My husband and I sailed on Carnival's Destiny 9/9/01 last year - this ship does the Southern Caribbean and on this particular week you start out in San Juan then head to St. Thomas, Antigua, Guadelupe and Aruba. St. Thomas is always a favorite of mine, and Antigua and Guadelupe were messed up for us due to the tragedy on 9/11 - we just weren't in the mood. By Friday when we got to Aruba, which is the reason we took this partiular itinerary, we didn't even turn on the TV and tried to block out the news and enjoy ourselves in our last Port of Call. We had a great time. Aruba is a wonderful place. We did a snorkel tour the ship offered, and it was a lot of fun. Sailed on a Catermaran (sp?) from the dock around the island to a wonderful spot for snorkeling and back. Then boarded the ship to change clothes so we could tour the shops and bars located beside the Pier. They have casinos, bars, stores - everything you can imagine within walking distance of the ship. It was a lot of fun.
I would recommend this itinerary without hesitation. We are going on RCC's Explorer of the Seas June 8th for the Western Caribbean - I am looking forward to this, as I've heard many good things about these ports (Labadee, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios and Cozumel).
Feel free to email after June 15th and I'll let you know how this trip went!!
For both me and my husband, we prefer the Southern Itinaries, simply because there are more islands to see and explore. Only draw back is having to fly into San Juan, (long flight) and pricey and also less "sea" days. The seas are usually always calm too, which is great. I can always find a "good" beach somewhere and shopping is pretty good too, but again its really a personal choice.
Let us know what cruise you decide on, any cruise is good, so have fun!
I've done Southern itineraries on three different ships and lines. Prefer to do it as a 10 day out of Florida as opposed to the 7 day out of Puerto Rico. Generally you get the same basic mix of ports (with one different here and there). The 10 day gives you two
nice sea days to start out, the 5 ports or so back to back in the middle and then two nice sea days to finish. If I were to book it today I would go on whatever Celebrity ship was doing it at the time I wanted .
We are going on Carnival "Paradise" sailing 5/2/02. This is our first time on this ship. Looking forward to the non-smoking as well as the Southern Caribbean. We have been on 13+ cruises but we will be hitting some Islands we have not done before and would love some suggestions on trips & or about the ship.
St. Lucia, Barbados, Martinique are all new.
Looking for some good excursions on the 3 Islands listed above. We love to snorkel and take are own gear where ever we go. (Not just floating on top) We don't want to be rushed with a 30 min. dives from ship board excursions.
Would love the good, bad and ugly of any trips others have taken that they can tell us about.
Getting excited here can't wait. Feeling the wind in our faces.
I've gone on a southern carribean which began in San Juan, there were no sea days on this 7 day cruise. Every day a different island...it was fantastic except when we got to St Lucia, I was too tired to go out and stayed on the ship instead. I wish I'd seen it now.
Just a warning for anyone going off by yourself on shore excursions...there is some risk in doing so. I read in the paper this week that a couple of tourists in St Lucia were robbed at gun point on the island somewhere. Always a good idea to go with a bit larger group for safety.
The only place I've traveled and didn't enjoy that much was Cozumel. I fly there directly and stayed four days last summer. It's probably a first choice spot for divers...but I don't dive and got bored on this island. We ran out of things to do AND they were having an unusually wet season last year and the mosquitos were thick and very hungry everywhere on the island!
We loved Grand Cayman and even considered moving there! The people are friendly, the island is clean and there is a feeling of real island pride there. The shopping is great and the prices were better than the same exact stuff in Cozumel.
Last year we sailed the Western Caribbean and we absolutely loved Grand Cayman. It was very clean, the people are friendly and the beach was beautiful. Cozumel was also nice however we opted out of a tour and shopped instead which I think was a mistake. I think you need to go on an excursion in Cozumel. Ocho Rios I didn't enjoy as I found it dirty and a bit scary, although others have really enjoyed Jamaica, personally I could have gone without that port. We are travelling the East caribbean this week, I hope we will enjoy this one even more! Good Luck ( I guess its hard to go too wrong with a cruise) the boat is great on its own!
We've never done a Southern itinerary. We've done Eastern and Western. Between the 2, we prefer Western. It is just more interesting than Eastern. I didn't find St. Maarten, St. Croix very interesting at all.