Grand Turk Cruise Center
The Turk and Caicos Islands about 600 miles southeast of Miami have a new reason for cruisers to visit, the brand new Grand Turk Cruise Center. The small island of Grand Turk is a mere 1.5 miles wide by 7miles long. The 14 acre cruise playground was built to keep cruisers interested in Grand Turk--as if the pristine beaches and shimming turquoise waters aren’t reason enough!
Carnival Cruise Lines, which built the Cruise Center, also owns Holland America, Princess, Regent 7-Seas, Silver Seas, Costa and several other cruise lines that do not sail to or from the US. The Grand Turk Cruise Center will host HAL’s New Amsterdam, Eurodam, Noordam and Westerdam; Carnival’s Liberty, Miracle, Destiny and Glory; Princess’ Ruby; Costa Atlantica and 7-Seas’ Navigator.
The center has a 390 foot pier, accommodating two ships, and offers dining, shopping, and sunbathing on the beach or by the pool; water sports rentals and FlowRider the surf machine. Cruisers can shop in the 10,000 sq. ft. duty free shop or visit the 35,000 sq ft marketplace that houses, jewelry shops, clothing stores, locally crafted souvenirs and restaurants. I am quite sure there must be a Diamonds International nearby; I believe it’s an unwritten law that each and every port must have at least one Diamonds International shop.
If you prefer to take it easy under a palm tree, the center offers two beach areas, with clam shell shade enclosures. If you prefer a private poolside cabana suitable for up to four people, you can reserve one on the ship. The cost is approximately $130 for the day and comes complete with bar and food service from Margaritaville. The pool is ringed with comfy lounge chairs and within ear shot of the upbeat music at Margaritaville. Active guest or those with beer muscles will want to try their skills on the FlowRider surf machine. This is a good place to hang out and ‘people’ watch. A word to the women…wear a one piece bathing suit on the FlowRider.
Enjoy the 70s party on the ship too much? Bust one too many moves on the dance floor? Try Spa Anani. The spa offers beachside massage services starting at $20 for a 15 minute massage and $50 for a sea mud facial.
If you would like to see more of the island before or after your Cruise Center visit just go to the front of the center and hire a taxi for a tour of the island. Note: Taxis are not metered so negotiate a price and tour prior to departure.
Hopefully the Cruise Center will enhance your visit to Grand Turk and not replace seeing the island and supporting local mom and pop businesses that are located away from the pier area. It’s important to give back to the islands you visit!
Start Planning Your Vacation Today!