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Eastern or Western Caribbean?


PinkJellyFish06

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  • 3 weeks later...

I haven't cruised a western tour yet - looking into the possibility for 2010.

I have cruised Eastern and loved it. In St. Thomas you can actually walk into town - maybe 20 minutes. Since the first time I was there, the island has built a friendly walk area, as opposed to walking on the road.

The scenery is beautiful. The first time there, my sister and I did a tour with Carnival - and saw the island. Amazing views. The last time, we simply walked into Charlotte Amalie and shopped.

St. Martin - we took the wild penzt... tour through the ship. In a jeep we toured around both sides of the island, and enjoyed an hour of swimming in amazing water.

San Juan - we did the horseback ride at night. When we were in San Juan on a different trip we went to one of the forts and walked the old city - beautiful buildings.

I hope this helps.

Southern itinerary is nice too - Dominica-breathtaking and natural. St. Lucia - amazing, Antigua, St. Kitts....all the islands I have experienced have been so beautiful. I imagine the western views are similar.

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We have done both and for us it would depend on how many ports the itinerary includes (the more the better). On the Western Caribbean we loved Costa Maya, indifferent about Belize, love Aruba and Grand Cayman beaches and Curacao because it is different. On the Eastern cruises we love the Emerald Beach in St. Thomas, always enjoy St. Maarten either walking around the town and the beach right there or going to do something difference, e.g. horseriding. San Juan we love to go kite flying; sometimes we bring our own kites but the last time we didn't have one but knew where to buy one and we had a fabulous few hours at El Morro Fort flying our kite.

Lots of photos of the various ports in the link below.

Either way you will have a wonderful time.

Kathy:)

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We have done both Eastern and Western a few times.

 

Favorites:

Grand Cayman for its beaches, snorkeling from shore, very nice people

St. Johns via St. Thomas for its beauty, beaches, and snorkeling

St. Martin for its European feel and shops

Key West

Cozomel for shopping but not beaches

any private island

 

Wouldn't get off if you paid us ports:

Jamaica and Nassau because we don't like being accosted by peddlers and drug dealers

Not crazy about San Juan either but it was a very short visit there due to weather. The huge police presence was unnerving.

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  • 1 month later...
We have done both Eastern and Western a few times.

 

Favorites:

Grand Cayman for its beaches, snorkeling from shore, very nice people

St. Johns via St. Thomas for its beauty, beaches, and snorkeling

St. Martin for its European feel and shops

Key West

Cozomel for shopping but not beaches

any private island

 

Wouldn't get off if you paid us ports:

Jamaica and Nassau because we don't like being accosted by peddlers and drug dealers

Not crazy about San Juan either but it was a very short visit there due to weather. The huge police presence was unnerving.

 

 

Are you related to me??? Exactly the same opinion as you of the islands. We are leaving from San Juan in June and have already seen the sights we care to see in San Juan. Key West will always be a favorite. My DD and SIL lived there for a couple of years. We love Key West. If Nassau is on the itinerary, go on Dolphin excursion (Blue Lagoon??); In Jamaica, pretend it's a day at sea and stay onboard.

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Our choice, always the Eastern. We have sailed to the Western a couple of times and each time we asked ourselves WHY? The Eastern is cleaner on most islands, has much nicer beaches, and much better shopping. :)

 

If there is a ship I am wanting to sail on, but it's only doing the Western Caribbean, I wait until they bring it East. ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks to everybody for their input! I am trying to plan a cruise with my mom & dad, since their 25th anniversary & my 21st birthday fall in the same month. We were leaning towards the Western, only because we have heard the snorkeling is amazing. BUT now im not so sure. I know both places would be amazing.

 

Thanks again : )

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Thanks to everybody for their input! I am trying to plan a cruise with my mom & dad, since their 25th anniversary & my 21st birthday fall in the same month. We were leaning towards the Western, only because we have heard the snorkeling is amazing. BUT now im not so sure. I know both places would be amazing.

 

Thanks again : )

 

 

Having done both within the last year, I suggest Eastern for your first cruise in this region as it provides more of what people expect of the experience. I don't snorkel but I suspect you can find a good place to do this without much trouble.

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  • 5 weeks later...

We are also looking at a Caribbean cruise for next Spring - also our first time in the Caribbean. My husband really wants to see the Mayan ruins, so that has us leaning to a Western cruise. However, after reading some comments on these boards, I'm not sure what to do. Does anyone have any suggestions? We have done 2 cruises with HAL and are open to trying a different cruiseline to find an itinerary that works. We would like 7-10 days.

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I have done Eastern, Southern and Western. IMHO Southern is the best, but pricey because of the airfare to San Juan (which I don't agree with the previous poster - it's wonderful!).

I would say Eastern, especially with your parents. The Eastern beaches are prettier & the shopping is better. There is more ports which tender on the Western cruises. There is great snorkeling at a small beach on St. Thomas called Coki Beach. The clarity of the water is amazing. You can also ferry over to St. John from St. Thomas and go to Trunk Bay - the only U.S. underwater snorkel trail! St. Martin - love, love, Orient Beach, but if you want to snorkel, there are excursions which go out to Pinel island, etc. So there is snorkeling in the Eastern Caribbean. I think Eastern also has more of a Caribbean flavor.

Let's put it this way - we cruise with my family and they all said they wouldn't do Western again...

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Thanks to everybody who has responded to this. I am going to the Western Caribbean in just a few weeks with my family. We choose Western Caribbean because we have heard it has amazing snorkeling & I want to go see some of the ruins. I think this will be a good first cruise for us. BUT I am looking foward to trying out the Eastern if we go on another cruise.

 

THANKS AGAIN : )

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Wow, this is a first - I think I have to disagree with some people.

 

I find the snorkeling to be better on the Eastern. Spefically St Thomas and Tortola

 

I think for culture/history the Western is better. You can find some sort of ruins in almost any port - if you are into that kind of thing.

 

Amazing scenery/mountains/less touristy - Southern.

 

That is not to say that you can't find a combination of each type of activity on most itineraries.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi there!

 

We've done both Eastern and Western. Gosh which do I like better??? lol That's a difficult question to answer! They are BOTH beautiful!!!!! That's like asking me which I like better cookies or ice cream! Both are great! :p

 

We did Eastern first, then Western, and will be doing Western again in March. Then, I'm planning on our next cruise being Eastern again. I'm just going to keep switching back and forth.

 

I think what is MOST important to me is finding a cruise that has 4 stops. I wouldn't want to do the 3 stop ones and have 3 days at sea. I'm sorry, but call me weird, but sea days kinda dont' interest me - I'd rather be out in a new land exploring and doing stuff in new places!

 

So when I go to book a cruise, I find the ones with 4 stops and then check for places I really want to go, haven't been, etc. Whether it's Eastern or Western doesn't bother me! :)

 

Have fun!

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