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Home > Member Reviews > Supp2U's Port Reviews of Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, Freeport

Supp2U's Port Reviews of Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, Freeport
Carnival Pride cruise in November 2012
Member Name: Supp2U
Cruise Date: November 2012
Embarkation: Baltimore
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Member Review: Supp2U's Carnival Pride Review
Grand Turk
Snorkeling Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We were greeted not far from debarkation in Grand Turk and escorted a short walk to the docks where we boarded a boat that rode us about 20 minutes to the reef where we would be snorkeling. Our captain, Stumpy, did a wonderful job of identifying his crew members and their roles as well as instructing everyone of all levels of experience. When we got in the water, we found reef sharks swimming below us! The crew members dove and fed them and assisted us all in diving and even touching the sharks! After we got back in the boat, there was water and non-alcoholic punch avalable for us. We then rode to a secluded beach where we got in the water with stingrays of all sizes. The crew was very gentle with the rays as well as even the wimpiest of passengers. My only complaint is about the photographer. One of the rays was getting obviously stressed from all the handling. When I commented on it, she told me it was because it was so heavy. I don't know of anyone that stupid and I didn't appreciate being treated so. After we all got back onboard, in full view of everyone, the crew cleaned all the snorkel equipment with a bleach solution, which greatly impressed me. Aside from the minor irritation of the photographer, I would definitely recommend this excursion and will do it again.

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Half Moon Cay
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
This is one of the most naturally beautiful places I have ever seen! If it were possible, I would have spent the entire week on this island. There is no port at Half Moon Cay, so the ship weighs anchor and passengers are tendered to the docks in glass bottom boats, which was interesting as we had some extremely rough seas. We had booked a snorkel excursion that was unfortunately canceled due to severe rip tides between Hurricaine Sandy and the following Nor'easter. The water was a bit tamer at the beach, crystal clear turquoise and slightly warmer than the ambient temperature, which made it very chilly coming in from a swim. The white, powdery sand was so fine, it felt like silk underfoot and all footpaths are surrounded by lush vegitation. I would have given it top rating had it not been for the serious lack of maintenance that actually became a hazard at one point. More than one toilet actually wobbled and shifted on its trap and several faucet knobs came off in my hand. Soap dispensers were full, but would not give up the soap. A blade fell off of a ceiling fan in the Captain Morgan Pirate Ship bar, missing my head by inches! Despite this, I can't wait to visit again!
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Culinary Tour Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
The port of Freeport is almost an eyesore. Aside from a few cute shops and bars immediately off the debarkation, there is nothing but industry--the polar opposite of the beauty of Half Moon Cay. In order to appreciate this island, you need to take an excursion or tour. So the girls in our group (and one guy) went on the culinary tour. We were met bright and early at 7:30 at the port by Hue, our driver, who provided an entertaining and informative narration of the more interesting points of Freeport and delivered us about an hour later to a beachfront restaurant in Lucaya where we met our instructor, Chef Dawkins. He walked us through the preparation of peas & rice, conch fritters and cracked conch (basically, fried conch), then allowed us to prepare our own. We all thought there would be more hands-on involvement with this, but basically, all the ingredients were pre-assembled in bowls to which we just needed to add water, then add to one of two very unsteady and unsafe looking fryers. We then stepped down to the beach where a very flirtatious cohort prepared a conch salad for us. After we ate our meal, Chef Dawkins prepared a coconut beverage (with or without liquor) and a macaroon-type dessert for us. By the time we returned to the port, the Pride was sounding its horn to board at 1pm. Overall, I was glad we did this excursion, it was certainly enjoyable; however, I can't say I would recommend it or do it again.

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