Cruise ship passengers will find that Martinique's main port in Fort de France, is filled with things to do while visiting the island as a part of their Caribbean tour. Vacationers will be thrilled with all of the activities that are available at the islands exciting and popular port of call.
The port of call in Fort de France is the Passenger Terminal, which is only a few minutes from the heart of the city. Recently, the port has added the Pointe Simon Cruise Dock, which can hold two large cruise ships at a time. Pointe Simon also allows passengers to come ashore in the middle of the Fort de France, where you will be welcomed and provided with any information you may need about the island. Customs officers are also at the port, and usually give cruise ship passengers clearance to the island within a half hour, because there are no formalities for travelers to go through or going ashore taxes to pay.
There are so many attractions and sites for cruise ship passengers to see while stopping on Martinique, it may be nearly impossible for some vacationers to see them all in their one day excursion on the island. While docked on the island, travelers will have the opportunity to experience Martinique's cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops selling French and Creole products. Historical sites and museums, like the Fort St. Louis and Saint Louis Cathedral, are also popular with vacationers visiting the island.
There are some shore excursions that cruise ships should not pass up while docking in Fort de France, which is the capital of Martinique. Travelers can take an independent tour guided by one of the island's taxi drivers or take a group tour to one of Fort de France's distilleries.
There are several major cruise lines that make Martinique a part of their Caribbean cruise tour. The most popular time to take a cruise is during the high season, which is during the winter months. Generally, more people set off for the Caribbean to escape colder northern weather. If traveling during this time of year, be aware that the cost of your cruise may be higher than if you were traveling during the low season, or summer time. Also, expect the ships to be more crowded, and you may have to make reservations at least a month in advance to ensure your spot aboard the ship.
Here are some cruise lines along with their contact information that frequently visit Martinique:
|Cruise Line||Contact Info|
|Holland America Line||877-SAIL HAL (877-724-5425)|
|MSC Italian Cruises||800-666-9333|
|Orient Lines||800- 333-7300|
|Princess Cruises||800-PRINCESS (800-774-6237)|
|Seabourn Cruise Line||800-929-9391|
There are three different classes of cruises that help vacationers decide which kind of cruise ship best fits their traveling expectations. For those passengers who want a little extra pampering there are the luxury and premium cruise classes. Contemporary and value cruises is the next class, and are the most popular type of cruise. The last classification of cruises are the specialty cruises which is a unique type of cruise vacation.
Luxury and premium cruises give their passengers all of the extras and pampering they could want while on their cruise vacation. Both classes have large wait staffs to cater to their passengers needs, but luxury cruises are little more expensive than the premium cruises. These classes of cruises tend to be set aboard smaller ships and generally have less passengers than the more popular contemporary cruises. Patrons of these expensive cruises feel that the royalty treatment aboard a luxury or premium cruise is worth the cost.
Contemporary/value cruises are more common than the luxury cruises, and they are set aboard larger ships which hold more passengers. The major cruise lines like Royal Caribbean and Carnival usually offer the contemporary cruises, which provide passengers with fun and entertainment while setting off to their tropical island destinations.
Specialty cruises are designed for passengers who want a little something different out of their cruise vacation. These specialty cruises have different destinations than their counterparts, which may include regional cruises, and other locations that generally aren't visited while on other classification of cruises. Also, the ship may have passengers that are interested in traveling with special groups like senior citizens, singles, or homosexuals.
When deciding on a cruise vacation, travelers not only need to consider the class of cruise they want to take, but the size of the cruise ship as well. Luxury cruises are usually on smaller ships, which can carry about 300 passengers, while more popular contemporary and value cruises are on larger ships. Ship size is important when considering your destination ports. Larger ships, which can hold up to 3,000 passengers don't usually fit into smaller ports.
Ships are classified by several criteria:
|Gross registered tonnage||Measurement of the ship's volume/vessel's size||1 gross registered ton =100 cubic feet|
|Passenger-to-crew ratio||Number of passengers served by each crew member||Smaller ratio= better service|
|Passenger capacity||Based on double occupancy (2 passengers in each cabin)||More rooms= more passengers|
|Space ratio||Comparison of ship space/tonnage to passenger capacity||High ratio=extra spacious|
When choosing a cabin, the first thing that most passengers consider is the size and location, and also the cost of the room. The two main choices in cabins are the "run of the ship" cabins and "perfect" cabins.
A "run of the ship" cabin gives travelers the choice of an outside or inside room, and that's pretty much it. Passengers won't know which cabin they will receive until the week of the ship's departure. Only then will vacationers know the specific location of their room. These are the cheapest cabins available while "perfect" cabins cost more but give the passenger more choice in picking out their room. These cabins are specifically requested and travelers will know exactly what they are getting more than week in advance.
The price of your cruise vacation will depend on several different things, like the cruise line you go with and the cruise classification and size of the ship. Also, the length of the cruise will factor into the cost. Usually the cost of the cruise will include the price of meals, activities, and entertainment, but generally doesn't include tips, the cost of alcoholic beverages, and any excursions. If you want to extras while on your cruise like television sets and bathtubs, which are not standard, be prepared to pay extra. Travelers may want to include some extra room when budgeting their vacation to cover any items that may have been forgotten or overlooked while planning.
When packing for your cruise vacation, travelers should only bring necessary items as cruise ships don't have large storage space. Bring clothing that is going to be comfortable and appropriate for all of the islands you are going to visit while on your cruise vacation.
Swimwear and breathable clothing to wear while on the beach are also items that may be important to bring. Also, cover ups to go over bathing suits and swim trunks while in shopping places and restaurants may also be necessary. Some ship's dining rooms may have etiquette, and jeans and other casual attire may not be appropriate. Check with the cruise line to find out more about their dining room dress code before your trip.
Because of its abundance of activities and sites Martinique has become a popular destination among cruise ship passengers. Vacationers are sure to enjoy their time on the Isle of Flowers.
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