My husband and I along with our daughter (age 8) and son (age 11) will be visiting San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados at the end of June, 2008. We are a very athletic family that enjoys being active. We all love to climb, swim, and be very physical. Can anyone recommend some good shore excursions for us? We are cruising on the Royal Caribbean "Adventure of the Seas". Any help would be appreciated!
Hi Lucky Seven, welcome to Cruise-Chat. You're in for a fantastic adventure with some great ports. If you'll use your Find feature, in the upper left hand corner, and type in your ports. It will pull up all the posts made about them. You might find something that interests you and can find answers or new questions that we can try to answer. We normally do snorkeling excursions, on your itinerary my two favorite spots are Trunk Bay in St. John (St. Thomas), and the Tiami Catamaran sail/snorkel in Barbados. Best wishes for a fantastic time and once again, welcome aboard!
I agree with Penny (as always). You can never go wrong with a catamaran/snorkeling tour. Even if the snorkeling is not that great, just being on the ocean on the catamaran is worth the money. Some of them will combine the trip with a stopover at a beach, which is just fantastic.
I would also recommend horseback riding for an active family. On our southern carribean cruise, we did that in Aruba. It was the best horseback riding trip ever, along the beach. We have since booked horseback riding on every trip, even non-cruising ones, because it is so fun. In March, while cruising to Mexico, we went horseback riding in Cozumel near Mayan ruins. Very cool
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Hi MamaofEnS, I agree with your advice but its becoming harder to find such excursions as most horseback riding through the cruiselines has been eliminated after concerns for the conditions and treatment of the animals in a few locations. Some of the concern was justified but once it becomes the topic of conversation, like many things today, it becomes the focus of groups with sometimes extreme agendas. This has happened and its becoming harder to find and I fear the trend will continue. Instead of focusing on the problems that existed and trying to correct them, its become targeted for elimination everywhere in the travel industry with some early success by those that want this great activity to go away.
We have gone on a horseback tour twice. Once through Hooves at Ocho Rios (these are rescued animals, each with a story whether real or fabricated in Jamaica that is anyone's guess) but the horses were obviously well cared for, good hooves, after we rode in the ocean they were allowed time to dry off some before dry tack was put on them, etc. We went through Lucky Stables in St. Marten as it was highly recommended to us: a very sad place, they ran very late, horses in dripping tack and saddles, damaged coats and hooves.
Having said that our experience in Jamaica was so wonderful that we will continue to try to book this type of adventure, and check references where possible. Perhaps the people who had recommended Lucky Stables had a good time and were ignorant about how the horses should have been cared for. I think the horseback ride on the beach is up there in my top shore excursions ever!
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Lucky Seven - my fiancée and I are just like you, very athletic and active. We are going on the same cruise as you, and were looking for similar excursions.
For me, I'm really looking forward to one of the canopy tours. It seems to be an obstacle course in the tree tops. You climb up to the first platform, then move from tree to tree via zip lines, rope bridges, and other obstacles (all while safely in a harness). A few of the ports on the cruise offer this excursion - you need to go to royalcaribbean.com and decide which one sounds the best. Look at the difficulty level (we wanted the hardest one possible, which should still be relatively easy for people in good shape), length of time, price, and the description to decide which is best. If you do pick one, be sure to let us know how it is when you get back! Maybe someone who has done of these can offer some advice?
My second recommendation is a bike tour. From those ports, there are a few to pick from. Again, read the descriptions - a few seem relatively easy, mainly biking on flat roads. However, there was one that was specifically called "mountain biking" which looked a bit more your speed. Again, check out the full description to see if you will like it, and let us know if you do it!
Sorry I can't be more specific, but I haven't looked at the website in a while so I don't remember what the exact names of the tours were or which ports they were at.