I was on the Celebrity Galaxy in January 2002 and we stopped at Margarita Island. I've copied the Margarita part of my review that I posted on the cruise-addicts website after our trip. As is says below in my review, we absolutely loved the beach about an hour away from the ship named Playa El Agua. Enjoy!!
On Tuesday, Margarita Island started out to be our least favorite island and ended up in our top favorites! I had read online about unreliable taxi drivers who only spoke Spanish, and we didn't want to do the ship's tours, so we planned to spend the day at the beach right by the boat. The beach was a little dirty, but the water was pretty and there was no charge to use the chairs and umbrellas. However there was a very nasty spell and we began to think maybe it was from sewage. (Later we found out the smell was from the salt ponds nearby.) My husband decided to check out the taxi situation and we found that there was a company on the dock that offered tours of the island for half the price of the ship's tours. By this time it was 10:30 a.m. so we didn't have much time. We paid $25 per person and we had a brand new Mercedes van. Our driver did not speak English but we were also sent with a tour guide who was very knowledgeable and fluent in English. The island seemed poor but beautiful. Our driver was very slow and it took about an hour to get to Playa El Agua. This beach is 2 ½ miles long and had beautiful sand and palm trees. We couldn't snorkel there but the waves were great for body surfing. This quickly became one of our favorite beaches but we were disappointed that we only had one hour to spend. Our tour guide said they would be fined if they got us back to the ship any later than 1:45 p.m. Apparently the ship has left passengers behind at this port. We would have loved to have stayed longer on this island and hope to someday return to this beach. Our guide indicated that there is a new cruise ship dock being built by the town of Porlamar and that will cut travel times to the beaches and towns down dramatically. She thought the new dock would be ready in 6 months.