I have enjoyed most of the cruise ports which I have visited but there are a couple which I would not return to. I would go as far as to say that if I was to cruise to these places again I would prefer to stay on the ship than get off! Please bare in mind that I usually just try and get off the ship and wander around by myself. I like to explore alone and do not have the money to pay for excursions. I’m sure you can do great excursions in the following places but personally I would stay on the ship if I was to return.
Nassau is on most Caribbean itineraries but, in my opinion, it should be bypassed completely. It is dirty, dangerous and unfriendly. The whole place seemed run down and there were a lot of people around who made me feel unsafe. I did not do an excursion while in port which may have been where I went wrong. I thought I could get off the ship and walk around, this turned out to be a mistake.
You could not walk anywhere without people trying to sell you things, they would quite aggressively get in front of you and not take no for an answer. At one point a couple of men shouting something at me from a passing car which I didn’t appreciate! I can’t really remember what it was but it certainly wasn’t a compliment. It was generally difficult to get around because of people constantly trying to get you to get in their taxi or get you to buy something from them.
I have heard of a lot of cruisers who have had bad experiences with excursions in Tangier. I didn’t take an excursion and again just tried to go for a walk. Tangier is on this list simply because I have no idea why it is a cruise port, there is nothing there. We walked along the main road and got back on the ship after becoming fed up of people trying to sell us things.
The whole place looked very neglected. I don’t think Tangier is developed enough to deal with the number of tourists getting off the larger cruise ships, it needs substantial investment. I feel that this post about the port sums it up well: Is Tangier a terrible introduction to cruising?
Before you even set sail to Honduras you’re told how dangerous it is. I was recently watching ‘the worlds most dangerous prison’ which was in Honduras. Honduras actually has the highest murder rate in the world and an NCL crew member was shot and killed when visiting, reading these things before my cruise did not fill me with confidence.
Despite this I did not feel unsafe during my trip to Honduras (much safer than Nassau!) but it did feel very manufactured. The port was nice enough. There are lots of shops but I was left wondering about what lies outside the port. It was almost impossible to get out of the port as a solo traveler, if you were not on an excursion you were more or less confined to the port. I got off the ship, bought a new hat, took a couple of photos and spent the rest of my day onboard taking advantage of the quiet ship. At least I can say I have visited Honduras, technically.
Since my trip I have been made aware of a number of really cool things that I could have done in Honduras, all of which require a ton of cash though!
It is very pretty though…
La Rochelle, France.
I don’t have a lot to say about this one but I do believe that it needs a mention as I definitely wouldn’t get off again if I was on another cruise to La Rochelle. It was full of beggars and very little else. At least Honduras/Nassau were pretty places. La Rochelle really had no redeeming features for me.
I know a number of people who have been to La Rochelle before the influx of cruise ships. They all report having a lovely holiday so I’m unsure if the cruise ship industry has been good for La Rochelle.
Again, I really don’t know why this port is on so many itineraries. Maybe it is because cruise lines are able to make a lot of money from this port due to the complete lack or anything to do if you don’t book an excursion. The only thing there is a shopping centre where people will try and shout at you to get you to go into their shops. They kept saying ‘which one do you like? which one do you like?’ walking around was a struggle.
It was nice to get off and stretch my legs but think the day was better spent on the ship. I would not get off if I was to visit again. Below is a photo of me in Cozumel in front of the Norwegian Getaway.
Have you been to any cruise ports which you didn’t like? Please let me know in the comments. Also let me know if you agree/disagree with any of the ports mentioned. I may have had better experiences if I had been on excursions, but I like my usual approach of just wandering. Feel free to prove me wrong about these places! I would love to hear how you disagree and had a fabulous time in one of the above ports. Let me know what you did so that if I do ever return, I won’t make the same mistakes again.