Post your Eastern Caribbean Excursions here!!!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Debs Hill, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. lauriegs

    lauriegs proud AKV and BCV owner

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    subbing -

    we will be doing this cruise in March 2013, but will be going to Puerto Rico instead of St. Maarten..
     
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  3. pherman42wallabyway

    pherman42wallabyway Earning My Ears

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    I think our family may follow your lead and try to find Dawn Beach. Were you able to rent snorkeling equipment at the beach reasonably or did you take your own? Not sure if this is something worth purchasing at Target for CC and/or Dawn beach before our trip or if it's better to just rent?

    Thanks for your help! This is our first cruise and we're very excited and want to have the best time possible!!
     
  4. Orsino

    Orsino Mouseketeer

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    We were very excited about this excursion when signing up. Overall it was okay, but the entire operation had a bit more of a sketchy feel. The excursion starts off a bit poorly, but finishes better.

    You start on a taxi -- a big, not very well maintained 25 person taxi. This taxi is NOT owned by the excursion outfit, but are the public taxis for the island and tourists. I did not trust this taxi one bit. The bench we were on was broken on one side. The weld had snapped off and the support bar was merely sitting on top of a cross brace. Watching it as the taxi moved, I could see the bar shift and move as we hit bumps. I did not like this one bit.

    Upon arrival at the excursion location we were asked to fill out forms (standard waivers). I'm not a lawyer, but I found it odd that they would drive us to a remote location and THEN have us fill out waivers. The waivers should have been filled out while we were waiting for the excursion to start on the ship. As it is, one really isn't the position to refuse the waiver. You're already there (and the most life threatening part has already happened). Anyway, it isn't a big deal, but I found it annoying since if someone wanted to refuse the waiver, they would be stuck.

    Anyway, we had I think 42 people on this excursion and that is far too many. We got on the kayaks and there was much bumping and general confusion. Once we got started, we paddled ahead to keep away from the crowd, so I don't know how the crowd worked out, but I do feel that those in the slower kayaks missed out on much of the guided tour. The kayaking was fun for us and not too physically demanding; but as a warning I will note that several kayaks were significantly slower to getting to our destination. I don't know if it was too hard for them or not, but it is possible that an adult with a child (tandem kayaks) might not have enough upper body strength to make the trip easily.

    We got out of the kayaks and they opted for us to do the snorkel part next instead of the "hike" since some kayakers hadn't made it to the destination yet. For snorkeling there are NO fins. This didn't bother me, as lack of fins is better for the coral (not just a line, I've heard this elsewhere too); however swimming to the viewing spot must be done without fins. So that would be another warning for less energetic travelers. Snorkeling was nice. It rained a teeny bit for us, but that didn't matter since we were swimming anyway.

    After the snorkel there was a hermit crab race.

    After the hermit crabs was the "hike." Ignore the word "hike" in the excursion title. It is more of a short walk to a viewing location. It's not a bad thing, but it should not be described as a "hike."

    Then we kayaked back to the excursion location, got cleaned up, and got back on the death-trap taxis.

    We found this excursion to be just okay. It isn't terrible, but certainly not a must do.
     
  5. Trinity524

    Trinity524 DIS Veteran

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    Anybody do the Random Wind on St. Maarten? It's not a Disney Excursion.
     
  6. piglet33

    piglet33 DIS Veteran

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    I just found this thread after I created a different one asking about beaches on St. Thomas.:confused3

    Anyway, does anyone have any opinions of these beaches? Which one is closest to the Port?

    1. Secret Harbour
    2. Sapphire Beach
    3. Coki Beach

    It will be DH, myself and DD10. We want to snorkel, and the reviews on these were very good.

    Thanks!
     
  7. dennisbryce

    dennisbryce DIS Veteran

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    We did the screaming eagle in St Thomas as a family (ages 13, 14, 33, and 35) and we had a blast. There were younger and older on board and it was a blast!!! You get "SOAKED"!!!
    Next time we go, we will definately do this one again :)
     
  8. 3Goofy's

    3Goofy's Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for this review. We had seriously been considering it.
     
  9. Canadianfamily

    Canadianfamily Mouseketeer

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    Does anyone have any experiences travelling St Maarten (via taxi or otherwise) to visit both the Dutch and French sides? First on our list of things to do is a visit to Princess Juliana Airport (fingers crossed we see some big planes land and take off!) then we'd love to see more of the island, maybe grab a nice French croissant somewhere :) We're not really big beach people (a day at Castaway Cay will be our beach fix) so are more looking at shopping and exploring the scenery of the island. TIA!
     
  10. cjnix29

    cjnix29 DIS Veteran

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    Us too...I was just going to ask this. We kind of just want to "check things out", wondered if we could walk around and still see things? Not so interested in beaches, as we will be satisfied with beach at CC. We've already taken one beach vacation this summer, so we would rather see the islands. None of the excursions seem to interest us. Is this possible?
     
  11. DisneyDoc5

    DisneyDoc5 Making memories...

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    My DH and family want to do this - I am a little afraid. I don't mind getting wet, but I have seen this thing in action and it looks like it will flip over (I know it doesn't) - anyway, did you feel safe, did they discuss this with you, and how jolting was it, my mom is adventurous and will be with us, and I know they say no back issues, but she wants to do it and has a back history? Thanks for your input!!!
     
