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Three Alternative Caribbean Cruise Ports Worth A Trip In 2013
Say "Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Cozumel, St. John, St. Thomas, Costa Maya" or any of the other islands of the Caribbean and most travelers who have been there will recollect a good memory.
Three other ports not normally on the itineraries of large ships (they are too big to dock at the ports) are well worth a longer sailing, as well. Travelers can also get to these islands by air and choose to stay a while.
In December through the first week of January or so, ocean-going yachts make St. Barts home and offer plenty to stoke the dreams of boating enthusiasts.
Columbus discovered St. Barts in 1493 and French colonists from nearby St. Kitts first settled it in 1648. The island changed hands several times but was finally given legal status as a Department of France in 1946, much like Americans made Hawaii a state.
Luxury cruise lines SeaDream Yacht Club, Seabourn and Crystal Cruises are among those who sail to St. Barts, also called Saint-Barths or St. Barthelemy.
Gallery: St Barts
Isla Catalina is a tropical destination island located on the southeast corner of the Dominican Republic, about 1.5 miles from the mainland and not far from La Alagracia and La Romana.
The coral stone island is home to diverse ecosystems including sand dunes, mangroves and reefs and there are large areas around the island where the water depth is just a few feet thanks to natural sandbars offshore.
Azamara Club Cruises, Windstar Cruises and Holland America Line are among those who visit Isla Catalina
Gallery: Isla Catalina
The city of Bridgetown is the capital and largest city of Barbados located on the island's southernmost coast and home to over 80,000 people.
The Sunburry Great House makes for a good day trip, and is also a good example of a Barbadian Sugar Estate Great House.
Celebrity Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Royal Caribbean International are among those cruise lines that visit Bridgetown, Barbados.
Island life leaves plenty of time for relaxation, taking in the local sights and an interesting activity called "plane spotting" as shown in this video from St. Barts:
[Photo Credit: Whitney Owen]