The Magic and Delight of
Oh yes, heavenly shopping at Duty Free Prices with must have bargains in name brand goods and gorgeous island made arts and crafts.
But I think it is the incredible crystal clear seas teeming with marine life make this part of the world a perfect vacation destination and why Caribbean cruises are so popular.
There's much more to this region stretching from south Florida to South America than sun, sand and surf. No other destination presents so many choices - sure you could book a Florida vacation at the Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista, and could have a fun time on the beaches and at Disney World - but Caribbean cruise itineraries and lengths, with anything from a two-night getaway to an extended voyage sailing from ports from New York to Central America have so much to offer.
In fact, it is so vast and diverse that it really constitutes three separate areas, traditionally defined as
Eastern Caribbean Cruises including the Bahamas
Antigua, Basseterre, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Gustavia, Jopst Van Dyke, Philipsburg, St. Barts, St. Crox, St. Kitts, St. John, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, Tortola, Virgin Gorda
Western Caribbean Cruises
George Town, Grand Cayman,Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios
Southern Caribbean Cruises
Aruba, Barbados, Bequia, Bridgetown, Carriacou, Castries, Curacao, Fort-De-France, Grenada, Martinique, Oranjestad, Port of Spain, St George's, St.Lucia, St.Vincent, Tobago, Trinidad, Willemstad
Typical week long Caribbean island cruises allow you to sample the hospitality, culture, history and peoples at four or five different ports. Each port call opens the door to a new slice of paradise, where you might discover traces of France or Britain or the Netherlands or Spain woven into the distinctive pace and style of the regions many individual nations.
You can cruise year-round in the Caribbean. An ideal destination for the family makes school holiday periods among the busiest times of year. There are plenty of Caribbean vacation ideas to be explored. Those looking for the best values in a cruise to the Caribbean and the Bahamas should check sailing dates in January, late spring or September through early December.
We are pleased to bring you an outstanding variety of Caribbean cruises to explore! Some of the most popular ports for Caribbean cruises are:
Unspoiled and largely rural,Dominica boasts lush rain forests,dense jungles, dramatic waterfalls and rugged mountain scenery.Snorkel the famed Champagne Reef, walk the winding streets of Roseau or take an adventurous hikeon the loftiest peaks in the Eastern Caribbean.
FT. LAUDERDALE (Port of Embarkation for many Caribbean cruises)
Watersports abound along Ft. Lauderdale’s seven miles of beaches. After the sun sets, stroll along the village-like Las Olas Boulevard for some of the city’s best restaurants, jazz bands and trendy shops.
Located about 50 miles southeast of Houston, in the Gulf Mexico,this island offers visitors a perfect blend of city and seaside resort.Explore its historical and cultural attractions, or simply spend the day swimming, sunbathing and relaxing.
GRAND CAYMAN (Western Caribbean Cruises)
Endless stretches of white sand await you along Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach. For many visitors, few adventures compare to a snorkel excursion to the world-famous Stingray Sandbar or an experienced dive to the “West Wall,” with its abundant marine life.
ROATAN, Bay Islands
You'll receive a welcome as warm as the weather in this rustic, banana-shaped idyll of brilliant blue water, palm-fringed beaches and cooling trade winds. One of three Bay Islands just off the coast of Honduras, Roatan is home to a mix of eight different cultures who share a common pride in their homeland. Just off shore, the pristine Belizean Reef—teeming with marine life and some of the best pillar coral in the Caribbean—is considered one of the best dive destinations in the world. Be sure to see my friend Murray Russ at Captain Vans - they have all kinds of two wheel vehicles to zoom around the island on!
Surrounded by dense rain forests and quaint fishing villages, Grenada is filled with natural wonders. Take a drive to the healing waters of the Sulphur Pond, sample some local rum along the Carenage or enjoy a scenic hike to the Seven Sisters Waterfall.
Located off Venezuela’s north coast, this “Pearl of the Caribbean” greets you with 320 days of sunshine per year. Walk the beaches of Playa del Agua where you can shop for hand-made hammocks or enjoy the palm-lined shores of Playa Parguito.
Once known as the “Island of Flowers,” this tropical French destination is home to exotic wild orchids, flamingo flowers, frangipani and vivid blooms of hibiscus. Explore the beautiful beaches and rolling hills of its southland, or head north to Mont Pelée, one of the Caribbean’s most impressive volcanoes.
MONTEGO BAY(Western Caribbean Cruises)
Affectionately known as “MoBay,” this thriving port city is home to a lively
waterfront, fantastic golf courses and several remarkable Georgian stone
buildings and timber houses in its downtown. Shop for arts and crafts at
the market or simply work on your tan at any one of its spectacular beaches.
NEW YORK CITY
Whether you walk the city blocks or catch the subway, New York is a spectacular city to explore. Stroll through Central Park, Times Square and beautiful Greenwich Village.
A true paradise, Antigua offers an impressive choice of beaches — 366 total. One for every day of the year and one left over, as locals like to boast. Visit the faithfully restored Nelson’s Dockyard, now a museum and active marina, or enjoy an exhilarating dolphin encounter.
Much of this exotic island gleams with an extraordinary beauty, especially the east coast, with its surf-carved rock formations and deserted beaches. For an afternoon of pure relaxation, head to Aruba’s west coast, where non-stop sunshine, soft white sands and aquamarine waters reign.
Check out things to do and tours in Aruba!
With its picturesque rolling hills and endless expanse of white-sand beaches, Barbados is the quintessential island getaway. Investigate Harrison’s Cave, with its bubbling streams, cascading waterfalls, stalactites and stalagmites. Or taste the island’s famous rum at the Mount Gay Rum Factory.
