MSC Cruises' MSC Divina Caribbean Cruise


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Cruise Details

Cruise Line: MSC Cruises

Cruise Type: Ocean

Length of Stay: 10 Days

Departure From: Miami

Departure date: 01/10/2019

Return date: 01/20/2019

Itirenary

Day 1 : Miami, Florida

MSC Cruises shore excursions can be a clever option to see Miami. It’s a city of wildly diverse districts, jigsawed into a vast urban corridor from two technically separate cities: mainland Miami and the huge sand bar known as Miami Beach.

If you’re sticking to the most popular areas in Miami Beach and downtown, though, you can zip around easily by bus and on foot. During an MSC cruise in the Caribbean most people spend their time in South Beach, a fairly small area at the southern end of the sand bar, where you’ll find many of Florida’s leading art galleries, trendsetting restaurants, and much of its boisterous club scene.

Heading north, Central Miami Beach was where 1950s screen stars had fun in the sun and helped cement Miami’s international reputation as a glamorous holiday spot. Surprisingly few tourists venture beyond Miami Beach, and so miss out on some of the most enticing parts of the city.

Tucked away in the Miami-Dade Cultural Center are the city’s excellent history and art museums, while Bayside Marketplace is the staging post for boat tours of Miami’s most exclusive offshore keys. To the north sits the city’s buzziest neighbourhood, the strip of land along and around Biscayne Boulevard, known as the Biscayne Corridor; it includes the dazzling Performing Arts Center, the art galleries and showrooms of Wynwood and the Design District, and even the grubby but thrilling immigrant neighbourhood known as Little Haiti.

The first of Miami’s Cubans settled southwest of downtown, just across the Miami River, in Little Havana. This is still one of the most intriguing parts of the city, rich with Latin American looks and sounds, though it’s less solidly Cuban than it used to be.

Day 2-3 : At Sea

At Sea

Day 4 : St. Johns, Antigua

The island of Antigua, a colony of the British crown for over 300 years, has retained the taste for tropical life introduced by her majesty’s subjects.
Arriving to Antigua on an MSC cruise ship and disembarking in the English harbor, along the southern coast of the island, instead of the capital of Saint John, means gaining access to the historical center of the island.

Here, you will find Nelson’s Dockyard, an old restored dockyard and Royal Navy district. Between April and the beginning of May, it is the site of some of the most important sailing regattas in the world, such as the Antigua Sailing Week. Regular patrons of the Terrace, a refined restaurant in the Inn at English Harbor, prefer the excellent lobster and red snapper. The entire island serves as an example of what it means to spend your vacation in the Antilles.

Its coast is a parade of beaches: 365, like the days in a year (as the island’s inhabitants say); beaches that are famous, secret, or even set in volcanic craters. Some are more appealing to those who love being around people, such as Dickenson Bay and Runaway Beach. Those who love more isolated destinations, on the other hand, should head for the Five Island peninsula, where they will be able to enjoy the beaches of Deep Bay and the long and immaculate Lignumvitae Bay.

Scuba divers prefer Cades Bay, on the southwestern coast, but go as far as the Cades Reef, a 4 kilometre-long barrier reef. Enormous starfish appear just beyond the foreshore, on the private island of Long Island situated in front of the western coast of the island and hosting the luxurious Jumby Bay Hotel. On the same island, in Pasture Bay, sea turtles come every year to lay eggs in the months of April and May. To enjoy the sunset (or the island’s most famous parties), the destination of choice is Shirley Heights, from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the English Harbor. It has been a party spot where Caribbean cruise goers and locals cheerfully mix for over 30 years.

Day 5 : Basseterre

In spite of its small size, holiday goers disembarking from an MSC cruise ship will not find Basseterre short of things to see.

The city’s two cathedrals, St. George’s Anglican Church and the Catholic Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in East Square Street, are at the top of the list.

On South Square Street, one can visit the Georgian House, one of the better-preserved examples of local 18th century architecture.

