PORTS

MIAMI, FL

Aruba's landscape is one of contrasting terrain, from its white-sand southern shoreline to its rugged north coast. Buffeted by breezes and surrounded by turquoise waters, this port is a hot spot for aquatic activities like sailing, deep sea fishing, kayaking and kitesurfing. Snorkelers can discover sea creatures at various coral reefs and at the shipwreck of the SS Antilla, a German vessel from World War II. Visit the Alto Vista Chapel, Aruba's first church, and the aloe vera factory and museum, where you can learn about the plant's healing powers, or navigate your own Jeep to the ruins of a gold mill and the remains of the Natural Bridge, which was carved out of limestone cliffs by wind and waves. Hikes, trail rides and off-roading adventures in Airikok National Park promise interesting wildlife sightings, while stops at the California Lighthouse afford some of the best views on the island.

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Sitting atop a coral reef, Bonaire is a prime location for snorkelers and divers. The adventurous traveler will be in paradise. In addition to the underwater experiences, the island is ideal for hiking and birdwatching, with its bright pink flamingos, Amazon parrots and native parakeets.

Casa de Campo, a lush resort retreat in La Romana on the Dominican Republic's southeastern coast, offers myriad recreational options for visiting cruise passengers. The Teeth of the Dog golf course has been ranked as one of the best in the Caribbean, and tennis and skeet shooting also are offered. There's horseback riding and polo at the equestrian center as well as water sports and fishing at private Minitas Beach and the resort's exclusive marina. Enjoy 18 bars and restaurants, ranging from the beachside El Pescador, where bathing suits are standard attire, to upscale Casa del Rio overlooking the Chavon River. Watch artisans at work at nearby Altos de Chavon cultural village or see a performing arts event at the village's 5,000-seat, open-air amphitheater.

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The Greater Miami area is home to a diverse array of cultures, cuisines, and activities. Cruises along Biscayne Bay drink in the skyscraper-studded coastline, and in glitzy Miami Beach, beachgoers frolic against the backdrop of vibrant art deco buildings. Nightlife hot spot South Beach buzzes with activity into the early morning hours. Coral Gables' tree-lined avenues house notable landmarks like the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the Venetian Pool, a historic 1923 swimming hole fed by spring water. The city offers plenty to do, with numerous museums and professional sports teams, marinas and yacht clubs, golf courses and more, but some visitors head southwest to Everglades National Park. The 1.5 million-acre preserve hosts boating and canoeing excursions as well as wildlife-spotting treks to see alligators and manatees.

Language: English

Currency: US dollar (US$)

ARUBA

Language: Dutch (Official)

                    and Papiamento

Currency: Florin (AFL),

                  US dollar (US$)

BONAIRE

Language: Dutch

Currency: Netherlands Antillean Guilder (ANG), US dollar (US$)

Language: Spanish

Currency: Dominican peso (DOP),

                  US dollar (US$)

LA ROMANA (Casa de Campo), DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Amber Cove is located 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.

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AMBER COVE, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Language: Spanish, English

Currency: Dominican peso (DOP)