Aruba was the first port and since it was my 5th cruise to Aruba we walked across the street from the cruise pier to the bus station and caught the No. 10 bus to Eagle Beach where the driver nicely let us know when our stop came. Had a very pleasant day on a gorgeous beach under a tree in a lounger. Beautiful water, nice swimming, no problems, and not crowded. Saw some fellow passengers easily recognized by their Celebrity beach towels. We weren't the only ones to figure out that a $2.60 round trip pp bus ride to the beach was more appealing than a hectic tour of a rather flat island. Several other nice beaches on Aruba also so I recommend this to anyone with a modicum of adventure, an orientation toward not overspending, and the desire for a relaxing day spent mostly horizontal in a beautiful setting.
Nice port for just walking around and doing some shopping if so inclined. We got off the ship and walked across the bridge to the shopping area. After buying some stuff we took the free ferry across the canal back to the boat. After getting somewhat sunburned at Palm Beach in Aruba yesterday, we didn't want to go to the beach today, although some in our group did.
Walked off the ship mid morning after hitting the gym and took a taxi van with 2 other miscellaneous couples to Valley Church beach. As I recall it was about $10 per passenger round trip. Nice thing was the driver said he would pick us up when we wanted and we needn't pay him until be brought us back to the ship. Good insurance that we wouldn't be stranded and miss the boat.
Valley Church is a nice beach with lots of shade trees, a public restroom, a lively bar called the Nest, and loungers for rent for $5. It rained when we first arrived at the beach but the storm passed through and it was nice after that.
Since we're not big on organized tours, this beach day was another pleasant diversion from shipboard life.
This was my second visit to Grenada and still have spices and nutmeg from my last visit a few years ago.
Walked from the ship about a half mile to the main shopping area. My girl friend shopped while I hung out, then we walked along the boardwalk fronting the beach. No tour, no hassles, no problems. Third visit to St. Maarten.
It was pouring rain at our last cruise port, St. Thomas. We decided not to cab into the main shopping area as planned and instead, made good use of the large golf umbrellas in our stateroom and walked across the way to the Havenhurst Mall where we bought some jewelry, dresses, and booze. Interestingly, the Scotch I bought cost about 25% more than what I could have bought it for in St. Maarten. Next time I'm buying my booze in St. Maarten. Dresses, however, were less expensive in St. Thomas.
Our friends who had booked tours or gone to Magen's Beach had their day pretty much spoiled by the rain. Guess that's one of the problems with pre booking tours. You never know about the weather. We saw passengers coming back in taxis around noon with wet beach towels wrapped around them glad to be back at the ship.
This was about my 10th visit to St. Thomas (including a previous scuba diving trip at the other end of the island) so I did not need to tour the island.