Other intriguing destinations to visit during your holiday in St. Kitts are all outside the city. On the way to Old Road, you will come across Romney Manor, the home of the Caribbean Batik, where you can witness the birth of these hand-painted fabrics.

No cruise to the Caribbean with MSC could be complete without a visit to the old sugar plantation of Wingfield Estate, where you will be able to admire ruins and study the complex aqueduct constructed to bring water from the Wingfield River to the plantation, a one of a kind construction on St. Kitts. The 18th century Great House and its Botanical Garden are soothing to all of the senses. Admire the perfectly restored structures, the separate kitchen building made with lava rocks, the dining room that seats 16 and overlooks the ocean, and the bathing room with volcanic rocks for heating.

The even smaller Charlestown, is the capital of Basseterre’s sister island Nevis. Here, the churches of St. Paul and St. Thomas are a must-see. Both date back to the 17th century, as does the old Jewish cemetery in the city centre. Once here, don’t miss out on a visit to the Nelson Museum, from which you can continue to Saint John’s Fig Tree Church. Surrounded by gravestones, it holds the certificate of the marriage of Admiral Horacio Nelson to the Navisian Fanny Nisbet. The excursion concludes at the Great House of the Montpellier Plantation, where the two fell in love.

Day 6 : Road Town/Tortola

A holiday in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea is perfect for lovers of pirate movies. A visit to the island of Jost Van Dyke will give homage to this Dutch settler and pirate, who lived on the island in the 17th century.

As soon as you disembark from your MSC cruise ship in the port of Road Town, you will feel as if you are part of an adventure film. The capital of the British Virgin Islands, Road Town is situated in the largest bay of Tortola, the largest of the islands. To get a good look at all of the British Virgin Islands, you should have lunch at Skyworld, a panoramic restaurant on the highest point of the island, about 400 metres above sea level.

One of Tortola’s most charming beaches, Sugar Cane Bay is so called for the large sugar cane plantation located behind it. Bathing in these waters and laying on the crystalline sand while sea birds dive into the sea from great heights in search of sustenance is an incredible experience in itself. It can, however, be made even more interesting by a visit to the Callwood Rum Distillery, which houses the original structure of a sugar cane distillery, and a rum tasting.

The original heater at the distillery is still functional and the rum being produced is stored in old barrels. The Old Guard House, which is still intact, has been transformed into an art gallery and a souvenir shop. Every bay of these islands has something special: every year, the largest luxury yachts can be seen navigating the waters and docked in the bays of these islands, especially the charming Virgin Gorda Island, which is worth a visit. Here, the mangroves reach the sea and the shrewdest visitors bathe in The Bath, a bay where enormous volcanic masses stud the beach forming sinuous tunnels that must be followed in order to reach the sea.

Day 7 : Pointe-à-Pitre

One of the memories that many visitors to Guadeloupe in Pointe-à-Pitre retain is the flavours and sounds of its many small markets. For example, the Central Market, also called the Saint Antoine Market, located on a square of the same name in full city centre; the Flower Market on Gourbeyre Square, in front of the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul; and the Keruland Port Market on the Caribbean Sea, right in front of your MSC cruise ship.
A visit to the Guadeloupe National Park, designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, will also leave a mark. Located in the south of Basse-Terre, the park holds one of the most beautiful woods in the Antilles, which can be reached by following the Route de l’Habituée, which cuts the park in two.

Next, tackle an excursion to the Soufrière Volcano and to the three waterfalls of Carbet nearby. The second waterfall is the most accessible. One hundred and ten meters in height, it can be admired from a suspended bridge. If you are interested in Basse-Terre archaeological sites, visit the Roches Gravées (Engraved Rocks) located in Trois-Rivières, in the southern part of the island; or those in Plessisin the north. Or grant yourself an excursion to the Désirade geological reserve. French relics can be admired at Fort Delgres, built in 1650 to defend Guadeloupe from the British.

