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Least favorite ports?


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1 hour ago, CrimsonCruiser said:

Haven't been to too many but Nassau and Grand Cayman were kind of boring to me. I want to give them another chance, maybe do better excursions or something...

GC is one of my favorites.  I'm a beach person so I think that's why I appreciate GC  so much.  Best water and nicest beach I have ever experienced.  
I'm with you on Nassau.  

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I'm on a cruise ship and any port on vacation is better than being stuck at work.

But.....if I have to offer a couple of ports they would be...............Port Canaveral and Freeport

Port Canaveral has Cocoa Beach, Kennedy Space Center, Ron Jon's, and a great dive bar.......but we've done it multiple times.

Freeport has..........................a beach?

 

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1 hour ago, Hutcherl said:

GC is one of my favorites.  I'm a beach person so I think that's why I appreciate GC  so much.  Best water and nicest beach I have ever experienced.  
I'm with you on Nassau.  

I'd love advice on good beaches for GC.  Last time we went I did a swim with the dolphins excursion (great fun, had a blast, would do again) and mom did a ride around tour that had a not great guide. And what little bit we did on our own was limited and we were surprised to see SO many US brands, restaurants and stores.  Actually felt like we didn't see any local food establishments in our rides.

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1 hour ago, CrimsonCruiser said:

I'd love advice on good beaches for GC.

Depends on what you want to do. One of the best snorkeling beaches in the world (IMO) is Cemetery Beach (free public beach), and it's lovely for just swimming as well. However there are no concessions there at all so it's more of a "bring your own picnic" kind of place.

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Stateside, I cringe at the thought of sailing from  Seattle or Bayonne, or New Orleans.  Seattle has become a cesspool, and Bayonne is, well, just, New York City!🙄  And New Orleans, lives on a no longer deserved legacy.    I can't wait to get out of these ports and sailing, leaving the ports behind me.  They all need to take lessons from any of the Florida Ports.😍

During our cruises, our expectations are pretty mild.  Usually we get on a bus or taxi, or trolley, or tram, and see the sights.  An unfriendly or rude driver or server goes a long way in giving a poor experience to the tourists in his care.  The three unfriendliest stops for us have been Puerto Rico, US Virgin Isles, and Nassau.  I felt these places just didn't want me there.🙄

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35 minutes ago, tonyfsu21 said:

Nassau and anywhere in Jamaica. Could do away with both stops and be totally fine. 

Agree on Nassau.  With regard to Jamaica, Montego Bay is a pit for sure.  I have not been to Falmouth.  However, when Ocho Rios was the preferred port there some years ago, my group enjoyed it a lot.  We did the Mountain to Sea bike tour.  They bus you into the mountains where bikes await you.  It was a 90% downhill ride to the sea.  You ended up at a horse farm with a 20 foot high jump into the ocean.  The place was beautiful.  It was sweet.  Did it twice actually.

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Any port the first time is a favorite - even with pushy people because I am not afraid to push right back. While Nassau did not have much appeal to me, I did discover Graycliff Hotel.  The food and wine were fantastic!  You can walk there in about 15 minutes. 

So, I guess I really don't have a least favorite port.  I can always find something - even if I have to do a self tour. 

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I'm curious why all the hate for Nassau? Dispite having sailed 15+times out of Florida we have never had Nassau as a port stop (we did stop briefly once for a medical emergency). It looks like a beautiful island but I am well aware of the fact seasoned cruisers do not like this port. Is it because it is a frequent stop for short cruises? Is it pushy vendors? Less than desireable port area?

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13 minutes ago, Vancity Cruiser said:

I'm curious why all the hate for Nassau? Dispite having sailed 15+times out of Florida we have never had Nassau as a port stop (we did stop briefly once for a medical emergency). It looks like a beautiful island but I am well aware of the fact seasoned cruisers do not like this port. Is it because it is a frequent stop for short cruises? Is it pushy vendors? Less than desireable port area?

For me, Nassau was added as a last minute due to a cancellation of another port (damn cartel).  I got tired of waiting for RC to update the shore excursions.  But even after they added the shore excursions, there was not much available that was not a beach or some resort.  Why would I want to go to a resort when I have a ship resort. So, I made up my own shore excursion that had something for everyone in my party (a party of 6).  Rum, chocolate, wine, zoo (Ardastra Gardens & Wildlife Conservation Centre), and biking.   I would not do Ardastra Gardens & Wildlife Conservation Centre again.  Very small. I did not like the rum.  The chocolate only had tours at a set time and we missed our tour.  So, the wine at Graycliff was the only thing worthwhile.  Oh and the biking - SCARY with those roads and drivers. 

At the port, there are very pushy vendors but since we were forewarn, we stayed away from where they set up.

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36 minutes ago, bobroo said:

Without question Colon, Panama is the worst port Royal stops at.

 

For many the upcoming Panama Canal group cruise is going to be an eye opener.

I was about to post these. Stopped there in 2010 and could not belive RC had those places to stop at. I would not in any way go off on your own at those ports. It was scary even driving threw on a set excursion.

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Jamaica, anywhere. The worst is Ocho Rios, the pushiness is mega watt. Years ago it was Nassau, but at least there you can get close-in beach days and some interesting activities - in Jamaica getting to anything remotely positive takes an hour on a bumpy road. 

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37 minutes ago, AlohaLivin said:

The worst is Ocho Rios, the pushiness is mega watt. 

I would agree with Ocho Rios, but I'm going to put Progreso, Yucatan and that 4 mile pier at the bottom of my list.  Maybe Progreso has gotten better, but years ago it was terrible.

