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Home > Member Reviews > JoAnneV's Port Reviews of Curacao, St. Thomas, St. Barts, Martinique, Barbados, Grenada

JoAnneV's Port Reviews of Curacao, St. Thomas, St. Barts, Martinique, Barbados, Grenada
Maasdam cruise in March 2012
Member Name: JoAnneV
Cruise Date: March 2012
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Member Review: JoAnneV's Maasdam Review
Curacao
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Curacao is a big diving and snorkeling site and very dry. We walked around the town and did not do island tours. Willemstad, Curacao is very pretty. The island has a Dutch background as do Bonaire and Aruba. The buildings look like they are from a Dutch town and are painted beautiful colors. The floating market was really interesting. Vendors from South America bring produce on their boats and set up shop on the pier. We visited a good museum on slavery, Kura Hulanda.

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St. Thomas
St. John Tour Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Our first tour was of St. John's from St. Thomas. The contrast between the two islands is amazing. St. Thomas is very commercial and St. John is relatively untouched since it is mostly National Park. We saw beautiful beaches and ruins of some old sugar plantations. The tour was on an open bus. The guide was good. We would have liked to have more time on the island.


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St. Barts
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
St. Bart's is a very expensive resort island. They do not allow big hotels, so everything is very high end. We did not take an excursion. We walked around the historical sights in the town of Gustavia. The yachts in the harbor were amazing. The Wall House Museum gave a good history of the island. We had lunch at the Wall House Restaurant. The island is French, but most of the tourist trade speaks English. My attempts at French were pretty much a failure.

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Martinique
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Martinique is also a French island and English is not widely spoken, even in the tourist shops in Fort de France. I was a little more successful with my French here. I even had a shop owner who complimented me on trying to speak French. We had a good tour (St Pierre & Botanical Gardens) of the island including a church, a botanical garden, and St. Pierre which was destroyed when Mt. Pele erupted in 1902. The town has since rebuilt and has a nice little museum. The ruins of the theatre were interesting. The island is very lush and beautiful.

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Barbados
Photography Tour Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We next stopped in very British Barbados. We did a tour of the island with a photographer with an emphasis on natural rather than historical places. He was really interesting and provided lots of information about the island and its culture. Again, we saw lots of beautiful beaches and tropical foliage. The economy here seems to be thriving. After we returned to the ship we walked into Bridgetown for lunch and some exploring.


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Grenada
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Grenada was a real contrast to Barbados. They have suffered a couple of hurricanes recently and have not recovered from the damage. Grenada is known for spices and most of the nutmeg trees were destroyed. The new ones are just now beginning to bear fruit. They also had a revolution (we saw where the US Marines landed) which really damaged their economy. We did a tour, West Grenada Mountain Rainforest, which was beautiful, but frustrating because everything was so crowded. We stopped at an old spice plantation, Grand Etang Reserve, Annandale Falls, and Fort Frederick. The island is hilly and green.

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Bonaire
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Bonaire was a lot of fun. The island is not highly developed. Kralendijk is very small and since we were there on Sunday mostly closed. We had a really good bus tour, Bonaire Highlights, of the island. We saw flamingos and some cultural and historical sites. After lunch we went to the Plaza Resort and I snorkeled from the shore. I am an inexperienced snorkeler and had a great time. I saw lots of fish since the reef is right next to the shore and in a marine park. Getting into the water was a little tough since it was so rocky, but the snorkeling was great. Bonaire is not a lush tropical island; it is hot and dry but very interesting.

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Aruba
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Oranjestad, Aruba is not quite as picturesque as Willemstad, but still interesting. We visited the National Archaeological Museum of Aruba which was wonderful. It is very well laid out and informative and only a few blocks from the port. Fort Zoutman was open so we were able to see the inside. We ate lunch at a Cuban restaurant; Cuba's Cookin', which was great.

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