Help with eastern Caribbean ports

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Southaven, MS
992 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
DW and I are sailing the Glory 9/17 to the eastern Caribbean. We were there 25 years ago on the Carnivale (when Carnival only had 3 ships in the water) and I'm sure things are much different now. Can anyone help with excursions/things to do in Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten? We've been sailing the western Caribbean and are tired of Mexico so we thought we'd try eastern this time.

Any info is appreciated.

Altamonte Springs, FL USA
143 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Hello Mike

My DH and I will be sailing on the Glory on 8/6/05 Eastern I will let you know what we find out upon our return. At this point we have booked the Blue Lagoon in Nassau and in St Martten we have booked on our own the Lord Sheffield - Pirates of St Maarten Day Cruise.
Southaven, MS
992 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
PMARSHALL, thanks. I hope you have a wonderful cruise and I'll be looking forward to your reviews (ship and ports) when y'all get back.
478 Posts
Joined Jun 2005

We are sailing on the Glory eastern on August 6th. You may go to the carnival website and register there to view your trip details. Within that area, you may view descriptions of carnival excursions that are offered at each port. You may also purchase them in advance. If you are interested in doing something on your own, there are ports of call forums here on cruise critics that provide a lot of good information. Hope this helps!

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Carnival Sensation, July 2001
Tampa, Fla
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I wouldn't go to St Thomas without making the ferry tide to St John and a visit to those beautiful beaches, like Trunk bay.
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You might also want to visit the ports of call boards here on CC for more info.
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but on the Valor. Nassau, I wouldn't even bother poking around, IMO it's nasty dirty and the people just are not friendly at all. I'd head straight for Atlantis for the majority of the time in port, then maybe a quick stop in at the straw market for a few souvenirs if you must. We ended up booking the "Yellowbird" through Carnival (a catarmaran that took us to Blackbeard's Cay, which was nice, but we were only there for an hour and a half).

St. Thomas we did Godfrey's tour, EXCELLENT, I'd highly recommend it (see the St. Thomas board here on CC for contact info). $20 pp and a day well spent. 2 hours shopping, 2 hour guided tour (with plenty of stops and picture opportunities), 2 hours at the beach (we chose Sapphire and glad we did...clean, nice facilities available, not crowded at ALL).

St. Maarten, I WISH we would have gone either a private tour or just cabbed it to Orient Beach (I have seen some fabulous pictures and have read nothing but great reviews of this place). instead we took the ship-sponsored tour ("See & Sea") and I wasn't real happy with it (we were hearded on to charter buses, whizzing through the island, only one stop for pictures, wasted time because the ENTIRE road from Philipsburg to Marigot was completely torn up, being repaved). The Atlantis (semi-submursible) from Grand Case was nice. If you're downtown Philipsburg, head towards the water and hit the "Green House" for GOOD eats and drinks. The Bloody Mary's are great, as was ALL of our food (among which was the fresh grouper sandwich, crab cakes, shrimp parmesan sandwich, fajitas, conch fritters, calamari). Ask for Raymond as a server, he rocks.

hope that helps!
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Orange County, CA
444 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
One thing I have to point out if you are traveling to St. Martin before I write my complete review; you have to go to Orient Beach on St. Martin (French side), get chairs (blue and white stripes) in front of Friendly Bar (next to the Paradisio Bar), they are $12 for 2 chairs, one umbrella, a little table, and two drinks. You have to ask for Ludwig, a young, blonde Frenchman to assist you. He was amazing! He catered to us like it was a five star resort. He even brought beers out to us in the surf when he saw we were low, he walked me to the restroom (free passes if you rent chairs with him), gave us free sample shots, watched our stuff when were were in the ocean, and arranged for our watersports for the best prices and least hassle. He was so friendly and helpful. He made our day!
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7/3/05 Valor- Eastern Caribbean (30th Birthday Cruise!)
2004 Ecstasy- Baja Mexico

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I agree about Nassau, not the nicest island. Atlantis is beautiful.

