Caribbean cruises are all the rage these days. When you consider the range of amenities and facilities, the varied ports of call, and the range of activities on offer, Caribbean cruises are pretty good value. They offer much more than any one Caribbean resort can offer, and can be great fun no matter what the weather is like. Modern cruise liners are huge and can usually handle rough weather in stair without the passengers on board even noticing. The popularity of Caribbean cruises has been rejected in several cruise lines operating in the region, as well as several different routes to choose from. So how do you decide which cruise line and route?
Firstly, let us take a look at the Caribbean cruise lines on offer. The big names are Royal Caribbean, Princess and Norwegian, and it makes sense to look at these three first. They have made their names based on their reputation of reliability, service and range of amenities, services, activities and routes. The pick of these would have to be Royal Caribbean. They have the largest and most modern fleet of cruise ships in the Caribbean, and, despite normal fares being a tad expensive, have some surprisingly cheap Caribbean cruise package deals especially in the off season. However if you are planning your vacation for a high season, book well in advance as Royal Caribbean is often sold out months beforehand. Norwegian is also a great cruise line and a little cheaper than Royal Caribbean, while Princess is another good option for those looking for a deal. There are several other Caribbean cruise operations that work on theme-based cruises, such as Celebrity, which may suit certain travelers' tastes.
Now, on to Caribbean cruise routes. Typically cruises take place in a certain area of the Caribbean, visiting the ports of call particular to that region. Basically, the Caribbean Sea can be divided into Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern areas. Depending on the length of the cruise, one or a few of these regions can be explored. There are also cruises just to one destination, such as Bermuda or the Bahamas (both of which are technically not actually part of the Caribbean, but close enough!). Personally, I think the Eastern and Southern routes are the most interesting. The Eastern routes usually stop at such fantastic places as Antigua, St Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla, all of which are steeped in history and have the friendliest people. These routes may also take you through the French and Netherlands Antilles, which have their own distinct cultural atmosphere and magnificent sights. The Southern cruises also take you to magical islands such as Trinidad, Tobago, Curacao, Aruba, Barbados and Bonaire. Those with enough time and money can easily combine these two regions into one cruise, seeing what I consider to be the best of what the Caribbean has to offer!