Excursions

Excursion Focus: Peat Taylor Tours Falmouth

In:
15Oct2016

Please welcome Rick Cincotta, as our latest guest blogger.  Today, Rick is sharing his review of the Peat Taylor Tours in Falmouth while aboard Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas.

As I sat down to plan out my shore excursions for my upcoming Western Caribbean cruise on  Oasis of the Seas, one destination left me a little stumped. Falmouth, Jamaica. This recently developed port leaves a lot to be desired in the way of shore side activities, if sitting poolside at Margaritaville is not necessarily your cup of te-quil-a. In fact, many cruisers often look to this port as a day to enjoy the ship while the masses disembark for parts unknown. To be honest, that would have been exactly my plan had I not been traveling with my buddy, Mark, who was not only on his first cruise, but was also visiting Jamaica for his first time.

With that in my mind, my first thought was to look for an excursion that included Dunn’s River Falls, the infamous natural staircase waterfall, for which I have been to many times. However, my own selfishness was telling me to bypass the falls and find a tour that would include a stop at the Blue Hole, a destination that many experienced travelers have said is a must do in Jamaica. See the problem with docking in Falmouth is that you are about 45 minutes away from the major tourist attractions, which are primarily located in Ocho Rios, where only certain cruise lines (not to be named) dock. As a result, time is very much against you.

So as many of us do, I took my search to the internet to find a reputable tour operator that could bring us to both stops and ensure that we would return to the ship in time for departure. After reading many reviews and making many phone calls, I settled on using Peat Taylor Tours. After discussing my preferences with Peat, he suggested that we visit Dunn’s River Falls, the Blue Hole and Calypso River Tubing, which gave me room for pause given that we were only in port from 10 AM – 7 PM. However, Peat promised me that we would be back to the ship with plenty of time to spare to enjoy some patties and Red Stripe before setting sail. With my faith in Peat’s hands, I agreed to the $100 per person price and promptly paid my $10 deposit via Paypal.

I received a very detailed email from Peat shortly after reserving the tour, which told me to proceed to the white independent tour operator tent as soon as I could get off the ship. So Mark and I made our way to the gangway at 10:30 AM and easily located the tent, which is located outside of the pier area gates. We informed one of the representatives manning the tent that we were booked with Peat Taylor and he promptly pointed our guide (Carry) and tour van. We were only joined by one two others, which we had connected with online prior to sailing, so this was very much a “private” tour.

Once payment (cash only) was made we began our journey (11 AM for those keeping track) from the “historic” Falmouth area to Ocho Rios, where our first stop would be Dunn’s River Falls. During the 45 minute journey, our guide gave us the usual port talk about the area and various points along the way. The drive is very scenic and primarily takes you along the coast, where you can stop for some photo opportunities.

Once we arrived at Dunn’s River Falls, we were met by an attendant in the tour bus area, who provided us with our entrance wrist bands and introduced us to our guide for the falls, Wilson, who was very entertaining and full of energy (lots of singing as demonstrated below). Note: We were able to leave all of our belongings in the van and did not have to rent lockers.

After about 90 minutes of climbing, picture taking, enjoying the natural pools and saying “Ya Mon” more times than I care to remember we made it to the top of the falls.

After surviving the walk through the Craft Market on our exit we managed to get back to the tour bus with only $4 Red Stripes in on our hands (no DVDs or illegal substances here).

Back in the bus, we opted to bypass lunch (for now anyways) and make our way to Blue Hole. We arrived at Blue Hall at approximately 2 PM (three hours in and counting). This place is really spectacular and the natural beauty of the pools is not done any justice by pictures.

We were introduced to yet another tour guide, Jason, who ensured we were safely diving and took many pictures of us with our own personal cameras (no photo/DVD sales pitch). Our time here (just shy of an hour) consisted of about eight cliff jumps and rope swinging. The jumps ranged anywhere from 15 to 30 feet and really got the adrenaline pumping with the group.

