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Who wants to help me pick a cruise? 😊

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We are looking at two cruises for next Spring. We are BEACH people and are looking for beach days or some kid of active adventure excursion. (Rafting, zip lining, etc).  We haven’t been to any of these ports, so they would all be new to use. Help me decide which one would be better. 😎


1. Carnival Breeze

from Fort Lauderdale

8 day

St. Maarten

St. Kitts

San Juan

Grand Turk

3 sea days 


2. Carnival Radiance 

from Port Canavaral 



Grand Turk 

4 Sea days


The price difference is so small, it isn’t really a factor.


Thoughts on these two? We have sailed on the Breeze and loved it. I enjoy sea days, but not sure if 4 on a 8 night cruise would be too many.


Any strong opinions on these ports? Thanks! 




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Posted (edited)

Really same price? Out of Galveston prices on new radiance are at least $400 to $500 higher.


I've only done breeze or other 2 similar and liked both but I doubt many here have done radiance. It should have newer bells and whistles.


4  ports,  port fees will be higher probably, but if you want to do more in ports, 4 ports seem better for active family. 


Seems like the hot item in st Mateen was to go over to st John's beach, but pricey. Maybe I forget which port we went to st John s. 


4 port days excursions would also be pricey unless you just sit on a free beach ... that's going to be the biggest expense with 4 ports. 


I'd want to try radiance, but not at the prices I saw.

Edited by firefly333
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We spent 2 weeks on a land vacation to St. Maarten and never ran out of places to snorkel...

spent a week in San Juan and it was all about the history and the food


other than that I’m not much help but we are booked in September to do Breeze to Amber Cove, St Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk...

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4 hours ago, teknoge3k said:

The Radiance has better ports, in terms of beaches. If that's what you're going for.



I would probably choose the Breeze itinerary though based on personal preference.

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If you liked the Breeze, I would probably select that itinerary.  I would want 4 ports instead of 3.


My suggestions:

St. Maarten-Rent a car from Hertz.  If you are a AAA member and rent through AAA.com, they usually have decent prices.  Download offline Google maps to your phone and use it as a GPS.   I would recommend beach hopping and exploring the island.  You probably won't want to miss Maho beach where the planes take off and land near the beach.

St. Kitts-Shipwreck Beach (South Friar's Beach) is a pretty cool, laid-back place.  You could just catch a cab there.  If you want a little bit of sightseeing as well as a little beach time,   I would recommend this tour https://www.thenfordgreytours.com/the-grand-tour-of-st-kitts.

San Juan-Depending on your port times, if you want an adventure, I would visit Toro Verde (http://toroverdepr.com/).  They have one of the fastest, longest ziplines in the world.  It's a little over an hour outside of San Juan, so if you have a very short port day, it might not be feasible.  

Grand Turk-I would probably just get off the ship and use the beach facilities nearby.  Several people recommend Jack's Shack for eating/drinking, but I've never been there.  


Hope this helps!


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Thank you for the help! So much to consider. It looks like the ships are pretty similar. I like having the water slides and stuff doe the kids (teens) to do on seadays. 

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Both are great itins! Grand Turk is one of my top 2 favorite ports, and you get it no matter what. If you’re more about the ports, you’d have more ports on the first itin. If you love sea days, go with the second one. Both itins are prime for beach days. Enjoy whichever one you pick!

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I would go with the Breeze.  I'm actually doing that itinerary this December.  St. Maarten you could do the 12 M Regatta yacht racing, St. Kitts they have nice beaches, Grand Turk is a known beach spot with snorkeling and a few beach bars right on the sand.  San Juan is not a port that you're docked at for a long time...at least we aren't in December...we're only there from 7a-2p.  Most people do a walking tour of the Old city, but I have seen people mention the beaches too. 

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I consider the Breeze’s itinerary to be superior. About, San Juan I consider it to be, by far, one of the most diverse and activity filled ports of call in the Caribbean. But a few hours there won’t even let you scratch the surface (it’s a destination better suited for a multi-day land vacation). There are beaches, rainforest, caverns, zip lining, rum distilleries, kayaking in bioluminescent waters, the modern city with its high rise resorts and casinos, the old city with lots of history, colonial architecture, museums, as well as world class restaurants and shopping. But with limited time in port, many activities will be unreachable. You may only have time to explore the old city (the ship docks right in Old San Juan), or go to a nearby beach (beaches in Puerto Rico are breathtaking with dramatic views, but unfortunately, the ones closest to the port are “city beaches”, like going to a beach in Miami with high rise hotels and condominiums). 

Still, I’d go with the Breeze. Don’t get me wrong, I’d sail on the Radiance as well, but I find that itinerary to be a bit on the boring side. 


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4 hours ago, MaiTaiMary said:

which do you think had the better beaches?


St. Maarten

San Juan

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