If there was one destination in the world that pretty much sums up the definition of paradise, surely it has to be the Caribbean. Gleaming crescents of creamy white sand, shimmering bath tub temperature waters and a tropical temperature all year round – it’s no wonder that this spell-binding part of the world has long been a favourite haunt of the cruise ship crowd.
It’s not just the enchanting scenery that makes the Caribbean so appealing to cruise lines. The islands offer enough of a variety of experiences to suit all manner of tastes with landscapes that range from lush rainforests to rolling sand dunes.
In addition, the perfect spacing of destinations means that it’s possible to plan a trip where you awake in a new port every morning. This is most definitely one of the biggest plus points for those that want to visit a variety of islands in one fell swoop – independently travelling the islands generally involves booking pricey flights.
Culture vultures will relish the opportunity to immerse themselves in the colonial history of the islands. A wide variety of influences have shaped the Caribbean way of life – one day you might explore the Spanish side of beautiful Havana whilst the next could see you dining on French-Creole cuisine in Martinique.
Your choice of activities and shore excursions in the Caribbean will depend on the port towns you visit. From rum-tasting in Barbados to snorkelling in the pristine waters of Bonaire Marine Park; from discovering ancient Mayan ruins in Cozumel, to swimming with stingrays in Grand Cayman – the variety of memorable experiences on offer in this part of the world is, quite frankly, endless.
The Western Caribbean is a popular destination for first-time cruisers with a variety of stops that offer sun, sea, sand and a journey through the history of ancient civilisations. This area comprises of the region south of Florida’s shores and includes Key West, Grand Cayman, Jamaica and the islands off Mexico’s Caribbean coast.
The Eastern Caribbean is renowned for being a tourist’s playground with resorts offering stylish restaurants and excellent shopping. Stops on this route include St. Thomas, St, Maarten and San Juan, Puerto Rico’s lively capital.
The Southern Caribbean region calls to those looking to explore slightly more exotic and far-flung destinations such as Barbados, Aruba, St. Barts and Antigua. Here you can take the opportunity to mix up popular cruise destinations with excursions that take you off the beaten track.
Although you can expect warm to hot temperatures all year round, there are still more favourable periods to travel to the Caribbean than others. Peak season is from mid-December to April when the climate is at its most comfortable with hot sunny days, low humidity and a pleasant breeze at night. This is when the widest selection of cruise routes is available, however it is also the busiest time and port towns may well be bustling tourists.
Travel just outside of peak times for the best deals and, though you may experience the occasional downpour and a rise in humidity, the region will be a lot quieter with key sights all the more accessible.
Hurricane season runs from June through to November, although the months most likely to experience storms are September and October. Correspondingly, these are the months when cruise prices hit rock bottom. Bear in mind it is unlikely your ship will sail headlong into a major storm – it is a far more likely outcome that the ship will change course and your itinerary will change.
Due to the popularity of cruising in this part of the world, most of the big name cruise lines such as Carnival, Disney, Norwegian, P&O and Thomson offer holidays in the islands. In order to find out the best information regarding specialist cruises such as luxury liners, it may be worth your while to book through a travel agent that focuses on cruise.
Additionally, cruisingexcursions.com offers a range of shore excursions to choose from and a useful comparison tool to help you pick the top deal for your dollar. Check great deals now to book your shore excursions!
Another great way for saving a few pennies is to use a price comparison tool to find the best travel insurance deal for you. Medical Travel Compared offers a wide range of insurers, who provide great deals on Cruise Travel Insurance – we can help you tick this important task off your holiday checklist.