Most Caribbean cruises depart from
Florida while others will give you the
opportunity to contrast bustling cities
such as New York or New Orleans with
relaxed island life of the Caribbean. The
most prolific cruises are seven night
itineraries to either the West or East
Caribbean which can usually be joined
together to make a two week cruise.
Longer duration cruises of ten nights
or more will take you further afield to
the more exotic Southern reaches of
the Caribbean. You can also cruise to
Caribbean from Southampton and back
without having to fly. These cruises tend
to be three weeks or longer due to the
transatlantic crossing each way.
ANTIGUA: There are 365 beaches
- one for every day of the year; the
most popular ones are Galley Bay and
Hawksbill Beaches. Nelson's fleet was
hosted in the late 1700's in a picturesque
bay on the other side of the island to the
capital St John and is now one of the
best known bays for the sailing fraternity
- now aptly named Nelson's Dockyard.
ARUBA: Aruba is situated just 15
miles off the coast of Venezuela at the
Southern end of the Caribbean. The
north side of the island has an exposed
rocky coast while the south coast has
soft white sand beaches, great shopping,
stunning sea and desert landscape
views. All of this can be experienced
from the capital Oranjestad with its
heavy Dutch influences.
BAHAMAS: A scattered group of
islands off the coast of Florida make up the
Bahamas and these really mark the gateway
to the Caribbean. Most cruise ships dock
in Nassau (the capital) where you will find
the usual selection of shops and also the
magnificent Atlantis Hotel with its water
park, marine habitat and Dolphin Cay.
BARBADOS: Relax on the
incredible white sand beaches on the
sheltered western side of the island, try a
round of golf, visit sugar cane plantations
and sample the popular Mount Gay
Rum. Barbados is the only Caribbean
Island to be colonised by one nation -
the Brits! You will even find a Trafalgar
Square here. Bridgetown is the capital
lying in the South Western corner of the
island. The closest beach to the cruise
terminal is Boatyard Beach - a white sand
happening beach that is well equipped
particularly in its Adventure Beach area.
BELIZE: Belize is situated on the Central
American mainland next to Costa Maya
in Mexico and it is a close neighbour to
Honduras. It was formerly known as British
Honduras and gained full independence
in 1981. It has the second largest Barrier
Reef in the world at just under 200 miles
long, which protects lagoons teeming with
marine life and 450 islets.
COZUMEL (MEXICO). This
island is just 12 miles long and situated
20 minutes ferry ride from the coast
of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
Cozumel is really a staging post for
cruise passengers to visit mainland
Mexico with its Mayan ruins at Tulum.
Cozumel town is lively with its many bars
and myriad of shops. The best beach is
located in the Punta Sur Ecological Park.
CURACAO: This volcanic island
lies in the far South of the Caribbean just
40 miles off the coast of Venezuela. The
capital Willemstad is a cosy Dutch haven
with its 17th and 18th century Dutch
colonial buildings. Visit the Hato Caves
formed from coral reefs, the freshwater
waterfall and Shete Boka National Park
with its limestone tidal cavern. The Ostrich
Farm is the largest outside of Africa where
you can feed the birds and watch the
Ostrich dance. Best souvenir buys are Delft
pottery and of course the Sapphire Blue
Liqueur - Curacao.
The Caribbean is probably the best place in the world for a relaxed beach cruise with lots of things to do.
It's all about fun the sun with breakfast on deck, crystal clear water lapping on silky soft sands, water sports,
jungle adventures, lazy afternoon naps on the balcony, balmy evening wallows in the hot tub and warm
midnight promenades under the stars. A marvellous day in the sun is defined by when you are still up on
deck after sunset and you return to your stateroom in your swimwear and everyone else is already dressed
for dinner! A Caribbean cruise is not simply one that you do just once but more a fall back option to visit
time and time again to capture the magic described above in the cold damp days of the UK Winter.