Cartagena, Columbia

Such a beautiful city! Cartagena is a real treat for the cruise ship passenger. There’s a five minute walk to get out of the cruise port, and you’ll then be faced with a sort of organised chaos as you get yourself into a taxi. The taxi drivers have blue or yellow shirts, with the blue ones seeming to be favoured by the cruise port – we’ve used both and can only say that the blue ones are a bit more expensive! Grab a map from the tourist information booth and make sure you know where the port is on it […] Read more »

Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel is actually an island off the Mexican mainland, and is much visited by cruise ships and their passengers! You’ll dock in on of three places depending on which cruise line you are with. Its quite a walk from the International Pier, but once you get outside the cruise area – with all its shops and stalls, there are loads of taxis who, for a fixed rate, take you to downtown. You can rent buggies, cars and mopeds from here, as well as arrange a tour further afield – rates are posted. Downtown is an area that runs parallel to […] Read more »

Costa Maya, Mexico

Costa Maya is a Mexican resort on the Yucatan Peninsula, and  basically fills the ‘gap’ between the Mexican Riviera and Belize. Lots of lovely beaches, plenty of diving opportunities and some fabulous Mayan ruins to explore. We were told by our guide that because the Yucatan peninsula is so flat, every hill or mound is taken to be a hidden Mayan building. Several have been excavated to varying degrees and are worth visiting. Chacchoben is about a 45 minute drive from the cruise port and is a really interesting site. Otherwise, the cruise port itself has a saltwater swimming pool, […] Read more »

Belize City, Belize

Belize City is famously the most populated city in Central America’s least populated country. As a cruise ship passenger you need to be prepared to tender in (20 – 25 minutes) – there is a fabulous reef along much of the coast, so the ships are kept away from it.You land at the Fort Street Tourism Village where there are many shops, stalls, a few bars and several tourist trip vendors. You can walk through the village and have a walk around the town, although most take a taxi tour, booked on the boardwalk. Make sure that the driver shows […] Read more »

Grand Cayman

Your cruise ship will dock at George Town, Grand Cayman – almost certainly with several others – it gets very busy here!! But don’t let that put you off – Grand Cayman has lovely beaches (Seven Mile beach isn’t quite 7 miles – but this is the Caribbean – who’s counting??!), fabulous crystal clear sea, access to marine life – the Cayman Turtle Farm is amazing!, a fabulous rock formation know as Hell – THE favourite place to send postcards from, lots of Rum Cake, more banks than you can possibly deal with and plenty of duty free shops. It’s […] Read more »

St Maarten

The cruise ships generally moor at the new-ish cruise port, from where you can get a taxi or water taxi to Philipsburg very easily. This is an island of two nations – Philipsburg is the capital of St Maarten and is Dutch, with Marigot the capital of St Martin – the other side of the island – which is French. Philipsburg is a shopping paradise where there are almost always deals to be done, particularly on electronics. It’s still pretty though, with a lovely beach area where family members who can’t face yet more shops, can wait happily for the […] Read more »

Dominica

Dominica is known as the nature lovers island – as confirmed townies, we were a bit reluctant to go ashore but we fell in love with this gorgeous place and have added it to our most favourite places list! This is definitely a place to take a local tour so that you get to see the rain forest, learn about the plants and animals, taste the fruits, see sulphur springs, impressive waterfalls, fabulous views and even a squished school bus! (Work of a hurricane – no one was in it at the time). Dominica claims to have one of the […] Read more »

Bridgetown, Barbados

Barbados is the eastern most island in the West Indies. This Caribbean island is probably one of the least touristy islands and so offers a good opportunity for cruise ship passengers to see a bit of ‘real caribbean life’. Your ship will dock about a mile from Downtown – there is a well organised taxi rank where you can buy seats in one of the many mini buses that will drive you the 10 minute journey. Bridgetown is a thriving town with a busy high street where the familiar ‘Diamonds International’ type stores rub shoulders with the regular shops and […] Read more »

St Kitts

St Kitts is a hugely popular cruise ship destination, and is part of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean. Dramatic scenery, beautiful beaches and a rich and interesting history make this island a fabulous stop on your cruise. It has a dormant volcano, previously dubbed Mount Misery by the British settlers, but renamed since independence as Mt Liamuiga (The Caribe Indian name for the island). The Black Rocks to the north of the island are the remnants of lava deposits and along some parts of the shoreline the sulphur smell in the air indicates that below the sea, there […] Read more »

St Thomas

St Thomas is the largest of the 3 US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean and is a popular cruise ship destination. You will be docked in one of the two cruise ship docks: either Havensight or Crown Bay – both are a short $4pp taxi ride from Downtown Charlotte Amalie, the capital. St Thomas was bought by the US from the Dutch government in 1917 in order to secure a naval base in the Caribbean so that they could protect the Panama Canal. The Dutch influence is still to be found, particularly in the Royal Dane Mall – a wonderful […] Read more »