More on the Barbados
BELIZE CITY Western Caribbean Cruises
This sparsely populated country is a diver and snorkeler’s dream. Aside from ancient Mayan ruins and dense rain forest in its deep interior, Belize is best known for its barrier reef, a great wall of coral stretching the length of the coast. Just beyond this natural wonder are 175 cays, and farther out to sea, three coral atolls.
A protected marine park with technicolored reefs and a rainbow of marine life surround this spectacular island in the Netherlands Antilles. Search above water on a nature tour through the kunuku, or outback. See cacti, divi-divi trees and iguanas at Washington/Slagbaai National Park. And a walking tour of downtown Kralendijk will reveal historic sights.
CARACAS (La Guaira)
From La Guaira, peruse the vibrant and energetic capital city of Venezuela. Both stylish and tropical, Caracas is an entirely exotic destination, boasting modern architecture, public sculptures and murals of the city’s historic figures.
COSTA MAYA (Mahahual)
Surrounded by dense jungle and mangroves, Costa Maya is your gateway to intriguing Mayan ruins and water activities. Discover its pristine coral reefs on a catamaran snorkel tour or paddle along its calm turquoise waters with a kayak excursion.
Enjoy a snorkel adventure on the famous Palancar Reef or swim with the dolphins at Chankanaab National Marine Park. Explore the glorious Mayan ruins of Tulum on an excursion to the Yucatan Peninsula. Or walk inland along narrow streets for beautiful hand-painted Talavera pottery.
Experience the Netherlands Antilles from its colorful capital, Willemstad. Or take a leisurely 45-minute drive to the secluded and palm-lined beach of Playa Kalki and view petroglyphs and the dramatic grotto of Hato Caves.
Explore Ocho Rios from popular Turtle Beach or travel a couple miles inland to Fern Gully. Just two miles west of town is Jamaica’s best-known attraction, Dunn’s River Falls, which boasts over 600 feet of limestone tiers and refreshing waterfalls.
PRINCESS CAYS (Private Island - Princess Cruises)
Located in the Bahamas, our private island and tropical playground is set amidst the unspoiled beaches of South Eleuthera. Play a game of volleyball, snorkel in the crystal-clear waters or ride the aqua bikes on this fun island.
HALF MOON CAY (Private Island - Holland America)
The highest-rated port of call on Holland America's Caribbean itineraries, Half Moon Cay is located on 55-acres of the 2,400-acre Little San Salvador Island, an international bird sanctuary in the Bahamas (only two percent of the island is developed). Rated as "Best Private Island" by Porthole Cruise Magazine for the past four years,
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico
Originally built as a fortress, San Juan is rich with Spanish tradition. It’s also the second oldest city in the Americas. Tour the city’s beautifully restored 16th-century buildings and 200-year old houses.
This mellow island is home to beautiful uncrowded beaches, lush rain forests and historic ruins. Visit the capital city of Basseterre with its Victorian architecture or enjoy a ride on the exciting new “Sugar Train” which circles most of the island. You’ll also want to tour the island’s restored 18th-century plantation inns.
This verdant island is a paradise in the Caribbean, with its lush forests and sprawling banana plantations. For dramatic scenery, head south where the twin peaks of the Pitons are a stunning backdrop to the Caribbean Sea. Or take in the charming French atmosphere of Castries, the capital city.
This popular island is home to two cultures — one side of the island, St. Maarten, is Dutch and the other side, St. Martin, is French. Take advantage of the fashionable shops and duty-free boutiques of Phillipsburg or just spend the afternoon lazing on the powdery white-sand beaches.
Explore St. Thomas from underwater with a helmet dive at Coral World or a submarine dive near Buck Island. Play golf at Mahogany Run, a magnificent 18-hole, par-70 course.
With its tan- and black-sand beaches, this rugged and low-key island is host to any number of outdoor adventures, including snorkeling, diving and hiking. Stroll the cobblestoned streets of Kingstown, with its West Indian feel and unique atmosphere.
The largest of the British Virgin Islands, Tortola is still as peaceful and spectacularly beautiful as her 50 sisters. Spend an afternoon at Smugglers Cove or Cane Garden Bay. Then stroll through Road Town, the island’s picturesque capital city, for your choice of top-notch restaurants and shops.
Tour this dazzling island, from its densely forested peaks and serene northern beaches to the protected wetlands and coconut palms of the eastern coast. And this fascinating place has a unique blend of South American and Caribbean cultures.
Top 2014 Cruise Trends (CLIA)
Rebound in luxury cruising (luxury category ships, onboard upgrades) based on an improving economy and increased consumer confidence
Multigenerational and celebration travel increase for all passenger source markets with larger sized family as well as social/ affinity groups traveling together
Continued development and availability of technology to facilitate and lower the cost of onboard communications as well as to provide more efficient passenger servicing
Expectation of first-time passenger growth driven by the 95 million Millennial generation based on population size and positive experiences cruising with their parents
Cruise lines offering more all-inclusive options and packaging in accommodations, services and amenities for increased ease in booking and ship enjoyment
Cruises increasingly attracting consumers seeking active vacations with extreme excursions, longer stays in ports for sightseeing and high-energy onboard facilities
Seeing the world in comfort and ease, especially exotic locations, will continue to drive new itinerary creation and cruise ship deployment
Hot destinations for 2014 according to CLIA cruise line members include: Trans Pacific, World Cruises, U.S. Rivers, South America, Antarctic, Middle East, Canada/New England, Africa and Exotic Rivers