I have been thinking about taking my wife on a cruise. we have never been but love going to the islands, would we get board on a ship? what kind of things can you do? We like romance but want to be able to have some fun with each other too. can you tan topless ect on there . thanks
A cruise can be a very romantic vacation. A walk along the deck in the moonlight is VERY romantic! You can do as much or as little as you like. I really don't think you'd get bored on this particular cruise. You are in port every day except Friday. The ship offers many shore excursions on each island and there are also plenty of things happening on the ship as well. There are shows in the Lounge every evening and we found the entertainment in the various bars to be excellent. What talent! There was an art auction, Talent Show, Newlywed/Not So Newlywed Game,Bingo, Country Line Dancing, Pool Games, Ice Carving Demo, Golf Putting Tournament, Nautica Spa, Lip Sync Contest, Galley Tour, Bridge Tour, Etc. Etc. Etc. Yes, there is a topless deck. I believe it was on the Sun deck. A cruise is a great way to visit the islands. I have found a few that I'd like to return to and some that I wouldn't care to go back to.
We only took two of the shore excursions offered by Carnival - the Jolly Roger Party Tour on Barbados and the City/Barcardi Distillery Tour on San Juan. I would recommend both of these tours. The Jolly Roger was alot of fun and our whole group (14) went on it. I would not recommend taking kids on it however, since it got pretty wild. The City/Barcardi Distillery Tour was a good way to be the first off the ship (no sitting around waiting for your color luggage tag to be called for disembarkation). We got a great tour of Old San Juan, did some shopping, ate lunch and then toured the Distillery. (Very interesting & great samples!) Our taxi driver got us to the airport about 3:30 and our flight was at 4:00. Perfect timing!
My sister and her husband did most of the snorkeling tours. The one they most talked about was the Champagne Snorkel on Dominicia. She said this was the best snorkeling experience they had ever had. Two of the other couples did the SomeTing Cool excursion on either St Maarten or Barbados (I can't remember) and they said it was a waste of money. We hired a taxi in St Maarten to take us to the beach. $5/pp each way. He took us to Orient Beach - the one with the clothing optional side. We rented a chair, umbrella, rum punch and a ticket for the bathroom for $6/pp.( Each addtional trip to the bathroom was .50) The water was unbelievably beautiful! We also hired a taxi on Martinique for $20/pp and got a tour of the island. He took us as far north as St Pierre, through the rain forest, then down along the coast. It was a beautiful drive and we all felt we got our money's worth. It took up a better part of the day. We even toured a banana plantation. He dropped us off in town for shopping and we walked back to the ship. I think if you see a shore excursion that sounds like you'd enjoy it - go for it. If you're just going to the beach or shopping you'd probably do better on your own. We found the Cruise Director to be very honest about the excursions. Ask him.
We went on the Fascination for our honeymoon in January and had a great time. We went on a few more excursions then Pam did and had a great time on all of them. I didn't feel that the prices were overly high, I'm sure you could do better on your own but then you can waste half a day figuring out what to do and how to get there. We went on excursions at all the islands and our Sign and Sail total was under $500 for the two of us for everything all week that cost extra from the ship.
St. Thomas: Coral World and Coki beach are great, but we went shopping. I have been to St. Thomas several times.
St. Maarten: Golden Eagle Catamarn. This was so fun. It was worth the price. Not a trip if you get seasick easily, lots of people had that problem since it was pretty windy the day we went.
Dominica: Pools and Falls tour. Just as good as the more expensive, longer tour. This island is the poorest you will stop at and need to be prepared for it. Carnival doesn't suggest that you get off the ship if you don't take one of their tours and I would have to agree. Once you get out of the city it is beautiful, but it is intimidating at the port.
Martinique: We went shopping downtown. Make sure you take small bills. Most shops will take US dollars but some will give change in French francs. We took a cab downtown and then walked back to the boat, it is not that far once you know where you are going.
Barbados: We went on the Malibu Rum Factory Tour and on the Jolly Roger Cruise. They were both lots of fun in the sun. At Malibu you get a tour of the factory a free drink (large in size) and then a couple hours on their private beach. The jolly roger is a party boat where the rum punch is included in the price and gets stronger as the cruise goes on . I would agree that it is not the place for young kids as most people come off pretty drunk.