One thing to note, keep your water shoes on. While they are not required, the rocks here are very much still in their natural state and there are no manmade stairs or walkways. Mark and I made the mistake of going foot commando.

Back on the van, we made the quick 15 minute ride to the Calypso River for some relaxing tubing to finish off the day. Once again, we were introduced to a new guide, George, who was extremely helpful and energetic (another a cappella singer). More importantly, he ensured that the group never got stuck and was constantly pushing our tubes to the center allowing us to drift into oblivion without worrying about getting stuck on rocks. The river has just the right current speed to keep you moving, but still providing for a very relaxing experience. Our group of four were the only ones tubing and it truly felt like we were on our secluded island.

As we hung up our tubes, a quick time check reminded us that it was now 4 PM and that we had about two hours to get back to the ship, which included the 45 minute ride back to Falmouth. However, we were starving at this point and informed Carrey that we would very much like to stop for food, but take it to go. With that we headed to Scotchies, which Carrey coined as “Jerk Center,” for some fuel for the ride back to the ship. I ordered a quarter pound of jerk chicken, a festival (Jamaican hushpuppy), rice and beans, which equated to $6. The food was excellent and we all quickly found ourselves thoroughly stuffed and snoozing on our ride back to Falmouth.

When I finally awoke, the Oasis was staring me in the face and I immediately turned to the clock to see that it was about 5:30 PM, which gave us about an hour before all aboard and clocked the tour at about six and half hours.

So now for my final thoughts. This tour currently sits at the top of my list with respect to excursions in the Western Caribbean ports of calls. The experience was top notch, from the locations visited (yes, even Dunn’s River was fun) to each of the tour guides we had along the way only to be capped by a truly fantastic authentic Jamaican meal. In addition, if you recall this tour was only $100 for three stops and six and half hours of “personal” tour time…what a bargain! To think this was a port I was going to stay on the ship and potential miss this unforgettable experience…

For anyone that has not given Jamaica the time of day on recent cruises and feels that there are no excursions worth their time or maybe is concerned with the limited amount of hours in port, I highly suggest trying this tour and can almost promise you will not return with anything but a mind and camera full of memories.   

Excursion Focus: Cozumel Food Tour

In:
04Oct2016

Thanks to Christie McLarty for joining us once again to share her review of the Cozumel Food Tour while on a recent Freedom of the Seas cruise to Cozumel!

If you are looking for something unique to do in Cozumel, you should definitely check out the food tour offered by Cozumel Chef. This two to three hour tour takes you deep into Cozumel with a couple stops at local favorite food establishments. We decided to book this tour to get a “taste” of the real Cozumel after reading great reviews online. Communication with Emily, the owner, was great and she was able to customize the tour to our particular likings.

We met Jerry, one of the tour guides, at Mega near the shopping area in Cozumel. Depending on where you dock, this could be walking distance or may require an $8 cab ride. While waiting for our transportation, Jerry talked to us about some of the local culture and the types of foods we would be trying. We wound up being the only two people that booked the tour that day, so we were able to move at our own pace. We had a cab driver who stuck with us all day.

Our first stop was to a local quesadilla place. He explained to us beforehand the two types of quesadillas we would be trying- cactus and huitlacoche. Huitlachoche is actually the fungus that grows on the outside of corn and tastes like a mushroom. Both were delicious and paired great with the home-made tomatillo sauce. Interestingly, the quesadillas were served on a corn tortilla instead of the flour tortillas that we are used to in America. We also had the option of hibiscus water, horchata, or Mexican coke to drink. My husband chose the hibiscus water, which was lightly sweet and refreshing. I chose the horchata, which was the best horchata I have ever drank. After we ate, Jerry took us to see how the food was prepared.

Our next stop was for a pulled pork taco. On the way to the restaurant, Jerry explained to us that they marinate the pork in a sour orange marinade with some sort of red paste, wrapped it in banana leaves and left it to cook all night. The pork was incredibly tender and was served with a spicy salsa, which was cut by the fresh pickled cabbage on top. We had the option of lemonade with chia seeds or several different types of beer to drink.

