BORN TO TRAVEL’S INFO BANK: Southern Caribbean Islands
These are some alternatives to the cruise’s shore excursions. Unless you are in a group of four or more, you may have to book shore tours through the cruise line. But, if you just want to do a little shopping or go to a beautiful beach, you can do it on your own. I have put together some suggestions below that are based on my own personal experiences.
I have used the cab drivers shown below on my previous trips to these islands. In each case, I put the cost of the trip, the length of time I spent and the total cost. Tips are not included. Costs have not seemed to fluctuate in the past five years. But these are for reference only and not necessarily correct today.
If you have good luck with someone else, please get their name, number, email (if available) and let me know so I can add it to my info bank for future cruisers. Dial the complete number below if calling from home (USA), dial local number if you call from the pier.
ALWAYS CONFIRM PRICE BEFORE GETTING INTO THE CAB
Save Money, get your dinner companions to join you!
Trevor Powell, cab 1793 cell phone: 1-238-724-2993
Round-trip: pier to Turner’s beach in a.m. and pick up Turner’s beach to pier in p.m. (60.00) Same price if 1 or 6 people. We went from 9-2:30. You can certainly get to closer beaches, but this one is BEAUTIFUL. Perfect for swimming with snorkeling around the bluff to your left. Bathrooms and showers, restaurant that serves what looks to be like great food.
Another great beach is Long Bay Beach. Shopping, food and beverage and bathrooms. Windsurfers for rent.
9 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. He was with us all day. He took us to Folkstone Beach (swim/snorkel), crane beach/swim (southern tip). We could have also stopped at other sites, we had him for the day.
Prices: cab with driver all day is $ 120.00. Can be split by up to four passengers.
Cab to Folkstone beach for drop off with later pick up is$ 40.00 round trip, can be shared by up to four people. Cab waiting for three hours $ 75.00.
If I was going to Barbados for the first time, I would hire cab for entire day and go to Folkstone beach to swim/snorkel, go to Orchid World, have the cab driver take you to see Bathsheba, visit St. John’s church, and go to Harrison’s caves. You can change out of wet clothes at Folkstone Beach. Pack a lunch you won’t have time to stop for lunch if you do all this.
Ask for John Cooper he goes by “Coop”. Very pleasant, tells you a lot about the Island. You want to see Trafalgar Falls.
Depending on where you are docked, you can either walk to the ferry pier or take a cab. If you see the Old Fort on your right as you look at land, you are downtown and can walk. If you see the Old Fort on your left as you look at land, you need to take a cab to the ferry terminal. It is a very short ride. 10 minutes due to traffic.
Take the ferry to Pointe Du Bout. It is 6.00 roundtrip. Once you arrive at Pointe Du Bout walk past the four or five shop/restaurants on the pier and take first right. Walk past telephone stand, go straight ahead to the beach area. Many restaurants, casino along the strip. There are restrooms to the left and up the hill next to the restaurant with outdoor patio.
Across from the ferry dock in Martinique are some tent merchants selling various stuff. On Merchant is Eric Barro. He makes beautiful coral jewelry. His email is barro.eric@wanadoo.FR.
To “the wharf” bar and beach $10.00 per person round-trip. Add $2.50 per person if you want to make a quick stop at spice market. The shopping at the pier is very good in St. Lucia. I like Oasis for clothing.
Puff’s Taxi cell phone: 1-340-690-3232. If you call him ahead of time, you can call 1-340-774-7457 ext. JP125 leave a message, he will call you back.
Take ferry from St. Thomas to St. John’s. Ferry leaves from two places.
1. Ferry from downtown Charlotte Amalie is a little more expensive, but more convenient. $12.00 round-trip. If you dock in downtown, its probably the easiest to use, although ther ferry ride is longer (45 min). If you dock at Havensight, it’s the same price to take cab to Redhook and Ferry from there. Call ahead and have Puff meet you at St. John’s ferry terminal at designated time, or just get there and find him. He is very punctual. So if you tell him when to come back to get you, he will be there (tapping his foot if you are late). Price to Trunk Bay is $ 10.00 per person round-trip. There is $4.00 admission to Trunk Bay. Cinnamon Bay is also good, no admission cost. Both have snacks, windsurfers for rent, snorkel gear for rent, showers and bathrooms. If you want to go elsewhere, just negotiate price and times with Puff. See St. Thomas notes also.
