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Home > Member Reviews > robbull1966's Port Reviews of Grand Turk, La Romana (Casa de Campo), Curacao, Aruba

robbull1966's Port Reviews of Grand Turk, La Romana (Casa de Campo), Curacao, Aruba
Carnival Freedom cruise in June 2013
Member Name: robbull1966
Cruise Date: June 2013
Embarkation: other
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Member Review: robbull1966's Carnival Freedom Review
Grand Turk
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

We had been to Grand Turk before and very much enjoyed it. It is the perfect first stop on any cruise. The ship docks on a long pier that you walk off and towards the main entrance to this small island. Inside there is a gift shop, duty free booze, jewellry etc. Outside the store you can go left towards the endless beach. Lounge chairs are free to use both on the beach and all around the Margaritaville bar. The bar is surrounded by swimming pools that become places for people to hold drinks and otherwise stand and listen to the loud DJ and his music. Choosing the beach chairs, as far away from the music, is the best choice. Right in front of your is your ship, the blue water, sand and your lounge chairs (free to use, unlike other islands). The water here isn't super warm but you do get used to it. Watch for the sharp coral on the floor. Wear water shoes if you have them.

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La Romana (Casa de Campo)
Port Rating: 1.0 out of 5+

We didnt get off the boat in La Romana. Having read that the area and the nearby town are quite poor, we walked off the ship just to the small market that is by the taxi stands. A small array of local trinkets, coffee, duty free booze etc awaits. Nothing worth seeing. The nice bonus of going back on the ship is that we had it mostly to ourselves as many went ashore.

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Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Curacao is next and by far was our highlight island. The ship docks around 2pm in the afternoon, very near the Renaissance hotel and shopping plaza. The Starbucks in the plaza offers free, non password, wifi. Its easily discovered by the number of ship staff and other cruisers checking their email, Facebook and more. Be patient as the signal, while strong, is being shared by a lot of people. Head back and through the fort for more shops and a direct route to the outdoor market and floating bridge to the main shopping area. The outdoor market is very good, with local items all at a good price. The floating bridge opens and closes for ships passing through the channel. Once to the other side, the shopping is endless. There is something for guys, kids, teens and of course, women. Electronics, perfume, clothing, shoes, booze, etc. The color, energy, cleanliness and safety of Curacao is exceptional and well worth seeing again. While the ship doesnt leave till 11pm most of us are back on the ship for dinner and it was apparent most stayed on the ship thereafter.

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Island Tour Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Aruba was the next and last port to visit. The downside is that this was the fourth port to visit in four days. Docking closer to the downtown area than that of Curacao, walking to the smaller shopping district is easy. Aruba is also clean and safe to get around in. Our only tour of the ports was here in Aruba. Starting with a tour of the Island we saw the natural bridge formations on the far side of the island, one smaller bridge that is still intact, and a much larger bridge that collapsed back a few years ago. The guide showed us cashew fruit where the nut grows outside of the fruit. A stop at the California lighthouse preceded an hour long stay at Eagle beach. Aruba is noted for its long, white sandy beaches and warm, clear water. While amazing to swim in and enjoy, what they dont tell you is that Aruba is very windy, similar to experience in Maui. The trade winds blow strong all day, billowing up the sand and causing some small swells in the water. The beaches also dont have any coral so there is very limited fish and sealife to see underwater. Still, the beach and water is amazing to play in. Shopping around the port is a fraction of what was experienced in Curacao.

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