Eastern Caribbean Cruise Advice from Allure of the Seas

Family Pic with Kung Fu PandaA couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of cruising the Eastern Caribbean with my family for 7 days on the Allure of the Seas.  My family consists of me and my wife, my 10 year old son and 4 year old daughter.  Here are some Eastern Caribbean Cruise Tips for Families:

Nassau, Bahamas Tips

In Nassau, we decided to hit the water park and aquarium at the enormous resort The Atlantis.  $4 per person each way cab ride from the ship.  $400 for full access to the water park, aquarium, and beaches for a family of four.  The kids loved the water slides, kid pools, lazy river, and aquarium.  For the adults, the water slides like the Leap of Faith and the Challenger are pretty intense. I had a blast going down the slides.  The lines were not too long, and we did everything we wanted to do in a few hours.

The Challenger Slide at Atlantis

While we had a great time at Atlantis… but we made a few mistakes.  We brought our daughter’s floaties and 4 beach towels from the cruise ship. Atlantis provides life jackets and towels at the water park.  So, make it easy on yourself and leave the floaties and towels on your cruise ship.

Atlantis also has lockers to rent. Just make sure you return the key to the locker, or you will get charge a $50 replacement fee.

PRO Savings TIP:  You can save $100 – $60, by buying a room at the Comfort Suite next door to the Atlantis which comes with a day pass for up to 4 people.  Sounds counter-intuitive, but it works.

PRO TIP:  The last 2 times we’ve went to the Atlantis while cruising, we hit traffic on the way back to the ship that made our cab ride take 45 minutes.  Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get back to the cruise ship.  There is only one bridge back over to the ship and it has been severely backed up for us the last 2 cruises.

Magen’s Bay, St. Thomas Tips

We are a beach family.  We enjoy playing with the kids in the ocean and on the beach.  We also like to do things on our own schedule, so at most ports we just get off the ship and find a cab or shuttle to one of the closest beaches.

Magen’s Bay St. Thomas – $8 per person each way cab ride from the ship.

There is a bar and restaurant on the beach.  $15 minimum spend [3.5 beers] to use the credit card and they will let you run a tab.  It seems to be a trustworthy establishment.
Magen's Bay Pic
Magen’s Bay is a fairly crowded beach, but if you are willing to walk down the beach a little ways, the crowd thins out nicely and you can get a nice piece of the beach to yourself as you can see in the pictures.  We brought our daughter’s floaties and she loved floating out in the bay.

 

 

Pro Tip: Don’t feed the iguanas :).  The Cruise Line Excursion to Megan’s Bay is a good bit more expensive for a day at Megan’s Bay then just getting off the ship and doing it yourself.   Remember the Ship departs on ‘Ship time’. Always have watch set to ‘Ship Time’ because cell phones can pick up/display times that are incorrect.

Iguana Photo from Magen's Bay

Le Galion Beach, St. Maarten Tips

Rich Tucker on Le Galion Beach Le Galion Beach is one of the Caribbean best kept secrets.  I guess you could say was a well kept secret.  We loved it so much, that I was truly tempted not to share it.  Le Galion is on the French side of the Island and is closer to the cruise ship terminal than the popular and crowded Orient Beach.  From the photos, you can see that similar to Magens Bay, St Thomas, Le Galion Beach is surrounded by luscious green hills.  The bay is protected by the Atlantic Ocean by a reef.  We met a family who’d been on St. Maarten for the week and they were back for a 2nd time to Le Galion Beach because out of the 4 beaches they’d visited on the island, it was their favorite.

There is a bar/restaurant on the beach. We did not eat there, but the food did look good with a noticeable French influence.

We brought towels from the Allure of the Seas to layout on and my daughter’s floaties.  It is $7 per person each way cab ride from the ship.

Pro Tip: The restaurant/bar at Le Galion Beach will call a cab for you when you are ready to be picked up.  We got the cab driver who drove us from the pier to the beach and called him from the restaurant to come pick us up.

Thinking about Cruising the Allure of the Seas? Checkout CruiseDeals.com’s Facebook offer.

 

 

More Eastern Caribbean Photos

 

Want to see more pics from our Allure of the Seas Vacation?  click here-> Allure of the Seas Vacation Photos.

 

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About Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is the Social Media Manager for Travel Leader's Leisure Group and Founder/Editor of CruiseSource.us. Rich has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Wired Magazine, BusinessWeek.com, USA Today, ABCnews.com, and several other major media outlets either as a cruise pricing expert or for his use of social media in the cruise industry.

13 Responses to “Eastern Caribbean Cruise Advice from Allure of the Seas”

  1. Thanks for sharing your experiences! I’m off to E.Carib. on the Allure next year and I’m definitely bookmarking your tips to keep them in mind!

  2. Enjoyed the Allure Sooo much, we are ready to go again. Watch Mexico, we got scammed—don’t use credit card ashore !!! and we have sailed many times and never had trouble !!!!

  3. Thanks so much for the info about le Galion! Sailing on Solstice this weekend and I have been looking everywhere for current info. You helped solidify my decision to go to le Galion. Did you see much nudity? Just want to prepare my 11 year old for it. :)

    Thanks again for the great info!

    • Kim,

      Excited that this post is going to add value to your cruise vacation! There was only one lady laying topless the day that we went to le Galion Beach.

      Rich

  4. Thanks for the review. I have been stressing over what to do on St Martin and St Thomas with family of 5 with an 8,6,4 yr old (first ever cruise – Disney Fantasy in June 2012). These two look like our speed: laid back; peaceful and pretty. Can you snorkel at Le Galion or is the reef too far out? Also, any other recommendations to do on either island with kids? Wife of course wants to shop: guess in the city center of each is the best?

  5. Great words of advice! I will be remembering all of this! I will be boarding in 3 days – glad I found this! We are pumped about the competitive sports and beaches! So excited – first cruise for us!

    matt

  6. Hi Rich,

    My name is Patty and I’m a travel agent. I was given your blog and loved it. Your article on the Allure is awesome. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing the information. Patty.Robinson

  7. We will be sailing on Allure in a few weeks and came across your page. Had a couple of questions tho, hope you can help re: Nassau, Bahamas:

    1. According to the itinerary, the ship docks in Bahamas at 7am and leaves at 3pm. Was that enough time to go to Atlantis and truely enjoy it? I mean, for the 4 of us (please the 20 others we’re travelling with), is it really worth spending the $$$ to go for the day?

    2. And what time would you recommend leaving Atlantis to head back to the port? According to one of the sites, there are 3 other ships in port the day we’re there.

    • Natalie,

      Those are excellent questions. We were at the Atlantis close to 8:45AM. By 1 PM we had done every slide at the water park. We would have like a little more time to spend at the Atlantis to lay out and relax, but with a 4 & 10 year old we were ok with going back to the ship.

      Whether you are at Atlantis for 5 or 8 hours it is pricey. Since we went down every slide at the water park, we felt like we did pretty good. Plus, for families in Nassau, Atlantis is your best option.

      We saved money by waiting til we got back to the Allure to eat lunch.

      I recommend heading back to the ship at least 1 hour & 15 mins before last boarding. There is only one bridge to get you from the Atlantis over to the ship and I have seen it back up due to accidents and construction.

      Hope this helps,
      Rich Tucker

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