Hey, guys– it’s Anson instead of Allison today and I am excited to tell you about our first stop of our cruise. I warn you that I have been wanting to visit the Turks and Cacaos for some time now. The fact that it was on our itinerary on this cruise had me so excited! I had always heard it was the jewel of the Caribbean and I have to tell you, despite my high expectations, it did not disappoint.
Our day started waking up to one of the best views on the cruise. Our balcony room on the 14th deck was the perfect perch to look over the the entire island of Grand Turk. You could almost see the entire island from bed! As I looked to the left from our balcony all you could see was sandy white beaches framed by the most alluring azure coloured water. Fortunately, Allison had the foresight to order room service for breakfast so we could get off the boat quickly. Room service was mostly a choice of continental breakfast items, but who can complain when you are able to eat your morning yogurt and drink your coffee all while basking in the sun overlooking the beautiful Turks and Cacaos. From our balcony you could see several more islands dotting the horizon and it made for the best breakfast scenery one could hope for.
With breakfast finished up and swimming suits donned under our beach attire, we headed down to disembark from the ship. I couldn’t remember which stairwell/elevator bank or even which deck we were supposed to use to disembark so we just started heading down the stairs and stopped when we saw the line of people waiting. Wow! That line was long, winding around several halls of the ship! I was scared momentarily as it seemed we would never get off, but the line had not started moving yet and when it did, within a few minutes it seemed we were through security and on the pier walking into Grand Turk.
The pier ends with the usual assortment of souvenir vendors and excursion companies selling their various wares. It seemed like we headed left and the path led us straight into the pool at Margaritaville. I recommend that you skip the tourist vendors, the pool and head for the sand as quickly as possible and that is what we did. The beach right next to the pier, while beautiful, is crowded with sun loungers, umbrellas and tourists. The farther you walk down the beach the less crowded it gets. This particular beach ends at a gated pier just beyond Jack’s Shack (a great place to grab some jerk chicken and a refreshing drink, but more on that later)
The secret to Grand Turk, though, lies in the following instructions. 1) Walk behind Jack’s Shack, past a couple burned out cars until you find the road. 2) Make a left onto the road and follow it for about a kilometer until you can see the beach again. I say this is the secret, because you will end up at the most gorgeous vacated beach you have ever laid your eyes on. You will be rewarded with a long stretch of fine white sand extending into crystal clear blue waters, bookmarked on either end between a rusted out and beached freighter ship, a sight of it’s own unique beauty, and a rocky cove at the other end. The water was warm, the sun was hot, the breeze was gently blowing and it easily was the best beach of our cruise.
Allison and I swam, visited the rusty freighter, laid in the sun and finally walked along the entire course of the beach. Warning, this beach has nothing in the way of amenities, but on the bright side the entire time we were there we were only be interrupted by two other couples.
After a couple of hours we walked back along the road over to Jack’s Shack on the busier beach found an umbrella and ordered up some jerk chicken. Jack, I learned is an enterprising Canadian who set up shop on the beach and has never looked back. Maybe one day there will be an Anson’s dive shop next door. 🙂 I quite enjoyed the jerk chicken and watched as a number of dive boats headed out for a day of diving. I cannot express to you the power of the urge to go diving that came over me, but I had that booked for another day and another island.
After another hour of lounging and maybe taking the sun tan just a little bit past the tan and just barely into the burnt category we decided to go and explore the other side of the island a bit. This proved short sighted as the swimming and sun had taken it’s toll and we both began to feel like a nap would be heavenly so we headed back for the ship.
At the pier once again after a brief stint of souvenir shopping, we noticed that we had missed the right side of the island as we headed left directly after leaving the ship. Allison and I are not ones to leave a stone unturned, so we took a detour on our way back to the ship and explored the right side of the island a bit. It was just a nice and though the beach was definitely rockier, it seemed there were more palm trees. After a short walk, we headed back onto the ship, back through security and into our room for one of the best naps ever.
Grand Turk is definitely worth a repeat trip to me and a cruise ship is the way I will choose to do it again. We could have spent a couple more hours on Grand Turk before the Carnival Vista left port, but I love that you have a ship to return to and are never far from a comfortable room, amazing food and a plethora of choices of great entertainment. That afternoon as we watched from our balcony the Vista pull out of port at Grand Turk, I felt amazing. What a great day!
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