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Any recent visitors to Trinidad?


canadarocks
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We visited Trinidad for the first time in November on Caribbean Princess.  We had pre booked a ship excursion to Maracas Beach as had read it’s not the safest island to travel independently.   We enjoyed the bus journey, the driver pointed out the important buildings in the town and  once you get out of town the scenery is lovely, rain forest and mountains.  We stopped at a view point to take photos and buy sweeties. The beach, though pretty, perhaps wasn’t the best we’ve been to, and the sea was a bit rough that day.  The beach vendors were very pleasant and friendly and there was a nice beach bar with steel pan music.  Overall we enjoyed the tour and were pleased we had seen some of the island. 

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2 hours ago, chrysalis said:

Not sure what you mean by "recent" but we were there on the Sea Princess, and thoroughly enjoyed the Princess excursion to the Asa Wright Nature Center in the mountains.

 

We love to go back to Asa Wright.  Unfortunately, the one there now offered by the ship is marked S and has too much difficult  hiking. :classic_sad:

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16 hours ago, canadarocks said:

Thanks, we'll be on the Caribbean Princess as well. I initially booked that tour, but I've changed it to the Highlights & Scenic Drive when I read some negative comments about the beach. Glad to read that you enjoyed your visit! 

 

 

We did the Highlights & Scenic Drive last month while on the CB.  There were 300 pax on this tour but they put us on smaller (about 20 pax) bus and did not fill every seat so it was comfortable.  The tour guide we had was great.  Obviously there were a great number of busses on this tour and each stop there were 7 or more busses there.  They tried to vary the bus arrival times and stops to not all show up at the same time.  We went to the President's house to tour the gardens in front, had a few picture opportunities from high locations and ended up at a really nice beach (30 minutes or so) where we had a nice local cold brew.  Returning to the ship the guide told us if we wanted to visit some shops to only go down the one main street by the ship for a few blocks and not go down any side streets or further down the main street as it was not safe.  While not saying to not do it , he clearly did not advocate leaving the ship area.  Clearly an island where you only want to go on a ship tour and preferably on a bus oriented tour.  Once back on the ship we ran into several that had gone to a beach and they said it was dirty.  Luckily the beach we were taken to was clean with a lot of food and drink available and located in a cove between high hills.  My advice is to take the Highlights & Scenic Drive tour.  

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Just off the 14 day CB which included Trinidad.  We booked the Angostura Distillery and whatever they called it tour.  🙂

 

Like everyone else we read all the travel warnings so we booked a ships excursion.  This was a new island for us and we wanted to see it.  We were supposed to go to the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Lady Lookout and then the distillery.  We actually did the tour in reverse because there were so many of us - they split us up.

 

I want to say that the tour guides, bus driver and islanders that we encountered were all gentle, generous and warm people.  The distillery tour was a bit long and a lot of walking and standing while being talked to but in the end very informative and I'm glad we went.  The description says you get a beverage but actually it's a rum tasting and much better indeed!  It was pouring rain when we got to the Botanical gardens so we cruised on by and missed it.  The town tour was interesting but we couldn't stop anywhere and take pictures because of the rain.  The stop at Lady Lookout was also rainy but I got off anyway to take pictures.  I didn't look at any of the vendor offerings.

 

Driving around you could see the poverty and the wealth and the filth and trash in the streets and waterways.  I would not do this island without a ships excursion and I feel bad for the lovely people we encountered but I have no desire to return.

 

As a point of information we were travelling with someone who blings out like Mr. T.  He had planned to go out for a drink and I told him to lose the bling and he didn't listen to me and he got stopped at the port exit by guards who told him to go back to the ship.

 

I would say pay attention to the warnings.  Be alert.  Do a ships excursion.  Be nice to the people.  Go see the island.

 

Friends on the cruise before us did the Monastery excursion and loved it.

 

This island is not far away from a certain place where people are fleeing from and they are constantly patrolling looking for small boats.  It is not really safe for us to explore on our own, so again do a ships excursion and support the local guides and drivers.

