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Caribbean Cruise recommendations


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We`re thinking of trying a Caribbean cruise having said we`d never do one! We don`t really like switching from one beach to another that some read like. can anyone recommend the best cruise / ports that should not be missed that offer more than a trip to a beach or lagoon with a waterfall. We like pretty colonial towns and just seeing how others live. What should we not miss and what should we avoid? eg I hear Priness Cays island is to be avoided.

Any advice gratefully received.

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Everybody likes different ports for different reason, I would just book and try out for yourself, you don't have to spend time on a beach, there are always other thing to do, snorkelling , Sugar plantation, Nelsons Dockyard, The Pitons, Local Markets (you don't have to buy but the atmosphere is an experience not to be missed). Perhaps do a cruise that is part Caribbean but also includes the Panama Canal, now that is a great experience.

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Country girl is quite correct, not all ports are just about the beach, they are good for people watching, and a lot of tour you can do show you lots off different things Nelsons dockyard is very interesting and the looking down on the dockyard is stunning, well I think so, it's my screen saver.

you have so much choice with the local tours, they give wonderful information in a laid back way.

I am sure you will enjoy, if you book.

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Thanks both. I `ve had a look and think we may well be going for the Eastern Caribbean on the Azura on 2nd December. Seems to offer a range of ports with variety. Anyone got knowledge of the Azura. Trying to find out if it has a promenade deck and generally interested in opinions on the ship. A little put off by the very British sail aways I am reading about but I guess I can see one for novelty value and duck out of others ;-)

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2 hours ago, jinky said:

Thanks both. I `ve had a look and think we may well be going for the Eastern Caribbean on the Azura on 2nd December. Seems to offer a range of ports with variety. Anyone got knowledge of the Azura. Trying to find out if it has a promenade deck and generally interested in opinions on the ship. A little put off by the very British sail aways I am reading about but I guess I can see one for novelty value and duck out of others ;-)

As Jaczs said you can walk partly round and it is quite narrow, from memory the upper decks were packed out with sunbathers, and the Sail away ,we enjoyed one but passed on the rest, found the area at the back of the ship near the small pool not to busy and ideal for sun bathings or just sitting with a drink....Davybe

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I have only done two solely Caribbean cruises, one on Azura in 2011.  Can't say I enjoyed the ship as I found her terribly overcrowded both inside and outside.  The promenade deck is a bit of a pain, as to do a circuit you need to go inside and also up/down steps.  Lots of people love her however, so it is only my opinion - I feel all the later Grand Class ships are too small for the number of pax. 

We called at St Kitts and did an all-day tour which included Brimstone Hill Fortress, an old British Military fort.  It was really interesting.  We did an independent all-day tour on St Maarten, which was lovely.  It went to the famous Maho Beach - where the low-flying planes come in - Marigot, the capital on the French side of the island and stopped for lunch on Orient Beach.  Also had time to wander around the very pleasant Philipsburg, where you dock.  We had a great independent tour on St Lucia, which included a late breakfast high up in the hills and a boat trip to a beach beside the Pitons.  Lots of food and drink included.  In Grenada we just walked into the Capital St Georges, where the ship docks.  A nice town with a horseshoe-shaped harbour, lovely spice market and a small Castle atop the hill that you can easily walk up to.

Hope that helps in some way.

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Azura balcony cabins are a good size with plenty of storage space, the singing on the sail away may not be to everybodys taste , but the sunsets are just fabulous and best seen from the aft or terrace pool which is often the venue for the sail away, when we did it the steel band played and the big red sun just seemed to fall into the sea in a space of no more than half a hour, it's very warm and so enjoyable I urge you to try it once.

I like the Azura, plenty of places to enjoy a piece full and plenty of things going on if that is what you want.have a wonderful time

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  • 1 month later...

Not long now until our Caribbean cruise with it`s changes after hurricanes. I`m wondering what photography great to take. Only been to Montego bay before as an add on to a Cuba cruise we did. I must admit to feeling a little unsafe there after I was followed by a guy from the currency exchange shop who hassled me and then my wife had a local woman come up to her on the beach and say " Don`t flash your jewelry here or it will be stolen" and adding that she still loved living there. Given my wife only had a wedding ring and one other ring on there was hardly any ostentatious gold on display! Now I could take a cheaper one lens camera for my shots and moan about what I missed or would it be safe to take my better camera with lenses that fits into a messenger bag over my shoulder? have you ever felt unsafe?

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Yes Jinky, I have felt unsafe in StKitts, and while walking off the dock found a hand going towards my bag, it put me off for the rest of the time spent in StKitts.

i would take both of your cameras and play it ear which one to take ashore at each port.

I think safety come from how you feel, not what people tell you, if you unsafe take precautions if you feel totally safe them carry whatever you like, just my opinion 

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Ladies, I never, ever take a handbag ashore on any excursions anywhere in the world, think about it, how often do open it, what do you carry.  I am lucky that my husband is with me and always on shore days wears trousers or shorts with zip pockets on the legs, big enough to carry anything we need. 

I can never work out what you all carry in your bags.

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I have only ever felt unsafe in two places .. one being  Jamaica and the other Venezuela, a few places I have thought were a bit iffy so have been a little more aware of what is happening around me but I think you are just as likely to be mugged/robbed in this country as you are abroad, all I would say is keep any cameras/valuables in a bag and especially in Jamaica don't stray from the beaten track.

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I wear a small cross body handbag (small) which is how I saw the hand going towards the zip, I take my sunglasses reading glasses lip gel sun stick sometime small sun tan lotion, I burnt the backs of my ears neck and shoulders once, never again so painfull, my wallet with money andcruise card I keep in a zip pocket not in my bag. Only happened to me once, once is enough

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I don't know the duration of your proposed cruise.  However, if you opt for a two week itinerary, you will have the opportunity to visit many islands.  Some will be better and/or more interesting than others.

The choice of itinerary is vitally important, because some two-week cruises on American or International cruise lines cater mainly for the American market.

Many of these Caribbean cruises are actually back to back itineraries, which sail from Miami or Fort Lauderdale and return to the USA after seven days.  They sail again  from Miami or Fort Lauderdale  and visit different islands, during the second week.  These itineraries waste a lot of time, sailing between the USA and the Caribbean - time when you could be enjoying the islands.  Furthermore, British passengers have to obtain ESTA approvals and endure USA immigration three times (firstly, upon arrival at Miami Airport and then, each time the ship returns to the USA).

I am not recommending any particular cruise line, because like you, I am not too keen on "British sail-away parties" and some other aspects of P&O.  However, many P&O fly cruises in the Caribbean are complete two-week itineraries, which sail to and from Barbados. These cruises have some major advantages.

Passengers can fly on dedicated charter flights from their local UK airports to Barbados.  They don't have to clear immigration or customs upon arrival in Barbados, and buses take everyone directly from the aircraft steps to the ship.   P&O also transfer all of the luggage directly from the aircraft to passengers' cabins on the ship.  At the end of the cruise, they collect the luggage from your cabins and take it to the aircraft. Passengers collect their luggage from the baggage carousel at their home airport.

That is surely better than having to fly via the USA, clearing American immigration and customs several times and wasting time sailing between the USA and the Caribbean.

Edited by BobTroll
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