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Southern Carribbean Cruise Excursions

Discussion in 'Vacation Travel Information' started by marijalas, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. marijalas

    marijalas Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We are going on a Southern Carribbean Cruise
    • Antigua.
    • Aruba.
    • Banana Coast (Trujillo)
    • Barbados.
    • Bequia.
    • Bonaire.
    • Curacao.
    • Dominica.
    Can anyone suggest excursions , or, (because ship excursions are so pricey) other ways to visit these places that will get us back to the ship on time?
    Thanks.
     
    Luvtoride likes this.
  2. Luvtoride

    Luvtoride TUG Member

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    In Aruba, visit Baby Beach. Just take a taxi or rent a car for the day. It’s only about a 30min ride from downtown but it is well worth the visit. It’s a secluded beach inlet with rental chairs and umbrellas / Palapas and a decent bar restaurant. It’s away from the main tourist areas and beaches and you pass through small towns where the locals live along the way.
    Brian


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  3. moonstone

    moonstone TUG Member

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    If you haven't looked at it already the Cruise Critic website & forums have a wealth of information on all your stops. I have seen many folk mention booking with non-ship excursion companies due to the cost savings. Our DS & DiL have done a few and never had a problem. Those companies rely on cruise ship business so make every effort to get their clients back to the ship on time.
    Here are a few; http://www.portpromotions.com/ , https://www.discountexcursions.com/ , https://www.shoretrips.com/

    On a cruise stop in Antigua a few years ago DH & I, as well as another couple we had met on board, hired a taxi driver for 4 hrs to take us on a driving tour of the island. He was very informed about the island, stopped when & where we wanted for photos or to tour Nelson's Dockyard. Even with a generous tip we saved about $100. each over the ships island tour excursion price.


    ~Diane
     
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  4. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    That is an incredible itinerary! How many days and what cruise line is it?

    I absolutely love Bequia. The ocean is beautiful and the reefs are more pristine than in other areas. I have been scuba diving since the 1990s. Most reefs are not that great anymore. We were in Bequia (actually the Grenadines) last May 2018. In the Grenadines (of which Bequia is a part), I saw a virgin reef that was just starting to grow. In all my years of diving, I had never seen a virgin reef. It was an incredible experience for me. I doubt you will find this reef since the captain of our private charter said it is his secret place. We were on a sailing catamaran with just 3 other people and the captain and chef. So we were able to visit places the cruise ships can’t get to.

    Bonaire is another incredible place. It was protected back in the 1990s and was one of the premier diving destinations. I remember seeing many turtles and beautiful reefs but I have not been there in a long time but I assume since it has been protected for so many years, that the reefs are still nice.

    In general, in the Caribbean, the excursions are going to be either snorkeling trips or island trips. I always choose the snorkeling (or scuba) trips when possible bc I am a water lover.

    I have also been to Aruba, Barbados and Curaçao. Nothing really special about those destinations but the ocean is still gorgeous.

    Dominica and Antigua are still on my To Do List.

    So my recommendation is doing as many water-related excursions as possible (snorkeling, diving, kayaking, sailing etc). That is what the Caribbean is all about.
     
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  5. marijalas

    marijalas Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Sorry, it took so long to reply. I don't know how to follow a thread or Alerts. I didn't think anyone had responded.

    Thank you for your insights.
     
  6. alwysonvac

    alwysonvac Sighting Expert TUG Lifetime Member

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  7. Janann

    Janann TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    About a line below the thread title and off to the far right, is "watch thread." Click on it to get notifications.
     
  8. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Dominica is considered the whale capital of the Caribbean. The island was heavily damaged by Hurricane Maria in September, 2017.

    Dominica Rebounding After Hurricane Maria.

    https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/dominica-rebounding-after-hurricane-maria.

    Dominica: One Year after Maria


    https://www.travelpulse.com/news/destinations/dominica-one-year-after-maria.html.

    Sperm Whales

    Sperm whales (Physefer macrocepha/us; may have been portrayed as vicious human killers in Moby Dick, but in reality they're more like shy puppies the size of a bus. Well, they're also the largest and loudest predator on earth (up to 70 feet long, 60 tons, and 230 dB!), have the largest brain in
    the animal kingdom, have 2 lb teeth, and can dive over 4000 feet deep. Don't worry though, they feed primarily on squid, and have no recorded human fatalities.

    The ocean floor along Dominica's west coast drops steeply to several thousand feet very close to shore, providing a calm and sheltered area for a large group of "resident" sperm whales to feed, mate, and socialize. Year round, they can be spotted very close to shore, cruising up and down the island's coast.

    My wife and I visited Dominica in December, 2016 prior to Hurricane Maria on a Southern Caribbean Cruise with Princess Cruise Lines. We booked a Whale Watching Tour through Princess. We boarded a Zodiac tour boat with about 12-15 others and had a fabulous experience. Saw 9 Sperm whales up close including 2 mothers with their calves. It was one of the highlights of our trip.

    Richard
     
  9. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We have been to all the destinations except Banana Coast (Trujillo), Bequia and Bonaire. We have a cruise booked that hits Bonaire for this December. We tend to always rent a car where we can. While that can be nerve wracking (especially in Barbados where they drive on the left), it is a great way to see the islands. We also sometimes just hop off the ship and take one of the local tours that usually run $25-$30pp. In Dominica we just got off the ship and shopped for Carib baskets in the small town. We have done land trips in Curacao, Aruba and Barbados. I would recommend renting a car on Curacao. This will allow you to get up to the west end of the island where the water is gorgeous and away from the cruise crowds. ATV or Jeep tours are very popular in Aruba but we always rent a car when we go to Aruba and would probably do that if a cruise ever takes us there. I think Antigua has a beach nearby where you can easily take a water taxi to get there.

    We went to Barbados by cruise a few years ago and again on a land trip last year. It is a great island. If it is beach you want, you need to head to the south or west coast. All/most local island tours will do a beach drop off at the end and let you get your own taxi to the port. This is what we did when we went there on a cruise in 2014. In 2018 we braved the left side driving and rented a car. So happy we did, but not sure we would do that for a first ever cruise stop. We would do it now though if we went back on a cruise. We loved Barbados, except perhaps for the seaweed.
     
  10. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    To the OP, I liked your cruise ports, eight (8) ports in the Southern Carribean should be a wonderful experience. What cruise line are you sailing on? I would loved to book this cruise in the future.

    I also would liked to suggest Cruise Critics to read about more information about each port of call on your Southern Carribean agenda. Your ports of call are low key and the local vendors are not as pushy at in Jamaica and the Bahamas IMO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  11. jwalk03

    jwalk03 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We went to the Boatyard in Barbados for a fun beach day. It was pretty inexpensive for admission and the foods and drinks were pretty reasonably priced.
     
  12. jwalk03

    jwalk03 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    This cruise sounds fantastic, btw! We took a Southern Caribbean Cruise that left from San Juan and went to St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, and Barbados and it was simply phenomenal. If you really want to take an awesome cruise and do some serious island hopping you just can't beat some of those San Juan departures.
     

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