The Turks and Caicos Islands are known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. However, as a result, it is one of the most expensive places to visit in the area. I never thought I’d be able to afford to travel to Turks and Caicos, but I found a cheap Carnival cruise with Grand Turk on the itinerary, and the rest is history. 
The Grand Turk cruise port has been named the best cruise port by many travelers, as it is right on the beach and offers a pleasant environment. Needless to say, I had high expectations. Is it really the best? Keep reading for my essential Grand Turk cruise port guide, as well as my honest review.

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Turks and Caicos’ Grand Turk Cruise Port Guide


Before arriving, I did a lot of research to determine whether we should stay at the free cruise port beach (SunRay Beach), walk to one that was located approximately 20 minutes away (Governor’s Beach), or book an excursion to a different beach. The Internet consensus seemed to be in favor of SunRay Beach, so we decided to check it out.

I am personally very glad that we stayed on SunRay Beach. Of course, I cannot say whether Governor’s Beach or the excursions are better, but SunRay Beach had everything we needed (and was a lot closer). In fact, I think it is the most beautiful beach I have visited.

However, there were some cons. First off, being that cruisers did not have to walk to get to SunRay Beach, it was a bit crowded in some areas (PRO TIP: If you are looking at the island, walk down the beach to the left to find the less crowded areas). Next, there were chairs and umbrellas available for rent, which meant we were constantly being asked whether we wanted them. It was sort of annoying when we were trying to relax, but they stopped asking after a while.

Julia standing on SunRay Beach at the Grand Turk cruise port in front of the cruise ship.


I have been to a lot of Caribbean cruise ports. In my opinion, the Grant Turk cruise port has the best shopping. Of course, it has the typical chain cruise port stores and duty-free shop, but there were also a lot of higher-scale souvenir boutiques and a local craft market!


During my time at the Grand Turk cruise port, my friend and I became pretty hungry, so we walked around to look for food. The only “dining” options we could find were the Margaritaville restaurant and Starbucks. We decided to go to Margaritaville, but the line for a table wrapped around the building. Needless to say, we didn’t wind up eating there; we went back to the cruise buffet. I’d like to note that Margaritaville had some standalone bars along the beach, but I do not know whether they served food.

I went to the Grand Turk cruise port in April 2024. My friend and I walked around the entire port, and those were the only “dining” options we could find, but please contact me and let me know if you believe we missed anything or if they have opened anything else since my visit!

The Atmosphere

Overall, I’d say the Grand Turk cruise port had a party atmosphere, especially near the Margaritaville restaurant. There was dancing, drinking games, loud music, and bars along the shoreline.

As we made our way into the shopping areas, however, things were a lot more relaxing. The stores were generally pretty quiet, and the pastel-colored buildings were cute and welcoming. We didn’t have many people (if any) coming up to us to sell us anything, which made this cruise port stand out from others I’ve been to.

My Opinion

My friend and I were both happy with SunRay Beach and the shopping options at the Grand Turk cruise port, and we were both disappointed by the dining options (or lack thereof). If I could do it all over again, I would still spend my day at the cruise port, but I would pack a lunch from the ship’s buffet. I’d consider trying to make a reservation at Margaritaville ahead of time, but I am not sure whether this is possible (do your research!).

Do I think Grand Turk is the best Caribbean cruise port? Out of those that I have been to, yes, I do think it is the best. I recommend skipping the excursion and spending your time at the Grand Turk cruise port if you are trying to save some money. However, as previously mentioned, there is room for improvement!

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Have you been to the Grand Turk cruise port? What did you think of it? If you haven’t been, would you spend the day there? Contact me or let me know in the comments below!

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