  12. kpadalik

    kpadalik DIS Veteran

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    When we went to St. Maarten a couple of years ago, we explored the French side/Marigot on our own. We got off the ship and took a water taxi over to downtown Phillipsburg (just a few minutes ride). We then walked along Front Street and then went back a couple of blocks to Back Street. It's not as touristy back there, but we found a city bus. Now keep in mind that their city bus is not the same as yours or mine...it is a small bus, no a/c, and no seatbelts (my girls couldn't believe that they didn't have to buckle up!). The busses are marked with their destination in the window. We grabbed one that said "Marigot". I think it was $2/person each way. It drove all through the island and let us off in Marigot. We met a store owner on the bus who was from the US and he told us some different places to go, etc. We walked around Marigot for a few hours, ate lunch, shopped the spice market, and hopped a bus back to Phillipsburg. If I remember correctly, the bus ride back was longer because we took a different route. We had the best time...one of our most memorable times in St. Maarten. Kind of lived like locals for the day :)
     
  13. Daniellenbella

    Daniellenbella Mouseketeer

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    We had booked the Random Wind for our Nov 2012 cruise. When I tried to confirm about 2 months out, the woman said she messed up and booked a private charter for that day. She was apologetic, refunded our deposits, offered a future discount, etc but it was a huge disappointment for us and by then, all the DCL snorkeling excursions were full. We ended up booking Captain Alan's privately, which was good, but not what we were looking forward to on the Random Wind.

    So did Random Wind mess up? or did she get an offer too good to turn down and bumped us out? Either way, I won't be trying again if we go to St. Maarten again.

    I did see a post recently that someone did go on the Random Wind, but I can't remember what thread it was on.
     
  14. scottb8888

    scottb8888 Mouseketeer

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    We vote for that as well. Anyone have any ideas?
     
  15. Canadianfamily

    Canadianfamily Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for sharing- sounds like a great day!
     
  16. cjnix29

    cjnix29 DIS Veteran

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    Has anyone just rented a car and driven around?
     
  17. beachpal

    beachpal DVC member

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    Has anyone tried the Discover Scuba excursion? :confused3
     
  18. threedisprincesses

    threedisprincesses Mouseketeer

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    My family (DH, me, DD (10, 8, & 4 at time of cruise) will be going on our first cruise next May. As this is our first cruise, I am trying to research excursions as best as I can.
    Becuase one DD is only going to be 4, it has been a challenge to try to find an excursion where everyone will have fun & be safe. We are a very active family which includes travel of all types & many hours on various types of boats & water sports. While we wouldn't mind seeing the shops, shopping is not high on the list of things we enjoy doing.
    My main concern in St. Martain. After looking into various excursions, I came to the conclusion that it may be best to rent a jeep & explore the island on our own. However, as I have began to research this, I am finding MANY warnings from people who have had issues with returning rental cars & being charged for damages that were there when they accepted the car. People have even taken pictures/video of the cars prior to accepting them, showing the damage, and are still being accused of & being charged for causing the damage.

    So for those of you who have rented a car on St. Martain, did you experience any of this type of behavior? I really don't want to have to deal with a scam while trying to get back to the ship especially on our first cruise! Should we just take taxis to where we would like to go?
    TIA!
     
  19. vrob

    vrob Earning My Ears

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    Was the boat tour a different company from the bus tour? Where did you get on the boat...at the end of the bus tour?
    We are going at the end of September and would love to do the boat and bus tour. Thanks!
     
  20. scottb8888

    scottb8888 Mouseketeer

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    We were thinking of the rain forest walking tour in San Juan. Comments any one?

    On St Thomas we are trying a day pass at the Emerald beach resort.
     
  21. jeffl

    jeffl Mouseketeer

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    Great thread as we are starting to think about what excursions we want to do on our upcoming Eastern cruise! Below is a review of the excursions we did on our last Eastern...

    St Thomas - Captain Nautica's Snorkeling Expedition
    This was the highlight of or last Eastern cruise! The 'expedition' starts with a ride in a RIB boat to Buck Island. This was my son's (8) favorite part. We skipped over (my wife would say "crashed through") the waves as we sped to the island. We even hit a light rain that felt a bit more like small hail at our speed as we approached the island. My son quickly proclaimed the ride "more fun than the Yeti (Expedition Everest)!" Then, after a short safety and basic snorkeling instruction we dove into Turtle Cove where we saw rays, several turtles and even a curious barracuda. One of the turtles surfaced right next to my daughter (11)! After about 50 minutes we got back on the boat went the the other side of the island to Shipwreck cove where we swam out and explored an old ship wreck. There was some coral (not the most colorful), but multitudes of small fish. After some shrimp and drinks on the boat, we sped back to the ship. :thumbsup2 14 thumbs up (two for each member of our party)! We would do this one again, but are thinking about the Honeymoon Bay excursion as well.

    St Maarten - DOWNHILL Rainforest Trek
    As was previously reviewed in this thread, this one was a dud. There are a couple of spectacular views that you get little time to enjoy. The bulk of the time it is a steep forced march through nondescript forest. Our guide was like a drill Sergeant (making DS cry at one point) until we were on the ride back the ship when he suddenly became friendly. Yeah... NO TIP FOR YOU! I don't see this tour on the port adventures page anyone, so maybe Disney got the message.
     

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