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Cruises to Saipan

Saipan (Photo:Bastrik/Shutterstock)

About Saipan

Long popular with Asian tourists, Saipan is the fastest-growing island in Micronesia, with golf courses, holiday resorts and duty-free shopping taking center stage as vacation attractions. But it operates largely under the radar when it comes to American travelers -- which is ironic because it's the capital of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

This tropical bump in the Pacific Ocean -- just 13 miles long and five miles wide -- is self-governing, but its citizens hold U.S. passports, and they trade in U.S. dollars. Saipan has a total population of about 70,000 people -- dominated today by Chinese, Filipinos and Japanese.

What does this mystery paradise look like? First, Saipan has virtually no tree line because the island was heavily bombed during World War II. Garapan, the largest town, was leveled during the war. Since the 1960's, it's been redeveloped and today houses shops, restaurants and ubiquitous 24-hour poker parlors. Saipan, the largest of 15 islands in the Northern Marianas, is thought to have some of the best beaches in Micronesia, many protected by coral barrier reefs. Saipan is also known as the site of the Mariana Trench, the deepest point in the earth's oceans at 38,635 feet. But take note: While the natural wonders of the island can be compelling -- especially the aquamarine waters -- the communities, including Garapan, are a bit downtrodden.

Saipan is probably best known to Westerners for its role in World War II. Victory in the Pacific hung on the outcome of the battle for the Marianas, and it was in Saipan that the decisive battle of the Pacific offensive took place. After days of bombing, shelling and strafing the island, U.S. forces landed on June 15, 1944 and fought for three tough weeks to wrest Saipan from the Japanese. More than 28,000 Japanese soldiers perished in the battle, while nearly 3,500 Americans were lost.

At Banzai Cliff, many Japanese jumped to their deaths, rather than facing capture, following the final orders of Lt. Gen. Yoshitsugo Saito, who said, "Whether we attack or whether we stay where we ar...As it says in Senjinkun (Battle Ethics), I will never suffer the disgrace of being taken alive." Allied soldiers would later call Banzai Cliff "Hara Kiri Gulch." Maj. Robert Sheeks -- who witnessed hundreds of people, including families, committing suicide -- later wrote, "There was death all around the place...You really think the world is coming to an end."

Memories of World War II are still close to the surface in Saipan, and today they form a remarkable record of a remarkable time.


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  • 128 Night
    Cruise to Saipan

