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Thread: RE: Carribean vacation

  1. #21
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    Jun 2007
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    Check out Skybus.com out of Portsmouth NH. They have 10 tickets per flight for only $10 a piece. They are reasonably priced even without this deal. Plus there is free parking in Portsmouth which adds a big expense at other airports. JetBlue is still my favorite. Just don't limit yourself to direct flights. Sometimes they have $59 tickets to a state away from your destination and then take a bus the rest of the way for only $30 more. It helps to be as cheap as me. My wife and I walked from Central station at Times Square down to the dock with two bags of luggage each because I wouldn't pay $15 for a taxi. By the way, if the San Juan cruise goes to Aruba, Dominique, Barbados, that was a great one. Hopefully you got the private email I sent you answering your previous questions.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by darterkitfox View Post
    . . . By the way, if the San Juan cruise goes to Aruba, Dominique, Barbados, that was a great one. Hopefully you got the private email I sent you answering your previous questions.
    That's the one we're looking at . . . since this would be a first time for my wife and I and we're really into scenic areas, culture and history we figured we would rather spend more time at islands and less time at sea.

    I never received the PM or e-mail from you unfortunately.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  3. #23
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    Again, thank you to everyone who has replied to this thread to help this clueless want-to-be traveler.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  4. #24
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    Jul 2004
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    Auburn
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    Forget the bus, forget the plane, this is the way to go to the Caribbean!

  5. #25
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    Update:

    Well I did it . . . or rather I'm going to do it.

    I've booked the cruise, flight and first night hotel stay for late-March . . . after perusing through a bunch of options my wife and I elected to do a 7-day cruise with Carnival that leaves from San Juan, Puerto Rico with stops at St. Maarten, Antigua, Dominica, St. Thomas, St. Kitts and Barbados. We choose this trip and line based in part of various reviews (depending on how things go, next time I might try Royal Carribbean since one fella here says they are quite nice) and based on the fact that this trip seemed to hit a lot of islands and that's what really interests my wife and I.

    Right now I'm still working on trying to set up shore excursions that would appeal to my wife and I . . . and not totally break the bank. I've heard now from several sources that generally opting to go with an independent tour operator from the cruise line usually results in some savings so I'm doing lots of research on line.

    I've also printed out some geocaches located on these islands, but my wife saw the stack that I had and said something about not geocaching . . . but I figure that I might be able to sneak off and do one or two at least!

    I have to admit now that I've made the reservations and started the research that some of those pics from the sunny south look pretty nice.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  6. #26
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    Jun 2004
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    Brewer, Maine
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjake View Post
    Update:

    I've also printed out some geocaches located on these islands, but my wife saw the stack that I had and said something about not geocaching . . . but I figure that I might be able to sneak off and do one or two at least!
    Make her a deal, "only" 1 cache per island. You will get to cache (and get all those islands on your cache map) and it will look like a concession to her

  7. #27
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    Jun 2007
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    Norway, Maine
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    Make sure to buy a cheap kite at Wal-mart for use in San Juan. The huge grassy lawns near the fort by the cruise ship terminal is condusive to flying and many locals do it. Walk the long tarred walkway below the wall surrounding Old San Juan. There are hundreds of ferral cats living in the rocks by the shore so if you like cats, take some treats and if you don't, take a sling shot. I'd recommend the Rasta Man tour on Dominique if you do at least one tour. You do a lot of hiking and the guide points out lots of things that the original natives used to use to survive. You can then swim in a mountain stream. Later you hike up to a couple waterfalls where you can swim under them also. Careful though, one of them you have to go straight up the sides and need a rope to pull yourself up. My wife slipped and sprained her ankle. Made for a long walk back. I can't remember if it was Barbados, or Antigua but we ended up walking just up the road from the ship and taking a city bus out of the station for $1.00 each. It took us all the way to a free state park where we snorkeled and lounged. Just ask around at the info booth on what's around. It was a nice way to see local life. I can't believe how crowded the bus was as it also picked up school kids going to school. At one point the police stopped the bus and talked with the driver in 'Spanish?' or something I didn't understand but the driver then made a bunch of people get off. We found out the bus was overloaded. Very fun, almost free, entertainment. The point of all this rambling is, you can take a more expensive shore tour, or go on your own and be fine. I didn't cache back when we could afford to take vacations but if you don't at least do a couple, you will disappoint a lot of people. I can't wait to have a purpose when we ever go again. By the way, did you try Vacationstogo.com?

