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About ajtraveler66

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    Southern Illinois
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    reading, traveling, writing
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  1. We have purchased the "Champagne Catamaran Sail to St. John" and are really looking forward to it. Too many have told me that St. John is a must while at port in the USVI. We do have a few questions for those of you who have done this excursion (or plan to do it soon...and know the answers). Evidently, our boat goes to Honeymoon Beach... Are there chairs/umbrellas available at the beach? What about food & beverage vendors? I know that food and beverages will be offered on our return to the cruise ship, but we need to know whether to bring our own water, etc. in the event that the beverage vendors are not nearby [We realize that this is part of the National Park....so I certainly would understand if stands are unavailable]. Our main focus, of course, is the beach and the water, but to help us better plan, the answers to these questions will be helpful. Thanks.
  2. We are going to narrow down our excursion plans in the next few days (NCL Encore--Feb 2020 -- Will be at port on Wednesday, February 12) The excursion to St John (Champagne Catamaran) looks great....and it goes to Honeymoon Beach. Then I see another excursion to St. John which will go to Trunk Bay. Both excursions look tremendous to me. There is food and drink on the way back on the Honeymoon Beach excursion. But apparently none on the excursion to Trunk Bay. Best beach wins. Food is not a factor. Your comments, please.
  3. We are trying to decide what to do while at port in Old San Juan from 5:30 to 12:00 on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. One possibility we are considering is to make reservations (if possible) at a restaurant that features the local cuisine along with other menu offerings such as lightly seasoned favorites such as steak, chicken. [Some within our party have difficulty with overly spicy foods]. If we went this way, which restaurant(s) would you suggest? Any other ideas would be appreciated. We have not ruled out just eating on the ship and then going out for a walk for an hour or so.....but it sure would be fun to sample some good local cuisine. I have heard that mofongo is a 'must'.
  4. Thanks. I didn't realize we would have that much beach time. That's pretty good. That helps a lot.
  5. There is an excellent chance that we will go to Jost Van Dyke on the Rebel Yell. However, there is one drawback--not much beach time if we take this excursion. [We will be on the NCL Encore in February... and at port in Tortola from 8am-5pm] That said, we are considering the possibility of taking a taxi or walking to one of the beaches 'on our own'. Which beach would you suggest that satisfies these criteria: 1) We would get at least 4 hours of actual beach time with food and drink available....with no fear of getting back to the boat in time. 2) We know there will be lots of people there, but the less crowded the better. 3) The obvious....a beautiful beach. Keep in mind, our biggest concern is making sure that we get back to the boat without feeling panicked or rushed. I thank you in advance for your help.
  6. We are very likely to do this excursion while at port in St. Thomas in February. The catamaran is slated to go to Honeymoon Beach. We were wondering if there were any eating/beverage facilities either on the beach or within walking distance from the beach. Thanks.
  7. We will be in Tortola in mid-February 2020 on the NCL Encore. We are starting to choose our excursions, and we are having difficulty deciding between the Gorda Baths and a trip over to Jost Van Dyke. Our only other port site (other than San Juan) will be St. Thomas. And we definitely want one good beach day either at Tortola or St. Thomas. Even though we will be on a larger cruise ship, as far as I can tell we will be the only ship at port while in Tortola. So if we choose the Baths, then hopefully it won't be that crowded. But with that said, we are still torn between the baths and Jost Van Dyke. Look forward to your input.
  8. We just booked our cruise for this February on the NCL Encore. On the main NCL page with all of the shore excursions posted, several excursions from St. Thomas to St. John are listed. However, once we registered and went to our registration, those particular excursions were not available to us for when we arrive at St. Thomas. I realize some cannot be offered because of time restraints, but that should not be the case for our day in question. I called, and I was told that they might add more excursions in the future. No disrespect to the person I talked to, but I know they don't always know everything, and I know they are constantly being flooded with other calls--and probably don't have time to dig deep into the question at hand. Does anyone have the scoop on what might be happening here?
  9. Yep......you can enjoy the cruise ship more when 3/4 of the people get off for an excursion. I'm laughing here, but it sure is the truth.
  10. We will be there from 8am until 5 pm on Thursday, February 13th. I believe we are the only ship at port that day. I've heard the gorda baths are nice.....but if it's guaranteed to be congested (see my initial post), my vote would be to do something else. But if that's what the others want to do, that's fine. [I have sort of been put in charge to do the excursion research for the group]. So, like I said...it the gorda baths are THE thing to do, then I'll go along with it if the others want to do it.
  11. We will be on the NCL Encore in February, and according to my research, that will be the only ship at port. Here are some ship excursion options that we are considering. Your input is much appreciated. Also let me know what the port area is like... different things to do after we get back from our excursion. 1) Virgin Gorda Baths: I've watched a video (24 minutues) of someone who took this excursion, and it just didn't appeal to me the way that I thought it would. It appeared to me that things were very congested, and even though the rocks looked different ... I got a very claustrophobic feel about the entire event (lots of tight squeezes plus the congestion). But if this is a must do for the other three in our party, then I will go with the flow. 2) Long Bay Beach, Beef Island: This looked like it wouldn't be too bad. 3) Island Beach Break: This looked okay, but it didn't specify a specific beach. 4) Jost Van Dyke: This looked like it might be fun. I see that they have a Soggy Dollar Bar. But hopefully the beach wouldn't be overcrowded. Since there is only one ship, I'm thinking that it wouldn't be too bad. LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR INPUT. We are open to other suggestions, but as a rule we prefer to do the cruise ship excursions.
  12. We will be on the NCL Encore in February. Our first stop is San Juan. But we don't arrive at port until 5:30 p.m. ... and the ship will depart at midnight. So we don't have much time there, and it will all be in the evening. Any suggestions for our group of 4 (60ish). We are more than happy to take on of the ship's excursions if that is our safest and best option. Any excursion you could recommend? [see thoughts in last paragraph] Also, if you think it's safe to do our own thing in the evening, what would be some good things to do relatively close to the port? All we would really care to do is possibly sample a little bit of the local cuisine....and maybe do a little browsing (possible shopping) in the local shops.
  13. I just read a post from about two months ago in which the person making the post knew that their ship would be the only ship at port that day. How does one going about finding out that information without checking every ship in the book to see if they are going to be there. Would love to have this information at my disposal because that info can be useful in determining which excursions to take/avoid. I am specifically looking at Ocho Rios.
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