Here it is so far! The Cruise Cynic's list of recommended beaches! Print it out and take it with you. As I have not been to all these beaches personally, the source of the recommendation is in parentheses. Enjoy!
ARUBA - Baby Beach (Juliane, Debbie) / DePalm Island - recommended for snorkelers / The Hyatt Hotel Beach (Sail7Seas) / Eagle Beach - 'picture post card beach' says (Calgon) / Palm Beach (Moondawgie) / Rodgers Beach in the Seroe Colorado area beyond San Nicolas (Kasper)
ANTIGUA - Jabberwock Beach & Rendezvous Bay are secluded beaches (Calgon) / Runaway Bay - Taxi $10, Chairs $10, Sunshade $10 - average crowded beach with shelving just past the water (Cruise Cynic) / Dickinson Bay & Deep Bay - Taxi $10 / Nonesuch Bay, Mercer's Creek & Half Moon Bay are on East Shore Taxi $30 or more / Pigeon Point, Five Islands Beach & Morris Bay - south shore $25 by taxi
BARBADOS - Sandy Beach in Worthing (Jenhen) / Crane Beach & Brandons Beach (Traveletc Magazine courtesy of Nath) / Mullins Bay Beach - nice, clean, small beach with free chairs -tip attendant- and a restaurant. Beach is controlled by the restaurant, so harassment is selective Taxi $25 each way (Cruise Cynic) / The Boatyard - right in port so the view stinks, Crew go here, $$$admission / Greaves End Beach & Needham Point are to the south $8 Taxi ride / Browne's Beach & Brighton Beach are to the north Taxi $8
BAHAMAS - Paradise Island Beach is very nice with some surf / Cable Beach away from the hotel areas / Blackbeard Beach - on an island near Nassau (Luv2Cruise) / Salty Cay (Nieciez)
BERMUDA - Jobson's Cove (PBP) / Horseshoe Bay (Anton) / Church Bay in Southampton is isolated, quiet & secluded ; Ft. St. Catherine's Beach in St. George, just down the road from Tobacco Bay is beautiful and less crowded (Kasper) / Elbow Beach (Travel & Life Caribbean Magazine)
COZUMEL - Natchicocon (Elise) / Playa del Carmen Beach (Jenhen) / Chankanab Park (Debbie) / Playa del Sol - quite crowded with grainy sand and shelving - possible nudity (Cruise Cynic)
CURACAO - Aquarium Beach - admission charge, facilities - OK beach with very hard sand, not very scenic due to cement breakwater, note: most menus & signage are in Dutch only (Cruise Cynic) / Most other beaches are operated by hotels/resorts here
DOMINICA - L'Anse Tortue - white sand palm trees and good waters (Calgon)
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Dominicus Beach (Elise)
GRAND CAYMAN - 7 Mile Beach (Various Posters) Note: no one was specific as to where exactly was a good spot to drop your towel. Many hotels on the beach bar cruise passengers from using "their" part of the beach / Rum Point Beach (Traveletc Magazine courtesy of Nath)
GRENADA - Grande Anse Beach (BSeaBob)
GUADELOUPE - No Data
HAWAII - Poipu and Lumahai Beaches on Kauai (SeaWitch) / Hanauma Bay on Oahu - good snorkeling & Swimming Parking $1 Admission $3 , Kapalua Bay on Maui - good snorkeling (Iluvcruzin) / Polihale Beach, Kauai (Islands Magazine)
JAMAICA - James Bond Beach is very nice, Bond Movies filmed there, about 5 miles east of Ochos Rios (Calgon) / Ochos Rios Beach just to the left of the pier is suggested for those not wanting to stray far from the ship - $1.50 admission (Debbie) / Mahogany Beach - recently renovated with facilities - and Reggae Beach, both a short distance east from Ochos Rios town center $10 Taxi (Traveletc Magazine courtesy of Nath) / Doctor's Cave Beach near Montego Bay (Travel & Life Caribbean Magazine)
MARGARITA ISLAND - closest beach is Las Isleta, most others are on the other side of the island $60 round-trip by taxi
MARTINIQUE - Plage des Calines - 1.5 miles of white sand & palm trees (Calgon) / Pointe de Bout - across the bay by ferry $6 return / Les Salines - deserted picturesque beach at south tip / Diamant Beach - just south of Pointe de Bout - rough water but a nice scenic spot
PUERTO RICO - Luiquillo Beach - crystal clear lagoon due east of San Juan (Calgon) / Dorado Beach and Condado Beach are also recommended, but are secured and guarded so pay admission! / Mar Chiquita Beach , Cap de Mar Beach , also the new beach/pool complex at the Caribe Hilton is terriffic! (Pam Kane) / Pinones Beach (Travel & Life Caribbean Magazine)
ST. BART'S - No Data
ST. CROIX - Cane Bay - decent beach next to highway , Shoys Beach - just east of the Buccanneer is a lovely quiet stretch (Baileyboy)
