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goingbroke2015

stay on ship or get off at port and explore?

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I was wondering if everyone gets off the ship at the ports to do excursions or do some of you just stay on and relax??

Thanks!

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Both, just like Biker said, depends on ship and port.  Going forward it will likely need to be a special port or one new to us to get off.  Some ports we've done numerous times and we just enjoy finding quiet spots on ship and enjoying the sea view.  Also depends who we travel with and what their plans are but we're finding if we're on a cruise we like being on the ship and if we like a particular port we'll take a land based vacation.

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I have never stayed on the ship while in port - imho there is always something interesting to see or do.  But then, I usually choose sailings for the itinerary.

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I'm not into tours or group excursions through the cruise line. If there's a good beach, I'll get off. Bermuda is a must. Private islands are a safe bet, too. Food and drinks are included, too. Staying on the ship can be a great time to relax or do the on-ship activities that are too crowded on sea days.

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Posted (edited)

I'm like several other posters. My next cruise has a stop at Coco Cay and one at Nassau. I've been to Nassau and was less than impressed. I like to stay on the ship enjoy the pool (usually less crowded) and the relative quiet for a few hours. I will be exploring CocoCay. The Oasis Lagoon looks just about my speed!

Edited by JennyB1977

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Like others say--it depends.  We often play it by ear that day depending on the weather and possbily if it looks like there are things of interest to meander around within walking distance of the pier.

I'd say maybe once ever 3 or so sailings on average, we plan some sort of "excusrion" of somethign we really want to do that we have in place before arriving and that involves taxis or trains or the like.

And I would say that for us, most of the time, in most ports, we end up getting off and walking around at our leisure for 1-4 hours.

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If it is our first or second time at port we always go ashore. (FOMO) If we have been there several times, as others have said, it's a wonderful time to enjoy the ship in peace & quiet.

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We explore for the first time in a port. If we return to a port on a subsequent cruise there would have to be something really special or new to see else we would just remain on board. Personally my ideal cruise is one without any ports of call!

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I can't imagine not going ashore -- going places is the reason we cruise, and we've got plenty of time to hang out on the ship during evenings and sea days.

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4 minutes ago, Cruise_Couple said:

 Personally my ideal cruise is one without any ports of call!

Cruises to nowhere are no longer allowed and no port repos are quite rare.

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As others have said, it depends on how many times I've been to the port and who I'm cruising with.

 

I'll be returning to Nassau in November; I've been there about 3 - 4 times so I'm familiar with it, however I decided to find something new to do. I enjoy getting off the ship for a couple hours but I do love staying on board and enjoying an empty pool. If I'm cruising with someone new, I will go through a repeat excursion for their benefit.

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We were just on Symphony last week and it was our 5th Caribbean cruise but the 1st one with no plans. We just wanted to relax. We did plan to at least get off and look around St. Thomas, but then I wasn’t feeling great and it turned into a nap day. We did exit the ship for about 90 minutes in St. Kitts just to pick up souvenirs.  It was very freeing to not have plans and to not feel guilty about staying onboard. I don’t feel like we missed out on anything. I was a bit surprised at how many people stayed on the ship.

 

On the big ships there just isn’t enough time to do everything even staying on all week. The ship was our destination this time.

 

Our next cruise is to Alaska so we plan to visit the ports because that’s why we are going.  But we picked an itinerary with 3 sea days and 3 port days which is just about right for our family. 

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In the Caribbean we rarely get off the ship.  Have been to just about all the ports at least 20 times and we love having a nearly empty ship to ourselves.  In Europe, Alaska or other "destination' cruises we definitely get off and explore.

 

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I'm a big fan of playing it by ear. The other thing is, to me, it's not an either/or thing. We have never not gone ashore at a cruise port, (after about a dozen or so cruises), but we have had ports where we have been multiple times where we only got off for a couple of hours or so. 

 

For instance, our next cruise will take us to Cozumel, Costa Maya and Roatan. We are beach people, but we figure that after two beach days in Mexico,  that three beach days in a row might be more tiring than fun. All the beaches are beautiful, and Roatan may be the prettiest of the three, but at Roatan, it costs $60 or more dollars just to get a taxi ride over to West Bay. We can do the beaches in Mexico more cheaply, so Roatan loses out. We will stay on the ship until the afternoon and then just stroll down to one of the waterside bars near the cruise port. We might be on shore for 3 to 4 hours at most and we will enjoy the relatively empty ship all morning and part of the afternoon. Plus, we'll spend a lot less. 

