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Home > Member Reviews > The Americanadians's Port Reviews of St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Nassau

The Americanadians's Port Reviews of St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Nassau
Norwegian Epic cruise in November 2012
Member Name: The Americanadians
Cruise Date: November 2012
Embarkation: Miami
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Member Review: The Americanadians's Norwegian Epic Review
St. Maarten
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
The Sea and See Island Tour was curtailed by the unavailability of the submarine, so they cut the price of the excursion in half. Although the island is very picturesque, and we were sure to take a lot of pictures, we did note the high degree of poverty of the local citizens. Their economy depends in extremely large part on tourism, and they hustle to try to get every possible dollar out of any tourist they encounter. We did a lap of the main ring road of the island. The tour guide stopped at Marigot and allowed us to do a lot of shopping, and later at Pic Paradis on the French side for a photo opportunity. From Pic Paradis, you can see the French collectivity of St. Bart's.

Here is a tip for those who plan on shopping in Marigot: Don't buy from the first merchant you encounter. You'll get better deals from the other souvenir merchants. Something else that struck us was the number of people offering their toilets for a fee (normally 50 cents). What I found funny was somebody on the Phillipsburg boardwalk coming up to us and offering to braid my wife's hair. Originally I thought this person was offering to braid (what's left of) my hair!

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St. Thomas
Coral World Tour Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
The Skyride to Paradise Point was closed for whatever reason, so we booked an alternate shore excursion at Coral World Ocean Park. The bus driver managed to navigate us successfully around the winding, hilly St. Thomas roads to and from the park. I noticed something weird about how they drive in St. Thomas: Even though they drive on the left, the steering wheels in the cars are on the left side also. This means that the driver is on the curb side of the street as they drive. That doesn't seem too safe to me, although postal and garbage drivers here in the States drive on the curb side all the time in relative safety.

The park itself was beautiful, and filled with iguanas, stingrays, iguanas, sharks, iguanas, sea turtles, iguanas, gorgeous lorikeets, and iguanas, among other flora and fauna of the Caribbean. Did I mention that there were iguanas? They were all over the place. One even interrupted a presentation on the endangered green sea turtle. As people were eating at the snack bar, iguanas walked right up to their tables. We petted the stingrays, and found out the true story of how Steve Irwin died. This is an attraction that is very much worth the time and money. After some shopping at Havensight Mall in St. Thomas, we ate one of the only two on-shore meals we had, at Wendy's. We had been advised to steer clear of local food, so we decided that Wendy's, being an international franchise, could be trusted.


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Nassau
Glass Bottom Boat Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We went on the Glass Bottom Boat, and were taken to the middle of Nassau Harbor, which is a protected sea life site by the Bahamian government. On the way, we saw numerous homes and condos on Paradise Island. Some of these homes are owned by such notables as Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey and Barry Bonds. We saw numerous different species of sea life under the boat, from fish to anemones of many different kinds. The complimentary rum punch they served on the boat was so good, we had seconds!

We then went down Bay Street and experienced the sights, sounds and smells of the busiest tourist street in the Bahamas. Bay Street is a one-way street, and is a constant traffic jam. I mentioned the anomaly of the alignment of the steering wheels on cars in St. Thomas. In Nassau, it was less evident; more than half the cars I saw there had their steering wheels on the right for driving on the left side of the street. We saw a statue of Queen Victoria in front of the Bahamian Parliament Buildings, which said she was queen and empress of the Bahamas from 1887 to 1901. After we had our lunch at Burger King (again, a trusted international franchise restaurant), we re-boarded the ship.


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