Hello! I am 21 years old and will be booking a cruise for my boyfriend and myself for March 2010. This will be my (and his) first cruise, and I feel slightly overwhelmed! I have found 3 itineraries (East, West, or South Caribbean), yet do not know which to choose. They are all through Carnival, and are all 7 days. I know this is probably a lot to consider, but here are the three options:
1. West Caribbean (ship: Legend), leave from Tampa
Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize, and Isla Ratan
2. East Caribbean (ship: Liberty), leave from Miami
Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk
3. South Caribbean (ship: Victory), leave from San Juan
St. Thomas, Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antiqua, St. Kitts
The first option departs the closest to where I live, yet the third option hits the most places (yet requires flying to and from San Juan). What sounds like the best itinerary to get the most out of my 7 days? I definitely want to do some snorkeling, but do not know which place is best. I would also definitely like to try zip lining. I want to get in some photography so I would love some great scenic areas. Mostly though, I am looking to relax on some great beaches...and get in some light shopping somewhere along the way.
Are any of the destinations better than others for just going off on your own, and not booking an excursion? Or should I book something for each place? How do I even know where to go/what to do if I just wanted to relax on a beach for the majority of a day?
Any tips/advice/help you guys can give will be GREATLY appreciated!
From what you've said so far, I think option #1 would work out good for your first cruise. The ports do offer snorkeling, zip line and some light shopping along with beaches.
You do get to see more islands on a Southern itinary, but just the airfare to San Juan is very expensive. My favorite itinary is a Southern one, because you see almost an island a day. Not good for cruisers that like "sea" days.
Would you still have to fly into Tampa or are you close enough to just drive??
Just cruised your 1st option in January and loved it! You're missing a lot of the storms in March, the Legend is a fantastic ship, and the ports of call are magnificent.
We are a similar (sounds like) couple, and got in a good mix of snorkeling (GC), zip lines/jungle in Belize, and a beautiful beach in Cozumel (cheap motor scooter rental for the day once in port).
Just FYI- we booked an aft balcony on the 7th deck, and the uncontaminated views of Honduras in the morning were breathtaking and more romantic with a room service breakfast than anything we've experienced in 7 year of marriage and about 15 vacations. They also have a pretty good eco park for interacting with monkeys and birds, with a small private each attached.
Hope this helps, if you haven't booked already.
The eastern itinerary is always a good go-to for 1st timers as it usually hits the "classics".
For option 1, airfare to Tampa is stupid cheap, and the stops are OK as well.
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