Caribbean Cruise – Expert Guide

Comprising of around 50 islands (750 if you count the

archipelago of the Bahamas), the Caribbean is a real

treasure trove when it comes to cruising. A rich

variety of vistas, people and places await, along with

swaying palms and idyllic beaches of golden sand.

The network of islands in the Caribbean is in fact so

extensive that it is possible to book several Caribbean

cruises and avoid going to the same islands twice!

There are four basic Caribbean cruise routes used by

cruise operators:

Western Caribbean Cruise Route – Departing from

seaports in Texas, Louisiana and Florida, the Western

Route takes in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, the

island of Cozumel, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and

any number of islands off the coasts of Honduras and

Belize.

Eastern Caribbean Cruise Route – One of the most

popular Caribbean cruise routes, the Eastern Route

typically departs from Florida and other seaports

along the eastern seaboard of the United States. The

route calls on destinations such as Key West, The

Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands the Virgin Islands

(including St. Thomas and St. Croix), and Puerto

Rico.

Southern Caribbean Cruise Route – This route

normally commences at San Juan in Puerto Rico, and

takes in many possible destinations along the Lesser

Antilles and the Netherlands Antilles as far west as

Aruba.

Exotic/Long-duration Caribbean Cruise Route – This

route takes in any/all of the above destinations,

and can sometimes end in a different place to where

the cruise started.

Given this broad assortment of destinations available

in the Caribbean, it can be a bit overwhelming when

trying to make that crucial decision on which islands

to fit into your itinerary. After all, you don’t want

to miss out on some true Caribbean gems, do you? So,

whether you’re planning a short vacation or a longer

cruise break away from home, here is a selection of

‘must-sees’ & ‘must-dos’ on your Caribbean adventure.

St Croix (Virgin Islands) – Take a night kayak trip

in Salt River National Park and visit the first

landing site of Christopher Columbus on his voyage

to the New World.

Grenada – Although ravaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004,

Grenada is still well worth a visit for its scuba

diving. You can explore the largest shipwreck in the

Caribbean here and see an underwater volcano.

St. Thomas (Virgin Islands) – The Cinnamon Bay

National Park offers excellent snorkeling

opportunities. You can see a wealth of underwater

life in the shallow waters around St. Thomas.

Jamaica – Why not try your hand at bamboo rafting in

Montego Bay?

Puerto Rico – No Caribbean cruise would be complete

without a visit to the world famous Condado Beach on

the island of Puerto Rico.

Aruba – Want to find Caribbean paradise? How about

relaxing on one of the 365 beaches that surround the

Dutch island of Aruba.

St Kitts – Swim with the turtles in the waters around

St Kitts and then relax on the pink sand beaches on

this beautiful island.

Good luck with planning your trip and happy cruising.