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Top 3 ports to visit in the Caribbean
June 9, 2017

 

One could easily say that all the ports are almost all the same. They all mostly have nice weather, Beaches & shopping but as you begin cruising you start to see that many of the ports actually are very different from one another. In the Title I mentioned 3 Areas, Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean and Southern Caribbean. These areas all have many ports in them but let’s take one out of each and use them for examples to answer this question and compare.

The Eastern Caribbean port of St Thomas is probably the most recognized port in the Caribbean. St Thomas has become almost famous when you mention a cruise. That’s because it is one of the busiest ports in the Caribbean. St Thomas is sometimes so busy that they have 7 ships in port. There is a Downtown port that Royal Caribbean usually uses as it is able to berth larger ship like the Anthem of the Seas, and then there is the Havensight pier in Havensight shopping area. this pier can fit about 6 ships!

for starters, St Thomas is full of breathtaking mountain scenery, lots of curvy roads and ups and downs. You dock near a very accessible and popular shopping area and to go down town for even better selection of fine Jewelry and souvenir’s it is very accessible and only cost a few dollars.

St Thomas has a few really nice beaches and Meagan’s Bay is the most popular of them. Meagan’s Bay beach in St Thomas has been rated as one of the nicest beaches in the world many times. Personally, I think it is a fantastic beach, however if you go there on a day with 6 ships in port the beach can get very crowded. So, if you are going, go early.

So, St Thomas has great Shopping and amazing beaches. What else does it offer? Well quite a lot. The shore excursions in St Thomas are also some of the best. You can Snorkel at Trunk bay off the island of St John, you can go deep sea fishing, scuba diving, Visit Coral World and walk through an underwater aquarium and the list goes on. One of the Classic things to do especially if it is your first-time in St Thomas is to go up and take the chair lift to paradise point. Which is a spectacular look point atop the mountain overlooking the bay of St Thomas.

Ok, so that’s the one port from the Easter Caribbean (St Thomas)

What about the Western Caribbean?

Well if I have to choose just one that is going to be tuff. Ill tell you the two that come to mind right away but Ill choose one as I think one is more popular and all around than the other. The two I choose as being the most popular Western Caribbean ports are Grand Cayman and Cozumel. But the Winner of this choice is going to be…. Cozumel.

The Western Caribbean is very different from the Eastern Caribbean and is usually know for being a little bit more adventurous, meaning that shore excursions are usually more recommend as not all the western Caribbean ports have as much to do in the port as Eastern ports. Of course, I’m sure some disagree, but trust me. I have taken over 300 cruises.

I chose Cozumel to be the best Western Caribbean port because it’s just like St Thomas and has a little bit of everything, and what it has is all good. For starters, the pier location. whether you are cruising with Carnival, Royal, Celebrity or Disney Cruise Lines where you are docked is perfectly located in a safe and friendly area surrounded by things to do, especially shop! Cozumel is known for having the widest selection of shopping especially when it comes to things like Diamonds and watches. Cozumel doesn’t have a lot of beaches near the ship. The beaches that they do have however are easy to get do and taxis are everywhere in Cozumel.

Although there are nicer ports in the Western Caribbean that have nicer beaches. Like Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman (for Example) Cozumel’s beaches win the top spot because of the fun that they bring. Many of the beaches that you will use in Cozumel are attached to day resorts. A few favorites are Paradise beach. Paradise beach has an Amazing swimming pool with Bar and a great beach with activities. Playa Mia is another popular one with a ton of fun happening on the beach and in the water with their huge water park activities.

If you venture over to the other side of the island you will find miles and miles of untouched beaches to enjoy. The far side of the island doesn’t have any resorts or services but lots of white sand and blue water. To get there you need to rent your own jeep of car. Again, its easy and friendly so if you looking for a private piece of sand to work on your tan or just read a book that’s a great place to head. Its also an amazing drive along the coast line.

Now moving on… Last but not least. The tours. Cozumel again has an amazing list of things to do. From award wining Scuba diving, to the Mayan Ruins of Tulum, to a Buggy adventure ( Or jeep) around the island then over to the amazing Passion Island Private Island beach escape. Wow! If you have never been over to Passion Island your missing out. Drop me off there and leave me there. That place is the nicest little private island I have ever been too. You have to visit it one day.

So, as you can see Cozumel really does have it all and does deserve the top choice for the Western Caribbean.

Now, Moving on. What about the Southern Caribbean?

This one I had to think about for a while. Because there aren’t many ports that fall into the Southern Caribbean (Depending on who you ask) and when I have to compare them to the other ports mentioned above in all aspects its hard to find a good comparison. But I have narrowed it down to 2. One Being Aruba, and the other being Curacao. Now I chose these because of the 4 things I have been comparing. The Pier area, Shopping, Tours & beaches. So from my 2 choices Aruba and Curacao my winner is Aruba! Now this was a close call. But I chose Aruba because of the accessibility of the beaches in Aruba. Curacao has some very nice beaches but they are a little far and require taxi’s and time. So, Aruba is the winner of the Southern Caribbean port. what does Aruba have to offer?

Aruba to start with has a very accessible Pier which is located right down town Oranjestad. Just a short walk and you are downtown Aruba and you will find dozens of jewelry stores to by your fine Diamonds and watches and across the street there is even a Flea Market that sell every souvenir imaginable. The unique thing about visiting Aruba is that your ship might arrive in the morning and give you 8 hours of day time to enjoy or it might arrive mid day and give you 8 hours of afternoon and evening hours. Personally, I like them both. So, the pier is very accessible and there is a lot to do right outside. What about beaches. Aruba has one of the nicest beaches I have ever seen anywhere in the world. That beach is Palm Beach. Eagle beach is also really nice which is basically attached to Palm beach and a little closer to the ship. To get to these beaches it really couldn’t be easier. Right across the street from where your ship docks is a local city bus stop. Pay about $1.50 per person and take the bus about 10 minutes down the road and they will drop you off right at either Eagle beach or Palm beach. If you are looking for more Touristy stuff like watersport rentals and Beach bar services then Palm beach is the stop to take. If you want to just relax and swim in a less busy area but have an amazing beach with less services around then go to Eagle Beach. The water is incredibly Blue and the sand is powdery White and soft.

As for Tours and adventure, Aruba has lots to offer as well. Since you might be there for a sunset, why not try a catamaran Sunset sail away. What an amazing experience watching the sun set along the Southern Caribbean Horizon then in a catamaran in Aruba. Amazing! There is also another private Island tour you can visit which is very comparable to Passion Island in Cozumel and that is Da Palm Island. To get there you will take a boat and then spend the day on an incredible island. With great food and services and spectacular blue water and white sand.

So, there you have it. 3 great ports of call in 3 different areas of the Caribbean. But as I mentioned. All the ports in these regions don’t all offer the same things. So, to wrap it up with a few short words on Each. The Eastern Caribbean is most known for its Beach Accessibility and shopping and easy on and off piers.

The Western Caribbean is mostly known for being full of adventure destinations which usually include active tours. Lots of walking or hiking and site seeing to place like Mayan Ruins.

 

The Southern Caribbean I could say offers a chance to see more culture and different nationalities like Dutch and has some European feel to it as well but also offers unique experiences that are often different from the Eastern and Western ports. So, I guess it is easy to say that these 3 different regions are all different and to find out what you like best I guess is to just try them all

Until next, Safe Travels.

 

 

 

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