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The Seven Seas

Your Favourite Shore Excursion

8 posts in this topic

One of my best was with Holland America in Istanbul. It was the first time I'd been to the city so decided to book an excursion to try and make the most of our time there. we had an overnight stay and were able to enjoy two full days there which was lovely. We booked the tour for the first day which took us to the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, the Topkapi Palace, and the Hippodrome. We had plenty of spare time during the full days tour which also included plenty of time at the Grand Bazaar, as well as lunch at the Four Seasons hotel. We did visit a carpet merchants for a brief talk on the products they create. Having heard numerous stories of how these visits to carpet merchants can take up half the day, pushing you to make a purchase, I was a little concerned but this was just a half hour visit, which actually proved really entertaining and the apple tea they served was excellent.

 

I love Istanbul and that tour was perfect for a first visit. That night we did our own thing in the city and had booked a restaurant for the evening. We did the same the second day, just roaming around ourselves but the tour was brilliant and I would highly recommend it.

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We have enjoyed many fabulous shore excursions (and there have been a few not so good), but if I had to choose then I could only narrow it down to two very different experiences I think...

 

Turtle Snorkel & Catamaran - Barbados

This probably would take #1 position (and we've done it twice!) - a magical experience with the kids, snorkeling over a shipwreck and then swimming with the turtles and stingrays before a lovely Caribbean lunch and a stop on Sandy Lane Beach!

 

Two Day St Petersburg Experience

VERY expensive, especially for 4 of us, and completely exhausting, but totally worth it. Perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see all of the major sights in St Petersburg (apart from Catherine Palace), so many jaw-dropping buildings, interesting stories and local food (and vodka!).

 

 

But it's really hard to overlook rainforest trekking in Costa Rica, river tubing in Dominica, RIB riding and glacier treks in Olden, The Baths at Virgin Gorda, swimming with stingrays in Grand Cayman, visiting Pompeii, Mayan ruins in Tulum, dancing horses in Jerez... Great question and it's made me reflect on many, many great memories we've made cruising!

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I'd say that I have two very memorable shore excursions, both with Royal Caribbean International.

The first was on their Alaska cruise for our honeymoon. We did the sea kayaking excursion I'm Ketchikan operated by Southeast Exposure. This involved getting on a fast little boat out to a secluded pebble beach on an island where we were kitted up with lifejackets etc. We then had the most amazing time exploring the most stunning coastline & got very close to beautiful seals & bald eagles amongst others. This was finished off with a lovely hot cider on our return.

The second was in Jamaica. We took the a combined excursion that included a dolphin experience & Dunns River Falls. We only booked the excursion for the dolphin experience initially, but the highlight turned out to be climbing up Dunns River Falls with the help of a guide. Quite challenging at times, but we managed it with lots of teamwork. We had stops to slide down a waterfall & fall backwards off the rocks into a pool (again, all very safely done with your guide). The scenery is just stunning. The falls really cannot be missed & it really was a once in a lifetime experience to climb them.

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Hi all our favourite port was in the Azores when due to strong cross winds our ship failed to dock at Horta and was redirected to a place called Praia da Vitoria in the Azores. This was 2015 and the place was amazing it was the first time P&O had called at this small but very quaint island. We had an amazing welcome from the locals who danced in the streets dressed up in costumes and played music. Everyone on our ship was so impressed we this little place that the captain contacted Head Office to report on our findings. I am pleased to say that P&O have this port listed for future port of calls. We will be visiting it March 2018 on our return from South America on Aurora

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We also liked Praia da Vitoria. We were supposed to call there on Fred Olsens Braemar last June but it was changed to an overnighter in Ponta Delgarda so we were pleased when Oriana went there last October instead of Horta due to high winds. Didn't see anyone dancing in the streets though.

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Oh wow cruisebicks, this excursion sounds like an amazing experience! Do you have any pictures of your time on the island that you would be willing to share with us? Would love to see a few of them if so.

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