We arrived in Guam and I was pretty eager to get on land. Not that I’ve been sea-sick or anything, I was just excited to take a break from the cruise routine and tour the city. It took a while before we actually got off the boat. We had to go through customs, eat breakfast, etc. Additionally, we didn’t have an excursion booked (they were sold out) so there wasn’t a real schedule we were sticking to. We got on a shuttle (provided by Princess) which was constantly going to and from the ship to a hotel in downtown guam throughout the day.
Once at the hotel, we took advantage of their free wifi and grabbed a snack from the cafe. I was able to chat with my family back home for a little while (surprisingly clear FaceTime for public wifi). Once refreshed, we decided to buy a day pass for the trolley system. I’d actually never been in a city that had a public transportation system like this. It was awesome and supper efficient. The day pass cost us $10, but you could also buy them cheaper for larger chunks of time. Basically, there were a series of bright red trolleys that ran all over the city. They each followed a colored path, and using one of the many maps located around the area, you could determine which trolley color you needed to take to get to where you needed to go. It was really, really cool. And a new trolley appeared at each stop around every 5 minutes.
So, with our day pass in hand, we basically just hopped around the downtown area of guam and explored. We stopped into shops and malls and just had a really good time. Again, it was super conveniently and really fun to be able to just pick a spot on the map, and wait for that colored trolley to come and pick you up and take you there. I really wish more cities would do this because it worked out really well.
Guam seems like a really nice place. The downtown area reminded me a bit of the local downtowns in my area (think Royal Oak or Ann Arbor) but there were a lot of name brand stores and a few attractions (I saw a carnival looking ride, an aquarium, etc.) and the beaches we beautiful. I’m talking crystal clear water. The downtown area was definitely the nicest. There was an interesting mixture of glamour and urban life on the island. I noticed a lot of nice cars and big mansions up in the hills overlooking the water. But there was also a lot of abandoned buildings and run down houses. The downtown area was definitely my favorite spot.
It was interesting too, because most of the people were Japanese. Obviously the island has a lot of Japanese history, but being American now, I hadn’t really expected that. It really felt like we were in Tokyo or something. It was interesting. All of the signage was in both english and Japanese. And even the trolley drivers (who weren’t Japanese) could speak Japanese. It was really surprising.
On a side note… It was funny, as we were driving around the city, we passed people on the street that I recognized from the cruise. I just laughed to myself when we walked into a random store or dove down the street and was like, “Oh, I know that person!”
So, all in all, I’d definitely say the the Guam trip was a success. It actually worked out really well that we didn’t have an excursion (because frankly, it was the one place that I didn’t really like any of the tours they were offering). I thoroughly enjoyed the self-guided trolley tour and even want to go back again to explore some more!