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Home > Member Reviews > Staplerman's Port Reviews of Grand Turk, La Romana (Casa de Campo), Aruba, Curacao

Staplerman's Port Reviews of Grand Turk, La Romana (Casa de Campo), Aruba, Curacao
Carnival Freedom cruise in May 2012
Member Name: Staplerman
Cruise Date: May 2012
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Member Review: Staplerman's Carnival Freedom Review
Grand Turk
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Grand Turk had the most beautiful water we've ever seen in the Caribbean. We snorkeled/sunbathed right in front of the ship. We saw tons of fish, there was a giant school of Palometa that constantly swam around us while we were in the water. We went to Margaritaville for about 2 hours and hung out, VERY nice pool area with swim-up bar and lots of chairs. Prices for food/drinks were outrageous, though ($9 for a lukewarm bottle of beer). Shops in the port area were built by Carnival, still filling up with merchants but my wife found some great jewelry and T-shirts. Great place to relax!

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La Romana (Casa de Campo)
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
We missed La Romana as a result of my son and myself getting the norovirus (bummer!)
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Aruba
Island Tour Rating: 5+ out of 5+
This was our first trip to Aruba, so we wanted to tour the island and get a good look at everything. Based on past Cruise Critic recommendations, I emailed Sonny Binns several months ago and booked his tour.

All of our expectations for this trip were completely exceeded! Sonny did an outstanding job and his passion for his home island of Aruba shines through during the tour. We were in an air-conditioned 10-passenger van and were treated warmly from the time we met him in the terminal until we left him. Sonny truly went out of his way to point out items of interest and make everyone feel at home during the excursion. Aruba was not what we expected; in some places it actually looked like the southwestern United States but everywhere was very beautiful. The southern beaches are gorgeous, northern shore is windswept and rocky. We ate dinner at Iguana Joes right across from the ship and the food was excellent.

Aruba was fantastic and we will definitely go back. If you want a great tour, book with Sonny and you won't be disappointed.


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Curacao
Cave Tour Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Caves were amazing, this was my son's favorite part of the trip to Curacao. Runaway slaves actually hid in these caves and it was cool to see where they had lit fires in the caves for light and warmth. Our spelunking guide (Edsel) was very friendly and extremely knowledgeable about the history of the caves and the science behind their formation. Keep in mind that these caves are made of coral stone which absorbs heat and even at 9am it was very muggy and warm in them but definitely worth the time and $10 admission fee.


Island Tour Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
As we debarked the ship in Willemstad, we found a group of fellow cruisers with a local tour guide. They needed 3 more people before the tour could begin, so we joined up with them. Our tour guide was a local named Hubert and he was very fun to be around. He made a point to get to the caves early on before the crowds got there and for that we basically had the caves all to ourselves (7 of us in our group). This was great because my wife is very claustrophobic and doesn't do well in cramped quarters. After that he took us to scenic points to take photos and then downtown as he narrated the long and colorful history of Curacao. He dropped us off downtown and we did some shopping, then headed back to the ship.


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