A region which is synonymous with the Cruise Industry, there are
next to no lines which do not indulge in the beauty and relaxation of
a Caribbean cruise at some point across their calendar. Itineraries
commonly start from the major hubs of Miami or Fort Lauderdale,
but there are some lines which will take in the Caribbean from the
UK with a Transatlantic crossing included, often stopping at the
Azores or Bermuda on the way.
A Caribbean Cruise has something for everyone and therefore this is a great
option for first-time cruisers and experienced travellers alike. Rates in the
Caribbean can also regularly be very reasonably priced.
The Caribbean can be split into the distinct Western, Eastern and Southern
Caribbean areas and itineraries often stick to these areas, but obviously the
proximity to each other in this relatively small sea mean that many lines will juggle
itineraries to keep them fresh.
The Southern Caribbean covers Northern South
America, the former Dutch colonies in the Netherlands Antilles such as Aruba
and Curacao and Trinidad & Tobago, one of the larger island nations.
Caribbean is the region that those aforementioned ex-UK itineraries will reach
and covers some of the most beautiful and famous islands such as Barbados, St.
Lucia, the British Virgin Islands and Antigua.
while the Western Caribbean contains
famous cruise ports like Grand Cayman and developing destinations such as
Cuba, now freed from diplomatic tensions.
Eastern Caribbean Cruises
An Eastern Caribbean cruise is a great itinerary for first-time cruisers and experienced travelers looking for a slow and relaxing pace in comfortable surroundings. Popular with both adults and children, Eastern Caribbean cruises visit the fewest number of ports, so most of your time is spent on board the ship and often with two consecutive days as sea.
Popular Ports of Call:
Nassau - Bahamas, Tortola - BVI, Virgin Gorda - BVI, San Juan - Puerto Rico, St. Martin / St. Maarten, USVI - St. Thomas, St. John, St Croix, Grand Turk
If you are taking a cruise to the Caribbean or Bahamas, one of your ports of call may be a full-day stop at your cruise line's Private Island. Private Islands are exactly as they seem, small islands, typically in the Bahamas, that are owned and operated by a cruise line for the exclusive use of their guests.
Surrounded by tranquil blue waters, sugar white beaches, and gorgeous palm trees, the Private Island day is often considered the one of the highlights of a Caribbean cruise vacation. Since these islands cater to only one ship a day, the cruise lines have created a perfect paradise that's free of the crowds and hassles that you may find on other ports of
Castaway Cay, Bahamas - Disney Cruise Line
CocoCay, Bahamas - Royal Caribbean International
Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas - Norwegian Cruise Line
Half Moon Cay, Bahamas - Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line
Princess Cays, Bahamas - Princess Cruises
Labadee. Haiti Private Resort - Royal Caribbean International
Eastern Caribbean cruises are very affordable and available year-round for 7 nights. Longer itineraries from 10-12 nights are available during the winter months. Almost every cruise line offers an Eastern Caribbean itinerary, so it's often easy to find availability, even at the last minute.
Look for ships departing from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral which are excellant locations for cruise and stay holidays,and seasonally from eastern US ports as far north as New York. A variety of different types of cruises offer Eastern Caribbean itineraries from contemporary lines to luxury lines and even specialty sailing ships.
Western Caribbean Cruises
cruises combine some of the Caribbean's most vibrant cultures with natural wonders found both on land and under the sea. The countries found in the Western Caribbean rank as some of the world's great vacation spots and top diving areas. Most itineraries provide a nice balance between time in port and time spent at sea, and are popular with the contemporary cruise lines that offer resort-style onboard atmospheres, so you'll find the best that the Caribbean has to offer both on the ship and in port.
Popular Ports of Call:
Jamaica, Cozumel, Key West, Roatan - Honduras, Belize,
Grand Cayman, Costa Maya.
Western Caribbean Cruises are Offered year-round, the Western itinerary is the most affordable cruise in the Caribbean and can range from 4, 5, 7 nights any time. During the winter months you can take 8, 10, 11 or even 14-night itineraries.
