Basic food and drink are included, for example, but you have to pay extra for soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. You can participate in karaoke for free, but it costs money to play bingo. Yes, while it doesn’t cost you anything to get off the boat and walk around when you reach one of your ports of call, it does cost you money to do just about anything while you’re there. And they’re more than happy to sell you on these “shore excursions” suitable for a range of guests.
One of the shore excursions that we took was an ATV tour of Grand Turk Island. It was about $100 per person for about two hours of riding. Since Grand Turk is a rather small island, that’s actually enough time to drive all the way around. We saw some of the homes, encountered some rogue animals, and stepped to the edge of the Bermuda Triangle. When we stopped to see the lighthouse, we were told that if we were to sail away from that spot in that direction, the next piece of land we’d hit would be Africa.
We also stopped at a lagoon where they corralled off a section with wild shellfish and sea creatures. We got to hold a sea urchin, sea cucumber and jellyfish, as well as eat some live sashimi-style conch meat. If you’ve ever had geoduck sashimi, conch sashimi is similar, but chunkier.
It is interesting that the last time I rode an ATV was also the last time I went on a cruise. That was when I was in Mexico and we rode through a very hot desert, and while much of Grand Turk can be arid, it’s still an island. So, that made for completely different scenery and a different kind of experience. We put together a short video with some highlights from our Grand Turk excursion and you can watch that below.