OK, so what does one do when they cruise besides, sunbathe, gamble in the casino, get fat from eating all the wonderful food, take in the evening entertainment, and shop at the on board stores? Well, a lot of people get off the ship and visit the islands using tours provided and recommended by the cruise line, called shore excursions, or Shorex for short.
There are several options available to you, for instance if snorkelling or diving were on your list. The ship will often have several tours that will fill the bill, or if off road or zip lining is your thing, again the cruise line will likely have something for you. Or maybe you just wish to be bussed around and take some pictures, or sample the local food. They will have them too.
You do not have to rely on the cruise company shorex either, there are just tons of local cabs, and vans on the pier ready to offer you a custom experience of road tour, swimming, or diving trip. It’s often OK, and the price is very competitive. There is one thing you may consider that is important. The ship will sail at say 4:00 pm. If you are not back on board, by the time the ship sails, you may very well watch it sail into the sunset, and you are now on the shore. You will then have to find your own way back to the ship in the next port. This may prove difficult to do when your passport is taken from you as you arrive on board the ship when you board for the first time. While we have taken private trips on occasion, we prefer the Cruise line shorex. If they are late returning, the ship will wait for your return. You will never be stranded. On a few cruises we have been late and the ship was held for our bus to board.
Some people just stay on the ship, enjoy the peace and quiet of the lack of guests around. Some get off the ship to walk, some for the walk, some just to check out the kiosks and shops on shore. Some even go for drinks and the local food. Or go swimming at a local beach.
As far as the islands go, many islands in the Caribbean are very similar. They started live as volcanic islands, and some still have volcanic activity today. Our past cruise had 2 islands where it was still active volcanically.
Many island have there own currency, or use the currency of the country they are associated with, like the Dutch Guilder in the Antilles or Saint Marten. They all accept, your plastic, and the good old American Green Back. Canadian currency is pretty much unknown to them, even though you will see Canadian banks on most of the islands.
They all have great beaches, great diving experiences, they are pleased to show you. They all have good education systems in place, and you can nearly always communicate in English.
Rain or showers are always a consideration in the islands. December through February is the rainy season. That does not always mean constant rain, quite the contrary, but it is often showery, and an umbrella, often provided by the cruise is a useful thing to bring with you. A rain jacket or a poncho is also good.
Be careful what you eat on shore, you can get sick, and while there is an infirmary on board, who wants to spend their cruise on a bed in the lowest part of the ship, at great cost to you! It is also a long way home to get to see your own doc who you know.
For a very brief description of shorex tours offered by Celebrity in Aruba for example, the following list is incomplete, but covers most of the tours in general terms. Bus tours, walking tours, and even bus and sea tours for those who are for sightseeing. For those who need to, there are snorkelling, reef excursions, and catamaran trips. For those who need a bit more excitement in their life, jeep excursions, and horseback riding, and land rover trips. Once a cruise is booked, one can go to the shorex page of the cruise web page, and read about all the product available, how much it costs, where it goes, when it starts and finishes ,and even as to how much effort will be involved, important surely to those with mobility problems.
Like many places today, some islands either are world heritage sites or have world heritage areas to go to. On St. Kitts for example there is the remains of an old fort built by the British with the slave labour of the time. It is huge, and is being rebuilt slowly. Very interesting, and is beside one of the volcanic areas on the island. The fort is called Brimstone Hill Fortress, took over a hundred years to build, and was occupied by the British. Like all the island in the Caribbean, they were fought over by the British, French, Spanish, Dutch, and the Portuguese on a regular basis.
So, people, you know my wife and I love to cruise, for the cruise, food and ports, and a whole lot more. If you get the chance, you owe it to yourself to give it a whirl if you have never sailed. If you live in Canada or the USA, I offer the idea that you have available 2 of the most desirable cruises in the world, Alaska, either as a 7 day inside passage, or there is the Denali one which adds a land portion to the sea trip. The other one is the Panama Canal cruise. It is a world site for it’s engineering. They are easy to get to without long and costly air trips, another advantage.
TODAY’S WEB PAGE:
I am not a great fan of jugglers, but this is a very good comedy act, and if you are of an age, check out the audience. Juggling
There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.
Bob, a handsome dude, walked into a sports bar around 9:58 PM. He sat down next to a blonde at the bar and stared up at the TV.
The 10 PM news was coming on. The news crew was covering the story of a man on the ledge of a large building preparing to jump.
The blonde looked at Bob and said, "Do you think he’ll jump?"
Bob said, "You know, I bet he’ll jump."
The blonde replied, "Well, I bet he won’t."
Bob placed a $20 bill on the bar and said, "You’re on!"
Just as the blonde placed her money on the bar, the guy on the ledge did a swan dive off the building, falling to his death.
The blonde was very upset, but willingly handed her $20 to Bob, saying, "Fair’s fair. Here’s your money."
Bob replied, "I can’t take your money. I saw this earlier on the 5 PM news, and so I knew he would jump."
The blonde replied, "I did too, but didn’t think he’d do it again."
Bob took the money…
Have a Great Day, and be nice to one another