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Old 05-14-2009, 09:56 AM
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Hi Everyone,

I'm going on my very first cruise this Sunday on Freedom of the Seas and I've decided to play it safe with my excursions and book through the cruise line.

We are in St. Thomas from 11AM until 7PM and I have booked my partner and I in with an excursion through the ship.. It blocked off from 1PM until 5:45PM in the system.

My question - we would very much like to squeeze in the Paradise Point skyline to snap a few photos, etc before we get started at 1PM on our excursion. Is this realistic? It looks like it's a very short walk over to the base from the ship.

Also, we've heard that those who aren't booked on RCCI excursions may not be the first people off the ship and since ours doesn't start until 1PM, should be just bite the bullet and shell out the extra few dollars to book Paradise Point through the cruise line to ensure we get off the ship?

This one seems rather self-directive and so I'm a bit confused as to what the difference/benefit is to booking it through the ship versus paying at the base, other than being able to be prioritized off the ship (which is pretty important if this is true and we've got a tight timeframe). We're working with under two hours if we're lucky to dart up there and back to meet the afternoon excursion.

Appreciate your opinions and feedback.



Thanks everyone!
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:56 AM
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Join Date: May 2009
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Hi Everyone,

I'm going on my very first cruise this Sunday on Freedom of the Seas and I've decided to play it safe with my excursions and book through the cruise line.

We are in St. Thomas from 11AM until 7PM and I have booked my partner and I in with an excursion through the ship.. It blocked off from 1PM until 5:45PM in the system.

My question - we would very much like to squeeze in the Paradise Point skyline to snap a few photos, etc before we get started at 1PM on our excursion. Is this realistic? It looks like it's a very short walk over to the base from the ship.

Also, we've heard that those who aren't booked on RCCI excursions may not be the first people off the ship and since ours doesn't start until 1PM, should be just bite the bullet and shell out the extra few dollars to book Paradise Point through the cruise line to ensure we get off the ship?

This one seems rather self-directive and so I'm a bit confused as to what the difference/benefit is to booking it through the ship versus paying at the base, other than being able to be prioritized off the ship (which is pretty important if this is true and we've got a tight timeframe). We're working with under two hours if we're lucky to dart up there and back to meet the afternoon excursion.

Appreciate your opinions and feedback.



Thanks everyone!
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:41 PM
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You should have enough time to get it in. In fact, your tour guide might even drop you there afterwards. I would think that you could do it in the morning, though.

Which excursion did you book? If it's one that does any type of tour of the island, they may take you to some great picture areas.
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:54 PM
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Lyn Anne-

Your working with less than 2 hours. It can take time to get the number of people the Freedom can carry off of a ship. If the ship docks on time and you are there at 11AM, assume at least 45 mins to get off the ship puts you at 11:45. You could get lucky and get off much quicker than that, but you never know. You also need to be at your excursion meeting point (normally at the ship) at least 15 mins before the scheduled time. That gives you roughly an hour to get your photos and get back to the ship. Its doable if you watch your time and hurry. Your other option would be to take the pictures AFTER your excursion. But you should be on the ship no later than 6:30PM, so that gives you even less time. If you are lucky, the ship will dock a little earlier and give you extra time.

As far as the ship giving priority to ship excursions, I wouldn't worry about it too much. St Thomas is a docking port. They are going to clear the ship and open the gangways and people will all start getting off the ship. I would just be ready to go and head to the gang way when they call that the ship has cleared customs and you can disembark. If this were a tendering port, then I would say you have an issue as 3500 people take a LONG time to tender and they WOULD make sure their tours get the first tenders. Yes, this is wrong but it gives them an excuse to charge so much for their tours. (The other benefit to ship booked tours are having things arranged for you and that if something happens while on a ship's tour that delays the return to the ship, the ship is supposed to "wait" for you. If you are on your own, they won't wait because they have no idea on where you are.
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:56 PM
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Hi Penny,

Thanks for the reply! The other excursion is to St. John's (Trunk Bay). It was a tough decision for us here, but we figured that with all of the places in the world that we still want to see, the likelihood of visiting St. Thomas again is probably not high. We kind of want the best of both worlds - that amazing looking beach and some nice photos from the top.

I'm glad we'll be able to squeeze it in!

Thanks Penny!
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:17 PM
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Lyn Anne, this is just my opinion, but St. John is a much prettier island than St. Thomas. The beaches and views there are amazing. I hope the tour would include either Trunk Bay or Caneel Bay or Honeymoon Bay, they are some the most pristene beautiful beaches I've ever seen. I hope you'll get back to St. Thomas, though. Cokie, Meagan's and Sapphire are pretty, too. You can also get some awesome pictures of St. Thomas on board.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:32 PM
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Hey, thanks Penny. The thing I'm most excited about on the entire cruise is that excursion to Trunk Bay! It's basically all I've talked about now for a week. Soon..very soon...
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Old 05-15-2009, 10:28 AM
 
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Lyn Anne I'm sure you'll return to StThomas again on another cruise and you can do justice to Paradise Point at that time. We finally did Paradise Point this last time in April and are glad we did. We had been to St John's before and after hearing so much about Magan's Beach, we did that and did not regret it one bit; it is a most beautiful beach and we hated to leave it but wanted to take in the Point this time around. It was georgeous and spent more that 1 1/2 hours up there taking pictures and enjoying a casual cocktail while just looking out at the islands and all. We were also treated to a front that came through while on top and watched the rain come off the ocean and consume the island and then pass on by. Enjoy your time.

Peterl
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:28 AM
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Bon Voyage, have a drink for me
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Old 05-15-2009, 02:24 PM
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Unless the ship gets in port early, and gets cleared early, I think you'd be cutting it a little close. I hope it works for you though.

Bon Voyage

Dwayne
 
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