St. Thomas and St. Martin/Marteen ... shopping and a beach. St. Thomas $20 gets you shopping, island tour, beach, transportation to and from ship with almost any driver. We loved Coki Beach! St. Martin -- go shopping, then catch a cab to Orient Beach. Turn right from the cab stop for the nude beach, turn left for the clothing optional beach. You will see some nudity on either side, but it is a beautiful beach with friendly folks, and no one seems to pay much mind to the folks walking around naked.
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Originally posted by dotshub
I wouldn't go to St Thomas without making the ferry tide to St John and a visit to those beautiful beaches, like Trunk bay.
I agree!! Trunk Bay is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!

chillicothe, oh usa
11 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Nassau we found unimpressive.

St. Thomas is very built up. There is good shopping right where you get off the ship. We got a cab and lucked out. Our driver took us all over for a negotiated price--Hubby & I + 6 children. They drive on the left side of the rode & we didn't want to drive ourselves. Also the road is mountainous. Anyway, we went to Coki beach for snorkling & Coral World was right next door. It was great for us. Our driver met us at a designated time & took us on a tour. I wanted to see Mountain Top--The bar where the banana daiquiri was invented--She also stopped at a view so we could take pictures. This was the best stop for us. Plus she made a fuss over the children! We brought dog biscuits to feed the fish. They really ate it out of our hands.

St. Maarten is about beaches and shopping. The boys in our group did the yacht sail & loved it. I'm a beach person. We went to the French side in a rented car--St. Maarten is flat & they drive on the right side. You don't need a map. We went to Galion (?) beach. I didn't want to do the nude beach thing. Stopped at Guavaberry Emporium for the rum. Great day.

Being just the two of you gives a lot of options. St. John's is supposed to be fabulous.

Hope this helps.
Orange County, CA
444 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Here's our take on the ports (we're 30 and 34),

Nassau had the nicest people (we had fun at Cabbage Beach, great water/sand)
St. Thomas/St. John Trunk Bay is the prettiest beach ever, worth the trip
St. Martin had the most fun partying on the French side, Orient Beach
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7/3/05 Valor- Eastern Caribbean (30th Birthday Cruise!)
2004 Ecstasy- Baja Mexico

Lexington, KY
1,488 Posts
Joined May 2005
I'll agree that Godfrey's tour on St. Thomas is hard to beat at $20 pp. We chose Coki beach where we saw (and fed) a lot of fish. Godfrey will meet you at the dock (has a sign with your name on it), will let you lock your beach stuff up in his truck while shopping, and lock up your shopping stuff while at the beach.

On St. Maarten we just took the water taxi and did some shopping (much better prices than St. Thomas), then took a cab to Orient Beach. Very pretty beach and for about $15 you'll get two padded recliners, an umbrella, a couple of free drinks, and some bathroom passes (50 cents w/o them). Our cab driver agreed to pick us up at a specified time, but I'm sure the guys who rent the chairs can also arrange a return trip taxi if needed.
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I would stay on the ship in Nassau. On St Thomas, I would ride the ferry over to St John. On St Maarten I would catch a cab and visit one of the beaches.
Southaven, MS
992 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
I can't thank everyone enough for all of the tips. Please keep them coming. I haven't been real sure about Nassau since I saw the itinerary but I'm definitely sold on St. Thomas/St. John and St. Maarten.

I know I'm being lazy but has anyone seen a member review of the Glory from a recent sailing?

Thanks again.

Orange County, CA
444 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
While Nassau isn't my favorite island, I would certainly get off the boat. We had a great time just swimming at the beach and looking for seashells. The water was warm and clear. Our sailing already had 3 days at sea, I would rather get off the boat and into the beautiful water.
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7/3/05 Valor- Eastern Caribbean (30th Birthday Cruise!)
2004 Ecstasy- Baja Mexico

Southaven, MS
992 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
OC Mom, we'll definitely get off the ship. I mean, what's the point in stopping someplace if you don't get off for a while, right? The only thing I had heard about in Nassau was the straw market and I figured surely there had something else besides that.