Advice

How to Spend a Beach Day on Your Caribbean Cruise

Calling in Montego Bay? Consider spending the day at Hilton Rose Hall. - Photo by Hilton Hotels and Resorts

Caribbean ports are known for gorgeous beaches — but some cruisers sign up for so many excursions to historical sites and boat trips, that they forget the beach is what inspired them to travel in the first place. If you’re dreaming of sunbathing by turquoise waters, consider purchasing a day pass to a resort. Rather than rub shoulders with crowds on public beaches, you can take a dip in a private pool, sip on a cocktail, and order lunch on the sand.

Just don’t expect to show up and crash: Call in advance for information about policies, pricing, and reservations — or snag a deal through ResortForaDay.com, which partners with hotels to offer passes to cruisers.

“[Day passes are a] rare and fabulous opportunity to enjoy resort amenities as an overnight guest would, without paying the full overnight rate,” explains Stuart Cohen, founder of ResortForADay.com.

Although not every resort offers day passes, we found six great options in popular ports:

1

Nassau, Bahamas

Atlantis on Paradise Island is massive, with several hotels and a dazzling combination of water sports, dining, and activities. The property sits on a lovely stretch of sand where you can lie in the sun, order cocktails, and splash in the surf — just as you imagined yourself doing when you booked your Caribbean cruise.

Cost: $69 per adult, $40 per child ages 4-11 (children under 4 are complimentary)

What’s Included: Access to the beach (with waiter service), towels, lounge chairs, lunch (which includes one soft drink per person), and access to the aquarium and the marine habitats. Those who want to use the water park should ask about packages that include these facilities.

How to Get There: Take a 10-minute cab ride from the cruise terminal to Paradise Island, which costs about $10 per person round trip.

How to Book: Passes can only be purchased at the resort upon arrival, and since it’s first come first served, there is no guarantee of getting in. Sailing on a large ship? See if your cruise line offers a shore excursion that includes beach access.

2

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Jamaica Inn is a boutique, family-owned hotel that’s known for its gorgeous, secluded beach and impeccable service. The property once hosted Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller on their honeymoon. Go today, and you can read under thatch-roofed palapas and sip cocktails made from freshly squeezed fruit juice.

Cost: $182 for two people (adults or children). The resort only allows children over 10 May through November, and children over 12 December through April.

What’s Included: Access to the beach, lounge chairs, towels, and all non-motorized water sports.

How to Get There: Take a six-minute cab ride from the cruise terminal to the resort, which costs about $8 per person round trip.

How to Book: Call in advance to reserve.

3

Castries, St. Lucia

Discovery at Marigot Bay is a small, modern hotel set on 30 acres of lush, tropical gardens. There, you can relax by one of the three pools, one of which has a swim-up bar. The resort itself is on the bay, but you can take a free water taxi to a nearby beach.

Cost: $85 per adult, $50 per child ages 4-15

What’s Included: Lunch (with one nonalcoholic beverage), access to three pools (with waiter service), the fitness center, towels, and lounge chairs.

How to Get There: Take a 30-minute cab ride from the cruise terminal to the resort, which costs about $20 per person round trip.

How to Book: Call in advance to reserve.

4

King’s Wharf, Bermuda

Only seven minutes from Bermuda’s capital, the tony Mandarin Oriental Elbow Beach overlooks a private, half-mile-long, pink-sand beach lined with rows of crisp, navy blue umbrellas.

Cost: $35 per person (children and adults)

What’s Included: Access to the beach, lounge chairs, a beach umbrella, and a water bottle. The beach offers waiter service, but all other drinks and food are a la carte.

How to Get There: Take a 30-minute cab ride from the cruise terminal to the resort, which costs about $20 per person round trip.

How to Book: Call in advance to reserve.

5

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Housed in an 18th-century sugar plantation, Hilton Rose Hall is home to one of the Caribbean’s largest water parks. It also sits on a private beach, where you can snorkel, kayak, and windsurf. 

Cost: $80 per adult, $60 per child ages 6-17

What’s Included: Access to the beach, pool, and water park, towels, lounge chairs, all non-motorized water sports, and activities such as dance classes and volleyball.

How to Get There: Take a 10-minute cab ride from the cruise terminal to the resort, which costs about $12 per person round trip.

How to Book: Call in advance to reserve.


Join the discussion

What’s your favorite beach in the Caribbean?


Notify me when others comment