As we let the initial food settle, Jerry took us to a local market and showed us many of the different types of ingredients they cook with. He explained that most people go to the market every day because they do not have the means to keep food for very long or the money to buy in bulk. On the way back to the van, we picked up some tortillas that were freshly made and sprinkled them with salt. They were delicious.

The next restaurant Jerry took us to was for a very popular chicken soup with lime. He said this is the type of soup that most people would eat if they were sick. He had us taste the soup first and then mash the lime inside and taste the difference. He paired this with a local apple soda, which was very refreshing. Unfortunately, it had just started raining so it was incredibly hot and humid in the restaurant, so the hot soup really warmed me up too much. It would have been wonderful in the winter months.

The last main course stop is usually a place for a whole fried fish. This is the part of the tour that I contacted Emily about changing. We are not really fish people, and I especially did not want to eat one with the head still attached. She said it was no big deal and brought us to a shrimp taco place instead. The shrimp taco was great, but the better part came after when Jerry told us to pick out another taco on our own. My husband settled for another fried shrimp taco, but I chose the conch ceviche taco. This was easily the best thing I ate all day. The conch was fresh, not fishy, and as Jerry said “delicate”.

For dessert, the tour usually stops at a bakery. Because it was just the two of us, he gave us the option of going to the bakery or to a chocolate factory. We chose the chocolate factory and were really pleased with the decision. It appears as if this is actually a place that people pay to tour and it was included in our tour. They make all of their chocolate in house and even had us wash our hands with chocolate soap. We were brought into the gift shop where one of the employees gave us little nuggets to taste of about 15 different chocolates. The chocolate was delicious so we of course picked up some from the gift shop as souvenirs for friends and family.

The tour took just over two hours and was a really interesting way to see the “real” Cozumel beyond the tourist areas. Jerry was an excellent tour guide, spoke great English, and was an all-around great guy. Our cab driver drove us back to our cruise ship for the normal fare, which worked out perfect because we were stuffed. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone.   

Royal Caribbean offering 72-hour shore excursion sale with 20% off Caribbean, Europe and Australia tours

In:
Category: 
16Sep2016

Royal Caribbean has begun a 72-hour shore excursion sale with 20% off select tours in the Caribbean, Europe and Australia.

The excursions must be booked between September 16-18, 2016 and is valid on  on sailings that depart between September 21, 2016 and December 16, 2016.

Offer excludes sailings departing between November 18-24, 2016.

Offer applies to select standard shore excursions offered by Royal Caribbean International. Offer excludes Shuttles, Private Journeys℠, overnight tours, Multi-day Adventures and other special tours. Offer cannot be combined with any other shore excursion promotion, price program or discounted rate.

Excursion Focus: Royal Palms Beach Club in Grand Cayman

In:
08Sep2016

One of the most popular spots to visit on a Royal Caribbean cruise to Grand Cayman is Seven Mile Beach for the clear water, beautiful beach and amazing views.  Across Seven Mile Beach, you will find lots of hotels, beach bars and other establishments that offer different experiences for guests to enjoy while there.  One such location is the Royal Palms Beach Club, which can be a great spot for those looking to spend some time on Seven Mile Beach with some extras included.

The Royal Palms is a quick taxi ride away from where Royal Caribbean's tenders drop guests off.  Simply exit the tendering area, go past the shore excursion area and into the parking lot.  From there, you can take a taxi that will be a short 9 minute ride for $4 per person.

The Royal Palms has a $2 per person entrance fee, and then it is up to you to pick and choose what you want. There is plenty to see and do at Royal Palms, and this means you can customize your day here to suit your needs.

Umbrellas will cost you $15 per day, beach chairs $10 and beach cabanas are $100 for the day.  There are also other optional activities that are available to purchase, such as jet ski rentals, snorkel gear, paddleboards, parasailing and more.

The Royal Palms has a restaurant and bar, which you can order from and enjoy the food on the beach or at the bar.

There is also a pool available for use.

