This isn't really a Carnival specific poll but I don't hang out on the other boards. So tell us... Where do you prefer to cruise, Eastern or Western Caribbean? Be specific, what do you like or dislike? I for one will tell you that it wouldn't bother me to do away with Montego Bay, Jamaica as a port but I could live in Georgetown, Grand Cayman.
Western Caribbean: Grand Cayman - good port for water people, i.e., swimming, snorkeling, shopping o.k. but nothing to write home about. Jamaica (Ocho Rios) - Dunns River Falls is the big draw, the residents are a little too pushy for my taste. Honduras - very sad to drive thru the country and see the living conditions but we went to Tabyana Beach and it was gorgeous. Cozumel - another water lovers stop, they still have some clean-up to do after last year's hurricane devastation but a nice place to spend a few hours. Belize is somewhere I don't ever want to go again, the living conditions are horrible, pushy vendors. Costa Maya was a waste of time, the beach was rocky, more pushy vendors who actually followed you out of their stores, people very unfriendly.
Eastern Caribbean: Puerto Rico - Carnival ships don't dock until 5:00 p.m. and the stores are closed except for a select few that stay open late to accommodate cruise ship passengers, the fort is closed. If you're not a bar person, there isn't much to do and it's a little intimidating walking around at night. The only way we were able to spend quality time in San Juan was when our ship had engine problems and we were forced to stay there another day. St. Thomas is beautiful, great beaches, excursions, shopping, friendly people. St. Maarten is my absolute favorite stop, clean, gorgeous beaches, good snorkeling, sailing, shopping, restaurants, friendly people.
Nassau...been there, done that, don't care if I ever see Nassau again. I wish hotels in Nassau would offer reasonably priced day passes to their resorts. Key West, I live in Florida and Key West is a short drive for me but for people who have never been there, there are loads of wonderful things to do there.
I really prefer the Eastern Caribbean cruises. I think you get more of an island atmosphere with those islands. St. Martin is my favorite stop in the Eastern.
That being said, most of my cruises have been Western only because I do group cruises (with the same group) and those are the most cost efficient for me.
Voyager of the Seas 5/03
Celebrity Solstice 2/09
Oasis of the Seas 10/16/10