Caribbean & West Indies
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 3 main Caribbean cruise destinations - eastern, western and southern.
This area comprises the British & US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and St Maarten, and often include the Bahamas (which isn't stricly speaking Caribbean). 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 of St Maarten - Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. 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 French 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.
High season is December - March. April & May are the shoulder seasons. Hurricane season is from June - October.