived ridiculously early as I wasn't exactly sure how complicated it would be to find the starting point (turned out not at all!), so that's why I was there before them. I imagine if they were there first they might have a sign or something. Enjoy your trip!
  10. I'm going to be travelling solo...I know there are a lot of varying opinions on safety in Nassau. I have been there before, but just stayed in relative proximity to the cruise port as well as went on an organized tour. I'm thinking of visiting the zoo on my trip in January...how safe is this for a white American, single female, mid-30s? I travel a lot on my own, so I am comfortable doing so, but I don't put myself in questionable situations. Thanks!
  11. I second that! I have been there and it's delicious. Easy walk, but not crowded with cruisers. Service was delightful. Excellent lunch, I felt reasonably priced.
  12. Hi Dolphin! I actually did this exact tour in Feb. 2018. I really enjoyed it! This was my experience...I was solo on this particular cruise, so I wanted an organized tour, and like you said, this one included all the sights I wanted. We met just across the street from the cruise port; detailed location instructions were sent with the confirmation, but it was super easy and obvious. There were probably about 40 people in our group, but they broke us up into two smaller groups...one group on a bus and a smaller group of about ten on a van. I was in the smaller group, so that probably helped my experience. Our guide was very personable, informative, funny, organized. A lot of the experience on these is luck of the draw on a guide! The rum cake stop was a really quick in and out at the shop for a quick taste and purchase. I already knew what I wanted to pick up here, so I was in and out pretty fast. It's a small shop. Queen's Staircase was very nice. Our guide explained to us that there are A LOT of people that wait at the top of the staircase and "attach" to a group to give a "tour" and that we were welcome to go with one of them and listen, and it was up to us if we wanted to tip or not; this wasn't part of the formal tour. We had a nice fellow give us the history of the staircase, but he was a bit quiet and hard to follow at times. Plenty of time to enjoy this area though, very nice. We didn't actually stop at the Fort. We drove by and our guide asked if we wanted to go in (advantage of being in a small group, he asked us several times if there were certain places we wanted to stop or skip...more on this in a bit). The entrance fee isn't included in the tour cost and we wouldn't have a lot of time there, so we didn't go in. I imagine this might differ by guide and group. The stop at Atlantis was pretty much what I was expecting...about a half hour to look around at the resort. It's a lovely property, and this was actually more interesting than I thought it would be. It's on your own, the driver will return in a half hour or so. There are several Chihuly glass sculptures in the resort areas that I checked out, and a lovely walk along a dock. You can't get into any of the "guest only" areas, so don't expect to see the water park or anything like that. Graycliff Chocolate was another quick stop. We had a taste of a couple of chocolates. It's a small shop, but it was a nice little stop. Back to the small group/customizing thing...across the street from Graycliff was a winery offering wine tastings. Our group asked if we could have some time there. Our guide said that would be fine, so several people went in for that. I don't drink wine, but I enjoyed a lovely swing outside while others were doing the tasting. Also, our guide was good about checking when people needed to be back to their respective ships (there were two different ships in port and we had people from both that day) so that if we added the stop at the winery, everyone would still have plenty of time to get back. John Wattling's was a lot of fun. There are tour guides specific to that property that will take you around and give you a tour. I REALLY enjoyed what the guide was telling us there and I tipped him a few dollars at the end. He seemed genuinely surprised to receive a tip. They also have drinks and rum available for purchase. At the end, they gave us the option for drop off at the straw market, the beach, or back at port. I had them drop me off at the market as it was near the place I wanted to grab lunch. Overall I really enjoyed the tour and thought it was definitely worth the money. It hit the sights I wanted to see and gave me the safety of being in a group and the convenience of being driven around by someone else! I do think a lot will depend on group size and guide. Hope this helps!
  13. Hi Everyone, I feel a little ridiculous asking this question as I live in Charleston...but...I can't figure this out! Has anyone taken an Uber (or similar situation) to the Charleston cruise port? I have sailed out of here before, with a friend dropping me off right at the "entry." The Port website says that rideshare users should be dropped off at 32 Washington St. (see link: http://scspa.com/wp-content/uploads/embarkation-debarkation-guidelines-carnival-sunshine-2019.pdf) But this makes no sense...you are just on a random street corner. Do you then walk through the parking area with your luggage to the luggage drop off point? I just don't want to make my Uber driver drive all over the place trying to figure out where to drop me off. Any insight is appreciated. Thanks!
  14. I live in Charleston. As others have said, it's a very easy walk. Very safe, touristy area. Someone asked about Sundays--since you are in the tourist area, most places will be open. Some open a little later on Sundays (possibly noon-2pm) but there will still be plenty to do. It's also really easy (and cheap) to catch an uber to a specific point in downtown if you prefer (or have mobility issues). Lots to see and do--enjoy your stop!
  15. Hi Everyone, Sorry if this has been covered before, but I have tried every search combo I can think of without result, so... Are there any adults only areas on Dawn? When I sailed on Epic, the aft pool/sundeck area was adults only during the day (with the exception of one day with a football game). Are there any areas like that on Dawn? Thanks! T
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