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mkbonfardine

To schedule an excursions for every port day or try it on your own

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Mythbuster said:

That is not accurate.   Japan, New Zealand and Ireland are Level 1(Normal Precautions).  Only Germany and Bahamas on your list are Level 2 (Increased Cautions) same for Mexico.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/

illniwahoo, I re-read your post and see you meant that the other countries have issued warnings to their citizens against traveling to the US.  I find that to be very good advice in today's environment.  I would think the chances of being mugged in many urban areas of the US is about the same as Jamaica (moderately high) and I am sure I will get flamed for that remark as well.

Edited by Mythbuster

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On 8/11/2019 at 9:31 PM, mkbonfardine said:

We are going to St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Kitts. I will definitely start researching some things. Thank you!

It really depends what you want to do.  Do some research before you sail for doing your own excursions and you are likely to find very highly rated tours at much better prices.  If you are interested in seeing a good portion of the islands, I highly recommend Cosol Tours in St. Lucia and Bernard's Tours in St. Maarten if you have not been to those islands.  If you are beach people, Carlisle is a short cab ride (or 30 minute walk) from the ship in Barbados.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/11/2019 at 10:43 PM, arlodog said:

Please look on the port of call threads here to start your research.  If you read them frequently enough you will see the same names of guides come up over and over.  I also look at Trip Advisor for recommendations on what to see and do in each port.  Just search the boards there for feedback on what is popular.  I've been to both St. Thomas (multiple times) and St. Maarten.  Easy to do self arranged tours there and not go on the ships tours. 

Just keep an eye on your watch (not your phone which may switch to local time) and give yourself plenty of leeway for all aboard time and you will be fine going on your own.  Enjoy the researching...that is some of the best part of planning our vacations for me!

 

This !!! 

 

I always book my own independent plans and usually always in advance.  Just do your research on the Port of Call threads and or trip advisor.  I never have had an issue using a well recommended independent.  They are cheaper, more flexible, and far less people,  And over the years I have been to every port on any Caribbean itinerary  Including Jamaica which was perfectly safe using a recommended independent tour guide 

Edited by Maverick61

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First cruise out, every trip was booked via the ship.

 

These days, virtually every trip we do is either independently booked before travel or walk off and see what's on offer on the quayside.

 

We hear the "you should really book through us, it's not safe going ashore independently" from the excursion crew on every ship.

 

Considering their prices, they have a vested interest in selling you their trips.

 

We look at our itinerary, then research the stops, both on here and on TripAdvisor.

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5 hours ago, Merion_Mom said:

@mkbonfardine  Come back and tell us about your interests!  🙂

I have never been anywhere tropical and we are definitely up for a little adventure but also some beach days as well. I am not sure about snorkeling for myself but my boyfriend definitely wants to try it. I would also like to see little unique shops and fun little bars/restaurants. Not a big fan of horseback riding. 

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On 8/11/2019 at 7:15 PM, mkbonfardine said:

Hi there!  My name is Missy and I am a first time cruiser. We are heading out on the Grandeur of the Seas in April 2020.  My boyfriend and I are having a heated debate about booking some kind of excursions for every port of call or to 'wing it' by jumping off the ship, getting a taxi and finding things on our own. I need advice and lots of help!  What's everyone's thoughts on this?

I am overly cautious about missing the ship, so I am glad I booked our first few trips through the ship.  Now that we’ve had some experience, I feel comfortable booking some on my own :).  For example, on my next trip, I’m booking 2 beach days on my own, and my Jamaica beach day through the cruiseline.

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On 8/11/2019 at 8:21 PM, Mythbuster said:

  There are some ports such as Jamaica that you should not leave the port area unless you are on a Cruise line tour.  

They embark out of Baltimore if they can survive there they’ll be fine in Jamaica! 😉 😆 

 

Disclaimer; Just joking!!  From Baltimore, grew up there going for visit in couple of weeks! 

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On 8/11/2019 at 9:31 PM, mkbonfardine said:

We are going to St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Kitts. I will definitely start researching some things. Thank you!

My husband and I rented a car on our own in St. Thomas and drove to Magens Bay. That was in 2010, and the rental office was just outside the port area. Very easy process. But be sure to book the car in the name of the person who will be most comfortable driving in very mountainous terrain and on the left side of the road. Found that out the hard way!

 

Going to Barbados in November. Planning to either walk or get a taxi on our own to and from either Brandon's beach or one of the beach clubs on Carlisle Bay. Theivery is a problem according to the state department website, but we're willing to chance it.

 

Planning to either walk or ride the water taxi to Holland House on great Bay beach in St. Maarten.

 

We've booked an excursion through the cruise line in St. Kitts. I did this because I've read there's a lot of people trying to get you to hold monkeys and then make you pay them for the privilege. I think it will be an issue on the excursion, but figure I at least have some recourse if I'm bothered to the point of not being able to enjoy myself. We're also considering walking to Palm Court Gardens on our own after the excursion.

 

I'll add that, up until this cruise, we've rarely gone off on our own. From now on, that's what we plan to do. I think research is the key for being comfortable with striking out on your own.

 

You'll enjoy whatever you decide!

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1 hour ago, young_k92 said:

My husband and I rented a car on our own in St. Thomas and drove to Magens Bay. That was in 2010, and the rental office was just outside the port area. Very easy process. But be sure to book the car in the name of the person who will be most comfortable driving in very mountainous terrain and on the left side of the road. Found that out the hard way!

 

Going to Barbados in November. Planning to either walk or get a taxi on our own to and from either Brandon's beach or one of the beach clubs on Carlisle Bay. Theivery is a problem according to the state department website, but we're willing to chance it.

 

Planning to either walk or ride the water taxi to Holland House on great Bay beach in St. Maarten.

 

We've booked an excursion through the cruise line in St. Kitts. I did this because I've read there's a lot of people trying to get you to hold monkeys and then make you pay them for the privilege. I think it will be an issue on the excursion, but figure I at least have some recourse if I'm bothered to the point of not being able to enjoy myself. We're also considering walking to Palm Court Gardens on our own after the excursion.

 

I'll add that, up until this cruise, we've rarely gone off on our own. From now on, that's what we plan to do. I think research is the key for being comfortable with striking out on your own.

 

You'll enjoy whatever you decide!

We had a wonderful private group tour in St Kitts booked with Thenford Gray...no "monkey" business or concerns there.

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8 hours ago, Ashland said:

We had a wonderful private group tour in St Kitts booked with Thenford Gray...no "monkey" business or concerns there.

I have never been approached by someone with a monkey on St. Kitts where a simple "no thanks" didn't have the desired affect.

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On our very first cruise we did a mixture.  Booked first port, Falmouth Jamaica, through Resort for a Day.  It made us a little nervous as transportation was slow.

 

Second port, Garnd Cayman, we booked a tour while on board Freedom.

 

Third port, Cozumel, we got brave and took a taxi to Paradise Beach.

 

On our next two cruises we also did a mix of booked excursions and explore on our own but did lots of research before hand.

 

My advice -- Don't book every minute of every day.  Take to time to relax and explore.

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