Carribean cruises are wonderful no matter where you go. The Caribbean boasts some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world, magnificent marine life and one of the warmest year-around climates on the planet. Caribbean cruises also offer more flexibility and options than any other type of cruise, including year around cruise destinations, a vast selection of cruise itineraries, and Caribbean cruises embark from more ports of call than any other type of cruise on the market. It’s no wonder Caribbean cruises are the most popular cruises on the market today accounting for more than 60% of the North American cruise industry.
There are three common Caribbean cruise itineraries including: Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean and Southern Caribbean. Deep Southern Caribbean cruise itineraries may be considered a fourth. If you’re interested in exploring the most popular Caribbean region in the Caribbean, a Western Caribbean cruise is for you!
Western Caribbean cruises may embark from New Orleans, Texas or Florida and ports of call include exotic places such as Belize, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Cozumel or Grand Cayman. Because Western Caribbean ports of call are farther apart, passengers typically spend more time at sea, but there are still many opportunities to explore the islands and participate in numerous water activities and sports.
The Western Caribbean offers some of the best diving in the world and once in a lifetime opportunities to hike through vast rain forests (guided or on your own), explore the Mayan ruins of Altun Ha & Belize City (on foot or horseback), visit amazing mountain waterfalls and engage in a variety of water activities such as diving, snorkeling, cave exploration, tubing, sailing, deep sea fishing and wind surfing.
For the adventurous set, Sting Ray City in Grand Cayman is a must see. Snorkel alongside hundreds of stingrays with a professional diver and observe how they live, or opt for a combination kayaking/snorkeling adventure through crystal clear waters. Visitors may also explore many amazing wildlife habitats, and in Cozumel there’s even a bicycle tour to world famous Chankanaab National Park, where Mayan homes stand among lush, tropical foliage.
Wherever your ship may take you in the Western Caribbean, there are endless activities, attractions and adventures to choose from, so be sure to choose a vacation length that will allow you to experience as much of the Western Caribbean as you can. Vacation lengths may be short-term (2-5 days) or long-term (7-10 days), with 7 days being the most popular. There are also 14-day cruises if time isn’t of the essence and money is no object!
Western Caribbean cruise prices vary depending on vessel size, vacation length, cruise line, accommodation type and destinations. Keep in mind that prices don’t necessarily depend on ports of call. Oftentimes, they depend heavily on the type of accommodations you choose, be it luxury or budget. As a general rule of thumb, most prices include meals, ship transportation, accommodations, entertainment and most social activities. The price may not include alcohol, dry cleaning, excursions, gratuities, port charges and extra activities like gambling. Passengers may find some of the best values and discounts during the month of January, late spring and from September through December.
A few of the more popular cruise lines serving the Western Caribbean include Royal Caribbean International, Costa Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.
Whichever cruise line you choose, and whichever destinations you visit, you are sure to create memories of a lifetime on your Western Caribbean cruise.