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3 hours ago, RCVoyager said:

Agree on Nassau.  With regard to Jamaica, Montego Bay is a pit for sure.  I have not been to Falmouth.  However, when Ocho Rios was the preferred port there some years ago, my group enjoyed it a lot.  We did the Mountain to Sea bike tour.  They bus you into the mountains where bikes await you.  It was a 90% downhill ride to the sea.  You ended up at a horse farm with a 20 foot high jump into the ocean.  The place was beautiful.  It was sweet.  Did it twice actually.

Ocho Rios was “ok” but still a one & done. The locals are very pushy towards the tourists and just a simple walk off the ship turns annoying really quick with the “show some respect” comments regarding tips and buying useless garbage. It’s worse at Port Falmouth.  

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1 hour ago, JustMeJoe said:

I would agree with Ocho Rios, but I'm going to put Progreso, Yucatan and that 4 mile pier at the bottom of my list.  Maybe Progreso has gotten better, but years ago it was terrible.

We are headed there in January, so I hope that Progresso has improved (we have somehow never visited). 4 mile pier???

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3 hours ago, Dan Curtis said:

Honduras, not even close, won't go back there.

Roatan is great with a private tour guide.  They are very inexepensive - usually under $100 (for the group) plus the cost of whatever you want to do for the day.  Roatan has excellent snorkeling, either directly from the beach or by boat.  It also has really good, and inexpensive zip line places.  

I would not just walk around Roatan

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12 hours ago, CrimsonCruiser said:

Nassau and Grand Cayman were kind of boring to me. I want to give them another chance, maybe do better excursions or something...

Can't help with Nassau, but Grand Cayman was blast for us with Turtle Farm, glass bottom boat tour, Sea Grape Beach (via cab) and a stop off at Hell.  I absolutely love GC

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Wow, so much negativity toward Nassau.

I am also amazed at all the people on Caribbean cruises who are not "beach" people.  That is one of our main reasons to book Caribbean cruises!  I have been to many different ports, and each has its own flavor.

I happen to really like Nassau.  It has a lot of great stores for shoppers, some land/beach tours, especially the awesome Atlantis, and many, many water activities.  I have snorkeled there many times, and husband who is scuba certified, always enjoys a scuba experience there.  We have also done the resort for the day (hotel with lunch and pool and beach access) at some of the different locations.  Also, you can just get right off the ship and you are in the heart of everything.

I find Freeport much more sparse, with the ship distant from all, although husband is off scuba diving and having fun.

My least favorite port is probably Grand Turk, but that is because it is very small with not a lot to do for land tours.

I love all the Mexico ports, but then I especially enjoy visiting archeological sites.

For me stopping at any port and going in the water is pretty fun, because the ship pools are just too small to enjoy nonstop.

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Santorini. The place is beautiful, but it is set up to handle maaaaaybe a quarter of the cruise traffic they get. The port is tiny and to get to town you need to either take a cable car or climb up a very steep mountain. The wait to the cable car exceeded two hours! Luckily we're able bodied and fit enough to climb, but other people were trapped. The streets were transformed into one long line, so you couldn't even leave the line to enjoy the stuff around.

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13 hours ago, AlohaLivin said:

4 mile pier???

Take a look at Google Maps and you'll see. It's wild. Never been there myself, but I'm definitely aware of the legend of the long pier. 

6 hours ago, PhillyLady said:

My least favorite port is probably Grand Turk, but that is because it is very small with not a lot to do for land tours.

I love Turks & Caicos, but can't imagine taking a cruise there. It's definitely a place to spend a week, not a few hours, in my book. And I prefer other islands to Grand Turk. 

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Nassau is just bad. Last trip we made to Nassau, we just stayed on the boat. Crowded, dirty, pushy vendors. No thanks.

I grew up in South Florida and the Bahamas were a 90-minute boat ride away from Palm Beach Inlet to West End, Bahamas.  The outer islands (the Abacos) are just gorgeous. Friendly people, great snorkeling and fishing. Crystal clear water.  Just spoiled by what the islands are really like. 

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Oh dear...!

I have B2B on Oasis in January 2024 with identical itineraries (booked it for some winter sun!) - both going to Nassau, Perfect Day, Labadee and Falmouth. 

Never been to any of these places (was considering Margaritaville for Nassau and RIU Resort for Jamaica) but suddenly wondering if worth it???!

All subjective comments I know but the fact so many negatives does make you wonder!! Gulp!

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5 hours ago, Bazza said:

Oh dear...!

I have B2B on Oasis in January 2024 with identical itineraries (booked it for some winter sun!) - both going to Nassau, Perfect Day, Labadee and Falmouth. 

Never been to any of these places (was considering Margaritaville for Nassau and RIU Resort for Jamaica) but suddenly wondering if worth it???!

All subjective comments I know but the fact so many negatives does make you wonder!! Gulp!

It seems from your choices that you love beach days and if so this will a great cruise for you! What people complain about regarding Nassau and Jamaica has to do with issues such as the variety or quality of tour options, the port “feel,” and the reaction of locals to cruisers. But it doesn’t speak to the quality of the beaches, island views, and specific venues. I cruised with my parents in 60’s - 70’s and Nassau was one of the few destinations so I have visited it repeatedly; as @CanHardlyWaitmentioned, the negative feeling on Nassau is likely due to the fact that many of us have visited it a bit too often. Yet, I have had visits to Nassau that we truly enjoyed.  Don’t worry 🌞

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