 

Diann

 

 

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We were in Trinidad in Nov.  Took the Beach Excursion.  The Beach looked like a garbage dump and the water was brown from sewer, just like the port.  Tour guide said to only stay in the port area.  Two people got robbed 3 blocks from the ship.  I would stay on the ship unless you have a cruise sponsored tour.  Trinidad is not set up for cruise ships or tourists.   The old dilapidated dock doesn't have cleats to tie up, but if the did and the cruise ship tied up in the wind, the dock would be destroyed.   

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As others have said .... Stay within the secured port terminal area or take an excursion .

Trinidad is a beautiful island with so many wonderful colors of green once away from the port area.

It is just not safe to do try to do things on your own.

 

Once after an excursion to Marcus Beach, our driver offered an extended drive around town.  

He knew the security guards at a secured housing community where many of the top government officals and wealthy lived.

Even within this  secured complex, all still had bars on their windows.  

 

When he drove us though downtown (Port of Spain ... very large city), we had to keep our windows up.

Like a large city anyplace (including the USA) there are slum areas BUT there the entire downtown area of this city was a slum.

 

Enjoy but don't wander around Port of Spain or elsewhere on-your-own!  :classic_ohmy:

 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

We were in Trinidad on the Caribbean Princess the day after the couple from the MSC cruise got robbed and the woman slashed at Queen's Park Savannah but only heard about that from other cruisers.   There were absolutely no warnings from Princess nor the person at the first tent on the dock who had a microphone.  That speaker, who I think was from a tourist bureau in Trinidad rather than with Princess, was in fact advertising Queen's Park Savannah among other things to see on the island (you could hear him from our balcony on the ship!).  The US State Department and Canada also warns about Queen's Park Savannah and other areas of Trinidad. 

 

Be informed and stay safe.  The couple had to stay in Trinidad to recover before they flew home I have read.  We enjoyed the secured port area looking at the shops there and the view from the ship.  Others took ship excursions.  

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Just now, canadarocks said:

Thanks for the responses; we've decided to stay on the ship In Trinidad.

 

We are on your cruise and will also be staying on the ship with you in Trinidad ... as will most of our long time cruise pals. All of us have been there many times before over the years and have no desire to return.  

Happily, our other port stops are very good!  :classic_cool:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have never been and was looking forward to a new island.  Now I'm not so sure, but we usually take a ship excursion. If it is so bad, why do the ships keep going there?

When dirty beach mentioned previous, that isn't Maracas Bay is it?

Thanks

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Downtown Port of Spain is not a slum. It is very busy though.  Reminds me of some parts of Brooklyn. I was just there this past August for Emancipation. 

 

Maracas Bay is rough water and more green than blue and the vibe is like Atlantic City. Lots of food and music. Tasty bake and shark. Las Cuevas is close by and it's the better beach. 

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10 hours ago, newbiecruiser25 said:

Downtown Port of Spain is not a slum. It is very busy though.  Reminds me of some parts of Brooklyn. I was just there this past August for Emancipation. 

 

Maracas Bay is rough water and more green than blue and the vibe is like Atlantic City. Lots of food and music. Tasty bake and shark. Las Cuevas is close by and it's the better beach. 

I think more are questioning the safety, not the conditions of the city.  

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8 hours ago, Wpooh1968 said:

I think more are questioning the safety, not the conditions of the city.  

I'm directing my comment toward the person who called it a slum. Slum is a noun referring to the conditions of the city. 

 

Tobago is where the big tourist activities are at so if your cruise does a Tobago excursion it's worth going.

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On 1/23/2019 at 6:25 PM, newbiecruiser25 said:

Downtown Port of Spain is not a slum. It is very busy though.  Reminds me of some parts of Brooklyn. I was just there this past August for Emancipation. 

 

Maracas Bay is rough water and more green than blue and the vibe is like Atlantic City. Lots of food and music. Tasty bake and shark. Las Cuevas is close by and it's the better beach. 

It appears that you are biased based on your statement that you were in Trinidad for Emancipation.  Downtown Port of Spain is run down and streets and sidewalks are filled with garbage.  Most people would call it a slum.  We took a ship tour to Maracas beach and the beach was filled with garbage and no one went into the  stinking brown water because of the inoperative sewer plants discharged the sewer into the ocean.   I have been to over 80 countries and I have never seen a country as run down and dangerous  as Trinidad.   

