You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
Excursions & Tours
Exclusive Supreme Snorkeling
Conch Dive, Gibbs Cay & Stingray Adventure
Exclusive Whale Watching
Private Gibbs Cay and Snorkel Charter
Grand Turk excursions are an immersion into the serene beauty and historical charm of the Turks and Caicos Islands, with activities like snorkeling in pristine coral reefs and visiting historic landmarks. Grand Turk excursions also cater to those seeking relaxation and adventure, offering pristine beaches for lounging and watersports for thrill-seekers.
Grand Turk Island is the largest of the Turk islands, which are part of the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. Enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving among stingrays, boat rides on the Caribbean Sea, and a unique culture with our Grand Turk excursions. Grand Turk has become a popular cruise line destination for travelers visiting from all around the world.
Home to white-sand beaches and exquisite marine life - Grand Turk offers something for every activity level. Head out onto the clear blue water in a private boat tour or catamaran rental for some island sightseeing and snorkeling when you book our Private Champagne Snorkel excursion. Escape the crowded shore tours and take a day off and relax with food and refreshments with our Day at a Beach Resort excursion. Did you know the Turks and Caicos Islands are home to one of the world's largest barrier reefs? Visit Columbus Landfall National Park to watch the whales beyond the reef. Other Grand Turk cruise excursions let you snorkel the beautiful coral reefs in turquoise waters or see the quaint buildings and culture of this archipelago island, an unforgettable and truly stress-relieving experience.
As the country's capital since 1766, Grand Turk (formerly known as "Grand Cay") is also home to Cockburn Town, Grand Turk Lighthouse, the Grand Turk Wall coral reef, and countless other beaches, water sports, and outdoor activities. For decades, crowds have traveled to the small island for escape, adventure, and R&R. Experience timeless memories and natural wonders like no other.
Excursions, Tours, & Things To Do:
There are lots of things to do in Grand Turk:
- Sightseeing day trips
- Nature reserve eco-tours
- Horseback riding
- Private charters with or without tour guides
- Whale watching
- Swimming with dolphins
- Sunset cruises
- View marine life (sharks, rays, sea turtles, conch, starfish, and more)
Favorite Grand Turk Beach Getaways:
Note the following are sample tours and may not work with your itinerary. Find excursions for your cruise itinerary here .
- Day at a Small Beach Resort ($106.00)
- Grand Turk Beach Break and High Tea ($55.00)
- Snorkel and Beach Escape ($132.00)
- Beach, Burger and Beer ($69.00)
Best Snorkeling in Grand Turk:
- Exclusive Supreme Snorkeling ($144.00)
- Private Gibbs Cay and Snorkel Charter (starting at $97.00/person)
- Snorkel and Rum Tasting ($72.00)
Top Attractions & Recommended Activities in Grand Turk:
- Exclusive Whale Watching ($193.00)
- Private Half Day Fishing Charter ($1,000.00)
Why wait any longer to book the vacation of a lifetime? Check out our Turks and Caicos excursions on Grand Turk Island excursions!
Cruising the World One Port at a Time
Best Things to Do in Grand Turk: Complete Guide
By: Sherry Laskin · Updated On: October 17, 2023
If you’re wondering what to do in Grand Turk, we have the answers! Nearly one million cruise passengers arrive at the Grand Turk Cruise Center every year, and it’s no wonder why.
Grand Turk Cruise Port is mainly visited by Carnival Cruise Line ships, so you’ll find Princess, Holland America but even Celebrity ships are there, too. A day at Grand Turk can be part of Eastern Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries.
Best Things to Do In Grand Turk
In This Post...
Grand Turk is one of those laid-back islands where wild donkeys and horses roam along the beach and in town.
Tropical beaches, a rich history, and all sorts of activities for cruisers are only a few reasons why cruisers Grand Turk.
Since your cruise ship is stopping in Grand Turk for only a day, you better make the most of it!
Continue reading to discover the ten best things to do in Grand Turk and what makes this place so unique.
A Little History of Grand Turk
Grand Turk, an island in the Turks and Caicos, is a British Overseas Territory located in the Atlantic, not the Caribbean, between the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.
Grand Turk is only one of many islands in the Turks and Caicos archipelago. It’s been the capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands since 1766.
Grand Turk cruise port is the only one in the Turks and Caicos. The island is home to Cockburn Town, the capital city and government center of Turks and Caicos.
Grand Turk is a very small island with less than 5,000 residents. It’s common to see slow-moving donkeys and wild horses roam just about everywhere.
RELATED: Do You Need a Passport for a Caribbean Cruise?
Grand Turk Guide and Info
- Where is Grand Turk? Grand Turk is only 7 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. Located at the southern end of the Turks and Caicos Islands between the Bahamas and Hispaniola Island (the Dominican Republic and Haiti), about 575 miles southeast of Miami.
- What is Grand Turk famous for? The world’s best coral cliff wall dive. Possibly the first landfall for Christopher Columbus on his journey to find the New World. Plus, John Glenn held his first press conference in Grand Turk a couple of days after his space capsule splashed down offshore.
- Currency: The US dollar is the official currency of the Turks & Caicos.
- Language: English is the official language, but you’ll also hear Creole and Spanish.
- Time Zone: Grand Turk is on Eastern Standard Time, the same as Miami or New York. Daylight Savings kicks in from March to November.
- What’s the weather? Sunny and warm almost year-round. Except for the end of the hurricane season, September and October, there’s not much rain. Summer temps can quickly get into the 90s, while winter months are a balmy 80 degrees on average.
- Best time to cruise to Grand Turk: Almost any season is beautiful in Grand Turk. If you’re an avid diver, it is best to avoid the late summer/fall hurricane season.
- What travel documents do I need? A current US passport is the recommended document, but it is not required if your cruise begins and ends in the United States. If you are traveling without a US passport, you will need to present two official government-issued IDs.
- Please check with the US Department of State for the proper travel requirements. Non-US citizens should check with their embassy for appropriate documents.
- How do I get from the Grand Turk cruise port to town? Cockburn Town is located three miles from the port. You can walk there, but you won’t find any sidewalks along the way, and the weather can get scorching. The best suggestion is to take a shore excursion or hire a taxi.
- Best way to get around: There is a car rental office at the Cruise Center, but driving is on the left as a British territory. Bike tours, as well as motor coach tours, are offered.
- What’s suitable for kids? The Cruise Center has family-friendly kid activities, from playing on the beach to the only land-based Flow Rider ($). There aren’t any zip-lines or bungee jumps (yet!), but there is a swim with the stingrays’ tour and kayaking and for older kids.
- Outer Space History: Brush up on your NASA and space exploration history before you walk over to the John Glenn Exhibit, “Splashdown Grand Turk,” near the Cruise Center. Just offshore is the place where John Glenn, the first American to orbit the world, and his space capsule, Friendship 7 splashed down in 1962.
Money, Money, Money
- At the Cruise Center: Visitors can use traveler’s checks and major credit cards at the Grand Turk Cruise Center.
- Cash for shopping : is king when it comes to handicraft markets, so if you’re looking for locally made souvenirs in and around Cockburn Town, bring some green.
- ATM machines: There is an ATM near the Cruise Center.
- Credit cards: Most restaurants and stores will take credit cards and Traveler’s Checks if you’re heading into town.
