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

thelastword's Port Reviews of St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Nassau
Norwegian Epic cruise in February 2013
Member Name: thelastword
Cruise Date: February 2013
Embarkation: Miami
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Member Review: thelastword's Norwegian Epic Review
St. Maarten
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Disembarking the Epic was easy and well organized. A water taxi took you right to the shopping area and a public beach for a nominal fee. Tours were available although my wife and I declined a tour and opted for shopping and laying on the beach. While the beach is free, hucksters try to rent you loungers and umbrellas which line the free beach from end to end. They want $20 per couple and some will throw in a few drinks for that price. Don't drink anything on the islands that doesn't come sealed in a bottle! Overall St. Maarten was beautiful but had its seedy side. Deals can be had at the shopping venues if you do your homework and are a shrewd negotiator.

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St. Thomas
Eco Tour Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We took a very bumpy boat ride from St. Thomas to St. John for the Eco hike and beach tour. If you get motion sick at all, take precautions before getting on one of these tour boats. Also sit inside if possible on the tour boat because you can get very wet and/or sun-baked if you sit on the outside area of the tour boat. Once on St. John, it is fairly well organized to find your tour and tour guide. Our tour involved a mile to mile and a half hike into the hills of the National Park with a very energetic tour guide who gave us good information. We hiked to Honeymoon beach which was gorgeous but only had 45 minutes there. Finally we walked to an old sugar mill ruin next to Caneel Bay Resort which was also very nice. Overall, I highly recommend this tour.


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Nassau
Port Rating: 2.0 out of 5+
Nassau was definitely the worst of the three destinations on our cruise. It is dirty, congested and full of natives offering cab rides, tours and a myriad of locally made souvenirs (junk). The shopping area, which you are dumped into after going through the customs building, is a major turn off unless you are just looking to find a local watering hole to have drinks. You really have to be careful because there are hundreds of seedy looking characters who want to scam you for your dollars. Be aware of your surroundings and say "no thank you" a lot. Like all of the ports of call, the name of the game is money-making tours designed to make more money for the cruise companies and the locals. Some of the tours, however, can be quite good and enjoyable. Do your homework and talk to others who have been to the same ports of call about their tour experiences. We ventured out into Nassau for only a couple of hours and spent most of the day enjoying a sparsely crowded cruise ship.

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