When I first started taking traveling seriously, I used to take cruises everywhere. I would be quick to pack my bags to stay in those small, cramped rooms on the cruise ship. I enjoyed them so much that I got to Platinum VIP on Carnival Cruise’s point system. These days I am fonder of flying out to places. One thing I cannot deny, though, is that a cruise is a non-stop party when done right.
Cruise ships usually stop at their destinations for a short period of time ranging from a couple hours to a whole day. For many destinations, this only gives you a glimpse of what it’s like to really explore and see what the country has to offer. For the destinations featured here, a half day gave me too much time.
Let me first say that I was so excited to be on this cruise for Cinco de Mayo, only to find out that it is not really a Mexican holiday. I was crushed to say the least. But, Cozumel does have the cheapest Hennessy Pure White that I bargained down for $35. Anyways, I got to do a little alter hopping, shopping and sight-seeing. We walked around, spoke with some of the locals for a bit about the Mayans and Catholicism. While the Mayan history in Cozumel is rich and interesting, it was not enough to hold my attention for too long. So after all that we were beach bumming it for a couple hours then did a tequila tour. I found myself bored with Cozumel after 6 hours. I did not see much that would bring me back for a 3-4 day vacation, especially now since I have been to Mexico City and Cancun (loved it!). I am glad, though, that I got to see the (over)hype for myself.
Cayman Islands – Grand Cayman
While the 7 mile beach on Grand Cayman is beautiful, if you are an adventure seeker like myself then you will have trouble finding something to do here. Before the cruise I tried so hard to find some kind of hill or waterfall or rock I could climb. Something to swing from, or rare animal I needed to look for. The most exciting thing I saw was a stingray tour. On the cruise everybody was talking about the 7 mile beach being the main attraction so we decided to go there. On the short ride to the beach I asked the driver, a local, what else was there to do on the island besides the beach, he said “eat”. I am Jamaican so the food there was not necessarily anything I have not tried before. Needless to say, In the 7 hours I spent on the island I was bored after 3.
The Cayman Islands are a little more expensive than other islands in the Caribbean. Their dollar is stronger than the USD so they will definitely not bargain for lower prices on anything from street food to souvenirs. Would I go back? Eh, maybe to experience their carnival or something but I am definitely not in a rush.
Turks and Caicos – Grand Turk
Coming in at a whopping 7 miles long, Grand Turk had some of the bluest waters I have seen. But Rick Ross definitely hyped this location up in his song. Again, the beach here was great but it is definitely not my cup of travel tea right now. Unless you like snorkeling or whale watching then it might not be yours either. I took a tour from one end of the island to another and it only took an hour and a half. I had about 6 more to spare so I went snorkeling (the reefs are GORGEOUS!) and to the old light house. This island relies solely on tourism so if you do end up on a cruise or just a vacation here please support the locals and buy tours and souvenirs through them. Although I was bored after a while, I did write Grand Turk down as one of my islands to visit when I just want to get away for a vacation-vacation of just relaxing. The locals are extremely nice and made me feel safe, so this would also be a good solo destination to just meet good people and enjoy good food. To get a hotel in the main city, Providenciales, would be expensive so I could see myself taking a ferry to Grand Turk and staying there. Maybe a 3 to 4 day vacation tops.