- Tipping: It’s polite to tip 15% at restaurants. Some restaurants add an automatic 10% service fee to the bill, so know what you’re paying. Tipping your taxi driver for good service is standard procedure.
Where Do Cruise Ships Dock In Grand Turk?
There is only one place to dock on all of Grand Turk. Your cruise ship will dock at the popular Grand Turk cruise port complex, easily visible as you approach the island.
The dock is located at the southern end of Grand Turk, just to help you get your bearings.
This port is technically a pier, located south of Cockburn Town and next to a stunning beach spanning nearly 780,000 square feet. You’ll see locales and tourists sunbathing, swimming, and relaxing as you walk off the ship.
Carnival Corporation’s Grand Turk Cruise Center consists of 18 acres of shopping, beaches and endless recreational activities located right where your ship docks.
With only a few hours to spend in Grand Turk, you could easily spend a relaxing day at the enormous Grand Turk Cruise Center.
Or you can choose from a variety of shore excursions, many of which will take you on a full tour of Grand Turk.
What to Do in Grand Turk
Relax at the grand turk cruise center .
The Cruise Center Complex is just one of the best things you can do in Grand Turk. This complex is a large open-air area with tons of excursion booths, gift shops, and restaurants.
One of the largest Margaritaville restaurants in the Caribbean is right next door, featuring a swim-up bar and free loungers for your use.
One of the main attractions at the Cruise Center Complex is an immense lagoon-like swimming pool. This pool also features a FlowRider, where people can test their surfing skills on artificial waves.
The center also has a John Glenn Splashdown memorial to commemorate his mission and landing site. A picturesque humpback whale is also nearby to celebrate the year-round sea life found at Grand Turk.
Don’t forget to hit up all of the boutique stores to shop for souvenirs and gifts for you and your loved ones. There’s a rental car service is at the center complex, but be sure to make reservations before your visit.
If you didn’t reserve your shore excursions ahead of time, there are tons of vendor booths within the complex for you to choose your tour. Planning excursions can be overwhelming, so try to research before visiting.
RELATED: Best Things to Do in Tortola in One Day
Visit the Grand Turk Lighthouse
If you’re going to Grand Turk for a day, you have to visit the lighthouse. This lighthouse, completed in 1852, is the only lighthouse in all Turks and Caicos Islands. Although this is no longer an active lighthouse, for only $3 per person, it’s a perfect spot for tourists and locales to spend the day and catch some sights.
The grounds around the white, french-style lighthouse are stunning. You can admire the old light-keepers house and a scenic coastal path that leads along the top of the marine limestone cliffs of the coastline. You may even see some donkeys on the grounds!
Although you cannot bike or walk to the lighthouse, you can use a rental car, taxi, or ATV. Be sure to check any island tours you’ve reserved, as the lighthouse may be part of the excursion.
Stop By the Turks and Caicos National Museum
The Turks and Caicos National Museum offers tours year-round, a perfect spot for the history buff. Located in the capital, Cockburn Town, the museum opened in 1991.
Enjoy an array of exhibits, including the Molasses Reef Wreck, the oldest European shipwreck excavated in the western hemisphere. You’ll also see an exhibit dedicated to the first inhabitants of Grand Turk, the Tainos. You’ll see how they lived and what they contributed to the island to make it what it is today.
See the Salt Salinas
Grand Turk was only one of three islands in the Turks and Caicos that produced salt. Turks and Caicos had one of the world’s first and largest salt industries.
Ultimately, production declined on the island; however, you can still see what used to be magnificent salt flats. Take a ride into Cockburn Town and view the dividing lines and salt ruins from the shore. You can also take an ATV trip to a more underdeveloped area called Hawkes Nest Salina. There you’ll see tons of natural white crystal sea salt.
Spend a Day at the Beach
When you get to Grand Turk, the first beach you’ll see is Cruise Center Beach, right at the pier. However, there are many other beaches where you can spend the day!
On the west side of the island between the cruise port and Cockburn Town is Governor’s Beach. Most guests agree that this beach is the best beach on Grand Turk because of its beautiful landscape and shallow waters, perfect for swimming.
Cockburn Town Beach
This beach is home to many surrounding restaurants, hotels, and shopping. Cockburn beach spans far and sections into smaller beaches due to seawalls. Mainly, the waters are calm, but when the tide is high, you may catch some waves.
Pillory Beach is one of the quieter beaches located north of Cockburn Town. Away from the crowds at the other beaches, this is a place to come if you’re seeking solitude or somewhere quiet to read a book. If Christopher Columbus did first land at Grand Turk, this would have been the beach where he arrived.
Splash in the Water!
If you find yourself in Grand Turk for the day, take advantage of all of the water excursions available! If you’re a diver, you’ll want to go diving in Grand Turk. Plenty of charters are available.
You can rent kayaks, stand-up paddles, and boats for a day out on the water. Looking for an adrenaline rush? You can rent jet skis and go kiteboarding.
Don’t forget about trying a whale watching tour as well. Note: whales are only in these waters from January through late March – early April. Thank you to Salt Cay Divers for the whale watching information.
Try a Land Tour
Besides seeing the island from the water, there are plenty of tours to see the island from land. Explore the capital on a segway tour with guided audio. There are also open-air trucks available to cruise around and learn about the town.
You can also rent ATVs to explore the more underdeveloped eastern side of the island, where many roads are unpaved, including Hawkes Nest Salina. Horseback riding is also a lot of fun to do along the shore of the beautiful beaches.
Head Over to Gibbs Cay
Gibbs Cay is a small island about a mile off of Grand Turk. This island is a short trip away and accessible by jet ski or boat.
Gibbs Cay may have the best snorkeling in all of Grand Turk, unlike some shore beaches. Here you might see plenty of colorful reef fish, sea fans, corals, turtles, stingrays, and maybe even a small shark!
With snorkel and flippers, you can make your way out about 300’ to the edge of a coral reef or just wade into the water and watch for the throng of graceful stingrays as they come in for a scheduled feeding.
If a slow horseback ride along a white sandy beach is on your to-do list, Grand Turk might just be the perfect place to try it. Available as a ship’s shore excursion, it’s necessary to sign up at the beginning of your cruise to avoid a sold-out disappointment.
After a short van ride to the stable, guests are given a safety briefing before mounting their steed. First is a short ride through some scrub brush and pathways.
Then you’ll reach another stable where you’ll don a life preserver and your horse will be refitted with a water-suitable saddle. Then off you and your group will go, into the ocean.
A few minutes in one direction and the leader gives the signal for the horses to head for home. Almost in unison, the horses turn in the ocean and set their sights on a quick return trip to their home.
Hold on, because the herd really wants to get moving. It’s a wonderful experience, both in the water and on land.
Where to Dine in Grand Turk
Grand Turk has some of the best and freshest seafood you could imagine with plenty of restaurants.
Jack’s Shack is one of the most popular restaurants on the island because of its proximity to the cruise center port and its authentic Jamaican dishes.
While in Grand Turk, you need to taste all the local flavors it has to offer. The most common seafood on the island is Conch. Considered a delicacy, Conch is served both raw and cooked.
One of the most popular Conch dishes for tourists is Conch fritters. Breaded, spiced, and fried, this dish is usually paired with an equally delicious dipping sauce.
Lionfish and Snapper are also popular seafood choices on the island along with Mahi Mahi and Lobster.
The local spices of Grand Turk have a kick, so don’t be surprised if you get some heat with your dinner! Plantain chips and jerk chicken are popular selections accompanied with peas and rice.
