Isla Parida, Panama
The Caribbean is the most popular cruise destination in the world, offering white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, great shopping and an exciting mix of cultures.
There are four main Caribbean cruise destinations:
This area comprises the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and St Maarten, however these cruises also often include the Bahamas. Cruises are generally for 7 nights with 3 days at sea and 3 in ports and so offering a very relaxing style of cruise. The Islands here are smaller and shore excursions here are more geared to beach and water activities.
This cruise area includes the Mexican and Central American ports on the Gulf of Mexico as well the islands of Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Hispaniola. These cruises offer more history and culture along with the beach and water activities. Western Caribbean cruises include short 4 night escapes with the longer 7 night cruises.
This area includes the islands east and south o St Maarten. The region is less well known and well cruised as the East and West Caribbean but includes a set of islands that still have a very evident colonial heritage. The Fench Dutch and English all played their part in forming the different characters of these islands which include Trinidad, St Croix, St Vincent, St Kitts Aruba, Grenada and more
These cruises are generally 14 nights long and are usually a mix of East and West Caribbean itineraries offering a wider variety of Islands and cultures. Often Cruise lines will offer special deals that combine two 7 night cruises to form an Extended cruise.
Cruises operate in the Caribbean all year round. However many ships cruise here in the northern winter and then cross the Atlantic to cruise in Europe during the northern summer.
Most cruises depart from American cities including Miami, Ft Lauderdale, New Orleans, Galvaston and more. San Juan in Puerto Rico is also a major departure port.
The Caribbean really is a year-round destination. Temperatures seldom vary from highs in the 80s (lows in the 70s), with humidity hovering at the 70 percent level just about all year. The hurricane season, which officially lasts from June 1st to November 30th, can occasionally disrupt cruise itineraries.