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Old 04-22-2012, 09:20 AM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,877 posts, read 20,171,745 times
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Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Boston and Portland are two of my favorite places--I visit both regularly for business. In Boston I'd suggest walking the Freedom Trail. You don't need to take a shore excursion or tour, I'd pick up the official Freedom Trail Guidebook in advance, you can order from Amazon. There's a great restaurant half a block from the Old Meeting House called Four Green Fields that offers amazing food with Irish flare, but it's fare from typical pub grub. It's reasonably priced as well.

Portland is even more compact, there are great places to eat--most are causal--and lots of shopping. It's a super walkable city, you can walk from the pier to the heart of the old Portland area. You don't need a shore excursion there either, just explore on your own.
Yeah ... I was hoping that I could explore on my own in Boston and Newport, RI (I made a mistake when I typed Maine ). I will research my options prior to embarking and see what can be done on my own to save money and to give me more freedom to explore as some tours don't give you that luxury. Now Bermuda is definitely a place I seriously will research as I'm totally unfamiliar with this country ... I may wind up booking an excursion for this port (King's Wharf) but hopefully, it will have walkable areas that I can do some exploration on my own
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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Originally Posted by Wwanderer View Post
As for Eastern versus Western Caribbean, if you're interested in history and culture, the western ports like Belize, Guatemala and the Yucatan give you access to tours of Mayan sites that are very memorable. I've never found safety to be a problem as long as you're on a group tour.
other than the ruins I would recommend just the opposite. We have crused about 25 time now and I would only recommend the western Caribbean to those who are really into water activities.

To the OP, I only have one thing to advise you about, summer cruising in the Caribben is a little limited as many ships leave for Europe, Bermuda and Alaska from late April until early or mid Oct, so you might be limited in your choices. Add to that being summer the ships are geared to family activities. I am not saying this is bad, but be prepared for lots of little feet. If you are open to anytime in the summer, I would shoot for late in August. Many kids have returned to school by then.

Nita
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:32 PM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,877 posts, read 20,171,745 times
Reputation: 35909
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
other than the ruins I would recommend just the opposite. We have crused about 25 time now and I would only recommend the western Caribbean to those who are really into water activities.

To the OP, I only have one thing to advise you about, summer cruising in the Caribben is a little limited as many ships leave for Europe, Bermuda and Alaska from late April until early or mid Oct, so you might be limited in your choices. Add to that being summer the ships are geared to family activities. I am not saying this is bad, but be prepared for lots of little feet. If you are open to anytime in the summer, I would shoot for late in August. Many kids have returned to school by then.

Nita
Thanks for your feedback. I have already booked my trip to Bermuda and it will be in late July. I would love the luxury of booking when the kids are still in school but being a school employee myself, I have to contend with summer and December sailings. I actually opted to do the Bermuda as I was concerned about the extreme heat/humidity and wasn't too gung-ho on the shore excursions (although it is possible that I may get some severe temps in Bermuda, I'm just hoping it won't be too bad). What I especially liked about my itinerary is that there are two US ports and I have never been to Boston or Rhode Island.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:15 PM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
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u will have fun either way, east or west I have found generally Carnival has more of a party atmosphere than Royal Caribbean
At times I like the quiet and other times I like the abundance of clubs they have on Carnival ships

As for safety, pay a little more and stick with shore excursions sold on the ship. Some places like Grand Caymen and St Thomas you can find a good tour for sale cheap on the pier, and be ok, but other places like anywhere in Jamaica or Nassau, stay close to the ship or with a tour,
Chances are you will meet others on the ship and hang out with them in the ports anyway
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