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

JUST TRIPPIN''s Port Reviews of Grand Turk, La Romana (Casa de Campo), Aruba, Curacao
Carnival Miracle cruise in January 2012
Member Name: JUST TRIPPIN'
Cruise Date: January 2012
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Member Review: JUST TRIPPIN''s Carnival Miracle Review
Grand Turk
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Right off of the ship, there is the beach. We went through the shops and headed down the beach to Jack's Shack. There is another larger bar/restaurant area in between Margaritaville and Jack's, but we didn't stop there. They seemed a little agressive but nothing to worry about. Jack's was fun. The beach was nice there and of course, we got our free shot of rum. You can register online or just print off a coupon for it but I highly doubt you need to do either. Just ask. We rented a couple of chairs for $5 each and stayed there most of the day. We finally left and went down to Magaritaville for a while. Nice pool and some fun games going on. We liked the island but the drinks are not cheap ( Jack's had local beer for $5 each and that was the cheap stuff ).

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La Romana (Casa de Campo)
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Casa de Campo is actually La Romana port. Not much to see and do at the port. Absolutely necessary to book an excursion here. We booked the Dreams hotel privately for a day pass. We have stayed there for a week before and loved it. For around $60 you get unlimited food and drink and a beautiful resort with a great beach and two large pools, one a swim up bar/infinity pool. Taxis or vans that hold 11 people are readily available at the top of the hill to the left for only $10 per person per direction. The trip takes only 25 minutes and most drivers will narrate about their island during the trip. They then wait for you until you are ready to go. It's a must do if you can get in. They usually allow about up to 75 guests.
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Aruba
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Aruba was the island we were most looking forward to seeing. It was beautiful. Lots of signs of North America on this modern looking island. There were all the chain restaurants and hotels we all know. We actually docked at the cargo centre just north of the normal pier. When you got off of the ship, there were lots of vendors waiting for their customers. We asked and found you could take a shuttle out to the road. The shuttle cost us $3 each and dropped us off out by the street. From there, he had to go back for another load from the ship. When he returned, he then took 6 of us out to Palm Beach. All this for only $3 each. Much faster than the local buses for a slight bit more.

The area is really built up with hotels and beaches on one side and bars and restaurants on the other side of the road. Nice place to stay for a longer duration. We parked ourselves on Moomba Beach which is just a small slice of Palm Beach. We found buckets of beer priced at $24 for 6 beer. Not bad. The beach was nice but was it ever hot there. Here is the part that disappointed us about Aruba. The actual beach, the water, was quite cold, murky and there was lots of sea grass on the bottom. I can't say if this is normal or not, but it was really disappointing. Based on that one day's experience, I would return but would look for a different area of the beach.

Afterwards we grabbed a cab and headed down to Oranjstadt for only $11. We went up to the second floor of the Renaissance Marina with our friends who had been there before. There is an infinity pool up there that overlooks the marina. The food was amazing and reasonably priced. Next door there is a casino also. From there we walked back the two blocks to the ship's free shuttle.

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Curacao
Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Our most unexpected port and now our most favourite. We got off of the ship and walked the short distance towards the downtown area. Everything is very clean and just as colourful as you see it in the brochures. We went across the floatin bridge into the downtown district. We did some shopping and then came back to watch the bridge in action. Very cool.

We then met our group on the other side to take a tour. We chose IRIE tours. The cost was only $20 and for that we got a 3.5 hour tour of the area. It takes place on an open air school bus which is painted in neon colours and has music playing out loud. The driver narrates as he drives and the tour was awesome. Oh, by the way, it also includes free beer, water or coke. I can say enough about this tour. It was just so much fun and you need to do it. We stopped at the Curacao distillery and got to try samples. We ended up at Mambo Beach. Beautiful. Crystal clear water, nice sandy beach and lots of sites and clean washrooms. That bus was full of different age groups and not one person left without a smile. If we go again to Curacao, we are redoing this tour. Dennis our driver could not have been funnier or a better host. Thank you if you read these boards Dennis.


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