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Home > Member Reviews > cold up north's Port Reviews of San Juan, St. Thomas, Dominica, Half Moon Cay, St. Maarten, Martinique

cold up north's Port Reviews of San Juan, St. Thomas, Dominica, Half Moon Cay, St. Maarten, Martinique
Maasdam cruise in January 2014
Member Name: cold up north
Cruise Date: January 2014
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Member Review: cold up north's Maasdam Review
San Juan
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

San Jaun was our first port to visit. The best place for the ship to dock is at piers near the old city. We read and researched about San Juan on the various internet sites and discovered the free hop on-hop off trolly bus routes. I can recommend this way to see the city, old and new as it goes to almost all the major tourist sites. Cruise ships usually arrive around noon and stay until late ate night. Being in the old city in the evening I felt safe as the areas were patrolled by security police. I would recomend at first seeing the daytime sights, heading back to the ship and then going out again in the early evening for a meal at a restaurant.



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St. Thomas
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+

We have been several times before at St. Thomas and feel quite comfortabe there. First of all it's all about shopping. If you can't find it, it's probably not available. We went on our own by taxi first of all to Magans Bay where we spent the morning ($8.00 per person plus $4.00 entry for 3 of us) Cheaper than the cruise lines charge. We got there before the numerous ship crowds and if you want to stay longer, it's possible as it's only 20 min for the trip. Afterwards we deceided to head to Coki Beach from there as they say the snorkeling is better which it was. Obtain dog biscuits to attract the fish. It gets crowded early there especially on the RH side where Ocean World is located. The LH sice is less crowded.At each beach do not worry about catching a taxi for the return trip to the ship as there are lots of taxi's available waiting.


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Dominica
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Again we have been previously several times here. This time we docked at the cargo port where there was a hanger where the usual souvenirs were being sold. It is much better to be docked at the cruise dock downtown for access to the town of Rousseau.Dominica is not an overly developed island with Diamond International et.al but there are nice items to be purchased at Fort Young. I suggest that one researches on the internet and then take a tour that catches you fancy. River tubing, Champagne snorkeling and the Carib Indian tour is good. On reaching shore there will be numerous taxi drivers available but be careful not missing the ship as the roads are winding and it takes a long time to cover the short distances.



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Half Moon Cay
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Half moon Cay is great. The water level drops off gradually and therer are not too many waves. The best time to visit is near the end of your cruise as it is a place to wind down. When booking your trip the first thing to do is to rent one of the clamshells. It can get very hot, especially heading toward the end of the winter season and shade is at a premium. there are numerous shore trips and so far we have done the swim with the stingrays and parasailingSwimming with the stingrays is superior in Grand Cayman and now they have discontinued the parasailing. One word of caution, beware of the BBQ. Often the at theBBQ the hamburgers are raw on the inside.



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St. Maarten
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Again it's all about shopping here too. the ship docks at the pier a distance from downtown where the majority of the stores are. There is a small selection of the usual jewelry stores here. A short boat ride $ will drop you off downtown at 3 locations and a wrist bracelet will get you back. Tours will pick one up at the dock. We have taken several of these and can recommend either the ones that take tou to the French side by boat or bus The island being so small it is also quite easyandcheap to take a private taxi to the French side for a longer stay there. There there are numerous French restaurants and hi class jewelry stores. the souvenier market at the harbor is worth a visit.



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Martinique
Port Rating: 2.0 out of 5+

We have been here several times and I cannot say we are fond of it. Very expensive. If you deceide to purchase any thing, although they will accept US$ it will cost more as compared if you use Euros.



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St. Croix
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+

A very clean port and city but where the ships dock, dead.Very few stores were open as many owneres have been driven out of business due to very high electrical, taxes and business costs. Best of all get a taxi and head for Christiansted. The island is very flat with straight roads and operating traffic lights. If the local government would realize this and give business owners a break, Frederickstcould be a thriving port as the building are in place.



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