Here are a few places to grab lunch, a cold brew and maybe stay for the entire afternoon!
Jack’s Shack has become the afternoon escape from the hub-bub and tackiness of Margaritaville at the Cruise Center. Located just a short walk from the cruise dock, Jack’s Shack is only 540 yards north of the Cruise Center.
Chef Leroy cooks up a mean jerk chicken on the grill, plus local conch dishes and fried fish. You can even print out a coupon from their website to get a free shot of locally-produced rum.
If a quieter luncheon is more your taste, hop into a taxi to the Osprey Beach Hotel and the Bird Cage Restaurant. There you’ll find poolside dining with a bird’s-eye view of the ocean. Free wifi, too.
Of course there’s good ol’ Margaritaville back at the Cruise Center. Great for those less adventurous or prefer to stay close to the cruise port.
It’s basically the same menu at all of Jimmy Buffet’s restaurants, but if you plan to go back and forth to the ship all day, it’s convenient.
If you plan to use WiFi at Margaritaville, you should know that it’s very slow. However, I found that fastest connection is near the router on the second level. Just bring your lunch upstairs.
Where to Shop in Grand Turk
The Grand Turk Cruise Center is a great stop when you arrive or right before you leave because it is right at your ship’s dock. Expect to see a big crowd since it’s one of the most popular areas on the island for shopping. Before you leave Grand Turk, you have to walk away with a gift or souvenir.
The Grand Turk Cruise Center will have jewelry, t-shirts, alcohol, and more. You’ll also be able to stop at the only Starbucks in all of Turks and Caicos for a one-of-a-kind Starbucks Grand Turk souvenir mug.
You can also find a lot of gifts on Front Street in Cockburn Town. There are a few permanent shops, but when tourism is at its high point, you’ll see many vendors pop up a tent to sell their handmade items.
If you’d like something very authentic to Grand Turk, try heading to the National Museum Gift Shop. Here you’ll find books, postcards, and gifts related to the island. The Grand Turk retail outlet also hosts many items from local artisans, including handmade baskets, sailboats, and more.
Shells are also a popular souvenir from the island. However, there are specific rules that tourists need to follow. For example, non-locales are only allowed to leave with no more than three conch shells. Be sure to follow the rules and protocols to help protect the natural ecosystem and island of Grand Turk.
Wrapping Up Your Visit to Grand Turk
With beautiful weather nearly year-round (the exception of course being the unpredictable height of hurricane season-August and September), cruise passengers have come to love their brief visit to this modest, little island.
Grand Turk is an incredible island with tons of activities and places to explore. You’ll taste the local flavors, relax on some of the best beaches, see extraordinary sea life, learn the fascinating history and culture of the island, and much more.
Whether you choose to hang out, eat and shop at the cruise center, venture into town or purchase a shore excursion, a port call in Grand Turk is sure to be a fun and memorable experience.
Get Cruise Maven’s Newsletter
Get Our Latest Posts With Cruise and Travel Tips, News and Reviews!
About Sherry Laskin
I'm the editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com, a solo traveler cruising the world on waves and wheels, collecting recipes along the way. I hope my articles and photos entertain, advise and inspire you to travel the world without flying. Take a breath...stop for a local meal and a glass of wine along the way.
March 21, 2017 at 12:21 pm
Need some suggestions for something to do with our 4 year old granddaughter that we are taking on a cruise in a month. Any ideas?
Thank you Cyndi
January 23, 2017 at 9:02 pm
Hi Sue, So nice to hear from you! I was just thinking about you and Tom the other day as I was looking for our “jump” photos from Belogradchik Fortress. I still think you must have been a high school cheer leader! Please email me about your cruise in March so maybe we can meet up before you leave. sherry at cruisemaven dot com. Cheers back and hope all is going well. Sherry
January 22, 2017 at 3:29 pm
Hi Sherry! So nice to see your blog! I certainly trust your advice and will be making note of your ideas for our stop here on our cruise in March! We’re trying out HAL for the first time on their new ship!
Hope you’re doing well! We’d sure love to meet up with you again sometime!
Cheers, Your cruise mates from your sea-to-sea river cruise, Sue & Tom
December 28, 2016 at 8:01 am
Grand turk is a beautiful island not much to do on the island other than touring or goin to acouple of restaurants if theyre open would not recomend more than a 2 night stay on this island after the cruiseship leaves it becomes a ghost town
November 25, 2016 at 5:34 pm
Hi and thanks for your comment. Grand Turk does look like a fun to stay! Yes, there are about 5 hotels/inns on the island, so if you flew in then you could stay in Grand Turk. Sherry
November 22, 2016 at 4:58 pm
Can you do a vacation here. Or is this just a day adventure…sound so exciting!
June 20, 2016 at 9:04 pm
Hi Lindsay, Thanks for your kind words and excellent suggestions. I never seem to get far enough out to explore the lighthouse, but it will be on my to-do list next time. Great idea about the golf carts, too. I need to revisit asap! Thanks again.
June 20, 2016 at 8:21 pm
I completely agree, lots to see in Grand Turk besides just the pool! But what about the lighthouse and the conch shell beach? Also think renting golf carts is so much more fun than taking a taxi! Just my two cents! Love your blog though! Someday we hope to be as traveled as you! 🙂
AmaWaterways Launches Two New River Ships, Adds More Bike and Hike Excursions
Become an Insider!
Get Cruise Maven's newest articles, travel advice, cruise reviews, destinations and more.
For over twenty-five years, I've been traveling the world without flying, by only river ships, ocean ships, road trips and trains. I hope to inspire you to travel slow, explore new places, experience different cultures and taste new cuisine. Follow my solo travel adventures across the USA, North America and the world!
Places to Go
- Sitka, Alaska
- Monte Carlo
- Mount St. Helens
- Florence, Italy
- Paris, France
- Radiance of the Seas
- Crystal Serenity
- HAL Eurodam
- Viking Star
- Alaskan Dream Cruises
- Pique Sauce
- Jalapeño Poppers
- Guy’s Straight-Up Burger
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Pesto Sauce
- Viking Grand European
- AmaWaterways Christmas Markets
- Columbia and Snake Rivers
- AmaKristina Rhine River
- CroisiEurope Deuce France
Copyright © 2024 Cruise Maven · Theme by 17th Avenue
Updated on October 17, 2023 by Sherry Laskin
- Port Overview
- Transportation to the Port
- Uber & Lyft to the Port
- Dropping Off at the Port
- Cruise Parking
- Cruise Hotels
- Hotels with Parking Deals
- Uber & Lyft to the Ports
- Things to Do
- Cozumel Taxi Rates
- Free Things to Do
- Restaurants Near the Cruise Port
- Hotels & Resorts With Day Passes
- Closest Beaches to the Cruise Port
- Tips For Visiting
- Shore Excursions
- Cruise Parking Discounts
- Hotels with Shuttles
- Which Airport Should I Use?