2. If you dock at Havensight, you can Ferry from Redhook. You take a cab from the peir to Redhook and get on Ferry there. The total cost is 24.00 round trip (for cab and ferry to St. Johns). Now, the ferry runs more frequently from Redhook. If you take a cab from peir to downtown and then take ferry from downtown, the total price is a little higher. It really depends on where your entire day is going. If you are going to shop downtown or if your ship is downtown, the downtown ferry might be better. If you are going to St. Johns and then want to snorkel on St. Thomas at Coki beach, you should go out of Redhook, as Coki beach is two minutes from Redhook. Cabs are plentiful to take you from Redhook Ferry to Coki and from Coki back to ship.
If walking path is not completed, just take public water taxi to the town. Depending on which water taxi you get, it may go directly to the pier that is downtown. The alternate taxi stops at what looks like a marina. Ask the driver to be sure you get off at the stop closest to the duty free shops (that is what I call town) . There is a gorgeous beach right there. Find one of the many beach chair/umbrella sellers and they will take good care of you. I usually get a chair by “Pirates in Paradise” which is a restaurant with a drinks and sandwiches. I always ask for Joseph Baptiste. He’s a great guy and will take excellent care of you for the day. He will get you chairs, umbrellas,and cooler to keep beer/soda cold. Servers will come around to sell you drinks.
The beach is one building’s width from the shopping. There are also casinos right there.
Do not go to French side if it is Sunday or a holiday—nothing will be open. I have never been able to tear myself away from the Dutch side.
Robert. Taxi number 701. 1-340-690-5178 (cell) 1-340-775-4789 (home) or any taxi at the pier. If you are going over to St. John’s, Robert will call Puff and have him waiting for you.
Go to Coki beach (about ½ hour) for swimming/snorkeling. Right next door to beach is Coral World. Round-trip is $14.00 per person.
Go to Magen’s Bay to swim. Magen’s Bay cabs around $10.00 per person round-trip.
Smitty. 1-284-499-3344. He has a very nice, clean air conditioned van.
Cane Garden Bay is lovely. Some snorkeling at the far left end of the beach. Palm trees, shopping restaurants, home made ice cream. Windsurfers to rent, chairs to rent, etc. It takes about 20 minutes to get there by cab and cost 6.00 one way per person.
He will come back for you at a certain time. In Tortola, they have you pay each way. There are plenty of cabs at Cane Garden Bay so if you don’t want to arrange for a return pick up, you can just grab another cab.
If you want to do a catamaran sail, swim with dolphins, go on a submarine, etc, you are probably going to get the best price with the cruiseline, unless you are traveling with at least four other people.
Booze: St. Maarten is cheaper than St. Thomas
Jewelry: Imperial Jewelers-downtown Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. Ask for Charlie. Tell him Liz Dalessio sent you.
Cameras: Royal Caribbean International, downtown Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.
Clothing: Antigua: A Thousand Flowers, out of this world flax clothing.
St. Lucia: Oasis, located at cruise terminal duty free shops.
Old San Juan: Coach Outlet
Spices: St. Lucia: Spice Market downtown
Barbados: Cruise terminal duty free shops.
Shallow snorkeling and swimming. All have restrooms and food/beverages.
Antigua: Turners Beach, Long Bay Beach
Barbados: Folkstone Beach, Crane Beach
St. Maarten: Phillipsburg Beach, Orient Bay Beach
St. Thomas: Coki Beach, Megen’s Bay
St. John: Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay
Barbados: Orchid World, Harrison’s Caves, Atlantis Submarine, Mount Gay Rum Factory, Andromeda Gardens
San Juan: Old Town San Juan, San Christobel, El Yunque Rain Forrest