Posted March 2nd, 2012, 12:37 PM
PORTS: Nassau, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten
As I stated earlier, this cruise was not chosen for its itinerary. I prefer adventure, history, and culture to a myriad of beach days. My kids enjoy all of the above. I tried to schedule port activities that would meet all of our desires.
We had been here a couple of times. We went to the Atlantis water park one year, and the kids said that was the best water park ever (imagine that). Since the ship was only in port from 8:30 to 2:00, I decided on a beach day to Cable Beach. I had researched it and we were going to take the Jitney to the Sheraton and enjoy the beach and heated pools. Well… we were about an ˝ hour late getting off the ship because I could not get everyone moving that morning. Then, we had a hard time finding the Jitney stop. Once we did, the Jitney didn’t show up, but was pulled over by the police a few blocks up (apparently the police were cracking down on un-licensed taxi drivers in Nassau). So, after waiting another ˝ hour, we punted and grabbed a taxi. Whoa! The main road to Cable Beach was blocked do to a Marathon event. We literally went up and down every side road in town only to find the road still block. So, when we finally made it to the Sheraton, we determined we would only have about an hour there to allow for time to maneuver the road closing going back. So we punted. No Sheraton and the kids were disappointed. We headed back downtown, and as a tradition, went to the Tortuga Store to get our rum cakes They had free samples of rum cake (omg good). The cakes are much fresher from here than on the ship. The lady at the store said the cakes on the ship are delivered to Carnival typically at 3 months old.
Also a tradition is to get conch fritters at the port shop area. They are wonderful!
Sorry, no cool photos of Nassau this year, as our day was a bust.
We decided to take the family to St. John to see the beautiful US National Park of Trunk Bay. I was expecting to be wow’d and to feel like I was in heaven. It was very nice, but not quite heaven. The trip there was cumbersome: taxi to Redhook Ferry, ferry to Cruz Bay on St. John, and then taxi to Trunk Bay. We got to Trunk Bay about an hour before all the cruise tours, which I recommend anyone going there to do. My son and I tried the snorkeling trail, but with all the wind, the water was too murky to see much. The snorkeling on Sapphire Beach on St. Thomas was much better. The beach at trunk bay was very narrow and became extremely crowded. I think if we ever go back, we will head to another less congested beach with better snorkeling. The vista seen from the taxi ride on St. John were amazing. I wish we had had more time on the island...maybe a land vaction someday?
View of Trunk Bay from the taxi:
Trank Bay BEFORE the crowds arrived:
To be continued...
I cruise for the ports. The ship is an added bonus!
***Puerto Limon, Costa Rica ***Labadee, Haiti*** Samana, Dominican Republic*** Cozumel, Mexico*** Nassau, Bahamas*** Grand Cayman*** Belize***St. John, USVI*** St. Martin*** Freeport, Bahamas*** San Juan, Puerto Rico*** Roatan, Honduras***St. Thomas, USVI***Colon, Panama*** Bermuda***Grand Turk*** La Romana *** Aruba *** Curacao *** Costa Maya *** Half Moon Cay ***Ocho Rios and Great Stirrup Cay
Cruise Picture Reviews:
Norwegian Getaway to Great Stirrup Cay, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, and Cozumel http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2331862
Carnival Sunshine to Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Costa Maya: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2169332
Carnival Fascination to Half Moon Cay and Nassau: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2066091
Norwegian Jewel to Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Costa Maya: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1976718
Carnival Freedom to Grand Turk, La Romana, Curacao, and Aruba (2nd favorite cruise): http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1781515
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas to Bermuda (3rd favorite cruise): http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1728780
Carnival Freedom to Panama, Costa Rica, & Cozumel (favorite cruise): http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1347741
Carnival Dream to Nassau, St. Martin, and St. Thomas: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1584851
Carnival Sensation to Nassau & Freeport (Tripwow):http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1262795