- Transportation to the Ports
- Dropping Off at the Ports
- Fort Lauderdale Airport to Miami
- Inexpensive Hotels
- Hotels near the Port
- Hotels With Shuttles
- Budget Hotels
- Carnival Tips
- Drink Packages
- Specialty Restaurants
- Faster to the Fun
- More Articles
- CocoCay Tips
- Norwegian Tips
- Great Stirrup Cay
- Harvest Caye
- How to Get the Best Cruise Deal
- Best Time to Book a Cruise
- Best Websites to Book a Cruise
- Cruises Under $300
- Cruises Under $500
- Spring Break Cruise Deals
- Summer Cruise Deals
- Alaskan Cruise Deals
- 107 Cruise Secrets & Tips
- Tips for First-Time Cruisers
- What to Pack for a Cruise
- What to Pack (Alaska)
- Packing Checklist
- Cruising with Kids
- Passports & Birth Certificates
- Bringing Alcohol
- Cruising with a Disability
- Duty-Free Shopping
- Cruise Travel Insurance
- Things to Do on a Cruise Ship
- What Not to Do on a Ship
- News & Articles
Free/Cheap Things to Do in Grand Turk on a Cruise + Tips, & What to Know
Sitting roughly 600 miles southeast of Miami and about 350 miles northwest of Puerto Rico, Grand Turk enjoys a spot that’s a world away and nestled in some of the most beautiful water on the planet.
The island itself is small — only about six miles long and two miles wide. And sitting near the southern tip is the Grand Turk Cruise Center.
This port area features everything that a cruise passenger could want to enjoy the day, from a pool to a beautiful beach to easy access to the rest of the island. And it’s all there for passengers alone to enjoy, literally in the shadow of the cruise ship in some cases.
For what to expect on visiting Grand Turk, keep reading.
Grand Turk Port Features & What to Expect
The first thing that you’ll notice when you visit the Grand Turk port is that your ship is close to the beach… as in real close. The dock sits out only about 400 feet from shore, meaning the ship towers over the port area.
Walk down the dock and you’ll enter the port area through a duty-free store. Exit the store, and you’ll enter the main plaza of the port area.
Like most cruise ports in the Caribbean, Grand Turk features a dedicated port area that’s enclosed and offers a number of amenities to cruise passengers.
In the center area surrounding the plaza are a number of shops, selling everything from t-shirts to an actual Starbucks location. If you’re wanting a souvenir to remember your trip, you’re sure to find something here.
Head to the right and you’ll pass through some shops before getting to an outdoor restaurant/bar (Beach Whale) and a more “beachy” area where you can relax. There’s also a large sculpture of a whale that makes a fun photo.
If you instead head to the left as you enter the port, you’ll wind through the buildings until you reach Margaritaville Grand Turk. This spot features the famous restaurant, but also a massive pool with thumping music in a party atmosphere. Near this spot at the back of the port is also where you’ll find the port exit to grab a taxi to explore the rest of Grand Turk.
No matter which direction you head, you’ll always be within a few steps of the beach that runs the entire length of the cruise port. Frankly, it’s one of the most beautiful beaches you’ll ever see. The sand is a soft, white powder with electric blue water. And the ship overlooks the entire area making for a one-of-a-kind scene. Just know that some areas of the water have a rockier bottom (more details in the tips section below).
Free or Cheap Things to Do in Grand Turk
To be honest, given the small size of Grand Turk there isn’t a ton of variety of things to do like you might find elsewhere. Still, there’s plenty to keep you entertained for a day in port without spending a lot of money.
Hit the Beach
Without a doubt the biggest draw at Grand Turk is the beach that sits right at the cruise ship. It’s beautiful, wide, and runs a nice distance so there is a spot for everyone and it’s free. However, its popularity can mean it gets crowded, especially close to the ship.
The area north of the pier (to the left as you enter) features a sandier bottom that’s more forgiving on your feet. The area south of the pier sees smaller crowds, but you’ll also want some water shoes if you venture out into the water. There are also rentals available for everything from snorkel gear to clamshell chairs to give you a little shade.
One other alternative? There are excursions offered to other beaches from the cruise line. You can also catch a cab to other beaches around the island, which will be less crowded.
Hit the Pool
If the beach is the biggest draw at Grand Turk, then the pool in the port area is a close second. Here, there is a massive pool that circles around, complete with loungers. It’s right next to Margaritaville, so you can sit and relax (even hangout at the swim-up bar) and get food and drinks served. There are also rentals available for things like umbrellas and cabanas.
Just know that here the atmosphere is lively with music pumping. If you’re thinking of a quiet, relaxing time by the pool, that’s not really the case.
Hit the Water
If you’re looking to get out of the port area, one of the popular things to do is to get out on the water. During our stop, there were excursions available that took passengers out on catamarans for snorkeling tours, often with drinks afterward while on the boat. This part of the world has some of the most beautiful water anywhere, so getting out and enjoying it is well worth the cost of the excursion.
Hit the Town
Want to go explore on your own? It’s easy enough to do with an inexpensive cab ride. The city on Grand Turk is called Cockburn Town and if you want a feel for the “real” Grand Turk, it’s a neat place to visit, albeit a bit spread out. A good spot to start your visit is the Turks & Caicos National Museum .
As for cab rides, the price is set based on zones. The cruise port is in Zone A, and downtown is in Zone B. The trip costs $5 per person one way. It’s only $9 per person to go the entire length of the island.
Get Your Starbucks Fill
If you just can’t live without your Starbucks, then Grand Turk is the spot for you. While many cruise ships offer Starbucks beverages on board, finding them in port is usually another story. But the port area features a full-fledged Starbucks (painted a very noticeable pink). The next closest location? That’s in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, about 200 miles away.
Take a Turn on the Flowrider
One unique feature of Royal Caribbean cruise ships is the Flowrider — a never-ending “wave” that you can surf or boogie board. At the Grand Turk port there is a land-based Flowrider that you can ride for a fee (sorry, it’s not free!). It’s right next to the pool on the north end of the port area. If you have kids or teens, it’s definitely something they’ll want to check out.
Get a Picture With John Glenn
One of the claims to fame for this area was that it was the spot where astronaut John Glenn splashed down after orbiting the earth. That’s why on the port’s southern side you’ll see an area with some information about the NASA program, a model rocket, a sculpture of the capsule splashing down, and a statue of John Glenn in his spacesuit that you can get a picture with.
Tips & Things to Know About Visiting
If you’re visiting Grand Turk, there are some tips and things to know that can make your trip even better. We mentioned some of these above, but in case you missed them, we’ve included them here as well.
Go Down in the Morning for Your Picture of the Ship
By far the most unique thing about Grand Turk is that the ship is unbelievably close to shore. It means there’s a great photo opportunity of the ship right at the beach (also docked at a perfect angle). But one suggestion is to get your photos around mid-morning. Not only will the beach crowds be thinner, but the morning sun will be shining right on the ship, making the colors pop.
The Best Beach is North of the Dock
The beach is phenomenal at Grand Turk and the biggest draw for the majority of passengers. You’ll see people up and down the shore, but if you want the best spot then we’d suggest heading north of the dock (to the left as you face the shore from the ship). This area is sandy from the beach out into the water. The bottom is rockier on the southern side of the pier.
The Beach Is Quieter to the South
While the water to the south side of the pier is rockier, the beach itself is just as nice with lots of sand. And for those wanting a little more space and not as many people, this area is ideal. Head as far down the path as you can go and you’ll find a large group of loungers (near the whale sculpture) with hardly any other people — even on busy days in port.
