View Full Version : Port or Starboard?

02-02-2005, 12:54 PM
I'm planning a May 2006 trip on the (Western) Magic. Is there a "better" side of the ship as far as having a view of the islands while you're anchored? (Looking into a cat 6, so I thought it would be nice to sit on the balcony and have a view!)

Or actually, I suppose that depends on whether you tender in or not, right? Hmmm.

So that brings up another question... at which stops on the Western Itinerary do you dock at the pier? (vs. being anchored "out.")


02-02-2005, 01:25 PM
The stops on the Western Itinerary are:
Key West (dock)
Grand Cayman (tender)
Cozemel (dock)
Castaway Cay (dock)

I haven't actually been on the cruise yet but this is what I've gathered from reading the boards.

Nowadays, the ships mostly backs into the dock at Castaway Cay. If this happens on your cruise, you will have a better view of the beaches on the island from the starboard side of the ship (though I'm sure no one complains waking up to see any part of this island).

Others will have to chime in with the other ports. When we took a short Carnival cruise two years ago and docked in Nassua it was a bit like a parking lot of cruise ships. You most likely would have had a nice view of the ship next to you from your balcony. I'm not sure if that how it is at other ports.

02-02-2005, 04:00 PM
Thank you for your reply!

I've only been on one cruise before...it was a Carnival 4 night cruise out of Los Angeles. When we woke up in the morning and went out on our balcony, Catalina Island was right there...with no other ships in sight...and it was beautiful!

It's not really that important, but it would be kind of cool to have that same type of view of Grand Cayman. (Although, I'm sure I wouldn't like it as much if it turns out to be the "parking lot" that you described!)

02-02-2005, 04:24 PM
I think a number of things can contribute to which side of the ship is dockside at each port. I know they wash windows, paint, and test lifeboats as often as possible. At Castaway Cay they can get the most outside work done because they own the dock and they don't have to load all the provisions and baggage like at Port Canaveral.

I'm sure some people have a personal preference, but I think it would be hard to predict if one side is going to be better than another on any cruise.

02-02-2005, 04:30 PM
From our Western Cruise last year here's what we found.

Key West: Starboard - gives you a great view of Mallory Square and all the activity on shore. - Port - Get to see the Key West Sunset and the Naked Sail.

Grand Cayman - Tendered. The ship will be facing bow forward to the island. You will get a view of the island from either side. We experienced the fact that as the ship was at anchor it turned a bit and the view changed as the hours changed.

Cozumel: I suppose it depends on where you dock. We were in with the Port side to the land, but across the dock from Port side was another ship and we couldn't see the shore anyway. Just looked right into the other ship.
It appeared that the other ship was in with Starboard to the land.

CC - Depends on the weather. If there is alot of wind and the water is rough, they pull her in bow first therefore the port side has the view of the beach and all her glory. If the ocean is calm they back her in and so the opposite is true.

It's really a crap shoot. There are good views from both sides.


02-02-2005, 04:35 PM
Ah, that makes sense! (About which side is dockside.)

I was actually wondering more about when they anchor the ship when they're "parked out at sea." (So, in the case of the Magic Western, that would just be for Grand Cayman, I guess.) Do you know if they generally face one way most of the time, or if that is something that "just depends?"

Also, for those of you who have a personal preference for a particular side of the ship....which side and why?

(I'm learning so much from this board!)

02-02-2005, 04:40 PM
Thanks Mrsfuzzmo! You were answering my Grand Cayman question at the same time I was posting it! :-)

Lloyd Dobler
02-02-2005, 05:21 PM
In my experience, when the ship anchors and tenders, it seems to be positioned based on where the wind is coming from. I believe they try to create a situation where the ship serves as a kind of wind break, and the tenders will load/unload passengers on the leeward side, so that the sea isn't as choppy. This will vary as the wind direction varies, so as Mrsfuzzmo says, it's a crapshoot.