Shore Leave: What to Do in Port

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Traveling by cruise ship presents an opportunity to visit many places in a short time. The flip side is that your stay in each port of call will be brief. For this reason, cruise lines offer shore excursions, which maximize passengers' time.

Of course, you can always book a tour independently, hire a taxi, or use foot power to explore on your own. Here are some suggestions from our Talk forums users for what to do when you go ashore:

If you are wondering which tour to do, you could try the half day jeep tour which is a chauffeur guided tour, you would still have time to head to Palm Beach and try whichever water sport appeals to you. more

I took my two children by myself to Chankanaab and it was a great time, very reasonable and easy to do on my own. They loved the sea lion show, snorkeling, playing in the sand, walking around the park. There was a whole lot there that we didn't even get to, we spent about 4 hours there. The entire excursion cost me less than $50. I highly recommend it. more

Key West
Head down to the marina area and stroll the docks. Lots of interesting boats and interesting people. Check out the huge and glorious tarpon swimming just yards away, looking for a handout. Walk the neighborhood around Blue Heaven for a real out-island feel. more

In the Bahamas, there is the Ardasta Zoo and Gardens, Atlantis to view the Aquarium and Digs, Straw Market for tourist shopping. I'm sure your cruise line has some type of Island tour you can take. Stuart Cove for water activities. We did a catamaran tour on the Flying Cloud for snorkling and drop at a beach for an hour. more

St. Lucia
If you are interested in snorkeling, I would do the Land and Sea Tour while on St. Lucia. Some of the best snorkeling in on the island is reportedly near the Piton's and you would probably get 2 stops on this type of excursion for snorkeling. more

San Juan
San Juan is a very cool city, so if that is where you leave from, I recommend getting there at least one day (or more) before your cruise leaves to explore San Juan. PR is a dest. in itself, so if you can spare the time - we couldn't - stay for a few days. more

We snorkeled twice at Brewers. Its much easier to get to (paved road). Its a calm bay, and there is a nice little beach bar that has reasonable food and drinks... here was never more than four couples the both days were were there. more

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