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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-15-2009, 08:12 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4
We are planning our first Cruise. Probably looking at a 5 day Cruise but having a tough time deciding on which cruise to take

Have been reading here about the different ports but what would you recommend for the first timer?
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:06 AM
spyder209's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 77
We have been on a western and eastern caribbean itenirary. I have to say that the port that we loved most was St. Thomas. The water is crystal clear and beautiful. We parasailed and could see the turtles swimming from in the sky. We also took a catamaran snorkel excursion and it was fantastic snorkeling. We also really enjoyed St. Maarten and Cozumel for the shopping. And Puerto Rico for the sight seeing. We did not really care for Nassau and Grand Cayman. The people we encountered in Nassau were very pushy and wanted to grab you to show you their wares. Grand Cayman was really just a tourist trap. Belize also had some beautiful snorkeling and Costa Maya has a wonderful saltwater resort style pool at port! Hope this was helpful to you!
Aventura Spa Palace-04/25/04
Rccl Explorer of Seas-04/17/05
Carnival Miracle-05/07/06
Carnival Victory-04/18/10

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Old 11-16-2009, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 993
which port? ALL OF THEM. since this is your first cruise you will have no problem falling in love with all of them. There are great things at every port we have been to (some 3 and 4 times).
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:21 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 675
Wow--why not just poll people about what flavor of ice cream is best? Well, we love Grand Cayman and have a Western itinery 5 times. It is clean, easy to get around. The snorkeling is fantastic, the beaches even better, and sting ray city must be seen to be believed. I also felt pretty safe there on my own. Cozumel is great. If you look at shore excursions there there is so much variety in what to do. We also love RCCLs private island of Labadee. One of our favorite ports. St. Thomas is the most beautiful, but also expensive. The only place we are not fond of is Nassau (pushy vendors, and cultural difference I have never warmed up to there) and Jamaica which is just too impoverished. The locals are desperate and pushy and the crime rate is frightening.
RCCL Nordic Empress 1993
RCCL Nordic Prince 1994
RCCL Explorer 2003, 2005
RCCL Navigator, 2004, 2007
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RCCL Liberty 2008
RCCL Adventure 2009

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Old 11-16-2009, 10:09 AM
Maurine's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 439
I really enjoyed St. Thomas and Labadee. Pass on Jamaica and Samana.

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Old 11-16-2009, 10:57 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 142
Have to agree with Maurine - 2 great stops. I'm all about the ship so it really doesn't matter to me where we stop - if you don't get away from the dock area merchants, you really don't get a sense of the stop - at the pier they all look the same with the locals ready to pounce and endless jewelry shops.

Need some cruise help?
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:36 AM
penny3333's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 10,602
All of them have their unique characters. My favorites are, in no particular order: Half Moon Cay, Grenada, St. Vincent, St. Barts, Tortola, St. Lucia, Belize, Roatan, Dominica, Grand Turk and Bonaire. Curacao, Cozumel, and Playa del Carmen are nice, too. So is Aruba. Easier question would be which ports do you not like. However, I really don't have any I don't like. Maybe, just maybe, I'd say Virgin Gorda. The only reason I'd say Virgin Gorda is because they don't seem to like cruise ship passengers, they seem to prefer the people with yachts or movie stars that have houses on the island.
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:08 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 675
Oh, Penny you reminded me of our family's hands down favorite: Curacao. If we strike it rich (not likely) that is where I will be buying a property. We did a shore tour with a company called Curacao Actief that was also far and away the best tour we have ever done. It was called "world of water" and included surf, natural springs/hot tubs, a turtle "cove" a sea cave, and beaches and snorkeling, and actually, some other stuff too, a great vehicle, guide and luncheon. Fabulous. Can't wait to go back!
RCCL Nordic Empress 1993
RCCL Nordic Prince 1994
RCCL Explorer 2003, 2005
RCCL Navigator, 2004, 2007
RCCL Mariner 2006
RCCL Liberty 2008
RCCL Adventure 2009

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Old 11-16-2009, 01:35 PM
Dave's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 18,001
The first cruise ship I saw up close was in Curacao. My navy cruiser pulled in for a few days of liberty there in 1981. I don't recall clearly but I think it was the Island Princess. I remember thinking "someday".

The moving bridge was interesting. I remember a nice beach where we got some great fish for lunch, and also having my first Amstel beers.
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:49 PM
queenofcruzin's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Warren, MI
Posts: 658
Favorite Carribean- Ile De Saintes, but only Windstr stops there......I go the website and DRRRRRRRRRRReeeeam.

I also like St Maarten, Grand Cayman, St John, Barbados, Curacao, Turks and Caicos, St Lucia, Nevis....

I am not fond of St Thomas anymore, Martinique, Jamaica, Nassau....

As you can see some folks Favorites are on some others not so favs....many of us have wonderful memories (Ile De Saintes) of a spot, and that remains dear to us, other have had a bad memory (St Thomas traffic jams) and that colors the memory forever.

I suggest you make great memories
Monarch of the Seas-1993
Song of America-1994
Majesty of the Seas-1995
Splendour of the Seas-1996
CCL Destiny-1997
Empress of the Seas-1998
Rhapsody of the Seas-1998
Legend of the Seas-1999
Monarch of the Seas-2000
Grandeur of the Seas-2006
CCL Ecstasy-2006
Enchantment of the Seas-2006
Adventure of the Seas-2007
Enchantment of the Seas-2007
Grandeur of the Seas-2009
Radiance of the Seas-2009
Celebrity Century-2010
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