PORTS

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Language: English

Currency: US dollar (US$)

GALVESTON, TEXAS

Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston is a relaxed beach town with a rich history. Magnificent homes on Broadway, many now museums, recall Galveston's era of wealth and prosperity in the late 1800s, and The Strand entices visitors with its restaurants, bars, galleries and stores housed in picturesque Victorian-era buildings. La King’s Confectionery, a 1920s-style ice cream parlor and candy shop, also awaits. Pier 21 is a jumping-off point for boat excursions, dolphin-spotting cruises and the adrenaline-pumping Jet Boat Thrill Ride. At the Texas Seaport Museum, you might search for ancestors in its database, which contains the names of about 130,000 immigrants who entered the U.S. at Galveston from 1846 to 1948 or climb aboard its 1877 tall ship Elissa. Other top sites include the family-friendly amusement park at Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier and Moody Gardens, with aquarium and rainforest attractions, a private beach, ropes course and more.

KEY WEST, FLORIDA

Key West, which has counted Robert Frost and Jimmy Buffet among its residents, marks the southernmost point in the continental United States. Visitors of this port can unwind on an idyllic beach, zoom past sea turtles on a Jet Ski outing, spot dolphins from a catamaran cruise or go snorkeling at North America’s only living coral reef. The island can be navigated on foot or bicycle, but the Conch Tour Train makes a full loop of the Old Town area. Hop on and off to see sights such as the lighthouse, shipwreck museum, an aquarium and Truman’s Little White House, the winter home for the country’s 33rd president. Shoppers can find designer clothes and specialty items in boutiques along Duval Street, while literary lovers will want to visit the house where Ernest Hemingway lived and wrote for more than 10 years. Food tours offer a taste of fish tacos, rum cocktails and Key lime pie.

Language: English

Currency: US dollar (US$)

Language: Spanish, English

Currency: Dominican Peso (DOP)

AMBER COVE, DOMINICIAN REPUBLIC

Amber Cove is in the province of Puerto Plata on the Bay of Maimon. The cove combines historical colonial architecture with the contemporary amenities of the greatest ports in the modern world. With over 30 acres of waterfront property, Amber Cove provides a great variety of shopping and entertainment for visitors to enjoy. The port is also a huge transportation hub for surrounding areas such as Sosua and Cabarete. Spend the afternoon at one of the beautiful beaches where you can windsurf, kiteboard, or simply sunbathe and relax. After some time in the sand, head over to explore the coastal villages and shopping centers or take a 30-minute ride out to Damajagua Falls. For a different kind of adventure, visitors can go to the outskirts of the city and enjoy the entertainment of the popular Ocean World Adventure Park. 

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO

Old San Juan is rich in Spanish tradition, with iconic blue cobblestone streets and colonial architecture. This historic section of the Puerto Rican city is easily seen on foot, and cruise passengers can shop for handcrafted works, relax in a shaded park or tour El Morro, a 16th-century Spanish fortress overlooking the sea. New San Juan is distinctly elegant with lavish resorts, great restaurants and grand casinos. Visitors can enjoy an outing to El Yunque, the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. national forest system or join in on shore excursions that include the likes of deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, diving and even kayaking on a bioluminescent bay.

Language: English/Spanish

Currency: US dollar (US$)

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Language: English

Currency: US dollar (US$)

ST. THOMAS, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

St. Thomas is a Caribbean paradise where white-sand beaches are gently lapped by azure waters and mountains are topped with verdant crowns of vegetation. Boasting a cosmopolitan flair, the island offers an abundance of duty-free shopping, top-notch eateries and cultural experiences. In the harbor city of Charlotte Amalie, find the famed 99 Steps, a scenic staircase constructed by the Danes in the 1700s that starts the journey to a 1679 castle. For a dose of heritage, visit the 17th-century Fort Christian, a National Historic Landmark that houses a museum, Virgin Islands exhibits, an art gallery and a furniture collection from the Danish period. Popular excursions include island tours, scuba diving and snorkeling expeditions and a trip to Magens Bay Park, with its mile-long shoreline and 6-acre arboretum.

ST. KITTS, WEST INDIES

St. Kitts is home to some of the best examples of West Indian architecture, all of which is set amid a dramatically beautiful landscape. The best shore excursion is a well-organized island tour, featuring a visit to the 17th-century British fortress at Brimstone Hill and the sites of the capital. The beaches here are magnificent, including Friar's Bay, which opens to the Atlantic and the Caribbean. 

Language: English

Language: English

Currency: Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD), US dollar (US$)

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ST. MAARTEN, NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

Christopher Columbus' sighting first brought European attention to this island in 1493. Today, St. Maarten flies two flags, making the island part-French and part-Dutch. Cruise ships more commonly call on the Dutch side of St. Maarten, known for its year-round sunshine, slew of shopping centers and buzzing nightlife. Visitors can voyage the Caribbean aboard a catamaran, kayak or Jet Ski. Island outings include all-terrain vehicle adventures, culinary tours and snorkeling or scuba diving trips. Walking and biking tours explore the historic capital, Philipsburg, and luxury yachts and sailboats offer private charters for enhanced relaxation.

Language: Dutch

Currency: Euro (EUR), US dollar (US$)

TORTOLA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

Tortola is small, but huge in natural beauty. The island is capped with bold mountains and fringed with breathtaking beaches. The prime sites here are Cane Garden Bay and Sage Mountain National Park. Other options include snorkeling, diving and glass-bottom boat rides.

Language: English

Currency: US dollar (US$)

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MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA

Jamaica is a colorful land with its white beaches, sapphire waters and emerald forests. The climate is warm year-round with little seasonal variation in temperature. Passengers docking at Montego Bay might browse the shops, tour Rose Hall (said to be haunted) or Greenwood Great Houses, swim at the famous Doctor's Cave Beach or take a rafting trip down the tropical Martha Brae River.

Language: English

Currency: Jamaican dollar (JMD), US dollar (US$)