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Home > Member Reviews > Michael Schenck's Port Reviews of St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk

Michael Schenck's Port Reviews of St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk
Carnival Conquest cruise in April 2014
Member Name: Michael Schenck
Cruise Date: April 2014
Embarkation: Miami
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Member Review: Michael Schenck's Carnival Conquest Review
St. Thomas
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+

Very nice, with a lot of shops and eateries right near where the ship docked. The view is very nice, particularly if you take the cable cars 700' up to Paradise Point to overlook everything.

Ate lunch in town at a nice place called Gladys' Café. Their jerk chicken wings had the best sauce I ever had on a wing ... tangy, sweet, a bit spicy, and thick like a glaze.

The music in the streets (especially the steel drums) and near all the shops and at the bazaar was nice and added to the ambience.

The taxi to take you to town was reasonably priced at $4/person, albeit unusual … a converted pickup truck with seating for 12.

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San Juan
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+

We had hoped to take in much of Old San Juan's historical sites, but were short on time and took a tour bus. That proved to be a mistake since we saw much of NEW San Juan including the poorer parts of town where we got stuck for some time on a narrow street behind a delivery truck. We also only stopped where the driver wanted, which meant some of the places we had originally planned to walk to we only saw as we drove by.

What little we saw was quite good. Piqued my interest to go back again.

The hustle and bustle of the shops and street vendors was interesting, as were the street musicians.

Ate lunch at Cafe El Punto (Punto de Vista) very near where the ship docked. Very nice food, especially the churrasquitos (steak tacos) and carne frita (deep-fried pork with plantains).

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Grand Turk
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+

We had planned to just treat Grand Turk as a day of very light shopping (there is not much there), a light meal ashore, and mostly just relaxing at the beach under the palm trees. To that end it perfectly fit the bill.

The beach to the south of the pier (to the right when approaching the shore) is only sand out to about mid-thigh. Then it turns into bowling-ball sized sharp and painful rocks. Only go there if you want a more-quiet less-crowded place to relax and don't intend to do anything in the water.

We ended up re-locating to the much better (but much more crowded) beach north of the pier.

The only real places to eat nearby are Margaritaville (in the main area where you first come ashore) and Jack's Shack (about 600 yards north along the beach). We ate in Margaritaville, where the cracked conch was initially good until we got some pieces that were quite chewy (breaded and fried rubber bands), the "coconut" shrimp was fairly tasteless, and the BBQ Jerk wings were a disappointment.

The NASA mini-museum was interesting, although it really seems out of place.

We rented some snorkeling equipment to watch the little fish (4” to 12” long) in the swimming area.

On the whole a very nice and quiet day.

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