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On 1/25/2019 at 4:28 PM, cheone said:

It appears that you are biased based on your statement that you were in Trinidad for Emancipation.  Downtown Port of Spain is run down and streets and sidewalks are filled with garbage.  Most people would call it a slum.  We took a ship tour to Maracas beach and the beach was filled with garbage and no one went into the  stinking brown water because of the inoperative sewer plants discharged the sewer into the ocean.   I have been to over 80 countries and I have never seen a country as run down and dangerous  as Trinidad.   

Your bias is disgusting and ill informed.  Emancipation is a celebration of the end of slavery. It is a huge event in multiple Caribbean countries. Maracas is not filled with garbage. The water is fine for swimming though the surf is ruff. The water is more green than blue but there was no sewage in it. 

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In terms of the water quality, you can see articles and reports on sites like planning.gov.tt and ima.gov.tt that caution about sewage, based on a 2016 Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) in Trinidad and Tobago report.  For example: 

IMA’s studies have revealed that at our beaches, nearshore water at certain sections of the beachfront is sometimes contaminated with sewage. A source of sewage contamination for beaches is discharge of polluted water from rivers and drains to the beachfront. Some sources of pollution flowing into rivers and drains include poor quality effluent discharged from malfunctioning sewage treatment plants, seepage of sewage from septic tanks and from pit latrines at unplanned settlements, and run off from livestock rearing operations.

The IMA has two simple tips for you beachgoers to avoid contracting illness from poor water quality. Avoid bathing in the vicinity of where rivers or drains discharge into the beachfront. It is also not advisable to swim immediately after rainfall events when surface run off, storm water flow and increased riverine flow into the nearshore waters of some beaches, as it often results in a decline of bathing water quality. Remember, a visit to the beach should be about fun, healing and relaxation, not illness!

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/11/2018 at 6:11 PM, seagypsea said:

Just off the 14 day CB which included Trinidad.  We booked the Angostura Distillery and whatever they called it tour.  🙂

 

Like everyone else we read all the travel warnings so we booked a ships excursion.  This was a new island for us and we wanted to see it.  We were supposed to go to the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Lady Lookout and then the distillery.  We actually did the tour in reverse because there were so many of us - they split us up.

 

I want to say that the tour guides, bus driver and islanders that we encountered were all gentle, generous and warm people.  The distillery tour was a bit long and a lot of walking and standing while being talked to but in the end very informative and I'm glad we went.  The description says you get a beverage but actually it's a rum tasting and much better indeed!  It was pouring rain when we got to the Botanical gardens so we cruised on by and missed it.  The town tour was interesting but we couldn't stop anywhere and take pictures because of the rain.  The stop at Lady Lookout was also rainy but I got off anyway to take pictures.  I didn't look at any of the vendor offerings.

 

Driving around you could see the poverty and the wealth and the filth and trash in the streets and waterways.  I would not do this island without a ships excursion and I feel bad for the lovely people we encountered but I have no desire to return.

 

As a point of information we were travelling with someone who blings out like Mr. T.  He had planned to go out for a drink and I told him to lose the bling and he didn't listen to me and he got stopped at the port exit by guards who told him to go back to the ship.

 

I would say pay attention to the warnings.  Be alert.  Do a ships excursion.  Be nice to the people.  Go see the island.

 

Friends on the cruise before us did the Monastery excursion and loved it.

 

This island is not far away from a certain place where people are fleeing from and they are constantly patrolling looking for small boats.  It is not really safe for us to explore on our own, so again do a ships excursion and support the local guides and drivers.

 

Diann

 

 

That was ME!!! Hey D I just found this post!! 

 

Listen to EXACTLY what my friend Diann say's I did not and PAID for it, she told me at breakfast to unbling I said I can pull this off. It didn't happen. I'm still pissed I didn't get to see this island.

Did everything within reason to get past security and couldn't do it. Don't be stupid like me,  if your going on this island read the above post from my friend Diann and TAKE HER ADVICE. Good grief.

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