Cruise to Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos
About a quarter mile from the western beaches at Grand Turk, the sea floor drops 7, 000 feet right down into dark blue. Just at the edge of the dropoff, there's a reef pocked with arches, turrets, and tunnels called the Grand Turk Wall. The reef is a haven for fish, and with its clear water, for divers, too. Cruise to Grand Turk for the diving, and if not, come for the beaches. Grand Turk has witnessed a lot of history, from Ponce de Leon to the space race. Come to the National Museum in the capital, Cockburn Town, to get a taste of it.
Cruise to Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
Enjoy the perfect day of play on our pristine private island, from sunning on two miles of white sand to watersports, nature hikes, deep sea fishing, and more. For relaxing, reserve a private air-conditioned cabana by the sea. For adventure, feed the gentle rays at Stingray Cove, ride a horse into the surf or visit Half Moon Lagoon, the island's aqua park. Discover why Half Moon Cay—included on nearly every Caribbean itinerary—consistently wins guests' hearts.
Cruise to San Juan, Puerto Rico
Built in the 1600s to protect the town of San Juan, the massive Fort San Felipe El Morro took on British, Dutch, and American naval attacks in subsequent centuries. It seems everybody wanted a piece of the island. You'll see why. Cruise to Puerto Rico with Holland America Line for a mix of the historical, the natural, and the sensual. The fort is a World Heritage Site now, and you can walk its thick outer walls, peek into its sentry boxes, or just stop to drink in the view across San Juan Bay.
Cruise to Philipsburg (St. Maarten)
Geographically, sixty percent of the island of Saint Martin French. Forty percent is Dutch. And 100 percent of it is wonderful. Philipsburg is the capital of the Dutch section of the island (called Sint Maarten), and lies on a gentle arc of land with a saltwater lake to the north and a bay to the south. An esplanade runs alongside a white sand beach, so you can switch from sunning to shopping and back again in moments. One block in from the beach, cruise visitors can visit the duty-free boutiques of Front Street, one of the great shopping avenues of the Caribbean. Outside town, you can choose from one of the island's nearly 40 beaches. Mullet Bay is one of the nicest.
Cruise to St. Thomas (U.S.V.I.)
It seems like the entire length of St. Thomas's coastline is intricately scalloped. What that means for cruise visitors is an endless succession of sandy crescents and protected coves. Try Magen's Bay, just on the other side of the island from the main town, Charlotte Amalie. Hull Bay has surfing in winter. Brewer's Bay pairs well with sunsets. Snorkel at Coki Beach. Once you've beached enough, consider taking the aerial tram up to Paradise Point. You'll get a great view of Charlotte Amalie. And then? Shopping - duty-free. There are dozens of stores downtown, ranging from the upscale Yacht Haven Grande to the eclectic Vendor's Plaza.
Cruise to Road Town, Tortola (B.V.I.)
Two details: first, a "road" in the nautical sense is a sheltered area outside a harbor; second, the oldest building in Road Town is a prison. Seamanship and a general rascality shaped the early history of the British Virgin Islands, as the British, Spanish, French, and Dutch all parried and thrusted for control, with pirates wreaking general havoc all around. Today, the island of Tortola and its capital, Road Town, is a place for cruise visitors to relax and explore the emerald forests and viridian waters. Highlights in town include the Botanic Gardens, the Folk History Museum, and the brightly colored shops downtown. Oh, and the beaches: try the popular Cane Garden Bay or Brewer's Bay.