Taxi Rates Are Set
If you plan to head into town, then a cab is easy. There’s a taxi stand at the port exit and you’ll see the set rates explained. The island is broken into four zones (A, B, C, and D). The cruise port is in Zone A. The rate from the cruise port to the other zones is set at:
- Zone A: $4 per person
- Zone B: $5 per person
- Zone C: $8 per person
- Zone D: $9 per person
Beach Rentals Are Available
To the north side of the pier, you’ll see a stand for beach rentals. While loungers are first-come, first-served, anything else that you need can be rented. This includes snorkel gear, foam mats, clamshell loungers that offer shade, and you can also buy sunscreen and water. Need other items like a cold drink or a snack? There’s a small convenience store right next to the beach rental booth.
More on Nearby Ports:
- What to Do in Puerto Plata on a Cruise (Big List + Tips & Things to Know)
Amber Cove on a Cruise: Things to Do, Prices, Map, and More
- 30 Fun Things for Cruise Passengers to Do in Nassau
Popular: 39 Useful Things to Pack (17 You Wouldn't Think Of)
Read next: park & cruise hotels for every port in america, popular: 107 best cruise tips, secrets, tricks, and freebies, related articles more from author, 15+ things to do in key west on a cruise (including free things), 63 can’t-miss things for cruise passengers to do in cozumel, what to do in puerto plata on a cruise (big list + tips & things to know), 15+ tips and things to know about visiting mahogany bay (roatan) on a cruise, how much time is spent in port on a cruise, leave a reply cancel reply.
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Princess Plus & Premier Offers: Package Details and if it’s Worth it
12+ questions & answers about food on a cruise ship (is it good), worth it complete guide to msc cruises drink packages, hotels with cruise shuttles for every major port in america, 107 best cruise tips, tricks, secrets, and freebies, 39 useful things to pack for your cruise (including 17 you’d never think of).
- Terms & Conditions
Grand Turk Cruise Center
The beautiful Cruise Center Beach fronts the complex, and is one of the nicest cruise port beaches in the region.
Unlike many other Caribbean vacation cruise stops, Grand Turk is a very small island, and offers a completely different atmosphere than better-known destinations. There isn’t a crowded city or waterfront, just a laid-back little town with great beaches and a little British Bermudian Colonial heritage.
The Grand Turk Cruise Center is the only cruise port in the Turks and Caicos, and the $50 million complex was opened by Carnival Cruise Lines in 2006.
Sights and Attractions at the Cruise Center
The highlight of the Grand Turk Cruise Center is the huge, lagoon-like swimming pool. Private poolside cabanas with waiter service can be rented, but be sure to reserve yours early as availability is limited.
The Cruise Center is located on the beautiful Cruise Center Beach , and the section next to the cruise ship pier is the poorest section–you’ll want to head north up the coast a short distance to experience the best sand and water. Here you’ll also find Jack's Shack , a popular restaurant to grab lunch. Complimentary beach lounge chairs are found fronting the complex, although depending on the number of ships in port, this area of the beach can become extremely crowded. Grand Turk is one of the few destinations in the Caribbean where a great beach can be enjoyed directly off the cruise ships.
To the south of the Cruise Center, the beach becomes a bit more secluded, albeit rocky as well. If you continue to the southern point of Grand Turk, you’ll be at Boaby Rock Point , and near some snorkeling reefs. Further on is White Sands Beach .
The unparalleled Governor's Beach is found less than a mile (1 km) to the north, unfortunately, it’s not possible to walk to this location on the beach due to the Government Dock which interrupts the coast. It’s necessary to take the inland roads to get to Governor’s Beach.
One of the exciting attractions in the Cruise Center is the FlowRider . Water is jetted over a preformed cushioned surface to create an artificial surfing attraction. Both stand-up surfing and body-boarding are possible, and it’s fun to simply watch others’ attempts as well.
The Space Race
A little-known fact is the island of Grand Turk played a part in the 1962 Mercury Space Mission. John Glenn’s first step on dry land after returning to Earth was on Grand Turk, and a U.S. Navy Base that was in operation on the island at the time, NAVFAC 104 , helped in the recovery operations.
There’s a memorial to John Glenn and the historic event at the Cruise Center, and the display features a statue, a replica of the Friendship Seven space capsule, and informative plaques.
Also nearby is a statue of a breaching humpback whale, highlighting the excellent whale watching at Grand Turk during the winter months.
Restaurants and Dining
If you’re looking to enjoy some food and drinks, there are two restaurants within easy access of the Cruise Center: Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville , and Jack's Shack . Both eateries serve a menu of American and international grill favorites such as burgers, sandwiches, grilled seafood, and chicken.
Margaritaville fronts the expansive swimming pool at the Cruise Center, and Jack’s Shack is located a short walk up the coast on a perfect piece of beach with crystal clear ocean water.
The cruise center is also home to the only Starbucks coffee shop in the Turks and Caicos, which opened in late 2019.
Immigration and Customs
Immigration and Customs are handled by your cruise agent. Immigration and Customs personnel are present on site, and you may be selected for a secondary inspection. To obtain a stamp in your passport, you must notify your cruise agent during clearance, or visit the Immigration Department located in Cockburn Town .
Transportation and Getting Around Grand Turk
Transportation to other sites of interest on Grand Turk is available directly outside the Cruise Center. Here you’ll find taxis waiting, and rental car pickups take place here as well.
If you’d like to rent a car, golf cart, or scooter, we advise making a reservation in advance of your visit. However, local rental companies may be able to accommodate walk-ins.
Exploring the sights, town, and beaches of Grand Turk is one of our recommended ways of spending the day on Grand Turk. There’s so much to see, including the small yet interesting Turks and Caicos National Museum , the Grand Turk Lighthouse , and the waterfront at our capital city of Cockburn Town (where many of the island’s hotels are located).
If you’d prefer to have a guide on your island tour, many of the taxis will be happy to show the sights and sounds of the island.
There’s a wide range of tourist gift and souvenir shops, art galleries, and jewelers at the Grand Turk Cruise Center. Some of these stores are regional chains, such as the Ron Jon Surf Shop, Margaritaville Trading Post, Dufry duty-free, and Diamonds International.
If you’re interested in finding an authentic Turks and Caicos gift, see Shopping in the Turks and Caicos for ideas. The National Museum and a few other shops also offer local items.
Local prices are similar to other Caribbean destinations, and the majority of the souvenirs and trinkets are relabeled versions of the typical mass-produced mugs, refrigerator magnets, and items seen at every other cruise port (usually from China). Likewise, seashells tend to not be local, and are of Pacific origin.
- Login or Register to access your account
- Digital Wallet
- Get Started
- 114 Ports of Call
- 14 Destinations
- 76,816 Shopper Approved
- 15,984 Live Help
- 7,970 Excursion Reviews
- Grand Turk Excursions
- Cruise Excursions Ports
- Free Back to Ship Guarantee & Free Last Minute Cancellations!
- Simply the Best Deal Guarantee, Or we refund 115% of Difference!
- 100,000+ Customer Reviews, 4.8 / 5 Booking Satisfaction Record!
- 24/7 Personal Traveler Assistance, 365 Days & Around the World!
Top 6 Grand Turk Excursions
- Supreme Snorkeling ($139.99)
- UTV Adventure ($249.99)
- 4-6 Seater Golf Cart Adventure ($164.99)
- Gibbs Cay and Conch Dive ($89.99)
- Amazing Wall Snorkel ($89.99)
- Adventure ATV ($134.99)
- No Port No Pay
- No Hidden Fees
- Deposit Payment Only
- Money Back Guarantee
- Back to Ship Guarantee
- Packages and Coupons
- Lowest Price Guarantees
- Free Last Minute Changes
- Small Personalized Groups
- Secure Payment Guarantee
- Extended Customer Service Hours
- Most Flexible Cancellation Policies
- Pick up and drop off from outside your Grand Turk Cruise Ship Terminal!
