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

miniflea's Port Reviews of Grand Turk, La Romana (Casa de Campo), Curacao, Aruba
Carnival Breeze cruise in November 2013
Member Name: miniflea
Cruise Date: November 2013
Embarkation: Miami
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Member Review: miniflea's Carnival Breeze Review
Grand Turk
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+

We had an absolute blast here. We decided to make this our beach stop, and just got off and walked over to the beach by the ship. ProTip: If you want to get off early to get good spots, be sure to check and see if another ship is coming in behind you. We'd heard the night before that we'd have a second ship in port, and it would be arriving about 45 minutes after us, and when it did, they'd be shutting down the gangway on our ship while the other one docked. Knowing that, we got off early. The shut-down wasn't long, something like 30min from what I heard, but still, we wanted to be off the boat as long as possible.

As far as the beach, it was nice. We walked around the shops, swam a bit, then decided to do a helicopter tour with Grand Turk Helicopters. We got it for $45/pp, and it was worth every penny. Grant Turk is pretty small, and we got to circle the island, go over the small sandbar area where the snorkeling excursions were, and fly back over the docked boats. I got some great shots, and the pilot was a great guide. We had a great day



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La Romana (Casa de Campo)
Dune Buggy Tour Rating: Not Rated

We did a private excursion here as usual, and as others have mentioned, the port owners do everything in their power to make things difficult for those not doing ship-sponsored excursions. We used Pro Excursions to do a dune buggy excursion here, and getting a cab to their office was somewhat frustrating, because you didn't know who to trust at the taxi stand, considering our taxi fare was paid as part of the excursion cost and the instructions tell you to use a specific taxi company. In the end, it turns out we could have used any of them :). Once we got past that (which is in way Pro Excursions fault), the day turned out excellent. The dune buggy excursion was awesome, and we came back soaked in mud, just as we expected to. Our guide at Pro Excursions, Michel, was really, really good, as was his whole staff. I had my GoPro strapped to my head for the entire thing, and got some great video. We also bought the pictures their photographer took, well worth the money. I can't say enough good things about Pro Excursions and the dune buggy trip. One of the best private excursions we've ever done.

One tip, if you need to use the taxi stand at the port, get off the boat early. We managed to be the second people there, and a ling line formed very fast behind us.




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Curacao
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+

I would have loved to have been in port all day, vs the 2pm - 11pm we were there, as excursion options were somewhat limited. We got off and grabbed one of the 2hr for $20 tours, which was pretty good, but by the time we got back, all the shops across the floating bridge were closed, so shopping was limited to the stands on the ship side of the bridge. Still a great place, and very beautiful.



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Aruba
Island Tour Rating: Not Rated

My favorite stop of the tour, and one I didn't want to leave. Incredibly beautiful island with some awesome beaches. We booked a private tour of the island through HF Tours, which gave us a driver and guide for the 5 of us for the day to take us where ever we wanted, all for $65/pp. We absolutely loved it. We stopped at Phillip's Animal Garden to tour the sanctuary, went to the donkey preserve, drove to natural bridge, and made a few other stops along the way. We got to see quite a bit of the island, and didn't have to deal with the normal tour stops where they're trying to push expensive trinkets on you. Our guide was very helpful in pointing out places that were overpriced and places we could get the same items far cheaper at. I can't say enough about HF Tours and Aruba in general. It's at the top of my list of places I want to go back to visit.




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