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59 minutes ago, goingbroke2015 said:

I was wondering if everyone gets off the ship at the ports to do excursions or do some of you just stay on and relax??

Thanks!

 

Always get off the ship. Sometimes for excursions, sometimes to meander around doing out own thing.

 

I always say I'm not getting off at San Juan. Be there so many times and with limited hours, I'd figure just sleep in and enjoy some peace and quiet.  But then, always end up going off if just to walk a few blocks to stretch the legs and see if there is something new.

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42 minutes ago, SimplyMarvie said:

I can't imagine not going ashore -- going places is the reason we cruise, and we've got plenty of time to hang out on the ship during evenings and sea days.

 

Exactly!  We love the ports.

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I haven't been cruising as much as some people, but in all my cruises, I only stayed on the ship once.  I mostly find something new to do for repeat ports. For new ports, I find something that the cruiseline doesn't offer which makes for very interesting conversation at dinner.  So much fun.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, CruisinCrow said:

 

Exactly!  We love the ports.

When we go to the Caribbean it’s mainly to get warm; we’ve been often enough that the ports, by and large, aren’t much of an attraction for us other than to get off for an hour or so to stretch our legs.  We then take advantage of the ship’s pool and being able to relax poolside without having to scavenge for a lounger.  Of course, we will do the odd private snorkel trip and cruises outside the Caribbean are a different matter; we always make arrangements to do something then.

 

I forgot to mention.... it’s snowing here again!!!  Geeez!!

Edited by d9704011
An observation....

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13 minutes ago, HBE4 said:

 

Always get off the ship. Sometimes for excursions, sometimes to meander around doing out own thing.

 

I always say I'm not getting off at San Juan. Be there so many times and with limited hours, I'd figure just sleep in and enjoy some peace and quiet.  But then, always end up going off if just to walk a few blocks to stretch the legs and see if there is something new.

 

That's us. One thing we have learned is that because we don't mind walking, we get to experience some places and people that most cruise passengers don't because they are in between the cruise port and the main tourist destinations. 

 

For instance, in Cozumel, we walk out of the RCCL cruise port, turn left and walk the mile or three to the Downtown malecon. If we are tired after we eat/drink/shop, then we can always catch a cab back to the port facility. We did the opposite in Grand Cayman. We took a taxi down to 7 Mile Beach and walked back to the port, most of the way on the beach! Those are good memories! 

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My very first cruise was pretty port intensive. I swear it hit every Caribbean island and they all started to look alike. I finally told my traveling companion tomorrow I’m staying on the ship - what a wonderful relaxing day. Pool all to myself pretty much. I just loved it. Now, I do not hesitate to skip a port I’ve been to in order to enjoy a ship day without all the crowds. 

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It depends.

 

It all depends if it is "bucket" list trip where we are going to many new ports, then we definitely get off the ship and do excursions either ship supplied or independently booked.

 

For the Caribbean many of the ports we have been to before, but we have found local "haunts".  For example in Cozumel I have found a restaurant slightly outside of the tourist district, that attract a big contigent of local clientale.  The food is excellent so after a little shopping we head there for lunch.

 

St Marteen the same (although we hire a taxi to go to the French side)

 

Grand Cayman, we do the stingray city tour (hopefully by the catarman option).  We love swimming with and feeding the stingray and it was the birthplace of this activity, due to local fishermen, so feels more authentic.

 

For Nassau, it has gone in out how we handle it.  Sometimes we stay on the ship or sometimes we walk into town and head to a local bar or the fish fry.  Just depends on our mood for that day.

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2 hours ago, SimplyMarvie said:

I can't imagine not going ashore -- going places is the reason we cruise, and we've got plenty of time to hang out on the ship during evenings and sea days.

Same here.

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Currently on Oasis and left Nassau at 3PM.  We got off after most people, went to the Pirate Museum and were back on board before noon.  We will get off at St. Thomas but not St. Martin.  To each their own choice.  If it was Europe...we would always get off...

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