Thanks to Royal Caribbean Blog reader Ken Jarvis for providing these photos and details for anyone interested in checking out the Royal Palms for themselves.

Review: Beach Loungers on CocoCay

In:
07Sep2016

Please welcome guest blogger Kayla Gillman, who is here to talk about her recent visit to Royal Caribbean's private destination of CocoCay in the Bahamas.

For an upgraded beach experience on Royal Caribbean's private island Coco Cay without the cost of a cabana, you may want to consider the shaded Beach Loungers located on the South Beach of CocoCay (the beach formerly known as Barefoot Beach). 

I recently had the chance to visit the island while aboard Majesty of the Seas, and since it was my friend's first cruise, wanted to do something a little extra special during our visit.

We disembarked the ship in the morning around 10:30 AM, and made our way to the Shore Excursions desk on the island. Here, we were asked to step around to the back of the building where a tram quickly scooped us up, and brought us on our way down to the Lounger area. If you are not a fan of long walks on the beach, this would be a great option for you. However, I have found that walking down to this area of the island to be quite enjoyable as you get a chance to see the vast majority of the island along your way.

Upon arrival, we walked over to the shaded bar area where we were greeted by our attendant. She handed us our towels, and showed us which loungers were still available to us (the loungers are available on a first come; first serve basis so if you have a particular space in mind plan on getting there early).

We selected our lounger, and our attendant followed us with a cooler of water and a fruit plate. Our two beach mats were already brought out and leaning up against one side of our clamshell lounger.

We relaxed for a little bit and grabbed a Coco Loco (souvenir cup and all!) from the bar where we were first greeted by our attendant, who was available there for us the remainder of the day.

I have to say, I thought that for what we paid for two people this was an excellent value as the beach mats alone run $18 per person. We very much enjoyed floating along the beach with our drinks and relaxing in the shade of our cabanette. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a quiet, calm beach day.

It also appears that there is quite a bit of construction happening in the area – it looks like there have been some new cabana structures added to the area as well, but I did not notice them in use.

Need a break from lounging around? The excitement of the brand new Floating Bar is just a quick walk away – you can see it from your lounger!

We swung by here for a quick drink, and I have to say this is quite a welcome and fun addition to the beach.

At the end of our day, we turned our towels back in to our attendant and wandered our way back down the beach and made our way back to the tenders. Looking forward to the chance to book one of these loungers again and enjoy a fun day on Coco Cay!

Beach Loungers may be reserved ahead of your cruise via the Cruise Planner. They run $59.00 for two people, and included you receive 2 floating beach mats, 2 bottles of water, towels, and transportation in addition to the reserved shaded "clamshell" loungers. Keep in mind when reserving the loungers, that you will only need to book under one person – this will cover the admission for two people to your lounger.

 

#TeamCocoCay #ClubCocoLoco #SorryMatt

Is a Royal Caribbean Walt Disney World shore excursion a good idea?

In:
Category: 
13Jul2016

There are many Royal Caribbean cruises that stop in Port Canaveral and offer shore excursions to Walt Disney World. Often, guests wonder if it is worth it to take these trips and how much they can really do in the time they have.  The super-talented Laurel Stewart from TouringPlans.com wrote this guest post about visiting Walt Disney World for those on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

If you’re cruising between a US East Coast port like New York City or Baltimore and the Caribbean, you may have noticed that Port Canaveral is a stop on your journey. Two of the many port excursions offered here are PC11 - Disney World Express Service (Disney World Express Service - PC11) and PC50 - A Day at Walt Disney World (A Day at Disney World - PC50). We’ll take a look at the differences between PC11 and PC50 and try to help you decide if they are worth your time and money.

