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Old April 5th, 2011, 09:10 PM
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Default Eastern or Western Caribbean?

I am trying to plan a cruise on the Allure of the Seas March 2012 and I am having a hard time deciding on whether to go Eastern or Western. The Eastern itinerary is Nassau, Bahamas; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten. The Western itinerary is Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico. Both leave from Fort Lauderdale. The only ports that I haven't been to yet are Jamaica and Bahamas. Any comments would be greatly appreciated in helping me decide! We enjoy beach excursions and snorkeling so if anyone has any suggestions for Bahamas and Jamaica that would be great too!
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Old April 6th, 2011, 09:55 AM
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A couple things to note: Generally Western is cheaper than Eastern; I think it has something to do with the fuel required to do the the Eastern route v. Western route. Second, Eastern always has "high winds" on sea days going down to St. Thomas and headed back up to Flordia. I've done that route ten times over the course of 15 years and never had a light breeze sea day on an Eastern run. In speaking to a crew member, they mentioned that it's due to the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean meeting and/or the trade winds. Either way, it's like 50mph winds on the pool deck and completely kills your sun tanning. Western has very calm waters (generally speaking) and low winds. Also, I've highly recommend Labadee on the Western side as it's just an awesome beach day. Bahamas is probably my least favorite spot to hit on a cruise. Outside of walking around Atlantis for the day, not much beyond some of the snorkling tours to do.

On the Eastern run you'll get St. Thomas and St. Marteen; both awesome stops with great shopping. Allure is a great ship, sailed in Feb during the Western run; really enjoyed it.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 11:46 AM
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I'll be on Allure in Oct., doing the Eastern run...I happen to enjoy my stops in Nassau and loved going and seeing Atlantis, plus some decent shopping in town...

I think if you are more into water activities, the Western is the one to do, although I am suprised there is no Grand Cayman stop?

I honestly haven't noticed any higher winds when doing the Eastern versus the Western, may-be its a certain time of year??

I know its a tough decision, either route looks good, I just wish there was a way to include Labade in the Eastern itinary, favorite kind of beach day for me.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 12:40 PM
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Diamond Member- I know what you mean about the wind. When I did Eastern Caribbean on Feb 2009 there was so much more wind than my last Western Caribbean cruise. The price for both is the same so that's not an issue. Have you been to Jamaica? Labadee is one of my favorite stops too! so beautiful. We did the Malfini beach tour while we were there.

Donna- We are big into snorkeling and and have had good luck so far on the Western cruise. I was actually hoping that there would be a Grand Cayman stop because I have been wanting to go there. I have heard that Atlantis is wonderful to go to at the Bahamas.

This is going to be a tough decision. Thanks for the info so far guys!
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Old April 6th, 2011, 03:03 PM
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Oasis and Allure do not call to Grand Cayman as she can only go to ports where she can dock. Both routes are nice, I personally prefer Western just due to my previous experiences with weather on the Eastern side.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 04:22 PM
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The western, to my mind, is more water orientated, and many ports of call are more rustic, with lots of history.

I have never had any wind issues on my eastern cruises,and I prefer it.

Jamaica is a western port, many people don't care for, including me. I have been 3 times, to 2 ports there,and I will now stay onbvoard if my ship ports there.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 05:08 PM
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if it's your first cruise i would go with the east over the west
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Old April 6th, 2011, 09:57 PM
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I definitely prefer the Eastern itinerary. Never had any problem with wind, that's the first time I've heard that. .
Falmouth is a new port for RCCL and the reviews of that port have been pretty awful. Do some reading before you decide to go there. I'm also not interested in ever going back to Jamaica ...
A lot of the Western itinerary include exotic type of excursions, zip lining, cave tubing, rain forest tours, things of that nature. If you like that kind of activity it might appeal. The Eastern itinerary has better towns, tourism infrastructure and more selection re excursions.
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Old April 8th, 2011, 10:10 AM
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Hi, I sailed Allure in Jan; did eastern route; we did have a little wind; but that went away as soon as we passed the Bahamas. Speaking of the Bahamas; Allure is only there for about 5 hours; You dock at 8 and leave at 1. So u can get off ship and shop in the port; lots of nice shops; plus there is Senior Frogs. I have been to Western Caribbean also; but not on large ship. Sailed Majesty of the Seas; went to Labadee; nice relaxing place. Weather wise; it was beautiful in Jan.
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Old April 7th, 2012, 10:39 PM
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Absolutely Eastern. St. Thomas is very nice and St. Maarten is my favorite with a beautiful beach and blue water on the French side and tons of shopping on the Dutch side. Labadee, Haiti is a disappointing private RC beach, Jamaica felt slightly unsafe and dirty and Cozumel was a gated port with mediocre excursions and you need a cab to go anywhere outside of the small shopping area. Hands down, go with the Eastern.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 08:49 AM
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I absolutely loved Labadee, but you had to walk over to the other side, not right by the pier where everyone else goes... IT is totally different on the ocean side over the lagoon side...
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Old April 8th, 2012, 09:05 AM
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It is and always will be Eastern for me.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 10:32 AM
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I have only been to 11 caribbean islands .I cannot make that determination till I get to visit all.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David_J View Post
Absolutely Eastern. St. Thomas is very nice and St. Maarten is my favorite with a beautiful beach and blue water on the French side and tons of shopping on the Dutch side. Labadee, Haiti is a disappointing private RC beach, Jamaica felt slightly unsafe and dirty and Cozumel was a gated port with mediocre excursions and you need a cab to go anywhere outside of the small shopping area. Hands down, go with the Eastern.

Labadee is a great stop with lots to do. Beautiful too. Jamaica has some issues but worth visiting if you have never been there. Cozumel has some of the best excursions in the entire Caribbean. Got to disagree with you on this one David.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 02:46 AM
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Hi.., Last month I am here along with my family members. We really enjoyed our trip. western is always cheaper than easter. We enjoyed beach excursions a lot and we had a really a great week there. Labadee on the Western is just an awesome beach.

***Edited to remove commercial referende***

Last edited by Donna; April 27th, 2012 at 09:16 AM.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 01:57 PM
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Hi Donna, I sent you an email
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Old May 15th, 2012, 01:18 AM
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Between those ports of call, it is a tough choice so I see your problem. However, after some thinking...I would go with Eastern Caribbean. The virgin islands are gorgeous and most especially St Maarten. I've seen a lot of the caribbean and St. Maarten is one of the best. Nassau is great place to to hop off and shop or day tour to a small island (off Nassau).

I agree with trip, I do not care for Jamaica. Personally, that is the primary reason I would not book western.

Good luck and have fun!!!
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
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I absolutely loved Labadee, but you had to walk over to the other side, not right by the pier where everyone else goes... IT is totally different on the ocean side over the lagoon side...
How so Donna? I heard it was rougher waters but is there more than that which you might be referring to? Thanks!

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Old May 22nd, 2012, 04:13 PM
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Yes Kerry,
It is rougher on the other side, but a huge beautiful beach...Worth the walk over, past the market area...You may want to just skip that, although there are some neat things that they sell, but of course, they really try to sell you stuff.
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