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chuckles 01-03-2010 06:04 PM

Next month my wife and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary.We will be going on our first cruise with our three sons,[28,26,24].We have decided to go on the Emerald princess. Our ports are Princess Cays, St Maarten,St thomas,and Grand Turk. I would like to get some ideas on a couple of good excursions for my sons on a couple of these islands. When is the best time to book these excursions. One night I would like to go to the Crown Grill for supper. Do I book a reservation as soon as I get on the ship, or do it on the same day. Where is the best beach on St Thomas. I hope I didn't ask to many questions. I respect everyone's opinion.

Thank You

f-mattox 01-03-2010 11:31 PM

Congratulations on the 30th Anniversary; how wonderful that you will be spending it with your sons. It's not easy getting three adult children together for a cruise: I know--we've been trying for years!

I haven't been to any of your ports, so I can't help there. But whether you decide on Princess Excursions or go independently, you should try to book well before you go. The more popular Princess excursions fill up fast so if you go that route you should reserve space as soon as the bookings open--usually 120 days prior to your cruise.

The Crown Grill is also very popular; I would make your reservation as soon as you board to be sure you get the day and time you want. Are you doing that ON your Anniversary?

Not too many questions at all--we LOVE questions.


RUSTY57 01-04-2010 06:49 AM

We were in St. Thomas in Dec '07 and went to Trunk Bay beach on St. John. We just got a jutney/cab to the other end of the island (do not remember the name of the other pier) than took a shuttle boat to Cruz bay. Than a jutney/cab to the beach. It sounds like a lot of traveling but it is well worth the rides.The whole trip was only about 45 minutes and lots of scenery both beautiful and not. Trunk Bay beach is 1 of the top 10 beaches in the world.

penny3333 01-04-2010 10:21 AM

Congratulations on your anniversary and upcoming cruise! You have selected a fantastic ship. Here are some pictures if you'd like to take a look. I totally agree with Rusty57 on Trunk Bay. It is a beautiful beach with a self-guided snorkeling trail about 50 yards from the shore. There's plenty of shade or sun, fresh water showers, a place to grab a snack, lockers, and a couple of shops (do your shopping in St. Thomas, though).

We just returned from St. Maarten and did a nice snorkel there with Snorkel Safaris, you could probably find them on the web at It was a great excursion. They take you by water taxi to their floating dock, have equipment, lessons, and a pool if you've not snorkeled before. The drinks were reasonably priced, as well as the snacks and food. The best part was, you could stay as much or as little as you like. They'd even drop you off in town for shopping at no extra cost. The operators were very friendly. The snorkeling in Grand Turk was much better, but it was a nice way to spend a few hours.

Of course, you guessed it, we snorkeled in Grand Turk. We did our excursion there through Costa, and I don't remember the operator's name. I'm sure Princess uses the same one, though.

Princess Cays is their private island, so it's a great beach day. They have a nice bar-b-que on shore, there's some shops, and of course, they have plenty of bars. If you walk through the fence in the back of the area, there are some local vendors with typical tourist items.

If you do go to the Crown Grill, make sure one of you try the Black and Blue Onion Soup, it is fantastic! I had the petite fillet and my hubby had the lobster. The petite fillet was much better than the one I had at Ruth Chris's before we left. My hubby left nothing of his lobster, so I assume it was ok. We had no problem getting a reservation, but we were on a 10 day itinerary, not a 7, so it might be a good idea to book ahead of time. The formal nights should be your first and last at sea days. That way you won't miss the lobster in the main dining room.

Hope you have a wonderful cruise and that you enjoy Princess as much as we do. Best wishes!

chuckles 01-05-2010 05:08 AM

Thank you for your input so far. My anniversary is Feb. 10 and our cruise is Feb 21 for seven days. Penny,do they have sushi bar on the Emerald.

Thank You

SheilaB 01-05-2010 10:09 AM

Congrats on your anniversary!!! Our first cruise was to celebrate our 15th anniversary - and we fell in love with cruising! I hope you enjoy your time together with your family and have a wonderful time!

penny3333 01-05-2010 10:39 AM

I think they had a sushi bar, but am not positive. I am positive, however, that they had sushi on the buffet at least at lunch time.

pink845 01-05-2010 08:01 PM

Hey Chuckles,

Congrats on anniversary. We were just on the Emerald during Dec 20 to Dec 27. Lovely time. Lovely ship. Identical to her sister Crown Princess which we sailed in May in Eastern Med. Book the Crown Grill as soon as you board ship - that way you will be guaranteed your evening. In terms of excursions, I usually always wait until I get on the ship, however, this past xmas a lot of the popular excursions on the very same itinerary as yours (same islands) were sold out. So, in future, during high time, I will book in advance. You should be fine however in Feb (of course, I am wondering if it is spring break for some universities - best to book excursions in advance). We missed Orient Beach excursion - sold out. There were 19,000 people on St. Maarten the day we arrived. Oasis of Seas was in port as well as three other ships in addition to the Emerald. Traffic was nightmarish and we decided to stay close to ship and teenagers had a blast seadooing and along side the ship. I thought we were in an RCCL commercial. Ha Ha. Beach right there after you have taken the little water taxi $6 unlimited all day. St. Thomas we took tour of island and Magen's Bay. Wonderful vistas. Grand Turk - we snorkelled at the Beach beside the pier. We brought our own snorkelling equipment. Teenagers loved that and the waverider at the Beach. You have a lovely itinerary as did we had. Princess Cays very relaxing. Lovely beach and a nice BBQ. We did not rent clamshells because was not overly sunny. You will love the ship. Great hot tub at back of ship. No one ever there at night. It was like being in my own hot tub on my deck. Funny how no one was usuing it. Have a great time. I can't wait to sail her again.

Cruise Fanatic 01-11-2010 05:30 PM


Originally posted by chuckles:
Thank you for your input so far. My anniversary is Feb. 10 and our cruise is Feb 21 for seven days. Penny,do they have sushi bar on the Emerald.

Thank You
You will find complimentary sushi and tapas in the Vines Bar.

peter l 01-12-2010 09:10 AM

Also Chuckles you can grab the gondola to the top of Paradise Point (close to the piers) and enjoy the beautiful views of the island surroundings and enjoy a drink while relaxing at the outdoor bar. We took a cab ride round trip to Magen's bay and enjoyed the beach which is protected from the usual waves. The snorkeling isn't great but the ride there gives you some great views as you wind around the hills. This is also nice as you can take the time you want. There is a fee to enter the area and there are restaurants and bars available.

Enjoy your anniversary !


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