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WHStoneman

Have I become jaded?

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I must be getting a little jaded at this time in my life, but I haven't viewed a single excursion that looks exciting.  After a few cruises, they all look the same and offer no real travel dollar value.   Maybe, at the LAST minute, I might choose something but we find exploring, dining and walking to be more fulfilling.  

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Or are you doing a new itinerary and not seeing anything of interest?

New itinerary...but you can just do so many "beach" excursions.  Labadee appears to be the least interesting.  We can't wait to get to San Juan...since we know the opportunities and enjoy the city...both new and old San Juan.  Best thing are the city buses and the free trolley in town.  

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Personally, I always research all ports and look what RC offers as well as third parties.  It always depends, but I agree that I try to mix things up so it's not a stream of "beach days".

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I've never "done" anything in Labadee.  For me its just a relaxing day, a larger version of CocoCay.  There are trails up into the hills (paved), walks out to the rock formations at both ends, of course the beach...

 

The walk up through the "artisans market" can be a bit daunting to some, I'm not bothered by them.  

 

I'm not the zip line or coaster type, but both are very popular.  

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try www.shoretrips.com -they might offer something new for you to try out!

Great site. Iv always been interested in some of their volenteering options, spending time with local kids or seniors would be interesting.

Conversations with locals gives you the best feel for the area and people. Sometimes I think it's easy when doing these excursions to get caught in a bubble and never really get to know the area.

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New itinerary...but you can just do so many "beach" excursions.  Labadee appears to be the least interesting.  

 

RC has an excursion called the "Haitian Cultural Tour" that takes you to an area to the west of Labadee with a nice beach then a trip into the mountains with a brief but interesting display of Haitian history and agricultural products.  It's a nice change of pace for those of us that are bored with Labadee.

 

I really enjoyed it, we were able to get away from the crowds at Labadee, and were able to put some money into the pockets of some locals.  The tour guide spoke French and English as she was from Montreal, but the rest of the group was Haitian.

 

There was this small river that sent cold, fresh water down the mountains to the beach, and it was neat being able to swim in the place where the cold water mixed with the warm.  They were also making charcoal that day so there was the smell of burning wood lingering slightly in the air... it was just a magical day for me, one that I'll always remember.  

 

This is their Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HaitianCulturalTour/?fref=ts if you are inclined to check it out.

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I have always been told by my TA to only book shore excursions through the cruise line. Why? Most land based shore excursion companies/suppliers guarantee to get you to your ship, not sure what they do if they don't make it! I have been looking for excursions for all of my upcoming cruises, 10 of them, and like WHStoneman, I am not finding anything that appeals to me. I am not a beach person, sand fleas look at me as their next meal, I swim but choose not to. I have done parasailing, wind surfing, swimming with dolphins, rays, and sharks, helicoptered to a glacier, whale watching and Mayan ruins, so I am running out of things to do.  I love the history of the place I am visiting, I especially love trolley, train or sightseeing rides to see the port.

 

Right now I am trying to build a shore excursion guide for all ports in the Caribbean, Southern, Eastern, Western, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Mexico, Pacific Coastal and New England/Canada. I am having fun doing this and am going on the reviews and ratings of the passengers from Google, Trip Advisor, CruiseCritic and other places, who took the excursions. I am listing the shore excursion company, website, telephone number, review ratings, the shore excursions they offer, how much and how long. I am including the activity level, if I find one. I am also adding port information for all of the above listed ports, what city the port is located in, how many ships can dock there, what is at the port that a passenger can do for free or almost free. I am trying to build a shopping guide in each port, too. And last but not least I am listing all ports that have a casino, the casino rating, address, phone number, hours open, etc.

 

Obviously I don't have a life, if I have time to do this. The reason I started this is I too, couldn't find any really interesting shore excursions.

 

Candie

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I think everyone becomes jaded over time.  Familiarity allows for you to notice the flaws in anyplace.  

 

I don't spook very easily, but there are a few places that i simply do not like to be.  Falmouth would be one.  YMMV, but to me the area outside the gate is dangerous.  However, I am completely comfortable walking along in Roatan (Coxen Hole) with no concerns.

 

Belize would be another spot.  The area outside the "tourism village" is more of a turnoff to me.  I actually sat one afternoon and watched a "street pharmacist" and a police officer working together to shake down tourists.  After every sale and bust, where the officer would kindly let the tourist pay a fine and avoid arrest, they would meet up and split the proceeds from both the sale and bust.

