Has anyone been recently... the GT Tourist Center looks very nice in the online pics, but was wondering if anyone experienced it up close and personal. Everything always looks so wonderful in pictures when there aren't 2000 people, elbow to elbow, fighting over a towel sized portion of beach.
Grand Turk is just as beautiful as its pictures. There is a nice beach right by where you dock, at the end of the pier. Plenty of room, and there are other beaches as well. There's a nice shopping area right at the end of the pier, too. We did a great snorkeling trip there. Beautiful water, coral, and sea life. They have done a lot of rebuilding since the hurricane wiped them out. Hopefully, the ones brewing now won't hurt them.
We ported in Grand Turk in Jan - didn't do much other than hang out at the beach which is a few hundred yards off of the dock - free beach chairs too! Spent a little time at Margaritaville pool - also free - other than the beverages. Pictures don't do it justice - altho I try to recapture that time by having a picture of GT as my screensaver at work so I can drift back there in my mind at anytime
Personally we like to see the places we visit not stay next to the boat on the beach. Although this beach area is nice because the cruiselines made it an oasis...Venture out! The island is only like 1 mile wide and 6 miles long hard to get lost. If you walk outside of the fenced in cruise santuary there will be golf carts to rent and sometimes scooters. I think it was $50 or $60 (yoou have to wheel and deal prices) We were 2 couples so we split the cost. We drove the golf cart to see how they live we saw the town, the beaches, the salt pond, and the many animals like horses and donkeys that roam freely down the street. At the far end of the island is a lighthouse- nothing spectacular (you can't go in it) but nice views and photo ops. This is my recommendation- then you can come back and be a fenced in tourist and lay by the beach. (I'm from south FL so that's not a big deal for us + knowing we'd be doing that at the cruiseships own "port" the last day of our cruise.)
Just got back from Grand Turk and it is nice as pictures. The awesome thing was you could swim right next to the ship. Makes for great pictures. The beach does have free chairs, but it is a little rocky for me...been to spoiled with other pristine beaches. Also a little sea weed. Margeretta Ville is fun. Nice pool about an acre of it with swim up bar...or should I say wade up bar, as it is only waste deep. We took the snorkle boat and it took us to a couple of small islands to snorkle. Saw String Ray and Barracuda, but they didn't bother you. I was disapointed in no pretty colored fish. In all they have a nice set up and plenty of beach area for you.
1998 Holiday CATALINA-MEXICO
2000 Viking Serenade CATALINA- MEXICO
2002 Fantasy BAHAMAS
2004 Esctasy CATALINA-MEXIC0
2005 NCL SAN FRANCISCO
2006 Paradise CATALINA-MEXICO
2007 Pride MEXICAN RIVIERA
2008 Paradise CATALINA-MEXICO
2008 Destiny SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN
2009 Liberty EASTERN CARIBBEAN
2010 Paradise CATALINA-MEXICO
2011 Paradise CATALINA-MEXICO
2012 Crown Princess EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
The port at Grand Turk is very commercial. Lots of shopping, with a large Margaritaville, which is where most cruisers will end up. This is where the party will be. There is also a nice beach close to the cruise ship dock,which will be very crowded.The island has very little else to offer unless you take an excursion. Some people on our boat did the carriage tour and were very disappointed. We did a bicycle tour and really enjoyed it. We donned helmets and took off on OLD bicycles with a local guide. We went past the old salt flats, stopped at the memorial to the space capsule, shopped away from the cruise port, and swam on a beautiful beach (I think it was a National Park of some kind). This beach was deserted-only our group was there. It was very interesting and educational. The cruise port area is very clean and pretty but the rest of the town is pretty gritty. I did enjoy sighting some wild donkeys and horses-right in people's backyards! Snorkeling and diving is supposed to be really good also....
If you walk out to the main gate (go past the taxi stand) there is a guy who rents golf carts for the day or hour. We met a couple cruising the roads offering people rides back to the ship .
They had rented the cart for 1/2 day but had been around the island twice & on their way back to the ship so we got a lift & a short tour with them
We had taken a taxi into the town & were walking back ...no taxi's in sight
Glad this couple stopped for us
Alexandr Pushkin, Carnival-Holiday, HAL-(old)Westerdam, Orient lines-Marco Polo, Royal Olympic-Olympic, NCL-Dream, Dawn-Princess, ACCL-Grande Caribe, Oceania-Insignia (3), Regatta(4) Marina (1) St Lawrence Cruise Lines-Canadian Empress