With hundreds of islands to visit, the Caribbean has been a favorite cruise destination for many years. However, the Caribbean is far more than just one destination. In fact, within the “Caribbean” label, there are literally hundreds of islands and many ports of call from which to choose. Each of the destinations has a different and unique flavor, and many cruises want to show you what they are all about. If you are considering a Caribbean cruise for your vacation, take a look at these top Caribbean destinations for cruise vacations.
The Bahamas are among the most popular Caribbean cruise destinations of all. The Bahamas offer an international flavor without being too unfamiliar to English-speaking tourists. While you will need a passport to travel to the Bahamas, once you get there the environment will be comfortably familiar. Many Caribbean cruises anchor at Grand Bahama Island, where visitors can take advantage of shopping at Freeport and the casinos and opulent resorts of Nassau.
Bermuda is a pastel confection of an island, famous for its pink sand beaches and pastel colored cottages. It is a favorite port of call and Caribbean cruise destination with several cruise ships a day anchoring at St. George’s for memorable shore excursions. Visitors to the island can enjoy a round of golf or take a cruise on a glass bottom boat to view the astounding undersea life around the island.
If you are looking for nightlife with an international flavor, Aruba is the best place to visit. The little island is one of the more developed in the Caribbean, with top-shelf luxury resorts and flashy nightclubs and casinos. Daytime activities include wind-surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and lying around on their beautiful beaches. At night, the resort comes alive with discos and nightclubs for those who want to party all night long.
The Cayman Islands
Grand Cayman, the largest of the Cayman Islands, is the best spot in the Caribbean for spectacular scuba diving and snorkeling. Just offshore, the land drops away creating some of the most amazing and awe-inspiring underwater venues in the world. Grand Cayman is a haven for shoppers who will find dozens of duty free shops lining the streets. For those who want to enjoy the underwater world, there are cant-miss shore excursions that include snorkeling, swimming with the sting-rays, or touring around in a glass-bottom boat, so that visitors can enjoy the scenery without getting too wet.
The U.S. Virgin Islands
Charlotte Amalie, the major city on St. Thomas, is easily the busiest port of call in the Caribbean. The pretty little town is one of the most developed in the islands, offering wonderful shopping, lovely resorts and excellent restaurants. Charlotte Amalie features nearly 400 duty-free shops, making it the stop of choice for those with serious shopping addictions. While St. Croix is the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, it is far less developed, and shore excursions to St. Croix often visit historic sites or enjoy eco-tours and bike excursions around the island. The third island, St. John, is the smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, and generally considered the most scenic of all the islands. A large portion of St. John is set aside as the Virgin Islands National Park, making it an ideal destination for hikers and those who love nature.
Popularized by the catchy song, Montego Bay, Jamaica remains one of the most famous ports of call in the Caribbean. Montego Bay is the second largest city on the island of Jamaica, famed for its white sand beaches and cosmopolitan flair. It offers luxury resorts, world-class restaurants, golf courses and rowdy nightlife that are famed worldwide. One visit to Montego Bay, affectionately called M-Bay in the islands, and you will be singing along with Bobby Bloom in his homage to the hypnotic island town.
Trinidad and Tobago
The tiny island nations of Trinidad and Tobago often get short shrift when discussing Caribbean destinations, but they are full of tropical flavor and fun. Trinidad is the home of the steel drum, that quintessentially Caribbean musical instrument with an unmistakably tropical sound. Both Trinidad and Tobago offer long stretches of beautiful beachfront for sports and leisure, as well as tropical rain forests for hiking and sightseeing. Trinidad is famous for its party carnival atmosphere while Tobago is more relaxed and famed for its island nature tours.
The cities and islands on the list above are by no means the only destinations for vacation cruises in the Caribbean, but they should definitely be on your short list of ports of call to visit. There are many other islands and cities that your cruise may visit so take time to check over your cruise itinerary and choose shore excursions at the cruise destinations you most enjoy.