A Western Caribbean cruise vacation is popular with families interested in exotic ports that have sun, sand and surf, exciting and adventurous eco-tourism, history of ancient civilizations, and fantastic beaches. Cruise ships that depart for the Western Caribbean
set sail from cities close to this region like Galveston, Texas, New Orleans, Louisiana, Tampa, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama. This makes cruises to the Western Caribbean more accessible to first time cruise travelers and for those wanting a shorter cruise such as a 3 or 4 day weekend cruise.
Here are four popular destinations in the Western Caribbean found on cruise itineraries:
Belize – For the nature adventurer and eco-tourist, Belize is known throughout the world for its abundant and diverse natural environments. Having the longest living barrier reef in the western hemisphere and boasting of the abundant marine life, Belize is a great place for scuba diving and snorkeling. Inland, Belize is dotted with ancient ruins and caves that were inhabited by the Mayan. The ruins at Cahal Pech are easier to get to for families by car. Cave tubing is becoming a popular way to experience the ancient cave dwellings as well as canoeing. Spectacular beaches with the soft sounds of Reggae playing cannot be missed when in Belize.
Cayman Islands – Grand Cayman, the largest island and most visited of the Caymans, offers the most in family activities. Visit the Turtle Farm at Boatswain’s Beach, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Pirate’s Caves, and more. There are many shore excursions to plan when in the Cayman Islands. Scuba diving, snorkeling with sting rays in Sting Ray City, ride the Atlantis Submarine up to 100 feet deep to explore shipwrecks and coral reefs, tour secluded shorelines, inlets, and the tranquil beauty of mangrove communities by kayak, or tour inland by jeep or horseback riding, shop the duty free stores in George Town., and many others. Caymanians enjoy high standards and quality living and are a friendly people. Peace, serenity, on this tropical island paradise is what they enjoy and willingly share with others.
Dominican Republic – Having the highest and lowest recorded sea level points in the Caribbean basin, the Dominican Republic’s landscape is anything but monotonous. Mountains and cliffs provide excitement for climbers, hikers, and the adventure enthusiast who would like to try cascading or canyoning. Walking and hiking tours through the Dominican Republic’s national parks and preserves expose visitors to the diverse wildlife and plant life. White water rafting and tubing over rapids provide intense adrenaline rush. Sandboarding is a popular activity for those who can’t get enough of snowboarding in the winter months. The many water sports on the crystal clear turquoise blue waters and white sand beaches will make you want to stay for a long, long time. Windsurfing, kiteboarding, scuba diving and snorkeling, deep sea fishing, catamaran sailing, and many others are offered with instructions and guides from local businesses. Whale watching between January and March features humpback whales, one of the largest species of the marine mammals. Compared to other Caribbean destinations, the Dominican Republic is quite inexpensive. Just be sure to keep to the tourist spots.
Jamaica – The birth place of reggae and jerk cuisine, and home of what is considered the best coffee in the world, Jamaica is one of the most popular choices in cruise destinations. Ochos Rios on the north coast is where cruise ships dock. From there, you will find the cascading Dunn’s River Falls where you can take a guided hike up the falls for a breath taking view of the rain forested canopy. Street market vendors sell art, food, seasonal fruits, t-shirts, just about anything. Enjoy horse back riding through the lush tropical forest and the tranquil Jamaican countryside. The powdery white sand beaches provide plenty of water sports and recreation to choose from. For something a bit different, rent a glass bottom boat for a few hours and sail around the coast and view the inhabitants of the coral reef. Jamaica is both laid back and exciting, lively and serene. Whatever you’re looking for in Jamaica, you are sure to enjoy your stay there.
With so many sites to see, places to visit, and things to do, a Western Caribbean cruise possesses an enchanting allure that will you make you want to return to the cultures, music, cuisine, and friendly people this region has to offer.