The island in general is very arid! We took a short trip around the island, and in all honesty, there is not much to see, or history to experience. Other than the abandoned salt fields. There are a few tourist shops, and a gorgeous ocean all around the west coast of the island. The east coast is much windier and thus the beach experience is not the same. We traveled all the way to the north point of the island where you will see a lighthouse and a few activities such as zip lines. During the entire time we saw a limited amount of people on the streets. I cannot say that I recommend this trip, unless you plan on getting off the bus by the shopping district.
The port area is nicely developed with plenty of stores to choose from, as a matter of fact, we got a few items to bring back home. Everything is kept nice and clean, and most of the people working there have a nice attitude (with a few exceptions). There is also a NASA experience where you can learn about the capsule that landed near Grand Turk. You can take a few photos there as well as shop in their small store.
While we were there, there were two ships in port, the Carnival Victory and the Carnival Fantasy. The pool area felt overcrowded, and we could not find one lounger to relax on. Granted, we were the second ship to arrive in port. Margaritaville was heavily populated as well, and with very loud music. If you’re looking to relax, this is not the place to do it. While there is nothing wrong with the area, we just had different plans. I could not imagine this port with two large ships on the same day, hopefully that does not happen often.
During our visit the beach had a large amount of seaweed. While this is not always the case, as seaweed comes and goes, I am still reporting on it. The only way to move away from the seaweed is to start walking north pass the limits of the cruise ship compound. It is a short 10 minute walk. Just keep in mind that you will have to pay for loungers and shade if you leave the protected area. There are also a few signs warning you that you’re leaving the secure area.
Since we wanted a more private experience, we decided to walk all the way north to Jack’s Shack. Just for those who are not aware, this is a small restaurant/gift shop that is known to cruisers. We were attracted there by their dog Topher. A very friendly pup that just wanders around, and loves the beach. It is much nicer there, with a seaweed-free beach and much less people. The restaurant, while not cheap, offers a good deal of options to keep you happy during the entire day.
Unfortunately, I was unaware of the best places for snorkeling, and I really did not see much. But if I had walked a little bit more north, and snorkeled around the shipwreck it would have been a completely different story. Keep in mind that all the beaches of Grand Turk are public, so there are no restrictions when walking around.
Our experience in Grand Turk was a mixed one. The tour around the island was lackluster, I wish I had trusted my instincts and stayed behind. The port is most likely great, if your ship is the first one to arrive and you get a nice lounger on the quiet side of the pool. But if your ship is the last to arrive (like ours was), then sadly the story is not the same. I highly recommend walking north pass the compound limits and going to one the restaurants, possibly Jacks Shack and meet Topher. All-in-all next time I visit Grand Turk I will most likely take a snorkeling shore excursion, or spend my entire day at Jack’s with a few snorkeling trips to the shipwreck (that is if I grow some courage, I have been told there are sharks there).
For a full review on Grand Turk Click Here.