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Old 11-15-2009, 08:12 PM
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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
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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!
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:40 AM
 
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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
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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.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:09 AM
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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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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.
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:36 AM
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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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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!
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:35 PM
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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
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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
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