Photo by Richard Macko

First the basics. Walt Disney World is not in Port Canaveral. The trip from your ship to the Walt Disney World resort is around an hour (more with traffic) along FL-528. At least two hours of your port excursion will be spent on a bus traveling to and from Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney World is four theme parks, two water parks, and the Disney Springs shopping area. There is no admission cost to visit Disney Springs. Guests who choose the Royal Caribbean Walt Disney World port excursions will be dropped off at Disney’s Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC). The TTC is a monorail or ferry ride to the Magic Kingdom, a monorail trip to EPCOT, and the bus transportation hub to all other resort areas. If you plan to visit a park other than Magic Kingdom, you’ll need to factor transportation time (and money, if you choose to take a cab or Uber instead of a Disney bus) into your plans.

Admission prices vary at the parks from day to day, and single day admission to Magic Kingdom is higher than to the other three theme parks. Water park admission costs less than theme park admission. If your excursion does not include park admission, check out https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/tickets/ for pricing.

If you’re interested in visiting Walt Disney World during your cruise, you might wonder how much you and your family can see and do in one day. TouringPlans.com offers tools for planning trips from a one day visit to any length of vacation to help you make the most of your time. A tool that is particularly useful to guests on an excursion is a customized touring plan. As part of the TouringPlans app, Lines, and online at TouringPlans.com, subscribers can enter the dates and times of their visits, schedule time for meals, breaks, and shows, and add the attractions they want to see, and TouringPlans will arrange them in the best order to save the most time in line. Doing this ahead of time, before booking a Walt Disney World excursion, will let you see how much you’ll be able to do during your day in the park.

Let’s look at the differences between the two excursions:

 PC11PC50
Cost per person$39$134
Duration10 hours9 hours
Time in park (approximate)7 hours6 hours
Includes admissionnoyes
Meals includednono

So what can you do in 6 hours at Magic Kingdom? Check out a sample day at http://touringplans.com/plans/print?id=2020916. This plan was optimized for a particular day at Magic Kingdom, with moderate walking speed, and no FastPass+ reservations. This includes the three “Disney Mountains,” three more attractions, and a break for lunch.

Recommendations

Photo by Richard Macko

If this is your only chance to visit Walt Disney World for awhile, these opportunities are a decent way to get a taste of the vast resort. But be aware, 6-7 hours is not much time to spend in the park. The cost of transportation is reasonable given the distance traveled, but paying for entire day’s admission (and single day admission is the most expensive admission on a per day basis) is somewhat expensive, not to mention that you’ll need to budget for meals during the day.

If you do decide to visit, we recommend PC11 and purchasing your park admission before your cruise. Why? Because you’ll be able to make FastPass+ reservations ahead of time, which will definitely save you time in line during your short trip. You should also create a MyDisneyExperience account, download Disney’s app, and link your park admission to your accounts before your cruise.

Other options

Book PC11 and visit a water park instead. This is less expensive. Allow one additional hour for transportation between the TTC and water parks, and pack a dry change of clothes.

Book PC11 and visit Disney Springs instead. Disney Springs offers dining and shopping in a themed environment without an admission cost. Again, allow time for transportation.

Visit Kennedy Space Center instead. KSC is much closer to Port Canaveral and can easily be experienced in a day.

For all Port Canaveral/Orlando Shore Excursions, check out these Royal Caribbean options.

TouringPlans loves RoyalCaribbeanBlog! Click this link for a special RoyalCaribbeanBlog readers discount. Discount code is automatically applied and is good for new subscriptions only.

Excursion Focus: Le Galion Beach in St. Martin

In:
09Jun2016

Picking the right shore excursion for families is always a challenge because depending on the age of your kids, what is appealing to one family might be completely uninteresting to another family.  When you have young kids, the choices become even more complicated.

Just over the French side of St. Martin is a small beach that offers the perfect kind of beach day for young children or anyone that enjoys going to the beach without waves.

Description

The appeal of Le Galion beach is a horseshoe shaped beach that has little to no waves, which makes it perfect for kids that cannot swim or are not strong swimmers. 

The beach is a short drive from where Royal Caribbean docks its cruise ships and just over the French side of the border.  Upon arrival, there is a large cove surrounded by a beach that provides easy access to the water.

