I don't know if I have a gavorite. I can say the best times I have had are:
[*] hiking to the hot spring waterfalls in Dominica
[*] snorkeling on Buck Island
[*] the submarine ride from Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas
[*] scuba diving in Grand Cayman
I love St. Lucia because of its tropical, unspoiled beauty and mountains. Also love Bequia, which can only be reached on a small ship -- beautiful port, funky little town and a few cute shops.
Another little-know port I love is Calica, near Grand Cayman. It has an incredible eco-theme park (Xcaret)with thousands of acres where you can swim with dolphins, see ruins, ride on an underground river or just hang out in hammocks. There are five restaurants, horseback riding and a small area with local animals. Never feels crowded, and there's so much to do. The foliage is beautiful and the ruins are interesting. Celebrity has substituted Jamaica for Calica.
I always love ports more when we rent a car and explore the untouristy places. The only exception is Grand Cayman -- aside from the Sting Rays, there's NOTHING there. Also, I think Jamaica is the pits! The locals are so hostile one must take a shore excursion.
I guess I'ld have to say that my favoritte, so far, is St Thomas because I can make a bee line over to St John. Has to be one of the prettiest islands and most gorgeous beachs on this good earth. Can't wait to go again next month on Century.
We are going on the Destiny in Nov. and will hit St Lucia. We have been there before and LOVE it! Last cruise, we took the boat trip down the coast to Soufriere. The Pitons took my breath away. Thinking about visiting the rain forest this time. Any suggestions?
We're doing the same route(Destiny -S. Carribean) next month...I have never been to St. Lucia...Should we take a Shore Excursion w/CCL or do something ourselves? Any reccomendations appreciated. We also don't know much about Curasao...I was told that it just had some "weak" shopping and I should maybe do some snorkeling that day. (St Thomas-Love it & Aruba-Love It no problem there) Thanks!
Spike, We took a CCL excursion in St Lucia back in '98. We took a catamaran cruise down the coast of St Lucia and docked in Soufriere. Saw the Pitons, went to the drive thru volcano, and some sort of tropical garden. On the way back to port we stopped at a beach to swim, snorket, etc (and be bombarded by locals selling coconuts!). It was an all day excursion and was pretty pricey ($90 per person). But we thought it was well worth it. If you are looking for a leasurely day with lots of picturesque landscape, this is it.
We have never been to Curacao, but my brother-in-law has - he recommended the bike tour thru the national park. Not sure what we will do there.
Have a great cruise. I look forward to hearing how the Destiny is and what you decided to do on shore.
You and Sealover might want to check out the deals on Princess's "Classic Panama Canal" itinerary this fall. It's ten days aboard MV Sun Princess (near-identical sister to MV Ocean Princess) between San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, with ports of call in St. Thomas, Dominica, Barbados, Aruba, Cartagena, and Puntarenas (Costa Rica), with two days at sea and one day transiting through "the ditch." I have seen fares as low as $749 PPDO, though the most recent advertisements have slightly higher fares.
I'm taking this cruise eastbound on 30 October. Any other volunteers?
I disagree that there's "nothing" at Grand Cayman beside the stingrays. I have been there twice. The first time, I opted for a few hours at Seven Mile Beach followed by shopping in George Town. It's the only place in the Caribbean where I have found consistent quality products, and be sure to pick up a rum cake(http://www.rumcakes.com) or two, as they make great souvenirs. The coconut rum cake is my favorite!
On the second visit, I opted for the "Sea and See" shore excursion offered by the ship. This excursion combined an expedition in a "semisubmersible craft" (which actually is a boat that does not submerge in which you sit in a compartment below the water line and look out through windows in the hull) to view the wrecks of the SS Callie and the SS Balboa with a land tour to the rock formation known as Hell (looks volcanic, but really is limestone blackend and eroded to razor sharpness by algae) and the sea turtle farm. They are adding some new options, too, including a couple plantation tours.
Grand Cayman definitely is a port of call to which I will return any time!
For something different, try the tour of the distillery where they make the Curaçao liqueur. You can also buy the authentic liqueur at the distillery, and it's much better than the immitation stuff that the street vendors sell near the pier. The tour of the distillery also generally includes a tour of downtown Willemstad, which is very interesting. At the end of the tour, you can either stay in town to shop or return to the ship.
So far, my favorite Caribbean port a toss-up between Ocho Rios, George Town (Grand Cayman), Princess Cays, and Charlotte Amille (St. Thomas). St. Kitts also was interesting, but I'm not sure what I would do if I return there.
I think you will really enjoy those 3 islands, only have heard about St. Lucia, but have been to Aruba and Curacao. I loved walking around Curacao, very nice little town, well kept and no one bothers you, the best part.
How was your cruise on the Destiny? My husband and some friends are taking our first cruise on the Destiny's Dutch Treat in May. Any advice you can give on ship-board activities or on excursions would be greatly appreciated. I want to be as well as informed as I can. Thanks a lot!