  8. #28
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    Jul 2005
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    Unity, Maine
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    Quote Originally Posted by darterkitfox View Post
    Make sure to buy a cheap kite at Wal-mart for use in San Juan. The huge grassy lawns near the fort by the cruise ship terminal is condusive to flying and many locals do it. Walk the long tarred walkway below the wall surrounding Old San Juan. There are hundreds of ferral cats living in the rocks by the shore so if you like cats, take some treats and if you don't, take a sling shot. I'd recommend the Rasta Man tour on Dominique if you do at least one tour. You do a lot of hiking and the guide points out lots of things that the original natives used to use to survive. You can then swim in a mountain stream. Later you hike up to a couple waterfalls where you can swim under them also. Careful though, one of them you have to go straight up the sides and need a rope to pull yourself up. My wife slipped and sprained her ankle. Made for a long walk back. I can't remember if it was Barbados, or Antigua but we ended up walking just up the road from the ship and taking a city bus out of the station for $1.00 each. It took us all the way to a free state park where we snorkeled and lounged. Just ask around at the info booth on what's around. It was a nice way to see local life. I can't believe how crowded the bus was as it also picked up school kids going to school. At one point the police stopped the bus and talked with the driver in 'Spanish?' or something I didn't understand but the driver then made a bunch of people get off. We found out the bus was overloaded. Very fun, almost free, entertainment. The point of all this rambling is, you can take a more expensive shore tour, or go on your own and be fine. I didn't cache back when we could afford to take vacations but if you don't at least do a couple, you will disappoint a lot of people. I can't wait to have a purpose when we ever go again. By the way, did you try Vacationstogo.com?
    Well you know Darterkitfox you're one of the main reasons I ended up going on a cruise . . . especially after reading about your travels and then you directed me to the vacationstogo.com site and for the first time I realized just how affordable these trips could be (although the airfare is pretty pricey) so if I don't like this I'm coming back to rant about this to you.

    I'm actually hoping to visit some of the sites around Old San Juan (we booked a Howard Johnson's located right in the city that is in an old, very old building) . . . and since I have five cats . . . well I guess I might be stocking up on cat treats when I go!

    At this point it looks like we'll be taking few, if any, excursions offered through the ship . . . although my wife sounds a bit nervous about possibly missing the boat (I'm not as worried.) It seems like the independent operators and "taxi tours" offer a better value and give you more time without being herded on to crowded buses or boats that stop for only brief amounts of time at each stop.

    Finally, in answer to your question . . . yes . . . I went through vacationstogo.com . . . so far, so good . . . they were very prompt in sending in the paperwork, I've got nearly every registered on-line with Carnival and the VTG.com people even corrected a typo when my wife was "Johnsom" instead of "Johnson."
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudonim View Post
    Make her a deal, "only" 1 cache per island. You will get to cache (and get all those islands on your cache map) and it will look like a concession to her
    Hmm . . . that might work . . . although I'm already working on scoping out where some quick and easy (i.e. close to the pier) caches will be as well.

    "Uh, hon . . . you go on board . . . I'll be right there. I need to go speak with our tour operator for a bit."
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  10. #30
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    So long folks . . . I'll be out of communication for a little more than a week as I'm driving south with my beloved wife tomorrow . . . and then on Saturday I brave both the TSA and my fear-of-flying wife as we fly down to Miami and then on to San Juan . . . and then it's on to the rest of the Carribean on Sunday.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

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