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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 02-10-2009, 12:41 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Clifton Park, New York
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Found an alternative for Barbados. Outfit called Silver Moon does the same 5-hour cruise that Tiami offers, and for $10 more per person than the ship price you get a large catamaran with a maximum of 12 passengers. Reviews I found online are excellent.
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:24 AM
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I hope they are. Since it's a smaller group, they may take you to more stops or sail a little longer. Hope it's fantastic, Tiami is!
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:13 PM
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Hi Bob, I agree with most of the trips that you have been giving advice on. However, if you really want to see I once in a lifetime beach, grad a taxi in Barbados. Ask them to take you to Bottom Bay. I have paid between $60-100 to get there. It is very remote and about 45min from the ship. The price will include the taxi coming back for you later(dont pay up front). Only locals show up, been there 3 times and never more than 6-10 people ever there. It is a small beach between and below 50ft cliffs. Not good for swimming but the wind blows in from the water and it has palm trees and shade. No facilities so have your taxi stop for a few Caribs or water on the way.
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by u2jt1:
Hi Bob, I agree with most of the trips that you have been giving advice on. However, if you really want to see I once in a lifetime beach, grad a taxi in Barbados. Ask them to take you to Bottom Bay. I have paid between $60-100 to get there. It is very remote and about 45min from the ship. The price will include the taxi coming back for you later(dont pay up front). Only locals show up, been there 3 times and never more than 6-10 people ever there. It is a small beach between and below 50ft cliffs. Not good for swimming but the wind blows in from the water and it has palm trees and shade. No facilities so have your taxi stop for a few Caribs or water on the way.
Appreciate the advice, but we already have the day booked with the Silver Moon cruise and won't have enough time for anything else on Barbados. A few Caribs though????....most definately!
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:03 AM
 
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Back from the cruise. Here's a recap of it, including the excursions:

Emerald Princess: A clone of the Crown Princess in every way, a beautiful ship with a great crew, teriffic food and a delightful Italian captain. Not one thing to complain about.

Excursion on St. Kitts: We did the Mt. Kiamuiga hike, booked though the ship. It was a strenuous hike up a dormant volcano. Views were great from the very top looking down into it. Guide was fine, but the driving back and forth was terrifying. The drivers on St. Kitts are lunatics, and make NYC cabbies seem like old ladies. For that reason alone, I wouldn't do it again with the same outfit, since it was a 45-minute ride each way.

Excursion on St. Lucia: We did a expert rainforest hike offered through Jungle Tours, and it was way more than we expected. What was supposed to be about 3 hours turned into 6, including a deep rainforest hike, eating wild fruits, and a long tour of the coast. They provided lunch at a resort area and took us to a rum factory. If you like adventure, this is for you.

Excursion on Barbados: What a find here! The ship Tiami cruise excursion was booked, so we went online and found Silver Moon Cruises. For $110, or $10 more than the ship's offering, we got a catamaran with a guarantee of no more than 12 passengers, and we were all able to spread out on it while other cats around us were packed in too tight. Captain Ben of the Silver Moon II gave us a splendid tour, sailing from here to there, snorkling at a shipwreck, swimming with sea turtles, and anchored close enough for us to swim to a local beach. The crew was very attentive and provided some great food and an open bar. I can't recommend this outfit enough.

Excursion on Antigua: Paddles provided a combination kayaking through the mangroves, snorking, a boat ride to an island and a short hike. Very informative and a good deal. We hit local beach afterwards....this island if full of great beaches.

Trunk Bay: A bit of warning to those going to Trunk Bay on St. John - have a backup plan for an alternate beach. When we got there, the waves were too high to snorkel and they advised everyone not to swim. We did manage to get in the water, but there was virtually no place to lay a towel down due to the heavy surf. Other parts of St. John had calm beaches and we should have gone to one of them instead. Apparently, this happens a lot in Trunk Bay. Cost of the taxi from the port to Red Hook was $11 per person, and it was $12 round trip on the ferry to St. John.

Princess Cays: A nice spot, but not worth all the effort tendering to it. We waited about 90 minutes to get from the meeting spot on the ship to the tender boats, and another hour waiting in line to get back. Not much to do on the island except eat mediocre BBQ food and do a little snorkeling.

Weather for this trip was perfect - 80 degrees and sunny every day.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:19 AM
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Thanks for the review Bob1958, sounds wonderful. Hope you tried some of the yummy offerings at the International Cafe and the Black and Blue onion soup at the Crown Grill. Sorry to hear Trunk Bay was misbehaving, it is such a beautiful beach. I think there's another one that's nice called Honeymoon Bay that's northeast of Trunk Bay. I'm so glad that the Silver Moon Cruise was good, we've had such wonderful luck with Tiami. Did they have the bajan pepper sauce? It's so hot, but so very good. Did you get to stop at a Batik factory on your St. Kitts excursion? Sounds like the drivers there are the same as the drivers in Dominica St. Lucia is such a beautiful island, we did one of those Jeep adventures there once, not going to do that again. The hike down and back to the waterfall was too scary for me. I love Princess Cay, next to Half Moon Cay it's my favorite private island. Tendering on these mega ships is a bit of a chore, don't know how they could make it better. They run plenty of tenders, but there are so many people to shuttle. Maybe another platform on each side for docking. Hope you got to try the Sanctuary, such a peaceful escape and beautiful views. Thank you so much for taking time to post!
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by penny3333:
Thanks for the review Bob1958, sounds wonderful. Hope you tried some of the yummy offerings at the International Cafe and the Black and Blue onion soup at the Crown Grill. Sorry to hear Trunk Bay was misbehaving, it is such a beautiful beach. I think there's another one that's nice called Honeymoon Bay that's northeast of Trunk Bay. I'm so glad that the Silver Moon Cruise was good, we've had such wonderful luck with Tiami. Did they have the bajan pepper sauce? It's so hot, but so very good. Did you get to stop at a Batik factory on your St. Kitts excursion? Sounds like the drivers there are the same as the drivers in Dominica St. Lucia is such a beautiful island, we did one of those Jeep adventures there once, not going to do that again. The hike down and back to the waterfall was too scary for me. I love Princess Cay, next to Half Moon Cay it's my favorite private island. Tendering on these mega ships is a bit of a chore, don't know how they could make it better. They run plenty of tenders, but there are so many people to shuttle. Maybe another platform on each side for docking. Hope you got to try the Sanctuary, such a peaceful escape and beautiful views. Thank you so much for taking time to post!
Hi Penny! Can't wait for our next cruise, whenever that may be.

Never made it to the International Cafe or Crown Grill. We did have that pepper sauce though in a couple of places...need to have a cold drink on standby. No stops on St. Kitts since there was just enough time to get the excursion done and get back. We did do the Sanctuary one afternoon, and it was incredible....quiet, comfortable and cool, and a great deal for only $10 each for a half day.

As for the tendering, I don't think you can dock on the direct-wave side of the ship, so the only way they can make it better would be to better organize the leave times. Instead of waiting in the Princess theater, they could give you individual times when to meet at the tenders and cut an hour out of that process. It was quicker getting back.

We left 6 folks on the docks in Barbados....they missed the ship by about 10 minutes, and even though we were only 50 feet off the dock when they came running, we weren't going back. About 100 of us were on deck 16 in the back looking down on these poor folks.....kind of like the curiosity factor at a car crash. They caught up to us the next day...must have taken a flight there.
 
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