Skip to main content

Sand, Surf and Sun: My Favorite Cruise Ports

My favorite cruises are those with ports of call in the Caribbean islands. While you might think that this Miami girl would want a change of scenery when she travels, that isn’t the case. I love the tropics, I love the sunshine and the smell of salt water in the air…as the saying goes, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” When I begin planning a cruise, I always look through the ports of call to ensure that at least one of my favorite ports is included in the itinerary. While I do love discovering new places, there are certain Caribbean islands that are quite expensive to travel to from Miami via air, so spending a day there on a port of call is the perfect solution! Prepare to experience a serious case of Wanderlust, because today we’ll be talking about My Favorite Cruise Ports!

My Favorite Cruise Ports

Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas


Half Moon Cay is a private island owned by Carnival Cruise Line and is only accessible via a port of call. It’s really the perfect spot; you can spend the day on the beach, eat at the restaurant on the island, have a few tropical cocktails…and charge it all to your stateroom card! As it’s a private island run by Carnival Cruise Line, you can pay for everything with your Sign and Sail card.


When you arrive, you’ll find the most picturesque Caribbean waters, a palm-tree lined beach and the friendliest people you’ll ever meet!

I love the Bahamas, and Half Moon Cay is no different in that everyone embraces the spirit of hospitality and friendliness.


You can book an excursion to go horseback riding, snorkeling, or a number of other exciting water sports, but you will find that you can enjoy the day just as well by lounging on the beach and soaking up the rays. You’ll find children and adults alike busying themselves building sandcastles – the last time I was there, the ship had even organized an island-wide sandcastle-building contest!


Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

I’ve written about my love of Turks and Caicos before, but it bears repeating: Grand Turk is one of the most beautiful ports of call I’ve ever seen.


There’s just something about the atmosphere in Grand Turk: the people are friendly, the water is gorgeous and there are so many things to do right at the port that you don’t even need to book a shore excursion to have an awesome time!


There are plenty of beach chairs, there are cabanas for rent, there are name-brand restaurants, a huge pool and water slide, as well as an area of duty free shopping and places to pick up trinkets and souvenirs.


Of course, if you love the water and want to book a shore excursion, Grand Turk is the place to do it! There are so many options when it comes to shore excursions, but my favorite is snorkeling! One of the best snorkeling trips of my life was a shore excursion in Grand Turk. That trip is actually what prompted me to invest in waterproof camera equipment; the experience we had underwater was so amazing that it just about broke my heart not to be able to share it through photos when we came home.



Grand Turk is definitely on my “must go snorkeling there again” list!

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

I have two great loves in my life: the water and animals. One of my favorite cruise ports offers both of these in abundance: Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. On my last visit to Grand Cayman, I booked a Carnival Cruise Line shore excursion to visit the Turtle Farm and Stingray City – and I was not disappointed! It’s one thing to see marine life in the wild, but it’s another entirely exciting experience to get up close and personal with some of your favorite sea creatures!


At the Turtle Farm, you walk through a guided tour to learn about their conservation efforts and then have the option of snorkeling with sea turtles or lounging at their pool or water park. You can touch the baby sea turtles, feed them – it’s really a fun experience for nature loving adults as well as children.


Stingray City was by far one of the best experiences I have had on a cruise. Your tour operator will take you out to “Stingray City,” an area off shore where stingrays tend to congregate to feed. After giving you a lesson in safety, your tour operator will allow you to get into the water with them!


It is really quite amazing how many stingrays appear in this area – at one point I counted ten different stingrays!

Do you have a favorite cruise port? I would love to hear about it!

This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.