Passengers of an MSC cruise will also be able to admire the Domaine de Valombreuse Botanical Garden. Inserted between the mountains and the sea, it is a riot of tropical plants and flowers, which only a few other gardens in the world can equal. To get a full taste of the spirit of the island, make sure to visit the Musée du Rhum in Sainte-Rose during your stay. Housed in the Reimonenq Distillery, it reveals the techniques and secrets of the making of rum. You can view a series of historical tools used for cutting, working and transforming sugar cane into rum, as well as old incisions, objects and documents.

Day 8 : Philipsburg, St. Maarten

During your cruise in the Caribbean Sea, after disembarking from your cruise ship in the Dutch port of Philipsburg and visiting the Court House, the heart of the city (a white and blue building dating to 1793 that now serves as the Post Office), don’t miss out on an excursion to the French side of the island.

Marigot, the capital of Saint Martin located on the island’s western coast, is protected by the great lagoon of Simpson Bay. It has retained the atmosphere of late 17th century, when it was founded. It is worth your while to visit its historical centre, which is crowded with wooden houses dotted with delightful shops.

Next, treat yourself to an excursion to Fort St. Louis, built on a hill on the orders of Louis XVI. From here, you can enjoy a stupendous view of Marigot Bay and its beautiful yacht club with the majestic docked luxury yachts.

However, a better view can be enjoyed with a trip to Pic du Paradis, where you will be able to see as far as Anguilla, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Barth. Since here the sea is the sovereign, don’t miss out on St. Maarten’s beaches, starting with Great Bay Beach, a crescent of sand one kilometre and a half long located in front of Philipsburg. Going beyond the heritage that is Fort Amsterdam (a Dutch fortress constructed in 1620 housing a beautiful exhibit of historical finds) will take you to the intimate Little Bay Beach. From here, you can reach the base of Cay Bay, flanked by a beautiful sea bottom that’s great for snorkelling.

From the capital, surfers and golfers head west. The latter, into the waters of Mullet Bay; and the former onto the golf course behind it. A short distance further, you will find Cupecoy, excavated from the base of a cliff to form small beaches. Even further, on the western tip of the island, you will enter Terre Basse, the French territory. St. Marteen’s largest beach, Baie Longue, is located just a short distance away

Day 9-10 : At Sea

At Sea

Day 11 : Miami, Florida

MSC Cruises shore excursions can be a clever option to see Miami. It’s a city of wildly diverse districts, jigsawed into a vast urban corridor from two technically separate cities: mainland Miami and the huge sand bar known as Miami Beach.

If you’re sticking to the most popular areas in Miami Beach and downtown, though, you can zip around easily by bus and on foot. During an MSC cruise in the Caribbean most people spend their time in South Beach, a fairly small area at the southern end of the sand bar, where you’ll find many of Florida’s leading art galleries, trendsetting restaurants, and much of its boisterous club scene.

Heading north, Central Miami Beach was where 1950s screen stars had fun in the sun and helped cement Miami’s international reputation as a glamorous holiday spot. Surprisingly few tourists venture beyond Miami Beach, and so miss out on some of the most enticing parts of the city.

Tucked away in the Miami-Dade Cultural Center are the city’s excellent history and art museums, while Bayside Marketplace is the staging post for boat tours of Miami’s most exclusive offshore keys. To the north sits the city’s buzziest neighbourhood, the strip of land along and around Biscayne Boulevard, known as the Biscayne Corridor; it includes the dazzling Performing Arts Center, the art galleries and showrooms of Wynwood and the Design District, and even the grubby but thrilling immigrant neighbourhood known as Little Haiti.

The first of Miami’s Cubans settled southwest of downtown, just across the Miami River, in Little Havana. This is still one of the most intriguing parts of the city, rich with Latin American looks and sounds, though it’s less solidly Cuban than it used to be.

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