If You Build It, They Will Cruise

Caribbean ports de­signed and built just for you.

Porthole Cruise Magazine - - What’s Inside - BY LINDA GAR­RI­SON

ne of the things peo­ple love most about cruis­ing is the va­ri­ety of ports that can be vis­ited on a sin­gle voy­age. In fact, many trav­el­ers plan their cruises based on the itin­er­ary and its des­ti­na­tions.

As the pop­u­lar­ity of cruis­ing has grown, so has the need for more ports of call with bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties. In much of the world, cruise ships have added new des­ti­na­tions by us­ing com­mer­cial port fa­cil­i­ties in cities with­out cruise-spe­cific ter­mi­nals. If a city or town has good port fa­cil­i­ties, ameni­ties, and easy ac­cess to fun or in­ter­est­ing things to do, one or more cruise ships prob­a­bly visit.

How­ever, in the Caribbean — the world’s most pop­u­lar cruise des­ti­na­tion — cruise ships were al­ready vis­it­ing most of the is­lands and towns with suf­fi­cient fa­cil­i­ties by the turn of this cen­tury. And since lo­cal gov­ern­ments of­ten lack the funds needed to build new port fa­cil­i­ties, de­mand for new ports far ex­ceeds what could be de­vel­oped lo­cally.

To ad­dress this de­mand, cruise lines them­selves be­gan build­ing their own ports of call, in­vest­ing mil­lions of dol­lars into re­sort­style fa­cil­i­ties ashore. Boast­ing amaz­ing pools and ex­cit­ing shore­side ac­tiv­i­ties, these ports are built ex­clu­sively for cruise pas­sen­gers. The lo­ca­tions pro­vide easy ac­cess to his­tor­i­cal towns, lush coun­try­sides, and gor­geous beaches; and nearby com­mu­ni­ties have grown to sup­port those work­ing in the shops, bars, restau­rants, and other fa­cil­i­ties used by the cruise ship guests.

Whether built by cruise lines or in­vestors, these ports have made the Caribbean even more fun and mem­o­rable, not only by adding a new des­ti­na­tion op­tion, but by help­ing lo­cal economies and en­hanc­ing the al­ready de­sir­able trop­i­cal des­ti­na­tions of the Caribbean. Let’s look at five of the best ports that cruis­ing built.

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