British Virgin Islands (Tortola) : We took the RC excursion to The Baths at Virgin Gorda. A speedy catamaran boat ride to the island and then a bus trip to the Baths. A short hike down the hill took us to the shore and then a walk through the boulders. You have to be able to duck under rocks and scramble over some rocks a bit, but the water is no higher than knee deep. A pretty place and worth the trip. On the boat ride back everyone was treated to a cup of Rum and CocaCola. We arrived back in time to do some shopping in town.
Not our favorite place. Hoards of taxi drivers descend on passengers once you arrive and throughout the day. We walked up to St. Johns Cathedral for some photos. It was once a beautiful church but it's in bad shape now and under restoration. We returned to portside and forged our way through the taxi hawkers to do a little shopping, but quickly returned to the ship.
Very nice island. We took the RC Island Tour bus excursion and really enjoyed this. It takes you on a loop around the island and crosses the border to the French side. The tour bus stops in town for you to do some shopping and visit the vendors at the marketplace. Be sure to do some bargaining as the price goes down as you walk away. It's an interesting place with all the signage in French. Back on the bus and the tour returns you to Philipsburg. The driver let us off close to town for shopping and we walked about a mile back to the ship.
We took the RC tour to St. John which involved a short boat ride over to the island, an open air tour bus takes you on a loop around the island and stops at several of the beaches and overlooks so you can spend a few minutes taking photos and enjoying the beach. We enjoyed this trip and the driver had some interesting and funny commentary along the route. You arrive back at the dock and have about an hour to do some shopping before boarding the boat back to St. Thomas. It's about a mile walk to Charlotte Amalie (water taxis are available) for shopping. We were here 30 years ago and it was much more crowded and noisier than I remember.
Our favorite stop of the trip. This area of San Juan is really pretty. There are two old forts within walking distance - San Cristobal and El Morro. Both are worth the visit to see the old battlements and learn a bit about the history of the island. Take a few minutes to look down the side streets to see the nicely maintained houses with the colorful fronts and decorations. The ship was only here for a few hours - 8 am to 1 pm and I wish we had more time here. Long lines to get back on the ship - this was the only port where we had to show a photo ID to get back onboard.
First I need to say we're not beach people, so Labadee wasn't so great for us. Royal Caribbean has put a lot of money into making this into kind of a beach/amusement park. There are zip lines, a children's water play area, cabanas (which cost extra), and some nice beaches to relax on. It's just for Royal Caribbean so the only people here are the passengers and the attendants and merchants. Lunch is served at a large pavilion - chicken wings, ribs, salads and cookies. When we arrived all the beach chairs are stacked up with guys standing next to them. If you want a chair you have to ask and then they expect a tip. They all work for Royal Caribbean - why not just set the chairs up when the ship docks. I could have done without Labadee.