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Home > Member Reviews > shenstar's Port Reviews of St. Thomas, Antigua, San Juan, Nassau

shenstar's Port Reviews of St. Thomas, Antigua, San Juan, Nassau
Carnival Freedom cruise in June 2014
Member Name: shenstar
Cruise Date: June 2014
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Member Review: shenstar's Carnival Freedom Review
St. Thomas
St. John Snorkel/Sail Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

We snorkeled in Trunk Bay on St. Johns. The excursion boat took us into Cruz Bay and from there we embarked into various taxis that took us to the Virgin Islands National Park. There were BRIEF stops at some vistas, but not long enough to get out and take pics, except for the final view of Trunk Bay, and that was barely long enough. We had our own snorkel gear, but the company providing the instruction and loaner gear seemed professional and competent. It is apparent that the reef is under stress, but we still saw many varieties of fish and coral.

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Island Tour Rating: Not Rated

Found our tour via Travel Advisor, Antigua VIP Tours. Turned out that we were the only ones on our tour. Traveled in a comfortable Toyota van, fully air conditioned. Our host had a remote starter so that she would start the vehicle back up as we were heading back from a site to start it cooling down. We visited Betty's Hope, a sugar mill plantation that is undergoing restoration, Devil's Bridge, Shirley Heights, Fig Tree Drive (where you'll see black pineapples growing), and Nelson's Dock Yard (English Harbor). Throughout the day, she provided us with rum punch, Antiguan beer, black pineapple, and sugar cane to sample. Lunch was included and she gave us a couple of options. We selected a traditional Caribbean fare restaurant which served the ducana and salt cod in tomato sauce. We visited Valley Church Beach as our final stop which had the most beautiful water!

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San Juan
Port Rating: Not Rated

We chose to see the city on our own. Started at El Morro, San Juan National Historic site, then took the free tram up to Castillo San Cristobal. We then walked down into the Old San Juan district to see the cathedral and gate. The architecture and cobbled streets are beautiful. Enjoyed tapas and paella for lunch at Picoteo restaurant (near the cathedral). Shopped our way back to the cruise ship.

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Island Tour Rating: Not Rated

We did the Rum Runners walking tour through Islandz Tours which we found through Trip Advisor. Started with a rum tasting at the pirate bar adjacent to the Pirate museum. Tasted white, gold and spiced rum and then had the bar's signature rum cocktail while learning about the role that piracy and rum running has had in the development of the Bahamas. Then we visited a local artist's gallery and enjoyed conch fritters in the garden. We learned more about the history of the island and various sites along the way to Graycliff Hotel where we walked through their grounds and then stopped at their chocolate shop for rum balls (excellent!). The chocolatier there was on Top Chef- Just Desserts show. Then we walked up to the John Watling Rum Distillery. We tasted their rums, had their signature rum cocktail, and had guava duff (a traditional dessert). Our host was great and very accommodating.

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