The Western Caribbean can be visited from as many as eight US departure ports in Florida and all along the Gulf Coast making it easily accessible and therefore one of the best cruise values in the Caribbean. Look for ships sailing from Galveston, Houston, New Orleans, Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Port Canaveral.
Southern Caribbean Cruises
A Southern Caribbean Cruise is for vacationers seeking the maximum amount of fun-in-the-sun and time in port. This itinerary in the area's sunniest climate offers the most port-intensive Caribbean cruises with a fast and busy pace. Since these "island-hopping" cruises typically begin in San Juan, Puerto Rico, they combine the popular ports of call in the Eastern Caribbean along with the islands of the Southern Caribbean you can take a vacation that really has it all.
Popular Ports of Call:
Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Dominica, Curacao, Willemstad, Martinique, St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, St. Martin / St. Maarten
Southern Caribbean Cruises are offered year round by Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean Internatial usually for 7 nights. Other cruise lines offer the departures only on a seasonal basis during the peak winter months and some lines also sail for 9-12 nights at this same time.
The most popular point for Southern Caribbean departures is San Juan, Puerto Rico, but some ships sail from other islands, such as Barbados, and the longer itineraries usually depart from Miami or Fort Lauderdale. All types of cruise lines offer the islands of the Southern Caribbean and you can find resort-style cruises as well as luxury lines visiting these idyllic islands. This itinerary is also the most popular with the specialty sailing vessels.
Departure Ports for Caribbean Cruises
While Port Everglades is not quite within walking distance of the beach, it is hugely convenient for everything else, just four miles equidistant between Fort Lauderdale’s international airport and the city centre. It boasts nine cruise terminals and caters to 10 cruise lines.Fort Lauderdale is a beachside jewel on the Atlantic coast with a myriad of attractions within easy reach, including magnificent shopping, dining and the immense Florida Everglades.
This is ideal territory for a pre- or post-cruise stay, with a fabulous array of activities and amenities in the area, including some of Florida’s best beaches. In truth, you’ll be spoiled for choice, while even a week is barely enough to see the highlights.
There are 664 Caribbean cruise departures from Port Everglades in 2019. The main cruise lines are:
82 cruises72 cruises 129 cruises
Not only is Miami the world’s busiest cruise port – with a corresponding choice of destinations and cruise lines that’s second to none – it’s also one of the most iconic beach resorts on the planet.Port Miami is hard to beat. It’s situated on the Downtown waterfront, putting passengers directly between Biscayne Bay and the high-rise city skyline. The port’s multiple terminals serve more than 20 different cruise lines,
Miami’s biggest draw is its miles of sandy shore, and it would be remiss to embark on a cruise here without adding a pre-or-post beach stay. The obvious place to begin is South Beach and its stunning collection of Art Deco architecture.
There are 893 Caribbean cruise departures from Port Miami in 2019. The main cruise lines are:
284 cruises 47 cruises32cruises 136 cruises
131 cruises 34 cruises 186
When you want all the excitement of Orlando’s theme parks and attractions with the convenience of a cruise port nearby, Port Canaveral is the perfect choice, just a 50-minute drive from Disney and Co. It is also the home of Disney Cruise Line and a gateway to the blissful Bahamas.Just 45 miles east of Orlando Airport, Florida’s fastest-growing port is tailor-made for cruise-and-stay holidays, offering three and four-day voyages to the Bahamas and longer trips to the Caribbean. Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruises are all based here
With so many amazing attractions in and around Orlando, it’s not uncommon to be here for a week or more to take advantage of the seven theme parks, four water parks, 10 dinner shows, hundreds of restaurants and great sports opportunities. There are dozens of smaller attractions and lots of nature and wildlife in places like Gatorland, Wild Florida, Central Florida Zoo and Forever Florida.
There are 592 Caribbean cruise departures from Port Canaveral in 2019. The main cruise lines are:
226 cruises 157 cruises58 cruises 151 cruises
Bridgetown - Barbados
Barbados offers first-rate sightseeing, dotted around the rolling and lush interior are plantation homes and glorious botanical gardens to visit, and the British colonial garrison and parts of the capital Bridgetown are a Unesco World Heritage Site. If you want to take things easy, enticing beaches lie in easy reach of the port, good restaurants are plentiful,aswell as rum shops – laid-back and characterful bars that serve as cornerstones of local life.
