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Dominica, Martinique and/or Barbados -- feedback?


Justabitoff
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First time cruiser, first time poster!

 

My husband (32) and I (30) are planning a Southern Caribbean cruise for next spring, but we're still debating which cruise because we're not sure which ports we want to do. Overall we'd like a mix of activities... some beach/snorkeling, some jungle/hiking/kayaking, some history/sight-seeing. We'd like to go to the best islands and do the activity that is best suited for that island.

 

My husband says he really wants to go to Martinique because he has his Masters in Volcanology (did his thesis on Montserrat), but I'm having trouble finding a lot of info about it. I've seen good reviews about Barbados and Dominica, but all three of those islands don't seem to be on the same cruise itinerary, which means we'd have to choose.

 

Here are few itineraries that we're pondering --

 

RCL Adventure of the Seas:

San Juan

St. Croix

St. Kitts

St. Martin

Dominica

Barbados

 

RCL Adventure of the Seas:

San Juan

St. Croix

St. Kitts

St. Martin

Martinique

Barbados

 

(so this would be St. Kitts instead of Grenada)

 

Celebrity Summit

San Juan

Tortola, BVI

Dominica

Martinique

St. Kitts

St. Thomas

 

(Tortola instead of St. Croix, and St. Thomas instead of Barbados)

 

If Barbados is not worth it, we'd probably go with Celebrity, but if Barbados is an island that we shouldn't miss, then we'll have to decide between St. Kitts or Grenada.

 

As I mentioned, we'd like to do a little of everything... we'd like at least one port to snorkel, one port to do some wilderness/jungle hiking, maybe one port to do zip-lining (I've never done that before). We're purposefully avoiding the private islands of Western and Eastern Caribbean itineraries so that we can hopefully experience some real culture, although understandably if we're on a cruise, it will be more sanitized than if we were backpacking through the jungles. We're not partiers, and I don't think entertainment is a priority either. I imagine we'll be sitting by the pool reading. So if you're looking at our itinerary and thinking, no no no, you're doing it all wrong, please tell us which cruise you think might be better.

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Celebrity Summit

San Juan

Tortola, BVI

Dominica

Martinique

St. Kitts

St. Thomas

 

Welcome to Cruise Critic! :)

 

Celebrity Summit is my suggestion to you. A great itinerary for doing all the things you wish.

Note: On your port stop in St. Thomas take an excursion to St. John!

 

LuLu

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been to all the islands above, and the only one I would avoid again is Martinique. The port town was the worst I've seen - and we are not wary of anything being from Philadelphia-- and the beaches that are reachable in the allotted time were a complete disappointment.

I'm sure for a long stay, where you can get to other parts of the island without time restriction, it's a fine island. But for a 6-hour visit, the Martinique port is nowhere near ready for cruise passengers. I have never, ever, ever said I would stay

on-ship in a port, except for Martinique. We just got back from that Summit itinerary, which I also chose strictly for Martinique.

 

Barbados is a great island, lots of choices and imho not to be missed.

Edited by uglybutgoodbakery
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My husband and I did a st. Martin to st. Martin cruise 2 years ago and absolutely loved Dominica. We did an all day tour with Levi and it was the highlight of the trip. We went hiking in the rain forest, swung on vines, jumped into the bottom of a freezing waterfall, swam in hot natural pools, and snorkeled Champagne Reef. It was incredible. Martinique pales in comparison. http://www.bumpiingtours.com/

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First time cruiser, first time poster! My husband (32) and I (30) are planning a Southern Caribbean cruise for next spring, but we're still debating which cruise because we're not sure which ports we want to do. Overall we'd like a mix of activities... some beach/snorkeling, some jungle/hiking/kayaking, some history/sight-seeing. We'd like to go to the best islands and do the activity that is best suited for that island.

San Juan

St. Martin

Dominica

Barbados

If Barbados is not worth it, we'd probably go with Celebrity, but if Barbados is an island that we shouldn't miss, then we'll have to decide between St. Kitts or Grenada.

 

Welcome to these Cruise Critic boards!! Don't be shy and keep asking good questions. As detailed below, we really loved so much about Barbados. We also super loved San Juan, Dominica and Grenada. On St. Maartain, our experience was that it is probably too hyper commercial and over-developed for our tastes and personal interests. Lots of ships and people there on most days.

 

See below more links and pictures to get ideas about some of the varied options in Barbados, on Dominica, at San Juan, etc.

 

KEY REALITY?!: No one cruise is going to do it "all" with each and every port stops being perfect for everyone's exact style and interests. Some locations are better than others. Some more so-so.

 

While we have not, yet, been to Martinique, you can read this media profile as this location that will be getting more visitors and attention during the coming years:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2291849

 

For "Barbados: Our Pix's, Experiences Feb./2015!", see:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2262999

 

For "Grenada: Pix's, Fun, Experiences Jan./2015!", see:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2263775

 

For “Dominica Love: Our Experience, Pictures”, check out this posting:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2253384

 

For San Juan, etc.: our “Pix's, Fun, Experiences”, check out this posting:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2264847

 

Added questions and interests? Just post on certain these above threads and I will be happy to respond, provide added info, etc.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean combo sailing over 26 days that started in Barbados, here is the link below to that live/blog. Lots of great visuals from this amazing Brazil river and these various Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.) that we experienced. Check it out at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 34,016 views for these postings.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I lived in Dominica for 1.5 years...you should definitely go there if you can. It has the highest concentration of potentially active volcanoes (both land and underwater) in the world, so that would be perfect...we were shown several actively steaming while there. It basically looks like Jurassic Park (similar to St. Lucia or St. Vincent), and there are so many active things to do there (as an above poster mentioned). I also love Barbados...since I lived in the Caribbean, I was able to travel to most of the islands, and Barbados has probably the clearest water I have seen...parts you can see the bottom and I swam down and down and still never touched the bottom. Snorkeling with sea turtles there was awesome. Definitely choose an itinerary with those two :D

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