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Ticca

Advice for a newbie?

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This is our first cruise!  My family is VERY excited, but I am a little nervous.  Anyone have advice to offer?  I have been reading the blogs and I have already taken several pages of notes from what I have read.  We are traveling to San Juan and St. Maarten.  My kids, 13 and 15, want to do the Snubba experience in St. Maarten and the Canopy Tour Zipline Adventure in San Juan.  Anyone have an experience with either of those?  It sounds like the Zipline Tour is quite a distance from the port.  Should I be concerned with that experience with my kids?  I appreciate any suggestions.  Thanks!

 

 

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I'm not familiar with either of the excursions.  In San Juan we just walked in OSJ and in SXM we rented a car.  However, if you are booking the Zipline Tour though Royal, there would be no reason to worry about distance from the port because as long as the excursion is book through them, they guarantee to get you back to the ship on time.  

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In San Juan we typically walk to the forts and/or around Old San Juan and get some food as it's very walkable.  In St Maarten, we usually grab a taxi and head to the other side of the island for some quality beach time.  I've never done the tours you're referencing, but did have a friend do the ziplining while on the Symphony Presidents Cruise last week.  He really enjoyed it.  We typically book excursions on our own separate from Royal and ensure we're back in plenty of time to the ship, but one advantage is that they get you to/from places and the ship won't be leaving without you.  From the photos I saw last week, I think your kids would love the zip line tour.

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I have done the Snuba experience at St Maarten.  The water was a little cloudy because they had just had rain during the night which means run off.  However, we still had a wonderful time and got to see a lot.  The couple that run the company are amazing.  My husband had a little more challenging time this time (have done snuba 1x before) but he also didn't take a piece of advice about the mask tightening that he should have.  If you follow their instruction, you will do great!  You will get off the ship, meet the company staff, then take a short boat ride to your location.  They give instructions on the boat and you jump into the water from there.  Enjoy!

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For a 1st timer to San Juan, I would recommend just walking to the fort El Morro -- about 30 minutes.  It is well worth it, even for the kids.  There is a walkway that goes along the water to get to or from the fort that is very cool.    You should be able to locate the walkway on the maps.

For St. Maarten, I highly recommend Capt. Bob at Soualiga Destinations.  We've done Capt. Bob 3 different times and have always had a blast.  The kids will really love the speed boat, esp. if they sit up front 😀.  You snorkel at a couple of different places, go to an island with lots of iguanas, and see a jet land over your head.  He is very reliable and only a 10 minute walk from the ship.

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On 11/13/2019 at 7:51 PM, Ticca said:

This is our first cruise!  My family is VERY excited, but I am a little nervous.  Anyone have advice to offer?  I have been reading the blogs and I have already taken several pages of notes from what I have read.  We are traveling to San Juan and St. Maarten.  My kids, 13 and 15, want to do the Snubba experience in St. Maarten and the Canopy Tour Zipline Adventure in San Juan.  Anyone have an experience with either of those?  It sounds like the Zipline Tour is quite a distance from the port.  Should I be concerned with that experience with my kids?  I appreciate any suggestions.  Thanks!

 

 

One piece of advice I would give anybody about excursions in general is to choose one or two activities that you want to do and book those. The big full day excursion seems great, all these great places to see and things to do. In actuality, you will be spending a lot of time on a bus getting from one place to another. 

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On 11/13/2019 at 8:51 PM, Ticca said:

This is our first cruise!  My family is VERY excited, but I am a little nervous.  Anyone have advice to offer?  I have been reading the blogs and I have already taken several pages of notes from what I have read.  We are traveling to San Juan and St. Maarten.  My kids, 13 and 15, want to do the Snubba experience in St. Maarten and the Canopy Tour Zipline Adventure in San Juan.  Anyone have an experience with either of those?  It sounds like the Zipline Tour is quite a distance from the port.  Should I be concerned with that experience with my kids?  I appreciate any suggestions.  Thanks!

 

 

When you reach a decision, remember to book excursions online rather than on the ship.  You can download the entire excursion brochure instead of spending hours on the cruise planner going back and forth...If your selected excursions drop in price, you can cancel and rebook at the lower price, up to the cut-off time.

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