Barbados is the departure port for many P & O Caribbean cruises, and it's well worth considering adding on a couple of nights on land at the start or end of the trip. Doing so could enable you to sample one of the cosseting hotels that line the west coast and several of the island's many gourmet restaurants. There's also Oistins Fish Fry, a large-scale, food-oriented street party every Friday evening.
There are 226 Caribbean cruise departures from Bridgetown in 2019. The main cruise lines are:
51 cruises 45 cruises 17 cruises
Caribbean Cruise Lines
Carnival Cruise Lines stays true to its lively reputation with its festive atmosphere and versatile entertainment options.on board Carnival Cruise Line's 25 "Fun Ships," you'll find plenty of activities to keep you busy. With waterslides and sports courts, casinos and piano bars, comedy acts and night clubs, Carnival's fleet offers guests of all ages something to enjoy. The cruise line's knack for variety carries over to onboard cuisine, which includes three-course meals served in the main dining room, a Lido deck buffet and specialty restaurants dishing out everything from Italian fare to sake and sushi.
Celebrity Cruises earns high marks from cruisers and experts alike thanks to its upscale design and innovative cuisine.Regardless of the ship you select, you can expect a high level of customer service, with each ship carrying approximately one crew member for every two passengers. No matter which itinerary you choose, you'll find a full docket of onboard activities, including dance lessons, wine workshops and trivia contests as well as relaxing pursuits like spa treatments. And when you work up an appetite, the fleet offers a variety of dining options ranging from the Main Restaurant to delicacies available at several specialty restaurants.
Disney Cruise Line's four ships – Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy – receive kudos from families and critics alike for their kid-friendly atmosphere, whimsical amenities and spacious staterooms. The theme of Disney cruises theme is understated enough that sentimental adults looking to reconnect with their childhood fantasies will enjoy sailing just as much as the kids: Each ship boasts secluded adults-only pools, restaurants and lounges. Although Disney's ships vary in size, on each vessel you'll find approximately one crew member for every three passengers.
Holland America Line caters to affluent adults with midsize ships that carry between 835 and 2,650 guests. Each ship provides high-quality service with two or three crew members for every passenger. Ship activities range from art tours to mixology demonstrations. Spend your time at sea practicing cooking techniques in the Culinary Arts Center or perfecting your photography and blogging skills in the Digital Workshop powered by Windows
All Holland America ships feature a casino; alternatively, you can mingle with fellow passengers in one of the bars or lounges, or enjoy Broadway-style performances in the theater. What's more, the ships provide complimentary popcorn while screening movies by the pool or in the movie theater. Several ships in the fleet also feature the B.B. King Blues Club, where a blues band performs nightly.
Swiss-based MSC Cruises sets itself apart from other cruise lines with its refined onboard experiences and eclectic selection of facilities, including adults-only pools, Balinese spas and 4-D cinemas. The line's ships cater to a variety of nationalities sailing carrying anywhere from 1,984 to 4,488 passengers at full capacity, with approximately one crew member for every three passengers. the whole fleet receives praise from previous passengers for its sophisticated ambiance and the value of its itineraries – the cruise fare covers ship activities and most meals (with the exception of specialty restaurants). Food options vary aboard each ship, though most MSC cruises' restaurants feature globally inspired cuisine.
Meanwhile, MSC entertainment includes evening concerts, live shows, parties and contests,
Norwegian Cruise Line is known for its fun, laid-back ambiance and inventive "freestyle cruising" concept, which promotes no enforced dress codes, no fixed dining times and comes with a plethora of onboard entertainment and family-friendly activities. When it comes to dining, Norwegian's options are notably varied. The cruise line's "freestyle dining" program allows you to chow down in globally inspired eateries like French bistros and Japanese teppanyaki restaurants, and sit down at traditional cruise buffets and formal dining rooms without fixed dining times or assigned seating.
