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Trying to decide to cruise to Port of Call Key West

Trying to decide to cruise to Port of Call Key West

Old Aug 5th, 2017, 09:56 AM
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Trying to decide to cruise to Port of Call Key West

Hi, I'm trying to decide on what cruise itinerary to choose. I am looking for pretty beaches with crystal clear water. Also,I am looking at going out of New Orleans to the Eastern Caribbean, which goes to Key West and the Bahamas. The reason is that I really want to see the Bahamas but I am wanting a cruise that is at least 6-7 days long. If I went to the Port of Call Key West, what is the furthest prettiest beach I could reach to enjoy & be back to the cruise port in time to get back on the ship? Iv'e been researching the prettiest beaches in the Keys & it looks like the prettiest beaches are further up the keys, in the Lower Keys, Marathon, Isla Morada, & Key Largo. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Kimbelrey
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Old Aug 5th, 2017, 12:03 PM
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I went to Higgs Beach in Key West, it's not a beautiful beach. You are correct about the nicer beaches being farther up the Keys. Bahamas have much better beaches. When it comes to very beautiful beaches, look to the Caribbean Sea.
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Old Aug 5th, 2017, 12:16 PM
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Thanks tch912! I think I will think about going with the Grand Turk, St.Thomas, etc. itinerary or the Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel itinerary. I appreciate your feedback.
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Old Aug 5th, 2017, 05:26 PM
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I have been to all of those islands except Grand Turks. All have great beaches. I heard Grace Beach is beautiful. I will be going there January 2019.
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Old Sep 4th, 2017, 09:55 PM
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We vacationed twice in Key West and love it for the history, nightlife, etc, but we wouldn't recommend it for the beaches. We cruised to all the islands you mentioned and they all have gorgeous beaches, with Grand Turk being the most convenient as the ships dock at a beach/pool/shopping center. We enjoyed our NOLA cruise last year to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel so much that we'll do it again this December.
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Old Sep 5th, 2017, 05:39 AM
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@tch912: Grace Bay Beach is on Providenciales, not Grand Turk. The beaches on Grand Turk are, however, stunningly beautiful and exactly what you are looking for you. You will not find that within easy travel distance of Key West, and you'd have to take an expensive excursion or drive.
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Old Sep 5th, 2017, 06:17 AM
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Doug, I meant to say I heard Grace Bay was beautiful in the Turks and Caicos, so I will not get to see it when I go to Grand Turks. I loved Key West but I went for the culture .
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Old Sep 5th, 2017, 07:37 AM
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Yes, you definitely do not go to Key West for beautiful beaches.
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Old Sep 6th, 2017, 06:55 AM
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When do you plan to go? Irma just may change it all.
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Old Sep 10th, 2017, 06:55 PM
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I think most of the eastern Caribbean is finished for awhile. Even Key West is probably out of the question for awhile also. Next year ???
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 10:52 PM
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After IRMA, Key West would not be a cruise stop or a little while. As to the rest of the Caribbean ... let's wait for the damage report. Both Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise stocks took a big hit as the Caribbean cruising will be affect for years to come. I am changing my Caribbean cruise plan for December this year and it appears they are not having sales in other destinations so there is no bargains to be had.
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Old Sep 14th, 2017, 09:51 AM
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I agree. We have routinely booked cruises in the Caribbean for January and Feb and often multi cruises back to back since it is cheaper to cruise than to rent condos in the area. We have taken advantage of many last minute deals. I can see shifting further south but the capacity is not there so last minute deals might not be available.
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Old Sep 15th, 2017, 05:37 AM
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Based on the reports I've been reading, I think it may be 3 or 4 weeks before cruise ships are allowed to stop in Key West. Regular flights haven't yet resumed and may not until next week, but damage in Key West was relatively limited compared to some of the other middle keys, so I suspect the Western Caribbean itineraries will be able to include Key West by later this fall. It may be a more difficult thing for people looking for beaches. The keys with good beaches were hit rather hard by Irma and may not be accessible for much longer.

In general, Eastern Caribbean cruises have been cancelled for most of this fall, and I think the lines will reevaluate when things are more normal, but they just won't be normal in St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Tortola for quite some time ... certainly months, if not a year.
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Old Sep 17th, 2017, 02:07 PM
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We are suppose to cruise with Royal Caribbean Oct.2nd - 6th to Key West and then two days in Havana. We have been notified that the stop at Key West is for humanitarian purposes only - no tourist will disembark. I fully understand this.

Now I am worried about the possibility of not going to Havana. If the next hurricane, Maria, is a problem then it will be canceled with a full refund? If we are cruising at the time, the ship can change its route for safety's sake? In the latter case does that mean a refund or some compensation?

I don't mean to sound callous about the hurricane or the victims of the hurricanes. I realize that matters could be much worse than losing a vacation or the money for the vacation!
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Old Sep 18th, 2017, 05:53 AM
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I think there's almost no chance at all @marlib1951 that your cruise will be cancelled and the fee refunded. And your question seems to suggest you don't have insurance. This rare cascade of powerful storms shows why that's not a good idea when you cruise during the height of hurricane season.

In situations like this, cruise lines usually redirect ships to different ports without cancelling the cruise entirely (and given how many cruises they just had to cancel because of Irma, I think it's even more likely that your cruise will not be cancelled). What's more likely is that you will be redirected to the western Caribbean beyond Havana, sent to Bermuda if Jose has cleared out and no new hurricane has entered the area, or redirected to some different eastern Caribbean ports that aren't affected.

In some cases, cruise lines give passengers the opportunity to rebook on a different cruise, but they very rarely give passengers refunds unless a whole itinerary is cancelled. (More often they give some small onboard credit, but you may not even get that.) Cruise lines don't typically compensate passengers for missed ports.

Regardless of that decision, it's not going to help you with nonrefundable airline or hotel reservations (if you don't have insurance), and it may not help you if you booked this cruise solely to see Havana.

Having said that, it's too early to know what will happen, but we'll know in a few days (long before your cruise). Maria may not even reach Havana, turning north before it gets there (or it may). I'd recommend you keep an eye on the storm and remain in contact with Royal Caribbean.
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Old Sep 18th, 2017, 02:56 PM
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doug, Thank you for the thoughtful reply and advice. We do have insurance for the trip but I don't know what it covers or if it covers not wanting to go because of a port change. The insurance is not a cancel for any reason policy. Yes, our sole goal was to see Havana!
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Old Sep 19th, 2017, 05:22 AM
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Most cruise travel policies don't reimburse you for missed ports or even itinerary changes, but do read the fine print. There are a few companies that have more liberal policies. It's rarely a full refund, but rather a full credit on a future cruise within 6 or 12 months. Let's hope you still get to take your cruise, but if not, pull out the policy and see what your options are. And don't make a hasty decision until you know what the policy covers.
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Old Sep 25th, 2017, 04:17 AM
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"don't make a hasty decision" was great advice. Our cruise is back on schedule with stops at Key West and Havana.
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