Today is Thanksgiving and the American travellers are in high spirits. We dock at the Grand Turk Island Cruise Terminal around 11:30am, sliding alongside the Mardi Gras, one of Carnival’s newest ships. Holding over 5000 passengers and 2000 crew, she’s enormous, completely blocking the light on our balcony. Despite having an on-deck rollercoaster, she’s also big, brash and a terrible advertisement for cruise holidays.
Having found nothing to look at within scooter distance of the terminal. The nearest geocache is nearly a mile away. The main town, Cockburn Town, is four. After yesterday’s battery panic, it’s not worth the risk. Instead, Linda and I decide to start the day gently with lunch in Alfredo’s Pizzeria on deck 7, then wander/roll ashore.
The dock pier leads directly into yet another duty free shopping village. There are a few stalls selling local handicrafts and also a Margaritaville resort. It appears to be little more than a (huge) poolside bar/club – and definitely not our scene.
The Grand Turk Island Cruise Terminal offers almost exactly the same shops and amenities as the ship itself – clothing, jewellery, booze, tobacco, ice cream, swimming, sunbeds. So it’s just like a ship on land which seems pointless.
Fun fact: Grand Turk was the splash landing site for John Glen after completing an orbit of the Earth in the Friendship 7 spacecraft. There is a small statue and display commemorating the event at the Cruise Terminal.
The beach and water look incredibly inviting so Linda makes the brave decision to stagger down for a paddle. She stands at the water’s edge and removes her sliders. I’ve come wearing sneakers and socks because I never expected to be going into the water. As I’m trying to remove my footwear, a larger wave rolls in – right over my feet. Linda nearly dies laughing.
The water is lovely and warm and Linda wishes she could swim in it. This is extremely unusual because we both hate the beach. She even talks about coming back to Grand Turk Island one day to do it.
Top tip: For the best views and sunbathing, head north to Governor’s Beach. However, you cannot simply walk along the shoreline because there is a government port blocking access. You will need to exit the Cruise Terminal complex and make the 1 mile walk by road.
After wandering along the beachfront area we return to the ship for a lazy afternoon. The Mardi Gras finally leaves, just in time for us to catch the sunset. Spectacular.
Fun fact: Residents of the Turks and Caicos Islands are not called ‘turkeys’ – they are ‘belongers’
For dinner Linda enjoys her first ever Thanksgiving Dinner which was novel. While she likes the roast turkey mains, I particularly enjoy the honey and macadamia nut pie for dessert. And the culinary team have gone all-out with their food decorations – great job.
And just to show I’m an idiot, I find another duck perched on top of a painting in the stairwell. Apparently this one is from Canada.