“Just Stay On The Ship” – These Are The Destinations Cruisers Recommend You Don’t Get Off

Some people book cruises because they want to see the world. Others just want to experience the ship. But whichever camp you fall into, some destinations experienced cruisers recommend you not to go to.

I asked 50,000+ cruisers on the Cruise Mummy Facebook page to “Name a cruise port where you wished you’d stayed on the ship”. The results were shocking.

Here’s what they said…

1. Naples

The Italian port of Naples was mentioned a whopping 17 times with cruisers saying they wished they’d not got off the ship.

Apparently, there’s a phrase: “Vedi Napoli e poi Muori” or “See Naples and Die”, which means “One must experience the beauty and magnificence of Naples before one dies.”

But one cruiser remarked: “I nearly did when I saw it!” Many described the city as ‘dirty’ and ‘dangerous’ and another commented that she was ‘robbed by 2 men on a moped’.

Paula commented: “Thought I was the only person who hated Naples and now I feel normal 🤣”

Miriam said: “I was too terrified to cross 5 lanes of traffic to see more of the place so went back to the ship. Wish we had got the tourist bus.”

If you have a cruise to Naples booked, you may wish to consider booking an excursion to Pompeii or Sorrento as these places have much better reviews.

2. Martinique

Fort de France Martinique

When you think of the Caribbean island of Martinique you may imagine pristine beaches dotted with gently swaying palm trees. But many cruisers were sadly disappointed by their experiences, so much so that they wished they had stayed on the ship.

One cruiser said: “Martinique sounds gorgeous, but it is the pits.” While another said it was a “total waste of time.”

Gill commented: “Martinique sounds romantique but the harbour was the complete opposite!”

I don’t think there’s anything terribly wrong with Martinque as such. It’s just that there are so many incredible ports to visit on a Caribbean cruise and many people found Martinque to be underwhelming in comparison.

3. Jamaica

a dirty beach in Jamaica

Jamaice is frequently mentioned as a country where cruisers prefer to stay on board, often because they don’t feel safe to get off the ship.

Commenting on the Facebook post, Gareth said: “Jamaica is hell… So many cockroaches, so much heat and humidity and we were threatened with a knife in Broad daylight outside our hotel.”

People reported several instances of being ‘harassed’ and ‘threatened’ by locals, including taxi drivers and vendors.

There are five cruise ports in Jamaica and it seems that some are worse than others. I have a post about the worst cruise ports in Jamaica if you’re interested in reading more real-life experiences.

4. Belize

Another country that you might think twice about visiting on a cruise is Belize.

One cruiser said of the country: “Never felt so in danger and we are well travelled.”

Another simply described it as a “sh*thole”.

Norwegian Cruise Line has a private island in Belize called Harvest Caye. Cruisers were quick to point out that this destination is actually really nice, and nothing like the rest of the country which suffers from poverty.

5. Alexandria


Alexandria is a Mediterranean port city in Egypt and it didn’t receive positive comments from cruisers who vowed never to return.

Rita commented: “Worst place ever. Should have done a tour off the ship but decided to walk out of port gates……what a hell hole. We were there for two days!!!!”

Clare also had a bad experience: “It was dirty and dangerous. We didn’t book any excursions so explored on our own. Locals warned us it was not safe most of the area.”

My thoughts

Many other destinations were mentioned too, and one theme I got from reading the comments was that your experience very much depends on how you spend your time ashore.

For example, cruisers were quick to criticise the French port of Le Havre as being ‘boring, with nothing to do’. But another pointed out that it’s a great base to explore Honfleur or the Normandy war cemeteries, while another said that it has a fantastic Primark!

I’ll admit though, that the only time I’ve cruised to Le Havre I didn’t get off the ship. The temptation of an extra day on board with no queues for anything was too strong to resist!

Suggested read: 8 Reasons To Stay On Your Cruise Ship When In Port

The comments from cruisers on Facebook highlight how important it is to do your research and plan your days ashore before your cruise. Many of the negative reviews came from people who simply got off the ship and walked around or tried to hail a local taxi.

Those who went on planned excursions or ventured to nearby towns tended to avoid some of the pitfalls.

The Facebook post is here if you’d like to add your own opinions to it.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

Read more about me

4 thoughts on ““Just Stay On The Ship” – These Are The Destinations Cruisers Recommend You Don’t Get Off”

  1. Jamaica, Jamaica, and Jamaica!! What a commode.
    Ocho Rios…. You get inundated by hustlers and grifters, literally DOZENS of them, the moment you enter the port! I got nasty with a few of them because they were scaring my daughter.
    It felt so unsafe, we made a beeline BACK to the Norweigian Escape and enjoyed the “no crowd” atmosphere at the bars and restaurants.
    Believe me…. i ripped Norweigian a new one over this sheer waste of our time and money on booking this locale on our Caribbean cruise. Otherwise, the cruise was fantastic! Just that one blight on the experience

  2. Santorini used to be a wonderful place to visit but now we stay abord its so difficult and long winded to use the elevator and when you arrive in santorini village its like a football match so many people pushing andknocking into you

  3. See Amsterdam at your peril. Thousands of bikes peddled at frightening speed sandwiching you every minute. And riders are so rude if you get in there lanes which are not clearly marked, I will never go back,

  4. I have always loved going to Martinique.
    I love walking around Fort de France. I have always found the ruins of St Pierre very interesting whilst learning about the volcano eruptions and everything is well documented. I have also visited beaches on the south west coast which are beautiful and clean and the local food is great.
    One complaint that I keep hearing is that they (the Martiniquans) don’t speak English….hey it’s a French speaking country. Try to learn a few phrases like “Ecrivez pour moi, s’il vous plait.”
    (Write it down for me please) if you can’t understand how much something costs.

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