- Fully licensed and insured Golf Cart!
- Complimentary bottled water during the excursion!
- Several stops for pictures and shopping opportunities!
- Grand Turk welcome sign photo stop!
- Historic downtown - for local food and souvenir shopping, museum view!
- Grand Turk lighthouse - sightseeing!
- On-road adventure ride through!
- English-speaking shore excursion guide!
- Pick up and drop off from the outside of your Grand Turk Cruise Ship Terminal!
- Fully licensed and insured UTV!
- Pickup and round-trip boat ride steps away from your Grand Turk cruise ship terminal!
- English-speaking certified sightseeing and snorkeling excursion guide!
- Guided snorkeling at the Amazing Wall!
- The snorkel set includes varied-sized fins, a sanitized snorkel, masks, and a vest!
- Complimentary cold bottled water!
- Conch salad and Smooth Island Rum Punch are included!
- Stingray encounter at Gibbs Cay!
- Friendly, professional English-speaking sightseeing excursion guide!
- Complimentary bottled water!
- Conch ceviche, salad, and Smooth Island Rum Punch are included!
- English-speaking certified sightseeing and snorkeling guide!
- Guided snorkeling at The Amazing Wall!
- The snorkel set includes varied-sized fins, sanitized snorkel, masks, and a vest!
- Pick up from your Grand Turk cruise ship terminal!
- English-speaking certified ATV guides!
- Driving instructions and all security equipment provided!
- Automatic CF Moto 600 easy-to-drive ATVs (2-person vehicles).
- Cold bottled water
- Grand Turk Bohio Beach Resort Day Pass!
- English-speaking, friendly beach resort staff!
- Freshly cooked seafood plate (other options available as well)!
- Welcome drink - rum punch, local beer, juice or cold bottled water with lunch!
- Beach bars, beach lounge chairs, and showers!
- Other beach resort activities for rent (kayaks, paddleboard, etc)!
- Guided marine park snorkeling excursion at 2 sites - shallow reef and wall!
- The snorkel set includes varied-sized fins, sanitized snorkel, a silicone mask, and a vest!
- English speaking professional Grand Turk Jet Ski expert to provide instructions and supervision!
- 30 minutes or 1 hour Jet Ski rental options (check price chart)!
- 3-seater Yamaha 2013, powerful jet skis!
- Life jackets!
- Beach restaurant and beach bar on site!
- Round trip, 26 ft covered snorkel excursion boat ride from beach resort with an experienced captain!
- One hour of snorkeling or ocean swimming at the Grand Turk Wall!
- Beach Break at the private resort - valid from 07:00 AM to 06:00 PM!
- Bambarra Rum tasting session!
- One complimentary rum cocktail with your choice of Bambarra Rum!
- Beach Resort facilities - beach bars, beach lounge chairs, hammocks, and showers!
- Other beach activities and water sports for rent (kayaks, paddleboards, etc)!
- Driving through Grand Turk Island!
- Professional Grand Turk dune buggy cruise excursion guide!
- Security driving instructions and equipment!
- Cold bottled water!
- Dune Buggy Lucky 800cc with automatic transmission - no shifting (2-person vehicles)!
- Round trip 26 ft covered boat ride and experienced Grand Turk snorkel excursion captain!
- One-hour snorkel or ocean swim above the famous Grand Turk Wall!
- Snorkel set includes varied-sized fins, sanitized snorkel, silicone mask, and vest!
- Resort beach break - open 07:00 AM to 06:00 PM!
- English-speaking resort staff!
- Freshly cooked seafood plate (other options available on-site)!
- Welcome drink - rum punch, local beer, juice or cold bottled water!
- Beach bars, beach lounge chairs, hammocks and showers!
- Other beach activities and beach water sports for rent (kayaks, paddleboard, etc)!
- 300cc automatic transmission Cougar ATV all-terrain vehicle!
- Driving instructions and all security equipment are provided!
- Helmets with integrated microphones!
- Beach stop to relax or swim!
- Round-trip transportation from your Grand Turk cruise ship terminal!
- English-speaking certified horseback riding guide!
- An adequate island horse according to your horseback riding experience!
- All horseback riding instructions and supervision!
- No horseback riding experience is required!
- Beach route and ocean dip with your horse!
- Roundtrip air-conditioned transportation from your Grand Turk cruise ship terminal!
- English-speaking certified guide!
- Round-trip boat ride from the beach to two snorkeling sites!
- Guided snorkeling at 2 sites - shallow reef and wall!
- See the highlights of Grand Turk!
- Pickup is close to your Grand Turk cruise ship terminal!
- Small whale-watching groups only, personalized shore excursion service!
- Expert, experienced, licensed Grand Turk whale-watching cruise excursion guides, staff, and captain!
- Coastal Caribbean Grand Turk island sightseeing!
- Round-trip air-conditioned transportation from your Grand Turk cruise ship terminal!
- Round-trip boat ride from the beach to stingray encounters and snorkeling sites!
- See the highlights of Grand Turk island!
- Roundtrip air-conditioned transportation from your Grand Turk Cruise Ship Terminal!
- Complimentary WiFi in the van!
- See the highlights of Grand Turk, the jewel of the Turks and Caicos Islands!
- Escape the crowded and rushed cruise ship-sponsored Grand Turk shore excursions!
- Round trip boat ride to Gibbs Cay!
- Stingray encounter and snorkel with the Stingrays at Gibbs Cay!
- Free WiFi in the van!
- See the highlights of Grand Turk island, part of Turks and Caicos!
THE 10 BEST Grand Turk Tours & Excursions
Grand turk tours.
- Self-Guided Tours & Rentals
- Ports of Call Tours
- Sightseeing Tours
- Photography Tours
- Walking Tours
- Historical & Heritage Tours
- Private Tours
- Cultural Tours
- Skip-the-Line Tours
- Shopping Tours
- Beer Tastings & Tours
- Up to 1 hour
- 1 to 4 hours
- 4 hours to 1 day
- Special Offers
- The ranking of tours, activities, and experiences available on Tripadvisor is determined by several factors including the revenue generated by Tripadvisor from these bookings, the frequency of user clicks, and the volume and quality of customer reviews. Occasionally, newly listed offerings may be prioritized and appear higher in the list. The specific placement of these new listings may vary.
