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Are there ANY Caribbean islands w/no cruise ships?

Are there ANY Caribbean islands w/no cruise ships?

Old Jul 25th, 2004, 05:05 PM
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Are there ANY Caribbean islands w/no cruise ships?

Planning our first ever Caribbean vacation - have gotten very excited about both St. John and Tortola. However, am getting concerned about whatever "perfect place" I choose for us to stay has the potential for hordes of cruise ship day-trippers. Am I being silly?.....
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 07:01 AM
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Finding "the perfect place" is really not that difficult since the majority of the "cruise ship day trippers" tend to visit the major shopping areas of the islands they visit, take the tours set up by the cruise line or visit the "main swimming beach" and they very rarely spend their time visiting a resort or some quite stretch of beach with little or no facilities. Thus, it's pretty easy to avoid the crowds except in the big shopping areas like Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas or Phillipsburg on St. Maarten where it's almost always wall to wall people but if you stay out of the shopping area you won't really encounter crowds. That said, the islands of St. John and Tortola are never very crowded, even on their busiest days. You really shouldn't be too concerned. Keep in mind, however, that every island has popular attractions or famous locations that almost everyone wants to see and by definition those places will always have more visitors than the lesser known locations. Just use common sense, go to those famous sites early in the day and when the crowds start to build leave for one of the more secluded places on the island (ask the locals where to go - they'll tell you). Also, there are many other islands like St. Kitts, Nevis, St. Vincent, Grenada, any of the Grenadines, St. Eustatia, St. Barts, Anguilla, to name a few where you'll never encounter crowds. good luck.
 
Old Jul 26th, 2004, 09:10 AM
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You will love Tortola - we spent one week there in February and there were three days when a cruise ship was in town. It didn't bother us at all as we had a rental car (I highly recommend one!) and we spent lots of time exploring the entire island. You get fabulous views from high on its hills. We stayed at Long Bay Resort.
Also, St. Croix has no cruise ships at the present time - we stayed at the Carambola Resort - a lovely place and somewhat secluded. Explore and enjoy!!
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 05:02 PM
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Provo, Turks and Caicos has no cruise ships. It doesn't have a lot of shopping, just the most beautiful beach and ocean and great restaurants.
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 05:18 PM
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Oh, I love that you both mentioned Tortola as being okay for no crowds! It has (well, most recently, anyway) plumb captured my imagination for what we are looking for in our first Caribbean vacation. Low key, casual, georgous beaches, day-tripping possibilities, turquoise waters, palm trees, easy(ier) to get to.....the list goes on and on. (I've done a LOT of internet research lately.) My dreams include several day-trips of getting out on that water (however, hubby won't consider a pure "sailing" trip - he's not as sure as I am that we're true sailors unfortunately locked up in Kansas.....).

The reason I was asking is that I'm very much considering Cane Garden Bay accomodations, and my research mentions that it is a main cruise ship day-tripper destination. Well, I just plan one of our own day-trips or sails away from the beach on those days, right? They don't inundate the entire island, right? I'll be researching cruise ships schedules closer to vacation time.

(Beth48: how was the driving on Tortola? Am a little nervous about the driving-on-the-left thing, along w/the hilly terrain, need for 4-wheel drive, and knowing that an awful lot of the drivers will - along with ourselves - have inbibed of the famous rum punches and Painkillers. Main reason I'm thinking of CGB for accomodations - we can walk to many restaurants/bars. How was your experience w/Tortola driving?)

Thank you both so much.....
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 04:41 AM
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When we were in Tortola 2.5 years ago there were hardly any cruise ship visitors, but according to the BB at traveltalkonline.com there has been a significant increase recently. You might want to research that.

We also enjoyed the lack of cruise ships at Provo, which is almost in the Caribbean.

Some of the websites devoted to cruise aficionados allow you to enter the name of an island and will show all ships that visit there. This can be a good way to gauge traffic, although you have to be mindful of ships' sizes - there's a big difference between the impact of a small boutique cruise and a 3000-passenger behemoth.

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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 01:45 PM
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Anguilla is without cruise ships, Anegada (northernmost of the BVI's and just a stone's throw from Tortola) and Cat Island in the Bahamas are without as well! Guana Island doesn't get any ... quite a few.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 05:27 PM
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We were in St. John this January. Sunnyboy is totally right, the day trippers there all seem to hang out at Trunk Bay, but not the other beaches. I did not feel that they affected our trip at all.

They also seem to leave by mid-afternoon. We went to Trunk one afternoon to check out the underwater snorkel trail. We wound up taking a nap on the beach surrounded by people. We woke up around 4:00 and the place was practically deserted - everyone back to the ships!

With a little planning you can easily avoid the day crowds.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 05:37 PM
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In direct answer to the posted question, the answer is yes.

Cuba!

Due to American embargo regulations, any ship (cruise or cargo) and regardless of nationality or country of registration, is forbidden to dock at any US port for a period of 180 days following any stop in Cuba. This virtually eliminates Cuba as a cruise destination for all nationalities, not only the Americans.

Oh well, nice to not have to worry about the hordes while on vacation.
Steve
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Old Jul 28th, 2004, 07:37 AM
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To answer your question, my husband did all the driving on Tortola. The speed limit is about 35 most places due to the hills and the winding roads. Just take your time, remember to stay on the left, and you won't be disappointed. This island has the most awesome views from high on its hills. Check the cruise ship schedules to see when one is in town. Honestly, it didn't bother us at all. By the way, we stayed at Long Bay Resort - nice hillside rooms with great views. Pusser's (two locations on the island) is a great place to eat. One is in Road Town and one by the waterfront. Enjoy your trip!
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Old Jul 28th, 2004, 07:57 AM
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Provo - Turks & Caicos - no cruise ships yet.
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Old Jul 28th, 2004, 10:21 AM
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I don't THINK any of the following have large cruise ships, but I don't know for sure:

Saba, Grenadines/St. Vincent (Mustique, Palm Island, Young Island), Bonaire.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 05:50 AM
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No cruise ships go to Turks and Caicos which is a huge plus for this group of islands. This is due to the reef surrounding the islands. Residents want to keep it this way and have protested efforts to ferry groups in on smaller boats. Turks is beautiful and uncrowded.
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