Hello! We are cruising in October to Nassau, St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk. What do you suggest for excursion in Nassau and San Juan? As for the other two, we are probably going to take a beach break. Would that be okay to do on our own or should we book through the ship? Thanks!!
You'll be find going on your own for St. Thomas and Grand Turk.
As for Nassau - to be honest I stay aboard these days while there but you can go out to Cable Beach and buy a day pass at the casino hotels, or just head over to Paradise Island and check out Atlantis. That can get expensive though, but you can do some things there and not burn a whole in your wallet.
San Juan - depends on when your ship is in port. Are you there in the daytime or is it into the evening?
Last time in St. Thomas, we went to sapphire beach. We just took a cab. It was very uncrowded, we usually go to Coki beach, which has an eclectic crowd, but I thought the snorkeling was better (although Penny disagrees)
In Nassau we walked over to Junkanoo beach. It was a very short walk, and it's right near the area known as fish fry, where a lot of the ethnic restaurants are located...as well as Dunkin Donuts.
As Dave said... San Juan depends on your time frame. I've never really been there long enough to venture out of down town, It's really just a big loop, but the views are beautiful and you can walk down by the forts and the old gate and back around, Not really any beaches in close proximity for the time allowed there.
Never been to St. Kitts....I' m going on 9 months with out a cruise.....boo
Last time we headed to Nassau we went to the Blue Lagoon. Its a nice beach day away from the city. You can buy tickets on their website. You don't need to go through the cruise line (although you can save the cost of the taxi ride to the Blue Lagoon ferry terminal if you book through the cruiseline)
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You can easily maneuver around San Juan without much difficulty. However, as unpopular as my opinion on this issue tends to be, I never even disembark at Nassau. I would rather enjoy the less populated ship and let everyone else deal with the headache of that port.
Last edited by drlivingston; 08-11-2013 at 10:29 AM.
The first time we went there we did an excursion to Blackbeards Cay. The boat ride over was nice and the Island and beach area were nice. Last 2 times in Nassau I guess I am with some of the others and stay on board ! Nice to have the ship mostly empty and that is my day at the Pool ! I love that day and will do the same in Nov LOL Never have been over to Atlantis.
I had forgotten about blue lagoon. It's really beautiful there, but the day I went, it was too rushed. Felt like it took so long to get there and back that we only had an hour or two on the beach. I always say I'm going to stay on the ship, but the water is just so blue that I have to find a spot to swim, but of course I'm a beach bum.
Last time we were in St. Thomas we took a bus (very inexpensive) to Magen's Bay and spent some time on the beach. Later we went up to Paradise Point to view the island and ocean and have a quiet cocktail at the end of the day. Every time we had come into port we would say, "we should take the ride up for the view"; it was worth the time.
In San Juan, depending on time, a ride up and around the forts is very nice and you can jump on and off the ride along the way and see a little of Old San Juan at the same time.
In San Juan consider a tour of the rainforest "El Junque" , a tour of the Old town, or just go shopping in the wonderful shops located on those great and narrow ancient cobblestone streets.....right behind Senor Frogs by the pier! Use your browser to look up San Juan shore excursions!!
St.Thomas offers a nice beach day at Magen's Bay very affordable....and for Nassau....consider Junkanoo Beach or Cable Beach!!
Thanks for everyone's recommendations! We are back (boo!) and enjoyed all ports except for Nassau. My wife, unfortunately, got food poisoning from Wendy's the day before we left and was very sick until two hours before time to leave for airport. The doctor felt sure it was food poisoning and said if she could get through the flight she would be feeling better on Sunday which is the day we were in Nassau. Of course, we had to lie about the throwing up question and would not have done so if we felt at all like she had something contagious. We boarded the ship and she stayed in bed until Muster drill and started feeling quite a bit better that evening but still was a little drained on Sunday in Nassau so we shopped for one hour and boarded back on ship for relaxing. The rest of the trip was wonderful. Loved San Juan, walked around the wall and forts a bit, shopped and ate at Barra China's (spelling?) for some great grouper bites and a great Pina Colada. Went to Megan's Beach in St. Thomas and this has become our favorite port. My wife literally cried when viewing the scenery from Drake's Seat. Loved the beach as well. Grand Turk we just hung out a beach and pool for a while and then boarded ship for a relaxing time on our deck overlooking beautiful scenery. All in all a very nice trip!! Just as an end note we have cruised on Carnival 7 out of 8 cruises and after this trip we are switching cruise lines. We had a lovely time, but we can definitely tell that their service and entertainment has gone down just a little bit every year and is now down to a little below our standards of what we expect. We have never cruised Royal so we are thinking of trying them for our next cruise or going on another NCL. If we had young children to take with us we would definitely try Disney. Their ships looked fabulous. Maybe when we have grand kids! :)