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Home > Member Reviews > Laffncruiser's Port Reviews of Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts, St. Martin, St. Croix, San Juan

Laffncruiser's Port Reviews of Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts, St. Martin, St. Croix, San Juan
Celebrity Summit cruise in December 2011
Member Name: Laffncruiser
Cruise Date: December 2011
Embarkation: San Juan
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Member Review: Laffncruiser's Celebrity Summit Review
Barbados
Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We toured the island with several stops for views and photographs and visited a very large, private garden that was stunning. Our tour guide was informative and fun, and we would recommend a tour like this for a first time visitor. Now that we've done this tour, we'd likely do something different next time.


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Dominica
Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
See above, all combined in one tour package.


Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
This was truly a rain forest experience. Trafalgar falls is beautiful and requires walking on uneven trails, but we saw a wide variety of ages and fitness levels on the trails. Going slowly on wet rocks (it rained) is a must, as are closed toe, sport shoes with some kind of gripping bottom. There were some women in leather sandals who were struggling and had to be helped. The falls were also a bit commercial, with lots of tours coming and going on the trails. It wasn't overly crowded, but not a private hike in the woods, either. After the falls, we stopped at a lake in an inactive volcano, which was beautiful and a windy/short stop. Then on to the tram. We did buy little rain parkas for $2 each at the tram station, and had brought two small umbrellas in our pack. Each tram is open, and holds about ten people, including the guide. The first portion is about half way up the tree line and is in the midst of the jungle -- absolutely beautiful. It started raining on us, and though the top is covered, the sides are not, and people in the front get drenched. The seats are closed (as opposed to grated) so you will end up sitting in water when it rains. Key helpful point: bring a compact umbrella and make sure your rain poncho is completely under you to keep water from soaking into clothing. We used our umbrellas at an angle to keep rain off us from the sides, our fellow tram mates were drenched. The weather was very comfortable, and though it's cooler in the rain forest, it wasn't causing anyone to shiver. According to our tram guide, it rains every day (rain forest!) so expect to get wet. At the top, we had the option for a zip-line adventure, which we didn't do, but a couple in our party did, and it was fun to walk along the trails and hear them laughing and screaming. There is a bridge that spans the river, quite high up, but very well made and maintained, and offered beautiful views. The trails were about ten minutes of walking, easy but included some wet stone and wood stairs. We got back to the tram for the trip back (about 1/2 hour each way) and this time were above the treeline for glorious views. We did not see birds or other animals, though we heard birds. When we arrived back, they provided a lunch, which was a mix of Subway sandwiches and island chips, desserts, fruits, punches and smoothies. We sat in large tents without sides, surrounded by jungle. Our van ride back included more information on the history of the island and living conditions of the residents, and was our longest excursion. We had a few hours to hang out in port before the ship left.


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St. Kitts
Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We would recommend this to any first time visitor to St Kitts. The double-decker train was big fun, and we stayed on the top level for the entire trip. We were served frozen drinks throughout the trip, and enjoyed the coastline views along with both elegant and country life. We saw monkeys in the trees, plus lots of horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and birds. The people in the communities would stop and wave as we went by. An acapella girls group sang songs and moved from car to car. The engineer/guide was funny, interesting and informative, and we felt like we got a good idea of the island from that experience. The bus trip was also interesting (small bus, about 24 people). We wished we had added the catamaran option to the trip, as several people we met said they did both and really loved it, too.


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St. Martin
Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Clean boat, beautiful day, lovely coast, nice captain and crew. We enjoyed being out on the water and were happy with the length of the trip and the experience.


Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We had been to St Maarten, but not the French side of the island, so we elected to take a combo catamaran and Marigot trip. Our original excursion offered a catamaran ride along the coast that would take us to Marigot, that excursion was cancelled, so we took a close alternative that offered to catamaran along the St Maarten side, and then docked back at start location to take a bus to Marigot. This excursion was still wonderful and we're glad we swapped out and still did a boat cruise along the coast, rather than just catching a taxi to Marigot. Marigot had a lot of restaurants along the boardwalk, with small shops and elegant malls. The public restroom was filthy, but glad it was there (right across from small tents/stalls.) We had a great meal at a French Restaurant that had spray misters for patio dining. Lobster pizza and mega large shrimp Caesar salad. We didn't find the shopping to be superior to other ports, but were glad to see the French side of the island. Our tour guide made several stops for photos along the way back, and we felt it was a great value and great way to discover both sides of the island.


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St. Croix
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We did not opt for a guided excursion, but instead, took a taxi to Christiansted($12 round trip) to then catch a water taxi ($4 round trip) to a small Cay Island for putting our toes in the sand, sitting under an umbrella and wandering the shore. We had a lovely lunch and then wandered the boardwalk and some shops (saw lots of beautiful fish just standing on the piers), caught a taxi back to Fredericksted, and walked around town -- looking in a museum and several cool art galleries. We wanted to visit the fort, but got caught up in art and missed that opportunity. We also walked along the beach and really enjoyed this very laid back island, and felt this island was the most relaxed and had beautiful beaches and water. Loved this island/port.

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San Juan
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
We flew into San Juan, and stayed over night in historic old San Juan before heading off to our ship in Pan Am Pier. We chose the Casa Blanca Hotel, which was reasonably priced for a suite with bedroom, sitting room and balcony overlooking the street below. We were right in the heart of the restaurants and night life, and within a block of the piers and seawalk on the Old San Juan side (our ship required a short taxi ride to the other side of the bay.) Our hotel offered free internet, a restaurant with excellent breakfast, and excellent service. There is no elevator, so must be able to carry bags to upstairs rooms. Bath was small but nicely done, the decor is 1920s and mimics the movie by the same name, and had wonderful original art and chandeliers, mirrors, furniture. Really cool, and a nice way to unwind and get on the ship early. We were on the ship in less than ten minutes, and the crowds were light. Our room was ready at 2 and we immediately dropped off our bags and went and got lunch and the casual restaurant on board. Later in the afternoon after unpacking and checking out theship, we went back to get bottled water and some champagne at the entrance (smart idea and budget stretcher if you love bottled water!) there were a lot more people in line right before the ship left and they had a longer wait, but it still seemed to be very organized and easy to move through.

Our only negative experience excursion was the day of disembarkation, when we chose to do the El Yunque rain forest tour before our 5 p.m. flight. We loved the rain forest and were amazed by the forestry department care of this park and the gorgeous welcome center, shop and their excellent introductory film. We highly recommend fitting in a visit to this national park. Our only negative was an over-the-top bus driver/guide. He wore us out with his loud, non-stop delivery and sound effects (like making loud screeching sounds every time he drove on a curve, or repeating loudly "scuse me, scuse me" to every beep as the bus was backing up.) He meant well and loved giving the tour of the trails, but we found ourselves annoyed on the more than half hour ride to the park, and then hanging back just to get some peace once we were in the forest! He loves his job, and shouldn't be fired, but it would help to give him some training on how to soften his presentation a bit. Otherwise, this was a great way to spend our last day in San Juan. We plan to hire a private guide at the park and spend at least a day there. Truly special and beautiful.

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