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Home > Member Reviews > skykingNC's Port Reviews of St. Maarten, St. Kitts, San Juan, Labadee

skykingNC's Port Reviews of St. Maarten, St. Kitts, San Juan, Labadee
Independence of the Seas cruise in January 2014
Member Name: skykingNC
Cruise Date: January 2014
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Member Review: skykingNC's Independence of the Seas Review
St. Maarten
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+

We took a circle tour in a brand new AC bus which was nice. Photo opps were weak (thru bus windows until we got to Marigot). Marigot's marina is a pretty area to walk around in. The butterfly farm is small and could be better done but they are sincere about teaching you about butterflies and restrooms were clean!

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St. Kitts
Beach Break Rating: 4.0 out of 5+

See above (the beach break was part of the island tour including Fairview).

Island tour Rating: 4.0 out of 5+

This tour took me to Fairview Greathouse and on a Beach Break. Highlight was views and photo opps at Timothy's Hill: best view of my entire 8-day cruise: astounding. Fairview is in a lovely setting and parts are well preserved; modern touches like the pool kind of detract. The gardens were ok; I had expected larger and perhaps more mature. Loved the place for the beach break-for me, it was too short (only 1 hr - so if you wish to swim, be in your suit already). Restrooms & changing areas were clean. Overall, I'd recommend it.

Snuba Rating: 1.0 out of 5+

Felt the instructors were weak, not clear enough and not helpful/supportive enough. But mainly the rafts and other equipment were old and unsafe - got scratched on parts of it, rafts falling apart, difficult to move about etc. Do not recommend. I got 20% back but felt it should be more.

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San Juan
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

We walked on our own: We'd say do not miss touring El Morro if this is your first time in San Juan, as it was for us. We walked from Pier 1 to El Morro - the sun was already hot but there was a shady side to the street and the uphill wasn't bad. it doesn't open til 9 am anyway and we were off the ship at 8 so you have time to get there. We spent 1 1/2 hrs, then walked to the Fiorenza governor's palace. They didn't let us tour it as they were booked up until afternoon with groups so we enjoyed the artchitecture nearby. Popped into San Juan Cathedral (free). Can get pix of our ship on your walk back along the water's edge. Saw the old City Gate and then ended up back at the pier (we walked in a circle). Everyone loved the air conditioned CVS store near our ship, you can even get a basic souvenir there! Sidewalks and streets are very narrow. We had a knapsack with WHEELS which was a lifesaver for us as we like to carry camera, snacks, visors, etc. Enjoy! Oh yes: we sure to be on deck for Sail a way -- the views of the old walled city and El Morro from the ship are very neat.

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Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Our 3rd time here and we always have a good time. This time we had determined to do the Zip Line (we're 64) and we loved it. For me especially (female and a bit of a chicken w/ heights), it helped so much that they have you "practice" on a lower shorter line first. You can even go watch people at this one if it would make you feel better b4 you sign up. The main thing I learned was "ask for the ladder" at the end of your big zip line as I did not really have the ability to pull my own weight up with my arms to get off at the end. The worker made a point of telling me this so I wouldn't hurt myself. At the top I was stoked and almost fearless, anxious for my turn. If they let you, put your arms out to the sides (starfish), it is way more fun than holding on for dear life! Relax, look around, wave at the beach people and enjoy every minute - we did! Wish it was an "all day pass" for what you pay ($95 each)! So don't miss it out of unfounded fears: it is so very safe and they take good care of you. Kudos to the young blond gal who was our leader; sometimes the 'teacher" is unenthused or just does not make it fun but she did, for sure.

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