1. Golf Carts Rental in Grand Turks
2. Drive GDT - Golf Cart Rentals
3. Exclusive Supreme Snorkeling Tour
4. 6-Seater Golf Cart: Grand Turk
5. Grand Turk Historical Sightseeing Tour by Tram
6. Golf Cart Adventure MaxKart Auto Rentals
7. GRAND TURK: ATV Adventure Tour
8. Grand Turk - Amazing Wall Snorkeling Tour
9. Gibbs Cay Stingray and Conch Dive Adventure
10. Kayak Mangrove Tours Grand Turk , Carnival Cruise
11. Parasailing Grand Turk
12. Trail Master UTV, 4 Seater - Grand Turk
13. Electric Bicycles Rental in Grand Turk
14. Beach Trail and Swim. Cockburn Town, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos
15. Clear Kayak Drone Photoshoots
16. 4Seater UTV Golf Cart in Grand Turk
17. Golf Cart Rental in Grand Turk (4-seater)
18. Clear Kayak PhotoShoot Grand Turk Island
19. Grand Turk golf cart rentals (cactus carts)
20. Golf Cart Rental in Grand Turk (6-seater)
21. Couples Clear Kayak PhotoShoot Grand Turk Island
22. Golf Cart Island Tour in Grand Turk
23. Watkins UTV Golf Cart Rentals
24. Maxkart Utv Rentals
25. 1 Hour Private Kayak Rental In Grand Turk
26. Grand Turk Island Wide Private Tour
27. Private Whale Watching Charter (Grand Turk)
28. Private ATV Adventures at Island of Grand Turk
29. Cultural Tour with Rum Cake
30. Grand Turk: Whale Watching
What travelers are saying.
Grand Turk: Tours Information
- Ultimate Snorkeling
- Swimming Pool Cabanas
- Grand Turk Flowrider
- Catamaran Sail, Snorkel & Beach
Port Information Island Information News Media Gallery Port Schedule Shore Excursions ContacT
Guided Grand Turk by Golf Cart - 4 Seater
Guided Tour: Follow the guide in your very own golf cart around this stunning gem of an island in the Caribbean. Rich in culture and history, known as “Beautiful by Nature”. See and hear everything the island has to offer in one tour! Lots of Picture Opportunities: You will be guided to see the Mercury Friendship 7 Space Capsule that landed into Grand Turk in 1962. Continue along the stunning aqua waters, while spotting abundant wildlife – wild donkeys and seasonal flamingos! Next, you are onto downtown and the historic salt ponds which built this country… and much more along the way. Shop for Souvenirs: You will have the opportunity to shop in downtown for that perfect gift or souvenir, as you visit local art and craft stalls. Swim in the Crystal-Clear Waters: The final stop is on the world-famous Governor’s Beach. Bring a towel and dip your toes in the warm waters of the Caribbean Ocean. What’s Included:
- Cold water.
Requirements & Restrictions: Minimum age for driving – 21 years and must present a valid driver’s license. Maximum weight – 200 lbs. per person. Children under 8 years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. What to Bring: A beach towel and cash for additional purchases. Good to Know: The sequence of the stops may vary dependent on conditions. Please note this is a guided tour. The price is per vehicle with a maximum of four people per golf cart.
- Find a Cruise
- Cruise Tips
Ziplining in Grand Turk
By Sromanmd , August 10, 2018 in Grand Turk
When we were planning our cruise, I was looking for information on the Zip lining on Grand Turk and didn’t find too much. We did do this excursion on our recent Carnival Pride trip so I thought I would post about our experience in case it helps others decide about this excursion.
The excursion is the Adrenaline challenge and Zip with beach. It is run by Chukka. $77 per person. You can book on the ship or purchase the day you are in port at their booth on the Pier. Note that you must pay in cash if you book the day of at the Pier.
The course is located at the lighthouse which is quite far from the cruise pier. We went on 8/1/18. You must sign a release to participate. Transportation to the course is included and is in an open air jitney type of vehicle. Our participants were 2 teen girls plus 2 adults wanted to tag along but not Zipline.
This excursion does have an observer price of $20 which allows you to ride along with the participants but not do the course. You have to wait until the day you are in Grand Turk to find out if there is room on the jitney for observers. You pay in cash only -$20 at the Chukka booth at the cruise pier the day of your participants’ excursion. It did seem possible to take a cab out to the Lighthouse to view the Ziplining course if there wasn’t room for any observers on your particular day. Since we had teens, we wanted to ride along with them.
This excursion was listed as 3 hours long. It is about a 30-40 minute ride out to the course. Everyone in your group goes through the course and you ride back to port. Our group had 20 (18 participants & 2 observers) and we filled the jitney to capacity. You go through the course only once. Our day in Grand Turk was a short one so this excursion took up a majority of our day there. Keep that in mind.
The course includes a few adventure activities – rock wall, log walk, net rope climb - some smaller zip lines and 2 long zip lines. One of the long zip lines is across the cliffs the lighthouse sits on meaning you zip across the ocean inlet there. Great views! I’d say it was medium level difficulty course. The main course is 45 feet in the air so it’s not for those afraid of heights.
Pluses – Safety seemed to be a priority with Chukka. We’ve zip lined other places and the equipment here seemed to be pretty good. Staff were very helpful if you couldn’t manage some of the course. Bathrooms on site. Water & cups were provided or you could fill your own bottle. There was a bar to purchase a cold drink after you zip. Ship photographer took phots but they were not pushed. Small gift shop to get a tshirt etc was open but again not pushy in any way.
Negatives – Very expensive for the time you spend on the course. Our teens took about 30-40 minutes to do the course. Some instruction was given about using your harness but practically none about actually doing the course. Total newbies found some of the course difficult. Participants went in no particular order so you may get stuck behind someone who took a very long time doing a component of the course. The excursion goes back to the ship together so if you are some of the first participants finished, you’ll wait on those finishing later.
Other notes – We called Chukka directly but we could only book through Carnival since we were on the cruise. If you are staying in Grand Turk itself, this activity could be purchased for less. For drop off, they dropped us off a ways up the beach from Margaritaville AND at the cruise pier. You chose.
Link to comment
Share on other sites.
Thanks for the review. It is very common, especially on smaller islands that excursions available to island vacationers can only be booked via cruise line for cruising passengers.
We've seen the zip line several times when venturing up to the lighthouse. Having zipped in other, more exciting places where you zip from stands in trees or on sides of cliffs, to zip from what looks like one telephone pole to another and pay an exorbitant amount to do so, never attracted us.
Please sign in to comment
You will be able to leave a comment after signing in
- Welcome to Cruise Critic
- New Cruisers
- Cruise Lines “A – O”
- Cruise Lines “P – Z”
- River Cruising
- Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
- Special Interest Cruising
- Cruise Discussion Topics
- UK Cruising
- Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
- Canadian Cruisers
- North American Homeports
- Ports of Call
- Cruise Conversations
- New to Cruise Critic? Join our Community!
Features & News
LauraS · Started 18 hours ago
LauraS · Started 20 hours ago
LauraS · Started Tuesday at 11:49 PM
LauraS · Started Tuesday at 09:06 PM
LauraS · Started Tuesday at 04:57 PM
- Existing user? Sign In
- Find Your Roll Call
- Meet & Mingle
- Community Help Center
- All Activity
- Member Photo Albums
- Meet & Mingle Photos
- Favorite Cruise Memories
- Cruise Food Photos
- Cruise Ship Photos
- Ports of Call Photos
- Towel Animal Photos
- Amazing, Funny & Totally Awesome Cruise Photos
- Write a Review
- Live Cruise Reports
- Member Cruise Reviews
- Create New...
2 women on cruise out of Florida reported being drugged, raped in Bahamas. What we know
State department warns violent crimes, including sexual assaults, occur in tourist and non-tourist areas in the bahamas..
- The two women had gone on a Carnival cruise that left Jacksonville, Florida..
- The women told authorities a resort employee allegedly gave them drinks spiked with a cocktail of drugs.
- The Level 2 travel advisory warns travelers to exercise increased caution due to crime.
