We Need More Space

Above – A Manila Jeepney

Please Help

We have reached the space maximum for our current plan and will not be able to add more than one or two more posts without upgrading our plan or moving to a new host. This has been a hobby and we have really enjoyed sharing our travels and tips but do not want this to become a major investment. We would really like to hear what others do and what providers we should investigate.

Please Contact us:

Intent2Travel@gmx.com

And let us know your experiences.

What We Have Done

Web Site – We passed our one year anniversary just a couple of weeks ago using the free hosting at WordPress.com. We bought a couple of domain names so our total initial out of pocket was under $25 (with another $25 to renew the domains last month). In the beginning I would reduce the size of photographs to web specifications to save space but stopped after a few months. It seemed I had plenty of space and I realized that there were visual issues with the reduced size pictures (I now see that this is the main reason we now out of space).

I have learned a lot about the WordPress platform over this year including work arounds to get features of plugins that aren’t allowed under our WordPress plan. The learning curve has been steep at times and I am not looking forward to starting from scratch.

Other Sites – We have set up other social media sites primarily to help promote the blog and have managed to pull it all together with four strongly related names. We are on Pinterest and twitter with the name Intent2Travel and facebook with the name Intend2Travel.

Email – Our emails are all with GMX for a number of reasons. First they are free, they also do not cause all the security issues when traveling internationally that happen with Apple, Gmail, Outlook… Doing this also allow us to maintain these addresses even if we change domains.

Potential Problems

The Intentional Traveler site currently uses over 600 internal links mainly for indexes,  that will ALL have to be redirected with a change in address (this may be unavoidable regardless of what we decide). We also have over a thousand incoming links from shared and other social media sites that would also have to be edited (this may also be unavoidable regardless of what we decide).

I am also concerned about continuity with followers and subscribers both on the site and also with the other social sites? In looking into WordPress it seems that I can set up a redirect using a plugin but the only way I can use these plugins is to buy an upgrade  which doesn’t make financial sense.

What We Have Looked At So Far

WordPress – If we have to upgrade it doesn’t seem to make sense to pay for a service that still doesn’t allow services that we would really like to have. Some plugins are an important issue and WordPress currently would be $300 a year which doesn’t make financial sense to us.

Bluehost -This host offers a lot of what we want for less than $50 year right now. We set up a free 30 day trial with Bluehost since they use the WordPress engine and we exported and imported our site (have not published as yet). While all the posts and categories and menus seemed to have imported, about 20% of the photos are missing. Also headers, widgets and directories are missing so it will require hours of work to get ready to publish.

Again – Please Help we could really use some advice on this
Intent2Travel@gmx.com
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Cruise Port St. George, Grenada

St George Harbor

Once an out-of-the-way island, Grenada is gaining in popularity as a cruise ship port of call. The capital of St. George is considered by many as one of the Caribbean’s most picturesque towns wrapping around a half-moon shaped harbor. Called the spice island it is also a great place to shop for nutmeg and other spices.

 

Where the Ship Docks – St. George has a well equipped cruise pier and terminal located below Fort St. George and attached to the Esplanade shopping mall.

Fort St. George sits above the town.
Grand Anse Beach

Transportation – Getting around the island usually requires a taxi, water taxi or renting a car. Rental cars are available in St. George but you will need to pay about EC$30 for a temporary drivers license.

Taxis – Taxi fares are reasonably inexpensive with a trip around town costing less than EC$11 or US$4 or out to Grand Anse Beach for EC$27 or US$10.

Money – Grenada is part of a group of islands that form a common market and use the Eastern Caribbean Dollar with EC$2.67 equal to one US Dollar. US Dollars and credit cards are normally accepted.

Christ of the Deep statue

Attractions –

Beaches – Grenada has an abundance of great beaches but the most popular is Grand Anse Beach not far from St. George.

The Rain Forest – This island is blessed with some of the richest rain forests in the Caribbean offering a number of nature trails and waterfalls to visit.

Grenada Rainforest

Spices – Known as the spice island you can find dozens of opportunities to buy spices at really remarkable prices. If you have the time take a tour of a plantation. One of the most popular spices grown here is nutmeg.

Port of Call Grand Cayman

General – George Town, Grand Cayman is a major cruise destination for Western Caribbean cruises. It is a modern town with good duty free shopping along with a number of good tour itineraries. The port requires tendering but the tender pier is right in town.

Transportation – There are basically three ways to get around this island:

Bus System – Cayman actually has a pretty efficient bus system with fares starting at CI$2.50. The central bus terminal is located in central George Town.

Taxis – Taxis a are readily available but like most thing is Cayman can be pricey.

Rental Cars – Cars are pretty easy to arrange but can be a bit expensive. Remember the drive on the left.

