We're going on the Carnival Glory in December. There will be 6 of us going. I was going to book excursions through the ship, but money is tight. When you get off the ship are there tours available at a cheaper price. I don't really want anything I have to pre book. We'll be going to St.Thomas & St. Maarten.
What sort of onshore activities interest your group? For example, beaches, swimming, snorkeling, shopping, general sightseeing/tourist attractions, boating? Were there any shore excursions that were available through the ship that interested you? Perhaps we can help you find alternatives.
I am going to St. Thomas next week on the Carnival Triumph. I was there last year on the Carnival Glory. Last year, I went on one of the shore excursions provided by the ship. It was very good, not great, but very good. It was the "5-Star Trip To Trunk Bay, St. John".
This time around, I am going to go on that ski-lift ride I saw from the cruiseship. It takes you to the top of the mountain where you can get a great view. I think the name is "St. Thomas Skyride To Paradise Point". You don't need book a shore excursion to ride on the skyride. You just have to walk down the road from the pier where your cruise ship will be docked. Maybe even get a short distance taxi ride if someone is willing to drive that short of a distance. I would think the skyride would cost less than a shore excursion (but I am not sure since I didn't have enough time last time to find out). If so, that might be something the 6 of you should consider. I hope this is some help. Have a good time on your cruise
Great idea, Frase. Baileychase, you can get some wonderful photos from that vantage point. For shopping, you can all go to the downtown area -- while they shop, you can take photos of some of the beautiful architecture in the area, and some beautiful shots of the cruise ships from across the harbor.
As for St. Maarten, there is a fairly new, modern shopping area by the pier, or you can take a quick ferry downtown for even more shopping. You can also grab a taxi to the French side of the island. I've been to St. Maarten only twice (and the first time was 10 years ago), so sorry I can't be of more help.
If you want to take some really beautiful pictures, take the ferry from St. Thomas to St. John and a cab up to Trunk Bay. Trunk Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches you'll ever see. The ferry is $6/pp, the cab is around $4.50/pp, and I believe entrance is around $2/pp. There are some fantastic photo ops to and from Trunk Bay as well. There is a beach near the pier in St. Maarten. Shopping in both St. Thomas and St. Maarten are in walking distance. Plus there will be plenty of cabs available to take you wherever you want to go. Best wishes and have a wonderful cruise!
I do understand that some cruisers like to think of every port as a place to pay for overpriced excursions. However, in most ports it is a lot cheaper (and often more fun) to just do things on your own. Keep in mind that St Thomas is part of the USA, the language is English, the currency is the dollar, and its a realtively small island. You can go anywhere with taxis (prices are posted right at the port), or, you can simply rent a car (keep in mind that they drive on the left and traffic around Charlotte Amalie can be gridlock). My point is that if you want to shop, take a taxi into town. If you want to go to the beach, take a taxi to the beach (you can go to the same beaches as the tours for less money). If you want to see the entire island, rent a car (we love the open 4wds).