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Cruising from San Juan

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15 posts
8 reviews
1 helpful vote
Cruising from San Juan
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My husband and I just booked a Carnival Cruise from San Juan in May with stops in St Thomas, Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts and St Maarten. I'd like to purchase excursions in 2-3 ports tops and do our own thing in the others. Any recommendations of which islands are easy to navigate on your own? Or what we should do at each spot? We love the local feel, are foodies and don't mind public transportation. Thanks in advance for any ideas!

Garden City...
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453 posts
332 reviews
168 helpful votes
1. Re: Cruising from San Juan
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We did a similar itinerary last year (swap St. Lucia for Martinique). On Barbados, we booked a 5 hour catamaran you with Calabaza. I highly recommend them. We booked direct through their website. On St. Marten, we also booked a driver for the day (we had 6 people in our group), direct through their website. The company is Bernards. WWW.Bernardstours.com The other 3 island excursions we booked from the ship. On St. Thomas we did the Coral Ocean Park excursion. In hind sight, I would have booked that one through a private company or just had a taxi take us there. We had too much time sitting and waiting for our ride back. I highly recommend swimming with the sea lions, it was a fun time.

Royal Tunbridge...
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1,324 posts
148 reviews
82 helpful votes
2. Re: Cruising from San Juan
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Hi, we did the same cruise but embarked in Barbados. We booked all our trips on the ship.

On St Kitts we did the train journey across the island. It was fun, but I wouldn't do it again. St Lucia we did a tour by minibus, which was very interesting and enjoyable.

St Marten, St Thomas, Puerto Rico and Dominique we did our own thing. We just wandered about, had lunch and enjoyed the islands. On St Thomas we took the cable car up to Paradise Lookout Point and it was SO worth it, absolutely stunning views. There is a restaurant up there for you to enjoy lunch and a few drinks. You can see for miles. The cable car station is only a short walk from the dock.

There are many things to do on Barbados, depends what sort of thing you are looking for. Land-based, sea-based or both! Caves to explore, gardens to view, animals to see, or just lovely beaches to laze on.

You will have a lovely time, we did!

Level Contributor
15 posts
8 reviews
1 helpful vote
3. Re: Cruising from San Juan
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Thank you so much! I looked in Calabaza and it's a little pricey. Did you feel it was worth the $?

Were you able swim with the turtles when you were on your own in Barbados, or is a tour required for that?

Edited: 8:48 pm, February 02, 2016
Garden City...
Level Contributor
453 posts
332 reviews
168 helpful votes
4. Re: Cruising from San Juan
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It was a little pricey, but totally worth it. They have snacks available when you get on the catamaran. Free flowing rum punch (and other drinks) and it includes lunch. The best thing was they took us to an area to swim with the turtles, that only a few other companies go to. At Paynes Bay, you can snorkel to the turtles without a boat. My sister wasn't comfortable with that idea, so we paid $40.00 each to be taken to the area by boat and we stopped at a shipwreck for snorkeling. Comparing the price and service of Calabaza and a no frills tour, I'd pay the money for Calabaza.

5. Re: Cruising from San Juan

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