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Old 05-05-2013, 11:42 AM   #11
MrsBoyer428
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 92

DH and I did not book any excursions ahead of time, but here is what we did on our 7 night, EC Fantasy cruise. We just got back last Saturday.

St. Thomas:
-We started the day by going to Paradise Point. I had heard that if you don't get there right away, the line gets long, so we went pretty much as soon as we could get off the ship. I don't know that it's something we would do again since we've done it now. Once you got up there, the view was pretty spectacular, but it depended on where you were. If you climbed the stairs to the tippy tippy top, the cables and big poles that hold the cables obstructed how amazing the view probably would have been. The view is actually better if you go down the steps from the landing to where the stores are, and then go down the steps to where the restrooms and the bar is. It's down lower, but your view (particularly for pictures) will be unobstructed.
-After that, we walked "to town" and went to Magic Ice http://www.magicice.vi/ which was really neat. Halfway through your walk through is a bar where you get a shot of rum (in an ice shot glass is you ask) and you also get a shot glass to take home with you. Then you continue walking through and go down the ice slide and then you're pretty much done. We liked it, but as it was with Paradise Point, I don't know that we'd go back since it is now something we've already done.
-On the way back to the ship we stopped and did a little shopping. If you are able, and not constrained by time, walk "to town" instead of hopping on one of those pick-up trucks turned "cabs" It was nice to walk hand in hand with DH along the waterfront, and we got some neat pictures.

San Juan:
-We started the day off walking towards Castillo San Felipe del Morro. We did make a stop at La Santa Cathedral San Juan, which was pretty to look at. We spent a good chunk of time walking around del Morro. They had a map as soon as you walked in which told you the major places to go. It was really neat to see and to learn about the history of San Juan. We then walked from del Morro to San Cristobal and walked around that fortress as well. (If you have to pick between the two, go to del Morro)
-Once we got done with the two fortresses, we walked back through Old San Juan and did a little shopping. We stopped at Don Q for a drink, and then went in search of the restaurant Mojito's so we could eat Mofongo. Mofongo is mashed plantains that create a "home" for whatever you choose to have it stuffed with, chicken, beef, shrimp, codfish, etc. It was something we had seen on Food Network, and it was really yummy. Our intention after that was to go to the Bacardi factory, but the ferry was running slow, and I was really afraid of not making it back in time to board the ship. In our opinion, we'll go back to San Juan some day, so we can hit the Bacardi Factory then.

Castaway Cay:
-We started off the day by doing the Castaway Cay 5K. I walked most of it, DH ran more than I walked. Yes, we got the bibs and we also got medals. DH finished before me and got the medal, mine was sent to our stateroom.
-We went back to the ship to change and then went snorkeling. We didn't reserve this ahead of time, but had no problem getting equipment on the island. We then snorkeled for the rest of the morning, stopped for lunch, and snorkeled for the afternoon. We were able to find Mickey, Minnie, a submarine, and a shipwreck. Had we reserved in advance, we may have known that you find these items at the buoys, but we figured it out eventually. Once we found everything (along with lots of fish and sting rays) we dried off, returned our equipment, and did some shopping before getting back onto the ship.

We really enjoyed everything we did on our trip, and we saved a ton of money doing things on our own instead of paying a ton of money on excursions. On our next cruise (Fall, 2015 sometime) our excursion priorities will change, as more than likely we'll have a little one with us. But if you're thinking "I wonder if we can get away with doing excursions on our own" go for it. We walked alot, but the walking was definitely worth the money savings. Next time, I may look in to doing excursions through shoretrips.com or something, but more likely than not, I'll continue to not book through Disney.
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