 

Only been to St Kitts once, so we took a ship tour to get an overview.  It was great and it showed us a beautiful island.  On the way back to the port however, the driver let everyone know that he had no choice but to drop us off where we had to walk thru a market area outside the port walls.  He told us he did not consider it a safe place, and urged us to walk straight thru and get inside the port quickly.  Of course he also asked us not to mention it to the ship, as he didn't want to lose his job but his conciense wouldn't let him say nothing.

 

On the other end of the spectrum, I've walked all over Cozumel and Costa Maya/Majahual many many times and never felt unsafe or worried.  I jokingly say that here in Texas we usually consider ourselves Texans first and Americans second, so I fit in with people of the same mindset, as they mostly consider themselves Mayan first and Mexican second!!!

 

Of all the other spots I've been fortunate to visit in the Caribbean, to me its usually just common sense safety just like here in the states.  

 

Except Nassau.  Nothing good can be said about Nassau.   ;)

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I do not think the ports are really important. I really book my cruises based upon the ship and the length of time. Really the only important ports for me is the start and end ports. If I want to see ports I will fly to the port and spend several days at that location. Most of the time a cruise stop gives enough time for a few pictures, a little shopping, or food and then back to the ship. 

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I do not think the ports are really important. I really book my cruises based upon the ship and the length of time. Really the only important ports for me is the start and end ports. If I want to see ports I will fly to the port and spend several days at that location. Most of the time a cruise stop gives enough time for a few pictures, a little shopping, or food and then back to the ship.

Perhaps I've taken too many cruises, but I'm the complete opposite. The ports are the most important to me. I even cancelled a cruise on the Quantum when she was sailing out of New York in favor of the much older and not refurbished at the time Jewel because the itinerary was so much better.

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I have been researching the ports for my next 3 cruises with Belize City being one of them. I have read numerous articles on this city and every one of them has a warning. Here is one from the cruise port itself.

 

"If you decide to spend some time in Belize City, just be vigilant about your surroundings and what you're doing. The cruise ship personnel will tell you that the city isn't a safe place to visit. For the more intrepid and experienced travelers, Belize City can be an interesting experience."

 

Since I am a solo cruiser I am going to stay with a shore excursion offered from the cruise line. I just don't like that every site I read has Belize City warnings.

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I have been researching the ports for my next 3 cruises with Belize City being one of them. I have read numerous articles on this city and every one of them has a warning. Here is one from the cruise port itself.

 

"If you decide to spend some time in Belize City, just be vigilant about your surroundings and what you're doing. The cruise ship personnel will tell you that the city isn't a safe place to visit. For the more intrepid and experienced travelers, Belize City can be an interesting experience."

 

Since I am a solo cruiser I am going to stay with a shore excursion offered from the cruise line. I just don't like that every site I read has Belize City warnings.

Wise choice, Candie.

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I can see how someone maybe feels Jaded over time especially if you cruise a lot. Most beach excursions or excursions in general can have a common feel. We all feel we are being over charged sometimes but the way I see it is sometimes that little extra is for convenience and sometimes peace of mind. for the most part the details are taken care of for you. I personally book cruises for the experience on the boat and the destinations. If there is blue water I am there. I love the Carribean and want to check off as many islands as I can. Most of my cruises have been the normal key west..Cayman ..Jamaica ..Cozumel..Bahamas trips. Mostly due to cost. Live in Texas so cheaper to leave out of Galveston. This year we are flying and leaving out of Florida which opens up a little more eastern itinerary of st. Martin, Puerto Rico and labadee,Haiti I agree some places don't always feel safe but I just stay aware of my surroundings and try not to be to much of a tourist. I stay respectful ..say hello if I make Eye contact and say no thank you if approached to buy something. Most vendors are just trying to hustle to earn money. I can appreciate that. The best experiences have been trying local cuisine and swimming in that blue water I talked about. At restaurants I usually ask the waiter what their favorite dish is or what is popular on the island.

I do a little extra research and see if I can find things to due that aren't part of an excursion and other tourist have stated have been good safe experiences.

 

I agree about Jamaica and Bahamas and feeling a little more on guard but for those stops that is when I pay a little extra to be whisked away to a beach resort with free drinks and blue water of course

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