ST. KITT'S - Conaree Beach - great swimming & beautiful sand but taxis reluctant to take you there saying "locals only" (Calgon) / South Friars Bay Beach - average beach with $10 charge for chairs, no facilities, some shelving at water, vendor harassment starts once the police walk by. Taxi $25 return (Cruise Cynic) / Turtle Bay Beach - a very nice distant beach Taxi $40 return
ST. LUCIA - Pinney's Beach (Calgon) / Merigot Beach (WeLuv2Cruz) / Rex St. Lucian Beach - ask nicely at front desk for free use of facilities! (Kristi-Rae)
ST. MAARTEN - Orient Beach - very nice beach with overt nudity, good biology lesson (Various Posters) / Friar's Bay - wonderful beach with small cafe/restaurant (Melissa)
ST. THOMAS / ST. JOHN - Magen's Bay - nice picturesque beach quite crowded with beach bar service and facilities - admission charge (Various posters) / Coki Beach (Debbie) / Trunk Bay, St. John is gorgeous - (Various posters) / Hawksnest Bay and Cinnamon Bay, St. John (Divetex) / Honeymoon Beach, St. John (Traveletc Magazine courtesy of Nath)
TORTOLA / VIRGIN GORDA - Long Bay Beach - the western one... there are two! Beautiful deserted beach with soft sand & gentle surf, facilities available at a small hotel, lounge chairs are no charge, erosion was evident last visit, rocks underfoot Taxi $20 each way - tip well, so they come back (Cruise Cynic, BSeaBob) / Brewers Bay Beach & Cane Garden Bay - closer to pier thus more crowded, safari buses go here $15 (Cruise Cynic) / Smuggler's cove is suggested as best for snorkelers Taxi $20 each way / Carrot Bay & Apple Bay are also good bets Taxi $15 each way / Devil's Bay Beach, Virgin Gorda (Jill)
TOBAGO - Englishman's Bay Beach - idyllic, uncrowded, limited-services beach with small beach bar, occasional undertow , Pigeon Point Beach - 20 min. taxi ride, very popular, thus crowded, full facilities, admission fee (London Sunday Times Newspaper, Kasper) / Store Bay - south of Pigeon Point with white sand & good swimming ; Parlatuvier and Bloody Bay - on the west coast are very secluded & tranquil ; Nylon Pool - small lagoon near Bucco Reef filled with tropical fish, great wading & swimming (Kasper)
TRINIDAD - Maracas Bay is the only decent beach he knows of on an island not known for its beaches Taxi $80 round trip (Calgon) / Las Cuevas Bay & Blanchisseuse Beach are distant romantic spots 1.5 hours away Taxi $100-$120
PRIVATE ISLANDS - No data on secluded spots away from the crowds thus far.
RCI Labadee - nice spot - try to get a hammock! Back tip of the peninsula is less crowded - some beaches are no swimming due to stinging sea urchins, local vendors abound (Cruise Cynic)
HAL Half Moon Cay - is reported as nice by (Sail7Seas)
Princess Cays - Go left to the end of boardwalk, less crowded, with hammocks & bar service (Beverly C)
NCL Great Stirrup Cay - crowd turns left at the tender station, you turn right. Location is beautiful (Ann) The BEST!!! (ChrisC)
This list will be updated and posted periodically. To have your favorite beach added e-mail me at email@example.com Please include a brief description of the beach and its location to the pier, taxi cost etc.
OK, smarty pants, I'll give you the best beaches I've ever visited. Even though I'm not a beach person myself (unless there's lots of palm trees).
1. Ixcaret, Mexico (port: Calica) -- hey, it's still part of a western Caribbean itinerary. It's a privately owned ecological theme park of 80,000 acres. This has so many beach areas, coves with hammocks, rocky platforms overlooking the sea, that you can find solitude even when a full ship is in port. In Ixcaret you can also swim with dolphins, eat well but cheaply at four thached-roof restaurants, swim in an underground river, go horseback riding. There's a good museum of the Maya, a store, lots of exotic animals, parrots, flamengos. Celebrity's Millennium stops here on Western Caribbean itinerary.
2. Long Island, NY. Hey, you didn't say Caribbean! The beaches of Long Island are simply the best in the world. Only problem is the Atlantic ocean is very cold and rough.
3. My pick for the worst beaches: Grand Cayman. They may have a seven mile beach, but it's all taken by resorts and restricted to outsiders. The only spot a visitor can go is a tacky, rather dirty private beach club. They should take Lloyds of London insurance out on the rays -- otherwise there would be no reason on earth to stop here.