Today we are going on one of my favorite cruise itineraries – the Eastern Caribbean! Many cruise lines have sailings to the Eastern Caribbean. There are a number of islands that could be included in an Eastern Caribbean cruise with two primary islands of St Maarten and St Thomas. Other cruises will also visit San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, Antigua, Grand Turk or Tortola. Sailings that go a little further south are usually classified as Southern Caribbean sailings, and they could include ports like Aruba, Curacao, Barbados, Martinique, St Lucia and St Kitts.
St Maarten is a divided island. No, I’m not referring to political unrest. The island is split between two countries, France and the Netherlands. This is the smallest island controlled by more than one country. Visit its pristine beaches, azure waters, sandy cliffs and bluffs or head into town for shopping, landmarks and casinos. Marigot is the capital city of the French side of St Martin. This small city is filled with boutiques, cafes and shops. Phillipsburg, the capital of the Dutch side of the island is where most ships will dock. There is much shopping and a few casinos in this beachside city. Traveling between the two sides of the island is easy with taxis, rental cars or city buses (though this is the cheapest form of transportation, it is slow and crowded).
St Thomas (with excursions to St John) is part of the US Virgin Islands. A call to St Thomas will offer you fabulous shopping, beaches, golf, and water sports. You can go over to St John, which is two-thirds of a United States National Park. One of the most photographed beaches, Trunk Bay, is located on St John, though many of the other beaches are amazing as well. There are also several historical sites on the island including the Annaberg Sugar Plantation Ruins and the Reef Bay Trail & Petroglyphs. Whether you stay on St Thomas or venture over to St John, there is something for everyone at this port of call.
When selecting a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean, you have a lot of choices in cruise lines, ships and specific itineraries. Work with your travel agent to determine what is the best for you. There is more availability when it comes to the Caribbean so you aren’t limited to one or two sailings and having to compromise on what is important to you.
For the Fourth Day of ToaDmas, we are going to select the Disney Fantasy. A Disney Cruise Line sailing will appeal to more than just families with younger children. Teenagers have their own areas on all of the Disney Cruise Line ships. Adults also have their own designated areas on all ships with pools, a coffee bar, restaurants and nightclubs just for them. Some worry that everywhere you turn you will see characters. This is definitely not the case. Characters are onboard and times/locations to see them are listed in your daily Personal Navigator, but they won’t be around every time you turn. Disney offers the only “rotational dining” onboard. Guests move from one themed dining room on one night to another one the next night. There are three different themed restaurants on each ship which are included with your cruise fare. From Broadway caliber shows and first run movies to enrichment programs and the only fireworks at sea, you’ll find it all on Disney Cruise Line (Ok, almost everything. Disney Cruise Line ships do not have a casino).
All Disney Caribbean sailings include a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.
We are going on the Disney Fantasy on October 20, 2012. This will be the first Cruisin’ with ToaD sailing. Our family going with us on the Disney Fantasy will be two adults, a 13 year old and a 10 year old. Since this is a group sailing with ToaD, deposits are fixed at $250 per person. Normally deposits will be 20% of the cruise fare.
October 20, 2012
Category 8D – Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom
Total Price: $4667.76
Deposit: $1000.00, fully refundable until August 6, 2012 at which time the balance is due
Pricing includes taxes and fees, shipboard accommodations, meals and entertainment. The fare does not include shore excursions, sightseeing or meals ashore in the ports of call, gratuities, alcoholic beverages, bottled water, laundry or valet services, or any other items not specifically included. The fare also does not include airfare, ground or baggage transfers.
* Prices and availability are not guaranteed until booked. Other departure cities available, prices may vary.