    Leaving:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Visiting:
    Scarborough, Devil's Island ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Holland America Line
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    128 Night Cruise to Saipan Route (Holland America Line)
    • Day 1
      Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Scarborough
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Devil's Island
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Amazon River (Cruising)
    • Day 9
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 9
      Amazon River (Cruising)
    • Day 9
      Macapa
    • Day 10
      Alter do Chao
    • Day 11
      Boca da Valeria
    • Day 12
      Manaus
    • Day 13
      Parintins
    • Day 14
      Santarem
    • Day 15
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 15
      Amazon River (Cruising)
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Cruising
    • Day 17
      Cruising
    • Day 18
      Grenada
    • Day 19
      Cruising
    • Day 20
      Aruba
    • Day 21
      Cruising
    • Day 22
      Panama Canal (Cruising)
    • Day 22
      Panama Canal
    • Day 23
      Cruising
    • Day 24
      Quepos
    • Day 25
      Cruising
    • Day 26
      Cruising
    • Day 27
      Cruising
    • Day 28
      Puerto Vallarta
    • Day 29
      Cruising
    • Day 30
      Cruising
    • Day 31
      Cruising
    • Day 32
      Cruising
    • Day 33
      Cruising
    • Day 34
      Cruising
    • Day 35
      Hilo
    • Day 36
      Maui
    • Day 37
      Honolulu
    • Day 38
      Cruising
    • Day 39
      Cruising
    • Day 40
      Cruising
    • Day 41
      Cruising
    • Day 42
      Cruising
    • Day 43
      Majuro
    • Day 44
      Cruising
    • Day 45
      Cruising
    • Day 46
      Chuuk
    • Day 47
      Cruising
    • Day 48
      Guam
    • Day 49
      Saipan
    • Day 50
      Cruising
    • Day 51
      Cruising
    • Day 52
      Cruising
    • Day 53
      Ryukyu Island
    • Day 54
      Okinawa
    • Day 55
      Cruising
    • Day 56
      Cruising
    • Day 57
      Tokyo (Yokohama)
    • Day 58
      Tokyo (Yokohama)
    • Day 59
      Shimizu
    • Day 60
      Kobe
    • Day 61
      Kobe
    • Day 62
      Kanmon Strait
    • Day 63
      Fukuoka
    • Day 64
      Cruising
    • Day 65
      Dalian
    • Day 66
      Beijing
    • Day 67
      Beijing
    • Day 68
      Cruising
    • Day 69
      Cruising
    • Day 70
      Shanghai
    • Day 71
      Shanghai
    • Day 72
      Cruising
    • Day 73
      Cruising
    • Day 74
      Hong Kong
    • Day 75
      Hong Kong
    • Day 76
      Cruising
    • Day 77
      Da Nang
    • Day 78
      Cruising
    • Day 79
      Phu My
    • Day 80
      Cruising
    • Day 81
      Singapore
    • Day 82
      Singapore
    • Day 83
      Cruising
    • Day 84
      Cruising
    • Day 85
      Cruising
    • Day 86
      Colombo
    • Day 87
      Cruising
    • Day 88
      Cruising
    • Day 89
      Mumbai (Bombay)
    • Day 90
      Mumbai (Bombay)
    • Day 91
      Cruising
    • Day 92
      Cruising
    • Day 93
      Fatu Hiva
    • Day 94
      Dubai
    • Day 95
      Abu Dhabi
    • Day 96
      Cruising
    • Day 97
      Muscat
    • Day 98
      Cruising
    • Day 99
      Salalah
    • Day 100
      Cruising
    • Day 101
      Cruising
    • Day 102
      Cruising
    • Day 103
      Cruising
    • Day 104
      Aqaba (Petra)
    • Day 105
      Aqaba (Petra)
    • Day 106
      Cruising
    • Day 107
      Suez Canal
    • Day 108
      Jerusalem (Ashdod)
    • Day 109
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 110
      Cruising
    • Day 111
      Kusadasi
    • Day 112
      Cruising
    • Day 112
      Istanbul
    • Day 113
      Istanbul
    • Day 114
      Mykonos
    • Day 115
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 116
      Cruising
    • Day 117
      Naples
    • Day 118
      Cruising
    • Day 119
      Cruising
    • Day 120
      Malaga
    • Day 121
      Cruising
    • Day 122
      Cruising
    • Day 123
      Ponta Delgada
    • Day 124
      Cruising
    • Day 125
      Cruising
    • Day 126
      Cruising
    • Day 127
      Cruising
    • Day 128
      Cruising
    • Day 129
      Cruising
    • Day 130
      Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    Ship Details

    Amsterdam - Holland America Line

    Pros

    Fabulous entertainment, despite ship's small size

    Cons

    Not much variety of dining

    Bottom Line

    Great value for bucket-list itineraries

    Reviews

    Amsterdam Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    As Amsterdam pulled away to begin my seven-night cruise to Alaska, there was no better place to...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Cold Mama
    Sail Date Jul 2019
    Quality and service
    Read More
    Prosebradley
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Disappointing
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 43 Night
    Cruise to Saipan

    Leaving:
    Honolulu
    Visiting:
    Majuro, Chuuk ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Holland America Line
    View Deal
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    43 Night Cruise to Saipan Route (Holland America Line)
    • Day 1
      Honolulu
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Majuro
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Chuuk
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Guam
    • Day 13
      Saipan
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Cruising
    • Day 17
      Ryukyu Island
    • Day 18
      Okinawa
    • Day 19
      Cruising
    • Day 20
      Cruising
    • Day 21
      Tokyo (Yokohama)
    • Day 22
      Tokyo (Yokohama)
    • Day 23
      Shimizu
    • Day 24
      Kobe
    • Day 25
      Kobe
    • Day 26
      Kanmon Strait
    • Day 27
      Fukuoka
    • Day 28
      Cruising
    • Day 29
      Dalian
    • Day 30
      Beijing
    • Day 31
      Beijing
    • Day 32
      Cruising
    • Day 33
      Cruising
    • Day 34
      Shanghai
    • Day 35
      Shanghai
    • Day 36
      Cruising
    • Day 37
      Cruising
    • Day 38
      Hong Kong
    • Day 39
      Hong Kong
    • Day 40
      Cruising
    • Day 41
      Da Nang
    • Day 42
      Cruising
    • Day 43
      Phu My
    • Day 44
      Cruising
    • Day 45
      Singapore
    Ship Details