Sting Ray City

Money – The local currency is CI$ and is fixed at an exchange of US$1.25 to CI$1.00, so remember that everything is 20% more expensive than it seems. The US$ is readily accepted.

Local Attractions – Beaches, beaches, beaches with the centerpiece being Seven Mile Beach with its resort hotels and restaurants. The island is also a scuba and snorkeling paradise. Grand Cayman was the originator of the stingray tour called Sting Ray City.

Other attractions include swim with the dolphins at  Dolphin Discovery, The Cayman Turtle Center, Crystal Caves and visiting Hell (a gift shop with famous post office).

 

The Cruise Port of Barbados

               * Distance to Bridgetown

General – Barbados is in the Lesser Antilles, the eastern most island in the Caribbean. It is an independent British Commonwealth nation, bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Caribbean Sea.

 

Where You’re Docked – Cruise ships dock at the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal and free shuttles take passengers from the ships to the terminal building. There are lots of shops inside the terminal and WI FI is available but not free. A walkway into Bridgetown runs along the waterfront. The distance is approximately one mile. Most stores are open during the week but close at noon on Saturday and are not open on Sunday.

Transportation – There are lots of taxies available from the cruise terminal area. The fares are regulated by the government so it is important to agree on a price before the trip. The Georgetown Bus Terminal is located two blocks outside the port area, behind Pelican Village. Exact fares must be paid for bus rides and tokens can be purchased at the bus terminal. Rental cars are available but the rates are fairly steep, driving is on the left side of the road and, once you leave the city areas, many roads do not have name sig

Money – The official currency is the Barbados dollar (BBD) but US dollars (not coins) are widely accepted. The current exchange rate is US $1.00 = BBD $2.00.

 

 

Nearby trips:

There are many beautiful beaches in Barbados but the easiest one to get to is Boatyard Beach on Carlisle Bay. It is about a 20 minute walk from the terminal or an inexpensive taxi ride. A fee of $20.00 is charged to use the facilities which include a beach chair, shared umbrella, one cocktail, WIFI and free transport back to the ship.

Mount Gay Rum Distillery in Brandons, St. Michaels offers tours Monday to Friday and sometimes on Saturday. The current fee is $20.00 which includes a presentation on the rum’s history and a tasting. Tickets can be booked online.

Harrison’s Cave in St. Thomas is a network of caves, waterfalls, lakes and streams approximately 170 feet below ground. Tours are offered daily for a fee. The area above ground is a good place to spot green monkeys.

Earthworks Pottery is located mid island in St. Thomas Parish. It is an opportunity to view local potters at work and purchase some hand made souvenirs. Closed Sunday.

George Washington House in Bush Hill welcomes visitors Monday through Saturday. It is the only place outside the United States that George Washington ever visited.

Bathsheba on the rugged Atlantic coast (eastern shore) is a great place to see surfers and enjoy a lunch at one of the local restaurants.

Black Pearly Party Cruises provides a 4 hour trip on the Jolly Roger which includes a buffet lunch, swimming, snorkeling, dancing and unlimited house drinks. The price is just under $90.00 with discounts for online booking and groups.

IMPORTANT – Do not wear camouflage clothing as it is illegal in Barbados; Only smoke in designated areas; Avoid touching or standing under the big shady Manshineel Trees as they are poisonous. Most of these trees are marked in red or banded in red.

 

Cruise Port Antigua, W.I.

General – The sovereign state of Antigua & Barbuda is located in the middle of the Leeward Islands chain, between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. In 2017, most of Barbuda’s infrastructure was destroyed by Hurricane Irma and the population was evacuated to Antigua. Rebuilding will be a slow and painful process as resources are extremely limited.

Where You’re Docked – The cruise ships normally dock at Heritage Quay or Redcliff Quay in the downtown area of St. John’s, the capital and largest city on the island. If there are a lot of ships in port, some may dock at the Deep Water Harbour Terminal approximately 1.5 miles from the city. It is best to take a taxi from this area as there are no sidewalks going into St. John’s from this location. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the Quay area although many are closed on Sundays and public holidays. There are also several spots that offer WI-FI for either a small fee or free with a purchase. The beautiful St. John’s Cathederal which dates back to 1845 is a beautiful historic site to visit right in town.

Transportation – There are lots of taxi cabs available from the cruise dock area. Many taxis have a fixed fare set by the government but you can try to negotiate your fare before agreeing on the trip. There is limited public bus service but it can be complicated to use and very time consuming. Rental cars can be expensive because, in addition to the rental rate, a $20.00 temporary driving permit is required.

Money – The official currency is the East Caribbean dollar (EC) but US dollars are widely accepted. The current exchange rate is US $1.00 = EC$2.70.

Nearby trips:

Antigua is said to have 365 beaches, one for every day of the year. For tourists, one of the more popular ones is Dickenson Bay, approximately 15 minutes from St. Johns. It offers a lively atmosphere with restaurants, bars and resorts.