A couple of weeks after the U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning for the Bahamas , two Kentucky women reported being drugged and sexually assaulted .
The two women were on a Carnival cruise that left Jacksonville and said they were unaware of the travel warning and "not aware of any warnings given by Carnival," according to their Miami-based attorney, Nicholas Gerson.
Carnival offers cruises out of four Florida ports, and the Bahamas is one of several destinations offered.
Two women reported being drugged, raped on Bahamas beach. What happened?
The women, two mothers from Kentucky, told News Nation 's Chris Cuomo they were "relaxing on a Grand Bahama beach" when a resort employee allegedly gave them drinks spiked with a cocktail of drugs, including benzodiazepines.
"They were given drinks — a coconut and pineapple drink — spiked with a series of drug and narcotics," Gerson told the USA TODAY. "They became inebriated and were both taken away and raped."
One of the women told Cuomo she and her friend went to look for seashells for their children with "a male resort employee" and the next thing she remembered she "was waking up while she was being assaulted by a uniformed male resort staffer."
Toxicology results found little if no alcohol in women but they tested positive for benzos and other drugs, including cocaine, according to Gerson.
What are benzodiazepines or benzos?
Benzodiazepines , also known as benzos, are depressants that slow down activity in your brain and nervous system, according to Cleveland Clinic .
They can cause extreme drowsiness, confusion , impaired coordination, decreased reflexes, respiratory depression, coma, and possible death.
The most common benzodiazepines are the prescription drugs Valium, Xanax, Halcion, Ativan, and Klonopin, according to the DEA .
Where did the recent attacks take place in the Bahamas?
According to a preliminary report from the Royal Bahamas Police Force , the attacks took place shortly after noon Feb. 4 while the two women visited a beach in Central Grand Bahama.
Gerson said on the day of the alleged assaults, his clients went on an excursion called "Pirate's Cove Beach Getaway" and were taken to the island by a shuttle arranged by Carnival.
Was anyone arrested in the Bahamas attack on 2 women?
Police in the Bahamas have arrested two people on sexual assault charges.
"Quick response," by officers in Grand Bahama , the northernmost island of the Bahamas in the Atlantic Ocean, resulted in the arrest of a 54-year-old man of Eight Mile Rock and a 40-year-old man of South Bahamia, after they allegedly sexually assaulted two women on Sunday, the Royal Bahamas Police Force said.
What did Carnival have to say about the attacks?
Carnival released the following statement to USA TODAY:
"While ashore in Freeport, Bahamas on an independent shore excursion, two guests on Carnival Elation reported to Bahamian police that they were sexually assaulted at a local beach. Our onboard Care Team provided support for the two guests as they sailed back to Jacksonville. Bahamian police are investigating the matter and Carnival is providing our full cooperation."
How did Pirates Cove Zipline and Water Park respond to reports of an attack?
"At Pirates Cove, the safety of our guests and team members is always paramount," a spokesperson for Pirates Cove Zipline and Water Park said in an email.
"We regret that our guests experienced this incident, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to aid police in the collection of evidence in response to these allegations, including providing police access to video from the 16 cameras around the beach facility where the assault of the two guests allegedly occurred.
"We take great pride in ensuring our guests have a safe and enjoyable experience when visiting Pirates Cove. In addition to having safety personnel and CCTV surveillance throughout the park, employees and vendors of Pirates Cove must follow strict guidelines when interacting with guests. We have a zero-tolerance policy for fraternizing with guests or behaving in a manner that is unsafe.
"While there is an active police investigation into these serious allegations, we have terminated the employment of the two accused, as the behavior seen on tape by management indicates that at a minimum, they violated our zero-tolerance policy."
What is the travel warning for the Bahamas?
The United States Department of State issued a Level 2 travel advisory for travelers heading to the Bahamas in January.
The advisory warns travelers to "exercise increased caution" due to crime, specifically on the islands of New Providence, which includes Nassau, and Grand Bahama, which includes Freeport.
"Violent crime — such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults — occur in both tourist and non-tourist areas. Be vigilant when staying at short-term vacation rental properties where private security companies do not have a presence, " the State Department said.
Bahamas travel warning: Heading to the Bahamas? Here's what you should know about travel warning
Carnival sails out of four Florida ports
Carnival offers tours out of four Florida locations : Jacksonville, Port Canaveral, Miami and Tampa.
Carnival Elation sails out of Jacksonville, offering tours to the Bahamas and Caribbean.
Five ships — Mardi Gras,Vista, Freedom, Glory, Liberty — sail out of Cape Canaveral . Destinations depend on the ship and range from the Bahamas and Caribbean to transatlantic cruises and the Panama Canal.
Six ships — Celebration, Spirit, Horizon, Sunrise, Magic, and Conquest — sail out of Miami . Destinations depend on the ship and range from the Bahamas and Caribbean to Alaska, transatlantic cruises and the Panama Canal.
Five ships — Spirit, Miracle, Legend, Paradise and Price — sail out of Tampa . Destinations depend on the ship and range from the Bahamas and Caribbean to Alaska, Seattle, Greenland, Canada, Mexico, transatlantic cruises and the Panama Canal.
Top Carnival destinations from Florida ports
The top destinations for a Carnival cruise out of Florida are:
- Caribbean and Mexico: Ports of call include Celebration Key; Cozumel; Grand Cayman; Nassau; Freeport; Belize; Mahogany Bay; St. Thomas; Bimini; Progreso, Yucatan; San Juan; Key West; Half Moon Cay; St. Maarten; St. Kitts; Montego Bay; Ocho Rios; St. Lucia; Grand Turk; Barbados; Curacao; Costa Maya; La Romana; Princess Cays; Falmouth; Antigua; Bonaire; Bermuda; Grenada; Amber Cove; Dominca; Santa Marta; Miami; Galveston; Port Canaveral; New Orleans; Tampa; Charleston, South Carolina; Baltimore, Maryland; New York City; Mobile.
- Bahamas: Ports of call include Celebration Key; Nassau; Bimini; Freeport; Baltimore; Charleston; Half Moon Cay; Jacksonville; Miami; Norfolk; Port Canaveral; Princess Cays.
- Panama Canal: Destinations include Panama Canal transit; Panama Canal partial transit; Cartagena; Limon; Celebration Key; Cozumel; Ocho Rios; Grand Turk; Half Moon Cay; Amber Cove; Aruba; Bonaire; Montego Bay; Puntarenas; Colon; Santa Marta; Curacao; Huatulco; Grand Cayman; Puerto Quetzal; Cabo San Lucas; Seattle; Baltimore; Tampa; Miami; Galveston; New Orleans.
- Transatlantic: Ports of call include Funchal, Madeira; Celebration Key; Grand Turk; La Coruna; Las Palmas; Praia Da Vitoria, Azore; Malaga; Tenerife; Valencia; Lisbon; Vigo; Gibraltar; Bermuda; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Ponta Delgada; Alicante; Barcelona; Southhampton, London; Tampa; Miami.
Mexico, Caribbean travel advisories: Many Caribbean islands have travel advisories, so here are 10 Florida islands for vacation
US Embassy, State Department offer these tips if you go to the Bahamas
- Exercise extreme caution in the eastern part of New Providence Island (Nassau).
- Use caution when walking or driving at night.
- Keep a low profile.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
- Review your personal security plans.
- If you decide to travel to The Bahamas, do not answer your door at your hotel/residence unless you know who it is.