We're planning our next cruise and it's down to 2 choices: 1 is for 10 days/7 islands and includes St. Maarten and Tortola, the other for 11 days/8 islands and includes St. Croix and Dominica in place of St. Maarten and Tortola, plus adds St. Kitts where we have already been to twice before. The price and is the same and the remaining 5 islands the same also. We're generally hikers/explorers - can anyone comment on the tradeoff of St. Maarten/Tortola for St. Croix/Dominica? The extra day at no additional cost is nice but I don't want it to be at the expense of missing good stops.
It's too bad you don't like snorkeling, Dominica is one of the best snorkels I've ever done. It's called Champagne Reef and you snorkel over vents where you can actually feel the water temperature change and if you catch the sun just right, it looks like you're in a glass of champagne. There is abundant sea life there, too. For hiking, Trafalgar Falls and the Emerald pool would be a good trip. St. Croix is not as built up as most of the tourist islands are. There are some beautiful beaches there.
However, Tortola and St. Maarten are great islands to visit as well. I'm not sure about hiking on either one, as we usually snorkel or go to the beach. We've done two great snorkels from Tortola over to near Norman's island and we did an island tour through one of the locals. St. Maarten we've done Orient Beach, Maho Beach, the beach near the docks, Marigot, a couple of snorkels-the last being at the Tiki Hut which was great, and the yacht races.
Sorry I can't comment on hiking, but I'd rather snorkel Dominica certainly is lush and different elevations/terrain. St. Croix is more like St. John in the fact that it isn't as built up as St. Thomas. It does have elevation changes and lush areas.
It's a really tough call, but I'd probably opt for the extra day/island.
I can see already that we'll lean towards the extra day. We do snorkel and there's enough time to do a morning hike and an afternoon snorkel on Dominica. Also if St. Croix is anything like St. John that'll be a nice stop as well.
Now that I'm thinking about it more, we've never had much time at St. Kitts to take the ferry over to Nevis but Celebrity gives more time on the islands than Princess so maybe that'll be an added bonus, although they always warn us that return ferrys often get cancelled if the weather is bad...and we really don't want to miss a departure.
Well, I can't help it, the extra day always wins for me On our first trip to Dominica, we did exactly that. We snorkeled in the morning, our cab driver came back and picked us up around 11 and took us up to Trafalgar Falls and the Emerald Pool. When we were there, they hadn't built the cat walk out to the snorkeling spot, so you had to walk over boulders to get there. By the time we got to the falls, I was too worn out to hike. I stayed on the observation deck and drank a bottle of water while my hubby went on the hike. He said the Emerald Pool felt great after hiking down, but then he had to hike back up and he was totally worn out! I'm glad I just sat back and watched, my feet were killing me
St. Croix is much more like St. John than St. Thomas. I really liked St. Croix and was hoping they'd add it back. I don't know why they ever stopped going there, maybe it just wasn't deep enough to handle to larger ships?
So, I've sent some e-mail to folks on Nevis asking about getting back to St. Kitts by 5PM for departure at 6PM. A ferry leaves at 4PM and takes 45 minutes to get back so that should do it, but at least 1 potential tour guide wants nothing to do with dealing with a cruiser parked at St. Kitts, claiming that there's just not enough time to accomodate a tour, which I find hard to believe. There should be at least 5 hours of tour opportunity plus an hour getting to and from the dock on Nevis. Has anyone else ever taken the ferry to Nevis while stopped at St. Kitts and had any difficulty getting back on time?
I tried to talk my hubby into a helicopter tour to Nevis, but he didn't want to do it
So the helicopter technician doesn't want anything to do with them on vacation? Reminds me of when I asked commercial divers if they went scuba diving on vacation. "Are you crazy?" was the reply. "We get as far away from diving gear as we can!"
With the cruise 5 months away it's time to start excursion planning. We're not sure what we're going to do on Nevis but we're determined to go there, even if it's only going to be a few hours walking around the port city.
Next up to decide is Barbados. First time there we did the cat cruise which was phenomenal. There's really nothing else besides the beach that interests us there, but we did find the Crane Resort that will give us use of their entire grounds, including hotel computers and beach chairs, for $45 each. The pools overlook Crane Beach and they have an elevator that brings you down there. Here's a link - check out the photo gallery. Has anyone been there?