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Hi. I am considering a couple of cruises. One goes to St Croix and other goes to Caracao. The other ports are fairly identical. Which island is better? We don't snorkel, we just like nice beaches and touring the islands.
Take beach shoes if you go to Curacao. The beaches are mostly ground up coral and will hurt your feet. Curacao has some of the best scuba diving in the world, but if you aren't into that or snorkeling than it's really not that great for the water aspect. Very nice shopping district there. We went on a Sunday and everything was pretty much closed by the time we finished diving!
St. Croix does have very nice beaches to sit on, and wade out into the water. There's one not far from the cruise ship pier. The other we visited was on the far side of the island where you go out to Buck island. The last time we were there the little square/park area was filled with street vendors. Try a taste of Miss V's hot sauce if she's still making it. One small bottle will last a lifetime (it really is that hot).
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Curacao is by far better in my opinion. It is a beautiful port. If you walk across the swinging bridge, you can pick up an island tour with drop off and pick up at beach for $15. Best deal around. We went to both on our January cruise. We went to the beach just off the ship in St. Croix. Not a very nice beach. We love Curacao. Have been there twice and would go back anytime.
For nice beaches only steps away from the cruise ship, St. Croix wins.
For shopping and touring, Curacao is far better. And the beaches there are great, just not as quickly accessible from the ship.
St. Croix is much further north, whereas Curacao is about as far south as you can go on a Caribbean cruise. If you're thinking about a winter cruise, I would pick Curacao for the warmer temps. It's also a more exotic and interesting destination in general.
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Curacao I did the tour of the Island and for the most part it was rocky with only a couple of beaches that were ground up shells rather than smooth sand.. My hubby did a Culinary cooking class which he enjoyed.. It's great Picture postcard perfect if you want to head into town and shop.. Out of the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) it's definitely my least favourite as a beach destination..
I've been to St Croix twice and have enjoyed it, a few weeks ago we did Big Beards full day tour.. I know you said you don't snorkel but we actually got to spend a little time on Buck Island before going to the other side to snorkel, we then went to a beach for a BBQ.. The sand was soft and smooth... I'm sure you could hire a cab and go directly to a beach.. Curacao's beaches are not noteworthy...
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Definitely Curacao. There is more to see and do there. Plus its warmer.
IMHO, St Croix is just a slightly less developed version of St. Thomas. Curacao is a totally different country.
I get the impression that St. Croix thinks they are doing us a favor by allowing cruisers to spend the day there. There are a few nice beaches close to the port, but most of the interesting parts of the island are an extremely expensive cab ride away. As Joe mentioned, at Curacao, $15 pp can get you an island tour and drop off at the beach. On St Croix, it will cost you $16 pp for a round trip shuttle to Christiansted. They treat you like cattle in a 12 person van, and you will likely have to wait for the van to fill up both at the port AND Christiansted. Most Caribbean islands give you better and faster service for < $2 pp.