There is no cost to access the beach, but there are charges to use the chairs and/or umbrellas (5 Euros for either).  The beach is frequented by tourists and locals alike, with locals usually setting up further down the beach where they can just put out a beach blanket.

The chairs and umbrellas are provided by the nearby bar and restaurant, which offers waiter service and has a full bar menu, as well as a good-sized lunch menu.  

Over the years, the amenities and offerings at Le Galion beach have been improved and there are diving platforms (complimentary), kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skis and more available for hourly charges.

Comments

Le Galion is a quiet family beach that is great for non-swimmers and kids to have a relaxing day.  The beach is a shallow lagoon, and adults can walk out many dozens of yards from shore and not have the water go past their waist.  

Le Galion also tends not to get as crowded as some other beaches frequented by cruise guests.  It is a laid back beach experience that offers just enough for kids to do, without relying on a ton of water toys that can turn the ocean into a virtual playground.

We have brought our children to Le Galion for years because the beach experience is perfect for kids that just want to splash around without fear of getting knocked over by waves or suddenly finding them in deeper water than before.

The cost to use the beach chairs and umbrellas is fair and waiter service that brings drinks and food is pretty good.  There is nothing else around, so you are dependent on the beach bar for food and drink, but their prices are fair for the French side of the island and the staff speak English and French fluently.

If you want a quiet, relaxing beach that has little-to-no waves, then Le Galion beach is perfect for you.

Excursion Focus: Castillo El Morro and San Cristóbal in San Juan, Puerto Rico

In:
28May2016

Exploring a port of call's history can be just as interesting and fun as spalshing at the beach or enjoying local cuisine.  In Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, history comes in spades and among the most popular historical spots tourists can see are the two old Spanish forts that guard the city,  Castillo San Felipe del Morro (El Morro) and San Cristóbal.

These two forts are among the most popular historical sites to see in Old San Juan, and they offer an intriguing look back at the island's rich history as well as provide amazing views of the surrounding area.

Description

The two Spanish forts are located on the north side of Old San Juan, and are within walking distance of each other.

El Morro is the more famous of the two forts, as it guards the entrance to the harbor, while San Cristóbal was built to defend the city itself.

The city of San Juan provides a free shuttle from the cruise area up to the forts, although the distance is walkable by most people and there is a lot to see and do along the way.

Starting with El Morro, the fort is set opposite a rather large grassy area, where you will often spot locals and tourists flying kits, taking dogs for walks and otherwise enjoying the wide open space.

Like San Cristóbal, once inside the fort, guests are able to tour the fort on their own and explore every aspect of it. The park staff do offer guided tours at certain times that narrate the experience. Nonetheless, you should feel free to explore the fort on your own, as there is plenty of signs to help tell the fort's story.

There are many areas of the fort to explore, as El Morro is rather large and offers views of the entrance to the harbor, the ocean and the surrounding areas.

Admission to El Morro gets you admission to San Cristóbal as well (and vice versa).

After a walk to San Cristóbal, you will find a fort similar in nature to El Morro, but this fort offers better views of the city and harbor.

San Cristóbal was built to defend the city against land based attacks and is larger than El Morro. In fact, it is the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World.

Like El Morro, San Cristóbal provides a self-guided tour of the facility and there are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore.

If your Royal Caribbean ship happens to be in port during the evening, El Morro is lit up quite nicely and provides even more beautiful photo opportunities.

Comments

The two Old San Juan forts are among the most famous historical sites in Old San Juan and they are to Old San Juan what the Statue of Liberty might be to New York City.

There are two good tips we can offer for seeing the forts: try to go there early in the day before the temperatures rise and take the complimentary trolley from the cruise ship terminal.

Since Puerto Rico is in the tropics, it tends to get quite hot and humid in the afternoon, especially between the months of March through November.  Given that the fort is almost entirely outdoors, ideally you will visit it in the morning before it gets too hot outside.

If you are wondering about which fort to see if you only have time or energy for one, El Morro tends to be the better choice for its photo opportunities and slightly smaller footprint. Keep in mind that admission to one fort gets you into both (for up to 7 days), so there is no financial reason not to see both.

