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-   -   Shore Excursions (http://www.cruisereviews.com/forum/carnival-cruise-line/16556-shore-excursions.html)

beachlover59 10-21-2007 05:30 PM

Is it best to book the excursions through Carnival, or though the independent companies? We are booked on the Victory to St. Thomas and St. Marten on 11/11 and need to book them, but having trouble deciding? Any suggesions?

beachlover59 10-21-2007 05:30 PM

Is it best to book the excursions through Carnival, or though the independent companies? We are booked on the Victory to St. Thomas and St. Marten on 11/11 and need to book them, but having trouble deciding? Any suggesions?

Bem1962 10-21-2007 05:36 PM

We were there in April, we did the Jeep tour of the island, it was nice to see the island both the nice area , and the "off the beaten path" area, not so sure we would do it again might do more on the idea of water sports or beach area tours.

beachlover59 10-21-2007 05:44 PM

We done the Jeep excursion in Cozumel a few years back... Fun, but like you said, would like more of the beach area this time. Right now I'm looking at a "3 Beach Snorkel through St. Thomas Excursions... said it meets all cruise ship times, but last 6-61/2 hours.
Ever heard of it?

TrvlPro 10-21-2007 09:05 PM

If you do any outside excursions be sure you plan well and have a contengency if you're going more than wolking distance from the ship. If a bus breaks down or some other unexpected situation occurs, the ship will not wait on you if you're not on one of their excursions. I imagine there are few things more gut-wrenching than watching your ship sail off without you onboard and with your luggage still on the ship.

Cheers, Neil

penny3333 10-22-2007 09:14 AM

Hi Beachlover59, I gather you love the beach. There are 3 really nice beaches in St. Thomas and 1 totally awesome beach in St. John. The beaches in St. Thomas that I highly recommend are Magen's Bay and Coki Beach. Sapphire Beach is absolutely beautiful, but has a lot of small rocks on the entry to the water (the north end is the best). Sapphire does have good snorkeling, though. Magen's and Coki have many more water toys available. If you truly love the beach, grab the ferry to St. John and a cab to Trunk Bay. It is an awesome beach. Don't make the trip if the weather isn't nice, but if it is, it is definitely worth the trip. There is a self-guided snorkel trail about 50 yards from the beach, fresh water showers, lockers, a couple of shops, snorkel gear rental, and a snack shop. We've also done a couple of catamaran sail/snorkel trips (through the ships) that were nice. The snorkeling in St. Thomas is much better than in St. Maarten. The two visited beaches in St. Maarten are Maho and Orient. Orient is clothing optional (just so you know) and they do walk up and down the beach. The ones that are walking, shouldn't be uncovered at all. It is a nice beach, but you have to pay to go to the restrooms. The best way is to purchase a drink pass at one of the many bars and it will include a trip to the potty. We did a couple of snorkel trips there, but nothing to write home about. The last time we were there we did the America's cup racing yachts. That was a riot. A bunch of tourists manning a racing yacht. What a hoot! Both places are good for shopping if you're into that. I hope I haven't made your decisions any harder. Have a wonderful time!

CruiseDad 10-22-2007 09:44 AM

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by beachlover59:
Is it best to book the excursions through Carnival, or though the independent companies? We are booked on the Victory to St. Thomas and St. Marten on 11/11 and need to book them, but having trouble deciding? Any suggesions? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm a firm believer, especially if you are new to an island, to stick to the Cruise Line excursions. They have been screened and so an unpleasant experience is not as likly to happen. And you are guarented to be back at the ship for sailing. These are important things. Look over this site and you can find some real bad experiences with non cruise lines bookings. Also consider that if your itinery is changed the cruise lines will refund your money or replace the excursion and an independant will probably not, even if you can reach them from a different port to cancel. There are so many things to do sponsored by the ships my advice is stick with them.

beachlover59 10-22-2007 06:15 PM

Thanks for all the information. I didn't really think about the outside companies and the problems of missing the ship!! Thanks.

I guess it is better to book direclty through the ship for that reason.

penny3333 10-24-2007 05:57 AM

Not only that, but the ships have checked out the vendors. When you're dealing with outside vendors, you have no idea what or who you are getting for your money.

LHP 10-24-2007 03:03 PM

While it is true that you save money by booking the excursions yourself....if someone is not comfortable doing this...then saving the money is not worth it.

Both ports are very "user friendly". We have done them many times. But again, do what is going to be most comfortable for you!!

St Thomas: If you are into snorkeling, Coki Beach is where everyone goes. If you are into just "beach", then I have read Megan's Beach is one place to go. Both are a simple taxi drive away and we have never had a problem getting a taxi back.

We were just on the Victory for her last New England/Canada run and had a blast. DJ Kyle in the disco ROCKS! He had to fill in at karaoke the week we were on board and we all fell in love with him. "We" being all us 50 year old women.... He now knows me as his "cruise Mom"!!!

Peter Kraft will be in the Piano Bar and he is awesome as well. A little on the shy side but EXTREMELY and GENUINELY NICE!!!

Have a great cruise!!!


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