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We are sailing on NCL Viva in March out of San Juan and going to Tortola, Antigua, Barbados, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Thomas. Our group is two couples, about 50 yrs old with varied interests. Some like snorkeling, history, some not so much. Not interested in NCL's excursions, but will book through Viator or even custom. Want to keep costs down though. While I can look up things to do at each stop (and I will), I'm interested in what are the absolute best 3-4 things to do from all of the stops. What should we absolutely not miss? What should we book in advance? I figure we'll book a few things at some ports but then nothing at the other ports. Where can I best find this info?

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What a lovely location to go on your vacation. I looked to go to Antigua before, and there are plenty of things to do there such as the tour around, or snorkeling with stingrays. It sounds magical. Maybe even opt in for some horse riding on the beach. Something I've never done before. To keep costs down, sightseeing around the island would also be effective.

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@Spencer Your cruise is coming up next month! I haven't been to all of your stops but I have been to St. Thomas, Antigua, and St. Maarten. All of these stops just have amazing beaches. They are transparent and peaceful. The sand is perfect and the scenery is unbeatable. I wouldn't miss some beach time at these ports. I hyperlinked some ideas for excursions for each location. Take a look at those articles to explore the vast amount of options you have! I would take a regular taxi to a secluded beach for a day in Antigua. I did that with my family one year and it was absolutely brilliant. Let me know if you have any other questions. I think you will find some options you will really love after browsing through some of the options in the hyperlinks. 

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In Barbados, take a ride up to St. John's Parrish Church. Fantastic elevated views of the Atlantic Ocean with an attached cemetery containing centuries old monuments. A short ride from there is Bathsheba, a small town with a couple of nice restaurants and great views of the rugged Atlantic. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Seaawgs Thai sounds like a very interesting excursion! I would love to get a tour of this history rich area and explore the scenery the next time I stop in Barbados. I haven't been since I was a child, and that was a very long time ago! Bathsheba also sounds really lovely. When you cruise to Barbados, do you rent a car? That's likely the best way to make multiple stops. You could always rent a slingshot! I have yet to do that.

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On 2/13/2024 at 4:19 PM, Spencer said:

We are sailing on NCL Viva in March out of San Juan and going to Tortola, Antigua, Barbados, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Thomas. Our group is two couples, about 50 yrs old with varied interests. Some like snorkeling, history, some not so much. Not interested in NCL's excursions, but will book through Viator or even custom. Want to keep costs down though. While I can look up things to do at each stop (and I will), I'm interested in what are the absolute best 3-4 things to do from all of the stops. What should we absolutely not miss? What should we book in advance? I figure we'll book a few things at some ports but then nothing at the other ports. Where can I best find this info?

We were in Antigua last week.  I highly suggest doing the zip lining excursion.  I did mine thru the cruise excursion desk but you can probably find it with an outside vendor or maybe just show up and do it on your own.  It is about a 20min trip from the port.  

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@Cruising Caribbean we have worked on the island several times and have good friends who pick us up when we cruise to Barbados. The roads are said to be former Ox cart paths so getting around can be tricky. Since nearly all Caribbean stops have palm trees and sunshine, enjoy what makes Barbados (Little England) special. 

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@FJB I haven't done a zip lining excursion there before! I love zip lining so I would certainly give it a try. Does it go through a rainforest? What is the scenery like? I would prefer to book through the excursion desk onboard the cruise ship as well. It's worth the extra money for peace of mind. Do you recall the name of your excursion and which zip line place you went to? 

@Seaawgs That's awesome! That terrain doesn't sound ideal for a slingshot! Maybe renting a small truck would be best. I completely agree. What is your personal favorite part of the island? What is the history behind Little England? I didn't know that was Barbados' nickname. 

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On 2/28/2024 at 1:30 PM, Cruising Caribbean said:

@FJB I haven't done a zip lining excursion there before! I love zip lining so I would certainly give it a try. Does it go through a rainforest? What is the scenery like? I would prefer to book through the excursion desk onboard the cruise ship as well. It's worth the extra money for peace of mind. Do you recall the name of your excursion and which zip line place you went to? 

@Seaawgs

this place

 

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  • 1 month later...

@FJB Thanks for sharing the photo and the map! I would absolutely give this place a shot next time I'm there, but I would make my husband bring along his proper filming gear to document the adventure! It's been way too long since I have done a zip line adventure. It would be my first time zip lining it a terrain like that. I have only zip lined in very wooded terrain in the Carolinas. This adventure is pretty deep in the island. I didn't realize. Were there some cuisine options nearby or did you have to dine elsewhere?

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6 hours ago, Cruising Caribbean said:

@FJB Thanks for sharing the photo and the map! I would absolutely give this place a shot next time I'm there, but I would make my husband bring along his proper filming gear to document the adventure! It's been way too long since I have done a zip line adventure. It would be my first time zip lining it a terrain like that. I have only zip lined in very wooded terrain in the Carolinas. This adventure is pretty deep in the island. I didn't realize. Were there some cuisine options nearby or did you have to dine elsewhere?

This place was in the middle of nowhere- I did not see any dining options nearby.  

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@FJB I'm assuming you won't be cruising with a zip lining crew. There are plenty of other things you can do as excursions instead. Does you crew enjoy snorkeling or being out on the water? I can only assume you will be coordinating all of the adventures for this upcoming itinerary. You are a master cruise planner, and always share splendid videos of your epic cruise experiences! 

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8 hours ago, Cruising Caribbean said:

@FJB I'm assuming you won't be cruising with a zip lining crew. There are plenty of other things you can do as excursions instead. Does you crew enjoy snorkeling or being out on the water? I can only assume you will be coordinating all of the adventures for this upcoming itinerary. You are a master cruise planner, and always share splendid videos of your epic cruise experiences! 

As far as I know, there are no ziplining courses at any of the ports on this upcoming cruise.   I am looking at some snorkeling adventures though.  

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