Posted February 8th, 2013, 10:02 PM
Wow! How great to come here and get all of this awesome feedback! Thanks guys!
Ok, so maybe all of you experienced cruisers can tell me if you think any of these itineraries are really more exotic/exciting than the others? I like the idea of sailing out of New Orleans, b/c we just love New Orleans. And Jamaica sounds like fun (although I'm torn about some human rights issues there, but anyway). The Western Caribbean trip on the Dawn is the one that sounds the most exotic to me - Central America with monkeys and rain forests ... or am I terribly wrong? Are these places all virtually the same with minor differences in cultures? I swear I'm making this into the biggest decision of my life.
Each port is different, yet the same in ways. The shops are pretty much the same everywhere, unless you get away from the cruise ship terminal. Culture is different in each port, but I wouldn't say drastically so. The geography of the ports is different too. Some areas are relatively flat, others very rugged and mountainous.
We prefer the Western Caribbean, and have done that itinerary 3 times, mainly because we love to snorkel, and Belize and Roatan have some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean! Cozumel, it was cool to see the Mayan ruins (very hot, though!), if you go to Tulum, there is a nice beach to cool off in!
We've been to Jamaica once, and are getting ready to go again in April. I highly recommend Dunn's River Falls there, and you can often combine that excursion with something else (at least, Carnival does).