That is tough question to answer. I, too, am a beach lover -- been to St. Martin, St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Cayman, Belize, Costa Maya, and Cozumel as cruise ports and Aruba, Freeport, Turks and Caicos (Provo), St. Croix and Cancun for land based vacations. We are heading to Jamaica and St. Lucia this spring. I think that the most important thing about choosing a cruise is the itinerary if you are a beach lover. A lot of eastern caribbean cruises stop at San Juan at night (no beach time). Likewise, stops in Grand Cayman are usually short -- but the excursions to Sting Ray City or snorkeling make the most of the time there. I loved St. Martin because we did nothing but hop a cab and go to the beach for the entire time. I personally like the western cruise itineraries -- you can hit four ports with great beaches -- though the beaches of the eastern caribbean are prettier. I like land based trips to those islands. Costa Maya is just a hop off the ship and you can do nothing but hang out in the water all day, which is nice a nice break. It is certainly not the best beach and can be crowded, but it is a day at the beach as compared to a cruise that offers 2.5 to 3 days at the beach.