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Urrm which Caribbean cruise to pick?


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Hi everyone,

We have just started to look for a cruise next year.


We have only been on 2 cruises before, the first with Royal Caribbean, starting in Italy around the Med. The 2nd with P&O starting in Southampton, down past Spain and around the med.


Both were really good, if I had a leaning it would be towards RC.


We thought we would try further a field, so the Caribbean.


Does anyone have any suggestions for first time in the Caribbean please?


We really like the ports/places of interest are close to where the ship moors, so as to avoid long coach journeys.

Also then you can easily do your own thing, we like warning around, seeing a bit of history, walking, picking up with the culture and watching the world go by.

I know that is a bit of a "wide" question, but when we started out we always got good advice form here :)

As we said, in particular it is trying to pick a cruise where the activities are near the port that most interests us.

Thanks for tips or advice, oh and have a great Christmas everyone :)

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Some ports are walkable with a town nearby. In the easter Caribbean some ports are very popular for the duty-free shopping, such as Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas and Philipsburg, St Maarten. But the historic architecture and small alleys are also very interesting. STT also has a historic area close to town that you can tour on your own. Charlotte Amalie is a mile or more from the port depending on where you dock so you'd want to taxi there for $4pp or so...Philipsburg is closer to the dock and walkable. Other eastern Carib ports don't have a lot to offer at the port other than shops but are beautiful to explore.

Antigua - An island tour (Lawrence of Antigua) or catamaran sail (the Excellence, See Antigua by Sea) is the order of the day here.

Dominica - You are docked at Roseau, but you'd probably want to take an island tour here rather than stay close to the ship, beautiful waterfalls and lush mountains to explore.

Tortola - A beautiful island with gorgeous beaches, and the Baths on Virgin Gorda are a must. Great sipce shop at the port, Sunny Caribbee, and Pusser's Pub is a fun English-style pub/restaurant.

San Juan, PR which is one of the most walkable ports with very interesting sights and exquisite dining. You are docked right in Old San Juan. You may decide to board your ship there rather than a Florida port if you want to venture into the southern Caribbean. Also a great place to spend a few days after the cruise.


The western Carib offers a different experience with great water activities, not a lot by the ports other than the typical shops.


The southern islands like Barbados, Curacao, Aruba have gorgeous beaches, and Curacao is an enjoyable port to walk and have lunch at a riverside cafe.


So I'd start looking at the eastern cruises, those that depart San Juan often include the ABC islands as well as St Lucia and Barbados.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We just booked West Indies Explorer on Viking Star (930 passenger) for November. Since we haven't sailed, I can't review, but you might want to check it out. The initial price is higher, but it is all inclusive with all veranda rooms. Flight to San Juan is free (included) with airport transfers, one shore excursion in each port, all restaurants, wine, beer and soda at lunch & dinner, and wi-fi. So all in all, it seems like a nice package.

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  • 1 month later...
...The southern islands like Barbados, Curacao, Aruba have gorgeous beaches, and Curacao is an enjoyable port to walk and have lunch at a riverside cafe. ....

Southern Caribbean would be my suggestion, beautiful beaches, and not quite as busy as Cozumel, St. Thomas, etc.

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We love the southern Caribbean and we also love Wind Star Cruise lines. Their ships are small (180 - 300) passengers which allows them to go to ports none of the large cruise lines can access. We just returned from a cruise on the Wind Surf that took us from St Martin to Barbuda, Dominica, Pigeon Island on St Lucia, les Saints (a small island near Guadeloupe), St Kitts and St Barth's. All unique and beautiful in their own way and all (except St Kitts and St Martin) without any other large cruise ship in sight!

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  • 6 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I agree with what several others have said...the Southern Caribbean out of San Juan. We've done it a total of three times on Carnival and it is our favorite. Carnival has a ship that does that itinerary year round. Since you mentioned you are leaning toward Royal Caribbean, you are in luck if an itinerary out of San Juan is something you'd be interested in. :) Royal Caribbean has one ship, Adventure of the Seas, that's based in San Juan year round. In the winter months, and in addition to Adventure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean has a second ship, Jewel of the Seas, that sails out of San Juan that does different itineraries. Depending on when you want to cruise, you may have several options out of San Juan to choose from.

Edited by pghsteelerfan
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