Norwegian Cruise Line's ships are fairly large, carrying between 1,936 and 4,266 passengers. While Norwegian's vessels can feel crowded, they maintain a ratio of approximately one staff member per every two or three passengers
During your voyage, adults stay entertained with live shows such as Tony Award-nominated Rock of Ages musical or sketch comedy from The Second City comedy troupe (available on four ships), while youngsters can spend time at onboard water parks and kids programs.
Oceania Cruises bills itself as an upper-premium cruise line, positioned squarely between the luxury segment and the premium segment. Essentially, this distills into “pay less, get more.”
Oceania offers a vacation that emphasizes fine food and wine, luxurious accommodations and personalized service aboard its four intimate and mid-sized ships
Princess Cruises targets a wide range of traveler types, including families, solo passengers and couples in their 30s, 40s and 50s.
Princess' extensive roster of onboard activities attracts a broad range of traveler types. You can participate in activities inspired by Discovery Communications' TV shows through the Discovery at Sea program, discuss literature at the Princess Cruises Book Club or simply unwind at the adults-only Sanctuary or the Lotus Spa.When nighttime rolls around, you can test Lady Luck at the casino, enjoy one of Princess' performances or sip on a cocktail at one of the ship's upscale bars and lounges.
Princess offers a plethora of dining options. Head to the Horizon Court for buffet-style meals, or stay poolside and indulge in lighter fare like hamburgers, pizza and sweets. You can also enjoy round-the-clock meals at International Café or soothe your appetite from the comfort of your private cabin
founded in 1837 this line has a long pedigree and is British to its core with a host of features that appeal to a clientele that is predominantly UK based
Signatures of the line – two kinds of ship, adult-only and family-friendly, mean that both kinds of cruise enthusiast are made welcome
Special dining features - Arcadia and Oriana have Gary Rhodes restaurants, while Ventura features Marco Pierre White and Azura has an Olly Smith themed restaurant that focuses on dining and fine wine
. In the evening, your ship comes to life and you can enjoy West-End style shows featuring music from hit musicals. Not to mention the live music, tribute shows, cabaret and comedy in the bars and show lounges.
With a fleet that includes some of the world’s biggest cruise ships, and a history of being at the forefront of cruising innovation, Royal Caribbean is one of the biggest names in the cruise business — and, among the mainstream lines, one of the best.fully half of the line’s fleet is made up of Voyager‘s sister ships and their newer and larger cousins, including the 5,400-guest Oasis of the Sea and Allure of the Seas, the current world record holders. Beyond size, Royal Caribbean has also been an innovator in terms of the kinds of things you can do aboard ships — from rock climbing, ice skating, and ziplining to seeing full-scale Broadway shows and strolling around in a 21,000-square-foot open-air tropical garden.
Entertainment-wise, Royal Caribbean is among the best at sea. Its newest ships, Oasis and Allure of the Seas, both feature real Broadway productions—Chicago: The Musical on Allure and Hairspray! on Oasis, and the line is working toward expanding that trend out to other ships in the fleet.
There are also song-and-dance revues, dance competitions, karaoke, and some amazing ice shows on the Voyager-, Freedom-, and Oasis-class ships
When to Travel
Bridgetown Average High/low Temperatures
For Caribbean vacations, high season has commonly lasted from December to April,The winter months in the Caribbean can be hectic. Half the known world seems to want to take their winter breaks here,
The temperatures at night in the winter months vary from as low as 10°C (50°F) in the far northern parts of the Caribbean around western Cuba and the northern Bahamas to as warm as 22-23°C (72-73°F) in the southern Antillean Islands. During the daytime in winter, the maximum temperature can vary from 24-25°C (75-77°F) in the northern parts, to 29-31°C (84-88°F) in the southern areas
In the summer, the humidity levels rise and so does the temperature. Temperatures above 36°C (97°F) are rare and if they do occur they only last a day or two. The most frequent region where this can occur is in the south eastern parts of Cuba.
The typical maximum daytime temperatures ranges between 29-32°C (84-90°F). At night time in summer, the minimum temperatures drop to around 24°C (75°F) with at least five nights where the temperature doesn't drop below 28°C (82°F).