Best Cruise Ports For 2018
We can’t visit every cruise port every single year, but our community of seasoned cruisers sure can. Here are the top-scoring ports based on thousands of reviews submitted in 2017:
Best Caribbean Port: Philipsburg, St. Maarten (4.15 / 5)
The island with dual personalities (half Dutch, half French) continues its dominance with its third win in as many years. Curacao just barely missed out on an upset, and Cozumel managed a surprising third-place finish, despite being a fairly routine port on Western Caribbean itineraries.
Best Alaska Port: Skagway (4.30 / 5)
The former gold-rush town of Skagway wins gold again in 2018, thanks to the immensely popular White Pass narrow-gauge railway and the Tongass National Forest. Juneau and Ketchikan rounded up the top 3, and Glacier Bay, an undisputed winner from several years ago, fell to fourth.
Best European Port: Barcelona, Spain (4.42 / 5)
Two things jump off the board here: 1) All top-five ports (and even a few we didn't list) blew away even the highest rated Caribbean ports, and 2) this was the closest category in our entire awards this year. The dominance of European ports is something we’ll be keeping our eye on in years to come.
Best Private Island: Castaway Cay (4.34 / 5)
Disney carried over its dominance from the ship and line awards into the port categories as its private island of Castaway Cay nabbed the first spot by a large margin. With separate beaches for adults and families, along with fun-for-all-ages activities like bike-riding, volleyball and snorkeling, Castaway is a paradise for both adults and children.
Smoothest Embarkation Port:Port Canaveral, Florida (4.22 / 5)
Most people aren’t going to choose a cruise based solely on the embarkation port, but consistently smooth boarding and debarkation experiences are worth noting. If you’re looking for quick and easy, Port Canaveral and Fort Lauderdale are your best bets.