    Amsterdam - Holland America Line

    Pros

    Fabulous entertainment, despite ship's small size

    Cons

    Not much variety of dining

    Bottom Line

    Great value for bucket-list itineraries

    Reviews

    Amsterdam Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    As Amsterdam pulled away to begin my seven-night cruise to Alaska, there was no better place to...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Dancefloor
    Sail Date Oct 2019
    Great itinerary and staff, but going downhill
    Read More
    Kelly SS
    Sail Date Jul 2019
    First cruise - exceeded expectations
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 55 Night
    Cruise to Saipan

    Leaving:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Visiting:
    Scarborough, Devil's Island ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Holland America Line
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
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    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    55 Night Cruise to Saipan Route (Holland America Line)
    • Day 1
      Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Scarborough
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Devil's Island
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Amazon River (Cruising)
    • Day 9
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 9
      Amazon River (Cruising)
    • Day 9
      Macapa
    • Day 10
      Alter do Chao
    • Day 11
      Boca da Valeria
    • Day 12
      Manaus
    • Day 13
      Parintins
    • Day 14
      Santarem
    • Day 15
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 15
      Amazon River (Cruising)
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Cruising
    • Day 17
      Cruising
    • Day 18
      Grenada
    • Day 19
      Cruising
    • Day 20
      Aruba
    • Day 21
      Cruising
    • Day 22
      Panama Canal (Cruising)
    • Day 22
      Panama Canal
    • Day 23
      Cruising
    • Day 24
      Quepos
    • Day 25
      Cruising
    • Day 26
      Cruising
    • Day 27
      Cruising
    • Day 28
      Puerto Vallarta
    • Day 29
      Cruising
    • Day 30
      Cruising
    • Day 31
      Cruising
    • Day 32
      Cruising
    • Day 33
      Cruising
    • Day 34
      Cruising
    • Day 35
      Hilo
    • Day 36
      Maui
    • Day 37
      Honolulu
    • Day 38
      Cruising
    • Day 39
      Cruising
    • Day 40
      Cruising
    • Day 41
      Cruising
    • Day 42
      Cruising
    • Day 43
      Majuro
    • Day 44
      Cruising
    • Day 45
      Cruising
    • Day 46
      Chuuk
    • Day 47
      Cruising
    • Day 48
      Guam
    • Day 49
      Saipan
    • Day 50
      Cruising
    • Day 51
      Cruising
    • Day 52
      Cruising
    • Day 53
      Ryukyu Island
    • Day 54
      Okinawa
    • Day 55
      Cruising
    • Day 56
      Cruising
    • Day 57
      Tokyo (Yokohama)
    Ship Details

    Amsterdam - Holland America Line

    Pros

    Fabulous entertainment, despite ship's small size

    Cons

    Not much variety of dining

    Bottom Line

    Great value for bucket-list itineraries

    Reviews

    Amsterdam Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    As Amsterdam pulled away to begin my seven-night cruise to Alaska, there was no better place to...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    riverrat
    Sail Date Aug 2019
    Crusing by whales and salmon in every stream.
    Read More
    MCarr
    Sail Date Aug 2019
    Very good entertainment, and good itinerary
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 79 Night
    Cruise to Saipan