Be sure to bring your cameras to either fort, because the views offered are really quite impressive.  

Both fortifications can be explored everyday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm either on your own or on one of the ranger led programs held throughout the week.

Cost: $7 per adult. Children 15 and under are free.

Excursion Focus: Caribbean Scenic Railway Tour in St. Kitts

In:
23May2016

When you cruise to enough Caribbean islands, a lot of the shore excursions start to sound the same: swim here, hike there, see that.  They are certainly fun, but many of those excursions start to feel all the same.

For those looking to try something different or if you want to see a whole different side of St. Kitts, the Caribbean Scenic Railway Tour is for you.

Description

The Caribbean Scenic Railway Tour is a tour of the backcountry of St. Kitts via a relic from the days when sugar cane was the the industry in St. Kitts (tourism replaced it).

Guests can board an old railway train for a sightseeing tour of a good portion of St. Kitts and its beautiful landscape.

The train is comprised of about a half-dozen two-deck railcars, that provide views of fields, mountains, oceans, neighboring islands and anything else along the way.

The train is a one way tour, so a bus will bring you to one stop or the other (depending on where the train ended up last) and guests board the train for the tour. The same bus will meet you at the conclusion of the train tour to bring you back to the ship.

The train cars are double-deckers, with the top deck being open air and offering the best views.  The bottom deck is air conditioned and also has a restroom.  While the bottom deck of the train car features large windows, more often than not, your view is blocked by vegetation.

The train crawls down the 30-miles of track to provide plenty of time to see a lot of St. Kitts.  

Since this train was built to transport sugar cane from the fields to the processing facility, you will not be seeing much of St. Kitts that tourists get to see.  That means you will get to see St. Kitts in her natural environment.

Along the way, guests are served unlimited soft drinks and cocktails.  There is a waitress on each car that takes drink orders, makes them and then repeats until literally no one else wants anything.  

Throughout the ride, a tour guide will narrate the journey and share information on St. Kitts' history, local lore and anecdotes.

The train will take you across varied landscapes and you see quite a bit of the island's natural beauty.

Comments

What struck me about the Caribbean Scenic Railway Tour and why we booked it is because it was a fairly unique shore excursion. Royal Caribbean claims this is the West Indies' last railway.

There is no question that the tour lives up to its promise of showcasing a large swath of St. Kitts and seeing the mountains, valleys, bridges and beaches are quite lovely.

We also picked this excursion because we were traveling with 1- and 5-year old children, and they certainly were able to enjoy the experience.

The 30-mile track and slow pace means the ride will take about two hours.  I enjoyed the ride, but when it was over I was ready to get off and do something else.

You will see a lot of natural beauty but not much in the way of towns or villages.  This train was originally built to move sugar easily, not with tourists in mind.  I was expecting to see more of the island that might appeal to see later, but other than a glimpse of Brimstone Fortress, there was not much in that way.

Still, if you want a relaxing and easy way to see St. Kitts, it is difficult to not to go with this tour.  It is quaint, beautiful and just the right pace for almost anyone.

Cost: $109 per adult or $59 for children. Infants are free.

Royal Caribbean partners with National Geographic to offer high quality equipment on select shore excursions

In:
Category: 
31Mar2016

Royal Caribbean is offering guests the chance to explore coral reefs, shipwrecks and underwater volcanoes with the top-quality gear of National Geographic Snorkeler.

Seventeen new Royal Caribbean shore excursions will offer these National Geographic Snorkeler tours. These tours can be reserved before you sail on Cruise Planner, the online booking tool, or onboard the ship.

National Geographic touts their equipment as, "high-quality, performance dive snorkeling equipment."

In addition, guests can purchase their own National Geographic Snorkel set onboard a Royal Caribbean ship.  Guests that book a tour featuring National Geographic Snorkeler equipment will enjoy 10% off the gear at the Dive Shop and at the Shore Excursions Desk.

Here are some examples of the National Geographic Snorkeler excursions

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