southern caribbean ports
I'm planning to cruise on the Carnival Miracle 3/1/2012 and I'm trying to figure out the best shore excursions for the different ports. The itinerary is Grand Turk, La Romana Dominican Republic, Aruba, and Curacao. What are the absolute "must see or must do" excursions? Which port has the best beach?
If you have been to any of these ports, will you please let me know what you liked the best or didn't like?
Curacao, I highly recommend a "best of" type tour, especially one that includes a visit to the Curacao distillery. The last time we visited Aruba, we went to Palm Beach. It gave us a little view of the island since it was across the island from the port. It was a very nice beach, with ammenities, and not very crowded. I think the cab fare was under $20, but it's been a while. The beach was free, you could rent chairs and umbrellas, I think it was $5-$8 for each. We did a great snorkel excursion in Grand Turk through the ship. There's a little shopping area where you port as well as a beach. LaRomana we did a great snorkel through the ship as well, with a nice beach day.
If you're a shopper, Curacao is the best place. Just take the little ferry across the inlet to the shopping center and go crazy. LaRomana was VERY expensive, they wanted $65 for an island shirt that at the most was worth $20. Aruba and Grand Turk are pretty flat islands, but very clean. Curacao is very colorful with a little bit of hills, but more lush. A lot of people took a tour over to the mainland from LaRomana, it was an all day adventure and I really didn't hear anything that would have made me want to spend my day that way. However, you might want to do that as there are some churchs and historic areas. We just had a great snorkel/catamaran tour in the morning and relaxed on the beach for a while. There are a lot of vendors there, but you can say no and they'll leave you alone.
Hope this helps a little.
We have been to Aruba a few times (once for a week) and we spent part of a day at Palm Island where they offer various water sports and such. A neat thing to see is the hotel near the pier where boats travel under the street to the hotel and navigate their way in and out with guests.
We have been to Curacao on our last cruise and found this Dutch Island to be much prettier that its counterpart Aruba. The Queen Emma Bridge is neat to travel over and the swing bridge in the downtown area a must to see in operation. The buildings are so beautiful as the ship comes into the port; so many great colors unlike Aruba stark appearance. We enjoyed this island and did a snorkel to a sunken ship...This tour (I think through the ship) allowed us to get a great feel for part of the island as we traveled to our desitnation to pick up the snorkel boat.
Hope this helps.
Thank you for the help. I think we've decided on a different ship but still the same ports. This information will definitely help us decide on what to do.
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