    Leaving:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Visiting:
    Scarborough, Devil's Island ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Holland America Line
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    79 Night Cruise to Saipan Route (Holland America Line)
    • Day 1
      Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Scarborough
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Devil's Island
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Amazon River (Cruising)
    • Day 9
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 9
      Amazon River (Cruising)
    • Day 9
      Macapa
    • Day 10
      Alter do Chao
    • Day 11
      Boca da Valeria
    • Day 12
      Manaus
    • Day 13
      Parintins
    • Day 14
      Santarem
    • Day 15
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 15
      Amazon River (Cruising)
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Cruising
    • Day 17
      Cruising
    • Day 18
      Grenada
    • Day 19
      Cruising
    • Day 20
      Aruba
    • Day 21
      Cruising
    • Day 22
      Panama Canal (Cruising)
    • Day 22
      Panama Canal
    • Day 23
      Cruising
    • Day 24
      Quepos
    • Day 25
      Cruising
    • Day 26
      Cruising
    • Day 27
      Cruising
    • Day 28
      Puerto Vallarta
    • Day 29
      Cruising
    • Day 30
      Cruising
    • Day 31
      Cruising
    • Day 32
      Cruising
    • Day 33
      Cruising
    • Day 34
      Cruising
    • Day 35
      Hilo
    • Day 36
      Maui
    • Day 37
      Honolulu
    • Day 38
      Cruising
    • Day 39
      Cruising
    • Day 40
      Cruising
    • Day 41
      Cruising
    • Day 42
      Cruising
    • Day 43
      Majuro
    • Day 44
      Cruising
    • Day 45
      Cruising
    • Day 46
      Chuuk
    • Day 47
      Cruising
    • Day 48
      Guam
    • Day 49
      Saipan
    • Day 50
      Cruising
    • Day 51
      Cruising
    • Day 52
      Cruising
    • Day 53
      Ryukyu Island
    • Day 54
      Okinawa
    • Day 55
      Cruising
    • Day 56
      Cruising
    • Day 57
      Tokyo (Yokohama)
    • Day 58
      Tokyo (Yokohama)
    • Day 59
      Shimizu
    • Day 60
      Kobe
    • Day 61
      Kobe
    • Day 62
      Kanmon Strait
    • Day 63
      Fukuoka
    • Day 64
      Cruising
    • Day 65
      Dalian
    • Day 66
      Beijing
    • Day 67
      Beijing
    • Day 68
      Cruising
    • Day 69
      Cruising
    • Day 70
      Shanghai
    • Day 71
      Shanghai
    • Day 72
      Cruising
    • Day 73
      Cruising
    • Day 74
      Hong Kong
    • Day 75
      Hong Kong
    • Day 76
      Cruising
    • Day 77
      Da Nang
    • Day 78
      Cruising
    • Day 79
      Phu My
    • Day 80
      Cruising
    • Day 81
      Singapore
    Ship Details

    Amsterdam - Holland America Line

    Pros

    Fabulous entertainment, despite ship's small size

    Cons

    Not much variety of dining

    Bottom Line

    Great value for bucket-list itineraries

    Reviews

    Amsterdam Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    As Amsterdam pulled away to begin my seven-night cruise to Alaska, there was no better place to...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    lovetocruise3333
    Sail Date Jul 2019
    Amazing Alaskan Cruise!
    Read More
    OceanDreaming2
    Sail Date Jul 2019
    Great itinerary; tired ship
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

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    Compare Prices

    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

More about Saipan

Why go to Saipan?

Pros: This city is quickly becoming a popular tourist spot, with its beaches, golf courses and duty-free shops.

Cons: Be cautious when buying local handicrafts, as they might actually be mass-produced, and are often expensive.

Bottom Line: Saipan has an interesting war history, but there are also plenty of other more lighthearted diversions to explore.

Where You’re Docked

Ships dock at a commercial pier that is tightly regulated by security personnel. There are no tourist facilities whatsoever at the port.

Saipan Cruise Port Facilities

There's nothing there to hang around for.

Good to Know

So-called "local" handicrafts include carvings and woven wall hangings, but buyer beware. While they may have a"“Made in Saipan" sticker on them, they are actually manufactured in the Philippines. On top of that, they're pricey.

Getting Around

A few metered taxis call on the port, and cruise ships often run complimentary shuttles into Garapan, the island's primary commercial area. It's about a 30-minute walk to the main shopping district and gorgeous Micro Beach. It's easy to drive the island's U.S.-quality roads, and you can pretty much make a loop of the entire island in a half-hour. There are plenty of car rental agencies, including Hertz, Dollar, Avis and Budget. Editor's tip: If you do rent a car, be sure to take along a map that highlights the sites of the Battle for Saipan. There are also signs at the sites themselves.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The local currency is the U.S. dollar. If you're running short, there are numerous banks, such as Bank of Hawaii and Bank of Guam. ATM machines are also plentiful.

Language

Officially, it's English, along with the language of the two indigenous peoples -- the Chamorro and the Carolinian. Not surprisingly, given the population, a number of Asian languages are spoken as well.


Saipan Cruise Reviews

wyatthawaii
Sail Date: Mar 2012
No, we didn't go to Saipan - we were in Phu My, Vietnam. There is absolutely NOTHING at this port, so unless you make plans you will have nothing to do....Read More
Sun Princess
bluebird55
Sail Date: Mar 2011
This is a place that you can hire a car and see more than on tours. We went to places such as the caves which were inaccessible to the buses. Guam was next. We caught hop on and hop of buses and saw the sights....Read More
flyingdutchman6989
Sail Date: Aug 2019
We had booked HAL's tour of the Northern half of the island in the AM, to be followed by a HAL tour of the southern half of the island in the PM. Unfortunately, at the last possible moment our afternoon tour was...Read More
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