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swantp

Excursions - Avoiding Over Inflated Official Excursion Prices And Purchasing Alcohol In Port

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Hi, We're just about to commence our second cruise in a couple of weeks to the Caribbean on board P&O's Azura, last time, three years ago we were on Ventura. Our itinerary is:-

 

Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia, Dominica, St Kitts, St Maarten, Tortola, Curacao, Bonaire and Barbados again.

When we went last time we did official excursions and I remember talking to quite a few people on board who were regular cruisers who avoided these costly trips, quite successfully, sorting themselves out elsewhere. I've looked at Liverpool Cruise Line's (who we booked with) and theirs are pretty pricey too.

Can anyone give any tips on alternative options together with any recommendations of nice places to visit in any particular Ports?

 

Also, will we be okay to purchase a bottle of alcohol in a Port to bring back on board for our cabin for personal consumption?

Thank you

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Hi  If you give some information on your interests it may help others on the forum to suggest ideas you may like.  In truth sightseeing is limited in the Caribbean, after visiiting Planatation Houses and Rum Distilleries, the odd Rain Forest/Botonical Garden and Forts you have been there and done it all . if you are beach people you are in paradise!  You don't need to book any of the ship's excursions as there are plenty of taxis and shared mini-buses to see the must see sights (they are cheap and all accept US dollars).  The exception to this is the Sugar Cane narrow gauge railway on St Kitts where the ship books the entire train so if you wish to do this you must the ship's excursion,

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Hi, We're just about to commence our second cruise in a couple of weeks to the Caribbean on board P&O's Azura, last time, three years ago we were on Ventura. Our itinerary is:-

 

Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia, Dominica, St Kitts, St Maarten, Tortola, Curacao, Bonaire and Barbados again.

When we went last time we did official excursions and I remember talking to quite a few people on board who were regular cruisers who avoided these costly trips, quite successfully, sorting themselves out elsewhere. I've looked at Liverpool Cruise Line's (who we booked with) and theirs are pretty pricey too.

Can anyone give any tips on alternative options together with any recommendations of nice places to visit in any particular Ports?

 

Also, will we be okay to purchase a bottle of alcohol in a Port to bring back on board for our cabin for personal consumption?

Thank you

 

Good afternoon Swantp.

 

Lets see what I can recommend in the way of beaches.

 

Barbados.

 

Well a great favourite of mine is over at Carlisle Bay. I don't know too much about you but if you are fit it is very walkable. Otherwise a taxi or mini bus from the port gates. Some great bars like the 'Boatyard' and 'Lobster Alive'. Both charge for sunbeds but the price does include a free alcoholic drink...

 

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Tortola

 

Best beach for fun is Cane Garden Bay. As you get off the ship you will be greeted by local guys offering a Charabanc style coach ride to Cane Garden Bay. It's the best way to do it and they bring you back as well...

 

 

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Grenada

 

A bit of a no brainer really. Head for Grande Anse Beach. It is walkable but there are also water taxis from the small harbour for a speedier journey. 

 

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Hope that helps, I'll be back in a mo.

 

Richard

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Back again, now lets look at St. Martin

 

I'd go for the fun if I were you. So many just take the water taxi into Philipsburg but there is so much more and you can always stop in Philipsburg on the way back.

 

Orient Beach on the French side of the island is popular and fun...

 

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A little health warning though, it does contain views of nudity.

 

Another beach which is equally good fun for another reason is on the Dutch side, Maho Beach...

 

 

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If your really lucky you'll get to see some really big stuff coming in...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curacao is a great place to shop, wander and soak up a few beers. Very walkable and very colourful... 

 

 

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Hope that helps. That's a nice itinerary you have there.

 

Bon voyage.

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This may help you in St. Maarten Swantp...

 

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Solent Richard, you are a star!!  Thanks for all this useful info and great pics.  I see you are from our neck of the woods, Hampshire?

 

Best wishes  :0)  swantp

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We always look at the cruise excursions and then grab a taxi or share with other passengers in a mini van. We always try and walk about 5 10 mins away from the main port and ask for a price. Last time we went to Barbados we stopped a taxi about 15 min walk from port and asked if he would take us to the places we had written down. He said he would but had to deliver a birthday cake to his aunts house if we wouldn't mind stopping there first. It was a great experience. We ended up having snacks and couple of beers with her and his cousins - lovely people - then he took us around the island for the rest of the day - at a fraction of the price. We did the same in most ports. In Tonga we were taken around by a Yorkshire man who had lived there for 10 years!

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We spent two months on Adonia (may she rest in peace) over the christmas new year period this year. One of our ports of call was St Lucia.

We booked, with four others a private tour to Hotel Chocolat. The have a website, hotelchocolat.com, and you can book a tour of their cocoa plantation and go on to their kitchen area to make your own chocolate bars from scratch. You will see from the website that the location at Boucan under one of the Pitons is unbelievable.

We stayed for lunch which was excellent, I use the excellent advisably.

The hotel, if you contact them with your cruise details will organise a taxi for you at the quay side and give you a memorable day you will be talking about for years to come, honestly!

 

It's a little expensive at around $80 plus taxi, cheaper in a taxi for six or eight, but it will be money well spent. I can't praise the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff enough. Have a great day.

 

As a separate item we did do a P&O organised tour on St Kitts. That was a cookery school Fairview guest house. The chef taught how to make genuine jerk chicken and prepare a proper caribbean menu. It was a great half day that gave an insight to domestic life. Perhaps not what you were asking for but don't overlook the better cruise line excursions.post-6167-0-80127200-1466346322_thumb.jpgpost-6167-0-60703800-1466346422_thumb.jpg

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Hi can' t offer any advise on the excursion front but can say that P&O are ok with taking alcohol back on board .We were never stopped when we had more than the odd bottle or two ...or a few ( 8 or so ) small lagers but obviously only for consumption in your cabin..

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We took alcohol onboard in Gibraltar in May on P&O and there was no problem.  There were lots of people doing the same.

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