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Old 12-08-2012, 04:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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East vs. West Caribbean?

For my October or November 2013 cruise I want to cruise on the Fantasy. Which side of the Caribbean would you recommend and why? My only cruise experience is twice on the Dream to the Bahamas and I want some place different.

Last edited by Belle*; 12-11-2012 at 07:53 AM.. Reason: newsletter12132012
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There are two fundamental differences between Eastern and Western. First, the Eastern visits 3 ports of call, while the Western visits 4. That means the Eastern has an additional day at sea. If relaxing on board the ship seems more appealing than touring the various ports of call, then you'll probably prefer the Eastern.

Second is the style of the ports of call. The Eastern islands have a northern European colonial heritage (Dutch, French, Danish, English), while the Western offers a touch of Spanish Colonial plus Mexican/Mayan. (Grand Cayman has a British heritage, but it's not strongly in evidence.) If you want lush vegetation, you'll get a bit more of that on the Eastern. The Eastern islands are mountainous, the Western are essentially flat. Grand Cayman and Cozumel are particularly well known for their snorkeling and scuba.

I suggest you read a bit more about each of the ports, and see whether you gravitate towards one or two in particular. Hopefully, the ones that appeal most will be on the same itinerary.
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Last edited by Belle*; 12-11-2012 at 07:53 AM.. Reason: newsletter12132012
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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We were recently on the Fantasy Eastern Caribbean itinerary. We did enjoy having the extra day at sea, however, we didn't necessarily feel like we saw much of the ports. No matter - we usually enjoy our time on the ship better than the ports. The key is not only which ports / itinerary, but which excursions you are looking to book. The Western itinerary had greater appeal for me, but due to scheduling issues with kids' school, we were limited to the particular cruise we took (11/3-11/10).

Have fun planning - Fantasy is an incredibly beautiful ship You will have an amazing time no matter which itinerary you choose
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Dave's summary above is excellent. Personally, I enjoy sea days, so the Eastern appeals to me. While I'm doing the Western next month, I don't feel that he ports are all that different. In addition, the short port times can make one feel rushed especially with earlier seating dinner.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Exclamation East or West

Having only travelled the western cruise I can only comment on that area of the Caribbean. I felt that the ports were much of a muchness, nothing to choose between them, it was the actual cruise with Disney that was the highlight especially the on board activities and dining experiences.
As a Scot I have to disagree with Dave on his comments re Grand Cayman I felt right at home, especially with the traffic driving on the CORRECT side of the Road.

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Old 12-13-2012, 09:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I like the Eastern Caribbean because I love St. Thomas and the snorkeling is great. We had a horrible experience snorkeling in Cozumel and my husband swears he almost died (he does have a flair for the dramatic)
I enjoy the scenery in the Caribbean more so than the Mexican flair but I agree with Dave to check the Port Excursions and see what "floats your boat" and how you feel about the extra sea day.
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I chose Western based on information in the Passporter. Didn't seem like there were many beach / water options with the Eastern. Also seemed Eastern has more "touristy" shopping and more pickpockets. My conclusions might be wrong - I was kind of reading between the lines. Although there is a good bit of information there, I wish the Passporter had more of the kind of information about each location that would help newbies distinguish the differences.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you for this thread. We were debating the same thing!
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The main reason why we are taking a Western cruise this Fall is because we have already taken an Eastern cruise. I heard Grand Cayman is an amazing port of call. So we are pretty excited about our choice.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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We have done the Western once and the Eastern three times. We are going on the Fantasy Western in April and looking forward to getting back to the Gulf of Mexico. Our experience, which could be different from others, is that the days at sea on the way to and from St. Thomas/St. Maarten are windy and the seas can be a bit rough at times. We have gone at various times of the year and had the same experience all three times. Unfortunately we enjoy the Eastern Ports much more than the Western Ports they offer now on the Fantasy.

SO now that I have probably confused you my best advice is to take Dave's advice and research and asks lots of questions here on Passporter.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:11 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I didnt think they offered St Maarten in April We have booked and are going on the Fantasy in april but it doesnt go to St Maarten, It goes to St Thomas and San Juan
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The Sint Maarten/St. Thomas itinerary is the "classic." They are substituting San Juan for Sint Maarten Jan - Apr 2013, but that's the exception, rather than the rule. They're back to Sint Maarten from May 2013 through Aug 2014 (there's nothing currently on the schedule from Sep 2014 onward).
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