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Where to go???

Las Vegas...
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Where to go???

Ok, kind of a broad question I know! My husband surprised me with a crusie for our b-days. We'll be in Gran Turks first week of June. Personally I'm not a big cruise fan, but he was so excited about this. I've been to many islands in the Caribbean for extended vacations but never to Grand Turk.

So my question is where should we go to get away from all the cruise crowds and just enjoy the island? I'm into sight seeing, beaches and good food. I know our time is limited and I want to make the most of it. Renting a car or hiring a cab isn't out of the question, so if anyonme has thoughts on that please share!

If there is a tour that we should take I'm also open to that but I really prefer to be away from the crusie crowds.

Any thoughts, suggestions, whatever would be greatly appreaciated!

Tahiti

Providenciales
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1. Re: Where to go???

Take an excursion (It would be a small group) to Gibbs Cay. You will be treated to a small island with a beautiful beach. The Sting Rays will come to you as you stand in the water. The tour guild will bring some treats for them and teach you how to feed them. What a great day you will have !

Las Vegas...
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2. Re: Where to go???

That sounds fantastic! Thank you.

JENSEN BEACH
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3. Re: Where to go???

or get a small group together and take a charter to nearby Salt Cay! An awesome small island with a couple of terrific little restaurants and a beach bar. Rent a golf cart to explore the island where you'll see more donkeys than people and an incredibly beautiful beach!

Washington DC...
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4. Re: Where to go???

oxpat: on cruise ship days, the boats are taken up by the cruise ship excursions, they would have to fly-and usually don't dock in time to fly for the day!

They also have to fix the Salt Cay dock--and once they do-they are considering day trips for the cruise ships!

Things have changed. ;-)

Gibbs Cay is a do not miss for cruise ship people. It will be about 50-60 people going over, but it's still a great experience. You still have time to either go to stunning Governor's Beach, and shop around the port. From the port, if you walk down the beach aways (towards another pier you'll see) there's a new beach shack to hang out-really cool, on a gorgeous stretch.

JENSEN BEACH
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5. Re: Where to go???

hadn't heard the Salt Cay based boats are taken up by cruise ship excursions.? Hopefully the island won't encourage large groups visiting at one time organized by the cruise lines. There really is no infrastructure in place for that (rest rooms, trash removal etc) still for a small group (say 8 or less) I think it's a great experience. No frills, swimming pools or swim up bars so people who enjoy all of that should skip it and enjoy the newer port activities on Grand Turk.

Herndon, VA
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6. Re: Where to go???

Gibbs Cay excursion is not to be missed!

Salt Cay should be experienced - but not as a day trip excursion by cruisers.

JMHO.

Ed

Las Vegas...
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7. Re: Where to go???

Let me start by saying I don't blame the location, but juust a warning to those who book the Gibb's Cay excursion with Princess Cruises.

We've been back a couple weeks and we did the Gibb's Cay excursion. We were very, very disappointed. Not because of the scenery or the water, it was stunning. We were very disappointed with the excursion we booked thru Princess. In fact we both agreed it was the worst excursion, cruise based or land based, that we've ever taken.

I don't remember the name of the company Princess books with, but we were crammed on the boat, there was barely enough room for everyone to sit. On top of that the crew was not pleasant. Our captain, Captain Stumpy, was constantly yelling at people for things that several of us felt were out of line. Things like people standing up enough to reposition themselves in the limited seating, standing up to get a drink of punch or water. Captain Stumpy was way out of line. And his crew were very snappy with the customers. Not a very professional operation.

At our first stop, there were way too many people in the water. Both my husband and I had our masks knocked off several times. We tried to stay away from people but it was just a train wreck.

Once we reached the stingrays people acted like they were crazy. As a stingray would swim past people started screaming and jumping around. Needless to say the stingrays didn't stick around. And the one the crew caught for the photos appeared to be distressed. We've swam with stingtrays in Tahiti and never saw a stingray act like that. I'm sure it was the screaming of the people and all their jumping around.

So, like I said Grand Turk and Gibb's Cay are BEAUTIFUL, but this cattle boat approach is NOT the way to see Gibb's Cay. Unfortunately if you're on a cruise even if you book this on your own you're still going to be stuck with the cruise crowds.

Atlanta, Georgia
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8. Re: Where to go???

Tahitigirl, I've been on one cruise in my life, and you've just described why there will never be another one for us (among numerous other reasons).

If you look at the photo next to my screen name, you'll see my then 5-year-old son playing with the stingrays along the shore of Gibbs Cay. This was five years ago, before the Grand Turk cruise port opened. We were the only ones on the island, all day, and it was an experience of a life time.

For anyone wanting to truly experience Grand Turk and Gibbs Cay, I would recommend you visit on your own, and check the cruise ship schedule, so to avoid the people and activities she described.

Edited: 20 June 2010, 06:40
Mullica Hill, New...
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9. Re: Where to go???

I've never been on a cruise in my life, and what you describe is why I will never be on a cruise in my life.

Captain Stumpy is a great name for the tour operator...

Las Vegas...
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10. Re: Where to go???

As I stated in my original post I am not a huge cruise fan, but hubby surprised me with this. He did all the planning, which he never does and he was so excited about it. I have to say he did pick some pretty cool ports!

My last Caribbean cruise was in 1992 on Windstar. An amazing cruise line! They are small sailing vessels so they can get into remote ports and I highly, highly recommend this cruise line. We've done Princess before, to Alaska and it was wonderful. It was on one of their smaller ships, which is more my style. However, I still prefer land based vacations.

With that said, I think the best part of this cruise was that we discovered some great places that we will return to...but as a week plus land based vacation. And Grand Turk is on that list!

Wow CarbiDesi! You were so lucky to experience what you did. It reminds me of the many stingray stops we've done in Tahiti. It just breaks my heart that precious places and experiences like Gibb's Cay are ruined all for the all mighty dollar.

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