Best view of the island is from Shirley Heights which also offers a nice restaurant for a meal with a spectacular view. A visit can be easily incorporated with a trip to Nelson’s Dockyard, the only working Georgian Dockyard in the Caribbean.

English Harbor is the main town in the south and it is the heart of the yachting community.

A visit to Barbuda is possible via the Barbuda Express, a 90 minute ferry service operating from the ferry dock in St. John’s. The ferry runs 6 days a week (not on Wednesday) with one departure and one arrival daily. Adult r/t tickets run $85.00 and children’s are less. Advance reservations are recommended.

 

St. Thomas USVI Cruise Ports

St. Thomas is the most populated of the U.S. Virgin Islands and is a major port of call for Caribbean cruise itineraries. There are two widely separated cruise ship docks so you should try and check out where your ship will dock. It will either be Crown Bay west of Charlotte Amalie or The West Indian Company Dock next to Havensight just to the east of town.

Crown Bay Dock – Getting into Charlotte Amalie from the Crown Bay dock, which used to be referred to as the Sub Base area, will require a taxi or a tourist bus. Walking is a bout 1.75 miles along busy roadways.

Havensight Docks – There is a great walking trail less than a mile and a half along the water from the docks near Havensight, which goes thru the shops

West Indian Company Dock

of Yacht Haven and into Charlotte Amalie. Yacht Haven is an upscale marina with a number of designer shops along with cafes, bars and a good grocery store. It’s also from Havensight where you catch the cable car up to Blackbeard’s Castle Resort for a drink and to take in the views.

Getting Around – The best way of getting from either dock into Charlotte Amalie is to take a tourist bus (of which there are plenty) currently $4 per person each way. Traveling around the island it would be best to hire a taxi or rent a car (remember the island drives on the left side)

You can also take a ferry  over to St. Johns for the day. St. Johns is the other US Virgin Island and is mostly preserved as a National Park. If you go, don’t forget your beach gear, mask and snorkel as St. John is famous for Trunk Bay with its beach and its laid-out snorkeling trails. The shortest ferry route is between Red Hook on St.Thomas and Cruz Bay on StJohn. That trip costs $6.00 each way, takes approximately 20 minutes and runs hourly between 6:00 am and Midnight. A longer ferry route runs from downtown Charlotte Amalie to Cruz Bay.

Places to Visit -Take some time to get over to the far side of the island to visit Megan’s Bay, which is consistently named one of the world’s ten best beaches.  Frenchman’s Reef beach is still a good choice and the reef is about 100 yards from shore.  We would also recommend a visit to the sea life park, Coral World, especially if you have younger children with you.

In Charlotte Amalie the main downtown stretches about ten blocks west from the fort along the waterfront. The waterfront road is Veterans Highway and one block up is Kronprindsens Gade with dozens of alleys and streets connecting the two. Stroll down the ten blocks of Kronprindsens Gade for some good duty free shopping or visit the shops, cafes and galleries in the many alleys with names like Drakes Passage and Creque’s Alley.

Again remember the island drives on the left side so fight your instincts and look right before crossing streets.

Cruise Port Sint Maarten

General – This island is divided into two parts, Sint Maarten is the Dutch side while Saint Martin is the French side. It is a favorite cruise destination because the cruise port can handle several large cruise ships at one time.

Where You’re Docked – The cruise ships dock on the Dutch side close to the town of Philipsburg. The cruise ship docking area includes a large shopping village with several food and drink outlets. The Dutch town of Philipsburg is less than half a mile away walking. The town on the French side is Marigot and is decidedly French in character with a number of good bistros and restaraunts.

Transportation – From the cruise dock there is a boat shuttle service that goes directly to Philipsburg for about US$5 one way or US$8 for a day pass. It will require a taxi or a minibus to reach Marigot and you should be cautioned that with several large ships in port traffic can back up badly late in the day returning to the cruise ships, so allow plenty of time for the trip back. Taxi service is reasonably priced with a trip to the other side of Philipsburg costing less than US$5. A minibus to Marigot should be about US$5.

Money – While the two half’s of the island have their own currency the U.S. dollar is welcome on the Dutch side but Euros are usually required on the French side. Giving a 15% gratuity is common practice also.

Port St Maarten has a web site with a schedule of ship arrivals here.

Nearby Trips:

  • Philipsburg – The main town on the Dutch side with a large beach.
  • Maho Bay Beach – Located at the end of the main airport runway. People seem to like to stand in the jet blast as planes land and takeoff. There is a bar on the beach.
  • Marigot – A sleepy town on the French side noted for good food.
  • Orient Beach – A beautiful beach near Marigot on the French side. Topless and nude bathing is common.

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